Christiane F. and Ghosts of Berlin Zoo Station

I always wanted to be a part of the ‘scene’ , in the center of events, among everyone else I thought were ‘cool’. Drug scene wasn’t an option for me though, but a whole generation of kids in 1970’s Berlin, born in families so worked out that giving love and attention to kids was a luxury , gave up their lives for heroin before they turned 16.
“Christiane F. -Kids from Zoo Station” by Christiane F., Kai Hermann, Horst Rieck is a real life memoir of a teenage narrator Christiane , who shows us the scene we wouldn’t want to be a part of.

“Christiane F. -Kids from Zoo Station” starts off when Christiane is 12 years old and we slowly witness her descent from curious, innocent child to a 14 year old heroin addict prostitute, we witness her struggles, attempts to find love and acceptance, we witness her weakness and bravery, we witness her inner struggles and disillusionment , we witness the city haunted by pain and loneliness, we witness the most shameful , raw encounters , we witness lives lost , lives that didn’t matter in the first place.

Child narrator gives this book a special kind of honest tone, that makes us empathize with her. We don’t want to judge her, we’re not disgusted, we want her to survive, to defeat her demons, to find the way out, that she does eventually.

Years passed since I read it but this book still terrifies me… Idea that kids lacking love and care can seek shelter in the most dangerous places makes me anxious. And all these fears and sadness the book awakes is the main reason why it’s so great.

Heroin scene lost its aggressive presence, though it became a part of urban mythology of Berlin and the echos of the lost generation still haunts the halls of Zoo Station.

Zoo Station, Berlin
A scene from a movie “Chriastinae F.” (1981)

5 / 5 ⭐️


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