National Public Radio today had an interview with German author Peter Schneider, asking him about his views of Berlin 25 years after those stirring days in November 1989 that brought down the wall and changed Europe’s history.Schneider has just finished a new book, called “Berlin Now,” where he brings to bear his experience of 50 plus years in Berlin on the current situation. Among German readers, Schneider is well known as the author of several by now canonical works. Most notably with regard to the Berlin Wall is his “Wall Jumper” [Mauerspringer], which addresses life in a divided city. But his literary accounts of the student revolution, published in his “Lenz” and, much more recently, in the semi-documentary novel “Rebellion und Wahn,” are equally popular.
There is an Agnes Scott connection:
Great article in the NYT about the big Gerhard Richter exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Richter will turn 80 this month, and the show offers a big retrospective of his impressive work.
Here’s an interview with Gerhard Richter from 2006 (in English):
Did you know that Martin Luther King changed his name out of respect for Martin Luther after his first visit to Berlin in 1934? And did you know that in 1964 after a visit to West Berlin, American officials did not want to permit MLK to travel across the border to East Germany? The following article also asks the question why Barack Obama referred to Kennedy and Reagan in his 2008 speech in Berlin and not to MLK . If you are interested in learning more, click here.
If you’ve been to Berlin as a backpacker or a student, chances are you’ve been to the “Tacheles”: one of the ruins of World War II that were left standing “as is” by the GDR and that became a squatter location after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Used by the Nazis to house French prisoners of war, over the last 20 years the building has transformed from hip and underground artist meeting point into a tourist attraction where one could still see the gritty side of Berlin. Supposedly worth around $90 million, a bank consortium is intent on kicking the artists out and selling the property to investors. Read more about it in this NYT article.