on the road: Blog https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Ralf Holzem kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) Wed, 23 May 2018 19:37:00 GMT Wed, 23 May 2018 19:37:00 GMT https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u678624517-o903751228-50.jpg on the road: Blog https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 Framing Berlin: Tempelhof Interior II 1/2 https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/frming-berlin-tempelhof-interior-ii-1/2  



Tempelhof Interior II 1/2



This must be the fifth post about the former Tempelhof airport, I seem to be fascinated with the mammoth, difficult to comprehend dimensions of the whole layout and arrangement. The sheer idea and concept and willpower to have come up with something so crazy proves the insanity of a system that gave birth to something so beyond sanity. I´ve written about the history and idea behind the airport plan back in the thirties in one of the other posts, feel free to punch in Tempelhof in the search field above to find it.

These pictures are from my second tour of the interior of the building and only show the seemingly unspectacular regular airport aspect of one small part of the complex. Empty halls and hallways, signs and boards and familiar views that we know from any other airport, even if the style is outdated by two decades. Somehow nice and spooky.






















































Tempelhof Gallery











kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) airport berlin flughafen flughafen tempelhof tempelhof tempelhof airport https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/frming-berlin-tempelhof-interior-ii-1/2 Wed, 23 May 2018 19:35:47 GMT
Framing Berlin: A Perfect Gray https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/framing-berlin-a-perfect-gray  



A Perfect Gray



Recent days and weeks have been very gorgeous in Berlin, dismissing the not so gorgeous days of winter. We get used to the beautiful and forget the supposed ugly. But then again what is ugly and pretty? Let´s make it easy by saying that most people think sunshine is pretty and cloudy days are ugly. Here I have something for the minority who think the other way, some beautiful images of gray days. Not just gray, but perfect gray. The color of sky that the Berlin weather machine is so good at in producing.






Almost finished Humboldt Forum, Mitte





Almost finished City Castle (the front side of the Forum), Mitte





European School Of Management And Technology (ESMT),

the former State Council of the German Democratic

Republic (DDR) Building, Mitte





A Hotel, Schöneberg





The Berolinahaus at Alexanderplatz built between 1929 and 1932, Mitte





A Hotel, Charlottenburg





Upper West Tower, Charlottenburg





Berlin Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) berlin berlin mitte charlottenburg grey grey skies mitte schöneberg https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/framing-berlin-a-perfect-gray Tue, 15 May 2018 13:53:32 GMT
Zeitperle: Healthy Distrust https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/zeitperle-healthy-distrust  



Healthy Distrust


Latvia, August 2004






Distrust 1Distrust 1 Distrust 2Distrust 2
























The Zeitperle space is normally designated for single photographs showing special moments, but today there´s an exception showing two pictures. In 2004 I travelled to Latvia with my kids Lenni and Lina. As we travelled through the country and discovered many interesting things for kids (we experienced Latvia as being a very child-friendly society), there were two occasions when Lenni and Lina didn´t quite know what to make of the figures they met.

To the left is the King of the Forest who resided on a platform in the middle of the woods. There was a small eco based theme park with dwarf figures of the forest and their small houses, mills and sheds close-by, where the children could climb and play around. There was even a small ore mine train with dump cars that ran on a track (all made of local wood just as the king figure). I told the kids the local story of the Forest King which I don´t remember anymore, but Lenni was quite impressed with it and never took his eyes off the huge figure, he didn´t even want to lean against it for this picture, let alone look into the camera for just a moment.

A similar situation took place in Riga, where a piece of public art stood on a square. A thinker man sat on top of a four-stair box and it was difficult to see wether the man was a real pantomime type of joker or just a like-life wax figure. I remember leaving it to the kids imagination which version they chose, but Lina fixed her eyes on him never trusting the thinker and expecting a movement at any moment.





