In Jim Cook's Archive


My wife is Polish and for years she has wanted to go to Poland. I resisted for a time, but eventually relented and she booked the trip. I finish my newsletter on Tuesdays so we left May 16th at 5p.m on a Delta flight to Amsterdam. We switched planes and continued on to Berlin. We stayed at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski next to the Brandenburg Gate. Each day for three days we had a driver or a tour guide. We saw Checkpoint Charlie and remnants of the Berlin Wall. We took photos standing outside the Reichstag. We saw the site of Hitler’s chancellery and bunker. We drove by the site of the burning of the books by the brownshirts and the building that housed the S.S. We visited the Jewish Museum and the Topography of Terror Museum which houses an extremely interesting photo history of the Nazis.

One evening we had dinner at a restaurant inside a building that once housed the Jewish Girls School. Three hundred little girls were sent away from this site to be murdered by the Nazis. During the trip I was reading the book Nazi Germany and the Jews so my view of Germany was diminished. Later in the trip after visiting the concentration camps, I wondered how Germany could have let this happen.

Our last day in Berlin we drove to Potsdam and stood in the room where Stalin, Churchill and Truman met in 1945. We toured San Souci, the spectacular palace of Frederick the Great. Finally, we walked through the building that housed the infamous Wannsee Conference where Nazi leaders developed the plan for the Final Solution.

Each day of our trip was filled with interesting history and so much to see. Berlin has no skyscrapers, but miles of shops, office buildings, apartments and historical sites. I wrote this brief article in the airplane coming home in time for our Tuesday newsletter deadline. I have more to cover in the next newsletter.

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