Archive for the 'History' Category


I had to see Trieste


On the 11.00 train, I am sitting opposite a 20-something Northern-European looking young man. Green and black polo, a big backpack. He cranes his neck to look at Miramare castle and the Gulf of Trieste in the background. We start a conversation.

He is Belgian. He left Belgium two days ago and travelled throughout Northern Italy by train “I had to come and see Trieste. I study literature and I simply could not keeping on postponing this. I had to see the city where Joyce, Svevo, Saba lived and worked”.

“Thank you for coming to my home town. Especially in days like these, we need to love Europe even more. You are most welcome in Trieste”.




Today more German elections. I hope we are not drifting to inesorable European balkanisation, among countries and within them.



Child K, Ausmerzen, Zoo Station


A word regarding “Zoo Station” by David Downing which you already saw on this blog. It is the first volume of the stations series and yes, yet another historical novel page-turner.

But it is the first time that I read in a novel a not so widely-known dark page of history.

Like Marco Paolini in “Ausmerzen” and  the italian short movie “Child K.”  it also deals with the events which brought to mass euthanisation of disabled or slightly disabled children and adults in nazi Germany.

You can listen to an interview abotu this topic also in today’s Zaza’


Keeping on asking ourselves questions


This is a story you may remember.

Many of our Berlin neighbors disappeared. Those who lived there in the late 1930s and 1940s. Their names are marked on cards and exposed in the Townhall Rathaus Schoeneberg. An entire hall, full of names. Wir waren Nachbarn.



Women’s fragile freedom

504209880-ksFD-U431408645310518tF-1224x916@Corriere-Web-Sezioni-593x443This is the article of italian writer and journalist Dacia Maraini about the New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne and other cities.

“It is a cultural issue: we need to defend more strongly the ideals we believe in and our achievements” writes Maraini. Fully agree.


Photo: il Corriere


In moments like these


Never before this week I felt so strongly the meaning-  and the need – for a Queen.

It is in moment like these, that one tells the difference between a Prime Minister, a President of the Republic. And a Queen.

We’ve seen a lot of President Hollande in the media these days. But in moments like these, France – and Mali, and Lebanon and and… – would need a Queen. A stately figure. An embodiement of the State. But not a politician. Not a government figure. Someone who can call for unity and strenght under dire circumstances. But who cannot be ascribed to a political view.

Someone who can show strenght, a pure one, not a relative one. And wisdom.

Someone who does not need to guard himself or herself from the far-right opposition, and does not need to say or do things in order to avoid being overtaken by opponents. Or at the next elections.

Poor Marianne could fit the purpose, but her image is too frequently abused by the far right.

It is incredible, but in moment like these, a Queen could be the best embodiement of the Republic.

A wise Queen, yes. A mother.



November 9th

tumblr_mtzkoh1tIa1ro05ruo8_1280-480x480-1A busy Monday and lots of things to finetune before leaving to London tomorrow for an important deadline. During the day I always had something buzzing in the back of my mind…is it somebody’s birthday? Am I forgetting something…?

And now I recall it. November 9th, 1989. Fall of the Berlin Wall. How could I forget the re-birth date of my favorite city, how!!

Photo: taken from berlinocacioepepe

Enter your email address to keep track of what's going on at BerlinRomExpress - check your Inbox (and Junk mailbox too) to activate the subscription!

Join 45 other followers