I almost forgot to join in The Gallery this week until I saw everyone’s tweets about their posts. So here I am with my offering for the theme Black and White . . .
So why have I chosen to post a black and white picture of Check-Point Charlie? On my recent trip to Berlin, I saw hundreds and thousands of black and white images of the horrors of our past. I had an amazing time in Berlin but it was a trip which stirred so many emotions – obviously I missed my family but that isn’t what I mean . . .
. . . visiting the museum at Check-point Charlie really brought home the horrors of the war. Seeing names and faces of people who had died trying to save others, seeing the faces of children crying for their parents was so heart-wrenching. We saw a car that had been used to hide people to get them across the divide and you had to wonder what must have been going through their minds as they squeezed themselves into the tiny compartments within the car, not knowing whether they were about to be caught and shot or make their bid for freedom.
Later we visited the Memorial of the Murdered Jews which was an amazing sight to behold but what lay beneath were the memories, diaries, letters and photographs of so many families destroyed. It was eerily quiet, more so than a library, all faces were solemn as they took in the pictures before them. There were two pictures which shall remain with me always, one of a Jewish man surrounded by German soldiers who were laughing as they cut off his side curls, the look on the man’s face as he looked at the camera was one of resignation, knowing his fate was just minutes away was so moving. Underneath the photograph it said the he was killed moments later along with his father. Another photograph showed a ravine filled with the naked bodies of women, soldiers with guns walking between them and in the middle one woman was up on her elbows, head raised with a gun pointing at the back of her head. Knowing that the photograph is capturing the last seconds of her life in such a degrading manner was so sad.
Berlin is a trip which will remain with me always, I was able to spend time with some amazing women and I had some of the deepest conversations I have had in a long time. To me, Berlin is totally black and white, a city of contrast, old and new, good and bad, sorrow and joy – I will definitely return there one day.