Berlin is the city we call home. We’ve had our offices here for years now, first in Friedrichshain (near Oberbaum Bridge and East Side Gallery) and for the last three years in Mitte. The city is loaded with history and you can feel it on every corner. This year is the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Berlin has changed quite rapidly over the last years and so it seems kind of unimaginable that the city was divided for more than 40 years. When our photographer suschaa uploaded a selection of old photos that her dad took in the 1970s or early 80s in West Berlin, we got really excited about these pieces of history. Our Berlin photographer zettberlin helped us find out more about where and when the photos were taken. Walking in the footsteps of suschaas father, zettberlin took current images of the old photos. We are very happy to show both the old photos by suschaas father and zettberlin’s pics from today. Many thanks to suschaa and zettberlin!
Suschaa also wrote a personal history of her father’s old slides for us. You can read it all in the blogpost under the photos.
Ready for a little journey through time? Here we go!
5 Berlin photos from yesterday and today
Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin
The Brandenburg Gate
Sowjet War Memorial on 17 June Street (Tiergarten)
Corner of Bernburger Street / Köthener Street (near Potsdamer Platz)
Here are the 5 locations of the photos on a Google map.
The story behind the old Berlin photos by suschaa
When Photocase contacted me and asked if I would like to write a guest post about the old Berlin slides of my dad, I was very skeptical at first, because I have hardly any information about them. But of course, there’s a personal that surrounds them and I would like to tell you this story – given that you are patient listeners and can take pleasure in the small banalities of life (just like in my photos).
That I did rediscover the old slides after all, I owe to the circumstance of my old car going kaput. I’ve been carting the old boxes around since 2012. There was no space in my old, tiny apartment and somehow I seemed to have always been looking for that opportunity to end up somewhere where I can finally have a proper look at them. But who still has a slide projector nowadays? In summer, half inflated air mattresses piled up on the slides and so I totally forgot them. When I rediscovered them, I was very excited and curious what they would show.
In my family were discussing the question, if and why my father should have get slides made in the first place. We all agree on the point, that our family never owned a projector, we never did slide show nights, that were quite popular when I was a kid. Do you know those small square boxes, that look like a small TV and where you can insert a slide? I got exact that kind of thing on ebay lately so that I can finally look at my finds. After I saw the first slides (and of course it were old vacation snaps), old memories came up of travels that I wasn’t allowed to take part in. My mum for example only recalls photos, that she didn’t want to take. For example when my parents were on vacation in Greece (some of those photos are on Photocase btw), where they went through a marital crises because my dad stepped on a sea urchin and as a consequence, his head swell up to the size of a huge pumpkin and my mother refused to leave the hotel room with him. She didn’t even want to take a souvenir photo, much to the regret of my father and of course us, the kids that would have liked to see their dad with a watermelon head.
I remember all those small trips of my parents that they never took me to. Even so the trip to Berlin, that my father did with my sister. It must have been in the 70s or early 80s, when I was still little. This corresponds with zettberlins estimations, who was so kind to provide some information about the old Berlin photos. My mother told me that my father went to Berlin for the “Grüne Woche” (editor’s note: an international fair for food and agriculture in Berlin), together with my sister anstead of my mother, who suffered toothaches. For my sister, this was the lesser evil because at home she would have had to baby-sit me.
One thing is for certain: finding these old slides is the most beautiful legacy that my father could have left me. It is something very personal and now more than ever I recognize in his photos his open and interested mind that you wouldn’t expect of a small farmer. Someone who went out for drinks with members of the German Bundestag after work. Someone who never kept quiet, even when others didn’t have anything to say any more. And sometimes he did the same with his camera. I’m curious, which treasure are still to discover in this box of old slides… to be continued .. eventually.