If cities have a gender, Berlin instantly struck me as masculine. Strong. Proud. A survivor. But that is also how I would describe many women that I admire, and Berlin is certainly a city that can be admired. So Berlin is really gender fluid.
In just the past 100 years, it has changed and morphed so many times to reflect the political climate of whatever decade the city and country was in. Berlin is a survivor.
With a past history of Nazis and Communism, it is wonderful to see how the people work hard to heal those wounds. They address them and acknowledge them rather than pretend they didn't happen, try to justify them, or just put a bandaid on them. (One perfect example is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews). Note the word "murdered", not "dead". No one is trying to sugar-coat the atrocities of Hitler's Germany. These people were murdered. Six million of them. We can take a lesson from this with our own history of horror in the USA with minorities: slavery, The Trail of Tears, exploration of cheap labor.
Here are just a few of my favorite photos from our recent trip.
In the words of JFK, "Ich bin ein Berliner"!