On August 13, 1961, under the cover of darkness, East German authorities sealed the border between East and West Berlin using a hastily constructed barbed wire fence. Over the next twenty-eight years of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall grew to become an ever-present physical and psychological divider in this capital city and a powerful symbol of Cold War tensions. Similarly, stark polarities arose in nearly every aspect of public and private life, including the built environment.
In Architecture, Politics, and Identity in Divided Berlin Emily Pugh provides an original comparative analysis of selected works of architecture and urban planning in both halves of Berlin during the Wall era, revealing the importance of these structures to the formation of political, cultural, and social identities. Pugh uncovers the roles played by organizations such as the Foundation for Prussian Cultural Heritage and the Building Academy in conveying the political narrative of their respective states through constructed spaces. She also provides an overview of earlier notable architectural works, to show the precursors for design aesthetics in Berlin at large, and considers projects in the post-Wall period, to demonstrate the ongoing effects of the Cold War.
Overall, Pugh offers a compelling case study of a divided city poised between powerful contending political and ideological forces, and she highlights the effort expended by each side to influence public opinion in Europe and around the World through the manipulation of the built environment.
As Joseph Pearson poetically puts it in this rich look at one of Europe’s most fascinating cities: Berlin is a party in a graveyard. Europe’s youth capital, Berlin is also beset by sustained guilt for the atrocities that were ordered by its Nazi officers during the Third Reich. Built and rebuilt on the ruins of multiple regimes, Berlin in the twenty-first-century houses an extraordinary diversity of refugees, immigrants, and expats. Offering a comprehensive but concise history, Pearson tells the story of Berlin’s past over nine centuries while also painting a portrait of the vibrant German capital today.
Pearson describes the rise of Berlin from a small settlement surrounded by bog to one of the crucial economic and political centers of Europe. Berlin is a palimpsest of a cutting edge and dynamic modern culture over a troubled history, one that is visible in bombsites, museums, late-night clubs, and even a lake that allegedly hosts a man-eating monster. He ultimately shows how the city is imbued with an array of unnerving elements: emptiness, provincialism, ramshackle industrial eclecticism, lurid and lascivious counter-cultural expressions, and a tremendous history of violence—but also that these are precisely the sorts of things that give the city its unique charge. Posing one thought-provoking question after another, Pearson walks the city’s neighborhoods, peeling back layer upon layer of history in order to reveal a Berlin that few of us know.
What is it like to travel to Berlin today, particularly as a Jew, and bring with you the baggage of history? And what happens when an American Jew, raised by a secular family, falls in love with Berlin not in spite of his being a Jew but because of it? The answer is Berlin for Jews. Part history and part travel companion, Leonard Barkan’s personal love letter to the city shows how its long Jewish heritage, despite the atrocities of the Nazi era, has left an inspiring imprint on the vibrant metropolis of today.
Barkan, voraciously curious and witty, offers a self-deprecating guide to the history of Jewish life in Berlin, revealing how, beginning in the early nineteenth century, Jews became prominent in the arts, the sciences, and the city’s public life. With him, we tour the ivy-covered confines of the Schönhauser Allee cemetery, where many distinguished Jewish Berliners have been buried, and we stroll through Bayerisches Viertel, an elegant neighborhood created by a Jewish developer and that came to be called Berlin’s “Jewish Switzerland.” We travel back to the early nineteenth century to the salon of Rahel Varnhagen, a Jewish society doyenne, who frequently hosted famous artists, writers, politicians, and the occasional royal. Barkan also introduces us to James Simon, a turn-of-the-century philanthropist and art collector, and we explore the life of Walter Benjamin, who wrote a memoir of his childhood in Berlin as a member of the assimilated Jewish upper-middle class. Throughout, Barkan muses about his own Jewishness, while celebrating the rich Jewish culture on view in today’s Berlin.
A winning, idiosyncratic travel companion, Berlin for Jews offers a way to engage with German history, to acknowledge the unspeakable while extolling the indelible influence of Jewish culture.
Jurek Becker University of Chicago Press, 1999 Library of Congress PT2662.E294B7613 1999 | Dewey Decimal 833.914
"East Berlin, 1973: an 18-year-old Jew discovers that his father's friends are holding prisoner a former Nazi concentration camp guard in the family cottage. The three older men have handcuffed the ex-Nazi to the bed and are interrogating and torturing him in an attempt to get him to admit to his war crimes. . . . Becker keenly shows the tension between members of the Holocaust generation and their children, who are unable to understand the complexity of that nightmarish era of human history."—Booklist
"[A] chilly, disquieting novel about historical slippage; about the seemingly inevitable decline of horror into a vague and generic recollection. The East German writer has devised something between story and allegory to evoke the cold generational millennium that separates a father, with his concentration-camp memories, from a son, adrift in a society with no memories whatsoever."—Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Mr. Becker, writing simply and clearly in an unstrained narrative, speaks with the voice of knowledge, and we do well to listen to him."—Eva Figes, New York Times Book Review
Jurek Becker (1937-1998) is the author of Jacob the Liar, Sleepless Days, The Boxer, and Amanda Herzlos.
