June/July 1945 - from Jüterbog to Lankwitz

"In the morning we arrive at Berlin Lankwitz station. We hug each other. Berlin! Haven’t we already achieved a lot? We go to the Lankwitz town office, and are given food coupons. And then we find ourselves sitting in a local restaurant around a steaming stew. We are very dirty, but there is no where to get cleaned up. I have to feed Inge in the middle of the restaurant, as well as cleaning Gerlinde […] Then we set off."

Jüterbog is glorious in the morning. We know today will be quite hot, but haven’t quite been able to figure out what to do.

I leave the hotel on my own for 20 minutes to sketch in the town square, it’s only 9, and already it feels really hot.
19th July - Jüterbog to Lankwitz (Berlin)
We gather our things then, and walk out of the town, back to the train station, along the winding river. It is about 2km from the town centre. We spend some time at the station. I wanted to do so knowing that Inge spent some time here, she called it misery city, because there were so many refugees here (of which she was one, of course).

Like in Teplitz, the station is crumbling, and half boarded up, and what we are standing on - or next to - likely is also still the same material as she would have moved past.
We take the train then to Berlin, 30 minutes, looking out at the same mix of countryside we have been walking past so far – wheat, corn, sunflowers, pine forest, over and over again.

We arrive in Berlin early in the day, knowing that the worst of the heat is yet to come, and we walk the 20 minutes to our hotel. After a long wait, we are let into our room early, and are able to get rid of our heavy bags, wash, and make plans for the day.
Funny to be in a city I know so well, and not go close to any of the places I know. It is like being in a new city almost. It feels strangely welcome. And like Inge, I enjoy having a sense of familiarity – it seems that you can taste Berlin in the air. It is a comfort.
This is the first of two days of heatwave in Eastern Germany – predictions are for 36-40 degrees. Neither of us knows how we will be in those temperatures, but we want to be safe.

Eventually, armed with a cool bottle of water, we find the shortest route to a lake – 10 minutes from here, and almost crawl to the station behind us.

Once we arrive the lake is filled with joyful people and families, resting in the shade. It feels like we have left the city - and the journey, for a short moment.

Later, we make our way to the station where she arrived. Lankwitz is tiny, not what I expected at all. And it is closed so we can only see it from the tunnel and the outside. Take photos. Too hot to engage very deeply.

A lovely walk through the surrounding area, with the evening beginning to bring a little more coolness to us.