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East. West. Berlin


EAST. WEST. BERLIN.

JOHANNES EHEMANN, BERLIN ARTIST

Germans, at any age, will always have their history to contemplate. But for the young, it is still difficult to come to terms with a time when Germany was divided in two.

WLADIMIR KAMINER, BERLIN AUTHOR

The GDR was very cool, very cool. They were gourmets. They had all these sausages sprinkled with different kinds of pepper. They had 10 different types of beer there in the GDR.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST IN THE GDR

Unfortunately, they didn't preserve the Wall, they took it apart piece by piece. That would be quite a monument.

DMITRI VRUBEL, BERLIN ARTIST

When you were flying into Berlin in 1990 or 91, you could see thatyou could see the wall you could see it from the plane there was an illuminated area - that was West Berlin and everything around it was black.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

You know, I watched all those movies and read books and thought I thought, the Wall will fall down some day and there will be New York behind it

((TITLE : EAST. WEST. BERLIN))

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

Here. There were five-floor residential buildings here. Once they built the border, the residents were banned from the buildings. And some of them jumped, jumped from their windows into the Western sector.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

When I was a child, I learned we lost World War II, and that due to the Yalta and Potsdam agreements, Germany was divided in two states.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

They didn't talk much about the past, maybe thats why I became so interested. I was wondering why the Cold War happened?

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

At the end of the WWII, the Red Army occupied Berlin. On July 4, 1945, according to the Yalta and Potsdam agreements, the troops from the three Western powers were deployed in the city, and it was divided into the Soviet, the U.S., the British, and the French sectors.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

In 1948, a new currency, the Deutsch Mark was introduced in the western occupation zones, while in the Soviet occupation zone another currency was introduced: It was also called the Mark, though it was the East German Mark of the Central Bank.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

The economy in West Germany began to flourish. It happened mostly due to the Marshall Plan. Americans helped us Germans, even though we were defeated in the war.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

In the East everything was quite the opposite, it was impoverished. Plants and factories were confiscated. It was a complete opposite to what happened in the West. As a result of this and for political reasons, people fled East Germany in droves.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

More and more people were leaving, and then the government was forced to close the border. It happened quite unexpectedly. On the night of August 13, 1961, Berlin was artificially divided in two parts.

MIKE LUKASCH, DIRECTOR OF KULTURBRAUEREI AND TRAENENPALAST MUSEUM

The railroad connection between the East and West was severed in 1961. This railroad we can see here led to the East. And if somebody wanted to go to the West, they were supposed to go to the other railroad, which was separated. For citizens of East Germany it meant that they could get here but couldnt go further, to the West

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

I grew up here, in the Prenzlauer Berg area. My school was near this park, it was an old school, typical for East Germany. My teacher of 10 years lived right here, close to the park. Later my sister moved here with her husband and her little child. As kids we used to play here, we sled in this park. In the summer of 1899 my sister fled from the GDR via Hungary, but before that she transferred her apartment to me. This apartment is here, close to this park too. So this park has been the centerpiece of my life.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

As uniformed soldiers we were free to travel to any zone in the city. And we did. We often made trips to East Berlin. I had a young family there at the time. We lived right next to the wall. I used to take my children down to look at it and we climbed up on towers and watch the changing of the guard.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST, HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY GRADUATE

When I was a university student I lived in a studio overlooking the Wall and the watchtower. That meant I was always forced to look at the border, the death strip. I also could somewhat see the West, beyond the border.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST, HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY GRADUATE

Mostly I stayed deep inside the apartment, since every time when I approached the window, soldiers at the watchtower would immediately aim their binoculars at me.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST, HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY GRADUATE

The Wall was too high, so I couldnt see the cars, but I could hear them.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST, HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY GRADUATE

I saw rabbits down there on the border.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST, HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY GRADUATE

Unlike hares, rabbits dig holes. That means that they can go wherever they want. They felt secure here, in the death strip, secure enough to raise their kids.

