[Photo Journal] Neue Wache Central Memorial in Berlin

photojournal

Myra here.

Every Tuesday, we share photographs from our recent or long-ago travels, or just everyday stuff that appealed to our mindful eye and sharp sensibilities as captured through fleeting images.

Neue Wache Central Memorial in Berlin

One of the things that really struck me about Berlin was how reminders of the ravages of war could be seen through art, paintings, sculptures, places of remembrances such as the Neue Wache Central Memorial.

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According to Wikipedia:

The Neue Wache (English: New Guardhouse) is a building in Berlin, the capital of Germany. It serves as the “Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Dictatorship”. It is located on the north side of the Unter den Linden boulevard in the central Mitte district.

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Also from Wikipedia:

Inside post-reunification Neue Wache, showing the Käthe Kollwitz sculpture Mother with her Dead Son and the oculus, which exposes it to the elements.

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Still from Wikipedia:

After German reunification, the Neue Wache was again rededicated in 1993, as the “Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Dictatorship.” At the personal suggestion of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the GDR memorial piece was removed and replaced by an enlarged version of Käthe Kollwitz’s sculpture Mother with her Dead Son. The pietà-style sculpture is directly placed under the oculus, and so is exposed to the rain, snow and cold of the Berlin climate, symbolizing the suffering of civilians during World War II.

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There was a hush among the crowd as we looked at this sculpture inside the memorial. What a truly powerful reminder of tyranny, the dangers of dictatorship, the terror of loss of freedom. What do we really mean when we say “Never Again?”

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I would like to see it in person some day, if I ever get back to Germany. Käthe Kollwitz was such a powerful artist. As a pacifist myself, I always found her illustration Deutschlands Kindern hungern! as such an inspiration for not going to war. Though these days, I picture it as American’s children are starving as a result of the new budget promoted by Washington. Will we never learn!

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