Images of Berlin, December 2007
An Album of images of the Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate was commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II in 1788 to a classical design based on the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens. Topped by a fraulein (Viktoria) in a Quadriga (chariot) because Mercedes-Benz were not yet made. She represents Victory, but has indeed been a victim of defeat, being stolen in 1806 by Napoleon when he defeated the Prussians, and then hauled back to Berlin in 1814 when the nasty little Corsican upstart got his come uppance. Viktoria got a bit bent and her chariot's wheels went flat during the struggles in 1945, but eventually she got dusted off and renovated to symbolise victory over communism when The Wall came down in 1989.
The forbidden view. Looking through the Brandenburg Gate from the West into the East
Looking through the Brandenburg Gate from the East into the West. A forbidden view.
Viktoria, the Quadriga atop the Brandenburg Gate was created by Johann Gottfried Schadow in 1791. Originally a symbol of peace, in 1806 Napolean took the Quadriga back to Paris to celebrate his victory over the Prussians, but in 1814 the conquering Prussians wrested it from Napolean and put it back on the Tor. Viktoria then became goddess of Victory
I just don't believe that Soviet Guards at the Brandenburg Gate dressed in such Camp silver uniforms. The chap on my left was a right miserable bugger, never uttered a word or moved a muscle.
The Brandenburg Gate aerial view from the Daimler-Chrysler panorama terrace. A line of cobbles down the road shows the line of the Berlin Wall
An Album of images of the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall)
The track of the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall) is marked on the ground. Here at Postdammer Platz there is a placque and an indentation in the pavement to show the line of The Wall
The track of the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall) is marked on the ground. Here a line of cobbles delineates the route of the Wall, and therefore the buildings seen ahead post date The Wall.
Juris looking at the Berliner Mauer
The track of the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall) is marked on the ground. Here the line goes through the corner of the white building. Such buildings stand now in what was No Mans Land and after 1989 this strip became the biggest building site in Europe.
Panels from the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall)
Panels of the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall), the wire fence is not part of The Wall, just protection for it.
The Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 and pulled down in 1989 and formed the the most notorious part of the 'Iron Curtain'. Some 128 people are recorded as dying trying to escape from East to West Berlin. Apparent 5000 people escaped from East Germany to West Germany, some 2000 of those being Border Guards. (The wire netting is a modern attempt to stop the wall being chopped up for souvenirs or being plastered with graffiti - some hope!)
Wall Tourism is big business in Berlin. Here this cute "guard" extracts one Euro for a pose.
Wall Tourism is big business in Berlin. Smile please cute guard, the tourist has paid his Euro.
Wall watching; The Wall (Berliner Mauer) is an attraction for tourists, and as you can see here also for vandals and graffiti artists
An Album of images around Potsdamer Platz
At 103metres, the Bahntower is the tallest component of the 7-building complex designed by Helmut Jahn as the "Sony Centre" at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. It is currently home to German Railways Deutsche Bahn AG
The Bahntower seen from the red terracotta Kohlhof building
Keep your desk tidy, people are watching. An office within the Bahntower seen from the panorama terrace of the Kohlhof building.
Potsdamer Platz: On the left is Renzo Piano's Debis Building (1991-97). Central is the red clinker-clad Daimler-Chrysler building by Kollhoff, which has the fastest express elevator in Europe.
At the right is the Bahntower, headquarters of Deutsche Bahn and built by Helmut Jahn 1998-99.
Renzo Piano's Debis Building on the Daimler-Chrysler site at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. The building has 4 elements, one is all glass and the other 3 are terracotta covered, and they appear to be 4 separate buildings
the Kohlhof building has a panorama terrace at 93metres from which the public can get fantastic views of Berlin. Kohlhof built this for Daimler-Chrysler
Potsdamer Platz Sony Centre roof over the Forum showing the dynamic blinds that shade
Potsdamer Platz Sony Centre showing the top of the roof over the Forum below. Spanning 102metres, Helmut Jahn's roof provides shade in the daytime and extraordinary lighting at night
Potsdamer Platz Sony Centre roof showing how it covers over the 100metre Form space and joins to the many buildings around this open space
Potsdamer Platz Sony Centre roof dynamic blinds that can be altered to shade out bright sunlight. At night these are painted with fabulous light effects by the light artist Yann Kersalé.
Potsdamer Platz Sony Centre Forum space covered by Helmut Jahn's remarkable roof. The Christmas Tree is all made of Lego and the Santa too; both adverts for Legoland
Arkaden Shopping Centre, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Christmas 2007
Iimages of the Reichstag building. "DEM DEUTSCHEN VOLKE" Translates as 'To (or maybe "For") the German people'
The Reichstag building (left) photographed from the roof of the Daimler-Chrysler building, Potsdamer Platz
The Reichstag building opened in 1894 to use the German Reichstag (Parliament). In 1933 it was burned down during Hitler's takeover of power in Germany and was virtuallly a ruin until the Berlin Wall was removed. Reunification saw the return of the German Parliament (now called the Bundestag) to Berlin and a promise to resurrect the Reichstag building was honoured.
Reichstag showing (Sir) Norman Foster's Pudding Bowl (or do I mean 'Dome'). This Cupola was not in Foster's original design, but was inspired by the 1894 Paul Wallot design of steel and glass [square] cupola. The cupola has a spiralling walkway which gives great views for the public and allows visitors to look down into the debating chamber.
