1. The Lost Treasures of Berlin

Lost Treasures: Berlin in Ruins during World War II.

Another photographic display of Cultural Irresponsibility

unmatched in the annals of human history

Source: Der Spiegel Online magazine, Photo Gallery: A Devastated Berlin, “Devastation of War: “Archival Discovery Reveals a Ruined Berlin”, by Solveig Grothe, http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,693452,00.html; mostly Berliner Verlag, visited September 26th, 2010

“‘Berlin After the War’ features recently-discovered archival images of Berlin in the weeks and months after Germany surrendered in May 1945... [Here we see ] a scene from the final days of the World War II, taken somewhere in the center of Berlin. For decades [these] picture[s], along with thousands of others, lay in the archives of a Berlin publishing house. Unnoticed. It is only now that the collection has come to light.

“The pictures capture a moment in the city that had reached the end of 12 years of dictatorship and a devastating war: Signs of those final battles, of death, destruction and hopelessness -- but also of life growing once again among the ruins. They are photos that portray a grotesque normalcy, in contrast to the better-known images of heroic liberation and optimistic reconstruction. They provide documentation of the city's downfall in the blink of an eye between an end and a beginning...

“Burning houses, mounted cavalry, wounded men in the gutters: Whoever took the pictures didn't get too close... few Germans dared get too close to Soviet soldiers with a camera in those days... A Berlin that was just beginning to free itself from its lethargy. [A “lethargy” induced more by violent conquest than their now-popularly condemned National Socialist government.] There are also pictures in the archive that show the... every-day zbsurdity in the ... daily lives of Berliners in those days... A few of the photos were taken in April 1945, before the war was actually over.

“The prints fill whole cabinets, endless shelves, countless boxes and files. Few journalists ever visit the photo archive on the first floor of the publishing house on Alexanderplatz.”