On our very tech tour with earphones speaking in BBC -like english to us, our invisible voice guide gave us the history of the small military center and the summer residence -region of the Prussian kings. I was glad I paid attention to my 9th and 10th history of the two world wars. It made those lessons alive for me.
Let me go backwards in time. Potsdam has many natural science centers. Its a tourist centred place so plenty of info centres at the station ( called haufbanoff)
Truman used the large door ( again that's clear) and Attlee used another. The french got a territory but were not participants, they were visitors.so I don't know which door they came in by!
Click here for an original picture of the conference. And other pictures of the big three and the entrance as it was then can be found at this site.
It was at Potsdam where Truman first alluded to Stalin that the Americans had developed the atomic bomb and might use it against Japan, which they later did on August 6 and August 9. He got a telegram that said " the Baby is Born" which stood for the successful test of the bomb. One of the outcomes of this conference was also the warning to Japan to surrender. It seems as though the go ahead to bomb Japan was also decided here. It was a clear day that sealed the fate of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
In the middle of the courtyard I suddenly was transported back to adia, the horrors of the atom bomb. I share my memory with you through this site. Read the story of Hiroshima and Nagasaki HERE. Its strange that Potsdam is so important for so many other places on the globe.
In some ways this conference was also the start of the cold war.
As I stood at the nice manor house I could not imagine these political scenes at all. It was more like a typical European residence and I expected to see children running about, playing in the courtyard or servants hurrying with linen and tea sets and the music of balls and dances. ( I confess I have been reading too much of Jane austen. Must get back to spy stories...)
A short drive brought us to the "James-bond Bridge" The Glienicke bridge is a bridge in Berlin which spans the Havel River to connect the cities of Berlin and Potsdam. If you remember from my earlier blog entry West Berlin was totally surrounded by east Germany DDR. So the wall still runs around the west Berlin Borders.
Half of the bridge is lighter and the other is darker green and a faint white line marks the border between east and west. We are on the east side, DDR. Also along the same road on the eastern DDR side was a building that was used as a KGB prison. There a cell that Gary powers was housed in before the exchange. ( note the extra Grills on the Windows) It now house a museum of amnesty international. School children were playing in a park next to it. For a good photograph and details click this site.
Leistikowstrasse KGB Prison
During the time of the GDR the city was a stronghold for the KGB. Near the castle we could see the area of town that was walled off for the Soviet’s clandestine service.
Next blog will be on Kings, queens and the older city and the lovely mix of architectural styles of this "quaint City" where every other building is under heritage conservation. And the story of potatoes...