In Berlin, Remaking The City Can Rekindle Old Frictions : NPR

Cultural, personal and historical memory lives in the landscape. In East Berlin the architecture of communism is being obliterated. Healthy rebuilding or  cultural violence? What do we lose
and what do we preserve?


About Kate Wilson

I am an associate professor of history at Georgia State University, where I teach public history, immigration/ethnic history, oral history, and material culture. My current research focuses on the impact of ethnic communities on the urban cultural landscape, and the representation of immigration in public history contexts. My book, Ethnic Renewal in Philadelphia's Chinatown: Space, Place and Struggle, was published by Temple University Press in April 2015.
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2 Responses to In Berlin, Remaking The City Can Rekindle Old Frictions : NPR

  1. It pains me when I see the “old” cleared to make way for the new. I understand “progress” is inevitable and that, sometimes, structures are beyond saving but a little bit of what places are goes away with the structures. I see that every day in Atlanta, where I have lived for 30 years. The former Lefont Garden Hills movie theater is on the list of places that will soon go. Granted, it may not be an architectural jewel but its disappearance and replacement by -likely- some bland mass building of retail or apartments will being eroding away at the memory of how that part of Peachtree St. used to be. Is it worth saving for nostalgia’s sake or are future generations not going to care anyway about “how things used to be”?

  2. whoistelling says:

    Berlin is an interesting city. It was contained, both physically and mentally, for so long that post ’89 there was an explosion of energy within the population. This showed itself in many ways one of which was construction. For so long the western side had viewed the eastern side with sympathy. They could not travel, access to goods was extremely limited etc. Once The Wall came down the mentality of the West’s superiority was forty plus years in the making. It was unimaginable that there was anything of value to be saved. Now after 25 years, there has begun a conversation challenging that mindset. This mindset that what we have today is superior to anything built before is not uncommon in the US but is somewhat surprising in Europe. But Berlin is a unique city.

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