Berlijn bezienswaardigheden - bladzijde 2
Havel, 24 kilometers southwest of Berlin’s city center. It is a great day trip outside of the city and not to be confused with Potsdamer Platz, which is a square in Berlin.
Potsdam acquired some importance when the Great Elector of Brandenburg, Frederick William (1620-88) established his residence there. Potsdam housed a small garrison from 1640 onwards; the site's military function was strengthened by the young Prussian monarchy. Potsdam changed under the power of Frederick II the Great (1712-86) who wanted to establish a 'Prussian Versailles', next to the garrison town, which was to be his main residence. Landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné united the various palaces and parks of Potsdam into a unique park landscape and it was designated as a "world cultural heritage site" by UNESCO in 1990. Sanssouci Park is the most popular attraction in Potsdam. It is the result of many influences from Italy, England, Flanders, Paris and Dresden.
A haunting tribute to all that was lost in WWII, the aptly named ‘Missing House’ is powerful in simplicity – a visual metaphor that pushes visitors to consider the lasting effects of war. Destroyed by bombing in February 1945, the ‘house’ is now nothing more than an empty space between 2 buildings, but it was once part of a thriving mixed community, with both Jewish and non-Jewish former residents.
Transformed into ‘a memorial space dedicated to absence’ by French artist Christian Boltanski in 1990, the neighboring houses are now adorned with brass plaques listing the house’s former residents. It’s a moving sight, with the stark space offering a poignant reminder of what is left behind after war, and the surprising variety of former residents (both in religion and class status) showcasing a diversity all but wiped out by the arrival of the Nazi regime.
A unique and moving tribute to one of the everyday heroes of WWII, the Otto Weidt Museum tells the story of its former owner, Otto Weidt, and his Workshop for the Blind. Recognised as one of the Righteous Men of the World’s Nations, Otto Weidt, himself visually impaired, owned and ran a factory producing brooms and brushes during the war years, employing around 30 blind and deaf Jews between the years of 1941 and 1943. With a business classed as ‘vital to the war effort’ thanks to providing for the Wehrmacht, Weidt went to great lengths to keep his employees safe, even falsifying documents, helping them escape and bribing the Gestapo to have his workers released from assembly camps. Today, the museum is devoted to telling his story and it’s a compelling account, including letters, poems and photographs, alongside the personal stories of his former employees. Visitors can even see the hideout at the back of the workshop, where Weidt hid those threatened by deportation.
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