Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin


Republican Automatons (Republikanische Automaten) by George Grosz, 1920 (image: MOMA New York)

Republican Automatons (Republikanische Automaten) by George Grosz, 1920 (image: MOMA New York)

Another diamond dug up on You Tube a while ago will be perfect viewing now that we are on the brink of summer ourselves.

Filmed in Berlin in the summer of 1929 the footage shows what feels like Sunday (judging by the mostly elegant attire) life in German capital. I always find it astounding how contemporary, how, well… normal people´s faces look in those old films, almost as if I expected them to have the haggard, hollow-eyed cocaine look of Otto Dix´s characters. Or otherwise look like the cinema stars of that era: skin pasted over with yellow, cakey make-up, an over-generous dash of eyeliner and black lipstick to make the lips visible on the film in the first place.

But instead of exaggeration and hilarious jumpy moves you are offered pictures of people who are like just like you – only with neater clothes and often a much better haircut. People walking through a city that is no longer there.

At 3´16´´ you can see Landwehrkanal and U1 line in Kreuzberg 61 in what feels like the stretch between Hallesches Ufer and Tempelhofer Ufer right before the station Möckernbrücke (the building whose big dark window can be seen on the other side of the canal could be the old Geschäftshaus that is still there: in 1929 the seat of, among others, Bremen Hawaii Ananas Gesellschaft GmbH).

Enjoy it!

One comment on “WALKING THROUGH BERLIN IN 1929

  1. berlioz1935
    Apr 23, 2013

    Love it. Those are scenes taken from the Billy Wilder movie “Menschen in Berlin”. Go to for the full movie.

    Regrettably they used the wrong music in this reconstruction. But switch the sound off it is a silent movie after all. The short film here is a good trailer. The people you see here “reappear” in “Some like it hot”.

    At 3′ 06″ you see a steam train going over the bridge at Gleisdreieck ?/ Landwehr Kanal.

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