REVIEW by Chris Moss

NWR Issue 106

Berlin: Imagine a City

by Rory MacLean

We love to respond with shock, disdain – and occasionally, delight – to how our respective home cities are evolving: London’s morphing from melting pot to bloated banking ghetto; Cardiff’s swapping of industry for flatpack gentrification; Edinburgh, the sometime gay mecca, drug den and fringe city, now a tartan touristopolis.

But Berlin’s convulsions make these changes seem petty and parochial. Between 1900 and 2000 it became the third most populous city in Europe (during the 1920s and 30s) before shedding half of that population. It was the capital of Hitler’s ‘1000-year Reich’, and then the Fuhrer’s rat-hole and eventual tomb. It was bombed to near-oblivion and divided to become the front line in the Cold War. It is now the capital of Europe’s most powerful economy, while only the fifth city in Germany in terms of GDP and home to fewer people than Athens – which it recently bailed out, or bullied into austerity, depending on your take on events post-2008.

Rory MacLean, who has lived off and on in Berlin since the 1970s, begins his story in the fifteenth century..

Want to read the full article? Go to our online shop where you can buy an individual issue or take out a subscription to NWR, saving £3.98 on the cover price. Prices start at £16.99 for three issues via Direct Debit, including p+p (UK only).

Buy this book at gwales.com



       


previous review: Carnival China: China in the Era of Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping
next review: Other People's Countries: A Journey into Memory



KEEP IN TOUCH















A brief note on copyright:all authors have given permission for their work to appear online on New Welsh Review's website. Copyright remains with the author. If you wish to reproduce part or all of any article then the permission of the author must be sought, and the author and New Welsh Review credited accordingly.

Contact us:Registered Office PO Box 170, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1WZ - Telephone 00 (44) 1970 628410 admin@newwelshreview.com
© New Welsh Review Ltd, all rights reserved - Registered in England and Wales - Registered number: 02493828
Website design: mach2media and mopublications      Website development: Technoleg Taliesin Cyf.

Administration