A few minutes ago I saw this photo of Checkpoint Charlie, called 'Cold War', uploaded by kiasari (Abbas Eslami Kiasari) as it is today, a tourist attraction. It reminded me that a few months ago I had scanned a photo I took in 1974. So, a quick resize, sharpen, and add a frame, and here we are - two shots of Checkpoint Charlie on the one day. Well, actually it's two days now because it's just after midnight here! But it'll be the same day in many other countries.
I had visited Germany to watch World Cup football matches, especially several featuring Australia, who were in the Cup for the first time. Amongst the ten matches I watched during a whirlwind tour of West Germany was one in Berlin, but I don't remember who played in that match. I do remember the day I spent in the Eastern part of the city. Even this photo of the near-deserted streets gives some idea of the grey bleakness of the 'other side'. I was appalled by the inferiority of the bratwurst and ice cream. The drabness and the Wall were depressing. I could not have imagined the wall would come down 15 years later. The cold war was still very cold.
I was tempted to convert to b/w, but it seems it's grey enough already. If a few more people had been in the shot I might have labelled it Daily Life, but there is not much life evident.
Scanned from a slide.
Critiques | Translate
BennyV (13846) 2010-11-13 5:36
Not only a shot with great documentary value, also a very good one (and great scan quality). I love your reasoning why not to label this picture 'daily life'. You are so right.
annjackman (19937) 2010-11-13 6:18
Well done for scanning this so well and it is indeed of great interest. I visited Berlin 3 yaers ago and in fact stayed in what was the East. A city with a lot of dynamism now after such as difficult past.
holmertz (41819) 2010-11-13 6:46
This is a very interesting view of a world that fortunately doesn't exist anymore. (And I'm not mainly refering to the US running a part of Europe). I'm a personal fan of old photos being shown on TE, especially when the scan is of such a fine quality as this. The just slightly faded colors create a strong atmosphere of the past.
snunney (84983) 2010-11-13 6:59
An interesting and rather poignant documentary image. Converting it to black and white might have made it a bit too twee; the colours of the scanned image along with the drab setting tell their own tale. Well worth seeing again.
kiasari (62) 2010-11-13 8:12
Thank you for visiting my little gallery!
Your shot shows the Checkpoint Charlie in June 1974 and my shot shows the same location after 35 years, in June 2009. The world is changing rapidly and we have no exact prediction for the next 35 years. Hope to have a world without war, neither cold nor hot ;-)
Altough the photo is old, it has a good quality. TFS.
Kielia (23711) 2010-11-13 8:34
reading your notes is like witnessing your unforgettable experience that you have documented excellently. I can confirm every line you have written!
The quality of the scan is very good, especially the gray colors are outstanding. One can even smell the stale air. Thanks for sharing this dear document!
cherryripe (21033) 2010-11-13 9:45
The quality for such an old photo is amazing. It's an historical relic. Wow, you actually went to the world cup !
Even though I don't think I'll post on TE anymore, I'll sometimes check out the photos of my lists.
s_lush (16134) 2010-11-13 22:05
Thanks for the historic shot with such a comprehensive and informative note! The scene itself creates a rather depressing impression. Despite being a scanned slide, the image is of high quality and with natural colors. A very valuable photo document!
Silvio1953 (123689) 2010-11-14 12:01
Ciao Andrew, an other great view of this famous plece, wonderful perspective and excellent clarity, I like a lot, ciao Silvio
SteveH (6241) 2010-11-14 13:52
Hi Andrew, As others have said, the scan quality is good, especially given the age of the film, doesn't seem to have suffered over the years at all. What a grim little scene it is though. It seems strange that there would be an American flag there, in the middle of Europe. BTW I noticed in a forum post that you are a "super moderator" does that mean we should treat you with great reverence at our next get together :-) ? Cheers, Steve
macjake (57074) 2010-11-15 0:58
this is what TE is all about, sharing.
love the story about you remembering a recently scanned photo you took 36 years ago!
when you look at the two shots, its somewhat spooky.
in this one, i really like the colours, the atmosphere, the tones and hues.
well done, great idea
kordinator (18646) 2010-11-15 4:43
Altough the photo is old, it has a good quality.
A city with a lot of dynamism now after such as difficult past.
Time will change everything.
Very well written note.
Royaldevon (30305) 2010-11-16 3:31
What a coincidence, two shots on the same day!
You seem to have some very strong memories of Berlin, at that time. You paint a picture, along with your pertinent notes, that produces a shiver down the spine!
Austere and thought provoking!