DMITRI VRUBEL, ARTIST

Right now we are standing in the exclusion zone. It separated West Berlin from East Berlin. There you see pieces of the wall You can see them right there. See these childrens parks, playgrounds? Well, that was all In the East.

DMITRI VRUBEL, ARTIST

This asphalt has been here since that time. These fences are new; all this is new. But that has been here since then, and those East German border guards in their vehicles were patrolling here. They were monitoring the area to make sure that no one passed through. The official story was: they were guarding it from Western aggression. But really, they were making sure that no one from the East would defect to the West.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

You had ugly incidents. You'd have a guard that would shoot the other guard for instance too so that they worked in pairs so they

could keep an eye on each other. You'd read the stories about the various ways that they would use to get across there. And you would have the various scandals that happened diplomats who were bringing people back and forth across the wall because their cars couldn't be searched. And there were many many ingenious ways that people found to do it. But there were lots of failures too. And and it was always tragic when there was a killing.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

I dont think I would be able to explain this to my children. A mountain was standing in the middle of the city and it was impossible to overcome. It became a natural part of the landscape. We could see buildings behind it and something else. But they were totally inaccessible. It was a different world, a different planet.

EMILY PUGH, AUTHOR OF ARCHITECTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN DIVIDED BERLIN

Both sides wanted to make the argument that they were the true Berlin. In the East how they did that was by bringing the city as the capital of the country, the capital of the country and the representative of that national identity which was easier for them to do because all of the major sites of historic many of the themsites of major historical significance were in the East because the whole center of the city was part of the East.

I mean I think that played itself out in different ways architecturally speaking. So in the East you have this push in East Berlin to build this this grand area in central Berlin around the

Unter den Linden and then the housing along what ultimately became Karl-Marx-Allee.

EMILY PUGH, AUTHOR OF ARCHITECTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN DIVIDED BERLIN

Creating in Berlin the image of what you know the idealized image of the socialist utopia.

GU?NTHER GRUENEBERG, KARL-MARX-ALLEE RESIDENT

If you look at these two buildings and imagine a bridge between them, you would immediately recognize the shape of the Moscow Lomonosov University, the MGU. You see it? That is the so-called Russian style of 1950s.

GU?NTHER GRUENEBERG, KARL-MARX-ALLEE RESIDENT

And here the 1960s begin.

GU?NTHER GRUENEBERG, KARL-MARX-ALLEE RESIDENT

This used to be a boutique.

GU?NTHER GRUENEBERG, KARL-MARX-ALLEE RESIDENT

They used to sell beautiful things for women. In 1960s you could even buy a pantsuit for ladies here.

GU?NTHER GRUENEBERG, KARL-MARX-ALLEE RESIDENT

Cafe-restaurant Moscow. This was one of the most expensive restaurants in East Berlin. For instance, in the GDR a good monthly salary was 700-900 Marks. If you would like to come here and dance, you would need to pay 29 or 28 Marks for a bottle of real Crimean sparkling wine. One couldnt afford it very often.

GU?NTHER GRUENEBERG, KARL-MARX-ALLEE RESIDENT

And here was a beauty salon Babett. Cucumber slices on eyes. Massage. Cream.

GU?NTHER GRUENEBERG, KARL-MARX-ALLEE RESIDENT

This street you could compare with Kurfrstendamm in West Berlin.

EMILY PUGH, AUTHOR OF ARCHITECTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN DIVIDED BERLIN

The Kurfuerstendamm is as a place that what it visually communicates these very clearly these ideas of abundance and shopping and traffic and people in glass store windows and things like that

EMILY PUGH, AUTHOR OF ARCHITECTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN DIVIDED BERLIN

I don't know too terribly much about K?D?W? but what I think is interesting about K?D?W? it is that it existed before the period of division and that whole area around where it is I mean this was a was a newer part of the city. And so it was associated with everything kind of new and modern and cosmopolitan in the 20s and 30s and so in a way it makes perfect sense that then in the period of division that kind of becomes the new center of the city.

