West Berlin’s Soviet Heritage – The Tiergarten Soviet War Memorial

West Berlin’s Soviet Heritage – The Tiergarten Soviet War MemorialThe 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 »»

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 »»

Gasometer – Berlin-Schöneberg’s steel skeleton

Gasometer – Berlin-Schöneberg’s steel skeletonHip 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. »»

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” »»

Oberbaum, Berlin Wall and so on…

Oberbaum, Berlin Wall and so on…Berlin-based bridge Oberbaumbrücke is a symbol for many things: Where nowadays cars, metros and tourists cross Spree River from north to south, was once the border between the East and the West. The former border strip was guided by the course of the river; a route, that today is famous for pleasure boat trips. The towers of Oberbaumbrücke are not only identity-establishing for the directly neighbouring club Watergate, but stand first and foremost for the vicinity of Berlin and Brandenburg. Also in my life Oberbaumbrücke played an important role, as it was my first contact with the West after the Berlin Wall fell down »»

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 »»

Berlin’s Olympia Stadium in Black and White

Berlin’s Olympia Stadium in Black and WhiteMany of Berlin’s places of interest, no matter if built for “perpetuity” or perpetually not being accomplished, are often hard-wired to a single name. Ulbricht has his TV Tower, Wowereit his BBI airport desaster and Honecker dreamed of a 100 years lasting wall. In the 1930’s such dreams year-lasting-wise even had one more zero in the end and threw Germany as well as the rest of the world into turmoil. Only a few witnesses reminding of that time are left, for example Berlin’s mighty Olympiastadion, a massive stadium built by Werner March in the west of the city. Photographically I am interpreting its lines and geometry in dramatic contrasts and in Black and White only »»