“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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See the “Lichtgrenze” in Berlin in Fall

31/07/2014   |   No Comments »

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, take a trip to Berlin, Germany, later this year to see the Lichtgrenze (border of lights). Lichtgrenze is an artistic light project that will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism. At a cost of just under €2 million, the State of Berlin, in collaboration with Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH will place 8,000 illuminated balloons along the route of the former wall. The installation will be funded with lottery money.

Visualization of the LICHTGRENZE © Kulturprojekte Berlin_WHITEvoid / Christopher Bauder, Foto: Daniel Büche

Visualization of the LICHTGRENZE © Kulturprojekte Berlin_WHITEvoid / Christopher Bauder, Foto: Daniel Büche

2014 Fall of the Wall Celebrations

The Berlin Wall divided the city for nearly thirty years. It tumbled on 9 November 1989. Twenty-five years later, Berlin has transformed into a vibrant metropolis. Throughout 2014, locals and visitors can enjoy special lectures, movies, concerts, exhibitions and readings. But the high point of the celebrations will be the Lichtgrenze during the weekend of November 8 and 9. The installation will trace the path of the Wall over a stretch of approximately 8 miles in the city center. It will run from the Bornholmer Straße to the Oberbaumbrûcke, past the Mauerpark, along the Berlin Wall Memorial on the Bernauer Straße up to the Brandenburg Gate, across the Potsdamer Platz to Checkpoint Charlie, and finally to the East Side Gallery. An accompanying open-air exhibition will take a closer look at the division, the peaceful revolution, and the ultimate fall of the Wall. http://www.berlin.de/mauerfall2014/en/lichtgrenze/.

Release of Balloons

On the night of November 9, the helium-filled balloons will be released into the sky at five spots in the city center to commemorate the opening of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago. The release will represent “a symbol of hope for a world without walls” and will follow a countdown, played by the Staatskapelle Berlin and conducted by Daniel Barenboim. A public party at the Brandenburg Gate will then round off the celebrations.

Lichtgrenze’s installation inspired by two brothers

Lichtgrenze is the brain child of two brothers: Christopher and Marc Bauder. Christopher, born in 1973, is an interaction designer and media artist. He focuses on the translation of digital information into objects and environments and vice versa. Marc, born in 1974, has produced and directed many award-winning documentaries for television and cinema. Both live and work in Berlin. For additional information, visit http://www.mauer.visitberlin.de.

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The Importance of Smiles

28/07/2014   |   No Comments »

Smiles are sunshine for the human psyche.

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