Something I made a note of.
Maybe, I should start by saying, that the first time I set foot in Berlin was in August 2007. Based on a recommendation. You will like it, she said.
So I went on a package tour for 3 days and ended up in a small hotel, Hotel Air, not far from Kurfürstendamm. Old west side.
The reason for the trip was that I was about arranging a photo summit in June 2008. I needed to do preparations for that. Finding the right busses, the good hotels, the restaurants, the U and S bahns. And so forth.
Good preparations make for better executions.
Later, I started reading about Berlin and asked around in different bookshop for historical literature about the city and surroundings. Here is what I noted: Most books about Berlin, or about northern Germany for that matter, are written by foreigners. Very, very few that I could find, by Germans.
Here are some of the titles: Peter Watson: The German Genius (this book is brilliant); David Clay Large: Berlin; Frederick Taylor: The Berlin Wall; Anthony Beevor; Berlin The Downfall 1945; Roger Moorhouse: Berlin At War; Ian Kershaw: The End.
Plus many others.
I seemed to me that if Germans want to read about themselves they largely have to rely on foreigners to do so. Strange, I though, in this nation of constant readers. For me very convenient since I read English better than I, assisted by a dictionary, read German.
I am not saying that my experience is representative, but even in the larger bookshops in Berlin, they could confirm this tendency.
Why is this relevant here? I will tell you in another post. Something interesting is about to happen. It sheds lights both on The Secret Mission and On Every Street: The Academy.
You have to stay tuned. Today is Sunday and I smell moules marinières. The French way.
I am off.
© Knut Skjærven