“A friend… was going to fly back to his adoptive home in China via Almaty in Kazakhstan. This, of course, left me with no choice but to procure my very own Aeroflot tickets and to join him on his discovery of this mystical land seldom travelled to.”
“It surpassed all my expectations and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone for a city break, not even just to a communist history geek like myself.”
“What are the words one uses to describe something that they thought would never happen? Something that just weeks ago would have been laughed at as unrealistic?”
Steven Spielberg’s latest movie stars Tom Hanks as an Atticus Finch-type character defending a marginalized person in American society: in this case a suspected Soviet spy in the Cold War era. You can catch the movie at Leipzig’s Luru Kino tonight.
“My sudden love affair with Aitmatov nearly made me flunk my German exam in tenth grade. ‘Heroes of Our Everyday Socialist Life’ was to be the topic of our written compositions. I wrote an essay about Aitmatov’s novel The Place of the Skull. [My German teacher] managed to save me from flunking. But Aitmatov saved me even more. I never again thought in clichés about Russians and the many other peoples in the gigantic empire that was soon to crumble.”
“In history class, I single-handedly denigrated the Soviet Union. We were sitting with our textbooks open. I felt bored. There was a photo of Lenin on the page. With my ballpoint pen, I drew Lenin an earring and a Mohican haircut… Forty years earlier in Thuringia, a schoolgirl had adorned a portrait of Stalin with her lipstick. Erika Riemann spent the rest of her youth in Soviet prison camps.”