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Recapturing life

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In April 1950, the young student, Ernst Hahn, returned to Berlin for the first time after the war. From there he visited his parents in the Soviet Occupied Zone, but spent most of his time wandering through the largely unknown city. In the spring of 1951, he repeated the journey and continued working on a photographic diary.

The pictures he took during those few days in Berlin did not capture any particular attention at the time. Stored safely in glassine envelopes inside a lead case, the negatives were soon forgotten. It was only over 60 years later, in 2012, that this unique documentation of a past era was rediscovered in the photographer's archives.

The photographs paint a multi-faceted portrait of a city and its inhabitants defined by the catastrophe of World War II. Ruins and debris, but also the Cold War and the East West division, are captured in the impressive images on display: on the one hand, the bleakness of “real socialism” hidden behind all the verbal propaganda, on the other, the emerging “economic miracle” with its window shopping and cinema advertising.

Further information at: Imago Fotokunst

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