Double Happiness in Berlin

I was so incredibly excited when I woke up and looked out of the window this morning. The truth be told, I felt like a big kid. The reason? Snow. Real snow. Not just snow on the ground snow, like I experienced last week in Sweden. Not just a bit of a flurry here and there. But real, actual, “proper” snow. In fact, it’s been snowing all day, and as you can see, it’s been quite a decent fall. As someone who grew up and has spent most of his life living in warmer parts of Australia, it’s been quite a novelty, and something which has made me very happy.

The other reason I’m very happy is my friend Sue has now joined me for the next couple of weeks. She arrived on Sunday afternoon, and we’ve been hanging out together on and off over the last few days. While I’ve been heading off to the radio conference, Sue has been doing some sight-seeing, including an historical tour of central Berlin yesterday, and a visit today to the nearby Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

One of the oddest things about it, she told me, was noticing it was right in the middle of an actual small town. It’s the kind of thing you would imagine would be in the middle of nowhere, but it’s right there in a town where people are going about their day to day modern lives, she noted.

When we met up this afternoon (after I finished my conference, and Sue had returned from Sachsenhausen), we decided it would be interesting to visit the Jewish Museum. As you might imagine, much of the museum deals with the lead up to, and the fact of the holocaust. But what I found most interesting, was the long history of the Jewish people living in the area of Germany (up to 2,000 years), and in the re-building of the Jewish community in Germany in the years after the Second World War.

So much of the “story” of the holocaust often enda with the liberation of the concentration camps. So much of the story then involves people moving to the United States, Israel and other parts of the world. What’s been lacking from the narrative I’ve been aware of, is that many Jewish people continued to live in Germany immediately after the Second World War.

Aside from that, we’ve just been hanging out. With my conference now over, our adventure together starts to begin properly, I think.

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