Postcard from Berlin


Translated by Andrew Fentem

At the start of November this year, the Berlin-North authorities decided to establish a border with the neighbouring Berlin-South district and construct an impenetrable shark-infested canal between the two parts of the city. The Berlin-North district ‘s intention was also to protect itself from what it regarded as the rabble in Berlin-South that was increasingly moving north, and thus ensure itself a lucrative and problem-free future. While Berlin-North stated it regretted the misery and underdevelopment of the southern district, it also added that the mass immigration not only endangered the prosperity it had achieved at the cost of centuries of relentless labour, but that it also represented a threat to its inhabitants’ blond-haired, blue-eyed appearance. Berlin-North urgently demanded that the southern district finally take responsibility for its own development itself. According to Berlin North, the inhabitants of Berlin-South, with their black eyes and black hair, had to realize that it was their responsibility to do something about their own development themselves and that they couldn’t keep passively waiting for the North to help them indefinitely.

For its own part, Berlin-South condemned this decision, saying it was the object of a fascist and racist action. The southern district retorted that it couldn’t manage its own development as long as the Inter-German Monetary Fund prevented it from deciding for itself how its social budget, on which its population was reliant, was spent and was hence unable to establish the basis for a solid democracy as the north was demanding it should. Berlin-South added that, as a result of these measures and their inhuman social consequences, which were imposed upon them by the FMI in the name of globalisation, the plight of the people in the south was actually being added to, resulting in them having to emigrate to the north all the more. If there was such a thing as globalisation, the south asked why should it stop at the free movement of individuals, and only include free movement of capital, goods and services? This was contrary to economic liberalism, an ideology concealed discretely behind the term globalisation, it claimed. Citing a famous ecologist who compared globalisation between north and south to a race between a Mercedes driver and a cyclist, Berlin-South concluded its reply by saying that it simply wasn’t ready for the globalisation being imposed upon it by the north. As a measure of retaliation, the Mercedes was to be banned from the south and most of the Volkswagens replaced by bicycles.

Since the canal had been built, many inhabitants from Berlin-South had already tried to cross the frontier between the two parts of the city illegally. Until now, not one of them had survived the voracious hunger of the sharks or the lethal bullets from the Berlin-North customs officers.