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Showing posts from August 12, 2018

Treptow Park

  We went to the Soviet war memorial at Treptow Park expecting Soviet kitsch. It turned out to be a curiously moving site. The memorial is most noted for a giant statue depicting a soldier with a sword, holding a baby, or being held by a baby, which surmounts a smaller stone space, a sort of hypertrophied hut.   The soldier faces (at a field’s distance) two pinkish red marble walls, which are separated by a space. There is a series of steles depicting various scenes of war and peace that make their way on the edge of the field between the wall and the giant statue. None of this seemed in bad taste, or in some non-synchronicity with the event commemorated – the massive war between the Soviets and Nazi Germany that ended in the ruins of Berlin in 1945, when the German army finally surrendered. In the 90s, it was considered in bad taste to prefer the Soviets to the Nazis. The moral equivalency argument, which had started on the far right in Germany, triumphed after the wall fell

Walter B. and me

Me on Walter Benjamin's lost Berlin here: