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The Train Station

  • Jennifer V. Evans
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)

Abstract

“Always in a good mood, always a boost.” That was how Gustav Spielberg characterized Frau Kupke, a metropolitan train station attendant with the Berlin Transportation Authority (BVG). Among the feuilletonists, physicians, technicians, district majors, and rubble women he approached for perspectives on the fall of Berlin, Frau Kupke’s story stood out. No one had managed to capture the collective trauma of capitulation as vividly as she had, and in so few words. Faithfully attending her post in the Mehringdamm underground station in Kreuzberg, every 2½ minutes she warned the city’s frustrated and overburdened travelers to mind the doors as the trains hurtled in and out of the station. Steeped in steely optimism despite the drudgery of the day, Kupke made certain she held tightly to the schedule, all the while thankful not to be “stuck at some dead train station, where the trains come every 20 minutes.” She needed “this tempo, this bustle” after her lengthy illness, brought on by what she termed rather euphemistically as the “excitement of the last days of the war.” Her embrace of the orderly chaos was remarkable given the scope of her personal struggles. Less than a year ago, united with her husband and two small children, she felt certain she could endure the transition from war to peace.

Keywords

Train Station Youth Service Transit Space Train Travel Sexual Mores 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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    Again, see Gerhard Jörns, Der Jugendwerkhof im Jugendhilfesystem der DDR (Göttingen: Cuvillier Verlag, 1995).Google Scholar
  116. 143.
    Michelle Mouton, From Nurturing the Nation to Purifying the Volk: Weimar and Nazi Family Policy 1918–45 (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Jennifer V. Evans 2011

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