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Posted on July 20, 2013
Kara Burns is a guest in Berlin.
In 1933 Berlin was the press capital of the world, with over 4000 newspapers in circulation covering the entire political spectrum. By 1943 only 1000 existed and 80% conformed to the scripts created by Propaganda Minister Goebbels.
The Bebelplatz, outside the main entrance of Humboldt University, is known as the site of the infamous Nazi book burning ceremony held in the evening of May 10, 1933. Party members and students alike burnt 20,000 books whose writings were viewed as subversive or whose ideologies undermined the National Socialist Administration. An underground memorial to the lost books can be found outside the entrance to the University where a second-hand book flea market runs everyday.
The Luftwaffe (German Air force) Headquarters survived the bombing of WWII. The 2000 offices inside were controlled by the Luftwaffe High Command, which was established by the cabinet’s Minister of Aviation, Reichsmarschal Herman Göring. In 1941 the Luftwaffe employed 1,700,000 people.
At the end of the war on 8 May 1945, more than 97,000 would be reported dead, wounded or missing. Today the building is Germany’s National Tax Office.
Checkpoint Charlie (or “Checkpoint C”) was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. Checkpoint Charlie became a symbol of the Cold War, representing the separation of east and west. After the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the reunification of Germany, the building at Checkpoint Charlie became a tourist attraction.