To the cursory glance, Andreas Gehrke's photographs show a copse of robinias that have grown like a piece of deserted nature. Only our knowledge of the history of the site changes our perspective and renders us peculiarly selfconscious.
Between 1933 and 1945, the area, located close to the government district of Berlin, capital of the Reich, was home to the headquarters of the Gestapo, the SS, and the Reich Security Head Office. After World War II, the area gradually turned into a piece of fallow open land.
In 1961, the Berlin Wall ran along the northern edge of the leveled terrain, and in 1987, the site was "rediscovered," vestiges of the buildings were excavated, and the area was opened to the public with the inauguration of the exhibition Topography of Terror. With their mysterious mood and the historic aura surrounding this abandoned land in the middle of Berlin, Gehrke's pictures will leave the beholder with profound and lasting impressions. Essays by Klaus Hesse, curator, Topography of Terror Foundation, Berlin, and Thomas Seelig, collection curator, Fotomuseum Winterthur.
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