Sunday, February 05, 2017

Kaiser Wilhelm Church - Memories #BerlinAttack #WhatIf

While writing about Berlin yesterday, I was struck that not far from the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, was the location of the the Berlin attack using a truck driven by the Tunisian Anis Amri on 19th December last year. 12 people died and 56 others were injured. The attack took place at the Breitscheidplatz Market beside the Kaiser Wilhelm Church. Just three months earlier I had visited the exact same spot to see the church, much of which survived bombing by the British and Americans in the Second World War. Like many others, I posed for photos and walked around the market not in the least expecting that someone would later kill people in the same place. The Breitscheidplatz market was the first place I ever experienced a Virtual Reality headset at the Samsung stand in the market. Of course since that day I have often wondered "what if" the attack took place on the day I was there.

We can't live our lives in fear, yet there are many destinations and countries in the world that I know I will never visit because of security fears. I would never have put Berlin on any such list - is anywhere safe? Not far from where I work there is a memorial to the victims of the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings. At the top of the list is a lady named Cristina O'Loughlin (no relation) who was innocently going about her business in South Leinster Street when she was killed by a bomb - it could have been any one of us walking past at the wrong time. 

At the Kaiser Wilhelm Church, 3rd September, 2016.

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