“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
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 MORE • DOWNLOAD 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.
18/08/2014 | No Comments »
As a rule, you will find that those who complain about the way the ball bounces are usually the ones who dropped it.
14/08/2014 | No Comments »
For decades, summers in Germany have attracted scores of nude bathers to beaches, parks and lakes. Between eight and twelve million Germans enjoy clothes-free sunbathing, says French geographer Emmanuel Jaurand, author of “A comparative study on the naked cult in Germany.” One reason for the desire to go naked is that German summers tend to be short, and sun worshippers want to assure an all-over bronze tan. Another is the longing to reconnect with nature. Foreign tourists are often caught by surprise when they take a stroll through a park and suddenly bump into a man or a woman in the buff.
The first Freikörperkultur club, FKK for short and literally translated “free body culture,” was established in Essen, Germany, as far back as 1898. Two years later, a number of Swedish bathhouses sprung up in Berlin and at the North and Baltic seas. The first nude beach in Germany was established in 1920 on the island of Sylt. Freikörperkultur still endorses a naturalistic approach to sports and community living. Nude bathers enjoy the experience of reconnecting with nature without sexual connotation.
Declining FKK membership
Despite the German love for clothes-free sunbathing, membership in FKK clubs has decreased by about 2% per year since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The clubs’ largest contingent is currently 50 to 60 years old. Members under 25 have become rare. However, the decline in membership does not seem to connote a decrease in the German affinity for nude bathing in public. It only seems to indicate that nude bathers prefer to do so without the constraints of club membership. In fact, nude hiking is the newest wave. The first German “nude hiking trail” was established in 2010.
The 2014 Expedia Flip Flop Report examines the most prevalent joys and anxieties among beachgoers worldwide. The study was conducted among 11,165 adults 18 years of age and older, across 24 countries on five continents. For the third year running, Germans were the likeliest to be nude bathers. However, this year – for the first time – Austrians tied their German peers.