bruecken_schlag_worte

Brückenschläge und Schlagworte

Oderbrücke, Frankfurt (Oder) / Słubice, Germany / Poland

Bridges on Sundays comes to you from a place today that brings the Bridge as my symbol of connection between cultures to quite a literal level.

Oderbrücke, Frankfurt / Oder - Slubice, Germany - PolandThis photo was taken out of the train on Oderbrücke that connects Frankfurt / Oder in Germany with Świecko (Słubice) in Poland. The river Oder has only marked a border since 1945. Before, both sides of the river were German. After World War II Germany lost its Eastern territories, namely Silesia and Eastern Prussia, to Poland, while Poland lost large parts of Galicia, the Wilna and Nowogrodek areas to the Soviet Union. This map might make it clearer. In 1949 the Odra became the official border between the newly founded German Democratic Republic and the Polish People’s Republic. The Federal Republic of Germany didn‘t recognize this border officially until 1970 when Willy Brandt was chancellor. He had brought on a political course of rapproachment with the East. It was perceived as scandalous back then. Federal Germans felt that Brandt was giving up on land that was actually theirs to re-obtain one day. Thankfully those times are largely behind us, and hardly any German wants these territories back, but resentments die hard, and there is still mistrust between Poles and Germans when it comes to this, especially in older generations.

I only visited Frankfurt and Słubice for the first time last May and walked across a different bridge then that is open for cars and pedestrians. I remember feeling elated. There was no border control. There were no fences or gates or barriers. There was, simply spoken, just free access between the two countries. I thought “Schengen”, thought “European Union”, but this meant so much more than politics. It meant bridging the gap between two countries and removing all obstacles for people to come together and work through the hardships that history has burdened them with.

If you have read My Mission statement, you know why I love bridges. To me they are the most universal symbol of connection, of bringing people together and overcoming anything that may seperate us. I want to present to you pictures of bridges that I really love in places that I really love on my blog every Sunday. If you have a picture of a bridge that you would like to share with my readers as a guest post, feel free to contact me!

6 Comments

  1. this very bridge has lead me to my first border crossing back in 1997 😉 ever since I get excited when I pass it with BWE train 🙂

    • bridgekeeper

      Februar 19, 2013 at 12:19 am

      Oh Kami, that is so exciting!! I don’t even remember my first border crossing 🙁 I love that you have such a special connection with the bridge I chose this week! xx

  2. Neat. I know about Frankfurt am Oder, but never been there. I even knew it was close to the border, but not that it Was the border.

    I really like doors for their symbolic meanings. The bridge is a great one as well.

    • bridgekeeper

      Februar 23, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Doors are pretty cool as well – and windows!! Glad you liked my post. I love your blog and the fact that you try to point out how Germany is more than just Bavaria and Berlin. It really bothers me that most people don’t look beyond those two (probably because I am from Hamburg…). Have you been to the Brandenburg region at all? Or Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (that is my FAVORITE Bundesland by far!)?

  3. How did you like Słubice? Never been there. Any interesting places to see?

    • bridgekeeper

      Februar 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Oh I just spent like 2 hours there having coffee with a friend who lives in Frankfurt and we wanted to go because we both speak Polish 🙂 I didn’t systematically look around. The area just across the German border is really cute, but not spectacular. I would really like to go back and explore further though.

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