Expedition to Memory
22. August 2000

129 Karl-Liebknecht Street - start: 3pm

Comment during hitch-hiking

A woman is about to get on her bike, stops, approaches me and asks quite
arrogantly what am I doing here.
"You cannot just stand here looking for memory...
Yesterday we had discussed the topic memory as a potential subject for a
newspaper article at the school for journalism. We decided against it and chose
the topic facade (or appearance wenn keine GebŠude hiermit gemeint ist) instead.
I cannot tell you anything about memory, because we didn't choose that topic.
Actually it is quite current topic, especially here, 10 years of reunion
and... you know.
She pulls out her note book and reads: poetry album, diary, time witnesses,
archives, dreams..."

129 Karl-Liebknecht Street - start: 3pm

A BMW driver honks and signals me to get in his car. Where do you want to go
memory? Don't you care where we are going?

I'm on my way to Lichtendorf right now to meet with the mayor about a property
that once belonged to my grandfather. A really nice property with birches on it.
It is the only vacant one out there. In 1990, nobody would have noticed, if you
had built on it. The first time I was there was 5 years ago. Even if we are a
so-called mobile society, one still should not sell real-estate.

I do not have a geographical home. I was born in Lotsch in Poland. In those days
there were a lot of German textile-industrialists there. In 1945 we escaped to
Saxony-Anhalt, where I grew up. In 1955 we escaped to a refugee camp near
Hamburg. I studied in Freiburg and Hamburg, after I lived in Westphalia, for the
last ten years in Bochum and right now I'm living here in Berlin.

The property was confiscated by the GDR.

Berlin has a lot of glamour. Compared to Hamburg it is really evident.

With your sign MEMORY... actually I always give hitch-hikers a lift. I used
to hitch-hike when I was young. So I actually didn't care what was written on
your sign.

In the EX-GDR they had all kinds of strange names for places, Victims of Fascism
or Square of peace)...
Or you are heading to an exhibition called memory?!

The property must be built on fast. It already has a well with rings.
Do you know the book "Life in the Country"?, it describes how to build a well.
The book is fantastic, it is now available in paperback for DM 19,90! He heads
onto the autobahn southbound, I get out.

Spandauer Damm (roadway)/ (suburban train) Westend: start: 4:06pm

comment during hitch-hiking

A biker passing by yells "forget it ! "

Spandauer Damm (roadway)/ (suburban train) Westend: start: 4:06pm

comment during hitch-hiking

A man stops in front of me and looks at me. His face is partly covered
in blood, his hand is bandaged and he is swaying.

I don't get it: memory?
It is 6 years ago, that I drove through the Harz and I suddenly remembered that I
had been there before when I was six years old. Holy shit, I thought, I have been
here before, I had walked through that stream before. No, I never lived there. I
was sent there by Caritas in those days.

But the strangest thing that ever happened to me was in Zurich. I arrived there
and knew exactly that I had lived there before. I knew my way around right away.
I just started going straight, over the bridge, to the right, to the left and
suddenly I stood directly in front of the Spruengli.
I didn't feel like a stranger at all, I felt like home, although I had seen this
city for the first time in my life. It was as if I had lived there forever.

"Oh, and in Italy, the same thing happened. I was there with a friend. It was Six
o'clock in the morning, I was cold and I said: I really need a cappuccino. We
were in the mountains. I said we have to go that way up the hill and there really
was a cafe and it was even open, it was very seldom for a cafe to be open that
time of day."

"I have some stitches. I do not actually know what happened. That morning I left
the house and later I woke up in the hospital. How many stitches are there ?"
I count six stitches.

14, Hardenberg Street start: 6:35pm

comment during hitch-hiking

I hitch-hike quite often, when in the city, then at night when I have missed the
bus. I hardly ever hitch-hike on the side of the road, I rather ask people for a

Memory is rather subjective.
You always assume that memory is the way you experienced it yourself. I have
recently noticed that everybody relates something else with the same places.
My girlfriend comes from Berlin. Some time ago she moved to Frankfurt and
had a great time there. She now lives in Berlin again. I moved from
Frankfurt to Berlin. We were both sixteen-seventeen years-old at the time. I was
absolutely crazy about Berlin, because everything was so new. My girlfriend who
was born here finds Berlin boring and is crazy about Frankfurt. I find Frankfurt

Spandauer Damm/ S-Westend - start: 4:06pm
No one gives me a lift.
I take bus nr. 145 and get off just before the Zoological Gardens.

All texts are part of ExpeditionBerlin

Publishing only after consult with tourist research / Philip Horst