A journey to the GDR, summer 1990: At Alexanderplatz [19/109]



June 21 - September 22 1990
Berlin, Alexanderplatz
Created By: Brigitte Bauer

License: Not Creative Commons

Pedestrians in front of the former Centrum-Warenhaus Berlin Alexanderplatz with the aluminum honeycomb facade that was dismantled in 2004; the Berlin Alexanderplatz station is visible in the background.


age, group of people, train station


industry, journey, nature, photographer, summer


"Centrum" department store (Berlin-Alexanderplatz), Alexanderplatz

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"In the summer of 1990, fresh out of college with a degree in photography, I set off for the GDR. At first, everything I saw was the way I expected it to be: prefab housing, dying forests, huge industrial complexes in Bitterfeld, remnants of the Wall in Berlin, and Trabis. Aldi supermarkets were there already, too. It all just confirmed what I had suspected.

At the same time, it felt like travelling back in time, especially in the countryside and villages. There were roads lined with wild flowers, rustic gardens, and village streets like I remembered from my childhood but now so rare in the West. I find the term “home” very elusive, but in these August days in the GDR, I often had a homey feeling, and a sense of belonging, yet this also included a certain distance, as if I were looking in from outside.

After the summer I returned to France and put away the negatives; I didn’t even make contact prints of most of them. Indeed, that’s why I’m seeing or literally discovering these pictures for the first time today."

Brigitte Bauer (Arles, Frankreich)