Sunday, June 3, 2018

Elegant Elbe: Berlin 4b (6/3/2018)

Sunday, June 3, 2018 (continued)
After the unsuccessful search for the "Bikes," we crossed Potsdamer Strasse.
The Boulevard of Stars (2010) is in the median of Potsdamer Strasse;
this neglected diagram shows the location of the stars (some are missing)
of the greatest actors and directors in German film and television

The star of Marlene Dietrich on the right, on the asphalt "red carpet"
The Boulevard of Stars had stands with a "camera" through which you viewed a sort of hologram of the famous person standing on his or her star. Supposedly you could take a photo through the "camera" of someone standing "with" the hologram. I could not get my camera to focus on the hologram.
Posing with a "hologram"
Emperor's Room/Kaisersaal is one of a few sections of the Hotel
Esplanade (1907-1908) that survived World War II and is now
incorporated into the Sony Center; used as a dining venue
as it was when the last Kaiser entertained guests there
The Sony Center (1998-2000, by Helmut Jahn) is a complex of buildings surrounding a large public space.
A cantilevered fountain pool
The roof of the Sony Center atrium is made of
steel and safety glass, with bands of fabric
that serve as a projection surface for
changing colors of light at night
A listening device?! (KSS)
We had lunch at the Lindenbräu (from Bavaria), then visited the German Film Archive: Museum of Film and Television/Deutsche Kinemathek: Museum für Film und Fernsehen (2000). No photos allowed. Berlin was, and is now, a major center for the production of movies and television.
Peter & Beth took their leave, so Kent and I continued around Potsdamer Platz.
Beisheim Center is another ensemble of buildings
on the north side of Potsdamer Platz, with
Beisheim Tower (2002-2004, by Hilmer & Sattler und
Albrecht, in Chicago-style) on the left and Delbrück
House (2001-2004, by Hans Kollhof) on the right
Just beyond the "twin" buildings in Inge-Beisheim-Platz
is the sculpture Phoenix (2003, by by Gidon Graetz)
Is she a plant? A Three-card Monte game in progress
A small section of the Berlin Wall has been
"reconstructed" on part of Potsdamer Platz
Giordano Bruno Memorial (2000, by
Alexander Poltzin) to the Dominican friar who
was burned at the stake as a heretic because of
his cosmological theories that extended the
Copernican model, suggesting stars were
distant suns surrounded by their own planets
and that the universe was infinite
Here you can see the light tube/Lichtrohr that
extends into the underground S-Bahn station
to provide natural light
The light tube over the platform (KSS)
Looking directly up into a light tube
We continued back to and farther into the Daimler Quartier.
Atrium Tower (1993-1997, by Heinz Hilmer and
Christoph Sattler, as Debis-Haus for the headquarters
of Daimler-Benz; renamed Atrium Tower
in 2013 after Daimler moved out)
The Atrium Tower is easily spotted because of the green cube on the tallest tower, which is actually a ventilation chimney for the Tiergarten Spreebogen Tunnel.  We ended up walking down Schellingstrasse, looking up to find a sculpture on the roof line of the Atrium Tower, but it was not there (you can see the 2002 Landed, by Auke de Vries, on Google maps dated 2009!).
Bridges, one wavy, connecting two office buildings
next to the Atrium Tower (KSS)
We also tried to enter the atrium of Atrium Tower, but it was closed to the public after September 11, 2001, which meant we missed seeing the kinetic sculpture Meta-Maxi (1986, by Jean Tinguely). We have struck out three times on sculptures today.
Galileo (1996, by Mark di Suvero)
There were huge carp in the pool below Galileo
On the left is Stage Theater and on the right is the casino/Spielbank,
(both 1998, by Renzo Piano), facing Marlene-Dietrich-Platz
It was on Marlene-Dietrich-Platz that I accidentally dropped my map of Berlin, and it fell onto a mini-cascade of water that dropped into a narrow channel. Kent was able to run around a point and kneel down to retrieve the soggy paper. Not having been printed with waterproof ink, it was a pale version of itself, and not very helpful for the rest of our sightseeing! But that mini-cascade was supposed to be the location of the sculpture Balloon Flower (2000, by Jeff Koons).
Boxers (1987, by Keith Haring)
Another perspective of Boxers
We crossed Potsdamer Strasse to the Kulturforum, which was built in the 1950s and 1960s with innovative architecture. With the division of the city after World War II, the major museums ended up in East Berlin. At the time, the Old Masters paintings had been divided between the Bode Museum (in East Berlin) and an exhibition space in the suburb of Dahlem (in West Berlin). There had been discussion to return the paintings exhibited at Dahlem to the Bode Museum. The director-general of the Berlin State Museums, Wolf-Dieter Dube, wanted to create a Kulturforum in West Berlin, a modernist complex as the answer to Museum Island. The Painting Gallery/Gemäldegalerie (1998) became the home of the Old Master of West Berlin.
The Berlin concert hall Philharmonie (1960-1963, by Hans Scharoun)
has the Chamber Music Hall/Kammermusiksaal (in the foreground)
and behind it and to the right is the larger Great Hall/Grossersaal,
which pioneered the terraced "vineyard-style" seating arrangement
Philharmonie (10/2/1987)
St Matthew's Church/St-Matthäus-Kirche
(1845, by Friedrich August Stüler, rebuilt 1956-1960)
Why is a church sitting in the middle of the Kulturforum? In order to make way for the Nazi plans for the World Capital/Welthauptstadt Germania, this area was cleared of its houses and the rectory. They were going to demolish the church as well, but then the bombs came raining down. Damaged, but still standing, St Matthew's Church was rebuilt after World War II and is still a parish church. However, it is also a venue for cultural events. The tower was added in 1987-1988, designed by Gisela Breitling. Apparently it is purposely left standing all alone as during World War II.
St Matthew's Church (10/2/1987)
State Library/Staatsbibliothek (1967-1978, by Hans Scharoun and
