Friday, 11 September 2009

Berlin meine Liebe

Planning another short trip to Berlin right now, I endured a whole series of flashbacks, connected with my stays in this city. Fascination, that begun with the reading of Christiane F way too early (around 12 years old) and culminated, when I came there first time around 17 with my high school friends, already residing in Kreuzberg, that has become my usual shelter there (and two times - Friedrischein, around Warschauer Strasse, a place and flat I will never forget for some reasons), since then I tend to visit the city upon Spree at least once a year.

I always nearly unconsciously tended to keep a certain degree of distance to the whole myth of Berlin, perhaps because the very exquisite looks of the city, its scales, distances, architecture – one may say a richer, more spectacular and happier version of my city, Warsaw. I hated the resentimental element in that, but I couldn’t restrain a little cramp within the heart (or sometimes not so little), when I observed the fantastic, unchallenged pace of Berlin’s investments, constructions and apparent flourishing, having in mind, how Warsaw could have looked like, if it wasn’t completely devastated by Germans after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. But that cramp lasted only a little while, being quickly repressed by the overwhelming fascination and great admiration for the cityscapes & legends Berlin offers.

Since I started to come there, I sucked in completely – music, people, places, with the special space reserved for music, as Berlin was the nearest city, where I could go to a concert of the bands I cherished: Pixies, Blonde Redhead, Sonic Youth, to name few. Along went the explorations of the city’s psychogeography. Watching Berlin Alexanderplatz, a Doblin Weimar era masterpiece adapted by Fassbinder and Ulrike Ottinger’s films, like Bildnis einer Trinkerin (Ticket of no Return) and Freak Orlando especially, I developed a special relation with the city. During a long walk to Treptower Park, with its Soviet Soldiers Memorial monumental park complex last very freezy winter, and then learning about an analogical, though smaller in scale, mausoleum in Warsaw, I felt a real connection with the place for the first time.

This is just to begin something like a series on German music here I’m planning at the moment. Only because I started to correspond with Anja Huwe, an ex-Xmal Deutschland singer lately, I just dig through a considerable amount of her clips at YT and will definitely scribble something around it in the near future. The dreamy atmosphere I announced in my statement will surely mark it.


  1. I remember my friends bitching how Mitte is being gentrified and being transformed into a place where only "salarymen and models run around". Still, in Berlin (which was also heavily destroyed in '45) even architectural barbarisms and style clashes are somewhat more palatable than in Warsaw.

  2. of course Berlin was totally devastated, but not as quite much as Warsaw; and Warsaw was the only city I know, that remained empty for couple of months (between October '44 and January'45, after Germans burned everything that was not burned during the Uprising). I of course should have add this to my note, but mind it's my very beginning:) still, thanks for yur remark!