“A unique parallel between a young girl’s life in an uncompromising family and the tensions mounting on both sides of the Berlin Wall as she finds a way to freedom. A remarkable journey.”

—Zohreh Ghahremani, Author of Sky of Red Poppies

Walled-In

In her memoir, Walled-In, J. Elke Ertle shares what it was like to grow up in West Berlin, Germany, during the aftermath of World War II, a time when the city was divided into American, British, French, and Soviet occupation sectors. Initially, forty percent of all structures in the city were destroyed. There was little food or shelter. Many died, but Elke’s family survives. • READ MOREDOWNLOAD A FREE EXCERPT

About the author, J. Elke Ertle

J. Elke Ertle was born and raised in West Berlin following World War II, a time when the city was the focus of an escalating Cold War between East and West. During the first twenty-one years of her life, she lived with her mother and father in the British sector of the city and was known by her first name, Jutta. READ MORE

Living History with J. Elke Ertle on YouTube

J. Elke Ertle shared her eye witness recollections of President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 Berlin visit in a conversation with Stephen Fagin, Associate Curator, Sixth Floor Museum at Daley Plaza, Dallas Texas. The Museum’s Living History Series recognizes Kennedy’s life, assassination and legacy.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lCh0uFDtm4

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Pride likes competition

21/07/2014   |   No Comments »

Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man… It is the comparison that makes you proud, the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.

–C.S. Lewis

 

 

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One Brit’s Take on 2014 World Cup

17/07/2014   |   No Comments »

Germany defeated Argentina 1:0 on Sunday when Mario Götze scored the game-winning goal at the 113th minute. This was the first time a European team has won the Word Cup in a tournament played in the Americas. German fans are thrilled. The Brits on the other hand–their team defeated early in the 2014 World Cup competition–have a slightly different take on this year’s tournament. Simon Winder, author of “Germania: a Personal History of Germans Ancient and Modern, compares England and Germany to rivaling siblings in an article published in the British newspaper, “The Telegraph”.

Mario Götze (right) scored game-winning goal at the 2014 World Cup tournament

Mario Götze (right) scored game-winning goal in the 2014 World Cup tournament

Dysfunctional twins?

Wilder portrays Britain’s 2:1 defeat by Uruguay as a devastating blow to the British Psyche. He points out that Uruguay is a country with a population barely twice that of England’s County of Essex. Germany, Britain’s neighbor across the North Sea on the other hand, won the World Cup. Wilder goes on to draw a parallel between the World Cup competition and the economic competition between the two countries. He writes, “I have always felt that Britain and Germany are like dysfunctional twins, with a mass of shared values but quite different life experiences. It has always been Britain that has (in its own estimation) been the “good twin” whereas Germany is the ‘bad twin’”, or even the ‘evil twin’. The World Cup gives us a chilling new possibility: could Germany now be ‘the twin that has done well for himself’, while Britain has become ‘the twin that took the poor life decisions’?” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10957770/Lets-learn-to-love-Germany.html. Wilder concludes by writing, “Let’s learn to love Germany. We [England] are constantly buffeted by our political leaders into a view that Britain has no choice in the face of the icy wind of globalization – that we need to accept deteriorating conditions for workers, 24-hour-a-day shopping, an intrusive security state, centralized government and massive inequalities of wealth, as though these are things that we can no more object to than to the weather. And yet here is Germany, just across the North Sea, with an economy getting on for 50 per cent larger than our own, which by almost any measure effortlessly contradicts these assertions.” I think Germans would be proud to hear of Wilder’s musings. Having been weighted down for so long by its recent dark past, Germany has worked hard to prove to the world that it can and wants to be a peaceful nation and a good neighbor. It has also successfully managed its own economic havoc following reunification and now produced a remarkable soccer team.

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