Dear fellow travellers
Rarely has travel across Europe been so much in the news as over the past months. We have seen great numbers of refugees crossing the Mediterranean and the Aegean to reach European shores. All faced extraordinary existential dangers. Many perished on the journey. We have been greatly moved by the scenes of families making their way up through the Balkans towards central Europe and beyond. Often it is the small details that stay in the mind — like the moment on Sunday at an open-air book market here in Berlin when a vendor refused to take any payment from a Syrian couple wanting to purchase a second-hand Arabic-German dictionary.
Most issues of hidden europe have themes which are laced through a number of texts. And that's especially true of the new issue of the magazine which is published today. hidden europe 47 has a number of articles which touch on issues of migration and displacement. Join us as we visit Geneva, a classic city of refuge, which made space for French Huguenots and Russian revolutionaries. Curiously, our home city of Berlin has not featured greatly in hidden europe but we make amends in this issue with an excursion to a district in the south of the city which is just a short walk from our base. Marienfelde is interesting in many ways; it's an area which still retains a village-like quality, but which for over half a century has welcomed tens of thousands of refugees. We also look at the Saxon heritage in Transylvanian villages and take the slow train from Zagreb to Sarajevo 20 years after the Dayton Peace Accord.
Most issues of hidden europe have themes which are laced through a number of texts. And that's especially true of the new issue of the magazine which is published today.
As in every issue of hidden europe, we are indebted to the external contributors to the magazine. Most of the texts are written in-house, but we welcome three other writers to this issue. They are Rudolf Abraham, Laurence Mitchell and Duncan JD Smith, who all have put pen to paper for us before. Indeed Laurence first wrote for hidden europe ten years ago and we mark the occasion by granting him licence to venture beyond Europe in hidden europe 47. The result is an account of Arslanbob in Kyrgyzstan, a village where the population is almost entirely Uzbek.
There is much more besides. We ask what happened to rail links through Ukraine and reflect on the history of Vienna's Westbahnhof. We present an interesting project called The Spine of Russia and include two articles inspired by new books which have recently crossed our desks. Those two titles are Skylines (by Yolanda Zappaterra and Jan Fuscoe), and The Book of the Bothy by Phoebe Smith. See online summaries of the full range of articles in hidden europe 47.
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
(editors, hidden europe magazine)