Cold War Footsteps
After World War II, the Allies met to divide Europe. The Potsdam conference was held in Schloss Cecilienhof, the summer home of a Prussian royal couple. You can see the round table where the lines of the Cold War were drawn.
Stalin used this study as his office. There was some disarray in the American and British ranks and the French did not attend, so Stalin was able to wield a lot of influence here.
The building itself is a cross between an English country house and a Bavarian castle and it now houses an upscale hotel. Again, it’s hard to believe that the Berlin wall once ran through the yard, blocking the view of the river.
Nearby is a famous bridge between East and West Germany, where spy exchanges were carried out.
On the way back to our hotel, the bus passed along the Karl Marx allee, a showcase of Soviet-style apartment buildings that is designed to portray the workers’ paradise. We also drove through endless blocks of gray concrete block buildings that were closer to reality for most East Germans.