Studying abroad in Germany, particularly Berlin, is the best of all worlds. Roughly 20 percent of Berlin’s population are non native individuals. That means that while studying here, I have been able to experience cultures from all around the world such as Turkey, France, Russia, Poland and more. Berlin is one of the most accepting cities I have traveled to, one truly feel as though they can be themselves without judgement here.
However, that has not always been the case here in Berlin. In fact, from 1961 until 1991 the Berlin Wall stood separating East and West Berlin. Basically the purpose of this large concrete wall was to keep “Western fascists” from disrupting the “Eastern Socialism”. The wall was put up to keep people with different ideas away and separate from each other. The wall caused several hardships in Berlin separating people from food, friends, family and work. Currently the longest stretch of the wall stands at what is known as “The East Side Gallery”. It is 1.3 kilometers long and is known as the largest open air gallery after artists from around the world came together to paint meaningful works of art along what was left standing as a reminder of the terrible history of the wall. The east side gallery is one of my favorite places to visit and take friends as the art is beautiful and cool and also helps remind us that, walls are not the answer.
It has been very interesting to be in Berlin, Specifically to be here and study political science. Most of the people here are very curious about American politics. They often ask about the Wall that President Trump so desperately longs to build. They wonder how a wall could possibly seem like the answer if the wall here in Berlin brought so much destruction. It is very interesting to study the parallels between the United States and Berlin, specifically in regards to political walls. The Berlin Wall had some a major impact on the city of Berlin. So much so that pieces of the wall are erected throughout the streets of Berlin to serve as a constant reminder of all the struggles that Berlin faced when the wall still stood. I will never forget the rich history of this city and all the things I am continuing to learn everyday.