A »Complicated Contrivance«. West Berlin behind the Wall, 1971–1989

  • Writing in the 1960s, the novelist and essayist Wallace Stegner insisted that the postwar history of Berlin cried out for epic literary treatment: "The great book on Berlin is going to be a sort of Iliad, a story that dramatizes a power struggle in terms of the men who waged it." Indeed, the experience of Germany's once and future capital after 1945 is full of high drama and powerful personalities, from Stalin and Truman to Ernest Bevin, Lucius Clay, Ernst Reuter, Willy Brandt, Walter Ulbricht, John F, Kennedy, and the "daring young men” who flew the Airlift in 1948—49. Berlin seemed to be the epicenter of the Cold War, the site of superpower confrontation, of “wars of nerves,” of America’s “finest hour," the place where two competing political, economic, and cultural systems collided and competed spectacularly. After August 1961 it was the site of the Wall, that grisly and constant reminder of the abnormal division of the world and of a great city.

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Author:David Edward BarclayGND
Parent Title (English):Walls, Bounders, Boundaries. Spatial and Cultural Practices in Europe
Place of publication:New York
Editor:Marc Silberman, Karen E. Till, Janet Ward
Document Type:Part of a Book
Date of Publication (online):2016/01/25
Year of first Publication:2012
Publishing Institution:Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam (ZZF) - Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam (ZZF)
Release Date:2016/01/25
First Page:113
Last Page:130
Studies in Contemporary History: Materials:2/2014 West-Berlin 2/2014
Licence (German):License LogoMit freundlicher Genehmigung des jeweiligen Autors / Verlags für Online-Ausgabe der Zeitschrift Zeithistorische Forschungen