EMILY PUGH, AUTHOR OF ARCHITECTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN DIVIDED BERLIN

Of course it's pretty far west from the city center.

EMILY PUGH, AUTHOR OF ARCHITECTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN DIVIDED BERLIN

If you look at it as a whole but when it's just half the city that's kind of the center of the city. And so this idea that you'd have this department store that had already been there, but happens to be called you know the Department store of the West I just think it's so appropriate for the Cold War.

EMILY PUGH, AUTHOR OF ARCHITECTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN DIVIDED BERLIN

And a lot of these very modernist buildings

EMILY PUGH, AUTHOR OF ARCHITECTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN DIVIDED BERLIN

Built in more aggressively modern style compared to other West German cities.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

(00:07:32 - 00:07:36) West Berlin was an extremely pleasant place to live in lots of green.

(00:14:01 - 00:14:15) I think it was the green and the modern feel the city the cleanness cleanliness of the city that helped the place survive. You never really had a sense that you were inside this island

EMILY PUGH, AUTHOR OF ARCHITECTURE, POLITICS, AND IDENTITY IN DIVIDED BERLIN

(00:10:40 - 00:10:50) You have to remember that East Berlin is contiguous with the country that it's in. Whereas West Berlin is enclave, this occupied enclave.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

I think one of the problems the West German government had in those days was keeping people in Berlin. And one of the things they did with Berlin it was a refuge for German draft dodgers. If you lived in Berlin, you didn't serve in the military. So a lot of young people would move to Berlin. You had these interesting contrasts in terms of the atmosphere. I mean it's an occupied city. There are soldiers all over the place. And the city is a symbolism of freedom in this sea of communism. Lots of clichs like that. And you also had this young population there that meant significantly anti-American or protesting the Vietnam War protesting the occupation, protesting everything. JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s So you had these interesting contrast. It was of course an intellectual center too. But most of all it was an arts center.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

And that's what made the city so fascinating. First of all your number one artwork was the wall itself. It was a masterpiece of graffiti. And the gra

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

You had that as a form of protest as art. Now that the wall is down you find the graffiti all over the benches and everything else.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s But in those days it was all on the wall.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

As soon as you've crossed through Checkpoint Charlie the air changed. It was like the air was like the wall was stopping the air as well as well as anybody wanted to get over to the west.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

Of course, there are smells, which have disappeared forever, and you cant bring them back. For example, in the winter there was the smell of sulfur, they used brown coal for heating. Sometimes, when I travel to Eastern Europe, I still smell it.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

Or the light.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

In the evening the streets were dark with all those dim streetlights. Thats also different today. Certain sounds. For example, there was this sound, when somebody in a backyard in Berlin was repeatedly trying to start his motorbike.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

Of course, my memories are sentimental, I was young you know. Young and with no worries

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

In 1979, when I was 16-year old, I went to the East Berlin and took pictures of everyday life in the East Berlin and of the Wall.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

People spoke differently, dressed differently, and even drove different cars.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

They had a completely different lifestyle. The difference between socialism and capitalism was striking.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

The stores were all pretty much the same and there was a kind of utilitarian quality to them and they all seem to have the same kind of goods and very plain Jane.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

The East Germans were doing the best they could do. They were really working on a shoestring I think relative to what West Germany had in terms of economic power. And even though they were relatively wealthy in car and among the communist countries they were poor by Western standards and they all knew it too.

MIKE LUKASCH, DIRECTOR OF KULTURBRAUEREI AND TRAENENPALAST MUSEUM

Imagine that you live in Berlin knowing that that there is another Berlin, where everything is different, particularly in terms of consumption, where with money, you can buy whatever you want.

MIKE LUKASCH, DIRECTOR OF KULTURBRAUEREI AND TRAENENPALAST MUSEUM

There were these famous Western packages. West Germans sent them to their relatives and friends in the GDR.

