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New Europe

Day One Hundred and Twenty-one: Berlin

Eastie and Westie 
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In a Kreuzberg doorway. Olaf and Jörg who acted out Germany's tortured post-war history for me. And managed to make me laugh.
Michael Palin - New EuropeTwo hundred people from the East were shot trying to cross the Berlin Wall, and there were around 1,000 casualties along the rest of the border.

Jörg and Olaf have some good insights.

Jörg, as Westie: 'In my country we think of war as something resembling a natural catastrophe. We don't do it ourselves. It just happens to us.'

Their dialogue also deals with painful issues currently facing Berliners, like the controversy over the number of memorials and who should be remembered.

'The country that started both world wars has a very strong tradition in memorial sites. There will be a memorial for all the nations suffering in war.'

'All dead soldiers.'

'All the Jews that have been murdered.'

'All the Roma Gypsies that have been murdered.'

'Homosexuals, deserters.'

'Civilians killed by bombs.'

'SS soldiers killed by partisans.'

'Them too?'

'Yes, of course. Democratic memorial.'
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  • Series: New Europe
  • Chapter: Day One Hundred and Twenty-one: Berlin
  • Country/sea: Germany
  • Place: Berlin
  • Book page no: 281

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