What is the significance of the three photos posted in Number 5: Before We Continue? As I suggested, these photos and others are intended to keep you reading. Here is the significance (in reverse order). You will have noticed that the Elvis musical was to be held at the Admiralspalast. The Admiralspalast is on the northern end of Friedrichstrasse, about two hundred metres from the Weidendammer Bridge. The three main streets in Berlin Mitte are, IMO, Wilhelmstrasse, Friedrichstrasse which runs parallel to Wilhelmstrasse and Unter den Linden which transects both. Here is the Admiralspalast:
Nice, isn’t it? (The photo is from Wikipedia). It’s one of the very few buildings in that part of Friedrichstrasse that was not completely destroyed in the war (it has been faithfully rebuilt but you can see traces of the original stonework if, like me, you are into that sort of thing). It’s important, IMO, because Max Raabe has played there and if you haven’t heard Max and his Palast Orchestra do yourself a Youtube favour:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlUPqR3Cy5c (the music starts at 0:30).
Also, one of the things I really love doing is finding the place where stuff happened. If I find an interesting photo I like to track down where the place is now and do a Then and Now comparison. So we will eventually find the link between where the Elvis musical played (above) and this famous and interesting photo (from AHF) when we do our stroll down Friedrichstrasse towards the Weidendammer Bridge:
Bugger it. Let’s do it now. It look me ages to find this spot. Thankfully, after two days of walking around Berlin looking for this corner, someone on AHF identified the location for me. See the sorry procession of refugees trudging north (i.e. away from Berlin Mitte)? There’s a burning troop carrier on the left and they walk past a corpse. This is the same spot today (it’s almost opposite the Admiralspalast):
The second photo (of the East Berlin watchtower/border guard bloke) was taken by me in the 1970s when the Wall was still up. If you find stories of drunken Australian schoolteachers on holiday antagonising innocent Communist East German and/or Russian soldiers interesting, read the next few posts. The border guard noticed me taking photos over the Wall with a telephoto lens and produced his – somewhat larger – camera to photograph me. The fact that we got turned inside out at the border crossing into East Berlin the next day notwithstanding, I prefer to believe the guard was trying to be as funny as he could get away with, given that they were under constant supervision. More on The Wall and its guards later but don’t be told that it has all been pulled down. There are sections still standing – some fairly close to where the refugees are fleeing in the above photo. I took this photo a few hundred metres along Chausseestrasse, past its junction with Friedrichstrasse. Notice the derelict building on the right – this photo was taken in 2011. I expect to be back in Berlin in late 2017 so I’ll see if this section has been rebuilt or not.
A little further along Chauseestrasse you could- in 2011 – find this ruin. You can still see blocks in Berlin that were bombed out in 1945 but if you want to see them, you’d better hurry.
And the bunny rabbit? Well, there has been some argument on Axis History Forum and other sites as to how much of Hitler’s bunker still exists, given that the goddamn Commies tried to rip it up in 1988. We will examine the history of the bunker if we ever get ourselves settled into our accommodation. In the meantime, only the bunny knows what’s down there as I took the photo of him/her (let’s not be gender-presumptuous) in the previous post outside the front door of my apartment in 2010. His/her warren is directly above Hitler’s bunker.
Some people have unkindly suggested that I faked the above photo. That is the type of insinuation that I have come to expect from those picky anorak types. I can assure you that I did not photoshop that tree into the picture and that is the same rabbit except in the first photo he is seventy-one years old.
We’d better get a wriggle on to our accommodation or those whom we left at Potsdamer Platz will be totally Willesseed by the time we pick them up.
Last time I looked we were passing the Swiss Embassy and were about to cross the grassed area in front of the Reichstag. We will come back later to look at the Reichstag, the Reichstag Fire and the Battle for the Reichstag in some detail but for now we pass it on our left and scurry towards the Brandenburg Gate.