Berlin’s East Side Gallery

a couple of days ago i had the PBS NewsHour on and they had a segment, embedded below, about the East Side Gallery and its impending partial tear-down to build an apartment complex. of course, i’d rather see the Gallery preserved. not only is it a tangible piece of 20th century history, but it’s covered with amazing (and often political) street art.

sidebar  the Gallery is the longest extant piece of the Berlin Wall, and it’s easy to get to from the Warschauer Stra├če S/U-Bahn stop — just walk south towards the river.

i had the opportunity to go to the East Side Gallery when i went to Berlin in 2006 for Loveparade (gone but not forgotten) — my first visit to what is now one of my favorite cities. (really, how could you study in Germany and not experience  Loveparade, i ask.) [photo set from that trip]

here are some pictures from the East Side Gallery from my visit. there is a certain symbiosis between the historic structure and the amazing street art on it that you really have to be physically present to fully comprehend, so it was quite painful, even as an outsider, to see pieces removed in the NewsHour piece. however, the best part of the report was actually seeing Thierry Noir, whose seminal works (the heads in the first image below) are arguably at the core of the Gallery.

Thierry Noir Faces

Can't Take Any More


East Side!

Dragon over Berlin

Balding Man


Pink Man

Over the Wall

Barbed Wire

Fly Away


Watch A Battle to Preserve the Berlin Wall as Cold War Landmark on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

(as a child of the ’80s i still find it hard not to call it the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, but that’s another story for another time)

4 Comments on "Berlin’s East Side Gallery"

    • Hmm according to what I found it was located near checkpoint Charlie (not that close iirc) but it’s not there anymore?

      • oh how sad!
        I know they broke up the wall and destroyed lots of the art on it. have a gift presentation part of the wall in my house with “metal barbed wire”. there was lots of fakes as well being sold. A German friend told me that many Berliners are upset about how fast it was broken up and sold off in pieces. there is little left to actually remember history

        at least this part remains!

        • yeah! i was at one of the larger art museums in berlin and got a souvenir piece of the wall — i mean, i don’t know if it’s actually part of the wall, but i figure if it was in a reputable museum gift shop… heh. but yeah, they do need to preserve what’s left of it!

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