November 9, 2009

Berlin Wall 20|09

Cartier-Bresson shot the Wall, and today (Wall 20|09) I went to the Bernauer Strasse to try to recreate his pictures. But it is completely impossible.

The phone-register-box is now on the opposite side of the street, and there is a new building under construction. The first two buildings of the Wolliner Strasse were destroyed. Now the streets are paved with asphalt.

Instead of after-war-cripples and French policemen with machine guns, tourists have to wait for the green light carrying on their shoulders a camera or a backpack. Some famous pics of Bernauer Strasse (and good ones):

Today it is being partially refurbished, new lofts are under construction, and the former Wall is now a tiny rocky path shivering the memory of the pedestrians:

So looked the corner of Bernauer Strasse and Schwedter Strasse years ago, and today the building's wall depicts a "Joga Bonito" grafitti called Welcome to Berlin.

The Bernauer Strasse is particularly important, among other reasons, because it was perhaps the most dramatic spot where the Wall was risen, and perhaps even the first one. On the other hand, the Böse Bridge, on the Bornholmer Strasse, was the first spot where the Wall was broken, and so, people started crossing on the night of November 9th, 1989.

Today there was a ceremony with Walesa, Gorbachov, Merkel and Wowereit.

I was particularly interested by a nearby garden-colony which still exists behind a long piece of the Wall. The very first persons who crossed got a stamp on their passports, since they were "visiting" another country.

These figures are famous images of the East Side Gallery, which were reproduced by some schoolboys in the big domino pieces which fall down today simulating the fall of the Wall.

Now let's tear down many other diving walls we have!


Anonymous said...

Great post!I like the most the second picture comparison (Bernauerstr. corner)! Was the left pic made yesterday?

ddedon said...

What Impressive and Touching photos!
These photos give me stronger feeling especially to a person like me, who live in South Korea, which is the last existing divided country in the world.
May I take photos taken by Cartier-Bresson and you, including the photo of Willy Ronis in Sep.13 if you wouldn't mind?

Enrique G de la G said...

Sure, ddedon.

Sebastian said...

did you went to the berlin wall memorial? It is supossed to be a moreless reconstruction of the original wall.
It lacks some parts originally in the wall, but is impresive to see the dead srtripe and all. Not to forget the church.

Enrique G de la G said...

No fui esta vez, pero paso varias veces a la semana por ahí.