MIKE LUKASCH, DIRECTOR OF KULTURBRAUEREI AND TRAENENPALAST MUSEUM

There were many different things in those boxes. Coffee was always a reason to celebrate.

MIKE LUKASCH, DIRECTOR OF KULTURBRAUEREI AND TRAENENPALAST MUSEUM

Due to Western TV, the East Germans had a pretty good idea about the life in the West. There was no language barrier Though for a long time it was forbidden, many people watched Western TV. As a result, the influence of capitalism in the GDR was much stronger than in the USSR.

WLADIMIR KAMINER, AUTHOR

We live here in the former East Germany. And I hear a lot, lots of beautiful things. From neighbors, from friends, from colleagues.

Many good things about the GDR. It wasnt a bad place, of courseThe problem with GDR was that it wasnt real

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

In the times of the Third Reich my family resisted Hitlers regime. My grandfather was a Social-Democrat. My grandmother, while taking walks with me, scattered leaflets, she hid them in the baby carriage.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

And in the GDR I was raised in that same way, I was never a member of young pioneers or FDJ, all those were communist youth organizations

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

I graduated high school with excellent grades, but I was not admitted to a college.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

You see an old man standing in front of you. I lived in Hitlers Germany until I was six, then in the GDR until I was 18. And then I fled. I fled to the West.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

And when I arrived in the West, for the first time I saw parliamentary elections. There were no elections under Hitler.

In the GDR we had only a population census. And here political parties were vying for the votes. I was so excited to see it.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

First, I graduated from professional school. In order to do that I moved to a provincial town when I was sixteen, and studied at a boarding school where I learned how to be a locksmith. I also learned the ethical values of the working class: we drank a lot, and didnt work much, and everything was somehow falling apart. I quickly realized that the system would never work. Next stage was military service. I was drafted for a year and a half and it was horrible.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

While I was doing my military service, the Polish workers movement Solidarnosc became active in Poland. We were stationed on the Polish border.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

Warsaw Pact troops could invade Poland at any moment in order to crash this Solidarnosc movement, like it happened in the time of the Prague Spring. At least we felt like this.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

We always had this feeling of high alert. Tension was in the air.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

After my military service, I studied at Leipzig Universitys school of journalism. My father said there was no journalism in our

country, and though he was kind of right, I still wanted to be a journalist.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST IN THE GDR

For me it was the only chance to see the world.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

We thought a lot about how to live with all that. My approach was art, many small works. Most of them were hidden in my drawer, I could only show them after the fall of the Wall.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

Then I became braver and went out to the streets to paint and attached pictures on the walls in construction areas.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

And, of course, I talked to people. A lot.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

The change came in stages. First I was very careful. But in the mid of 1980s I decided that I cant live my entire life in fear. No matter what I was doing, they always could find a reason to come and arrest me.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

When my brother was seventeen, he was arrested and locked up in jail because he had leaflets in his bag saying that Walter Ulbricht must go.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

He spent two and half years in jail and when he got out, they didnt let him move to the West. He was also banned from getting an education. Then he went to Alexanderplatz and poured gasoline over himself. He knew that the Stasi (Ministry for State Security) was watching him. He was arrested and sentenced for another four years of jail.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

He got four years, but a year later the West bought him out.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

Joseph, my partner, looked at his Stasi file after the Wall fell. I didnt want to look at mine. His file contained a detailed description of his table, his drawers. Obviously it was provided by one of our so-called friends that had been in our house.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

They never learned to trust us. They could have trusted their own people. Maybe not. But from the very beginning they never did. And as a result, people ran from them.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

I believe that most of the people escaped via Hungary in the summer of 1989 I went to Hungary to take pictures of the refugees they could never imagine that in just two months the GDR would cease to exist as it used to be.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

Had Gorbachev not started with Perestroika and Glasnost, it would not have happened here.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

