Berlin Achtung - South Africa

In 2012 I came to Berlin on a research fellowship as part of a project I was writing about the English-speaking world's understanding of the left wing terrorist Ulrike Marie Meinhof.  What was meant to be a contained three months of researching and writing instead brought me crashing into the midst of the foreign planet that was Berlin, and I fell vertiginously in love with the city and the stories of its past.  Returning to South Africa, in mourning for Berlin, I tried to articulate some of the magic of my time in the city for a South African audience.  In this article is all my sometimes naive and ardent early adoration of the city, and some thoughts about my own country.  My understanding of both South Africa and Berlin has changed since then, but the article is a kind of love letter, fumbling towards an understanding of the meaning of Berlin for me, and a marker at the outset of a journey I am happily still on. (Lauren)


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