This graffiti is from a photo taken after a Soviet Union leader, L. Brezhnev, gave a speech. After the speech, the head of East Germany, E. Honecker opened his arms and brought in Brezhnev for a lip lock (apparently this is common among Socialist buddies.) It’s an iconic image I’ve seen before but never knew the story behind. Jesse and I tried to recreate it.
Monthly Archives: May 2013
Lennon: “why is there so much graffiti in the world?” Maddux: “because there is paint in the world!”
The first photo is the former east side of the wall… no color, no art. The western side…so fun and colorful. The kids loved all the graffiti. The last photo is a painting of an east side guard who made a run for freedom while on duty. He made it and years later posed next to an actual photo someone took of his escape.
About one year after the wall went up, a young man named Peter Fechter attempted to flee from East Germany. He plotted with his friend Helmut Kulbeik. The plan was to hide in a carpenter’s workshop near the wall then to jump out of a window into the “death-strip” -run across it, and climb over the barbed wire wall to freedom in West Berlin.
When both reached the wall, guards fired at them. Although Kulbeik succeeded in crossing the wall, Fechter was shot in the pelvis while standing on the wall. He fell back into the death-strip on the Eastern side, where people watched him bleed to death for a little over an hour. Despite his screams, he received no medical assistance from the East side, and could not be helped by anyone on the West side. People on the West side started yelling at the guards calling them “murderers!”
No one helped Peter. Western bystanders were held back from helping at gunpoint and East side guards were ordered to do nothing. The shot in the right hip had caused severe internal injuries which a doctor from the east said he would have died from anyways. (?)
The photo of us standing on the circle is where Peter died. The line of bricks almost touching the circle is where the wall once stood. There is a memorial on the sidewalk.
One of Germany’s most well-known landmarks. One of my best friends (Allie- who I am visiting right now in Salzburg, Austria) told me to look up some funny David Hasselhof videos from his performances at this famous gate.
During Hitler’s reign of terror- Jews had to wear yellow stars to identify themselves as being Jewish. There was also a Nazi boycott of Jewish stores, so the star was painted on the storefront window to signify that is was owned by Jewish people.