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  2. All of the moderators are working very hard to tidy up the Forum posts, as you can imagine 14 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.

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