Berlin has long been a magnet for outsiders, from provincial Prussians centuries ago to Brooklyn hipsters today. Strangers at first, these newcomers eventually make the city their own and reshape its social fabric.
This process continued even while Berlin was divided during the Cold War, but 20 years after reunification, the German capital has become an increasingly attractive destination for foreigners hoping to start a new life.
Julia Lipkins’ multimedia project for The Local lets these new Berliners tell their own stories.
Seoul, South Korea
In 2002, Berlin’s prestigious medical school admitted a class of 240 German students and less than a dozen foreigners – Chris Cho was among the chosen few.
Dr. Cho graduated from Berlin’s Charité Medical University in 2009 with a degree in orthopedic surgery. Fluent in Korean, German and English, Dr. Cho says he was inspired to become a surgeon in high school after reading Erich Maria Remarque’s, “Arch of Triumph.” Remarque’s protagonist is a brilliant surgeon, who lives as an illegal refugee in Paris on the eve of World War II.