A trip to Berlin is a great opportunity to learn more about the history of World War II. The city was home to Adolf Hitler’s bunker, known as the Führerbunker; and the former Prinz-Albercht-Strasse, a.k.a. The Nazi central office.
Prinz-Albercht-Strasse was the Gestapo and SS headquarters. It housed all secrets, plans, and documents containing the mass crimes committed by the Reich. In 1945, the Allies bombed the headquarters.
Topographie des Terrors now stands at the former headquarter’s location. Aptly named, the exhibitions in this museum show photographic and written evidence of the atrocities committed by the Nazis – documents showing execution orders, lists of people involved in war crimes, photos of prisoners being violated by SS officers, etc.
Although the sun shone brightly that day, and its rays glazed the interiors of the hall, a different kind of coldness hung in the air. As I saw the photos and read through all the inscriptions, I became overwhelmed with emotion. Not of pity, nor sadness. It was shock, or maybe just disbelief that a person can do those kinds of things to another human being. Thousands of them. If there was a definition of evil, that was it.
I can tell that the same feeling hovers over every person in that museum because even if the hall was filled with people, the silence was deafening.
Berlin, along with many other cities had to endure so much during WWII, and the years following that. After the fall of the Axis to the Allies, Berlin was again in the center of a battle for power during the Cold War.
Sufferings cannot be forgotten, and lives cannot be brought back. There is nothing we can do to change history. We can, however, prevent it from happening again.