Recently I visited Berlin to have a look at new developments there. Newspaper reports since the fall of the infamous wall and the re-establishment of Berlin as the capital of united Germany indicated that extraordinary developments are taking place. I can confirm that this is no exaggeration although there is still a very marked difference between the well developed and lively West Berlin and the drab and rundown East Berlin, where the plaster on many houses still shows the impact of bullets. However, the building activity now going on around the Potsdamer Platz is simply terrific.

One of the reasons for going to Berlin was that I hoped to be able to get a look at the original manuscript of the journal of Johann Reinhold Forster (1729- 1798), dating from his visit to Easter Island in March 1774. Forster was the German botanist on Captain Cook's second exploration trip on the Resolution.