12 April 1980

Both sides of Berlin and return to Poland

Wake up around 8. Our landlady serves us a most welcome large breakfast and while we eat she tells us stories from her fading but still lucid memories from World War II. She lived in Gdansk (Danzig) at the start of the war, on 1 September 1939, when Germany attacked. Like many older people she likes to talk and inevitably repeats herself. We heard it the other day too but it still sends shudders down our spines.

The copious breakfast takes time to consume and we are in due course taken to Berlin, where our lady was displaced during the war. Here, under relentless Allied bombing, her 4-month old child starved to death while her husband went crazy on the Russian front. She tried to commit suicide by cutting her veins but did not do a good job and survived. After taking leave from her we move back to East Berlin. here we visit the Treptower Park, with another huge mausoleum to fallen Soviet soldiers.

We leave Berlin and the wall behind for one last time.
The old Reichstag and the wall on the right

The Wall: hard to believe neighbours are now on the opposite side of the Cold War

On the bombing ot Berlin, read

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