Donnerstag, 10. August 2006

Back on the main drag, next to Einstein Cafe, is a great bookstore, Berlin Story. In addition to a wide range of English-language books, this shop has a free museum (with a model of 1930s Unter den Linden) and a 25-minute English film about the history of Berlin (daily 10:00-19:00; for more details, see page 354). This is also a good opportunity to pick up some nostalgic knickknacks from the Cold War. The West lost no time in consuming the East; consequently, some are feeling a wave of nostalgia – or Ost-algia – for the old days of East Berlin. In recent local elections, nearly half of East Berlin’s voters – and 6 percent of West Berliners – voted for the old Communist Party.
One symbol of that era has been given a reprieve. As you continue to Friedrichstrasse, look at the DDR-style pedestrian lights, and you’ll realize that someone had a sense of humor back then. The perky red and green men
– Ampelmännchen – were under threat of replacement by the far less jaunty Western signs. Fortunately, the DDR Signals will be kept after all.
Rick Steves´Germany & Austria

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