Berlin's Reichstag building houses the German Parliament ('Bundestag'). It was re-opened in 1999 having been almost derelict since the fire of 1933, although some bad reconstruction was made in the 1960s. Sir Norman Foster won the 1990s competition and his design was opened in 1999.
Deutsche Wiedervereinigung (German reunification) was achieved in 1990 and signalled the start of a huge building boom. Two of these results are seen here with (on the left) the Bahntower, Potsdamer Platz by Helmut Jahn, and (in the middle) the Reichstag building by Sir Normal Foster.
An album of photos about Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Orienburg, Berlin, Germany
Arbeit Macht Frei ("Work makes you Free"). The motto on the entrance gates to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Orienburg, Berlin, Germany
The entrance building at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Orienburg, Berlin. This is the parade ground where prisoners sometimes stood for up to 15hours, watched over from that long window.
Worlds Apart; Australia and Europe, Democracy and Facism, Twenty-first century and twentieth century. An Australian student studies the map of Sachsenhausen concentration camp. This part of the model only shows about one quarter of the extent of this camp.
The Camp Triangles. Red Triangle is a political prisoner, but a red triangle with apex at the top is a prisoner of war, such as British pilot or a Norwegian, Dutch, French etc. Brown or Black were Sinti or Gypsies, Green were criminals. Pink were male homosexuals. Red circles marked escapers. For further explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_concentration_camp_badges
Sachsenhausen was a Work Camp, and covered a vast area with much industry, including a brick works, machine manufacture, and as can be seen here a metal foundry
Memorial to Homosexual men who were victims of the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Homosexual men were regarded as criminals or ant-socials by the Nazi regime, and this was enough to get them sent to Work Camps such as Sachsenhausen. Forced to wear Pink Triangles on their striped uniforms, at least 50,000 died of the harsh work regime.
A cell at Sachsenhausen concentration camp laid out as a memorial to the German Jesuit Rupert Mayer. Mayer fought against the Nazi anti-church policy and preached that man should obey God rather than men. He was imprisoned many times, and served a spell in Sachsenhausen before being exiled to Ettal Monastery. The Nazis did not want a Martyr at Sachsenhausen. Mayer survived WW2, dying of a stroke whilst celebrating Mass in November 1945.
A cell at Sachsenhausen concentration camp laid out as a memorial to a British inmate. British inmates included shot down pilots, and Bertram James who was part of the Great Escape 73 of which 50 were shot on recapture. John Godwin RNVR was executed here, but managed to shoot dead the commander of his execution party.
One of the original 40 Huts which fanned out from a centre and were contained within a triangular compound for easy surveyance. Sachsenhausen concentration camp was considerably enlarged and the triangle lost within the greater compound
The bunks at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, near Berlin, where a few fitful hours sleep might be taken after long hours working.
The toilet room in a prisoner hut at Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Prisoners could use this for a few minutes each morning whilst they wash, dressed, and breakfasted before a long day of work
Sachsenhausen concentration camp also had a Prison; a Prison within a Prison. Here inmates could be punished for disobedience, and they were beaten, shut in a hole, and could also be hung
Punishment posts within Sachenhausen concentration camp internal prison.
The execution trench where inmates would be shot by firing squad. However, Sachsenhausen quickly discovered that this was slow and inefficient. A British prisoner even managed to shoot dead the commander of a firing party. Gas chambers were eventually built to make death more efficient.
A sculpture within Station Z to commemorate the inmates of Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Orienburg, Berlin. Sachsenhausen operated from 1936 to 1945 and handled approximately 200,000 people, about 100,000 of whom died here. Most were "poltical" prisoners because of their religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or 'anti social' characteristics. During the war years some 33,000 Russian prisoners of war died at Sachsenhausen.
A placque by Polish writer Andrzej Szczypiorski. Andrzej became interred in the Warsaw Ghetto following the German occupation. In 1944 Andrzej Szczypiorski was involved in the Warsaw uprising and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Orienburg, Berlin.
"Behind this Gate the Earth Moans". A memorial to the victims of the German concentration camp at Salaspils, near Riga, Latvia (see http://simonsred.blogspot.com/2006/04/salaspils-seen.html)
A moving memorial sculpture to the many who died (50,000 to 100,000) in the Salaspils concentration camp near Riga, Latvia. This was a Transit Camp and a work camp, mainly housing those from Baltic states and from eastern Europe. Most inmates were gentiles.
An aerial view of the Jewish Holocaust memorial at Ebertstrasse, Berlin. This view was shot from the Daimler-Chrysler building in Potsdamer Platz.
19,000sq. metres of Berlin real estate covered with 2,711 grey concrete stelae as a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The design is controversial but a visit will soon confirm that it is a real experience and few will come away without some emotion. However, it may be considered rather over-sized, and as a memorial ONLY to the Jewish Holocaust victims it may be seen as insensitive, partial, and worse.
There are dozens of ways through the stone of the Holocaust Memorial at Ebertstrasse, Berlin. The blocks are quite deliberately of different hieghts and also erected on different levels so that both the ground and the tops of the stones undulate
Peter Eisenman’s Holocaust Memorial, a passage through some of the 2700 stones
In the middle of the 2711 reinforced concrete stelae which make up the Holocaust Memorial designed by Peter Eisenman and erected on a 19,000m2 site close to Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.