I took the S-Bahn to Alexanderplatz to see the exhibit there about the events leading up to and surrounding the fall of the Wall. It is a large, comprehensive, exhibition that deserves some time digesting. I plan to go back for a less camera-centric visit.
A steady drizzle through the afternoon made it slow going for me and my view camera. Fortunately, it was not as cold as the day before. I found the exhibition at Alexanderplatz visually compelling, and it was an opportunity to bring this historic location into my project at the same time. This was one of the most important centers of Berlin before the war, and became the heart of DDR Berlin when the city was divided. In most respects it looks like it did before the Wall came down. People still meet at the clock located in the square, an artifact of the East German era, as a young photographer who I spoke to was doing.
The exhibit includes extensive documentation on the people and events leading up to November 9, 1989. The American view tends to favor the global political game–and American military power in particular–as the ultimate factor in the demise of communism. But this exhibit focuses on the many people behind the Iron Curtain–dissidents, labor leaders, artists, musicians–who struggled at huge personal risk to undermine the system from within. The film being shown above, however, does not leave out the big stage political events like Ronald Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech before the Brandenburg Gate.