Wall Flower: A Life on the German Border
Published: September 2015© 2015
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 200 Pages
Illustrations: 1 map
Dimensions: 6.45 x 9.00
200 Pages, 6.45 x 9.00 x 0.50 in, 1 map
In August 1961, seventeen-year-old Rita Kuczynski was living with her grandmother and studying piano at a conservatory in West Berlin. Caught in East Berlin by the rise of the Berlin Wall while on a summer visit to her parents, she found herself trapped behind the Iron Curtain for the next twenty-eight years.
Kuczynski’s fascinating memoir relates her experiences of life in East Germany as a student, a fledgling academic philosopher, an independent writer, and, above all, as a woman. Though she was never a true believer in Communism, Rita gained entry into the circles of the East German intellectual elite through her husband Thomas Kuczynski. There, in the privileged world that she calls “the gardens of the nomenklatura,” she saw first-hand the contradictions at the heart of life for the East German intelligentsia.
Published in English for the very first time twenty-six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wall Flower offers a rare – and critical – look at life among the East German elite. Told with wry wit and considerable candor, Kuczynski’s story offers a fascinating perspective on the rise and fall of East Germany.
Note on the Translation
Map of Berlin (c. 1960)
Map of Central Berlin
Wall Flower : A Life on the German Border
‘I was quite surprised to find Rita Kuczinski’s exceptional story both instructive and mesmerizing… It can be read at many levels, this text would be a valuable addition to any course focusing on the reconciliation of East-West identities and "the logic of contradictions".’Joyce Marie Mushaben, Journal of Contemporary Central & Eastern Europe, vol 25:03:2017