Zeitperle Gallery











kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) distrust fotografie latvia lettland photography zeitperle https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/5/zeitperle-healthy-distrust Wed, 02 May 2018 12:43:56 GMT
Framing Berlin: Looking Up In Friedrichshain https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/framing-berlin-looking-up-in-friedrichshain  



Looking Up In Friedrichshain



On a recent walk along the river on the Friedrichshain side I just took a few pictures along the way. Only later did I realize that I had only taken pictures of stuff that was up and above, from an angle as if constantly looking up. It´s a nice angle, things contrast with the clear sky on a sunny day. Also, it solves a photographers problem of crooked and leaning vertical lines, which, of course is really a hardware problem and/or a software problem. Neither do I have a high quality wide angle lens (yet) for architecture photography, nor do I photoshop my pictures to any excess. So doing it this way helps. The last picture of iconic Oberbaumbrücke is the only exception.

Walking along the river in Friedrichshains post industrial East Harbor area is always enjoyable. Things always change, new buildings are added, others are adjusted to new demands. I just hope that it will also be possible for the public to walk along the river bank in the future. One never knows with the unpredictable and erratic choices that investors and their clientele often make.










































Berlin Gallery










kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) architecture architektur berlin friedrichshain looking up https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/framing-berlin-looking-up-in-friedrichshain Sat, 28 Apr 2018 04:00:00 GMT
Focus Photography: A Trip https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/focus-photography-a-trip  



A Trip (in Turkey)



July 2007, a roundtrip from Ankara to Mt. Ararat and back. Apart from the usual photographic documentation of our fun, comic and strenuous ascent of the biblical mountain and the exploration of its surroundings, especially the town of Doğubayazıt, I took many random pictures, shooting from the hip, trying to somehow suck in all impressions. It´s one way of getting a sort of a souvenir of ones trip to a very different cultural area. Raw and direct, not composed, not carefully chosen. One could say that this approach is somewhere between travel and street photography.





Pre-flight. Ankara airport.





Restaurant at Muradiye waterfalls.






Kurdish settlements, on the road between Čaldıran and Doğubayazıt, in proximity

to the Iranian border. Same for the next two pictures.













Hotel room in Doğubayazıt.






Kurdish girl with horse on the lower flanks of Mt. Ararat.






View of Doğubayazıt from Ishak Pasha Palace.






Entrance to Ishak Pasha Palace.






Downtown Doğubayazıt.




The Photography Gallery












kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) ararat doğubayazıt fotografie mt. ararat photography türkei turkey https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/focus-photography-a-trip Fri, 27 Apr 2018 09:21:51 GMT
Framing Berlin: Neukölln Village Beauty https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/framing-berlin-neuk-lln-village-beauty  



Neukölln Village Beauty



A few days ago I posted about the Neukölln tristesse on an early spring day, now it´s about a pretty part of Neukölln. Neukölln is probably the most diverse city district of Berlin; it stretches from the inner city down south to the border of Brandenburg, representing all colors and aspects of its population. Blue collar, white collar, welfare receivers, hipsters, arab family clans, bourgeois, neo-nazis and leftist activists all print their mark on the cement mix that tries to hold everything together.

Rixdorf is a part of Neukölln that has kept its rural character over the centuries, many parts somehow survived the war and through post-war negligence also survived the maniac city planners of the 60s through the 80s. Here we have a village that used to lie well outside city limits for the most part of its existence, only to be slowly overtaken by urban structures starting in the late 1800s. Rixdorf is also known as the Bohemian Village as the descendants of Bohemian Refugees settled down here in the 1730s. Initially Protestant Bohemians fled from their homeland in 1620 during the 30-Year-War, when Bohemia was forced to convert to Catholicism. They had been in other parts of Saxony, Brandenburg and Prussia, especially around Potsdam before finally settling down in Rixdorf. For some time the village was divided into a German and a Bohemian part, to the east and the west of the village square respectively.

Today Rixdorf is known for its laid-back atmosphere, still preserving the rural spirit and keeping the surrounding big city noise outside. Restaurants, cafés and the town square centerpiece inspire to explore and walk around, taking in the historic spirit.










Part of the memorial showing the trek of the refugees.





A typical 1700th century farm house with a gate for the horse carts. Farming and

handicrafts were the most common source of income for villagers.





This Bauhaus inspired building stands out from the historical buildings around it and harbors

a community centre run by the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine (Moravian Church),

a religious community brought along by the Refugees.






























