Berlin, Volume 2

I read the second volume of Berlin in just two days. Part of the reason is because I’m fascinated by history, especially the two World Wars and the interwar period of the twentieth century. I find it fascinating because so much of it changed not just those years of history, but the history of much of Europe and the US for years to come.

The second volume of Berlin picks up after the bloody day of May in 1929 when many Communist marchers are killed and takes you through to the elections of September 1930 where the National Socialists win so many seats. And it focuses on the same people as volume 1, but also adds in some new characters, namely a jazz band touring from America.

The character development is done so well in these books. But also the feeling of the change and the right snippets in time to show how things are changing in the culture, how the country is changing. Lutes also doesn’t shy away from showing how normal people “go along” with the National Socialists in order to get along. The fear, the desire to not lose the home they own after the rubble of the first war, the apathy that takes hold.

Again, this time period of the twentieth century has been particularly interesting to me. Right now, with many events in the world, I think we’ve, and this a collective people of the world we, have forgotten this history. And in many ways, we are repeating it, with some different twists and turns, but repeating the overarching ideas.