Great Place Wednesday: Berlin Wall Memorial; Berlin, Germany

Memorials and monuments take a variety of shapes and forms, often depending on the event, people, or places they commemorate.  Often intended to evoke a certain emotion or response, designers of urban memorials often can only catch a the attention of a passerby very briefly.   Such is the memorializing of the Berlin Wall,  the totem that came to represent the entire Cold War for a generation.

The Berlin Wall wound around West Berlin for nearly thirty years,  from August 1961 until its fall in November of 1989.   Only small segments of the wall remain in a few locations of the city of Berlin, mostly neglected, crumbling ruins:

A large segment of the wall has been preserved at Potsdamerplatz, and displays information about the wall, and its short history.

The most striking memorial of the Berlin Wall is the subtle, often overlooked installation that marks the line that once stood for the difference between freedom and oppression:

While a simple idea, merely embedding brick in the ground to mark the line the Wall once occupied, traveling through the city one is constantly confronted with the idea of the Wall, and the arbitrary nature of its purpose of dividing a city. Whether running down the middle of the street or through a public plaza, the purpose of the memorial is to remind us all of a time when the globe was divided in two over political ideology.