Berlin

When I was a brat I read Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo about 6 times. That’s why I’ll never take a milligram of heroin, I’m too much frightened. Terrified. Shocked – yes, “shocked” is the word I needed, because if you read Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo about 6 times when you’re about 8 years old, you’re teaching yourself the way you’re going to feel the world. But “teaching” isn’t correct, I’d prefer bilden – and Angst instead of “terrified”.
Berlin has been a collapsed city before the WWII, and ghosts of its dead shape follow me in my dreams; it’s been (half of it) the DDR-city – and DDR makes me frightened much more than the entire Holocaust (“Why do you study Holocaust?” “It’s less distressing than DDR.”); it’s the motherland of Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo; so, I wonder why the hell that city is so interesting to me.

The name Berlin, which is pronounced /bɚˈlɪn/ in English and /bɛɐˈliːn/ in German, is of unknown origin, but may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl- “swamp”.

I should study German phonetics, yeah. And DDR, yeah. I’m studying German history for the fourth time, but I can’t spend my life studying Friedrich II, Bismarck and NSDAP. Sooner or later I should face DDR – with its boring buildings, boring clothes, few boring brand names, distressing boring things that are distressing beacuse still there.

3 comments

  1. Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo

    I have never read the book (nor do I have the intention to do so) but I have seen the movie and I must say that seeing the movie is enough to make you think and not only that!!

    1. Re: Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo

      When I was that brat, like every curios brat, I wandered in my house, nosing around, searching for something interesting. Like every curios brat, I chose inappropriate things. 😛

      The book is less melodramatic, more cynical. The movie tries to be this way when it shows needles, the wasted face of Christiane and so on. But, being a movie, it’s short: you’ve no time to feel the downward spiral that slowly knocks hopes down.

      1. Re: Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo

        When I saw Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo I was no brat but it was about 15 or 20 years ago. I still remember some scenes as though it was yesterday such as here exagerated thinness and her bright pink boa, when she took her first dose in the bathroom “helped” by an elder, and when she prostituted herself and then got angry because her boyfriend did the same. Tough stuff!!

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