Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Reichstag: History & Modernity

27 September 2011

I am very passionate about history and have always adored anything antique. I wanted to include this picture because it saddened me to see the historic parts of the Reichstag that had been destroyed in the name of modernity. In the 1960s and 1970s, there was an effort to renovate the Reichstag building. Following World War II, the German people were very sensitive to the legacy of the war. This had been a conflict that deeply impacted the country & its people, and caused massive suffering. Renovating the Reichstag was an effort to move beyond the destructive war-time era. It was a movement to restore this emblem of Germany in the face of the communist-controlled German Democratic Republic that surrounded West Berlin. Unfortunately, that sentiment created an attitude that supported destruction of the historic aspects of the building. When the Reichstag was built in the 19th century, it had beautiful stone work throughout the building. During the reovation, these pieces were basically destroyed with hammers and plastered over. Following reunification, when the Bundestag decided to move to the Reichstag building, one hallway was opened to tourists with the plaster removed for viewing. This picture gives some sense of how ornate those stone carvings were, and the force that was used to destroy them. As a history geek, it made me very sad to think of this. I cannot fault those who wanted to take the Reichstag in a new direction after such a difficult era, yet I was quite sorry to see the loss of such brilliant stone work.

No comments:

Post a Comment