Earlier that year people began to gather in churches and in private houses to discuss the changes the country needed. They were inspired by Gorbachev who said: "We have to open the windows, we have to let fresh air in, we have to go new ways." He proclaimed Perestroika and Glasnost in Russia. New candidates were allowed to run for offices, and small private enterprises were permitted. People wanted the same kind of change for the GDR.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

I would like to invite you to Caf Mosaic. It was one of the few places in the East where artists met up regularly and it stayed open until midnight. There were several spots like this: the Vienna Caf, Caf Nord, and the Caf Mosaic.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

We talked about things that would inspire democracy. We wanted to speak openly about what we believed was right. We had open discussions with as many people as possible in order to find a common basis.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

We knew change was in the air and on its way.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

When I photographed g this huge rally on November 4 at Alexanderplatz, I felt a new atmosphere for the first time in the East. The first freedom was in the air. During the rally, the GDR

TV began broadcasting live In the GDR it was unthinkable, to see an antigovernment demonstration live on state TV, broadcasting people demanding change

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

Basically, it was the beginning of the end. After that it took only five days for the Wall to come down.

PRESS CONFERENCE OF THE GDR-GOVERNMENT, NOVEMBER 9th, 1989

Gnther Schabowski, Socialist Party Official

Therefore... we have decided today... to implement a regulation that allows every citizen of the German Democratic Republic ... to... leave the GDR through any of the border crossings

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

Those words by Schabowski in an indirect way led to the decision to reunite Germany and Helmut Kohl immediately realized that he had this fragile window of opportunity.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

I was in a restaurant with a partner, and suddenly my driver came in and told me: Wolfgang, youve got to go to Momper. Walter Momper was the mayor of West Berlin

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

In about fifteen minutes, Mompers representative came in and told me: Dont you know what happened? The Wall has fallen! I said: Congratulations, you guys have lost your minds.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

I ran to my car and the driver took me to Schneberger town hall. The streets were indeed full of people. So I went straight to Walter Momper and he told me:

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

You see what is going on! Wolfgang, youve got to make sure that at every checkpoint there is a bus transit, so that people can take a bus to the other side.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

I spent the entire night driving back and forth, checking where else can we let buses run from the East to the West.

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

If you ask me Just dont tell my wife; I would tell you that day was the best day of my life.

GUNTER GRUENEBERG, KARL-MARX-ALLEE RESIDENT

If Mr. Gorbatchev had sent military tanks here 1989, it would have been ? bloodbath. But he didnt do it. He didnt send tanks.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

It was quite an adventure. At 3 A.M. on November 10th we were at the Brandenburger Gate in Berlin

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

It was like a movie. Even today I get goose bumps, when I look at these pictures. People were climbing the Wall, and I did too. People were crossing the border.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

The euphoria lasted for only three days and then everything went back to normal. But the new reality bothered many people in West Berlin. The streets were crowded with taxis, the East Berlin cab drivers. They were taking away our business, not everyone liked that. The fall of the Berlin Wall was quite an event. It was like a World Cup, Olympic Games, and World Economic Summit all combined. And then it was over. Except that in the West, life went back to normal, to the way it was before. Nothing actually changed for them. Meanwhile, in East Germany everything changed on November 9.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

I had no idea about what had happened. We didnt watch TV nor listen to the radio. The next day we were supposed to have a meeting of artist association, and I was in charge. But when I woke up in the morning I found a note on the door from old friends living in West Berlin: you slept through the revolution. I

came into the kitchen. My friend was standing there, he spent the night, he was listening to the radio. And he told me: the Wall is open.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

I cried most of the day, but not out of joy. It was quite the opposite: I could clearly see what will happen pretty soon to all the people near me and what will happen in general.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

In the evening I cried because I couldnt share everybodys joy. And I also thought: well, its all good, but I am too old, for me, it happened too late, I cant go to New York for a year the way I dreamed when I was 20. Now, that was nonsense of course. Since then I have visited all the continents with my art projects and I am deeply grateful that the Wall is not there anymore and that I can go wherever I want to.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

