Cold War Berlin was nothing short of brutal. Yet, Berliners still managed to find silver linings wherever they could. IMAGO’s archives from 1970’s Berlin reveal our city’s resilience in the face of turmoil.
Berliners always know how to have fun – even with a spy-police, unstable politics, left-overs of a world war amidst another war, and a scathing wall dividing their city in 1970’s Berlin.
At the turn of the decade, the Moscow Treaties were signed between West Germany and the Soviet Union, further solidifying the division between East and West Berlin. Chancellor Willy Brandt met with the GDR’s Prime Minister Willy Stoph for the first time. The anti-capitalist domestic terror organization targeting political authorities known as the Red Army Faction saw its climax, shaking things up all the more.
Simultaneously, music-lovers helped smuggle records over the wall to those in the East, who relentlessly found ways to endure their realities. Artists like David Bowie, who moved to West Berlin in 1976, found inspiration in the eclectic nature of the city’s complexities both good and bad. Regardless of the situation, Berliners still managed to dig up their swim trunks, strap into a roller coaster, and enjoy a film or some live music.
For this month’s series Colour, Candid and the Street, we look at IMAGO’s archives from 1970’s Berlin that show pockets of serenity among the chaos on either side of the wall.
See the full IMAGO Collection here.