A Berlin Cemetery

July, 2013

Berlin -- For an afternoon Berlin excursion, Claudia and I took the 147 bus from Bethaniendamm to Friedrichstadtpalast, a twenty minute trip. She went to the art galleries along Linienstrasse and Augustastrasse; I walked up Chauseestrasse to the Dorotheenstadt Cemetery, where many notables are buried.

The cemetery dates to the 18th century. Schinkel, the architect, is buried here. The philosophers Fichte and Hegel occupy plots nearly adjacent to each other.

Some graves are contemporary. The eighth president of Germany, Johannes Rau, was buried here in 2007.

Major figures of the twentieth century are buried here: Berthold Brecht, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Herbert Marcuse.

So is composer Hanns Eisler, who was hounded out of the United States by Richard Nixon in 1948, despite efforts by Aaron Copeland, Leonard Bernstein, Roy Harris, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Henri Matisse, and many others. On his departure, he voiced his love for the American people and his contempt for Nixon's HUAC. Soon he would up in East Berlin and wrote the East Germany national anthem. It is familiar to all who watched East German athletes win gold medals at many successive Olympic games, lending unjustified dignity and beauty to a corrupt athletic training regime and country.

Of all the graves on the day of my visit, only Eisler's was decorated in flowers.

Another notable at the cemetery is Ludwig Litfass, the printer who created and gave his name to the ubiquitous Litfasssaeulen (those round advertising columns) all over Europe.