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.
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.
I am Imanuel Marcus, The Berlin Spectator's founder and main editor. Before I came to Berlin, I lived all over the place, including in former Yugoslavia, where I was a war reporter. As a foreign correspondent for German and Swiss radio stations, I worked in the U.S. for almost 6 years. I also lived in Bulgaria and Mexico, meaning I know what it is like to be an expatriate. But I am a former Hamburger in Berlin.
Contact me here: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com