The column | Lessons from Berlin

Two weeks ago in the posh section of Berlin, I took a hammer and chisel and pounded away at the Berlin Wall.

I was staying at the Westin Grand Hotel for the festivities marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall. The hotel offers guests the chance to make their own souvenirs out of a 6-foot-tall block it bought years ago and planted by its entrance.

The manager supplied me with goggles, a hardhat and heavy leather gloves and walked me outside. I looked like a guy whose mother had dressed him for the revolution.

I did feel a little sheepish — after all, I wouldn’t take a shovel to the Gettysburg battlefield. But what begins in horror often ends in kitsch — that’s just the way of the world.

Besides, who doesn’t want a piece of the wall?

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Rob Eshman
Rob Eshman

Rob Eshman is national editor of the Forward. Follow him @foodaism.