Town scenes, the Bethlehem Church at the town square.





Backside of the blacksmith house.





The still active village tavern (in background) is situated at the edge of town square.



































Old and new elements co-exist.





Gardens are a vital part of the village and emphasize

the rural character of the whole setting.








John Amos Comenius was a polymath genius who is considered the father of modern education. He was a fighter for equal rights, he especially designed an education system that would be flexible and suitable for all levels of society. The statue was a gift by the Czech Republic and unveiled by Alexander Dubček, the former leader of Czechoslovakia and prominent figure of the 1968 Prague Spring.











Berlin Gallery








kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) berlin bohemia bohemian village böhmen böhmisches dorf neukoelln neukölln rixdorf https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/framing-berlin-neuk-lln-village-beauty Thu, 26 Apr 2018 07:49:39 GMT
Framing Berlin: Neukölln Tristesse Beauty https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/framing-berlin-neuk-lln-tristesse-beauty  



Neukölln Tristesse Beauty



A few weeks ago, on a grey and cloudy day when there were no leaves on the trees yet, Susanne and I took a walk through parts of Neukölln. It´s a walk that we take every week, always with slightly different variations, come rain or come shine. On this day it was particularly grey, we walked along stretches of roads that looked particularly monotone, making everything look particularly bleak and dreary. A day where it seems impossible for this borough to make a lasting impression on passer-bys. Yet it´s a popular neighborhood attracting the young, artistic, innovative, alternative crowd. The mix of time-capsule-70s-Berlin, old-established West-Berliners, newcomers, Turks and Arabs seems to be the potion for success. This part of Neukölln has been written off and depreciated many times over the years and now it seems close to impossible to get an apartment or just a room for a decent price. 






Mock Memorial for a garden colony (Schrebergarten) that used to be here

until a school started expanding. Education before personal

amenities is a good thing for a change.





A shop with Palestinian and Kurdish paraphernalia.

























Jackson the Berghain DJ.





Entrance to the Rütli-Campus, a school formerly known for its notorious and

violent reputation, now a successful model school.




Berlin Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) berlin neighborhood neukoelln neukölln tristesse https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/framing-berlin-neuk-lln-tristesse-beauty Mon, 23 Apr 2018 09:42:46 GMT
Close to Home: St. Pauli Walk https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/close-to-home-st-pauli-walk  



St. Pauli Walk



It was time again, on our last visit to Hamburg we walked through the St. Pauli neighborhood. Retreat zone of the leftist autonomous scene, red light district, party town and haven for all exotic individualists. I like St. Pauli because many things remind me of Kreuzberg, my borough in Berlin where things look and feel very similar. Some parts of what most people believe to be St. Pauli are officially part of the borough of Altona, another very interesting part of Hamburg with its own long and moving history. 






Even when messages can be misunderstood, the

attitudes are highly relevant in times like these.









The Beatles Square at the beginning of Große Freiheit, a street whit a high bar and

nightclub concentration. It was here where they performed before coming out big.





The modern...





...and the traditional.





At the end of the entertainment strip:

There´s nothing Jesus can´t handle





Everything about St. Pauli is not so Copacabana except for one thing:

People are much more relaxed here. 





Looking at Germanys most famous police station, the Davidwache. Its proximity to the

infamous Reeperbahn, Hamburgs busiest and loudest street of nightclubs, bars and

theatres, makes this station one of the busiest in the country.






Herbertstrasse is a men only brothel street. Is it a question of time before

women are allowed in not only as sex and slave workers?







Read an earlier blogpost about St. Pauli.



Hamburg Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) altona hamburg reeperbahn sankt pauli st. pauli https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/close-to-home-st-pauli-walk Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:30:31 GMT
Focus Photography: 432 Sundowner https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/focus-photography-432-sundowner  



432 Sundowner



Part three of the 432 series. Even though we get used to ever new superlatives, thus not recognizing the uniqueness in things anymore, I do think that this house is something special. Tall, slender and sleek the 432 impresses with its minimalism and play with height. For non-engineers like me it´s a wonder it doesn´t topple over, but I guess this is physics at work.



