In West Berlin there were British, French and American areas after the war, and some French signage and speaking still goes on in that area. On the train last week I was listening to a couple of young French blokes talking (trying to improve my own French). They were about 18-20 years old.
An old guy who had to be about 75 years old, but really no older, was there with his wife and he started to make conversation with the young men in French. As best I could make out his father was a prisoner of war and as recounted his story in only a few stops between S-Bahn stations (incidentally built by the East Germans) he started tearing up.
The French guys were really shocked at the story, one in particular was was shaking his head in astonishment such was the effect this random encounter had on him. I couldn’t really make out the exact details of the story, but hearing clearly ‘pere’, ‘prisonierre de guerre ‘ and “Francaise’ and the emotion said it all.
Fascinating to listen to. Berlin’s past sure runs through it’s present.