It was supposed to be a low-key end to my day. I was in Berlin, the third leg of my 10-day, 3-country visit between Europe and Northern Africa. Germany was to be my last stop before I went home. I booked this trip right after receiving some life-changing news and instead of staying home and drowning in the deep end of self-pity, I packed my bags and set out in search of perspective.
It was my final day in Berlin and the rest of the day was set to be one of solemnity. Vacation was due to be over and back to reality…sigh. I decided to close it out on the typical educational note I usually end my travels. I did so by visiting the memorial site dedicated to the Sinti and the Romas whose story of tragedy was written by the Nazis I also visited the site dedicated to the Soviet troops who entered Berlin at the dusk of World War II in Europe.
Next was the Brandenburg Gate where there was a quiet room tucked in at the side of the entrance. This room was designed for citizens of the world to visit, to forget self and cast themselves in deep reflection on the suffering humanity endured during the Great War. This was the most impactful segment of my of my short visit to Berlin. One can imagine what sitting in a room, with a quiet that was so deafening, was like. I was confronted by a world that struggled to pull itself from the depths of darkness to which it was pulled by humanity’s worst instincts. I found religion, prayed and exited as quietly as I entered.