Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Die Mauer -The Wall (WAY MORE ABOUT BERLIN!)

Here's a remarkable and thorough site. (Select your language of choice.)


There doesn't seem to be much about divided (and finally mended) Berlin that can't be found on this site.

For instance, a fairly recent book ("Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee," by Thomas Brussig, 1999; which then in 2000, became a popular film, by Ulf Zimmermann), was written about life on the easternmost tip of the very long Avenue in Berlin named SONNENALLEE (Sunny Avenue). To the protagonist's way of thinking, this geographical tip seemed to have been snipped off from the rest of Sunny Avenue, and tucked, seemingly inadvertently, into the East Zone.

In the book, this resident "At the Bottom End of Sunny Avenue" contemplates how very different his life, and the lives of his friends, might have been, if only, for instance (while British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, along with Roosevelt, and Stalin, were dividing up Berlin), Sir Winston had paid just a little more attention to his own cigar. As it was, speculates the protagonist, Stalin, motivated surely by the cheerful sound of the Avenue's name, must have ingratiated himself to Sir Winston by relighting his cigar, to the point of generating the nudge needed, to permit the new boundaries drawn in Berlin to be given that particular jog. (Why not?)

I was thrilled to learn on this website, that one of the 8 border crossings in Berlin was named SONNENALLEE. From there, finding the neighborhood "At the Bottom End of SONNENALLEE" was a very simple matter.

--> Can you find the short end of "Sunny Avenue," too?
--> If so, can you imagine living there during the divided years? (Do you agree, there probably due simply to its geography, there could be a wealth of material for a book?)
--> If you were to conjure up a character from this neighborhood to write about, who might it be?

--> WHAT ELSE PIQUES YOUR CURIOUSITY on this amazing site? (Please share!)

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