Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Museum of World Treasures: part 1



When you first enter the museum, you are confronted with this.  The woman you see in the background took my ticket.  Normally, she would take my money.

As you walk in, you can't miss the dinosaurs.

They cover a good portion of the first floor,

although I took these photos from the second floor.

I actually wanted to visit the Museum of World Treasures for two reasons, the first of which was this section of the Berlin Wall.  According to The Museum of World Treasures web site:
Why is the Berlin Wall displayed next to our dinosaurs?...
Good question!

We would love to have this piece of history on the second floor in our World War II exhibit! Unfortunately it weighs 4.5 tons and is 12 feet tall. Our ceilings on the second floor are 11 feet high. We had to install supports in the basement to allow for its enormous weight. And there's no way to get it up the stairs.

This piece of the Berlin Wall is on loan to the Museum of World Treasures from the American Overseas Schools Historical Society (AOSHS), whose archives are in Wichita.

AOSHS was given the wall from the Berlin American High School Alumni Association. We're not sure where it was located while it was still part of the original wall.
This is the West Berlin side, where people could walk up to it and paint it as they chose.   Some of you may remember I saw another portion of the wall two years ago when I, along with my friends Kathy and Sally, was at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS on another Smithsonian Day.

This is the East Berlin side of the wall.  Originally, guards were placed in front of the wall, so people couldn't climb over it.  By the time the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, there was a 300-foot No Man's Land, an additional inner wall, soldiers patrolling with dogs, a raked ground that showed footprints, anti-vehicle trenches, electric fences, massive light systems, watchtowers, bunkers, and minefields.

I remember I had a friend who, upon hearing the wall had fallen, asked what the big deal was.

As shown above, the "simple" barbed wire fence was erected in the middle of the night on August 13, 1961.   It was designed to keep the East Germans from fleeing to West Berlin.  When the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, its destruction was nearly as instantaneous as its creation.  For 28 years, the Berlin Wall had been a symbol of the Cold War and thus when it fell it was celebrated around the world. 

I was shocked that my friend had not learned about the wall in school, so explaining the "big deal" was harder than I imagined it should be.  For one thing, where a person went to sleep on August 12, 1961 meant where they were stuck for decades, often being separated by family, friends, and co-workers.

Once I saw the section of the Berlin Wall, there was an exhibit on the second floor I wanted to see.  However, once I had seen the exhibit, I decided to

check out the World War II exhibits.


Khrushchev played a big role in the Berlin Wall, as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis.  He met at least two Presidents: Nixon (before he was president) and Kennedy.



You can see how Americans dealt with WWII with one of my favorite sayings: wear it out, make it do, or do without.



I had not intended to visit this part of the museum, but it's near where I found Sally.  Since I was close by, I decided to shoot these next few images for my friend Patty who has a love for all things from India.




I used the above statue on a page I created for Patty in a swap, but never knew the significance of the image until now.   I hope Patty enjoys these!

I then went looking for Sally

thinking she would be ready to leave.

Instead, I found her engrossed in art that seemed to interest her.



I grabbed a copy of the map at the museum gift shop, so you can see some of the items we could see.  Sally busied herself on the first floor, while I went to the second floor.  I'll show the rest of the second floor photos tomorrow.

Thanks for taking this first part of the voyage with me today.  It is greatly appreciated.

14 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

I think that is one of those exhibitions where you need to spend weeks to take it all in - just fantastic! The Berlin Wall was really scary. We used to take school classes for a trip to West Berlin once a year, and one of the days was taken up with a visit to East Berlin, and it was scary. The wall and all it stood for was so bad. Thanks for sharing your photos, looking forward to seeing more. Hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Wow.. what an exhibition! Simply Fantastic!
Thank you for sharing Elizabeth!
Happy Day!
oxo Susi

sheila 77 said...

Great photos again, Elizabeth and lots of very interesting details. I like the explanation of why the dinosaurs and the Berlin Wall are together, very practical.
Thanks for these tours of places and exhibitions I would never otherwise see, or even know about.

My name is Erika. said...

Cool museum. I think I would like the dinosaurs the most. I think I would love to have studied paleontology had I been smarter when I was younger. I think the WWII display is interesting too. I like the eclectic mix though, something for everyone. Can't wait to see part 2. Hugs-Erika

chrissie said...

Food for thought there Elizabeth. Always good to see things from the past and your photographs are great. Thank you for sharing them

Love Chrissie xx

Sami said...

After having lived in Germany for 6 years (we lived just 50km from the border with East Germany) we were on a flight out of Frankfurt to return to South Africa when the Captain announced that the wall had fallen! Everyone cheered and clapped, it was very emotional and I can still remember that moment.

Lovely pictures of the Museum Elizabeth, very interesting indeed.

Jeanie said...

What a fabulous exhibit. I am extremely interested in WWII, watching documentaries and reading on it and of course the aftermath. (Seeing the piece of the wall reminded me of one time at a PBS conference I entered a drawing to win a piece of the Berlin wall. After I did it, there was almost remorse -- how would I ever get it home on the plane! Fortunately or not, I didn't win.)

Really, this one is a gem and I'm so grateful that you were able to take us along.

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a wonderful museum this is! I would really enjoy a visit! We went to Berlin a few years ago (pre- blog days) It was just before Christmas and freezing cold - a walk along by part of the remaining wall with a large expanse of waste land at the side was very chilling indeed! Looking forward to part two which I may not see until Sunday - off to the caravan - gardening, walking and relaxing!! Hugs, Chrisx

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a wonderful museum this is! I would really enjoy a visit! We went to Berlin a few years ago (pre- blog days) It was just before Christmas and freezing cold - a walk along by part of the remaining wall with a large expanse of waste land at the side was very chilling indeed! Looking forward to part two which I may not see until Sunday - off to the caravan - gardening, walking and relaxing!! Hugs, Chrisx

Helen said...

great photos, it looks like you had a really good trip. looking forward to seeing the others another time.

Meggymay said...

Lots to think about reading today's posts.Your photos are wonderful, there is so much to see and ponder over.
The Berlin Wall we cannot begin to think how it must have effected the families, 28 years was far to long for Berlin to have been divided.
look forward to the next set pf photos.
Yvonne xx

Rita said...

Kind of an odd assortment of things at the museum. I always love the dinosaurs! :)

~*~Patty S said...

Hello Hello Dear Elizabeth ~
All of this post is very interesting highlighted by your super photos.
Seeing just that portion of the Berlin Wall is chilling, I can only imagine what the entire wall must have looked like and felt like.
AND you are a doll to think of me and share those wonderful photos of beautiful Indian artifacts. India does indeed charm me again and again and so did your tip in pages!
Enjoying one more mild day before our weather takes a turn for much much cooler.
Hope you've had a nice week.
Thanks again for the thoughtful shout out oxoxo

Divers and Sundry said...

History brought to life! Fascinating!