Founded as a counterweight to the Communist broadcasters in East Germany, Radio in the American Sector (RIAS) became one of the most successful public information operations conducted against the Soviet Bloc. Cold War on the Airwaves examines the Berlin-based organization's history and influence on the political worldview of the people--and government--on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Nicholas Schlosser draws on broadcast transcripts, internal memoranda, listener letters, and surveys by the U.S. Information Agency to profile RIAS. Its mission: to undermine the German Democratic Republic with propaganda that, ironically, gained in potency by obeying the rules of objective journalism. Throughout, Schlosser examines the friction inherent in such a contradictory project and propaganda's role in shaping political culture. He also portrays how RIAS's primarily German staff influenced its outlook and how the organization both competed against its rivals in the GDR and pushed communist officials to alter their methods in order to keep listeners. From the occupation of Berlin through the airlift to the construction of the Berlin Wall, Cold War on the Airwaves offers an absorbing view of how public diplomacy played out at a flashpoint of East-West tension.
There is no more seemingly incorrigible criminal type than the child sex offender. Said to suffer from a deeply rooted paraphilia, he is often considered as outside the moral limits of the human, profoundly resistant to change. Despite these assessments, in much of the West an increasing focus on rehabilitation through therapy provides hope that psychological transformation is possible. Examining the experiences of child sex offenders undergoing therapy in Germany—where such treatments are both a legal right and duty—John Borneman, in Cruel Attachments, offers a fine-grained account of rehabilitation for this reviled criminal type.
Carefully exploring different cases of the attempt to rehabilitate child sex offenders, Borneman details a secular ritual process aimed not only at preventing future acts of molestation but also at fundamentally transforming the offender, who is ultimately charged with creating an almost entirely new self. Acknowledging the powerful repulsion felt by a public that is often extremely skeptical about the success of rehabilitation, he challenges readers to confront the contemporary contexts and conundrums that lie at the heart of regulating intimacy between children and adults.
DEATH IN THE TIERGARTEN
Benjamin Carter Hett Harvard University Press, 2004 Library of Congress HV9680.B4H48 2004 | Dewey Decimal 345.4315501
From Alexanderplatz, the bustling Berlin square ringed by bleak slums, to Moabit, site of the city's most feared prison, Death in the Tiergarten illuminates the culture of criminal justice in late imperial Germany. In vivid prose, Benjamin Hett examines daily movement through the Berlin criminal courts and the lawyers, judges, jurors, thieves, pimps, and murderers who inhabited this world.
Drawing on previously untapped sources, including court records, pamphlet literature, and pulp novels, Hett examines how the law reflected the broader urban culture and politics of a rapidly changing city. In this book, German criminal law looks very different from conventional narratives of a rigid, static system with authoritarian continuities traceable from Bismarck to Hitler. From the murder trial of Anna and Hermann Heinze in 1891 to the surprising treatment of the notorious Captain of Koepenick in 1906, Hett illuminates a transformation in the criminal justice system that unleashed a culture war fought over issues of permissiveness versus discipline, the boundaries of public discussion of crime and sexuality, and the role of gender in the courts.
Trained in both the law and history, Hett offers a uniquely valuable perspective on the dynamic intersections of law and society, and presents an impressive new view of early twentieth-century German history.
Table of Contents:
1. In Moabit 2. The Berlin of Surrogates 3. Honorable Men 4. Justice Is Blind 5. "Were People More Pitiless Fifteen Years Ago?" Epilogue
Appendix: Regimes and Rulers Abbreviations Notes Archival and Primary Sources Index
Death in the Tiergarten is an impressive book. Written in a light and entertaining style, with elegance and wit, it is a rich source of thought-provoking insights. Hett offers his own distinct spin on some of the common themes of Berlin literature--crime, sex, sensation, mass media, and the dramatic character of life in the modern metropolis. This unusually successful and effective work of scholarship has the potential to reach a broad audience. --Jonathan Sperber, University of Missouri at Columbia
An extremely rich and well-argued analysis of the culture of the criminal courtroom in Wilhelmine Germany. Using stories about love, lust, betrayal, and honor--crime stories and city stories--Benjamin Hett pries open Berlin's public life in brilliant, unexpected ways. --Peter Fritzsche, author of Reading Berlin 1900
More than a decade after unification, Germany remains deeply divided. Following East and West German police officers on their patrols through the newly-united city of Berlin and observing how they make sense of one another in a fast-changing environment, Andreas Glaeser explains how East-West boundaries have been maintained by the interactions of institutions, practices, and cultural forms-including diverging patterns of understanding rooted in vastly different social systems, readily revived Cold War images, the continuing search for an adequate response to Germany's Nazi past, and the politics and organization of unification, which impose highly asymmetrical burdens on east and west. Glaeser also leverages his ethnography to develop an innovative approach to studying identity formation processes. Central to his theory is an emphasis on the exchange of identifications and the particular ways in which they are deployed and recognized in interpretations, narratives, and performances as parts of face-to-face encounters, political discourses, and organizational practices.
Los Angeles, California, and Berlin, Germany, have been dubbed "homeless capitals" for having the largest homeless populations of their respective countries. In Down and Out in Los Angeles and Berlin, Jürgen von Mahs provides an illuminating comparative analysis of the impact of social welfare policy on homelessness in these cities. He addresses the opportunity of people to overcome--or "exit"--homelessness and shows how Berlin, with its considerable social and economic investment for assisting its homeless has been as unsuccessful as Los Angeles.
