Food for Thought

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If you'd like (and this is really very optional), you could also take the oppurtunity of touring with us to gain some insights about the nature of history in general - and what it means to you personally.

After all, “history" is not just a professional term used by professional historians, but a very common word that everybody can encounter almost every day - while reading about “a historic meeting" in the newspaper or watching a “historical drama" in a movie theater. But what does it actually mean?

History is basically another word for awareness or consciousness. It is our common consciousness of our own past. It's our collective memory. The thing is: Mankind can't remember everything and everyone. We have to make choices. Similarly, societies have to prioritize: What is worthy of remembering?

With time, our choices and priorities shift, changing the memory of individuals and societies alike. It's an inevitable process: Our changing appreciation of time(s) is embedded into the change of time itself.

And as weird as it might sound: That's how history changes, slowly but constantly. The past must remain forever the same (at least as long as time travel isn't an option for us). But our awareness of the past will never stop evolving - with new books, new films, new memorials.

Stumbling Stones for Jewish Holocaust Victims

Above: Remembrance plaques for a Jewish family
placed in front of their former home in Berlin
(an ongoing project by Gunter Demnig)

Many people think of history as a “thing of the past", something irrelevant to the Here and Now. But really, history is always about the present. History is how the past becomes present - and we hope your time with us in Berlin will make its history a part of your present.

What's considered important within the past - what you consider important within our past - turns into a part of our present time, present in our life and lifetime.

“But", you're probably thinking now, "if everything is equally important, then nothing really is!" - and that's right: It's impossible to prioritize everything. When we deem something important, it's only because other things seem less important to us. Different people - and different peoples - consider different things important to them. That's inevitable too.

So when we look back to remember, what should we consider important to us?

And, maybe more importantly, why?