Under unusually clear skies on the final day of a birthday vacation in Germany, I spend the afternoon wandering through familiar sites in the city I’ve come to love, but I’m trying to view the sights a little differently. I had in 2006 obtained a point-and-shoot picture of the Siegesäule (Victory Column) in late-afternoon light; I want to create another photograph. Fortunately, circumstances are converging nicely on this late-winter afternoon.
The statue in the foreground is called “Der Rufer” (The Caller or The Crier). Created by Gerhard Marcks in 1966, a cast of the bronze statue was purchased and erected here in the former West Berlin in May 1989. The statue was placed deliberately to face and “call” out in the direction of East Berlin. At the sculpture’s base is a quote by Italian poet Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374), a plaintive cry to fellow citizens on the other side of the Wall:
“Ich gehe durch die Welt, und rufe ‘Friede Friede Friede'”
“I wander through the world, and cry ‘Peace, Peace, Peace.'”
With the fall of the Wall in 1989 and subsequent German reunification in 1990, authorized and enforced divisions between east and west are no more. Those that remain are in the mind, but they can often be the most difficult to dismantle, as time has continually shown.
Originally called Charlottenburger Chausee, the east-west boulevard through Berlin’s Tiergarten park was renamed Strasse des 17. Juni, or “June 17th Street” in acknowledgement of the East Berlin uprising on 17 June 1953.
I made the photo shown above on 19 March 2011. There’s another identical statue of “The Crier” in Perth, about which I wrote here. This post is published originally on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.