In Berlin, a virtual trip to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall

In Berlin, a virtual trip to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall

You just have to climb aboard a virtual bus and put on a pair of big 3D glasses to go back in time and circulate in the streets of East Berlin before the fall of the Wall. While the Germans are preparing to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of this major event, the TimeRide company offers tourists who are going to disembark in Berlin for the occasion this very special trip to a city that no longer exists.

A team of about twenty people developed this three-dimensional animation. & Nbsp; 600 & nbsp; buildings were recreated virtually, & nbsp; 2 & nbsp; 000 cars, mostly Trabants, and eight of the hares who lived in the casting no man's land from the wall cross the screen. The 2.38 kilometer circuit starts at Checkpoint Charlie. This crossing point reserved for foreigners is today a tourist trap with its souvenir shops, its end of preserved wall, its false Vopo (East German police), its cafes and its illustrious sign, west side: " & nbsp; You are leaving the US industry. & nbsp; "

But in the magic bus, the sinister border post of the Cold War years resurfaces. An austere customs officer calls you in to check your passport. There are German shepherds, barbed wire and neon lighting. The bus then heads to the gray Friedrichstrasse with its shabby buildings and its few poorly-stocked shops of the time. Nothing to do there either with today's reality. Friedrichstrasse is the most upscale shopping street in former East Berlin, lining up trendy restaurants and luxury stores. Totally unrecognizable.

The tour ends in front of the Palace of the Republic, which housed the Volkskammer, the East German Parliament, and served as a state hall for major GDR events. The illusion is perfect: the huge rectangle with orange smoked glass windows rises again in the middle of a deserted parking lot. The blasting in & nbsp; 2006 & nbsp; of this building built in & nbsp; 1976 & nbsp; which accompanied the life of the East Germans during half a century caused a huge controversy. To make room for the reconstruction of the Hohenzollern castle, the princes of Prussia, Germany decided to get rid of the people's palace. In addition to erasing a trace of the history of the GDR, many personalities protested against this falsification of history. Today, the Stadtschloss, the palace of the Prussian dynasty, has been reconstructed stone by stone, a perfect replica.

Everyone, say the creators of this circuit, dreams of borrowing the time machine. The Germans are perhaps more affected than other peoples by this nostalgia. While Berlin, which has been in permanent construction for the past three decades, has completely changed its face since the fall of the Wall, other cities such as Dresden and Cologne were largely destroyed by the bombings of the Second World War. TimeRide also offers circuits to revive these two cities from their ashes. In Berlin, the creators of the circuit expect some 25,000 visitors this year. If this operation is a success, another project is already envisaged: a trip to the libertine and nonconformist Berlin of the mythical 1920s.

To meet history, I thought it advisable to visit the said "Museum"; impossible to stay there for more than five minutes, it was to vomit ... History gives you an irrepressible and violent gag.