The Berlin Spectator
Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

West Berlin in 1970: A Glance Through Robert W. Rynerson’s Camera Lens

From 1969 to 1971, Robert W. Rynerson was part of the U.S. Army Berlin Brigade. He got to see West Berlin, a West German enclave surrounded by the communist GDR. Only 25 years after WWII, the city looked very different.

Berlin, October 10th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — In 1969, a young American soldier by the name of Robert W. Rynerson arrived in Berlin’s American sector. At the time, in the middle of the Cold War, West Berlin was governed by its Senate, but controlled by the three Western occupation forces. The Americans were responsible for the boroughs Neukölln, Kreuzberg, Schöneberg, Steglitz, Tempelhof and Zehlendorf.

Different City

R.W. Rynerson was aware of the historic significance of his new location at that moment in time. Luckily, he brought along a camera and used it. His photos show a very different city. Traces of the war were still visible. At the same time, West Berlin was beginning to develop into a vibrant spot. These are 10 of R.W. Rynerson’s photos he kindly allowed us to publish.

1. Colorful Spot

In the West Berlin of 1970, some color was added to the dominating grey. Photo: R.W. Rynerson

2. Move-Out Alert

 “Several times a year they were ‘move-out’ alerts, testing how quickly and in what order the barracks army could become a field army”, Rynerson says. Photo: R.W. Rynerson

3. Charlottenburg Traffic

In Charlottenburg, elegantly dressed gentlemen cross a street. Photo: R.W. Rynerson

4. Today’s Grandma

In 1969, Rynerson found a negative which was left behind on a darkroom counter. The photo he had developed shows a young lady in a bar, probably in West Berlin. Photo: Unknown

5. War Damage

An elderly lady seems to be embarking on a trip. In the area of Görlitzer Bahnhof in Kreuzberg, the war damage is still obvious. Photo: R.W. Rynerson

6. Pub Audience

West Berliners come out of a pub to take a good look at a protest (see below). Photo: R.W. Rynerson

7. Capital of Protests

In West Berlin, protesters want the war in Vietnam to end. Today, Berlin registers 5,000 demonstrations per year. Photo: R.W. Rynerson

8. Missing Dome

In 1970, the Reichstag was located right next to the Wall in the British Sector. Today, it accommodates the Bundestag. Photo: R.W. Rynerson

9. School Kids

Three school boys communicate on a street in West Berlin, two decades before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Photo: R.W. Rynerson

10. Wall View

Here, Robert Rynerson captured the Berlin Wall, the death strip and publisher Axel Springer’s building. Photo: R.W. Rynerson

Robert Rynerson’s website entitled ‘Berlin 1969’ can be accessed here. Many of his photographs from West Berlin are part of this collection on Flickr. We got his permission to publish the pictures above.

The photographer, Robert W. Rynerson, lives in Denver, Colorado. Photo: The Rynerson family
buy kamagra oral jelly buy kamagra oral jelly online buy kamagra oral jelly buy kamagra oral jelly online
error: Content is protected !!