Uber-jet-lagged (still), and “where books are burned, in the end, people will be burned”

Even after almost 5 days, I’m still quite jet-lagged. I honestly can’t remember ever having it so bad… not even on my trip to China. Last night I slept all of 4 hours, then woke-up. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got up and started uploading photos and stuff.

Last night it was absolutely gorgeous out, so I went for a long evening walk around the city. Even late on a Monday night, lots of people were out having dinner, walking with their significant other, sitting by the river, enjoying music, having coffee.

This photo was taken at Bebelplatz Square, the place where the Nazi book burnings began in 1933. In the ground, in the middle of the square is a window, where you can peer into a kind of underground art installation, a memorial called "Bibliotek."

From Wikipedia:

The memorial consists of a window on the surface of the plaza, under which vacant bookshelves are lit and visible. A bronze plaque bears a quote by Heinrich Heine: “Where books are burned in the end people will burn.”

A library whose shelves are completely empty: it’s a striking image, and seeing it was a highlight of the day.

I made a point to visit Kunsthaus Tacheles, a trippy old building which has been taken-over by an artist collective. (Thanks for the tip, Ryan!) Apparently the building used to be a department store with a cinema. It was to be demolished in early 1990, but the collective registered the building as a historic landmark and it was preserved. It’s the weirdest combination of graffiti-ridden, run-down old building and vibrant creative hub I’ve ever seen. It felt dirty and inspiring at the same time! It’s part art-shop, part gallery, part dilapidated old building, with a few grungy lounges thrown in for good measure. I hung-out in the Russian kino-inspired bar near the top of the building, had a drink and just people-watched.

You can read more about Tacheles here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunsthaus_Tacheles

On tap for today: a little housekeeping (aka laundry) and catching-up on places I still need to see in Berlin (Bauhaus Archive, Berlin Historical Museum and Anne Frank Center). Tomorrow: a little day-trip to Potsdam, and a visit to Stasi Prison. Thursday: check-out of the hotel, then hop on a train to Hamburg.

Posted via Posterous.

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~ by Mike Y on August 18, 2009.

2 Responses to “Uber-jet-lagged (still), and “where books are burned, in the end, people will be burned””

  1. Heya Mikey. Thanks for sharing this. Very cool. Take a nap today!

  2. i’d LOVE to see that art collective! and anything bauhaus!

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