Drawing on fascinating ethnographic insights, von Mahs shows how homeless people in both cities face sociospatial exclusion-legal displacement for criminal activities, poor shelters in impoverished neighborhoods, as well as market barriers that restrict reintegration. Providing a necessary wake-up call, Down and Out in Los Angeles and Berlin addresses the critical public policy issues that can produce effective services to improve homeless people's chances for a lasting exit.
In Encoding Race, Encoding Class Sareeta Amrute explores the work and private lives of highly skilled Indian IT coders in Berlin to reveal the oft-obscured realities of the embodied, raced, and classed nature of cognitive labor. In addition to conducting fieldwork and interviews in IT offices as well as analyzing political cartoons, advertisements, and reports on white-collar work, Amrute spent time with a core of twenty programmers before, during, and after their shifts. She shows how they occupy a contradictory position, as they are racialized in Germany as temporary and migrant grunt workers, yet their middle-class aspirations reflect efforts to build a new, global, and economically dominant India. The ways they accept and resist the premises and conditions of their work offer new potentials for alternative visions of living and working in neoliberal economies. Demonstrating how these coders' cognitive labor realigns and reimagines race and class, Amrute conceptualizes personhood and migration within global capitalism in new ways.
Max Frisch (1911–91) was a giant of twentieth-century German literature. When Frisch moved into a new apartment in Berlin’s Sarrazinstrasse, he began keeping a journal, which he came to call the Berlin Journal. A few years later, he emphasized in an interview that this was by no means a “scribbling book,” but rather a book “fully composed.” The journal is one of the great treasures of Frisch’s literary estate, but the author imposed a retention period of twenty years from the date of his death because of the “private things” he noted in it. From the Berlin Journal now marks the first publication of excerpts from Frisch’s journal. Here, the unmistakable Frisch is back, full of doubt, with no illusions, and with a playfully sharp eye for the world.
From the Berlin Journal pulls from the years 1946–49 and 1966–71. Observations about the writer’s everyday life stand alongside narrative and essayistic texts, as well as finely-drawn portraits of colleagues like Günter Grass, Uwe Johnson, Wolf Biermann, and Christa Wolf, among others. Its foremost quality, though, is the extraordinary acuity with which Frisch observed political and social conditions in East Germany while living in West Berlin.
An inquiry into the lives of children of similar, if not identical, historical an cultural heritage who today find themselves in radically opposed ideological worlds, regarding one another across the concrete manifestation of their considerable differences, the Berlin Wall. Under these circumstances, what are the significant factors that contribute to the development in children of feelings of loyalty to or alienation from their nation? How do they view not only themselves, but the "other" Germans as well? How do they come to terms, emotionally and cognitively, with a unique, frequently painful, and frustrating reality? What are the lessons intended for them by their societies, and what lessons do they in fact learn? How do these children persist as Germans while at the same time becoming something else -- "communists? or "capitalists"?
Thomas Davey conducted interviews with children both sides of the Wall, participated in their daily lives, collected their drawings, talked with their teachers and families and grew aware of just how attentive children can be to moral and political subtleties of national life. The result is a revealing and dramatic portrait of a young generation coming to terms with complex national and historical circumstances of the two cites of East and West Berlin.
German-born Gerhard (Gershom) Scholem (1897–1982), the preeminent scholar of Jewish mysticism, delved into the historical analysis of kabbalistic literature from late antiquity to the twentieth century. His writings traverse Jewish historiography, Zionism, the phenomenology of mystical religion, and the spiritual and political condition of contemporary Judaism and Jewish civilization. Scholem famously recounted rejecting his parents’ assimilationist liberalism in favor of Zionism and immigrating to Palestine in 1923, where he became a central figure in the German Jewish immigrant community that dominated the nation’s intellectual landscape in Mandatory Palestine. Despite Scholem’s public renunciation of Germany for Israel, Zadoff explores how the life and work of Scholem reflect ambivalence toward Zionism and his German origins.
In the twenty years since its original publication, The Ghosts of Berlin has become a classic, an unparalleled guide to understanding the presence of history in our built environment, especially in a space as historically contested—and emotionally fraught—as Berlin. Brian Ladd examines the ongoing conflicts radiating from the remarkable fusion of architecture, history, and national identity in Berlin. Returning to the city frequently, Ladd continues to survey the urban landscape, traversing its ruins, contemplating its buildings and memorials, and carefully deconstructing the public debates and political controversies emerging from its past.
In this compelling work, Brian Ladd examines the ongoing conflicts radiating from the remarkable fusion of architecture, history, and national identity in Berlin. Ladd surveys the urban landscape, excavating its ruins, contemplating its buildings and memorials, and carefully deconstructing the public debates and political controversies emerging from its past.
