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By Pete Moore On November 9th, 2019

I have a fascination for those “then and now” photos. I’m a history addict but not the museum kind. Once you’ve seen the bust of one Roman emperor you’ve seen them all. For me it’s about walking the streets and seeing where history happened. When I was in Berlin a few years ago the first thing I did was walk a few miles of the wall’s route, taking a few detours into what was East Berlin. Following your nose is as important as following a map in town.

So this link was right up my strasse. It has one of those nifty sliding things to drag across the photos. Apologies for the tech jargon there, but you might find it interesting too.

(Note for Labour voters confused about the commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall today: your side called it the Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart. I hope that helps.)

19 Responses to “THEN AND NOW”

  1. I have a fascination for those “then and now” photos

    You’ll surely find these fascinating then. The difference couldn’t be starker:


  2. Interesting post Pete. I went through Checkpoint Charlie about a year before the wall came down and I will never forget the enormous contrast between West Berlin and East Berlin. And of course the Ostis were watching Westie tv stations and were well aware of how far they were falling behind economically. I seem to recall a stat that in 1989 the average Westi could have bought the average Osti’s house for six months’ salary.

  3. I’ve visited Berlin in the late 90s

    There was almost no remnant of the division easily seen

    I was glad that the wall was down but I wish that I had seen it

  4. Paul –

    You can’t help but feel sad for how Afghanistan once was. I’ve seen similar for Iran and Beirut.

    Peter –

    For decades Berlin was an experiment in economics. One system versus another, side by side. The result was unarguable.

  5. You can’t help but feel sad for how Afghanistan once was. I’ve seen similar for Iran and Beirut


  6. One good result of the iron curtain has been the creation of a huge nature reserve:

    “A teenage twitcher and a small buff-coloured songbird called the whinchat were the keys that turned the Iron Curtain’s landscape of barbed wire, mined death strips and Kalashnikov-toting border guards into what is probably the most enduring green success story in Europe since the Cold War. Two decades after its fall, the border between East and West Germany has already become Europe’s biggest nature reserve: an 858-mile “ecological treasure trove”, no longer the Iron Curtain but the Green Belt, and home to more than 600 rare and endangered species of birds, mammals, plants and insects.

    But when its creators mark its 20th birthday this year, they will also be celebrating the fact that 23 European countries are currently engaged in a project to make it nearly five times as long. “The aim is to turn the Iron Curtain’s entire 4,250-mile length – extending from the Arctic to the Black Sea – into what is already being called the ‘Central European Green Belt’,” says Dr Kai Frobel, a German ornithologist and conservationist.”


  7. Yes Pete, but it’s interesting that the fall of the wall was regretted by both Thatcher and Corbyn at the time, obviously for different reasons.

  8. Corbyn Wanted the wall to stay up?

  9. No, but Corbyn regretted that the Workers’ Paradise that was East Germany had fallen to the wicked capitalists.

  10. Phantom –

    Danny Finkelstein wrote this short summary of Corbyn’s views regarding the Soviet Union. It’s only a 4 minute read. If you think I’ve been laying it on thick about Corbyn then you really should read it.


    (Caveat: Finkelstein is a Tory but he allows Corbyn’s words speak for themselves.)

    Peter –

    Margaret Thatcher was in favour of the wall coming down. In fact this morning a German MP (can’t remember his name) on LBC said that she was the most significant opponent of it, more so than Ronald Reagan. She did oppose German unification.

  11. Thank you

    I know that Corbyn is a bad guy

    I’d think that Bernie is similar

    I cannot read that story because it is behind a paywall

  12. Phantom –

    Corbyn makes Bernie Sanders look like a Republican. That piece isn’t behind a paywall here. An excerpt:

    As he told fellow socialists in 1991: “In this very hall, where we are meeting tonight, there were, many years ago, meetings denouncing the activities of the British government in trying to destroy the newly born Soviet state. People marched and organised in this area of London in support of the Soviet revolution of 1917. I certainly haven’t come here to bury those ideas.”

    Just think about that.

  13. After all the oceans of blood spilled by the communists in Russia, You might’ve hoped that he would’ve learned something

  14. Pete castigates Corbyn for supporting a political theory where various different interpretations were responsible for the deaths of millions yet eulogises a woman who atempted to obstruct her ‘friend’ who was personally responsible for the deaths and torture of tens of thousands being extradited to face war crimes charges.

    If only moral principle could be gauged in body count.

  15. Margaret Thatcher was in favour of the wall coming down.

    Maybe Pete, but she certainly opposed the reunification of Germany even after it fell.

  16. Yes Paul, Thatcher was a big fan of Pinochet, as was Reagan and (I assume) Pete Moore.

  17. Did an IRA fan say something?

  18. Corbyn In that quote, says three cheers for mass murder , Unless he gave a real big caveat right after that

    Because that’s what Soviet communism was all about

  19. Did an IRA fan say something?

    As I said Pete, If only moral principle could be gauged in body count.