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The statues are mostly in pieces

Berlin. A photographer's images are assembled into a book of views, for sale to visitors.

People, suggested in the photographs by a few patches of grey tone, form part of the backdrop of the living city. Busy people, crossing the street. Striding out, approaching, departing, waiting. Adjusting hats, carrying bags, lighting cigarettes, hurrying to school, unaware that they are being photographed.

These frozen moments and life stories invite, but at the same time resist, interpretation. Today my sense of the elusiveness of the narratives of the photographs is heightened by the knowledge that this city, these people, would soon be overwhelmed by the chaos of war.

A British woman is stationed in Berlin just after the war. She buys the book of views. Opposite some of the pictures she makes notes:

This place is all in ruins now just the steel girders are left also the statues are mostly in pieces.

This is a lovely wide straight road with linden trees down each side. Most of these buildings are just rubble and dust now.


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