Fritz Eschen . Berlin under the Makeshift Roof
Photographs 1945 to 1955
7 May to 21 June 2011
Opening Friday, 6 May 2011 . 7 pm
When “zero hour” struck for postwar Germany, and the country capitulated, Berlin was left in ruins. The Tiergarten—Berlin’s central park—was deforested, the massive Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the heart of the city bombed and crumbling, the historic Nicolai Quarter a burned-out shell, and Lehrter train station crowded with refugees. Yet, slowly, the routines of everyday life found their way back into the lives of Germans in the wake of the Second World War. The new beginning was marked by unemployment and poverty, underground economies and black market trade, occupying forces and the occupied population. Photographer Fritz Eschen investigated life and survival in the destroyed city of Berlin after 1945, leaving no aspect of public life unexamined. His photographs are historic documents of modern history, entirely free of pathos and dogmatism, and unique—for the very reason that their motifs are so unspectacular.
C/O Berlin, in cooperation with the Deutsche Fotothek in Dresden, is presenting approximately 120 photographs from the oeuvre of Fritz Eschen. A catalog to accompany the exhibition will be published by Lehmstedt. With Fritz Eschen, C/O Berlin continues its series on historic documentary photography, which has already featured a retrospective of the work of Roger Melis.