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East Germany Podcast - Radio GDR

Mar 29, 2022

In our first interview of season 3, we speak with Michael Califra, author of "No Man's Land," one of our favorite works of fiction about life in divided Berlin. Michael lived and worked in Germany, mostly in Berlin, from 1986 to 1998 where he crossed between East and West many times. When he first considered writing about Berlin, it was still divided. The challenge then was to render in fiction a situation more absurdly fictional than any he could imagine. When the Wall fell and Germany and Berlin were reunified, it soon became clear that the city he knew would be quickly erased, just as the Berlin of the Kaiser had been overtaken by Weimar Berlin, which had then been wiped away by Hitler's capital, which was then replaced by Cold War cities of East and West Berlin. Wanting to document the place he knew would soon dissolve into history was the motivation behind writing his novel. Join us as Michael relates his crossings between East and West, his impressions of what life was like in the GDR and his memories the night the Berlin Wall fell.


For Michael's photos and a link to purchase Michael's book, please visit


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