An Education in Neukoelln

An Education in Neukoelln

or My Life Before the German Dative (Radio Drama)

It’s 1971. Becky Bernstein, a college student from New York, has followed her heart and it takes her straight into Neukoelln, a Berlin neighborhood where her one and only, Jürgen, lives with four other roommates. Far from home, she not only has to familiarize herself with that loud and boisterous language called Deutsch, but she’s on a fast track toward discovering as much as she can about weird German phenomena. Her education begins the moment she steps out of Jürgen’s VW bug into the street where he lives. Why are all the windows on the street decorated with those gauzy, transparent, doily-like curtains, she wants to know.


And thus Becky learns the word Store and more importantly, she begins to understand a bit about German home furnishing – and conformity. Poor Becky. She doesn’t have it easy. Why, for example, is everyone in the apartment – Heike, Ruth, Erhard and Jürgen – reading Karl Marx’s Das Kapital? And why do they expect her not just to read it, but to understand it too?

The radio drama “An Education in Neukoelln” was adapted from Chapter Five of the novel “Becky Bernstein Goes Berlin.”

Directed by: Götz Fritsch
Mitwirkende: Götz Schulte, Andrea Solter, Leslie Malton, Rainer Philippi, HJR
Production: Sender Freies Berlin, 1996

Audio Sample (in German)