Our general routine . . . once ready to start the day one of us Nuest’as texts the group to see who is up and ready for breakfast. This morning that was Cat, who needed to eat breakfast early before heading off to an interview that may well lead to a graduate fellowship as she begins her doctorate in art history. A few minutes later, Cat, Zelda and I are sitting in the Regent Hotel dining room enjoying a lovely breakfast and making a plan for the day. Simply, once Tejomaya is ready, she, Zelda and I will walk to the Berlinische Galerie to rendezvous with Cat. While Cat and I spend time at the modern art museum, Zelda and Tejomaya will go on the Jewish Museum. At some point later in the day, we four will meet up for dinner at the Fernsehturm.
- Humboldt University, which was attended by Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, the Brothers Grimm, Angela Davis and scores of Nobel Laureates. Albert Einstein taught here before coming to the United States and assuming a position at Princeton University;
- The former State Library;
- An historic bank building, which is now the Hotel de Rome;
- St. Hedwig’s Church, whose nickname is the “upside-down teacup”; and
- The German State Opera.
At the center of Bebelplatz is a glass window embedded into the ground. Below you can see a room of empty bookshelves that represent a memorial repudiating the massive Nazi book burning that occurred on this square. In 1933, more than 20,000 forbidden books were thrown into a huge bonfire on the orders of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, who declared “the era of extreme Jewish intellectualism has come to an end, and the German revolution has again opened the way for the true essence of being German.”
Back at the hotel, with about 30 minutes to shower and dress, we Nuest’as met in the lobby for a taxi to the Fernsehturm for dinner. Actually a 1,207-foot high TV tower, it is the tallest building in Berlin. Like the Seattle’s Space Needle, it affords incredible 360-degree views. It was built in 1965-69 by the East German government to demonstrate their building ingenuity.