Friday, August 30, 2013

White Spots - from the Huffington Post

Eva Claudia Schweitzer


White Spots

Posted: 08/28/2013 4:57 pm

Sometimes, if only rarely, a political author stays fresh over time, over a long time. One of those is Kurt Tucholsky. Tucholsky was a German Jew born in 1890s Berlin who took his own life in 1935, in Sweden. He would have been a standup comedian in different times; he covered the theatre, the cabaret, wrote poems, went on dates with actresses and liked to have fun with friends. He was a Liberal in the best sense.
The time between WWI and WWII in the Weimar Republic was different, though. He became an early, very early warner of what was lying ahead and what many people did not want to see. Here is one of this stories, written in the aftermath of WWI, about the war and what it does to families. It is a story that is still valid now, more than ever. The story White Spots is from his book Berlin! Berlin! Dispatches from the Weimar Republic,only now newly translated into English.
On Dorotheenstrasse in Berlin, there's a building that once housed the Prussian War Academy. A strip of granite blocks runs around the base of the building, one after another, about as tall as a man.

There's something strange about those blocks; the brown granite looks lighter in many places, as if smudged with white. . . What could this be?
Are they whitish spots? If they're spots, they should be reddish. During the Great War, the lists of German casualties were posted there.
They hung there, changed almost daily, those terrible pages, endless lists with name after name after name. . . I have the very first one of those documents; the military units were still carefully noted on it; that first one listed very few dead; it's very short, list No. 1. I don't know how many appeared after that--just that there were a great many, over a thousand. One name after another, each one signifying a human life snuffed out, or someone "missing"--crossed out for the time being--or injured, or gravely maimed.
There they hung, where the white spots are now. There they hung, and hundreds of people crowded silently around them, people whose loved ones were out there somewhere, trembling, afraid to see that one name among the many thousands. What did they care about the Müllers or Schulzes or Lehmanns posted there! Let them perish, one thousand after another--if only his name doesn't appear! The war thrived on that attitude.
And it was because of that very attitude that the war could go on like that for four long years. If we had all stood up as one man--who knows if it would have lasted so long. Someone once told me that I didn't know how a German man could die. I know very well how. But I also know how a German woman can cry--and I know she's still crying today, because slowly, excruciatingly slowly, she's beginning to understand what it was that he died for. For what. . . ?
Am I rubbing salt in old wounds? I'd rather burn holy fire in those wounds; I'd like to shout at those who are grieving: He died for nothing, for sheer madness, for nothing. . . for nothing. . . for nothing.
As the years pass by, the rain will gradually dissolve those white spots, until they disappear. But there are others that can't be erased. Engraved in our hearts are vestiges that will not fade. And every time I pass by the War Academy, with its brown granite and white spots, I say silently: Promise yourself. Take a vow. Take action. Get to work. Tell people. Liberate them from this national delusion, you, with your modest strengths. You owe it to the dead. Those white spots are screaming. Can you hear them?
They're shouting, "No more war!"
See more on Tucholsky at

by Eva C. Schweitzer

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Berlin - The Chicago of Europe

Just a quick update: Here is the newest Mark Twain ebook on the Amazon Kindle, "Berlin — the Chicago of Europe". It's an excerpt of "Six Travel Letters from Europe" and "A Tramp in Berlin. New Mark Twain stories," with a lot of bonus material, including an interview with Twain (conducted in 1891 by a Berlin reporter), a video and some cut kitty pictures. Only 99 cents! Soon also on the Nook and at Apple.

Here is some info from the description:

Get a preview of the printed book, see the video! In fall 1891, Mark Twain headed for Berlin, the “newest city I have ever seen,” as America’s foremost humorist would write. He was accompanied by his wife, Olivia, and their three daughters, Susy, Clara, and Jean. It was a foray of six months that is little known today, done for health reasons, to frequent German doctors, and to save money by living in Europe. For Twain, it was an adventure he would remember for a long time. Twain wrote six travel letters from Europe, commissioned by the McClure Syndicate; they have been printed in the Chicago Tribune, the long-gone New York Sun, and other papers in 1891 and 1892. One of those letters was written from Berlin, titled "The Chicago of Europe". It is reproduced here, together with a newspaper feature story by reporter Horwitz on Twain an a short video on the book.

