We also toured West Berlin by bus during our 1985 visit, with frequent stops to see all of the landmarks around the city – the haze isn’t as noticable from ground level.
At this stop we visited the Berlin Wall, and these photographs show that anyone higher than 10 feet above ground level could see the “no man’s land” on the other side of the Berlin Wall in plain view.
The great lesson of the Berlin Wall is that a physical “wall” can’t repress thought or ideas, and although someone may try to control people physically – they can’t control your thoughts to believe in universal truths like “All Men Are Created Equal.”
A ground level view of the Brandenburg Gate, or “Brandenburger Tor” – which speaks volumes about those who would choose to isolate and segregate people by sealing a “gate” in constructing the Berlin Wall.
Bus window reflections create an image of “looking out from within,” which perfectly suits this view of the Berlin Wall from West Berlin – “looking out” towards East Berlin.
The West side of the Berlin Wall was colorfully “decorated” with graffiti, while the East side of the Wall was stark white, unapproachable, and untouchable – showing that while Democracies are “untidy” at times and difficult to manage – they are the best system ever devised by mankind to govern mankind.
A picture of the Air Force blue bus which provided our transportation, while visiting the landmarks and seeing the sights of both West and East Berlin.
The reason photographs like these are important to see and remember, is that there are still people around the world that live in repressive countries – and they need to know both the TRUTH, and that HOPE is always possible – for a better future for themselves and for their children.
The history of mankind is replete with examples of “the few repressing the many,” and the greatest chapters in the story of mankind’s “Human Condition” tells of the liberation of peoples suffering at the hands of repressive dictators.
I stand in freedom in front of the Berlin Wall on western soil, while someone only feet away – could only stare out towards freedom through barred windows, as if from a prison cell.
West Berliners stroll along the Berlin Wall in freedom, while “curtains” attempt to shield those in the East from “seeing, thinking and tasting” freedom for themselves.
We took in all of the sights of West Berlin, including the Kurfürstendamm or “Ku-damm” – West Berlin’s famous shopping street.
West Berlin was a vibrant and thriving city, well known for its “Bohemian” lifestyle – which I found to be very refreshing.
The Kaiser William Memorial Church or “Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche” from ground level, shrouded in scaffolding as I photographed it in 1985.
The five ring symbol of the Olympics serves as the entrance to West Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, the site of Berlin’s 1936 Olympic Games.
We toured West Berlin’s Olympic Stadium in 1985 – the site of Berlin’s 1936 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Stadium looked as modern in 1985 as any other stadium of its day, and has since been renovated and reopened in 2004.
One of West Berlin’s many parks, as seen through the window of our tour bus as we drove by.
A statue of Prince Albert of Prussia at Schloss Charlottenburg in West Berlin, Germany.
The Charlottenburg Palace or “Schloss Charlottenburg” from the ground level as photographed in 1985.
Entering through the main gate leading into Schloss Charlottenburg, during our 1985 tour of West Berlin.
“Schloss Bellevue” in West Berlin as photographed in 1985, was originally built in 1786 for Prince Ferdinand of Prussia, and was later reconstructed and is used as the official residence of the President of Germany today.
The Albrecht von Roon monument in West Berlin’s Tiergarten park, as photographed in 1985.
A statue of Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, a famous military strategist, in West Berlin’s Tiergarten park.
The Reichstag building as it was in 1985, which has since been renovated and is the German Parliament or “Bundestag” today.
The Soviet War Memorial in West Berlin’s Tiergarten was completed in 1945 to commemorate the 80,000 Soviet soldiers who died in the Battle of Berlin.
Two lone Soviet soldiers stand guard at the Soviet War Memorial in West Berlin’s Tiergarten in 1985.
The changing of the guard ceremony at the Soviet War Memorial in West Berlin’s Tiergarten in 1985.
A view looking across the river from West Berlin to the Berlin Wall along the far riverbank in East Berlin.
A memorial in West Berlin that I photographed in 1985, to the people who were shot attempting to escape from East Berlin.
Standing along the river dividing West and East Berlin in 1985, with a distant East German guard tower over my left shoulder.