East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Löwen-Adler barracks and the Elstal Olympic Village

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Löwen-Adler barracks and the Elstal Olympic VillageWhen hearing of the Olympic Village for the 1936 Berlin Games, then people quickly think about Hitler, the Nazis as well as their making a cult out of Hindenburg, the former WW I hero and later President of the Reich. However also the Soviet Army lodged itself in strategically well located Elstal and its Löwen-Adler Kaserne military barracks, leaving a very interesting melange behind as in the Olympic Village not only a terrific abandoned swimming pool can be seen, but also a mix of clearly recognizable Nazi elements and typical Soviet iconography »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage

East Germany’s Soviet HeritageDue to widespread demonization and digitally categorising everything in good and evil, some Westerners will surely misunderstand my photo series “East Germany’s Soviet Heritage” thoroughly as being propaganda or glorification. I do the project primarily because of my huge interest in history and Soviet Union as well as Communist times being definitely everything but boring. Both things are unique and, no matter if I want it or not, they are part of my life and me growing up »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Soviet eyrie Sperenberg

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Soviet eyrie Sperenberg“Heather of the Mark, Sand of the Mark” – that is what Brandenburg State’s anthem is all about and to the south of Berlin, in Sperenberg you can find plenty of it as meanwhile nature took over from once deployed Soviet airmen. Being built by GDR for its big brother and comrade in arms, the Russians used the airfield until 1994. Since then the huge 24 km² extensive abandoned area is exposed to decay »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Krampnitz’ Tanks at the Gates of Berlin

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Krampnitz’ Tanks at the Gates of BerlinKrampnitz near Potsdam, at the doorstep of Berlin, was a big military base of the tank troops of former GSFG, the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. More and more abandoned witnesses like Krampnitz disappear as they get reconquered by nature again or humans level everything to the ground. Krampnitz will face that destiny as well, but unlike other military camps it got perpetuated by Hollywood movie “Enemy at the Gates” »»

Rugby in Berlin

Rugby in BerlinAs a preparation for the European championship the German U18 national team rugby met Berlin-based Rugby Klub 03 from Weissensee district to have a test match. Here are a couple of in-game impressions »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – The Treptow War Memorial in Berlin

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – The Treptow War Memorial in BerlinAs a small boy I was pretty much impressed by the Soviet War Memorial being located in Berlin’s Treptower Park and even today that place has quite some impact. However, nowadays such a visit is generally voluntary than back in the days, as the whole school had got to show up there. Though, that wasn’t a loss as independent from the system one’s living in one could get a feeling for what history means, war stands for and what has to be prevented from happening again. The memorial site lies a bit hidden behind the trees of Treptower Park and only the granite triumphal arches give a hint what can be seen when going further. The war memorial played an important role when the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (GSFG) backed out on June 25th 19 years ago »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – The mighty Wünsdorf garrison

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – The mighty Wünsdorf garrisonVillage of 6.000 souls versus military town with up to 75.000 soldiers – Back in the days the Soviets knew very well how to make use of Wünsdorf (Вюнсдорф), a settlement being located in Berlin’s south along the railroad leading to Dresden. Even if the whole territory is abandoned for several years now and completely fenced, it is possible to have a closer look at the heart of the complex, the today’s House of Officers, a building telling manifold stories of times when it was Army Sports School for the Nazi as well as even before for the emperor »»

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Vogelsang’s abandoned Military Garrison

East Germany’s Soviet Heritage – Vogelsang’s abandoned Military GarrisonAfter World War II a huge area being located less than a 1 hour car drive away from the highway ring surrounding Berlin became one of Soviet Army’s most important military sites. This abandoned garrison is located near the city of Zehdenick, in the north of the village Vogelsang. At peak time up to 15.000 people lived and worked in the present-day ghost town; soldiers, their relatives as well as civil associates. Some of them controlled nuclear missiles pointing to the west – a piece of Cold War and living history »»

Impressions from Berlin I

Impressions from Berlin IWhy seeking far afield when the good could not be any closer? More and more I am acquiring a taste for taking photos at my own doorstep. The series Impressions from Berlin consciously contains colour as well as black/white images. It is meant to provide a new perspective on already known things and quarry some surprising new insights, for example to reveal that the world’s tallest minaret stands in Berlin »»