day 51: too golden
Today you can expect two posts since I didn’t get the chance to write my post yesterday. The day before we again went on a little walk, this time to the Hansaviertel. It’s not so far from here and there is the Tiergarten, a massive park with the Siegessäule (Victory Column) in the centre of what is called Stern, i.e. star. The latter is a big roundabout which I’ve encountered to be quite confusing in my driving lessons. The roundabout is also the reason why you can only reach the Siegessäule through a tunnel.
You can already see the Siegessäule from quite far off and the closer you get the better the picture opportunities which is surprising since it’s just massive, but the streets leading up to it are big avenues so that there is not much obstructing the view. We were again walking at dusk, so the closer we got the darker it also was which was a bit of a shame, because it prevented me from taking pictures of the shot holes in the base of the monument. On the base there are also reliefs showing scenes of the victory that is celebrated with the column. These reliefs were dismantled by the French and taken away after WW2. They were only returned before the 750th anniversary of Berlin in 1987, 42 years after the end of WW2. Germany was allowed to see itself as more than just a beaten and guilty country again. Not that Germans ever take that opportunity though.
The guilt over the second world war is definitely part of the German identity. Since I’m only half German I’ve never really understood this guilt. As far as I understand the workings of the universe, cause lies in the past and effect in the future, and definitely not the other way round. So what is it really to the Germans nowadays that they have to feel so guilty about it? It makes me remember the absolute hilarious Fawlty Towers episode “The Germans” and the phrase “Don’t mention the war”. If you don’t know it, I’ve added a link to the scene at the bottom, it’s brilliant! And it also reminds me of all the cringeworthy jokes I heard in England that Germans usually wouldn’t find funny at all. Maybe that’s the reason why people often assume that Germans don’t have a sense of humour. It’s really just in those matters though! There were actually some great German comedians too, like the late Loriot. I’ve linked my favourite Loriot moment at the bottom as well. This one is mostly without words. The woman tells him to wait for the lady of the house and at the end he says “The picture is crooked”.
The photo shows a close-up of the Siegessäule just above the base.