23. November 2023 18:30
Ever since John Kampfner was a young journalist in Communist East Berlin, he hasn’t been able to get the city out of his mind. It is a place tortured by its past, obsessed with memories, where traumas are unleashed and the traumatised gather.
Over the past four years, Kampfner has delved into the archives and talked to historians, writers, architects, and archaeologists. He clambers onto a fallen statue of Lenin; he rummages in boxes of early Medieval bones; he learns about the cabaret star so outrageous she was thrown out of the city.
Berlin has been a military barracks, industrial powerhouse, centre of learning, hotbed of decadence – and the laboratory for the worst experiment in horror known to man. Today, it is home to 180 nationalities, and more than a quarter of the population has a migrant background. Berlin is now the irresistible capital to which the world is gravitating.
In Search of Berlin is an 800-year story, a dialogue between past and present: a new way of looking at this turbulent and beguiling city on its never-ending journey of reinvention.
The event will be introduced by Claudia M. Melisch, M.A., Archaeologist & Assessor at the Association for the History of Berlin e.V. and chaired by Dr Rupert Graf Strachwitz, Vice-Chairman, Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft.
The event will be followed by a small reception. You will be able to purchase the book at the event, as well as having it signed by the author.
John Kampfner is an award-winning author, broadcaster and foreign-affairs commentator. He began his career reporting from East Berlin (during the fall of the Wall) and Moscow (during the collapse of communism) for the Telegraph. After covering British politics for the Financial Times and BBC, he edited the New Statesman. He is a regular TV and radio pundit, documentary maker and author of six previous books, including the bestselling Blair’s Wars. His most recent book, Why the Germans Do it Better, was a top ten bestseller, Book of the Year in the Guardian, Economist and the New Statesman, and sold over 100,000 copies in all editions.
John frequently attends the Königswinter Conferences and has been (co-)chairing the Young Königswinter Conference since 2022.
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