"Written in a clear and elegant style, The Ghosts of Berlin is not just another colorless architectural history of the German capital. . . . Mr. Ladd's book is a superb guide to this process of urban self-definition, both past and present."—Katharina Thote, Wall Street Journal
"If a book can have the power to change a public debate, then The Ghosts of Berlin is such a book. Among the many new books about Berlin that I have read, Brian Ladd's is certainly the most impressive. . . . Ladd's approach also owes its success to the fact that he is a good storyteller. His history of Berlin's architectural successes and failures reads entertainingly like a detective novel."—Peter Schneider, New Republic
"[Ladd's] well-written and well-illustrated book amounts to a brief history of the city as well as a guide to its landscape."—Anthony Grafton, New York Review of Books
Good-bye to the Mermaids conveys the horrors of war as seen through the innocent eyes of a child. It is the story of World War II as it affected three generations of middle-class German women: Karin, six years old when the war began, who was taken in by Hitler’s lies; her mother, Astrid, a rebellious artist who occasionally spoke out against the Nazis; and her grandmother Oma, a generous and strong-willed woman who, having spent her own childhood in America, brought a different perspective to the events of the time. It tells of a convoluted world where children were torn between fear and hope, between total incomprehension of events and the need to simply deal with reality.
In one of the relatively few recollections of the war from a German woman’s perspective, Finell relates what was for her a normal part of growing up: participating in activities of the Hitler Youth, observing Nazi customs at Christmas, and once being close enough to the Führer at a rally to make eye contact with him. She tells of how she first became aware of the yellow star that Jews were forced to wear, and of being asked to identify corpses from a bombed apartment house. She also depicts the lives of people tainted by Hitler’s influence: her half-Jewish relatives who gave in to the strain of trying to remain unnoticed; a favorite aunt who was gassed because she was old and had broken her hip; and a friend of the family who was involved in the abortive putsch against Hitler and hanged as a traitor.
When American and British forces intensified air raids on Berlin in 1943, Finell observed the stoical valor of women during the bombings, firestorms, and mass evacuations. Not yet a teenager, she witnessed the battle for Berlin and the mass rapes perpetrated by conquering Russian and Mongolian troops. Order was restored after the American and British troops arrived. The Marshall Plan jump-started an economic recovery for West Germany, provoking the Russians to blockade Berlin. From 1948 to 1949 the Americans and British kept Berlin’s residents alive with the airlift. But even though food was flown in, the people of Berlin continued to go hungry. Deprivation forced Berliners to look inward and face their collective guilt as they withstood the threat of Soviet occupation during these postwar years.
This eloquent and touching story tells how a decent people were perverted by Hitler and how a young girl ultimately came to recognize the father figure Hitler for the monster he was. From a time of innocence, Karin Finell takes readers along a nightmarish journey in which fantasies are clung to, set aside, and at last set free. Good-bye to the Mermaids presents us with the revelation that human beings can survive such times with their souls intact.
In 1976, David Bowie left Los Angeles and the success of his celebrated albums Diamond Dogs and Young Americans for Europe. The rocker settled in Berlin, where he would make his “Berlin Trilogy”—the albums Low, Heroes, and Lodger, which are now considered some of the most critically acclaimed and innovative of the late twentieth century. But Bowie’s time in Berlin was about more than producing new music. As Tobias Rüther describes in this fascinating tale of Bowie’s Berlin years, the musician traveled to West Berlin—the capital of his childhood dreams and the city of Expressionism—to repair his body and mind from the devastation of drug addiction, delusions, and mania.
Painting a vivid picture of Bowie’s life in the Schöneberg area of the city, Rüther describes the artist’s friendships and collaborations with his roommate, Iggy Pop, as well as Brian Eno and Tony Visconti. Rüther illustrates Bowie’s return to painting, days cycling to the Die Brücke museum, and his exploration of the city’s nightlife, both the wild side and the gay scene. In West Berlin, Bowie also met singer and actress Romy Haag; came to know Hansa Studios, where he would record Low and Heroes; and even landed the part of a Prussian aristocrat in Just a Gigolo, starring alongside Marlene Dietrich. Eventually Rüther uses Bowie and his explorations of the cultural and historical undercurrents of West Berlin to examine the city itself: divided, caught in the Cold War, and how it began to redefine itself as a cultural metropolis, turning to the arts to start a new history.
Tying in with an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in September, 2014, Heroes tells the fascinating story of how the music of the future arose from the spirit of the past. It is an unforgettable look at one of the world’s most renowned musicians in one of its most inspiring cities.
New laws enacted in the wake of Hitler’s ascent to power removed all Jews from their professional workplaces and banned Jewish artists from any collaboration with their fellow citizens. In the summer of 1933, Goebbels’s Prussian Theatre Commission approved an all-Jewish theatre as part of the Kulturbund Deutscher Juden, the Cultural Association of German Jewry. This network of Jewish cultural leagues and theatre ensembles across Germany coexisted with Nazi policies against Jews until the Gestapo dissolved the theatre in 1941. Revealing the complex interplay between history and human lives under conditions of duress, Rebecca Rovit focuses on the eight-year odyssey of the Berlin Kulturbund and its theatre.
