I noticed this doorway in The Story of Berlin museum, and the design seemed a bit ineffective and a bit brash and non-functional, and this seemed very strange to me, because the one thing you have to say about the Germans throughout history is that, time and again, they’re very good at functionality and organisation. But then I looked up at the top of it and realised what it was.
This might sound like a really stupid observation, seeing that swastikas are (quite obviously) a banned symbol in Germany, but because we spent so much time wandering about Berlin being butted on one side by constant reminders of the cold war and butted on the other side by constant reminders of the Second (and also First) World War, it’s quite surprising that this is the only one we saw relatively out of context. I didn’t expect to see it there. We had just been through what was really a quite affecting section of the museum which dealt, albeit briefly, with the years of Hitler’s rise to power. This section was something of a breathing space between the sharp facts and statistics laid out if you wanted to read them in mind-numbing detail, and moving on to the division of the city and the eventual building of the wall.