My partner became a victim of the new world, he could not deal with the changes and committed suicide.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

I experienced all the consequences, in every meaning of the word.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

And the reason why I managed to survive and didnt breakWell, its because I had a happy childhood which was my

foundation. I grew up in a rural area, I knew every flower and every cow

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

The exhibition is focused on the period beginning October 3 1990 through 1995. As I said before, I took pictures of the events that took place from the summer of 1989. Here you can see the pictures from October 3, which I took in front of the Reichstag. There were hundreds of thousands of people who celebrated German reunification, along with Helmut Kohl and the West German government.

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

However, this joy didnt last. Here, on October 3, 1990, you still can see happy faces. However, six months later I took this picture.

PICTURE NAME: East Germans second class citizens?

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST

There was the highest unemployment in German history. From 1990 to 1991 a lot of people in the East lost their jobs; worse than ever before. Huge industrial areas were simply shut down. And in the West nobody cared about it. What happened to my parents generation? They had so many expectations, and in such a short time they got so disappointed Just because the plants couldnt handle the competition.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST

The factories shut down. Institutions were taken over by the Western authorities.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST

It was an amazing time for a journalist like myself. I couldnt keep up with the pace of events, and while I was writing my stories I slowly started to understand what had actually happened. I lived in a state of intoxication. Three years of a total intoxication.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST

The West didnt realize that the East had different political needs than the society in West Germany and they could produce their own political energy until it was way too late. In the beginning many people in the East voted for the left, first for the Party of Democratic Socialism and later for the Left party. They were more popular here than in West. Recently the right-wing populist parties emerged, including the AfG (Alternative for Germany). AfG keeps gaining popularity in the East

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST

All that because for many years the East was not taken seriously. We are the losers of these political processes.

WLADIMIR KAMINER, AUTHOR

I knew, for example, a Stasi officer, who spent all his life spying on his neighbors. He was, probably, 40 years old, just five years until retirement. They retired early, you know. And, suddenly, a change of paradigm. What should he do? He went to culinary school.

WLADIMIR KAMINER, AUTHOR

He failed in this endeavor. They didnt like him, you know. I remember he took a job in a fish restaurant. They complained that he kept asking what everyone thinks about others working there

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

I've been to Germany and Berlin probably five times since then in the last 30 years. I've been struck every time I went back to Berlin. Both and how it's changed particularly in the East. It's quite a place now but also how much it hasn't changed particularly in the West which looks remarkably similar to the West that I knew.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

And so when the wall came down and the unification of Germany took place there was a very rapid move to demilitarize the city. And that that ruffled a lot of feathers because the allies were all used to getting their own way. They were used to calling the shots. And now suddenly the Berlin government is calling the shots.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

So there's a little bit of a shake out that way.

JEFFREY SEXTON, SERVED U.S. LIAISON MISSION TO THE GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES IN BERLIN IN 1980s

But it's now you go to Berlin and that's all part of the past.

WLADIMIR KAMINER, AUTHOR

Any society makes a leap, once it reaches a junction of two cultures. And this is exactly what happened after the fall of the Wall.

WLADIMIR KAMINER, AUTHOR

This beautiful area right here where we are talking now is right on the border between the East and the West. All these buildings here were empty, because their inhabitants run to the West, they were not sure what would happen next, and were afraid that the Wall would be closed again.

WLADIMIR KAMINER, AUTHOR

So they ran away, leaving their apartments empty, which were immediately occupied by people coming from the West. The new occupants were punk rockers and all kinds of folk. They were young people from provincial small towns in West Germany where they were stifled and could not lead their alternative lifestyles. For that, they needed an empty space, preferably with no stiff cultural roots and no strict government on their backs. This place was perfect for them.

