Thank you, Margaret, for reminding me of the site of the old Lehrter Stadtbahnhof, until 1990 the last stop before crossing the Berlin Wall and into Friedrichstraße on the East Berlin side where I spent some of the happiest times of my life. It also reminded me of many cross-Wall escape stories, like East Germans painting their faces black with shoe polish and pretending to be African medical students to slip past border controls and into Lehrter Bahnhof where the polish was then washed off. Alas, one English author living in Berlin around that time could not figure out why the Grepo/Grenzpolizei – border police and Zollbeamten/West-East Berlin customs officers were scouring the trains between the two stations https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Hauptbahnhof
I remember it well, Adrian. But what English author was that?
Ken/neth Smith, Berlin: Coming in from the Cold, publ. 1 Nov 1990. Hasn’t gone into a second edition, with or without the ‘deliberate mistake’ in every chapter.
He is in Wikipedia as a ‘poet’ and this book and some others wrongly listed as ‘poems’. I haven’t seen the book around in the Deutsches Historisches Museum or other collections of books in English on Berlin’s history. There is a man called Rory McLean who must have moved to Berlin a couple of years ago to blog it and publish on it. He has published a book called ‘Berlin: Imagine a City’. I find the style a bit precious and can’t face reading it. Indeed, Wikipedia quotes well-known travel writers commenting on his mixing fact and fiction (they put it more elegantly than that). For me, I’ve noted a book by Peter Schneider: An der Schönheit kanns nicht liegen: Berlin-Porträt einer unfertigen Stadt, which is available in English too.
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