Earlier this week, it was announced that a group of ramblers in Berlin had stumbled across a hitherto-unknown section of the Berlin Wall in the undergrowth of their local park. It's weird to think that one of history's greatest architectural monsters could've spent the last three decades successfully hiding out in a nondescript residential neighborhood, but let's be fair -- it's hard for walls to get fake identities and escape to Argentina or be recruited into the American space program.
This isn't the first section of the Berlin Wall to be rediscovered this year. In February, it was announced that a local historian, Christian Bormann, had since 1999 been keeping a 260-foot section of the wall hidden from the world out of fear that it'd immediately be torn down by the authorities, or possibly David Hasselhoff. (He doesn't like to leave a job half-finished.)
The thing is, this isn't an entirely unreasonable train of thought. After the fall of the wall in 1989, the city went nuts on any section that they could find, not least because it was a literal stone-cold reminder of the misery its presence had wrought. Back in 1989, nothing deserved to be smashed into a gazillion pieces more than the Berlin Wall.
As the years progressed, however, the city's attitude toward the wall -- as well as its, um, problematic period between 1933 and 1945 -- changed from one of destruction to one of preservation, so much so that a small army of police were required to hold back the protesters that turned out when a property developer demolished part of the iconic East Side Gallery in 2013. And this is before we get to the artists who've adopted the sections sporadically dotted across the city as their canvases, or the fact that the city had to build a wall in front of the wall in order to stop tourists from hacking pieces off it in broad daylight. Achtung, baby, the wall is back, and it's good this time, we swear.
So yeah, while we agree that it's super weird that everyone in Berlin forgets about this super-imposing, super-long instrument of totalitarianism until they bump into a piece while out walking their dog, it's kinda cool too. If you're a budding Indiana Jones who wants to explore forgotten ruins and yet remain within walking distance of a Starbucks, you could do a lot worse than grabbing your sneakers and heading to Berlin.
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