This is a reprint edition of a book published five years before the Berlin Wall came down— and the book itself may have helped the East and West Germans see enough of the other side of the Wall to realize that they were actually one people, and therefore the Wall had to go. Surprisingly, many of the stories, when matched with experiences on the other side, were quite similar. Every detail, every conversation, every job was in some sense a political statement, or could be interpreted that way by neighbors or police. You can see Western culture seeping in to both sides, and intellectual mismatches with emotional states. You didn't have to be in a prison to be a prisoner. And yet the spirit of invention was everywhere, covering over the post-War trauma. Berlin was almost unique in world history: two opposing ideologies as next-door neighbors, and really not all that different.
Only the poetry is bilingual; also contains a number of art pieces.