From Frankfurt it is 570 kilometers to get there. You can fly there (who still does that today?), travel by train (if the Deutsche Bahn would enable that halfway punctually and without a strike), but in the end it leads over the A4 and the A9 – and it is a journey along German-German history.
I drove the highway route in the 80s. With a 2CV in which the windshield wiper motor was broken and therefore the passenger at the side seat had to move the wiper blades with two cords in the rain. We had to cross the border zone twice and saw almost nothing on the right and left during the drive.
✳ It is normal to discover motorway signage where the lettering for Gotha and Herleshausen is recognisable as a uniform guideline in the same white letters on a blue background.
✳ It is also fascinating when you look for features of the border zone on the motorway today and can no longer find them. Are we still in Hesse or already in Thuringia?
✳ And especially nice are the stop dives along the highway into German art and literature history, which were impossible for me until 1990: Weimar, Naumburg, Merseburg, Dessau – even Potsdam!
And yet memories of the former situation in the East/West conflict were awakened when I heard the helicopter aircraft noises sleeping in a hotel bed in Charlottenburg early Sunday morning. Wolodymyr Selenskyj was in the city, in Berlin.
For me, Selenskyj stands like no other for the fragility of the balance between war and peace and for how quickly a system that was believed to be very stable can come apart at the seams.
I am impressed by his ability to find the right words and gestures in a wide variety of situations and places in such an authentic way. Exemplary crisis communication, isn’t it?
➡ And you? How do you see Berlin today at times of the “Zeitenwende” as compared to the time of the cold war?
The “Sonderzug nach Pankow”, a special train to Pankow is a famous song by Udo Lindenberg and represented today by the U2 subway line, with which I was traveling last weekend. The occasion for this was a wonderful event of the business network of the Alumni organization of the Deutsche Studienstiftung e.V. – the reason for my trip to Berlin.
If you are interested, I accompany managers in situations when difficult decisions are pending and/or need to be communicated.