And here is the book:

by Eva C. Schweitzer

Monday, August 12, 2013

Special Kindle Sale for Rocking the Wall

Here is your chance to get a bargain on Rocking the Wall. Bruce Springsteen: The Berlin Concert That Changed the World. For three days only, the Kindle ebook will be available at a reduced price of $1.99, available at Here is more at Kindlenation

“Rocking the Wall. Bruce Springsteen: The Berlin Concert That Changed the World,” is about the famed Springsteen concert in 1988 East Berlin. Erik Kirschbaum spoke to scores of fans and concert organizers including Jon Landau, Springsteen’s long-time manager. With lively behind-the-scenes details from eyewitness accounts, newspaper clippings, and even Stasi files, this book takes you to an unforgettable journey with Springsteen through the divided city; it also offers links to the Boss’ classic hits on Vevo, powered by YouTube. You will not only read the story, but see the pictures of Bruce and the crowd, and hear the music.

by Erik Kirschbaum
4.7 stars – 27 Reviews
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Don’t have a Kindle? Get yours here.

“…as clear a statement of the power of this music as anyone, ever, has come up with.” –Dave Marsh, Rolling Stone music critic 

“An illuminating and impressively detailed examination of a frequently overlooked moment in the nexus of rock music and political liberation. I learned a great deal and enjoyed doing so.”–Eric Alterman, author of The Promise of Bruce Springsteen

“…a glorious example of the influence that rock ‘n’ roll can have on people who are hungry and ready for change.”—Michelle Martin for The Washington Post

Guest Post By Eva Schweitzer:
“Rocking the Wall” was written by Erik Kirschbaum, a native of New York City and long-time Springsteen fan, who has lived in Germany for more than twenty-five years. He is a correspondent for the Reuters news agency and is based in Berlin since 1993. Here is how he came up with the idea:
After a riveting Bruce Springsteen concert in Berlin in 2002, I was riding home in a taxi when the driver suddenly started chattering on about another Springsteen performance—in Communist East Berlin, back in 1988. He said that July ’88 show was the most amazing thing ever, anywhere.  The concert behind the Iron Curtain happened more than fourteen years before our chance encounter on that cold October night, but the heavyset taxi driver with the thick gray beard and long scraggly hair couldn’t stop raving about it.
“Yeah, I know,” I said, trying to close my eyes and relax. “I’ve seen lots of Springsteen concerts too, and they’re always amazing.”
“Nein, nein, nein!” the driver replied. “No! You don’t understand.” That East Berlin concert was really different. More than 300,000 people watched it live, and millions more saw it on television. The whole country was shaken up. “It was the most incredible thing that ever happened in East Germany,” he said.
For millions of baby boomers, Springsteen’s music has been the soundtrack of our lives. Four decades of song lyrics are lodged in our collective memory. The Berlin taxi driver’s uncontainable enthusiasm about that concert was contagious, and he got me wondering: Had there been something really special about that Springsteen show in Communist East Berlin?
And then it dawned on me—what made that particular concert so extraordinary was its date: July 19, 1988. That was less than sixteen months before the Berlin Wall fell. Could there have been a connection between the Springsteen concert, the ensuing rebellion in East Germany, and the Berlin Wall falling that no one had seen before?

Berlinica ist a New York-based publishing company that specializes on English-language books from Berlin, Germany.  As of now, Berlinica offers six books on Kindle, among them “The Berlin Wall Today,” a color picture guide with interactive maps (, “Berlin for Free”, a guide book to all free leisure activities, linking to a map of the venue, (, “Berlin in the Cold War”, with links to the key places of the Cold War (, Wallflower, a novel set in the time when the Wall came down (, and “The Times Are Screaming for Satire”; two short stories by the famed Weimar author Kurt Tucholsky, for only 99 cents (
Dr. Eva C. Schweitzer
Berlinica Publishing LLC

by Eva C. Schweitzer

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Tramp in Berlin

Our new book "A Tramp in Berlin. New Mark Twain Stories & an Account of his Adventures," is now out. Here is an interview with the author, Andreas Austilat, in the Hartford Courant.
"In Germany, many people are thinking Mark Twain is a youth author. In the United States, he is known also for writing for grown-ups as well," Austilat said in a phone interview from Berlin. "When I got a little bit older and learned that he was in Berlin he became fascinating for me." 
Austilat was inspired to write this book by his commute to work."Körnerstrasse is just behind the Tagesspiegel when I walk there. It still is today. Every day I was going to work I would pass Körnerstrasse," Austilat said. "That's why I started to research Mark Twain in Berlin. He lived on Körnerstrasse."
Read more here in the Hartford Courant

And here is the book:

by Eva C. Schweitzer


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