Five Germanys I Have Known

Thomas Laqueur writes:
Fritz Stern also begins with a room. In 1979, he returned to his hometown, Breslau, now Polish Wroclaw, for the first time since 1938. He wrote about this ‘homecoming’ for his children not long afterwards, and now uses that private account as a public introduction to his book. Much had changed: the apartment where he had grown up was gone; empty lots and unappealing socialist-style buildings had taken the place of familiar sites. But much was the same. The building where his father, a doctor, had had his clinic was still standing. So was the Jewish hospital where his father hadn’t been able to practise as a regular physician because he had been baptised at birth.

(LRB 7 June 2007)