432 part 1  and  432 Glass Cubicle
















New York Gallery

The other New York Gallery

Photography Gallery










kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) 432 432 park avenue fotografie hochhaus manhattan new york new york city photography scyscraper wolkenkratzer https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/focus-photography-432-sundowner Fri, 06 Apr 2018 04:00:00 GMT
Framing Berlin: View Of The Seasons https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/framing-berlin-view-of-the-seasons  



View Of The Seasons



On our sunday walks we cross a bridge named Lohmühlenbrücke which spans over the Landwehrkanal. As we walk over the bridge we leave the borough of Treptow, cross into Neukölln and see Kreuzberg on the far side. The view that these pictures show is from the bridge which belongs to Neukölln, just as the canal bank to the left. The bank to the right is Treptow and the one straight ahead is Kreuzberg. 






September 2014





December 2014





April 2015





October 2015





January 2016





January 2017





April 2017





March 2018






Berlin Gallery






kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) 4 seasons berlin kreuzberg neukoelln neukölln seasons treptow vier jahreszeiten view https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/framing-berlin-view-of-the-seasons Thu, 05 Apr 2018 04:00:00 GMT
Framing Berlin: Wandelism https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/framing-berlin-wandelism  






The other day a friend and I went to see an exhibition in a former car repair shop that is planned for demolition. So for a short period of time the whole building with all its big space, rooms and basement was free for all sorts of urban artists, especially graffiti and mural sprayers, to spraypaint and display. The project was called Wandelism, a neo-logism adopted from the German word Wandel (Change). The idea reminded me of the THEHAUS project from 2017 when a huge building was used by artists before the house and the art were deconstructed. A similar project called Artomatic (my blogpost from 2013) took place in Northern Virginia a couple of years ago. Wandelism was small and cosy in comparison to the other two, yet it was great fun and the artwork quite intensive but nice to look at. 








The former car repair shop.










































                                              Guided tours of the exhibition could be taken.
































































































































       Some of the graffitis seemed familiar as we live in a part of Berlin that is known for its

       notorious graffiti and mural density. A homage to this fact is the yellow U 1 subway

       car displaying Schlesisches Tor, our nearest subway station.















The Berlin Gallery










kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) artomatic berlin graffiti kunst mural sprayer streetart thehouse urban art urbanart wandelism https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/4/framing-berlin-wandelism Wed, 04 Apr 2018 07:39:20 GMT
Close to Home: More Scenes Of Erfurt https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/close-to-home-more-scenes-of-erfurt  



More Scenes Of Erfurt



Erfurt, huh? Yes, I like that town, so here I go showing some more of the pictures I took there. The antidote to big city presumptions, or to hyper urbanism, or whatever.

What makes Erfurt really so interesting for me personally? Looking at these pictures it´s perhaps the imagination that the city is so German, in a way we don´t see things as being typical German anymore because they´re so outdated and so old fashioned. Perhaps also because some of the older typical German attributes have been hijacked by the neo-right movements. A city that has been spared the systematic carpet bombing of the allied forces and that somehow survived the socialist urban planning scheme, is a popular show and tell object for twisted minds, showing what is at stake when we leave our country in the hands of savages who want to first take over and later destroy our heritage. Ahem...  seriously? Well I think you get the message.

From a neutral point of view the city is an exciting field for adventures and discovery. Architects or historians are in their game when they see the city and its layout of streets and alleys that have grown and spread over time, when they read history through buildings of different epochs. It´s not that Erfurt is the only city in Germany with a preserved old town center, but it´s one of the few where the historic substance has not been renovated into an unrecognizable state. Most old towns, especially in West Germany, have a Disney Theme Park flair. A terrible result of the past "state-of-the-art" architecture preservation. in a way socialist negligence turned out to be fortunate for many old towns with historic substance in East Germany. In a deplorable state at first, they then have been restored with the most up-to-date concepts and technologies. Modern preservation is not only good to look at in general, but also accurate to the smallest details - in most cases.






The Krämerbrücke (grocers bridge) is a jewel with houses on both sides of the bridge,

leaving a narrow lane running through the middle.





The ruin of Barfüsser Church.





