DOI: 10.24412/2470-1262-2021-3-7-16


2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the golden era of what scholars have designated as “Russian Berlin” (Русский Белрин). The phenomenon was by many forgotten, except for the few who remained in the city after 1923; over shadowed by the new emigre centers in Paris, Prague, and later New York; intentionally overlooked and ignored by Soviet literary historians for decades. When I began my study of that time and its writers in 1984 there were few scholars interested in the period, among them Fritz Mierau at the time in East Berlin and the then German Democratic Republic. We relied on writings by Ehrenburg, Shklovski, and the living witnesses, Nina Berberova in Princeton, Alexander Bakhrakh in Paris, Roman Goul in New York. A newly discovered Vera Lourie in Berlin would become for a few years a sought after interviewee by the German press. Gorbachev’s “glasnost” opened doors, accelerated by the fall of the Berlin wall and ultimately the Soviet Union. German scholars, Karl Schlögel and Amory Burchard, the exiled Lew Kopelev, and Russians began to pay attention culminating in a 700 page illustrated Berlin-Moskau /Moskau-Berlin 1900-1950 [1]. But today 100 years later little attention is being devoted to this truly golden era in Russian literature.

Keywords: Russian Berlin, émigré literature, Bely, Berberova, Goul, Lourie, Remizov


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  21. The catalogue of the Erste Russische Kunstaustellung, Berlin 1922, can be found in Berlin’s Bibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz.


Information about the author:

Thomas R. Beyer, Jr., Ph.D., C.V. Starr Professor Emeritus of Russian and East European Studies, Middlebury College, Middlebury Vermont USA.

For citation: Thomas R. Beyer, (2021). Russian Berlin: 100 years later. Cross-Cultural Studies: Education and Science, Vol.6, Issue 3 (2021), pp. 7-16 (in USA)

Manuscript received: 03/08/2021 – Accepted for publication: 30/09/2021