Rovit draws upon a wealth of primary documents—correspondence between the theatre and the Reich Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment, actual playscripts and rolebooks, production reviews and photographs, letters and memoirs, and interviews with artists who survived the war—to show how the increasingly restrictive German reality forced Jewish artists to define and redefine their identity and culture under wrenching conditions of censorship, compromise, danger, and deception. Integrating play analysis with cultural history, she considers first the playscript itself, then the playscript adapted by the Kulturbund, then the best reconstruction possible of the actual performance against its backdrop of the Third Reich. Proceeding chronologically through the playing seasons, she focuses on the actual repertoire performed (and forbidden) over the life of the Berlin Kulturbund theatre, covering the theatre’s beginnings and its first two playing seasons, then on the playing seasons that led to the Reichskristallnacht, and finally on the ways that emigration and increased censorship affected the wartime theatre’s final days.
The Kulturbund’s directors were repeatedly caught between escalating demands from their Nazi overseers and from their own Jewish constituents. By examining why and how an all-Jewish repertory theatre could coexist with the Nazi regime, Rovit raises broader questions about the nature of art in an environment of coercion and isolation, artistic integrity and adaptability, and community and identity.
Though many of the details of Jewish life under Hitler are familiar, historical accounts rarely afford us a real sense of what it was like for Jews and their families to live in the shadow of Nazi Germany’s oppressive racial laws and growing violence. With Jews in Nazi Berlin, those individual lives—and the constant struggle they required—come fully into focus, and the result is an unprecedented and deeply moving portrait of a people.
Drawing on a remarkably rich archive that includes photographs, objects, official documents, and personal papers, the editors of Jews in Nazi Berlin have assembled a multifaceted picture of Jewish daily life in the Nazi capital during the height of the regime’s power. The book’s essays and images are divided into thematic sections, each representing a different aspect of the experience of Jews in Berlin, covering such topics as emigration, the yellow star, Zionism, deportation, betrayal, survival, and more. To supplement—and, importantly, to humanize—the comprehensive documentary evidence, the editors draw on an extensive series of interviews with survivors of the Nazi persecution, who present gripping first-person accounts of the innovation, subterfuge, resilience, and luck required to negotiate the increasing brutality of the regime.
A stunning reconstruction of a storied community as it faced destruction, Jews in Nazi Berlin renders that loss with a startling immediacy that will make it an essential part of our continuing attempts to understand World War II and the Holocaust.
The massive scale and complexity of international migration today tends to obscure the nuanced ways migrant families seek a sense of belonging. In this book, Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg takes readers back and forth between Cameroon and Germany to explore how migrant mothers—through the careful and at times difficult management of relationships—juggle belonging in multiple places at once: their new country, their old country, and the diasporic community that bridges them.
Feldman-Savelsberg introduces readers to several Cameroonian mothers, each with her own unique history, concerns, and voice. Through scenes of their lives—at a hometown association’s year-end party, a celebration for a new baby, a visit to the Foreigners’ Office, and many others—as well as the stories they tell one another, Feldman-Savelsberg enlivens our thinking about migrants’ lives and the networks and repertoires that they draw on to find stability and, ultimately, belonging. Placing women’s individual voices within international social contexts, this book unveils new, intimate links between the geographical and the generational as they intersect in the dreams, frustrations, uncertainties, and resolve of strong women holding families together across continents.
"Sace Elder has exhaustively researched both newspaper and other popular and professional treatments of murder cases and archival sources of police investigations and trials in Berlin between 1919 and 1931. Murder Scenes is an innovative and insightful exploration of the ways in which these investigations and trials, and the publicity surrounding them, reflected and shaped changing notions of normality and deviance in Weimar-era Berlin."
---Kenneth Ledford, Case Western Reserve University
Using police reports, witness statements, newspaper accounts, and professional publications, Murder Scenes examines public and private responses to homicidal violence in Berlin during the tumultuous years of the Weimar era. Criminology and police science, both of which became increasingly professionalized over the period, sought to control and contain the blurring of these boundaries but could only do so by relying on a public that was willing to participate in the project. These Weimar developments in police practice in Berlin had important implications for what Elder identifies as an emerging culture of mutual surveillance that was successful both because and in spite of the incompleteness of the system police sought to construct, a culture that in many ways anticipated the culture of denunciation in the Nazi period. In addition to historians of Weimar, modern Germany, and modern Europe, German studies and criminal justice scholars will find this book of interest.
Sace Elder is Associate Professor of History at Eastern Illinois University.
The Muslim population globally is comprised of hundreds of ethnic, linguistic, and religious sub-communities. Yet, more often than not, the public conflates these diverse and unrelated communities, branding Muslim immigrants as a single, suspicious, and culturally antagonistic group of people. Generalizations like these have compromised many Muslim immigrants' sense of belonging and acceptance in places where they have lived, in some cases, for three or four generations.
In Muslims of Metropolis, Kavitha Rajagopalan takes a much needed step in personalizing and humanizing our understanding of the Muslim diaspora. Tracing the stories of three very different families-a Palestinian family moving to London, a Kurdish family moving to Berlin, and a Bangladeshi family moving to New York-she reveals a level of complexity and nuance that is seldom considered. Through their voices and in their words, Rajagopalan describes what prompted these families to leave home, what challenges they faced in adjusting to their new lives, and how they came to view their place in society. Interviews with community leaders, social justice organizations, and with academics and political experts in each of the countries add additional layers of insight to how broad political issues, like nationalist conflict, immigration reform, and antiterrorism strategies affect the lives of Muslims who have migrated in search of economic stability and personal happiness.
