1. December 1996

Berlin after the Wall –
Forgotten Streets

What was everyday life for the GDR-Citizen in East Berlin, normally West Berliners could only discover that after the fall of the Berlin Wall: streets and rows of houses where time seemed to have stopped, all eaten away by the ravages of time sacrificed to decay. Many of these places had barely changed their face for over 50 years.

For those who took their time exploring and discovering, these places afforded insights into the East Berlin living reality, hidden in byroads and side streets, in the districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte in East Berlin, beyond the large avenues and shopping streets, between Schönhauser and Prenzlauer Allee, Wilhelm-Pieck- and Friedrichstrasse.

However, in addition to the sad reality of decay, these places exuded a special kind of morbid charm. They showed a picture of a past Berlin, which was not found in the western part for a long time.

After the turnaround everything went very fast: Investors and restorers arrived, the street scene changed, the neighborhood became “hip” and lost its original face.

The photographs were taken in the years 1991 to 1995 and were shown in 1996 under the auspices of the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development in the exhibition “Jenseits der Allee” (Beyond the Avenue). The title of the exhibition is based on the eponymous story by Beate Morgenstern.

For the shootings I used a Canon AE-1 Program 35mm camera and the lenses Canon FD 50 and Canon FD 80-200 with the black and white negative film Kodak TRI-X Pan 400. The photographs shown here are reproductions of original hand prints. The vintage prints on ILFORD RC De-Luxe Paper are sulfur toned and partially colored.

Berlin-Mitte, Scheunenviertel, Grosse Hamburger Straße

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