The preliminary final of my photo series “East Germany’s Soviet Heritage” is dedicated to a paradox, that is the first of Berlin’s big Soviet commemorative sites as well as the only Soviet War Memorial on the territory of West Berlin. The monument was guarded by Red Army soldiers around the clock and is located within sight of Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag. It was a Soviet and Communist thorn in the western side
When 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
Hip and cool Berlin and be pretty shallow as with having a highest elevation of only ~100 metres it’s generally got a very flat topography. And since German megalomania once also regulated the maximum height for residential buildings, it is very easy to overlook whole Berlin when standing on elevated places. One of those spots peeping out of the ocean of houses is Berlin-Schöneberg-based Gasometer, an industrial relict once used to store gas but that can be climbed today.
I can still feel the New Year’s party on Red Square in my bones; the very square that was said to be entirely closed by western media. Well, I had quite a great midnight, enjoyed the fireworks and ice-skating together with Russians, Georgians and Armenians. Daytime temperatures meanwhile reached thrilling -21°C, a profound coldness that’s literally made for Banya visits and wearing thick leather coats. Each morning at 6 o‘clock I left my domicile on Bolshaya-Grusinskaya street, the big Georgian, and walk through the snow towards Barrikadnaya station to enter the Moscow Metro to capture and portrait the architecture of all its lines and station.
Due 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
Against the background of the imperial endeavours of Great Britain and France, Germany’s colonial adventures started late. One of those liaisons, that even today sparks a yern to see distant places, is German South-West Africa, nowadays Namibia, where at the turn of the century diamonds got found. The story of that boom tells Kolmanskop; the once richest settlement of Africa existed only to wring the gem stones from the desert but is now an abandoned ghost town being reconquered by the sand of the Namib
A city in the middle of nowhere, being surrounded by millions of tons of desert sand and directly at the shore of the Atlantic. A city that braving the elements preserves the architectonic heritage of the Wilhelmine era and standing for world-class oysters. All that is Lüderitz, located at the ocean on Namibia’s west coast
Singapore sits at the seam of Southeast Asian mainland and the island world of Indonesia. With 5.5 million people living on ~700km² it is not only one of the smallest but also most densely populated city states in the world. Since ever the metropolis was a point of commerce, known to Arabs, Indians, Chinese and of course Malayans. That ethnic mix as well as its compact development coin a cityscape that boasts of historic-religious important Hindu and Buddha temples as well as with fully automated metros, an almost clinically clean appearance and a luxury glass steel architecture that culminates in Marina Bay Sands and its Infinity Pool
“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