Europe By Bus | The East Side Gallery

The east side gallery is obviously a must-see when you go to Berlin, and it definitely did not disappoint. I am a big fan of street art, but even if you’re not you’ll still love walking along and see all the crazy and colorful pictures.

30th October 2016

I’ve always loved how Germany doesn’t hide from its past but instead tries to subvert it to show things have changed. I saw this in Munich when I went to Haus der Kunst, the former great German art gallery which was built by the Nazis to showcase ‘pure’ Aryan art.

In 1937 there were two exhibitions shown in Munich: one of them was the Great German art exhibition and the other was the Degenerate art exhibition. The Degenerate art exhibition was basically designed as an art freak show and was meant to mock the modern art that Hitler found objectionable, although now the Degenerate artists are still well known and their work is respected whilst the great German artists are condemned to obscurity.


The point is that Hitler hated modern art and the great German art building was created to showcase the kind of art he wanted to see, and that building is now used as a modern art gallery which celebrates everything the Nazis tried to get rid of. Rather than get rid of the building they turned it into a massive fuck you to the Nazis. It’s an amazing gallery which I can’t recommend enough.

The same is true for the east side gallery. Rather than tear down the wall they have turned it into a colorful celebration of tolerance, freedom, and art.

During my alternative Berlin walking tour, the guide said some people want to tear down at least part bid the wall to make room for some fancy modern buildings, that they want to build flats and shopping malls and offices where all this iconic historical stuff now stands.

That can’t happen. The east side gallery is so important. It’s important not just because it looks amazing or even  because it is a powerful homage to freedom that has subverted a symbol of impression and restriction into a symbol of tolerance and hope, but also because it is an iconic part of history which shouldn’t be destroyed just so they can create yet another office block or shopping mall or block of flats.



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