Photographs Brian Rose

Hötensleben Memorial, 1996

A large border memorial lies adjacent to Hötensleben, a former East German town just south of Helmstedt. It was a beautiful fall day, sharp light, deep blue sky. I drove to the memorial and was shocked to see a fairway of green grass where the scraped earth of the death strip used to be. The walls and fences were still there, and the guard tower stood as before on the crest of a hill. But the menacing face of the GDR was softened, even as it was preserved. I photographed the elements of the border apparatus, and I followed the concrete trail of the vehicle track as it disappeared into the landscape.

The Guard Tower

The Wall

The Village

The Vehicle Track

The Death Strip


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