What are appropriate national symbols for a multicultural country? How do we deal with the good and bad sides of our own history? These questions are in the foreground throughout Europe, but in Germany they are extra sensitive due to the war. For a visual story about this search for identity, journalist and historian Merlijn Schoonenboom takes one controversial location in Berlin as the starting point. The center of the German capital, the square where the rebuilt Berlin city lock will open from 2020, has always been a seismograph of social sensitivities. The vision of the political elite is expressed in every period, but also the attacks of its opponents. Time and time again, the big question about identity is at stake here: what is German?
Merlijn Schoonenboom (1974) has been living and working in Berlin for ten years. In the book A small history of the greatest German struggle, he takes one controversial location in the German capital as the starting point for a broader story about the German search for national identity. The center of the city, the square where the rebuilt Berlin city lock will open from 2020, has always been the seismograph of social sensitivities in German history. The vision of the political elite is expressed in every period, but also the attacks of its opponents.