Saturday, July 7, 2012

Anhalter Bahnhof - Tris Vonna Michel

A performance by Tris Vona-Michell has charged the area around the Anhalter Bahnhof with spy novel suspense. While in Berlin I explored the area and was transported into a pseudo-historical space by the mysterious ruins. I put a few quotes below, but to get the whole atmosphere you have to listen to the performance yourselves.
My father says: Tris, I've got this wonderful story. In Berlin 1945 imagine, the Anhalter Bahnhof, the biggest station in history. Huge. The idea was, in the 19th century, this tunnel could go to the Noth Pole, the South Pole. And in 1945 Hitler arrived and he said: "Lets make this idea a reality!"
It was bombed, and again and again. In 1945 the Russians entered the tunnels. And they called it "the expansive", "the never ending." And my father said: Tris, go there  and look for Ronald Hahn. And I said: Who is Ronald Hahn? Ronald Hahn was one of these four men probably. The Russians go into the tunnels and ... whoosh ... don't return.
Warfare ... nuclear, no ... biological. And the Russians, Americans said: we don't understand. And basically they say ... stop. No more lives. No more humans going through the tunnels and never returning.
They said to the Germans ... tell me ... or to what was left of Germany in 1945 ... why did you build these tunnels? And the Germans said: I'm sorry, that's a part of our history ... a legacy we have no access to. What do you mean? I'm sorry, this is actually biological warfare experimentation. I mean this is very deadly, do not go through these tunnels. Our only recommendation is to board off the tunnels, and place men with guns and masks at the entrance who say: Zurückbleiben bitte! And Ronald Hanh runs through and he dies. Depleted uranium. End of history. Over.

Now first listen to the performance by Tris Vonna-Michell. Then go to the site with the ruin at sunset with Les barricades mysterieuses by Francois Couperin playing on your iPhone. You will get an explosive mix of mystery, melancholy and melodrama that might be just as deadly as the mysterious tunnels.

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