The narrow lane on Krämerbrücke.





I named this picture Hilda on her way to visit Aunt Klara for a similar version on my Instagram account. It nicely shows the intact ensemble of old town Erfurt. Except fot the cars of course. Even though most parts of the historic downtown area are off limits for non-commercial vehicles, the defined area could well be expanded.


While I was standing on the steps to the cathedral to take the Hilda picture, I just had to turn around to take the next one. Erfurt Cathedral to the left and St. Severi Church to the right.







House with a small jetty.





A registry, seems like a nice place to marry.





Some of the houses are open to the public. In this case a building located on Krämerbrücke

that houses a foundation for the preservation of historic buildings. In one of the rooms the

patina of centuries-old wooden wall panels could be scrutinized.





The small round opening over the entrance signals the right of the house owners to brew and serve beer. If the present house owners still have the right to do so, they´d have to place a bundle of straw in the hole if freshly brewed beer were available. Nice tradition.





One of the topics that keeps preservers busy is the question wether to restore historic windows, or replace them by modern energy efficient replicas. The problem: Replicas are too perfect, often they´re made of synthetic material and don´t match the old wear and tear character of the buildings.





Thüringen/Thuringia Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) architecture east germany erfurt old town ostdeutschland preservation thüringen thuringia https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/close-to-home-more-scenes-of-erfurt Wed, 28 Mar 2018 19:32:06 GMT
Zeitperle: A Personal Message https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/zeitperle-a-personal-message  



A Personal Message


Kreuzberg, Berlin, 2017











Most graffitis are cryptical or just state the id of the sprayer collective or individual. Here it is different. A straightforward personal message about the most important issue there is: Love! Isn´t this something that should be tolerated anywhere? Last time I checked it was still around, there seems to be a certain kind of respect for certain messages. Good thing.





Zeitperle Gallery











kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) berlin graffiti graffitis kreuzberg love https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/zeitperle-a-personal-message Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:08:15 GMT
Close to Home: Sylt - Shadow And Contrast https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/close-to-home-sylt---shadow-and-contrast  



Sylt - Shadow And Contrast



To do the obvious is easy, and good. Going to the beach in summertime, taking pictures of perfect blue skies and happy people. To do the not so obvious is not so easy, and good. Going to the beach in wintertime, taking pictures of grey skies and absent people.

Ok, summer, sun and warm beach sand is something that most people would agree on as being soul soothing and relaxing. Yet I think that harsh climate, clean air and winter storms can also be soul cleansing and even relaxing. Only pictures won´t turn out so nicely. Unless you switch to black and white and try capturing that harsh, cold wintery spirit with a play of strong contrasts and dark shadows.

This was our second winter trip on the island of Sylt and I would do it over again. Long walks, no crowds and lots of winter sale. 







































The Sylt Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) contrast fotografie nordsee north sea photography shadows sylt https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/close-to-home-sylt---shadow-and-contrast Thu, 15 Mar 2018 07:29:22 GMT
Focus Photography: 432 Glass Cubicle https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/focus-photography-432-glass-cubicle  



432 Glass Cubicle



The second part of the 432 series, about the new star in the Manhattan Scyscraper Club. 432 Park Avenue is the official name and address of the residential tower, seen here slightly distorted through glass panels from two blocks away.


Here´s part 1 of the series.




















Focus Photography Gallery

New York Gallery

The other New York Gallery








kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) 432 432 park avenue fotografie hochhaus manhattan new york new york city photography scyscraper wolkenkratzer https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/focus-photography-432-glass-cubicle Sat, 10 Mar 2018 12:26:32 GMT
Framing Berlin: A Day On The Ice https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/framing-berlin-a-day-on-the-ice  



A Day On The Ice



This winter has been mild, grey and ugly for the most part. It snowed every now and then, but temperatures were too high for any hope of white winter wonderland. Recently though, for several days in a row temperatures dropped into the freezing range turning the Landwehrkanal into a skating paradise. Even though it didn´t snow and still no winter wonderland, there was solid ice. On a beautiful and sunny Sunday the people living close to the canal made a field trip, knowing that this condition wouldn´t last for long.






