The last century of Berlin's history is truly dizzying. The capital of the doomed German Empire was in a state of near civil war following the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the 1920s would see Berlin emerge as the European capital of LGBTIQ nightlife and experimental art - yet would also be characterized by the hyperinflation and political chaos that propelled Hitler to power in 1933. By the end of World War II, Berlin was barely intact - and the linens had hardly been washed after the Potsdam Conference before the tenuous marriage of convenience between the wartime Allies ended in disaster. By 1961, West Berlin was encircled by the Wall whose scar runs through the city to this day. And yet, following the Cold War, Berlin has regenerated itself once more: into one of the most vibrant and exciting metropolises in the world.
During our interactive conversation, participants will receive a crash course in Berlin's most beloved boroughs: Mitte (downtown, where the classic sites are to be found); Charlottenburg (the genteel leisure quarter); Prenzlauer Berg (a once-dilapidated and now delightful neighborhood in East Berlin); Schoeneberg (the Gay quarter replete with galleries and antique stores); and Kreuzberg (the ever-gentrifying Turkish quarter). We will learn about how Napoleon stole Berlin's most famous statue, the Quadriga atop the Brandenburg Gate; where Marlene Dietrich grew up; how JFK made a legendary grammatical slip; where Annie Oakley nearly shot the German Emperor, and an awful lot more. Our guide will provide an overview of the must-sees, which of Berlin's 170 museums shouldn't be missed, and how to eat, drink and interact as the locals do. You'll have ample opportunity to ask whichever questions are on your mind when it comes to this intoxicating city - whether you are planning a trip here, or are simply fascinated by Berlin.
Led by an expert on German history, adoptive Berliner, and city guide since 2008, Dr. Finn Ballard, this Conversation will help you master this enormous (and enormously complex) city. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the European capital of the 20th century. For additional learning on the topic of Berlin's history, we encourage reading 'Berlin: Imagine a City' by Rory Maclean.
About Your Expert
Finn grew up in Northern Ireland before moving to England to study and later teach in the department of Film and Literature at the University of Warwick. He completed his doctoral study on German folklore and popular cinema in 2012, and has published extensively in the fields of Film Studies and Gender Studies. Since 2008, he has been living and guiding in Berlin. He now works as a historical advisor for television and film productions set in Berlin, particularly during the Weimar era or Third Reich. He is a journalist for the 'Siegessauele', Europe's foremost Queer magazine, and organises events at Berlin's English-language bookstore 'Another Country'.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.
This was an excellent overview of Berlin which will help me in planning my upcoming trip there. Dr. Ballard is very knowledgeable about the city. He delivers the material in a personable, easy-going manner.
Great overview for a trip to Berlin!
I've listened to most of Dr. Ballard's history lectures. It was wonderful to listen to this lecture about present day Berlin. It was filled with lots of useful and interesting information about the city
This is so informative and interesting.
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