Edgar Wisniewski, for West Berlin) was formally reunited with the
East Berlin State Library in 1992; now "one library with two homes"
State Library (10/2/1987)
New National Gallery/Neue Nationalgalerie (1968,
by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe) is closed due to renovations
Kent found a gap in the wall to view the New National Gallery (KSS)
A view of the back terrace of the New National Gallery
towards St Matthew's Church (KSS)
Back terrace of the New National Gallery with
Heads and Tail (1965, by Alexander Calder) (10/2/1987)
Social Science Research Center/Wissenschaftszentrum (1979-1988,
by James Stirling and Michael Wilford, as part of the Interbau 1987)
Social Sciences Research Center (10/2/1987)
Door on the Baroque building of the Social
Science Research Center (KSS)
Hercules (1971-1972, by Martin Matschinsky and
Brigitte Matschinsky-Denninghoff)
Shell-Haus (1930-1931, by Emil Fahrenkamp in modernist style
for a subsidiary of the Royal Dutch Shell oil company, restored 1997-2000)
During World War II, Shell-Haus was used by the naval high command/Oberkommando der Marine.
The undulating façade of Shell-Haus
Around the corner was the Bendlerblock complex
(1911-1914 for the Imperial German Navy)
After World War I, the Weimar Republic was forced to reduce the military, and the Bendlerblock then housed both the navy and the army. It seems the army high command/Oberkommando des Heeres/OKH was not happy with the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor in 1933. When Hitler planned to annex the Sudetenland (then part of Czechoslovakia) in 1938, the OKH decided to stage a military coup to stop him. They were thwarted when the annexation was deemed acceptable by the Munich Agreement. The OKH established contacts with civilian, political, and intellectual resistance groups, including with Helmuth von Moltke, the great-grandnephew of the hero of the Franco-Prussian War. Moltke was against killing Hitler because it would be hypocritical. Hitler and the Nazi Party had turned "wrong-doing" into a system, something which he felt the resistance should avoid. Moltke wanted to bring Hitler to trial, and initially the general aim of coup attempts was to prevent Hitler from leading the country into war.
By 1944, the aim was to wrest political control of Germany and its armed forces from the Nazi Party and to make peace with the Western Allies as soon as possible. Apparently the underlying desire of the high-ranking army officers involved in the resistance was to show the world that not all Germans were like Hitler and the Nazi Party. Another reason they wanted to negotiate peace was to prevent the Soviet invasion of Germany. Hitler was heavily guarded, making it difficult to attempt to assassinate him. Two plots failed in 1943.
Later that year, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg was transferred to the General Army Office as chief of staff. Although he was religious, after the Battle of Stalingrad in December 1942, he concluded that the Hitler's assassination was a lesser moral evil than his remaining in power. Several more plots were aborted. Stauffenberg had access to briefings at Hitler's Wolf's Lair and decided he had to do it himself. On July 20, 1944, Stauffenberg was able to place a bomb in a briefcase under the table near Hitler and was summoned out of the meeting by a phone call. The bomb detonated, but because the heavy support of a table leg was between the explosion and Hitler, he survived. Others did not.
Stauffenberg had flown back to Berlin believing Hitler was dead, and that was to trigger Operation Valkyrie, a coup that would simultaneously occur throughout Germany and even in Paris. Great confusion ensued with reports that Hitler was still alive, and many officers began changing sides to save themselves. Thus it was that former co-conspirator General Friedrich Fromm had Colonel von Stauffenberg and others arrested, convened an impromptu court martial, and sentenced them to death. Just after midnight, they were executed by firing squad in the courtyard of Bendlerblock. Others would also have been executed, but the SS arrived with the order from Hitler to capture the conspiracy members alive. The reprisals were far-reaching, including anyone remotely connected to known conspirators, and their families.
German Resistance Memorial/Gedenkstätte
Deutscher Widerstand
(1980) at the spot where
the conspirators were executed
The Museum of German Resistance includes mention of all elements of opposition and resistance to the Nazi regime.
We continued northward to see the middle part of the Great Tiergarten.
Hidden in the woods is Kaiser Wilhelm I
(1904, by Adolf Brütt) when he was younger (KSS)
Statue of Queen Luise (1987 replica of 1876-1880
statue by Erdmann Encke, original in the Lapidarium)
Garden on Luise Island/Luiseninsel; there was a sign on the gates
on each bridge, to keep them closed to prevent rabbits from entering
Statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III (1981 replica of
1849 statue by Friedrich Drake, original now in
the Spandau Citadel) (KSS)
Hiking through the Tiergarten
The Venus Pool/Venusbassin with the Haydn-Mozart-
Beethoven Monument (1898, by Rudolf Siemering) at the other end
An Eco Fair on Strasse des 17. Juni, in the middle of the Tiergarten
A spiral potato chip
Hey, it's that Survivor challenge game!
We changed from S-Bahn to U-Bahn at Potsdamer Platz,
and saw the original nameplate of the station, which was
another of the East Berlin ghost stations where trains
passed through, but did not stop
 A Hasseröder beer and MezzoMix,
which is a cola with orange flavoring,
a Coca-Cola product sold in
Germany, Switzerland and Austria
We met Peter & Beth to walk over to Gendarmenmarkt, and ended up at the Amici Restaurant's outdoor seating in the square. Yes, I know, another Italian restaurant!
Kent picked up his laundry (well, one shirt) from Peter & Beth. Thank you! We said our farewells, as tomorrow they head back to Massachusetts, and we head back to Ohio.
The high temperature today was 75 degrees F.
Next: Berlin 5.

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