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Book Talk: In Search of Berlin: The Story of a Reinvented City, John Kampfner

October 5, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

In Search of Berlin, John kampfner

Part of The Wiener Holocaust at Ninety exhibition event series.

Join us for an evening event to mark the publication of In Search of Berlin: The Story of a Reinvented City.

Ever since John Kampfner was a young journalist in Communist East Berlin, he hasn’t been able to get the city out of his mind. It is a place tortured by its past, obsessed with memories, a place where traumas are unleashed and the traumatised have gathered.

Over the past four years Kampfner has walked the length and breadth of Berlin, delving into the archives, and talking to historians and writers, architects and archaeologists. He clambers onto a fallen statue of Lenin; he rummages in boxes of early Medieval bones; he learns about the cabaret star so outrageous she was thrown out of the city.

Berlin has been a military barracks, industrial powerhouse, centre of learning, hotbed of decadence – and the laboratory for the worst experiment in horror known to man.  Now a city of refuge, it is home to 180 nationalities, and more than a quarter of the population has a migrant background. Berlin never stands still. It is never satisfied. It never believes it has the answer. But it is now the irresistible capital to which the world is gravitating.

In Search of Berlin is an 800-year story, a dialogue between past and present; it is a new way of looking at this turbulent and beguiling city on its never-ending journey of reinvention.

About the Speaker

John Kampfner is an award-winning author, broadcaster and foreign-affairs commentator. He began his career reporting from East Berlin (during the fall of the Wall) and Moscow (during the collapse of communism) for the Telegraph. After covering British politics for the Financial Times and BBC, he edited the New Statesman.

He is a regular TV and radio pundit, documentary maker and author of six previous books, including the bestselling Blair’s Wars.  His most recent book, Why the Germans Do it Better, was a top ten bestseller, Book of the Year in the GuardianEconomist and the New Statesman, and sold over 100,000 copies in all editions.

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