It is not essential that history or historical books always are dull. It is also possible to write illustratively about history. A good example for this is the book “Berlin – A City Divided” by Susanne Buddenberg and Thomas Henseler. The both, who studied design at the Fachhochschule Aachen and film at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen “Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam-Babelsberg, try to get close to the history of the Berlin Wall with comics. To realize this they interviewed eye-witnesses, record their stories and drew comic strips to the stories of the persons. So you get to know for example Ursula Malchow and her husband who worked in the West Berlin Lazarus Hospital in Late-Summer 1961 and who experienced the death of a man at the Wall in Bernauer Straße. Or you learn about Regina Zywietz, a student who lived in the East and went to school in the West, and her escape with a fake ID card.
In the book there are five comic strips about people who lived near the Berlin Wall in East or West and who made their really personal experiences with it. The stories are exciting, interesting and vividly, so it is entertaining to read them. Between the comic strips there are texts about the general historical situation and the facts to the Berlin Wall. The texts refer back to the comic strips and give also information about the location and institutions you can still visit in Berlin. The historical map at the beginning and the end of the book give you a good overview about the geographical situation, so you can retrace the scenes of the stories.
The book is supported by The Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship and the historical texts are written by Dr. Christian Halbrock. It is published by the avant-verlag and costs 14,95€. The ISBN is 978-3-939080-75-6. Another book by Susanne Buddenberg and Thomas Henseler which also deals with the former GDR is the book “Grenzfall”. There you get to know the student Peter Grimm who rebels against the ruling government in East Berlin 1982.