Ten updates about the history of Berlin – an introspection.

Roosje, Joep, Pim. Spreepark. Berlin, August 2012Dear audience,

Ten updates about historical sites have passed by now. Therefore, I think it is time to reflect my promises a bit.

First of all, I didn’t fulfill an aim – to write a monthly column. I will try to leave this sin behind the 31st – and start the new year with the best intentions. On the other hand, I initiated a category ‘Recommandations’ which I didn’t promise at first. Furthermore, I started to organise tours actively. Currently I can tour you at the Gedenkstätte der Sozialisten and Unter den Linden in English, German or Dutch. My programm will be extended soon – and  you can write to joepdevisser1989@gmail.com for any information. Considering my posts – I’ve added most photo’s afterwards since I didn’t have a camera when I started this blog. Most photos which I have taken are not copyrighted – which you can see when you scroll over them.

Next! I feel like balancing out my topics a bit. For my weekly updates, I’ve chosen seven historical sites, two historical persons and a tumultuous season as my topics. A wider context of the event – for instance the detailed facts about the process of the Porajmos – are discussed so far. I think it is the best to keep this wider context for my upcoming columns or perhaps another category of update. That is also why the most historical topic of all hasn’t been written about on my blog yet – the Holocaust. I am on doing that at the same time with memorial sites in Berlin and information about the bigger process in a book review besides.

Anyway, it is harder to categorise my updates chronologically – because people and sites have often a prehistory which overlaps often with the era in which they peaked. Nevertheless, I admitt that the gravity centre lays in the Cold War. Within this era I updated about the Sozialistenfriedhof, the Teufelsberg, the Glienicker Brücke and the uprising of 17 June 1953 – and the Cold War period played a side role in the stories about Ernst Thälmann and the Porajmos. Another present period at my blog has been the nazi time (1933-1945) which came back in historical sites such as the Zigeneunerrastplatz during the Porajmos, the Plötzensee Prison and the story of Georg Elser. With writing about the murderous attempt on Kaiser Wilhelm I – I’ve even made an update about the Second Empire (1871-1918) – but it’s all in despite of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) which only played side roles in the tales about Ernst Thälmann, the Luisenstädtischer Kanal and the Sozialistenfriedhof. For compensating this, I can reveal that the next update will be highly Weimar!

To end with perhaps the best news so far, I am proud to tell that the blog is followed by Jonge Historici Schrijven Geschiedenis (Young Historians Write History) – a dutch platform where students in history – or who shortly finished their study history – can publish their works before they have a profession. I seem to have an own page!

Best regards,
Joep de Visser

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