Berlin Diary

Onora O’Neill

‘Empires may rise and fall; Liberty and Slavery succeed alternately; Ignorance and Knowledge give place to each other; but the Cherry-tree will still remain in the Woods of Greece, Spain and Italy, and will never be affected by the Revolutions of Human Society.’ Hume may have been a bit too confident: in Eastern Europe the Revolutions of Human Society have been threatening even the cherry trees for years. Now we can see with relief that in spite of all the horror stories about polluted wastelands – hugely documented – the cherry trees have made it. The hidden DDR is a beautiful as well as a damaged country.

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