Government (1)

The Germany Close Up group pauses by the Binnenalster for a quick photo before continuing on the tour. 
One of the best-known landmarks of Germany, Brandenburg Gate is a symbol of European unity and peace as well as a reminder of a difficult past. The gate stands on the location that, historically, marked the city limits of Berlin and leads to the palace of the Prussian monarchs. During WWII, it became a symbol of Nazi power; and during the Cold War, it became a border crossing between East and West Berlin. Post reunification, it became the main site for the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The gate has stood through vastly different eras of German history and, now, surrounding the plaza are a number of foreign embassies, government buildings and many tourists with selfie sticks!
The second-largest city in Germany and one of Germany’s 16 states, Hamburg is home to Europe’s second-largest port. Here, trip participant Sarah Crane helps our guide hold up a map that orients the group to the beautiful city. Trip participant Daniel Stein reflects on Hamburg and Jewish Hamburg: “As part of the Germany Close Up Program, we had the opportunity to visit Hamburg, which was one of the major Jewish centers in pre-war Germany. As the tour included a walking tour through the Jewish quarters, it was not hard to recognize the significant presence Jews had on the city. Even though much of the Jewish life was lost during the World War, the resurgence of Jews in Germany could be felt and seen upon visiting the reconstructed Talmud-Thora-Schule, which is one of the fastest-growing synagogues/Jewish day schools in modern-day Germany. Seeing that growing community center was very empowering, and I am hopeful for the future of Jewish life in Germany.”