Tag Archives: central Europe

A Woman In Berlin

This anonymously written diary was kept between April 20th and June 22nd 1945 by a single thirty-something journalist in Berlin, and describes first-hand the utter collapse of German power in the capital of the Reich and the coming of the … Continue reading

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singing fascination

In a disused church in Aachen, an exhibition by a local artist, Lion Ebergard. He has taken Picasso’s trick with eyes and put it at the centre of his work: it is surprising how much eyes pointing in different directions, … Continue reading

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the man who invented Europe

On Sunday afternoon, Aachen is a quietly typical German bourgeois town, with a brass band playing in the Cathedral square and teenagers wearing t-shirts emblazoned with legends like NEW YORK FUCKING CITY. It has hot springs, which, along with its … Continue reading

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this could be a place of historical importance

On the way from Berlin to Aachen, I had an 18-minute stopover in Cologne, whose name derives from the colony (colonia) that the Romans established here on the banks of the Rhine, their broad German frontier. As the train pulled … Continue reading

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Deutsche Bahn

The German train system is perhaps (the French would argue otherwise) Europe’s finest. It works well. And yet… The train from Poznań to Berlin was 20 minutes late at the border. In Frankfurt an der Oder, the first town on … Continue reading

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The Pianist

This autobiographical tale by Władysław Szpilman is another staggering account of the holocaust, this one by a Polish Jew. A nationally known concert pianist living in a Jewish area of Warsaw with his parents, brother and two sisters, after the Germans … Continue reading

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Berlin (the start thereof)

As a big city, Berlin feels odd: long vistas, plenty of space, and little of the rush and bustle that characterizes Paris, say, or London, or Tokyo. Unter Den Linden seems rather boring, featureless and staid in comparison to Ginza … Continue reading

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