Sunday, November 02, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen!

I spent the better part of this week in Berlin. Karl Scheffler once said that "Berlin is a city damned to be forever changing, but never become". I went there for the first time in the summer of 1992, and I still remember that August morning's arrival to Ostbahnhof on a train from Prague, and the impressions caused by the remaining sections of the Wall and the once-designated "no man's land". I had witnessed, in front of the TV and with teenage excitement, the fall of the Wall less than three years earlier; being actually there, was like a dream that comes true. I have been in Berlin several times since that first visit. I have friends from Berlin, and friends who live in Berlin; friends who have told me the stories of the once divided city, and friends who made me discover the hopes of the newly re-established capital. I don't know if it will ever become; but I can confirm that it has been changing. And changing for good. Berlin's centre has been reinivigorated by the people, the companies, the galleries, the diplomats, the tourists and everyone else who moved there when Berlin once again became the capital of Germany in 1999. But Berlin wouldn't be as nice as it is if it wasn't for all the people who remained and kept coming back: the local artists and the international nomads... or, simply put, the Berliners. Them, who make the city "poor, but sexy", in the words of its Mayor. Berlin lies at the crossroads of European modern history: from Bismarck's German Reich, to Nazism and the already mentioned rise and fall of the Wall, in no other city Europe has been shaped to the same extent as in Berlin. And yet, Berlin is not about the past, but rather about the present, and about the future. I am sure that Berlin is going to keep changing, and I hope I can keep enjoying going there while it does. Because, as I have been saying, change is good; Berlin is there to prove it!


Blogger kiscsillag said...

berlin is the place where one can be oneself.. where you ride on your bycicle through the city in the night, through lighted glass houses and small streets with a dog and a punk and a girl..
where dreams come true or dont.. where one can just be or not be..
berlin, ick liebe dir.:)

8:34 PM  

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