Tags / Germany
Jack Ukkonen was a Finnish infantry man fighting to defend his country against the Russian invader.
"My regiment reached the front lines on January 1941 by train," he said. "On the way over there, we were sworn in at a local church with our entire unit. Once at the front, I was very scared, but I was young and reckless."
Former East-West Berlin Wall border demarcation, These identifiers are all that remain throughout the city besides certain remnants remaining as tributary reminders of an extraordinary history within the country within a relatively short period.
Rapid construction on a grand scale appeared rampant throughout the new Berlin during the 1990s period, depicted here with the rise of the new Reichstag German parliament during summer of 1998.
As Western product placement enveloped a formerly unapproachable part of the world soon after the opening of the Berlin Wall and subsequent reunification of Germany, contrasts arose as one social structure overtook another. A young family is pressed against the dynamics of a disappearing social safety net as the seeming attraction of consumerism with uncertain economic variables coincide. Certainly at the onset, the psychological need for incentive to thrive became a formidable challenge within the context of an entire country that had not previously engaged that system. Twenty five years later, eastern Germany has still not recovered from the promises of Western unification.
In southeast Germany, Gorlitz borders Poland and in 1990 remained untouched and forgotten both during the war and for decades since, providing an eerie impression of the country's neglected infrastructure. Today it is fully modernized and renovated.
Tile mural of propagandized East German Socialist benefits remained in East Berlin before Western consumerism values supplanted the new implemented direction.
Dismantled sections of the Berlin Wall during pre-reunification summer of 1990; former East Berlin, Germany.
A collision of time periods and cultures arose within former East Berlin in summer 1990 during a short transition between not yet dismantled sections of the Berlin Wall positioned near newly introduced Western advertisement billboards. German reunification would occur on 3 October later that year.
Evident replacement of consumer tastes appears in humorous advertisement depicting post-Soviet era passage towards assimilated Western values.
The Brandenburg Gate had an historic opening on 23 December 1989 ending 28 years of barbed wire seclusion positioned between the main borders of East and West Germany. Today it is a thriving international symbol and meeting point.
Weekly Monday night protests throughout late 1989 in Leipzig became infamous across former East Germany as a specter that the communist government had only weeks remaining before the Berlin Wall would ultimately open on 9 November. Leipzig held several 25th anniversary commemoration events during October 2014.
Berlin Wall with still occupied sentry tower 3-4 weeks after opening; seen from within East Berlin, early December 1989.
Lignite coal miner in central GDR; once considered the most polluted region in Eastern Europe, Bitterfeld, Germany today has become a region for solar energy development plus tourism; December 1989.
Time seemed to stop in former East Germany before the opening of the Berlin Wall occurred which abruptly opened the borders to the Western world of commerce. The impenetrable barriers between then Soviet central command ideologies against free market values extended between 1961-1989 when the wall was unexpectedly erected on 13 August 1961 then modified over a 28 year period until its final breach on 9 November 1989.
Berlin Wall with still patrolled though no longer enforced death strip one month after opening; immediately seen from outside Western border looking into Eastern sector, early December 1989.
Berlin Wall, East Berlin, 1983; six years before its historic dismantling.