Fernsehturm from Strelitzer Straße
Try saying that with a Mund voller spinach borek like the one I've just polished off.
I've 'mono filter'-ed this photo in an artsy fartsy attempt to go ein bisschen retro DDR. Imagine that I'm standing with my back to the Berliner Mauer (which is where I would theoretically have been when I took dieses Foto if I hadn’t actually been in the Todesstreifen) looking at this symbol of Kommunismus and East German power, designed for that very purpose.
[Todesstreifen - not everyone knows that the Berlin Wall was actually two walls in that a 27-mile portion of the barrier separating Berlin into Ost and West consisted of two concrete walls between which there was a “death strip” (on the eastern side only) up to 150 metres wide that contained hundreds of watchtowers, miles of anti-vehicle trenches, guard dog runs, floodlights and trip-wire machine guns.]
Construction of the Wall started in 1961 but the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) itself wasn't finished until 1969 so imagine me standing there zirka early 70s rather than early 60s. You know, like someone straight off the cover of 'Sibylle' - the best-known fashion magazine in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (1956-1995). Sibylle covers apparently emphasized a more natural look and eschewed materialistic or otherwise illusionistic makeup undsoweiter, which all sounds right up my Gasse.
So, I've been staying in the former East but, being neither a local nor indeed old enough (that’s right), I have no claim on any Ostalgie (nostalgia for aspects of life in East Germany). But if I were experiencing any, I might be tempted to compare the Fernsehturm to a Stasi officer of the bygone era. It certainly looms slightly ominously in this photo and has been a constant inescapable yet often covert presence during my week-long stay, unexpectedly sneaking up on me on my walks around diese schöne Großstadt.
[91,015 full-time agents and 173,081 informants were employed by the Stasi in 1989.]
I can only try to imagine how much the Fernsehturm must have dominated the landscape pre-Fall der Mauer (1989) when there wasn't as much distraction and excitement around as there is heutzutage. Being able to see the site of the original Berliner Mauer from your room really has added a certain extra ich weiß nicht to this trip.