Today, 7/3/17, or as the Germans would say, 3/7/17, was a packed day. We started at 10am at Humboldt with an American Studies Professor named Markus Heide. He talked about the research he has been working on about Migration and Borders in the United States. While his research was not focused much on migration and borders in Germany, he was able to tie in the information he learned about the United States to help us understand how borders are defined here. Race, gender, class, sexuality, and religion, are some of the most important factors I took away from Heide’s presentation, and while our class has seen these factors play a role in the United States, we saw this to be the case in Germany after Heide showed us a clip of a movie Fassbinder called “Fear Eats the Soul. This clip showed borders being drawn because of age, gender, religion, and race through not only the conversations and the body language, but also through the style of filming.
The lecture ended a little before 12 and the group parted ways to get lunch and rest before meeting up at 2:30, or as the Germans say “14:30,” for the boat tour. Sophie, Hannah and I took a trip to this huge German art store off of the Moritzplatz stain, and unfortunately, after 40 minutes, we realized Hannah’s phone was gone, and in fact in the middle of the road being continuously run over by cars. Somehow, despite it completely shattered screen, still managed to receive text messages from her friends and family. Currently, her phone screen is fixed, but both of the cameras are broken, the finger scanner doesn’t work, and the screen occasionally does not respond. But, she kept a smile throughout the majority of the tragedy, and I have mad respect for that.
At 14:30 the group climbed to the second story of the boat, a few people ordered beverages, and we set sail. Luckily, it was a very pretty day! During the tour a recording pointed out important locations around the water and their significance. Most was interesting, but I think the most interesting thing I saw was the kindergarten for government officials. I feel like that demonstrate how progressive the city is because it allows both mother and father to go to work and not have to worry about who will stay home and watch the kids, or pick the kid up from school. The location is convenient, and believe a step towards equality. My favorite fact from the tour though was that Berlin has more waterways than Venice, Amsterdam, and some other cities combined. Why go to Venice?!?
After the boat tour the plan was to go to the Bundestag, but unfortunately, most people did not have their passports which were required to get in. A bunch of us ran back to the hostel to grab them. The tour was very interesting, our tour guide was a little sassy, but I thought that made it all the more interesting. The building was very secure and had very slick technology. We learned a lot about how the German parliament works, and Hannah destroyed at the German government trivia game our tour guide decided to play with us.
After the tour people split in different directions. Some people left to get food, and a few of us stayed behind to visit the Memorial for Murdered Jews, and then the Topography of Terror. After that, everyone went their separate ways ate dinner, and prepared for the next day.