Fun & Leisure 1970’s Berlin – Candids from a City in Turmoil.

Fun & Leisure 1970’s Berlin – Candids from a City in Turmoil.

Cold War Berlin was nothing short of brutal. Yet, Berliners still managed to find silver linings wherever they could. IMAGO’s archives from 1970’s Berlin reveal our city’s resilience in the face of turmoil.

Berliners always know how to have fun – even with a spy-police, unstable politics, left-overs of a world war amidst another war, and a scathing wall dividing their city in 1970’s Berlin. 

At the turn of the decade, the Moscow Treaties were signed between West Germany and the Soviet Union, further solidifying the division between East and West Berlin. Chancellor Willy Brandt met with the GDR’s Prime Minister Willy Stoph for the first time. The anti-capitalist domestic terror organization targeting political authorities known as the Red Army Faction saw its climax, shaking things up all the more. 

Simultaneously, music-lovers helped smuggle records over the wall to those in the East, who relentlessly found ways to endure their realities. Artists like David Bowie, who moved to West Berlin in 1976, found inspiration in the eclectic nature of the city’s complexities both good and bad. Regardless of the situation, Berliners still managed to dig up their swim trunks, strap into a roller coaster, and enjoy a film or some live music. 

For this month’s series Colour, Candid and the Street, we look at IMAGO’s archives from 1970’s Berlin that show pockets of serenity among the chaos on either side of the wall.

See the full IMAGO Collection here

imago images/Frank Sorge
IMAGO / Frank Sorge | GDR East Berlin. 29 August, 1970.
imago/ZUMA/Keystone
IMAGO / ZUMA/Keystone | Berlin. 14 April, 1978.
imago images/serienlicht
IMAGO / serienlicht | French-German Folkfest in West Berlin. 1 August, 1975.
imago stock&people
IMAGO / Ulrich Hässler | The Soviet traditional World Festival of Youth known as the Weltfestspiele der Jugend in GDR East Berlin, 1973.
imago stock&people
IMAGO / Zuma/Keystone | Berlin; Ballet Dancers. 22 January, 1971.
imago stock&people
IMAGO / SMID | East Berlin; National Youth Festival. 3 June, 1979.
Fun & Leisure 1970’s Berlin – Candids from a City in Turmoil.
IMAGO / Sven Simon | East Berlin; Labor Day demonstration. 1 May, 1921.
imago/Gueffroy
IMAGO / Gueffroy | East Berlin; Veronika Fischer concert. 20 November, 1976.
Fun & Leisure 1970’s Berlin – Candids from a City in Turmoil.
IMAGO / Sven Simon | East Berlin; Müggelsee. 1 June, 1972.
imago stock&people
IMAGO / Gerhard Leber | Kaiser Wilhelm Church in West Berlin; circa 1979.
imago images/serienlicht
IMAGO / serienlicht | Schönefeld Airport in West Berlin; circa 1976.
imago/ZUMA/Keystone
IMAGO / Zuma/Keystone | Adrian Hover on the set of the film Pusteblume in West Berlin. 5 May, 1974.
Fun & Leisure 1970’s Berlin – Candids from a City in Turmoil.
IMAGO / PEMAX | East Berlin; 4 November, 1973.
imago images/Frank Sorge
IMAGO / Frank Sorge | GDR East Berlin. 29 August, 1970.
IMAGO/United Archives
IMAGO / United Archives | West Berlin; The Original Charles Mingus Workshop Ensemble performing at the Jazz Fest Berlin. 4 November, 1979.
Fun & Leisure 1970’s Berlin – Candids from a City in Turmoil.
IMAGO / Marco Bertram | East Berlin; The Kino International cinema in Mitte. 10 March, 1972.
imago/Frank Sorge
IMAGO / Frank Sorg | East Berlin; Piano lessons. circa 1976.
imago/Gerhard Leber
IMAGO / Gerhard Leber | French-German Folkfest in West Berlin. 1 August, 1975.
Other recent Berlin archive articles include, The Berlin Division Archive and Christopher Street Day and the Berlin Wall.
Article & image selection by Sofia Bergmann. Part of this month’s Colour, Candid & The Street series. 

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