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Monday, May 7, 2007

The Reichstag...

The Reichstag is where the pre-Nazi parliament met. It was built in the 1890s, but became important on February 27, 1933 when it was destroyed by fire. Adolph Hitler blamed the communists for the fire and used it as a pretense for sweeping new dictatorial powers. It was then destroyed by Allied bombing during WWII. It was remade in the late 1990s after the fall of the Wall and is now a fascinating mix of the old and the new. Where the original dome of the Reichstag had been is now a glass dome with an interior ramp that you can walk up to get a splendid view of Berlin.

There is a part of me that is very sad to be in Berlin. My dad loved reading about the Nazis, and Hitler and the war in Europe. This is a little ironic, since he did not fight in WWII but was in the army and spent time in Japan after the war ended so I’m not sure what was the genesis of his interest in Hitler and the Nazis. Kathy and I had planned on taking my parents on a trip to Germany in late September of 2001, but 9/11 forced the cancellation of that trip. We rescheduled for the following fall, but my dad had gotten sick and refused to go to the doctor and ended up with pneumonia and congestive heart failure so we had to cancel again. Finally, we were planning on my parents coming over this fall but my dad…well, that didn’t work either. So as we were touring the Reichstag and visiting the Holocaust memorial and seeing the other sites of Berlin, I know that my dad would have loved to be here with us seeing the sites. And maybe he was.

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