The areas that will make up the new downtown Fresno of the 21st Century are surprisingly dense with powerful reminders of the muddle of the 20th Century. In Berlin, for example, along the street called Wilhelmstrasse, just a few steps from the chaos of Potsdamer Platz, there is a grassy mound surrounded by a parking lot. Underneath it are the remains of the bunker where Adolf Hitler spent the last days of World War II, and where he committed suicide in April of 1945. Berliners argue about what to do with Potsdamer Platz, and the restoration of buildings. Fresnans can quarrel over what the history of Fresno means to its future. But, unless Fresno City Hall has the courage and determination to face-down its ghosts of the past, whatever they want to build, whatever they want to tear down, whatever they want to call any public space, Fresno will find history
slapping them in the face. In Fresno and in Berlin you just cannot argue about a redevelopment project
without someone bringing up the name of Adolf Hitler or that of Hitler's propagandist, Karl Falk.