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31 July 2008

Ich bin ein Berliner!

Between 9 and 12 of July, I was staying in Berlin, Deutschland (Germany).

It was a beautiful and interesting city. The purpose of visiting there was to learn history of holocaust and the Cold War era.

The first place I visited was Holocaust Memorial. It is Wave of Stones.


The memorial for 6 million Jewish victims. The place was near Brandenburger Gate and the Parliament Building.

On one downtown street, I found small memorial plates. It is called "Stolperstein. (Hitting stones)" One of 1600-1700 existed on Berlin streets to mourn holocaust victims.


I also visited some history museums. One of the most impressive ones was German History Museum. I saw below postar for Anti-Jew proganda, which depicts Jews as greedy and communist.



The same museum exhibited part of former Berlin Wall.  



I went to Checkpoint Charlie, the former checkpoint between West and East Berlin. That now became tourist spot.



The below photo is memorial for Border Crosser who failed and then being killed.


Berlin experienced very dramatic history. I really felt that by being there.  

I've made video clip of my stay in Berlin. See this you tube clip.

On 12 of July I left Berlin for Krakow to see one of the famous World Heritage designated by UNESCO.

I will talk about that later.  

Danke schonn!

06 July 2008

I was right! That was racist ad!

Last month, I mentioned the below ad was racist using monkey as OBAMA in presidential election campaign.


The company that uses the ad, EMOBILE admitted the commercial was offensive to Afro-Americans considering the historical fact that monkey character had been used to portray Blacks as inferior creature to other people. Then early this month, they announced they would not air the commercial on TV and pulled the ad. However, they said they never meant to insult Black people by this ad because monkeys has been their maskots in their company's products.

I've mentioned this issue last month on this blog, see this article posted on June 21. I also mentioned on Japan's well-known internet newspaper, JANJAN. This is the article (in Japanese.) Some people object my view because I seem to make extreme interpretation of the ad concept. There are a lot of commercials that use animals to portray human characters.

But as a result, I was right. EMOBILE received so many complaints from Americans living in Japan. CNN covered this story. I knew that would happen because I used to live in the U.S. and learned so much about history of racism. I took Black Studies course.

Well, that helped. Most Japanese are ignorant about this issue because our society is much less diverse than the U.S. in terms of race and ethncity.  

EMOBILE wasted so much ad budget but they learned good lesson. So did many Japanese citizens.