Thursday, November 05, 2009

Berlin - before and after 1989

14 images in the Daily Telegraph

The bleakness is almost invisible today.


workingman said...


I visited East Germany and some of the other communist countries during 86-89. As you say the bleakness was unbelievable. I made many friends, and it was amazing how many were willing to say how much they dispised their government and way of live.

In East Berlin there is a TV tower, similar to the Sky Tower in Auckland, that had a restaurant near the top. From there at night the Berlin wall was very visisble, even without being able to seeing the wall. West Berlin was brightly lit, East Berlin steet lights were extremely dim, and also futher spaced out. So the streets at night looked very dark and grim.

jarbury said...

I like how they have left hints of what used to be there - like the replica guard-house at Checkpoint Charlie and the brick line that marks where the wall used to run, through many of the city's streets.

While "the Wall" was certainly an ugly period of Berlin's history, it is still a critical part of that city's history and it's good to see that something has been retained - but in a tasteful manner.

I still remember watching on TV when the wall came down (I was 7 at the time). It really did feel as though the world had changed.

Libertyscott said...

workingman: Yes I have been to Berlin 3x, all since the wall came down, the remarkable thing is how it is not that easy to tell the difference downtown between the former zones, although architecture in the suburbs does show a difference.

jarbury: Yes I am glad that these signs remain. One of the odd things was how the U-Bahn (metro) was cut in pieces by the division, so lines ended abruptly and a couple of stations ran through one half and then back, with serious levels of security to stop escapees. Berlin's U-Bahn having mostly been built at the beginning of the 20th century like Paris and London.

The Checkpoint Charlie museum is remarkable, to see how people escaped.