People and a pug start gathering.




A musician started an impressing sound collage.








The crowd was gathering around the musician raising doubts about the static capacity

of the ice. Strangely, no street venders started showing up, usually a matter of fact

in this part of Berlin. Coffee and kebab skewers would´ve gone nicely.





Having the easiest access to the canal, most people came on the ice from the Kreuzberg side.



This is the part of the canal where the boroughs of Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Treptow meet. 









Berlin Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) berlin canal ice kanal kreuzberg landwehrkanal neukölln skating treptow winter https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/framing-berlin-a-day-on-the-ice Thu, 08 Mar 2018 07:44:20 GMT
Framing Berlin: The STASI Museum https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/framing-berlin-the-stasi-museum  



The STASI Museum




Everytime I hear and read about right wing misanthropic activity, I wonder what Neo-Nazis have missed in their lives, especially during their educational period. At the same time there is an amnesia-like run on left wing groups, especially towards the Political Party which evolved out of the former East German, also misanthropic, Socialist Party (SED - Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands). The Nazi and The SED Dictatorships can not be compared, yet they had a few things in common, the biggest common denominator was obtaining control over all subjects by means of absolute terror through all levels of society. 

A recent visit to the STASI (East German Secret Police) Museum in Berlin revealed an interesting Status Quo of our country. As a citizen that has a multi-faceted view of his home or birth-country, I am eager to learn about the views and standpoints of other fellow countrymen*women of all ages. The Museum which is a sort of a Memorial at the same time, offers a good opportunity to update on this not so easy topic. 

German Society is in turmoil, a constant change and work in progress is in action behind the big scenes and themes of contemporary politics. How we handle certain aspects of our history will define the perceptions and think tanks of future generations, and issues that seem to be under control presently, are most probably the seeds of future problems. Even though historians and other intellectuals are permanently working on, organizing and updating latest insights, findings, facts and documents, the general public is growing tired of a seemingly recurring theme complex.

The way to deal and learn about the wrongdoings of the past is via education, i.e. via schools. The German school curriculum is incomplete and full of gaps concerning these subjects. Our way of throwing light on the Nazi Dictatorship is insufficient, our way of examining the East German Dictatorship is non-existent. Kids leaving school nowadays don´t have a clue about what went on in our country in the past handful of decades. Not only is it sad, it is absolutely catastrophic and dangerous. Ignorance, indifference and political idiocy is already standard in most parts of German society. The lady who headed the tour through the Museum told us about a kid who visited the place with his class, and at one point asked her why the Nazis built the wall so close to the Reichstag. I suppose this says it all.

People who were raised in East Germany during the Cold War grew up with double trouble. Not only did they not deal with the Nazi past, now they don´t deal with the SED past. This could explain some of the problems we are experiencing.

Hmm, my little article sounds a bit harsh when rereading, but I guess that´s what I´ve come up with not only after the visit to the Museum, but after the last four years in Berlin, my intensive domestic experience, and after my life abroad with an outsiders view on this country. What does it amount to? The Stasi Museum is a well made and perfectly conserved Memorial place. It helps to get an insiders view of how governmental organized terror works. The manipulating power of the Stasi still lives on, the trained and mostly loyal agents are still amongst us even if they´re without masters and instructions. It`s a heritage that we have to live and deal with, alongside the Nazi heritage.






The Foyer





Felix Dzerzhinsky was the founder of the Soviet Secret Police, the Cheka, which was reorganized several

times and eventually became the KGB. Dzerzhinsky was, of course, a hero for all

Secret Police and Spy Agencies in the Communist Realm.


















































































The desk of Erich Mielke, the head of Stasi for most of its existence. The pictures give a glimpse into

the terrible banality of a dictatorship and also highlight the petit bourgeois mentality of its leaders.



























































The above pictures are from Mielkes office and his personal secluded areas.

As the supreme leader of the whole shebang he was furnished and provided

with all comfort according to the socialist taste of the time.













Wardrobe and dressing room for guests.




A safe in a filing cabinet with a board for remarks concerning

career training and schedules for party work.





