Archives for the month of: July, 2013
German-Russian Museum

I spend a lot of time in museums, probably more than the average person. And, while a museum can be a place of rest and reprieve while traveling, it can also be fatiguing. Most tourists want to see everything, but overdoing a museum can be counterproductive.

In Berlin, visiting and appreciating all of the city’s great museums is impossible, especially during a single visit. If you’re in Berlin for just three to five days, then select two or three museums that are appealing you. Don’t visit a museum because it’s a “must see.” If you’re not interested in fine art, don’t go to the Alte Nationalgalerie, and if the ancient world is unappealing, then bypass the Pergamon

The Surrender Room: The Place
Where Documents Confirming
Germany’s Unconditional Surrender
Were Signed
 

These days, I focus on the smaller museums. And, if I visit a large museum, I select a particular gallery and concentrate on just a few paintings or sculptures. I limit my visits to about an hour. After an hour, my attention wanders, and I simply can’t enjoy the exhibits. 

Mural Depicting the
Three Allied Power
Choking Hitler

One museum I enjoy is the German-Russian Museum (Deutsch-Russisches Museum). Situated in the leafy suburb of Karlshorst, this small intimate museum is housed in the building where the second World War in Europe officially ended.

Suicide of Family in Vienna:
Prompted by years of hate propaganda
against the USSR and the knowledge of
German crimes in the East, many people in
Germany and Austria, fearing revenge, committed
suicide as the Red Army approached. 


The museum documents the war on the Eastern Front, the daily life of the average Soviet citizen during the war, and the lasting effects of the war on Russia and Germany. The audio installations located throughout the museum are particularly moving. They chronicle the experiences of those who suffered under the Nazis. If WWII is an interest of yours, then don’t miss this place. 

Logistics: Getting to the museum can be difficult. I recommend taking U-Bahn(U5) to the Tierpark station or S-Bahn(S3) to the Karlshorst station and then taking bus 296 to the Museum. The museum is free and is closed on Monday.

Audio Installation Documenting
the Experiences of the Ordinary
Citizen During the War

Russian Poster Aimed
at the British and American Audience 


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German-Russian Museum

I spend a lot of time in museums, probably more than the average person. And, while a museum can be a place of rest and reprieve while traveling, it can also be fatiguing. Most tourists want to see everything, but overdoing a museum can be counterproductive.

In Berlin, visiting and appreciating all of the city’s great museums is impossible, especially during a single visit. If you’re in Berlin for just three to five days, then select two or three museums that are appealing you. Don’t visit a museum because it’s a “must see.” If you’re not interested in fine art, don’t go to the Alte Nationalgalerie, and if the ancient world is unappealing, then bypass the Pergamon

The Surrender Room: The Place
Where Documents Confirming
Germany’s Unconditional Surrender
Were Signed
 

These days, I focus on the smaller museums. And, if I visit a large museum, I select a particular gallery and concentrate on just a few paintings or sculptures. I limit my visits to about an hour. After an hour, my attention wanders, and I simply can’t enjoy the exhibits. 

Mural Depicting the
Three Allied Power
Choking Hitler

One museum I enjoy is the German-Russian Museum (Deutsch-Russisches Museum). Situated in the leafy suburb of Karlshorst, this small intimate museum is housed in the building where the second World War in Europe officially ended.

Suicide of Family in Vienna:
Prompted by years of hate propaganda
against the USSR and the knowledge of
German crimes in the East, many people in
Germany and Austria, fearing revenge, committed
suicide as the Red Army approached. 


The museum documents the war on the Eastern Front, the daily life of the average Soviet citizen during the war, and the lasting effects of the war on Russia and Germany. The audio installations located throughout the museum are particularly moving. They chronicle the experiences of those who suffered under the Nazis. If WWII is an interest of yours, then don’t miss this place. 

Logistics: Getting to the museum can be difficult. I recommend taking U-Bahn(U5) to the Tierpark station or S-Bahn(S3) to the Karlshorst station and then taking bus 296 to the Museum. The museum is free and is closed on Monday.

Audio Installation Documenting
the Experiences of the Ordinary
Citizen During the War

Russian Poster Aimed
at the British and American Audience 


Have a look at Pakistan’s answer to Wonder Woman. Burka Avenger is an animated TV series from Pakistan that’s definitely must see TV! 



The poster, “Freedom of the Press Worldwide 2013,” is the work an organization called Reporter ohne Grenzen (Reporters without Borders). Using a variety of variables, including the number of journalists killed, imprisoned, or harassed, the organization has classified countries according to press freedom. The light colored areas represent countries with high levels of press freedom while the darker areas are viewed as places in a “very serious situation.” 

Detail Section


The USA, France, Japan, and the UK are considered “in a satisfactory situation” while Namibia, Germany, Ireland, Finland, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic are rated as good, higher than the USA. I’m not an expert on press freedom, but I’m a little skeptical about these ratings. For one thing, Germany censors what the press can say about the Holocaust, Ireland has an unofficial policy of avoiding provocative stories about the Catholic church, Finland shies away from antagonizing its neighbor Russia, and the Namibian press is hardly scrupulous. Perhaps, the poster is referring to journalist safety. Yet, as far as I know, American journalists enjoy as much safety as their German, Czech, or Irish counterparts. 