WLADIMIR KAMINER, AUTHOR

The old state, the old system fell apart, became dust under peoples feet: everything crumbled and broke into pieces. The new system, the new way of life didn't replace the old instantly, it moved in slowly. A huge number of young people filled the void between two states. People like us. We occupied an apartment, got dogs, bicycles, grew long hair.

KARLA SACHSE, BERLIN ARTIST

You know, Berlin could be compared to a spider web. In the fall it gets very thick. And this thickness of history, which goes all the way back to the times of K?iser makes Berlin different from other places.

JOHANNES EHEMANN, BERLIN ARTIST

I came here from a provincial town in Bavaria, where everything is a bit more conservative. And Berlin is for Germans like the big wide world.

JOHANNES EHEMANN, BERLIN ARTIST

For Germans Berlin is a place to be, and nobody cares whether you are from the East or from the West. What counts is whether you are willing to accept this town as a whole and accept yourself as a whole too

JOHANNES EHEMANN, BERLIN ARTIST

There is no other city like this.

JOHANNES EHEMANN, BERLIN ARTIST

The art is everywhere. And it is wonderful. Maybe thats the only way to deal with the history, not to look away, not feel confronted by it, but instead to live and work with it.

JOHANNES EHEMANN, BERLIN ARTIST

I think there is no artist in the world who wouldnt want to paint something on the Wall.

[JOHANNES EHEMANN, BERLIN ARTIST

I would love to create something here as well. Its a big wish of mine - to draw something on the Wall

DMITRI VRUBEL, ARTIST

This is a kiss between a Russian and a European. Brezhnev was a true Russian, wasnt he? And Honecker was a true European, a communist, a leftist, who lived and worked in the European political narrative. It turns out we are capable to kiss each other.

DMITRI VRUBEL, ARTIST

All my Moscow fellow artists were telling me that I was crazy. That this piece of the Wall will be destroyed in about two months, they said. They said, I should try my luck in West Berlin, it was packed with galleries, art fairs and exhibitions, art dealers and collectors. Why are you painting pictures on the Wall, its makes absolutely no sense, they said.

DMITRI VRUBEL, ARTIST

Well, I cant tell you why. I cant tell you why I decided not to go to the art dealers and collectors, and instead painted something on the Wall.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST

This park here was build out of debris left after World War II. Women collected stones from the ruins of destroyed buildings, brought them here and planted some trees. These trees are older than the Wall.

ALEXANDER OSANG, JOURNALIST

This pain, this scar tissue, this experience that we had. All that produces energy. New life energy. You find it here, in Berlin

WOLFGANG JENICHEN, HEAD OF TRANSPORT SERVICES DEPARTMENT IN WEST BERLIN (1979-1993)

The majority of Germans are united. There are people, who are unhappy, but there are unhappy French people as well, or unhappy Brits, just look at Brexit

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

People, particularly young people, have the chance to live their own lives. They dont need to make a political career or rely on their parents ties. They can decide for themselves where to go and what to do. They can study abroad and not only in the Soviet Union, as it used to be in the GDR. The world is open and you can have your destiny in your own hands

DANIEL BISKUP, PHOTOGRAPHER

With a German passport, you have a access to practically the whole world.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

I believe it was in 1996 or a bit earlier, there was an art competition to transform the former border checkpoints into memorials

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

You had to pick one of the checkpoints. Everybody was keen on Checkpoint Charlie, where Russian and American soldiers are standing side by side.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

And I chose this one.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

And then I took my students to Provence. There I saw a huge field with rabbits jumping all around. And I had an idea. I remembered that when I was student I was always watching this Wall and the rabbits who were playing between the barbed wires, and I thought to myself: they can run to the West.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

It was very important to me not to put pathos in this work. Everything we went through, all our suffering, this lump in our stomachs, the feeling of separation. You cant put it in artwork, you cant express it. You just cant.

KARLA SACHSE, ARTIST

One rabbit is sitting down, the other one is laying down, and the third one is hopping
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