Socialist Art with symbols of Communism, the fight for the Right Cause and the stylized Soviet Soldier

crushing Nazi Emblems (after a statue which stands at the Soviet Memorial in Berlins Treptower Park).







Socialist/Communist vocabulary is very close to Nazi Jargon.






Berlin Gallery







kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) berlin ddr lichtenberg museum sed stasi stasi museum https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/framing-berlin-the-stasi-museum Wed, 07 Mar 2018 12:10:52 GMT
Framing Berlin: Random Part 6 https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/framing-berlin-random-berlin---part  



Random Berlin



Berlin can be considered a Gesamtkunstwerk. In terms of town planning, architecture, sustainability and from a general urban view point the city is a nightmare - or a dream come true. Walk around and take pictures, most will turn out good. The city is photogenic in all its aspects. A structured chaos that can be felt. A moody diva with a short and turbulent past, with wisdom to give and show to the Young: seize the city and make it yours.





































Berlin Gallery








kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) berlin berlin-mitte charlottenburg friedrichshain mitte random tiergarten treptow https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/framing-berlin-random-berlin---part Thu, 01 Mar 2018 10:44:58 GMT
Framing Berlin: Kreuzberg Metamorphosis https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/close-to-home-kreuzberg-metamorphosis  



Kreuzberg Metamorphosis




Berlin, and Kreuzberg in particular, is full of graffiti and murals. There is a certain language, a code that is spoken through this temporary street art form. Many people oppose the term Art for this expressive communication, especially outsiders from rural areas (I can always anticipate my dads head shaking with disbelief when he visits). It´s hard to imagine that there was a time when houses and surfaces in public were graffiti-free. It´s true that this is also a form of vandalism, but many parts of town have subjected to this wonderful anarchy. Some real estate owners even calculate certain graffiti artists and their inheritance into the value of an object. It has taken some time and talks with insiders to understand the messages and bonds and not-bonds between different graffiti sprayers/sprayer collectives. What makes this subject especially interesting is its temporary character. Most graffitis and murals are not for eternity. And that´s good.

Here is an example from the street I live in. I´ve made shots of this graffiti over a course of two and a half years.






June 2015





June 2016





February 2018






Berlin Gallery








kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) berlin graffiti kreuzberg öffentliche kunst public art https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/close-to-home-kreuzberg-metamorphosis Wed, 28 Feb 2018 22:55:46 GMT
Close to Home: Scenes of Erfurt https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/close-to-home-scenes-of-erfurt  



Scenes of Erfurt



When big city dwellers hear the names of other towns that are smaller, a slight trace of arrogance mixes in with a deplorable look. What? Why would you go there? But a good look and some on the spot field-testing, produce realistic and actual state facts. Erfurt is a pretty and a very historic town, it has been an important location on the crossroads of trade and political power shifts. Most of the traces left by history can still be seen, luckily Erfurts rich architectural treasure has been spared the allied bombs and also survived socialist negligence. Due to the fact that its the Capital of the state of Thuringia and that it has the countrys oldest University, two colleges and several economically orientated institutes, the streets have an open-minded, almost cosmopolitan big city feel. Casual conversations on the tram and an easy way of getting around to meet people, seem to be a recipe for success in one of the more progressive towns we´ve been to recently. We loved and enjoyed it.






Wow, graffiti! Reminiscence to cosmopolitan urbanism.


























        A German math proverb keeps the memory of

        a great teacher alive.








                                                                                                    As in many other German cities the Synagogue has  

                                                                                                    been the target of anti-Semitism through the ages.

                                                                                                    The nazis destroyed it, the socialists misused it and

                                                                                                     altered most parts of the building.










































                                                                                                     A bundle of straw in a small round or square hole

                                                                                                     near the entrance of a house, signals the

                                                                                                     houseowners right to brew beer and that freshly

                                                                                                     brewed beer is available.










Friends meet beyond the dark alley.






to be continued...




Thuringia Gallery









kalimpong66@gmail.com (on the road) adam riese erfurt historic town old town thüringen thuringia university https://ontheroad.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/close-to-home-scenes-of-erfurt Wed, 31 Jan 2018 07:42:18 GMT