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Berlin! Berlin! Dispatches from the Weimar Republic

Berlin! Berlin! Dispatches from the Weimar Republic

By Kurt Tucholsky
Translated by Cindy Opitz

"In reading Berlin! Berlin!, that place and time in history becomes something universal. Berlin is today and now. . . . the complacent mainstream media, the absurdity of war, the disappearance of the middle class . . . Ambrose Bierce, H.L. Mencken and Mark Twain are the names for writers on a level with Tucholsky."—Ragazine, Art, Information & Entertainment

Berlin! Berlin! is a satirical selection from the man with the "acid pen and the perfect pitch for hypocrisy,” as New York author and Tucholsky-expert Peter Wortsman writes. This book is a complete collection of Tucholsky’s news stories, features, satirical pieces, and poems about his hometown Berlin. It depicts Weimar Berlin, its cabarets, its policies, its follies, its ticks, and its celebrities, such as Pola Negri, Claire Waldoff, Bertold Brecht, Max Reinhardt, or Heinrich Zille. The book contains some of Tucholsky’s most famous pieces, among them Berlin! Berlin!, a feature of the stereotypical Berliner on the phone, on vacation or doing “bizness”, more than one satirical biography of the author himself, and some of his most famed stories such as where the holes in the cheese come from, or about the lion who escaped the Berlin zoo. Herr Wendriner, the chatty Berlin businessman makes an appearance, as well as Lottchen, the flapper, modelled after one of Tucholsky’s real-life gilrfriends.

The foreword was written by Anne Nelson, the author of The Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler. Ian King, the distinguished chair of the Kurt-Tucholsky-Society and a former professor of German in London and Sheffield, who wrote his PhD on Tucholsky and is the co-editor of Volume 3 of Tucholsky’s Complete Works provided a biographical introduction. “His writings still have lessons for us today,” King writes, “that a man who might have preferred to write idylls, humorous pieces and unpolitical verse instead devoted his life to fighting against injustice and arguing passionately against the addiction to military uniforms which afflicted too many of his compatriots.”

This collection of Tucholsky’s stories, with many pictures of the old and the new Berlin has never been published in America—or in English—before. This book will hopefully help to rediscover the famed writer in the United States.

198 pages
Berlinica Publishing, 2013
0.4 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
ISBN 9781935902201
Journalism, History

$16.00 $16.00