Although recent thinking about immigration policy in the United States and Europe emphasizes the importance of long-term integration, a global attitude that continues to sensationalize divisions between Muslim and other communities thwarts this possibility. Integration cannot occur with policy solutions alone-people must feel that they belong to a larger society. Whether read as simple stories or broader narratives, the voices in this revealing book are among the many speaking against generalization, prejudice, and fear that has so far surrounded Muslims living in the West.
A celebrated figure in myth, song, and story, the nightingale has captivated the imagination for millennia, its complex song evoking a prism of human emotions,—from melancholy to joy, from the fear of death to the immortality of art.
But have you ever listened closely to a nightingale’s song? It’s a strange and unsettling sort of composition—an eclectic assortment of chirps, whirs, trills, clicks, whistles, twitters, and gurgles. At times it is mellifluous, at others downright guttural. It is a rhythmic assault, always eluding capture. What happens if you decide to join in?
As philosopher and musician David Rothenberg shows in this searching and personal new book, the nightingale’s song is so peculiar in part because it reflects our own cacophony back at us. As vocal learners, nightingales acquire their music through the world around them, singing amidst the sounds of humanity in all its contradictions of noise and beauty, hard machinery and soft melody. Rather than try to capture a sound not made for us to understand, Rothenberg seeks these musical creatures out, clarinet in tow, and makes a new sound with them. He takes us to the urban landscape of Berlin—longtime home to nightingale colonies where the birds sing ever louder in order to be heard—and invites us to listen in on their remarkable collaboration as birds and instruments riff off of each other’s sounds. Through dialogue, travel records, sonograms, tours of Berlin’s city parks, and musings on the place animal music occupies in our collective imagination, Rothenberg takes us on a quest for a new sonic alchemy, a music impossible for any one species to make alone. In the tradition of The Hidden Life of Trees and The Invention of Nature, Rothenberg has written a provocative and accessible book to attune us ever closer to the natural environment around us.
The 1848 wave of worker rebellions that swept across Europe struck the German states with the March Revolution. The writer August Brass led the successful defense of the barricades in Berlin's Alexanderplatz public square. Published in English for the first time, On the Barricades of Berlin provides a riveting firsthand account of this uprising.
Brass’ testimony begins with the tumultuous events leading up to the revolution: the peaceful democratic agitation; the demands that were brought to the king; and the key actors involved on all sides of the still peaceful, yet tense, struggle. It then follows the events that led to the outbreak of resistance to the forces of order and sheds light on the aftermath of the fighting once the exhausted Prussian army withdrew from the city.
The story of modern Orthodox Judaism is usually told only from the perspective of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. Ellenson’s work, a thorough examination of the life and work of one of Hirsch’s contemporaries, Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer, reveals another important contributor to the creation of a modern Jewish Orthodoxy during the late 1800s. like Hirsch, Hildesheirmer felt the need to continue certain traditions while at the same time introducing certain innovations to meet the demands of a modern society. This original study of an Orthodox rabbinic leader shows how Hildesheirmer’s flexible and pragmatic approach to these problems continues to be relevant to modern Judaism. The way in which this book draws upon response literature for its comprehension of Hildesheimer makes it a distinctive work in modern Jewish historiography and sociology.
During the summer of 1944, the now-legendary American Eighth Air Force was engaged in a ferocious air battle over Europe to bring the Allies victory over the German Third Reich. This is the story of one B-17 navigator and his crewmates, men who faced extraordinary danger with a maturity beyond their years. This vivid and detailed account of combat flying and its psychological toll also recalls the beginning of Robert Grilley’s development as a painter of international renown, as he spends his off-duty time drawing the peaceful Northamptonshire landscape around Deenethorpe airbase.
Wakened with flashlights on their faces in the predawn hours, he and his crew repeatedly face the Luftwaffe in battles five miles high, flying through flak "so thick you could get out and walk on it." Stretching their stamina to the limits, they succeed time after time in their missions to bomb munitions works, railyards, the Leüna synthetic oil plant at Merseburg in eastern Germany, the V2 rocket research center at Peenemünde on the distant Baltic Coast, and even to strike Hitler’s capital city, Berlin.
But Grilley finds interludes of unexpected grace and restoration on his days off, making serious drawings from nature at the neighboring Yokehill Farm. There he slowly cultivates a friendship with a curious eight-year-old, the lively child Elizabeth, who becomes for the combat flyer a symbol of survival.
At the age of fifty and faced with severe depression, Salomea Genin began to write about her family's history. From stories both told and untold, Genin recreates the lives of the Zwerling family in the Jewish quarter of Lvov: Shulim, her strict and deeply religious grandfather; his patient but tired wife Dvoire; and his beautiful, rebellious daughter Shayndl, who marries a dreamer against her father's wishes and without his blessing, and who will later become Salomea Genin's mother.
Genin's richly detailed portrait shows the effects of a family's struggles--personal, religious, social, and for their very survival--against the shadow of the Nazi rise to power.
