Berlin Wall

How Prayer Brought Down the Berlin Wall

This week, as the world observed the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the forgotten stories from the amazing year of 1989 was what took place in Leipzig, East...

The 9th Worst Car of All Time!

The Puzzle People and the Trouble with Trabis The votes are in, and East Germany's Trabant has been named the 9th worst car of all time, according to Edmunds.com. Much of my new novel, The...

How Do You Say ‘Oops’ in German?

A Bureaucrat's Mistake Led to the Fall of the Berlin Wall In a country loaded with bureaucrats, it seems oddly fitting that a bureaucratic blunder would lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall. To set...

Thousands Protest Removal of Wall

  In 1989, tens of thousands of protesters tore down the Berlin Wall. But as The New York Times points out, the irony is that in 2013 people are protesting because they want the Wall to stay...

The Kiss

Why Is Brezhnev Kissing Honecker on The Berlin Wall? It's called "The Kiss" or "The Kiss of Death." And it is perhaps the most famous image that appears in Berlin's East Side Gallery--a nearly mile-long...

Swords and Plowshares in the Heart of Berlin

When I was writing my novel The Puzzle People, I came across a photo of the Church of Reconciliation as it was being blown up in 1985 (shown on the left). But what caught...

Finding New Life in the Death Strip

An elderly man shoves two packages out of a fourth floor window, and then he crawls out and sits on the ledge, staring down at the ground below. Then slowly, carefully, he turns himself...

Rats!

Bill Bryson Shines a Light on Rats and Other Pests in His History of the Home One of the scenes in my new novel, The Puzzle People, features an escape through the Berlin sewer system--a...

The World’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzle

BBC Radio 4 ran a compelling show last Friday about The Stasi Jigsaw Puzzle--the shredded documents that form the core of my novel, The Puzzle People. As the Berlin Wall was coming down so...

Why is the Berlin Wall in My Living Room?

Okay, so the Berlin Wall in my living room doesn't quite match the real Wall's dimensions. But it comes close. The last generation of the Wall before it came down on November 9, 1989, stood...