“Berlin. My God, Berlin. If you want to see the wastage of war, you should have seen Berlin. Even after all that had happened I pitied those people. Whole blocks turned to bricks, except now it was becoming neat. Everywhere were these Prussian stacks of bricks, and everywhere these stout women in kerchiefs were making more of them, stacking them higher and higher, passing them in long assembly lines, some of the women actually quite young and pretty, wispy from the lack of food, widowed ghosts roaming the rubble. And if you think women here will do anything for cigarettes, well… But what I remember most is the stench. Heaven help you if you ended up downwind of the grand River Spree. It was a giant sewer, and still full of bodies, swollen like dead rats, black and bloated, the size of small whales.”

Posted March 4, 2003

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