Access Berlin as it used to be through a virtual world : http://www.twinity.com/en/wall (registration is free of charge).

Watch the video of the “Virtual Wall Museum” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p1z2B9SeRk


(“The little Cross-border Traffic”)



Berlin, end of July 1937

Karl wrote from London to invite me to go and meet him, mid-August, in Salzburg. The directors of the Salzburg festival, who want him as scene designer for next year, have invited him. This year he’s been invited to watch some performances and been given two tickets for each play. It’s been a long time since I went to the theatre, so I decided to go and start the journey.
Since Salzburg is in Austria and I have to cross the border, I mustn’t forget to change currency. Who wants to go abroad in this period – we can take at most ten German Marks a month, unless a particular authorization is issued. Well, I’ve calculated this mathematically and without mistakes, I can spend exactly 33,3333 cents a day (33,333333 cents to be more precise) as a month is composed of thirty days. This is a paltry amount! It’s essential that I apply for the authorization to take more money with me. I’ll dictate it this very day to my cousin and I’ll send it.





This book tells about the journey by an 18 year old in 1933-1934 overland from the Hook of Holland to Hungary, rewritten in old age from long lost notes. The author effortlessly interweaves anecdote, history and culture in this exuberant account of a walk as a young man across Europe, so it can be considered a perfect example of StoryTelling.

Outtake from the book

"The lanes opened on the Boompjes, a long quay lined with trees and capstans, and this in its turn gave on a wide arm of the Maas and an infinity of dim ships. Gulls mewed and wheeled overhead and dipped into the lamplight, scattering their small footprints on the muffled cobblestones and settled in the rigging of the anchored boats in little explosions of snow. The cafés and seamen’s taverns which lay back from the quay were all closed except one which showed a promising line of light. A shutter went up and a stout man in clogs opened a glass door, deposited a tabby on the snow and, turning back, began lighting a stove inside. The cat went in again at once; I followed it and the ensuing fried eggs and coffee, ordered by signs, were the best I had ever eaten.
I made a second long entry in my journal - it was becoming a passion - and while the landlord polished his glasses and cups and arranged them in glittering ranks, dawn broke, with the snow still coming down against the lightening sky. I put on my greatcoat, slung the rucksack, grasped my stick and headed for the door. The landlord asked where I was going: I said: “Constantinople.” His brows went up and he signaled to me to wait: then he set out two small glasses and filled them with transparent liquid from a long stone bottle. We clinked them; he emptied his at one gulp and I did the same. With his wishes for godspeed in my ears and an internal bonfire of Bols and a hand smarting from his valedictory shake, I set off. It was the formal start of my journey."