A audience of western Berliners collect during the Berlin Wall while a east german soldier patrols on the other hand, August 1961. Photograph: Paul Schutzer/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Photos
This 1963 debut novel established Wolf’s reputation in eastern German literature. Set during 1961, whenever construction associated with the Berlin Wall started, the story relies around two enthusiasts divided by it: Rita Seidel, a female inside her very early 20s whom, just like the author, generally speaking supports the values associated with “antifascist” GDR, and Manfred Herrfurth, a chemist whom settles when you look at the western. The book is saturated with the atmosphere of the newly partitioned city although the Wall is not specifically mentioned in the novel. Though Wolf would carry on to publish works that have been way more critical for the regime, They Divided the Sky does not shy far from exposing the cracks and corruption when you look at the communist system.
A road in Kreuzberg, Berlin. Photograph: Claire Carrion/Alamy
The 2nd guide of the trilogy by Turkish-German journalist, star and manager Sevgi Ozdamar, this semi-autobiographical work appears at life in Germany through the viewpoint of a teenage gastarbeiter (guest worker) within the 1960s and 70s. The narrator, that has kept Turkey having lied about her age, learns German while involved in menial jobs to make cash for drama school. A sepia-toned snapshot of western Berlin, the guide mostly centres around Kreuzberg, a hub for Turkish immigrants, and features regional landmarks, including the bombed-out Anhalter Bahnhof as well as the Hebbel Theatre , both of that are nevertheless standing. Moreover it is targeted on artistically minded socialists and pupils, the casual fascist exile from Greece, and real-life activities such as the shooting of Benno Ohnesorg by way of a policeman at a protest march in 1967, an outrage that sparked the left-wing German student motion. Continue reading