As Sally Potter travels around the world with 'YES'
she is keeping a diary exclusively for this web site
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Another Berlin

Oh Moscow

The Press Junket

In the Snow

Invitation to Armenia

Tango Ghost


The Cleaners Revenge

Gorbachev and Kissinger

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In the Snow

Christopher Sheppard (producer) and I go out walking in the snow. The Brandenburg Gate, now flanked by modernity, the park opposite with its silvery birch trees and the ground gradually turning white; and, nearby, a monument of grey slabs, looking something like stacked coffins, there to commemorate the Jewish population which perished at the hands of the Nazis. The monument – still being built – achieves what I assume is its intention: it is a reminder of a grim horror that should never be forgotten; but it is not, of course, a celebration of the individual lives lost, each of which must have been rich with stories, talent, love and humour, as well as the unimaginable pain of living – and dying – with such terror and despair.

We retreat, shivering, to the hotel. At lunch in the brasserie, the photocopy story continues. A waiter proudly and politely informs us that much of the interior - other than the tables and chairs – is a genuine relic; an interior of ‘Desbrosses’ from Bordeaux, dismantled, shipped and now resurrected as part of the décor. The wooden floor, however, he explains, was taken from a school gymnasium in the former East Berlin, in order to look ‘genuine’. A photograph of the Eiffel tower is propped up helpfully next to the piles of bread rolls, in case we hadn’t got the French connection.

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SP in the snow

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SP with monument to the Jewish people

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The monument, still under construction

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East German gym floor in the ‘French’ brasserie

Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated