Berlin is HOT! Literally. There is a heatwave blanketing the city, or it feels that way to me. I was born in the south and 90F is pretty damn hot. I am making the best of the weather and getting to meet the broadcast journalists on my adventure. The Berlin landscape is easy to identify – even on the side of cars!
There are 13 journalists in the Summer 2014 – RIAS Berlin Kommission program. The RTDNF German/American Journalists Exchange began in 1993 to bridge understanding of how each country runs, especially after the fall of the Berlin Wall. RIAS stands for “Radio in the American Sector.” It was the first American radio station founded in Berlin and serves as a public radio station today (NPR operated).
Two of the public radio journalists traveling with me are NPR’s Marilyn Geewax and Rob Schaefer. Thanks Rob for the baseball cap!
Our first full day of work included a visit and tour of the historic Reichstag Building, where parliament meets. It suffered heavy damage during Word War II bombings. The last of its renovations was completed in 1999. Loads of school children and tourists visit the site, especially the glass, rooftop terrace and dome.
But even more dramatic was the walk to Reichstag. When you look up, there is no way to miss the mighty Brandenburg Gate! I was one of hundreds of people getting their picture taken! This huge landmark symbolizes the division of Germany and its reunification. It shut off access for East and West Germans. Ronald Reagan stood near the gate when he gave his famous “tear down this wall” speech.
I look forward to more adventures – Thanks to Rainer Hasters, Isabell Hoffmann and Lisa Ziss for organizing our adventure! Hope I get to see that David Bowie exhibit!