Weimar Republic

Weimar Republic Coat of Arms 1919 1933
Weimar Republic Coat of Arms 1918 – 1933

Weimar in the state of Thüringia in Germany was the place, where after the First World War, the first German Democratic constitution was signed. This was also where the Weimar Republic period in German history (1918-1933) was formed. It was the home of the period in art called the German Enlightenment and also the home of two of the main characters in the Weimar Classicism literary genre – Goethe and Schiller. Weimar was at one point home to such artists as Franz List composer and pianist. Artists and architects such as Paul Klee, Wassili Kandinsky, Henry Van de Velde, Lyonel Feininger and of course Walter Gropius the founder of the Bauhaus movement.

Weimar City Castle
Weimar City Castle

The Weimar City Castle, (City to distinguish it from other castles in the area) was a center for the arts in Weimar. The church attached to the castle was a place where J.S. Bach premiered many of his compositions.

Candleholder in the city Castle in Weimar
Candleholder in the city Castle in Weimar
Carl August Von Sachsen Weimar
Carl August Von Sachsen Weimar

The Archduke Carl August von Sachsen Weimar was a supporter of the arts and used some of his wealth to purchase art and also brought in artists to the city and sometimes employed them to help them support themselves when their art could not.

Schiller and Goethe in front of the Opera house in Weimar
Goethe and Schiller in front of the Opera house in Weimar

Goethe and Schiller were two of the intellectuals that were present in Weimar. Goethe, who was brought in to the city by the Arch Duke Carl August von Sachsen Weimar to ply his craft wound up working for the city in many capacities as he was well educated and had administrative capabilities in addition to his artistic ones. The two became fast friends and collaborators.

Goethe's Summmer House in the park and der Ilm in Weimar
Goethe’s Summer House in the park and der Ilm in Weimar

Goethe had a summer house in the park which was a gift from the Archduke. The above pictured house is a replica of the original to preserve the original it from the wear and tear brought on by the many visitors that come every year to see it.

Viola tricolor in Goethe's garden
Viola tricolor in Goethe’s garden

The garden at Goethe’s summer house is said to look exactly as it would have during the time Goethe lived in the house.

Shakespeare statue in Park and der Ilm in Weimar
Shakespeare statue in Park and der Ilm in Weimar

Weimar is home to the largest Shakespeare society in the world and there is a statue of the Bard in the Park and der Ilm. William Shakespeare lived April 1564 – April 23 1616 and was born in Stratford upon Avon in the U.K.

 

“Ich bin ein Berliner”

Brandenburger gate top statue
The  statue on top of the Brandenburger gate closeup

The name of the post is from JFK’s (President of the United States John Fitzgerald Kennedy) speech in West Berlin June 26 1963 some 22 months after the Berlin wall was erected on August 13 1961 as a means of keeping people in East Germany from fleeing to West Germany.

Today Berlin is once again a united city and construction is still ongoing to bring the former East up to the standards of the West. It is a vibrant city with a lot of things to do and see. The photos are from a recent visit to Berlin in May 2015.

Brandenburger Tur
Brandenburger Tur

The area around the Brandenburger Tur is an interesting area with a lot of different buildings to see, the Reichstag, the Gehry designed Deutsche Bank building, and many other interesting sites around.

Fernseh Turm Berlin (the Television tower in Berlin) built in the former East  Germany, DDR 1964-1969
In the background is the Fernseh Turm Berlin (the Television tower in Berlin) built in the former East Germany, DDR 1964-1969
Deutsche Bank Brandenburger Tur
Deutsche Bank Brandenburger Tur
Pariser Platz 3
Pariser Platz 3 – Address of the Deutsche Bank building designed by Frank Gehry

When you look at the Deutsche Bank building next to the US Embassy by the Brandenburger Gate, it is hard to believe that the building was designed by Frank Gehry and constructed 1998-200. If you peek inside it becomes more clear that this is indeed a Frank Gehry design.

Deutsche Bank Interior with the atrium with a Titanium and glass roof intended as a conference/performance space
Deutsche Bank interior atrium with a Titanium and glass roof and inner shell intended as a conference/performance space
Former Allied Checkpoint Charlie
Former Allied Checkpoint Charlie
Kochstrasse U Bahn station at Check Point Charlie
Kochstrasse U Bahn station at Check Point Charlie

When Berlin was divided between East and West some U-Bahn lines were cut off and two were allowed to pass through East Space with no stops creating ‘Ghost stations” where trains would pass by without stopping. one stop on the West Berlin route at Friedrichstrasse was used as a transfer point between the transportation systems and as a border crossing into East Germany.

Reichstag building Berlin where the German Bundestag (Parliament) meets.
The German Reichstag building in Berlin where the German Bundestag (Parliament) meets.
Berlin Wall Footprint Behind the Reichstags building
Berlin Wall Footprint Behind the Reichstags building

To the right in the above picture is former East Berlin where the old German Reichstags building was. It was damaged in a fire 1933 and not used until German unification and an ensuing renovation that started in 1990 and lasted until 1999 when it once again started housing the German parliament.

Berlin Wall footprint at the River Spree  behind  the Reichstag building
Berlin Wall footprint at the River Spree behind the Reichstag building looking towards the river. East Germany was on the left and on the other side of the river.

The Berlin wall ran right behind the Reichstag building dividing the city of Berlin into to parts, East and West Berlin. The river Spree was part of East Germany and acted as a border between the two parts.

Tempelhof Airport Terminal Building
Tempelhof Airport Terminal Building

Tempelhof Airport, or as it was called in German, Zentral Flughafen. It was designated as an airport in 1923 and the terminal building was constructed in 1927. This is where the famed Berlin airlift took place in 1948-49. “Operation Vittles” as it was called started June 26 1948 when a US Air-force Douglas C47 brought in 80 tons of supplies to the people of the city of West Berlin who’s supplies were cut off by a Soviet shut down of all access roads and waterways into West Berlin, only three air corridors remained open.. The airlift was later joined by US Navy and the British Royal Air-force as well as various private airlines from England. A unified command was created to coordinate the effort, it was called the Combined Airlift Task Force.

German Eagle at Tempelhof Airport
German Eagle at Tempelhof Airport
Columbia Theatre across the street from Tempelhof Airport
Columbia Theatre across the street from Tempelhof Airport

The above building was part of a complex built in 1951 for the US Air-force personnel stationed at Tempelhof Airport across the street, this was a movie theater with a 400 seat capacity and next to it was the Columbia Hall which was a bigger sports building also for the USAF personnel.

 

Sepp Blatter finally caves in and announces resignation from FIFA

Sepp Blatter announces resignation from FIFA
Sepp Blatter announces resignation from FIFA

It was announced today that Sepp Blatter who was just re-elected amid criminal investigations and despite strong and widespread suggestions from within FIFA that he should have withdrawn from the election last Friday 5/29/2015.  Blatter supposedly will not step down immediately, but rather stay on until a new election can be organized, potentially not until next year – I find that hard to believe, let’s see how this plays out.