Berlin shaken but calm after attack

Der Spiegel reports: The Ferris wheel on Alexanderplatz has come to a standstill and the mulled wine stands are boarded up. The sphere at the top of the TV tower is hidden in the clouds. On the day after the truck attack in the western part of the city, almost all of Berlin’s 60 Christmas markets are closed, including the one at Alexanderplatz. “Out of sympathy and reverence,” says Rudi Bergmann, before quickly adding: “But not out of fear!”

Bergmann has been bringing his Grillhütte stand from Nuremberg to Berlin for the last 20 years, for about a month each time. On this Tuesday, however, his grill is empty. Officials at the Rotes Rathaus, Berlin’s city hall, requested that the Christmas markets be closed for at least a day. Of course, says Bergmann, “you always think it might happen, but then you ignore those thoughts,” he says. Over all those years.

And now? Bergmann shrugs his shoulders. What do you do? Keep on going. Live. Reopen the Grillhütte tomorrow. Because you can’t just hide out of fear. “Doesn’t do any good,” says a woman passing by. “You have to keep going.”

This was the mood in the German capital one day after the attack. Shaken but calm. Berlin has seen a lot in its day. And not only politicians and officials, but also city residents knew that there would eventually be an attack in Berlin. [Continue reading…]

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