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1 Torstrasse

If buildings could talk… One century, two families, and a house in the heart of Berlin packed with history

Elsa, the daughter of a shop assistant, and Bernhard, a carpenter’s son, were both born in 1929 – on the opening day of the Jonass department store at 1 Torstrasse. Their fates are inextricably linked with the emblematic Berlin building, which housed the Hitler Youth offices after the Nazis evicted the original Jewish owners. In the aftermath of the war it functioned as the House of Unification – the East German SED party headquarters, before becoming the Institute of Marxism-Leninism.

Today, the building has been re-imagined as the hyper-modern Soho House Berlin. Elsa and Bernhard have stayed in close contact even during the time they were separated by the Wall. In 2009, they meet at the opening of the private members’ club – on the parapet of the rooftop terrace, with all of Berlin at their feet.

Press acclaims for "Torstraße 1":

• "Every now and then you read a book you just can’t put down, a book that comes alive with characters you become addicted to." ZDF Morgenmagazin

• "A marvellous story of friendship and love in an emotionally charged period of German history." Kieler Nachrichten

• "A work that mirrors life – full of highs and lows, defined by fear and courage, power and helplessness. It spans the whole gamut of humanity, from venial sin to redemption, from lamentable choices to laudable actions. In short, an excellent book." buchtips.net


dtv Allgemeine Belletristik
400 pages, ISBN 978-3-423-28004-4
November 2012