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The turbulent history of a mythical metropolis

Berlin. Life in a Divided City

Piet de Moor

Central Europe fascinates Piet de Moor. In ‘Twilight Country. Voices from Central Europe’, he searched for the remains of a world that had been mercilessly devastated by the Nazis and the Communists. In addition, by reading books and speaking with their authors, he tried to get a handle on what life under a dictatorship is like. This time, in ‘Berlin. Life in a Divided City’, he goes in search of the soul of the mythical metropolis, a city that suffered like no other during the violent history of the 20th century.

With his talent for well-balanced, focused writing, De Moor now occupies an unrivalled position within Dutch-language literature.

Using information from diaries, novels and eyewitness accounts, De Moor manages to paint a fascinating picture of Berlin, from Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

How did the Nazis poison the bustling life of the city? Which communist absurdities were the residents of East Berlin confronted with in the GDR? How did the city transform after ‘die Wende’? Piet de Moor has a keen eye for the divisions that characterise life in the city, for the way in which the contradictions of the 20th century manifest themselves in day-to-day life. The result is an informative and kaleidoscopic book that is truly worth reading.