The Lynchpin

Berlin is more than simply a city, I would argue that it is the focal point of our world today. When examining modern history, that being the late 19th century to the present day, Berlin has been in the thick of it all. World War I. World War II. The Cold War. These are the events that shape our present world. If one isn’t able to fully understand those events, then they can not explain today’s climate. The most critical of these in my opinion is the least understood, World War I. For example, I don’t believe very many people know that Germany and their leadership released and smuggled a certain political prisoner into the Russian Empire in order to destabilize their enemy. That prisoner was the one and only Vladimir Lenin. That one decision changed the future of our world…

Interesting stuff to be sure.

I am personally excited to venture to Berlin for the second time (shoutout Frog Camp) to help venture deeper into the wealth of history Berlin has to offer. In the words of Matt Williams, CR 10 Alum, based on its “geography, political history, religious background, and more, Berlin (and Germany as a whole) has become a spring of world history.” I consider myself a history buff, with my most recent fascination coming in the form of his Hardcore History podcast, having listened to nearly all 50 or so episodes ranging from the Persian Empire to Russian front of World War II. Heck, when I was in elementary school I read a 26 volume illustrated historical encyclopedia over World War II. The stuff fascinates me. For that reason I highly value the chance for round two in the city. During the first round of things I was able to see a lot of the sights, but was also fairly overwhelmed by all of the impending excitement for college and focused TCU programming that Frog Camp brings. I absolutely loved the city, but am ready for more and a true experience where I am able to explore without the structure and distraction.

Berlin is more than just history. I believe Matt put it best when he told me it was a “multifaceted city offers an abundance of culture to unpack and absorb” and I’m looking forward to the German culture, the trains, the Grunewald, and the Birkenstocks. Honestly on the culinary front I’m less looking forward to the German food —”beef” haunts me—and more looking forward to some Vapiano’s, which is probably the only advice I’ll give my group as we explore the city. I plan on enjoying the ride, taking in everyone else’s sense of discovery, and compounding it with my own as I delve deeper into the city, the history, and myself.

Onward Crecade.

-Ryal Reddick




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