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  2. All of the moderators are working very hard to tidy up the Forum posts, as you can imagine 15 years tidying takes a lot of time. Quite a bit of this is taken up with off topic posts It would be helpful in future if members could keep their posts relevant to the thread Title,those that are not will be deleted. Thanks.

Two Birmingham Businessmen in Berlin

Discussion in 'History' started by ChrisM, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. ChrisM

    ChrisM Super Moderator Staff Member

    Two Birmingham businessmen pause for a moment on a sunny Berlin street to have their photograph taken. It is 1932, the last summer before Germany starts to change for ever.

    My father is on the right. The identity of his colleague is unknown. We are on the Charlottenstrasse, a smart area of central Berlin. Exactly why we are here I cannot tell you. But what is certain is that we are engaged in some sort of business on behalf of the company we work for, ICI at its Kynoch Works on the outskirts of Birmingham.

    It is a fairly ordinary scene showing a moment of seventy-five years ago frozen in time and history. But take a moment to look at some of the detail and think about what it represents...........

    (If you want to read more about what lies behind this picture, I have put it all on this website page. The link with Birmingham is a little tenuous, I have to admit. But apart from the family stuff which really interests no one but me, it does provide a bit of a reminder about aspects of recent European history).​


    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  2. RobertS

    RobertS master brummie

    Hello Chris M

    I read the post and looked at the website. I am very impressed with the analytical approach, depth and thought. So much in a photo. My kind of history. Object lesson to us all

  3. dib44

    dib44 Proud Brummie

    Many thanks ChrisM, a very, very thought provoking web page and wonderful images.

    Many Thanks.

  4. Rupert

    Rupert master brummie

    Thankyou for a wonderfully presented piece about a time just before the war, in Berlin. The pictures are superbe and the narative matches this quality also.

  5. Graham



    What a very sad story yet wonderfully written in all its detail with an amazing amount of photographic witnesses as illustration. Thanks for posting here and sharing part of your family history with us.

  6. Peter Walker

    Peter Walker gone but not forgotten

    Chris M,
    What a brilliant contribution!
    I was devastated by your commentary of the picture on the linked site, because I know Berlin quite well and love to be there - we were walking along the Charlottenstrasse only six weeks ago.
    My wife Barbara's grandfather had a commercial stationer's business a few blocks away, which folded in the mid 1920s, when the financial scene was rather like we have around us today, but possibly more so. Our last visit, incidentally, was for a family reunion, when all kinds of old family photos were brought out.
    I haven't looked at everything on your home guard site yet, but what I did see on the Berlin site was staggering. We will both have a longer look at it soon.
    Thanks for mentioning this on our site, and especially for doing it so well.
  7. ChrisM

    ChrisM Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you very much to everyone for your generous comments. One never really knows whether one has produced total rubbish and it's reassuring indeed to hear that one or two people have got something out of it.

  8. Graham


    Chris, without going over the top in praising this I can tell you that I got a big kick out of reading it, so I'm sure that others will too even if they don't post a comment.

  9. sheri

    sheri master brummie

    Hi Chris, I read your article about a corner of Berlin and found it most interesting and enlightening. Many thanks for posting it.
  10. Camille François

    Camille François New Member

    I live en France, in the region of Lyon.
    Excuse-me for my possible errors in english grammar, because I'm not used to speak and to write in english.
    I'm very interesting by the history of Berlin in the 1930s. As I do researches on the subject, I have discovered the article you have writen in 2007, starting from a photography of your father : "Two Birmingham Businessmen in Berlin".
    Thank you for this very interesting article. I have really liked your way of speaking about history of tragic 1930s and 1940s, starting from the particular history of your father in Germany, and that of the family Sorensohn. For this reason, I have translated your article in french, but I didn't know how tu send you this translation. So I have published it on my page Facebook ( François Croix ). I would be happy to know what you think about this translation. But I don't know if you can read a text in french or if a person can do it for you.
    In my translation in french, I had to use some photographies of your article and I hope that you won't be contraried by that. If it's the case, say it to me and I will withdraw ma translation from my page Facebook.
    I hope that you will can reply me.
    I thank you for your attention to my mail.
    François Croix ( I use too the name Camille François )
  11. ChrisM

    ChrisM Super Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to the Forum, Camille Francois, and thanks for your comments.

    I shall be very interested to read your translation. Unfortunately, however, I am having difficulty in finding your Facebook page. Could you post a link to it here, please?

  12. devonjim

    devonjim master brummie

    I found the article on facebook under Francois Croix
    Full link seemed to leave access to personal site, hope I've left enough for you to locate
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
    ChrisM likes this.
  13. ChrisM

    ChrisM Super Moderator Staff Member

    I am very pleased about your interest, Francois. I have now had a look at your version. It appears at first sight to be excellent and the additional information is very useful.

    I am at present away from home for three weeks and need my main computer in order to examine your article in detail. But I shall comment further when I return.

  14. Camille François

    Camille François New Member

    Thank you very much for your reply, Chris. I'm happy of your interest for my traduction.
    I'm going to try to send you the text ( in file pdf ) from my personal mailbox. That will be perhaps more simple to read for you or for another person.
    I wish you good weeks during your stay outside your home.
  15. Camille François

    Camille François New Member

    I just tried the sending of the traduction from my personal mailbox, but eventually this sending does not work. François
  16. ChrisM

    ChrisM Super Moderator Staff Member

    Francois, I have sent you a private message.

  17. Camille François

    Camille François New Member

    Bonjour Chris,
    Thank you for your personal email address. So I will expect your next mail to send you the traduction of your article in file pdf.
    I wish you a good month of april.

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