Showing posts with label Berlin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berlin. Show all posts

Monday, June 16, 2014

Buchbinderei in Kontext

Several years ago I found this image floating around the web with no attribution, date, or description but was immediately drawn to it because of the stark imagery, the decay, and the fact that it was (once?) a bindery... Liked it so much I used it as my Facebook banner until today.

Searching in Flickr just now, I found another image of the same bindery, in color no less, that provides a bit more context in the form of the concrete protrusion at the top right. Image below by Markus Mayer from 2009 with the same graffiti and a similar reflection of a Plattenbau in the windows...

Flickr had a few more images of it such as this one that clearly show a railroad trestle above... A bit more searching brought me to Berlin, right near the iconic (for train geeks) Jannowitzbrücke and the Berlin Stadtbahn. This is along the Spree in what was once East Berlin.

A link to a quiz of the "where is this" sort provided a bit of history from a genealogy forum. This indicated that this was once the Buchbinderei Scholz. Interesting story for those that can read German ending with success in tracking down a relation/ancestor.

Click Google Maps Street View to view this July 2008 image,
spin image around to see the reflecting Plattenbau...
The TV tower at the Alexanderplatz is at right.
Click Google Maps Street View to view this July 2008 image,
spin image around to see the reflecting Plattenbau...

Would love to have a bindery at that somewhat desolate location. Combine two passions in one location, books and trains.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Symphony of a Great City, Berlin 1927

I am in the process of helping clarify much of the biographical information about Ernst Collin, author of Der Pressbengel (1922) that I translated as The Bone Folder several years back.

To set the stage, I am sharing this 1927 silent film that provides a wonderful picture of the vibrant Weimar era Berlin that Ernst Collin lived in. Granted, there was also the period of civil war, hyper-inflation and depression, but it was a relatively good time with incredible energy in the arts... Think also Dada, Bauhaus, the arts of the book, music... The music of Kurt Weill is a great accompanyment - it certainly was for me as I worked on the larger post to follow.

The film was directed by Walter Ruttmann, and co-written by Carl Mayer and Karl Freund. It is an example of the city symphony film genre. A musical score for an orchestra to accompany the silent film was written by Edmund Meisel. As a "city symphony" film, it portrays the life of a city, mainly through visual impressions in a semi-documentary style, without the narrative content of more mainstream films, though the sequencing of events can imply a kind of loose theme or impression of the city's daily life.

In 2007, a restored version of the film was shown with the fully reconstructed original score by Edmund Meisel. The film was restored by the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv in cooperation with ARTE and with funding by the ZDF. The restored version is based on cellulose nitrate copy from the archives of the former Reichsfilmarchiv which was augmented by footage acquired from the Library of Congress. (From

The (greatly) revised story of Ernst Collin, both of them,will follow soon.