© Rex Features / Sipa Press, August 1961, The newly built Berlin Wall
"Early in August 1961, I left Ingrid, by now my fiancee, in East Berlin, for a holiday in France with my parents, convinced that nothing would happen while I was gone. I badly miscalculated.  In the early hours of 13 August, as most Berliners slept, the city was truncated by rolls of barbed wire strung out by units of the east German factory militia, border guards and People’s Police. When I arrived back in West Berlin shortly afterwards, I was struck by an amazing stillness. Nowhere did I see signs of a city in crisis, with the exception of a knot of westerners at the sector border shouting for the removal of the barbed wire. Governing Mayor Willy Brandt quickly dissuaded them of such folly." (read more)
» find more pictures of World War II (and the consequences) here «

© Rex Features / Sipa Press, August 1961, The newly built Berlin Wall

"Early in August 1961, I left Ingrid, by now my fiancee, in East Berlin, for a holiday in France with my parents, convinced that nothing would happen while I was gone. I badly miscalculated.  In the early hours of 13 August, as most Berliners slept, the city was truncated by rolls of barbed wire strung out by units of the east German factory militia, border guards and People’s Police. When I arrived back in West Berlin shortly afterwards, I was struck by an amazing stillness. Nowhere did I see signs of a city in crisis, with the exception of a knot of westerners at the sector border shouting for the removal of the barbed wire. Governing Mayor Willy Brandt quickly dissuaded them of such folly." (read more)

» find more pictures of World War II (and the consequences) here «

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IRINA WERNING - BACK TO THE FUTURE 2

This photo is part of the Back to the future 2 project (some of you may remember Part 1).

Next destinations include: ISTANBUL, ISRAEL, BEIRUT, ICELAND, CAIRO, EURODISNEY, PALESTINE. Email her your old pictures if you live there:
backtothefuturepics@gmail.com

"I love old photos. I admit being a nosey photographer. As soon as I step into someone else’s house, I start sniffing for them. Most of us are fascinated by their retro look but to me, it’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today… A few months ago, I decided to actually do this. So, with my camera, I started inviting people to go back to their future." (Irina Werning)

IMAGE INFO
left: Family photo, 1990, Christoph at Berlin Wall
right: © Irina Werning, 2011, Christoph at the same spot, 21 years later

THOMAS HOEPKER: LIFE BEHIND THE BERLIN WALL

Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker discusses 40 years spent chronicling life in strange, sad, vicious and sometimes hilarious East Berlin.

The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. It was officially referred to as the "Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart" by GDR authorities, implying that neighbouring West Germany had not been fully de-Nazified.

The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the "Wall of Shame" while condemning the Wall’s restriction on freedom of movement. Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border that demarcated the border between East and West Germany, both borders came to symbolize the "Iron Curtain" between Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc.

In 1989 a non-violent revolution overthrew the Communists. The Soviets refused to intervene, and the country soon reunited with West Germany and is now part of Germany.

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