The Berlin Olympics, August 14, 1936. German rowers, dominant at the Games, line up against America's top eight-oared crew. Hundreds of millions of listeners worldwide wait by their radios. Leni Riefenstahl prepares her cameramen. Grantland Rice looks past the 75,000 spectators crowding the riverbank. Above it all, the Nazi leadership, flush with the propaganda triumph the Olympics have given their New Germany, await a crowning victory they can broadcast to the world. The Berlin Games matched cutting-edge communication technology with compelling sports narrative to draw the blueprint for all future sports broadcasting. A global audience--the largest cohort of humanity ever assembled--enjoyed the spectacle via radio. This still-novel medium offered a "liveness," a thrilling immediacy no other technology had ever matched. Michael J. Socolow's account moves from the era's technological innovations to the human drama of how the race changed the lives of nine young men. As he shows, the origins of global sports broadcasting can be found in this single, forgotten contest. In those origins we see the ways the presentation, consumption, and uses of sport changed forever.
Berlin in the 1920s was a cosmopolitan hub where for a brief, vibrant moment German-Jewish writers crossed paths with Hebrew and Yiddish migrant writers. Working against the prevailing tendency to view German and East European Jewish cultures as separate fields of study, Strangers in Berlin is the first book to present Jewish literature in the Weimar Republic as the product of the dynamic encounter between East and West. Whether they were native to Germany or sojourners from abroad, Jewish writers responded to their exclusion from rising nationalist movements by cultivating their own images of homeland in verse, and they did so in three languages: German, Hebrew, and Yiddish.
Author Rachel Seelig portrays Berlin during the Weimar Republic as a “threshold” between exile and homeland in which national and artistic commitments were reexamined, reclaimed, and rebuilt. In the pulsating yet precarious capital of Germany’s first fledgling democracy, the collision of East and West engendered a broad spectrum of poetic styles and Jewish national identities.
Merchants’ shouts, jostling strangers, aromas of fresh fish and flowers, plodding horses, and friendly chatter long filled the narrow, crowded streets of the European city. As they developed over many centuries, these spaces of commerce, communion, and commuting framed daily life. At its heyday in the 1800s, the European street was the place where social worlds connected and collided.
Brian Ladd recounts a rich social and cultural history of the European city street, tracing its transformation from a lively scene of trade and crowds into a thoroughfare for high-speed transportation. Looking closely at four major cities—London, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna—Ladd uncovers both the joys and the struggles of a past world. The story takes us up to the twentieth century, when the life of the street was transformed as wealthier citizens withdrew from the crowds to seek refuge in suburbs and automobiles. As demographics and technologies changed, so did the structure of cities and the design of streets, significantly shifting our relationships to them. In today’s world of high-speed transportation and impersonal marketplaces, Ladd leads us to consider how we might draw on our history to once again build streets that encourage us to linger.
By unearthing the vivid descriptions recorded by amused and outraged contemporaries, Ladd reveals the changing nature of city life, showing why streets matter and how they can contribute to public life.
In Topographies of Class, Sabine Hake explores why Weimar Berlin has had such a powerful hold on the urban imagination. Approaching Weimar architectural culture from the perspective of mass discourse and class analysis, Hake examines the way in which architectural projects; debates; and representations in literature, photography, and film played a key role in establishing the terms under which contemporaries made sense of the rise of white-collar society.
Focusing on the so-called stabilization period, Topographies of Class maps out complex relationships between modern architecture and mass society, from Martin Wagner's planning initiatives and Erich Mendelsohn's functionalist buildings, to the most famous Berlin texts of the period, Alfred Döblin's city novel Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929) and Walter Ruttmann's city film Berlin, Symphony of the Big City (1927). Hake draws on critical, philosophical, literary, photographic, and filmic texts to reconstruct the urban imagination at a key point in the history of German modernity, making this the first study---in English or German---to take an interdisciplinary approach to the rich architectural culture of Weimar Berlin.
Sabine Hake is Professor and Texas Chair of German Literature and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of numerous books, including German National Cinema and Popular Cinema of the Third Reich.
Cover art: Construction of the Karstadt Department Store at Hermannplatz, Berlin-Neukölln. Courtesy Bildarchiv Preeussischer Kulturbesitz / Art Resource, NY
The Transatlantic Collapse of Urban Renewal examines how postwar thinkers from both sides of the Atlantic considered urban landscapes radically changed by the political and physical realities of sprawl, urban decay, and urban renewal. With a sweep that encompasses New York, London, Berlin, Philadelphia, and Toronto, among others, Christopher Klemek traces changing responses to the challenging issues that most affected the lives of the world’s cities.
In the postwar decades, the principles of modernist planning came to be challenged—in the grassroots revolts against the building of freeways through urban neighborhoods, for instance, or by academic critiques of slum clearance policy agendas—and then began to collapse entirely. Over the 1960s, several alternative views of city life emerged among neighborhood activists, New Left social scientists, and neoconservative critics. Ultimately, while a pessimistic view of urban crisis may have won out in the United States and Great Britain, Klemek demonstrates that other countries more successfully harmonized urban renewal and its alternatives. Thismuch anticipated book provides one of the first truly international perspectives on issues central to historians and planners alike, making it essential reading for anyone engaged with either field.
