The first thing we did today was go to the German Film Museum. The permanent exhibit is set up to begin with early films and film-making equipment and then goes chronologically through important movies, actors/actresses and changes in film. In the 1920's and 30's the Berlin film scene was very influential; in some ways it was even more so than Hollywood. However the rise of the Nazis impacted film heavily as Jewish actors and directors were no longer able to work in this industry, additionally the Nazis only allowed specific types of films to be made and shown in Germany. I thought that seeing the progression of the industry was really cool and I was amazed to learn about some of the movies that the Nazis had made. Just days after the Wannsee conference a Nazi propaganda film was made, the premise of this movie was that the English had concentration camps in South Africa and they were starving and killing the Dutch Boers. The fact that just days after the decision was made to systematically kill millions of people a movie using their same premise would be shown to the German people was truly amazing to me.
After the Film Museum we went to the Anhalter train station where many elderly Jews were deported. Since this was a major train station in the middle of Berlin those deported were out onto third class passenger cars rather than cattle cars and about 50-75 people would be deported at one time instead of many 500-1000. The Nazis did not want to alarm any of the non-Jewish citizens who were on their way to work or traveling, and that is why they changed the way they deported people. The station was bombed during the war and was then demolished in the years following, only the front of the building is still standing.
Tomorrow morning we leave for Vienna, Austria.