Berlin Stories

These five readings all give a sense of Berlin, the vibrant German city with a turbulent history that has maintained its status as a centre of culture and counter-culture and a magnet for writers.

Berlin Diary

These extracts – taken from the closing section of Goodbye to Berlin – show a city on the cusp as Isherwood’s friends and acquaintances make or don’t make accommodation with the approach of Nazidom…

Writer: Christopher Isherwood
Reader: Adam Godley

Camera Obscura

The beautiful Marie knows she wants something from a short and ugly Berlin artist – but what? Marie initiates a relationship, but is she really in control? An ambiguous tale of the power of images from one of Berlin’s foremost short story writers.

Writer: Judith Hermann
Reader: Morven Christie

Funeral In Berlin

A top-ranking officer in Red Army Security is offering to sell a Russian scientist to the west – if the price is right. In this chapter from the classic Cold War thriller our unnamed hero and spy travels to East Berlin – accompanied by the mysterious black marketeer and double-agent Johnnie Vulkan – to meet a certain Russian colonel…

Writer: Len Deighton
Reader: Adam Godley

The Wall

It’s the spring of 2000 and in this extract from Stasiland, Anna has returned to Berlin for the first time in three years. Visiting the new Berlin Wall Memorial, she runs into a former Stasi officer she’d once interviewed. Hagen Koch takes her on an idiosyncratic tour of the city which is as strange as any fiction.

Writer: Anna Funder
Reader: Samantha Bond

The Mural At Frau Krausers

The narrator stares at the green mural at Frau Krauser’s – a seedy tavern under an iron railway bridge in Berlin. He knows he should leave, but one beer leads to another…

Writer: James Hopkin
Reader: Tom Goodman-Hill

First Broadcast:

Monday - Friday, 17th-21st November 2008 at 15:30 on BBC Radio 4

Production Credits:

Broadcast Assistant: Sarah Tombling
Sound Engineer: Jon Calver
Producer: Rosalynd Ward
Executive Producer: Karen Rose
Music: Eine Kleine Sehnsucht by Ute Lemper

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