Fritzsche traces twentieth-century history through the remarkable diaries of an ordinary Berliner. Franz Göll wrote of hungry winters during WWI, the Berlin bombing, rapes by Russian soldiers, shockwaves cast by Darwin, Freud, and Einstein, the flexing of U.S. superpower, and the strange lifestyles that marked Germany's transition to modernity.
That a Jew living in Nazi Berlin survived the Holocaust at all is surprising. That he was a homosexual and a teenage leader in the resistance and yet survived is amazing. But that he endured the ongoing horror with an open heart, with love and without vitriol, and has written about it so beautifully is truly miraculous. This is Gad Beck’s story.
As sites of continual change and transformation, cities are fundamentally forgetful places. Yet at the same time, urban areas are also homes to museums and archives that collect and exhibit the past-a key cultural, political, and economic activity. This book looks at that paradox through the example of Berlin to see how the city has responded to challenges to memory created by rapid changes in politics, economics, society, and the built environment, ultimately arguing that the recovery of the experience of time is central to the practices of an emergent memory culture in the contemporary city.
Around the turn of the twentieth century, Vienna and Berlin were centers of scientific knowledge, accompanied by a sense of triumphalism and confidence in progress. Yet they were also sites of fascination with urban decay, often focused on sexual and criminal deviants and the tales of violence surrounding them. Sensational media reports fed the prurient public’s hunger for stories from the criminal underworld: sadism, sexual murder, serial killings, accusations of Jewish ritual child murder—as well as male and female homosexuality.
In Violent Sensations, Scott Spector explores how the protagonists of these stories—people at society’s margins—were given new identities defined by the groundbreaking sciences of psychiatry, sexology, and criminology, and how this expert knowledge was then transmitted to an eager public by journalists covering court cases and police investigations. The book analyzes these sexual and criminal subjects on three levels: first, the expertise of scientists, doctors, lawyers, and scholars; second, the sensationalism of newspaper scandal and pulp fiction; and, third, the subjective ways that the figures themselves came to understand who they were. Throughout, Spector answers important questions about how fantasies of extreme depravity and bestiality figure into the central European self-image of cities as centers of progressive civilization, as well as the ways in which the sciences of social control emerged alongside the burgeoning emancipation of women and homosexuals.
"Schneider's characters, like Kundera's, are sentient and sophisticated figures at a time when the constraints of Communist rule persist but its energy has entirely vanished."—Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review
When the Berlin Wall was still the most tangible representation of the Cold War, Peter Schneider made this political and ideological symbol into something personal, that could be perceived on a human level, from more than one side. In Schneider's Berlin, real people cross the Wall not to defect but to quarrel with their lovers, see Hollywood movies, and sometimes just because they can't help themselves—the Wall has divided their emotions as much as it has their country.
"An honest, rich book. . . . It is one those rare books that come back at odd moments to intrude on your comfortable conclusions and easy images."—Robert Houston, Nation
“McDonough brings such passionate perspective to this amazing and heretofore largely unknown story that it’s nearly impossible to put down.” —James R. Hansen, prizewinning aerospace historian and bestselling author of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong
When Myron King of the U.S. Army Air Corps arrived in England in 1944, he fully expected to fly dangerous bombing missions over Nazi Germany. What the twenty-three-year-old lieutenant had no way of predicting, however, was that he would spend his last months in Europe entangled in a bizarre affair born of the mounting tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. Ultimately, King faced three wars: the monumental conflict between the Allies and the Third Reich, the nascent Cold War, and a personal battle with the military brass to clear his name after enduring a grossly unjust court-martial.
This book presents an engrossing account of King’s early life and wartime service as part of the 401st Bombardment Group, U.S. Eighth Air Force. As a child growing up in New York and Tennessee, he was thoroughly captivated by the young field of aviation and dreamed of becoming a pilot. Attending college when Pearl Harbor was attacked, he realized his boyhood ambition by enlisting as an Air Corps cadet. After completing flight training two years later, King and his crew flew a B-17 bomber across the Atlantic to join their fellow airmen at a base near the English village of Deenethorpe—doing their first battle not with German fighters but with a raging storm during the Greenland-to-Iceland leg of the journey.
Once settled in Great Britain, the King Crew flew twenty missions from November 1944 through February 1945. It was on their last flight to Berlin that enemy fire crippled their plane and forced them to land in Poland amid the Russian forces that were advancing on Germany from the east. There events took a decidedly strange turn as King became embroiled in an incident involving a young stowaway and the increasingly complicated relations between the United States and Stalin’s regime. Scapegoated in the episode, King would leave the Air Corps with his honorable record severely soiled—a wrong that would take years to undo.
The Wars of Myron King is more than just a rattling good true-life adventure story. Based on a wide array of published and primary sources, including trial transcripts and interviews with King, the book offers a unique view of the experience of air combat, the intertwining of politics and military justice, and the complex circumstances that inaugurated the Cold War. James Lee McDonough is professor emeritus of history at Auburn University. He is the author of ten books, including Shiloh—In Hell Before Night, Stones River—Bloody Winter in Tennessee, Chattanooga—A Death Grip on the Confederacy, War in Kentucky: From Shiloh to Perryville, and Nashville: The Western Confederacy’s Final Gamble. This is his second book on a World War II subject.