Even though the Cold War ended over 25 years ago, you can see its remains everywhere. The Berlin Wall, the most famous symbol of it, is easily found around Berlin, but this is not the only relic that still stands, and Martin Roemers is here to show us those decaying testaments of a world that doesn’t exist anymore.
The Cold War wasn’t proper for those who might be too young to remember. It was a military and political tension between the Soviet Union and the United States. Everything started happening after the end of the Second World War, and this is one of the many reasons why Berlin was split for so many years and why there was a Vietnam and a Korean War.
Putting this war into dates is not simple, but most historians agree that it lasted from 1947 to 1991 when the Soviet Union ended.
Because of this tension, both sides built structures for this war that never happened. There are underground tunnels, bunkers, former barracks, rotting tanks, decaying monuments, abandoned control centers, and border points. These are some of the relics still there, and these were the places that Dutch photographer Martin Roemers decided to document.
He tracked down and took pictures in Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Belgium from the West Side; Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Latvia, and Lithuania from the former Eastern bloc; and both, part of a once split Germany.
The pictures at the Deutsches Historisches Museum give us a historical context to everything that happened back then. You can see how the arms race gave birth to a nuclear age, how defensive measures were set up for an eventual third world war that never happened, and how technology and intelligence services were put in place to spy on the other side.
Relics of the Cold War was a great exhibition since we enjoy history, photography, and urban exploration. The pictures from Martin Roemers show a world that doesn’t exist anymore, and since he has been doing this project for more than 10 years, the images there are from before those places were found by vandals and covered with graffiti.
Also, it was nice to go there and discover new places to explore. Because of this, you can expect some urban exploration articles in the near future.
Some pictures we took at the Relics of the Cold War Exhibition
Martin Roemers is an award-winning photographer, born in Oldehove back in 1962. You can see his pictures between March 4 and August 14 at the Deutsches Historisches Museum here in Berlin. Admission to the exhibition is free for those under 18 years old; for the rest, it costs €8 and gives you access to the entire museum.
Relics of the Cold War: A Photography Exhibition in Berlin in 2016
From March 4 to August 14, 2016, at the Deutsches Historisches Museum
Unter den Linden 2, 10117 – Berlin