The USA was the first country’s to codified freedom of the Press and freedom of Speech in its Constitution, and accordingly, the press have few, if any limitsJust listen to talk radio, watch Fox News, or grab a copy of the New York Times.



The poster, “Freedom of the Press Worldwide 2013,” is the work an organization called Reporter ohne Grenzen (Reporters without Borders). Using a variety of variables, including the number of journalists killed, imprisoned, or harassed, the organization has classified countries according to press freedom. The light colored areas represent countries with high levels of press freedom while the darker areas are viewed as places in a “very serious situation.” 

Detail Section


The USA, France, Japan, and the UK are considered “in a satisfactory situation” while Namibia, Germany, Ireland, Finland, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic are rated as good, higher than the USA. I’m not an expert on press freedom, but I’m a little skeptical about these ratings. For one thing, Germany censors what the press can say about the Holocaust, Ireland has an unofficial policy of avoiding provocative stories about the Catholic church, Finland shies away from antagonizing its neighbor Russia, and the Namibian press is hardly scrupulous. Perhaps, the poster is referring to journalist safety. Yet, as far as I know, American journalists enjoy as much safety as their German, Czech, or Irish counterparts. 

The USA was the first country’s to codified freedom of the Press and freedom of Speech in its Constitution, and accordingly, the press have few, if any limitsJust listen to talk radio, watch Fox News, or grab a copy of the New York Times.

Even in the Rain,
Outside Dining is Possible
at Eintopf

Located on eclectic Gotzkowskystraße in the Moabit section of Berlin, Eintopf is a small neighborhood restaurant specializing in soups. Their homemade soups are made from scratch everyday, which include a vegan and/or vegetarian option. Friendly service, reasonable prices (3,90€ per bowl with unlimited bread), and a pleasant atmosphere make Eintopf a great place to visit for a healthy lunch.

A View From Eintopf 

BTW: Moabit is one of those Berlin neighborhoods that’s relatively tourist free. There’s a lively vibe to this multicultural area that’s full of restaurants, cafes, and music venues. If anything, Moabit reminds me of SoHo during the late 1980s.

Even in the Rain,
Outside Dining is Possible
at Eintopf

Located on eclectic Gotzkowskystraße in the Moabit section of Berlin, Eintopf is a small neighborhood restaurant specializing in soups. Their homemade soups are made from scratch everyday, which include a vegan and/or vegetarian option. Friendly service, reasonable prices (3,90€ per bowl with unlimited bread), and a pleasant atmosphere make Eintopf a great place to visit for a healthy lunch.

A View From Eintopf 

BTW: Moabit is one of those Berlin neighborhoods that’s relatively tourist free. There’s a lively vibe to this multicultural area that’s full of restaurants, cafes, and music venues. If anything, Moabit reminds me of SoHo during the late 1980s.

The recent revelations that the USA spied on many of its allies may have an impact on the upcoming German election. Chancellor Merkel has closely aligned herself with President Obama and many of his foreign policy positions. At one time, the President was the most popular person in Germany, and Frau Merkel’s close association with him was a political plus. No longer. The German love affair with the President has faded.

Shortly after the USA spy program became public, Regierungssprecher (Government spokesman) Steffen Seibert stated, “Wir sind nicht mehr im Kalten Krieg.” (“We are no longer in the Cold War.”) He expressed, what many in Germany were beginning to think: The United States is again imposing its might on the rest of the world. 

Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Syria, and now the NSA leaks have all dented the President’s image. In the German capital, there are weekly demonstrations against the USA, and there’s a general feeling of sympathy for the plight of Edward Snowden. Up till now, the opposition has tried to make this a major election issue but without much success. Frau Merkel is still relatively popular, but popularity can wane. Just look at what happened to President Obama. 
Decorative water jets
at Boxhangerplatz offer relief
from the scorching temperatures.
I was so tempted to join in. 

We’re having a heat wave, a tropical Berlin heat wave. With temperatures expected to reach 38°C (100.4°F) today, my goal is to stay cool. That’s not so easy since most places lack air conditioning. Of course, museums and movie theaters have AC, but the thought of riding my bike to these venues seems daunting and unpleasant. Shopping centers are another option, but it’s Sunday, and they’re closed. Maybe a cold dip in the bathtub?

Decorative water jets
at Boxhangerplatz offer relief
from the scorching temperatures.
I was so tempted to join in. 

We’re having a heat wave, a tropical Berlin heat wave. With temperatures expected to reach 38°C (100.4°F) today, my goal is to stay cool. That’s not so easy since most places lack air conditioning. Of course, museums and movie theaters have AC, but the thought of riding my bike to these venues seems daunting and unpleasant. Shopping centers are another option, but it’s Sunday, and they’re closed. Maybe a cold dip in the bathtub?