Berlin is in my blood.

My ancestors lived, breathed, wed, and bred on Museum Island alongside the River Spree. My initial descent into the study of this war began through the research rabbit hole of these people who live in my bones.

Among other Berliners in my family line, there are: an artisan paintmaker, a bookbinder, a textile merchant, a Prussian soldier awarded the Iron Cross, a soldier who perished in the First World War, a woman who lived through the Battle of Berlin, and a Wehrmacht soldier who ended up in a Red Army POW camp, fate unknown.

When I visit Berlin, I feel at home. Her layers of reinvention, endless survival, and a full range of human experience come to life in me - and for me.

Berlin and I are two peas in a pod. I crave her, and she feeds my hunger for knowledge. My relationship with this city has changed me from the inside out.