“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 finds a way to freedom. A remarkable journey.”

—Zohreh Ghahremani, Author of Sky of Red Poppies

Walled-In

Surrounded by the stone-and-mortar Berlin Wall and trapped behind equally insurmountable parental walls, a young girl breaks free and seeks independence far from home. I was that girl. Walled-In is my memoir. It is the story of the first 21 years of my life, growing up in West Berlin during the Cold War when the city was divided into American, British, French, and Soviet occupation sectors.

• 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.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lCh0uFDtm4

J. Elke Ertle read from her book, “Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom.” It is the story of how she learned English, entitled, “English according to Herr Kraschinski.”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIG8iroo4_mio5N8XFdwuyg

Leave a Reply

 


Berlin Brandenburg Airport – A Sisyphus project?

19/02/2018   |   No Comments »

The Berlin Brandenburg Airport was supposed to open in November 2011. After many setbacks, the most recent opening is slated for the end of 2019 at the earliest. https://www.thelocal.de/20170831/berlin-airport-to-open-at-end-of-2019-at-the-earliest-report/. In the meantime, Berlin’s new International airport has turned into a modern-day Sisyphus project. In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was condemned to roll a huge boulder uphill, only to watch it roll back down every time he neared the top of the mountain. Given legendary German efficiency, what happened?

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, still closed as of February 2018. www.walled-in-berlin.com

Berlin Brandenburg Airport, still closed as of February 2018. www.walled-in-berlin.com

Berlin Brandenburg Airport opening delays

In 2006, construction of Berlin Brandenburg Airport began. Grand Opening was slated for October 2011. But the projected opening had to be delayed due to bankruptcy of the construction planning company. A new date was set for June 2012. This time, it was going to be the real thing. Everything was ready to go. As the new opening date drew close, airlines, shops and restaurants prepared for the grand opening. A logistics plan was put into place for moving infrastructure from the old airport to the new. RBB (Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg) prepared for 24-hour live coverage of the move. The first departure was scheduled. But less than four weeks before the move, the opening was postponed again. Since then, the airport opening date has been pushed back numerous times with no definite end in sight.

June 2012 projected opening delayed. Reason: Major technical difficulties, including the fact the new terminal had not passed the fire safety and smoke exhaust systems checks. A new opening date scheduled for March 2013.

March 2013 projected opening delayed. Reason: More construction flaws. Change in airport management. New opening date scheduled for late October 2013.

Late October 2013 projected opening delayed. Reason: More of the same. The airport authority announced that the opening would be further delayed without citing a specific opening date. 2014 at the earliest, possibly not until 2015. http://www.walled-in-berlin.com/j-elke-ertle/berlin-brandenburg-airport-delayed-again/

2014 and 2015 projected openings delayed. Reason: Safety issues, permit expirations, corruption, mismanagement, another change in airport management. Berlin Brandenburg is not expected to open before 2016 or 2017. http://www.walled-in-berlin.com/j-elke-ertle/berlin-brandenburg-airport-boondoggle/

2017 projected opening delayed. Reason: More technical issues, Approval of the underground station did not occur in time.

The real cause for the Berlin Brandenburg Airport delays

Apparently, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport construction was plagued by too make cooks stoking the fire. Three different entities were in charge, but none had complete oversight. As a result, major technical issues went unnoticed or were ignored; there were many personnel changes, but none addressed the actual problem. In the meantime, workers and contractors took advantage and lined their own pockets. Corruption and financial issues plagued the project. With each postponement, the Sisyphus’s airport project rolled down the hill again.

Compare the Berlin Brandenburg Airport fiasco to the Berlin Stadtschloss reconstruction. http://www.walled-in-berlin.com/j-elke-ertle/stadtschloss-berlin-reconstruction/ and http://www.walled-in-berlin.com/j-elke-ertle/berliner-stadtschloss-to-humboldt-forum/  Although the Stadtschloss project has another year to go until the planned opening, to date, it is on target in terms of time and budget. https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/berlin/-die-schloss-eroeffnung-wird-2019-sein–23793604 In the Stadtschloss reconstruction project, only one entity was in charge, the “Stiftung Berliner Schloss.”

 

For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of http://www.walled-in-berlin.com. Walled-In is my story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting out of the rat race

15/02/2018   |   No Comments »

Sure, it’s nice to get out of the rat race, but then you have to learn to get along with less cheese.

— Anonymous

If you want to get out of the rat race, you have to learn to get along with less cheese. www.walled-in-berlin.com

If you want to get out of the rat race, you have to learn to get along with less cheese. www.walled-in-berlin.com

 

For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of http://www.walled-in-berlin.com Walled-In is my story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.