Friends or Foes?

Today is the second day of our stay, it is saturday and it is also the day we are asked to explore the city of Berlin. We got an envelope with the instructions and tasks. The main question that we needed to answer was: Friends or Foes? The evolution of German-Polish Cooperation. We thought that the answer was obvious, but we chose the right places from the map, which was given to us and we got on the way.

Our first stop was quite close to the European Academy. It took us only a few minutes to get to the Current Polish embassy. It was a huge cozy building, but unfortunally the embassy was located far away from the heart of the city center. Although we wanted to ask several questions about the German-Polish cooperation, we did not meet there any people. The building is only the temporary embassy until the reconstruction of the new one, which will be located at street Unter den Linden.

To bring you the authentic experience, we made a selfie for you sitting on the road. We stayed there for at least 15 minutes, but there were no people, no cars and bad internet connection.

Let us introduce you our working group. As you see on the picture, we are two girls and one guy. The guy was actually our guide during the day, because he is living in Berlin and he is the representative of the german group. The smilling lady behind him is Ola from Poland and her hometown is Warsaw. This was her first staying in Germany! And the last one is Míša from Prague. She was really curious, where the Czech embassy is situated, so we add this stop to our program.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic is quite near the city center, but it was also like the polish unfortunatelly closed.

The next spot was the building of the association of journalists, „Bundespressehaus“. Here journalists of the German capital invite spokespersons and politicians in order to held a press conference. This concept of an association of journalists inviting spokespersons and politician is unique. Usually the government is inviting journalists to their headquarters.

Not in Berlin. Olga Chladkova, journalist at the ARD Studio Brussels, also highlights the symbolic meaning of journalists inviting spokespersons and not being in invited by the politicians/spokespersons. Furthermore, Ms. Chladkova stresses that the press in Germany is relatively independent compared to other member states of the EU. Criticism of the government can be said out loud, without fearing any consequences. The topic was highly discussed among our group and even surprising to some members, that the relation between press and government is managed in this way.

The next destination, we have visited, was St. Hedwig Cathedral. It is the Roman Catholic church,that has almost 240 years old. It was constructed as Pantheon in Rome. The Church is dedicated to St. Hedwig, she was a Duchess of Silesia. On 18th century after Silesia had become a part of Prussia, a lot of people came from this part there.

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Our last place where we went was a polish bookshop. „Buch l Bund“ is a book store which sells books in German, Polish and English language. They see themselves as a place of encounters for all everybody who is Polish, is interested in Poland, spent some vacation there, speak Polish or want to learn Polish. In addition to selling books, the cosy book store host events, readings and debates which are translated simultaneously. You can also sit down, have a coffee and a sneak peak (or a more detailed look) into an interesting book.

To sum it up, we need to say that it was exciting and we really enjoyed the city a lot. 🙂

And the answer to the question if Germans and Polish are friends of foes? We do not know the right answer, but at least we in our group became FRIENDS.

P.S. we also made some vlogs for you, but unfortunately WordPress does not allow so much big data to be up-load.