A Saturday morning. We breakfasted and went to the Sony Center, Berlin's spectacular new meeting place at Potsdamer Platz. Then for a change we all went our separate ways. I walked. And walked until I was out of the great city. Maybe it was too much for me, I thought. It felt good to be where kids were playing in the street. But I felt lonely. Like a stranger. All the pictures of Berlin in W.W.II came back, then the daring Airlift and the DC-3s flying overhead to keep the grandparents of these Berliners sustained. The Soviet presence so mightily stated in architecture and monuments. The Wall. The Reichstag and the shimmer of swastikas, the cafeteria where we had lunch, where outside in the courtyard the Graf Stauffenberg, after his unsuccessful attempt to assasinate Hitler, stood before a firing squad and was shot down. The bewildering burden of history during my own lifetime was suffocating.
I had walked so far that I had to hail a taxi and be driven back into the City Center where the group had planned to meet.