Back in 1989, I took the photo below of a small memorial- this side reads “Fuer Immer in Freundschaft mit der Sowietunion Verbunden” rough translation: Always connected to the Soviet Union in Frendship. You can see a Wartburg zipping by the Palast der Republik across the street in the background.
That was then, this is now (2017 at least, photo below.)
Unfortunately there’s no Palace of the Republic across the street. I still regret leaving the GDR without taking so many photos. I just assumed it would be there anytime I came back.
Also, I should note: while researching this topic I found that this memorial is dedicated to Herbert Baum, a German, Jew, and Communist who led a resistance group against the fascists.
It was about a year ago, we returned from our family trip to Europe. I’m still working my way through the photos. Berlin holds a special place in my heart.
I had visited a divided Berlin for the first time in 1987. In fact, I took an old pair of Doc Martins that might have been on my feet on some of the very same streets in the 1980’s.
Though it was a family trip, I still try to shoot stock. Many of my photos would seem rather odd without taking stock photography into account.
Across from our crappy hotel (Hotel Alper, don’t go there) was this hip hats shop that made for some nice photos.
One of the first places I remember visiting in 1987 was this Soviet WWII memorial. One ironic twist was though the USSR occupied the Eastern part of Berlin, they controlled a few little spots in the west where this memorial in the Tiergarten lies.
Visiting a friend down in the Los Angeles area, Culver City to be exact I had another opportunity to visit the Wende Museum. The Wende Museum is focused on the Cold War, a particular interest to me.
Back in 1986/87 I was an exchange student in Southwestern Germany (technically the Federal Republic of Germany or as most English speakers referred to it “West Germany”.) It seems like ancient history now, but in the wake of WWII, Germany was occupied by the major victors divided into zones amongst them.
Where I lived in Immenstaad, and went to school, (now Bad) Saulgau was in the French occupied zone. I have no idea if the French really “occupied” this area though they did have a Garrison in nearby Friedrichshafen where you’d occasionally see French soldiers and military equipment.
In any case the “democratic” powers of France, United Kingdom, and United States got on pretty well. However the USSR…. not so much. The Soviet occupied Eastern portion of Germany became its own country in 1948. Except the western portion of Berlin and some other quirks, like a few spots in West Berlin that were run by the USSR (like the Soviet Memorials at Treptow and at Tiergarten.)
So, my first visit to the GDR was with a friend and classmate from the Gewerbliche Berufsschule Saulgau who had a sister who lived and worked in West Berlin.
Whew, this is getting longer than I planned. Short story, I visited Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR in the summer of 1987 and was fascinated.
So just a couple blocks from my friends house lies the new location for a museum dedicated to my interest.
There were a bunch of busts of Lenin. I had a good time framing them with my new camera setup, I thought it worked well using the new Sigma Art 18-35mm f1.8 (hey, that’s sounding rather capitalistic- a product placement?) I liked the ability to get a shallow DOF with one little Lenin in front of a big Lenin.
I’m kinda bummed my friend is moving. I’d love to go back and spend some more time exploring Ostalgie.