“Where are we headed? We’re no longer in control. We determine nothing and we lead no one. He who believes we do is a liar. Shadows and ghosts shimmer around us. Don’t touch them, they only give way, sink and collapse. A light is appearing but we know not whether it’s twilight or dawn.”

Kurt Tucholsky “Die dämmerung” 1920
Berlin’s largest and most beautiful lake, the Müggelsee, doing justice to its name: “Müggel” is a Slavonic word for “fog, mist” (same etymology like Polish word “mgła”).

Rainy East Berlin’s boulevard, Stalinallee, captured by Rudi Ulmer in July 1957 (photo via Bundesarchiv)

“One morning you can smell autumn. It is not yet chilly; it is not windy; in fact, nothing has changed – and yet everything has. It spreads in the air like a crackle – something has happened: until now the dice held its balance, it swayed…, and… and…, and now it has rolled onto the other side. All is as it was the day before: the leaves, the trees, the bushes… and still, now everything’s different. The light is bright, gossamer threads of spider silk are floating in the air, everything has been given a new start, magic is gone, the spell has been broken – it is straight autumn from now on. How many of those have you seen? This one is one of them. The wonder lasted some four, perhaps five days, and you wished it would never ever stop. This is the time when old gentlemen get sentimental – it’s not “the last of the summer wine”, it is something else. It is an optimistic premonition of Death, a cheerful acceptance of the End. Late summer, early autumn and what lies between them. A fleeting moment in each year.”

First published by Kurt Tucholsky (as Kaspar Hauser) in “Die Weltbühne” magazine in October 1929.