report no.: 186
source: Joseph Roth, What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920–33
location: Potsdam Station
[On the day of the funeral of Friedrich Ebert (1871–1925),
SPD leader and president of the repiblic 1919–1925] The Potsdam
Station is no longer a station, no longer a gateway to the world,
but a gateway to death. One descends black steps. Put away behind
black cloths are all the noisy, merry sounds of travelling, jingling,
calling, tooting world. Signals are asleep, silent in silent corners.
Do any trains still depart from here? Are there still such things
as ticket counters, lights, red and green signals, switchmen? The
waiting room has become an anteroom to eternity.