MU­SE­UMS & GAL­LERIES

There's no bet­ter place than Berlin to ex­pe­ri­ence the rem­nants of the Cold War, says Solveig Steinhardt.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Martin Roe­mers' Relics of the Cold War at Deutsches His­torisches Mu­seum.

What re­mains of the Cold War? Parts of the Berlin Wall, of course, but more than that. The nu­clear threats of the Atomic Era, which stim­u­lated the imag­i­na­tions of a whole gen­er­a­tion of sci­ence-fic­tion film­mak­ers on the other side of the ocean, had a much more sin­is­ter ef­fect in Eastern Europe, where bunkers, mil­i­tary sta­tions, watch­tow­ers, bor­der con­trol sta­tions, mine­fields, and fu­tur­is­tic mon­u­ments served despotic regimes that seemed to con­stantly be on the verge of war. Dutch photographer and World Press Photo win­ner Martin Roe­mers has spent 10 years ex­am­in­ing this his­toric pe­riod and doc­u­ment­ing its traces be­fore they are per­ma­nently swept away by time. This month, the Deutsches His­torisches

Mu­seum (p. 42) presents Roe­mers' shots of aban­doned mil­i­tary struc­tures around the Eastern Bloc in the ex­hi­bi­tion Relics of the Cold

War, which in­cludes images of Soviet ceme­ter­ies, rusty tanks, old bomb shel­ters in the mid­dle of the Baltic sea, and en­tire fields of army waste.

The Deutsches His­torisches Mu­seum pro­vides a good in­tro­duc­tion to the Cold War theme, but if you want to get an in-depth over­view of its his­toric con­text, visit the Cold

War Black Box on Friedrich­straße (www.bfgg. de), which walks vis­i­tors through the events that led to the rise and fall of the Iron Cur­tain and an­a­lyzes of what the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tions in the other Com­mu­nist coun­tries.

To West Ber­lin­ers in par­tic­u­lar, all this meant not only be­ing sur­rounded by a Wall but also be­ing oc­cu­pied by the mil­i­tary forces of the Al­lied pow­ers, which pro­tected the city from the sup­pos­edly im­mi­nent at­tack. For ad­di­tional pro­tec­tion, West Berlin ren­o­vated old WWII bomb shel­ters and built new un­der­ground bunkers that could host a large por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion in the event of a World War III. One of them, sit­u­ated near Pankstraße in Wed­ding, was built in 1977 as a multi-pur­pose struc­ture to serve as an U-Bahn stop in time of peace and as a bunker for more than 3000 peo­ple in emer­gen­cies. This and other bunkers can be vis­ited by book­ing a tour with Ber­liner

Un­ter­wel­ten (www.ber­liner-un­ter­wel­ten.de), while the pres­ence of U.S., French, and Bri­tish sol­diers and their in­ter­ac­tions with the pop­u­la­tion are doc­u­mented at the Al­lied

Mu­seum (www.al­li­ierten­mu­seum.de) in Zehlen­dorf, also fea­tur­ing an old

Rosi­nen­bomber air­craft used in the 1948 Berlin Air­lift, a piece of the Wall, an Amer­i­can watch­tower, and the orig­i­nal Check­point Char­lie guard­house.

Top: the Al­lied Mu­seum; Far left: an aban­doned hospi­tal in Juter­bog; Cen­ter: a Soviet mon­u­ment in Soliniwi; This photo: a Com­mu­nist-era meet­ing room.

A U.S. Army CARE pack­age (Al­lied Mu­seum)

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