Agnes Bernelle didn't have an easy life, but I think we can safely assume that she was never bored. Some people have the unique quality of remaining young, at heart, untill the day they die because they keep discovering new things, they keep looking with an open mind. I think actess and singer Agnes Bernelle, born Bernauer, was such a person. Her biography the Fun Palace is not a unique story. In some ways it compares with that of Claire Goll: Growing up in a privileged mixed Jewish family, fleeing abroad after the shattering impact of Hitler coming to power, marrying a adventurising womaniser and finally rising to own acclaim. But Agnes Bernelle lacks the viciousness and bitterness of Yvan Goll's widow in her discription of others, she doesn't put herself on a pedestal. She has written a book simply because she had her story to tell.Some of her pain remains understated, you have to read between the lines. The title The Fun Palace is derived from her discription of a 'Scherzenpalast' she visited long ago, a fairground attraction were you enter a house which constantly change, where the rooms shrink and expand, and the floors move. Agnes Bernelle was constant in her political beliefs (pacifist) but remained unhampered by dogma. Her life was too varied for that. The Fun Palace is a good read for anyone who is interested in recent European history, in theatre, in feminism, in life. I wish I'd met her when she was alive.