The converging lines lead towards the enigmatic raised barrier. I seriously scanned the shot for someone in a long raincoat and a hat with the brim pulled down!
I love these old shots!
My warm regards,
Have you been back for a comparison since the wall went down?
ifege (10225) 2010-11-16 17:03
A good historical one of a never to be forgotten place with a pretty good scan (although you probably could have cleaned up the sky a little more).
papagolf21 (86766) 2010-11-18 1:40
Bonjour, cher ami Andrew,
Les stigmates d'un temps particulier forment un témoignage fort à travers cette composition.
Une image très intéressante et très bien présentée.
mikolaj_kawa (0) 2010-11-18 2:26
Hello Andrew! This is history! Wonderful shot from 1974. Marvelous quality, perfect fidelity. Fine lightness and brightness. Good contrast. Ideal frame. Great effect. Well done!
mafegan (8624) 2010-11-19 5:19
This photo of Checkpoint Charlie is of particular interest to me as I have a photo taken from almost the same position 10 months earlier in August 1973. Mine is a little more cluttered with people and cars. On close examination I have just realised the same green Ford car(or another of the same fleet)appears in both photos. I have been able to zoom in and read the registration number on mine and it reads "US FORCES - BC 139". Unfortunately with the reduced size of your image I can't read the yellow plate here.
In 2006 I walked freely down this road. I took another photo from a similar position but now there is neither a wall nor boom gates to obstruct the view and to restrict the movements of millions of East Germans.
Thanks for posting this image to TE, Marlene
Docarmo (9639) 2010-11-19 23:05
A very interesting and important picture - an iconic point of the history of the humanity - a precious image! Excellent work with the scanner - Bravo!
(another image here, a few months after the beginning of the fall of the Wall, but before German reunification)
At the time of your photo, in Brazil, we were under a military dictatorship - well, it is better to talk about football - I remember very well these times, Brazil had won its third World Cup in 1970, in Mexico, we were already in possession of the Jules Rimet Cup ;-)
Thanks for sharing,
Glint (6167) 2010-11-20 6:34
one from the history books and interesting beacuse of that.I how uplifted I was to watch the wall come down!The greyness and bleakness of this shot is reduced slightly by the touch of colour provided by the stop sign.And the sign in sighted at one thirds from the left, compositionally.
jurek1951 (42160) 2010-11-25 6:53
Beautiful and picturesque scenery :] Nice composition, colours and lighting, well framed.
batalay (35747) 2010-11-25 14:05
This photo, shot at the peak of the Cold War. Your photo was inspired by Abbas Kiasari's photo, as you explain. In turn, it inspired Marlene (mafagen) to post a photo from an earlier day in 60s. (In 1974, I believe, Chairman Brezhnev was at the helm of the Soviet Union, and who would have known what the subsequent developments would be. It was a dismal time in world history.) This is an excellent scan of a 36 1/2 year old photo. Just a year after yours, I shot a photo of a Soviet era freighter in Istanbul. Oldies are sometimes goldies!
rodgerg (55767) 2010-11-26 3:21
An excellent idea with this historic view to TE. An excellent scanning of this image rich in ancient details very interesting nad very well collecetd.Excellent and especially very interesting post for TE.
Have a nice WE,
UlfE (14641) 2010-11-27 1:12
A very good documentary. Sometimes you realize the value of a picture you have taken a long time afterwards. I really enjoy that you could see much more than just the sign Allied checkpoint and the small building. The cars, the electric cables, the not very well maintained street and facades are of great interest today. TFS and have a nice weekend!
gunbud (34066) 2010-12-05 19:54
Wonderfully clear scan of this checkpoint so rich in history.
It is hard to believe that it fell so quickly and quietely.
Nicou (123350) 2010-12-21 0:41
Très belle compo nostalgique, superce captage, avec la vielle voiture, quelle compo et iamge à remonter le temps.
Bravo et amitié
abmdsudi (43754) 2010-12-21 22:38
Nice memorable image some three decades old, really grey and gloomy without life, only 3 people, and one vehicle on each side are visible. was this taken from the east or west? the nearest building looks a bit rundown compared to those in the far bg, this gives some indications that you were on the east side, i only guess. Great capture, good scanned high quality image worth archiving. TFS
jlbrthnn (76037) 2010-12-30 15:35
This little reminder of memory is very useful. It is an excellent image, and interesting. Bravo.
Best Wishes, Happy New Year!
SNOOP_Chan (4201) 2011-08-12 7:24
Hello Andrew, great story here, 1974 man, that was very interesting to see, there are only a few photos of this kind on TE, thanx for sharing this one!