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Offbeat Checkpoint Charlie soldier photos to be auctioned

06:15  21 november  2019
06:15  21 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Giant photos of the Allied soldiers who once patrolled Berlin that have been displayed at Checkpoint Charlie for years are being sold off by a German Stefan Koerner, art expert at the Grisebach auction house that is selling the photos , said the images were "iconic" and could be popular with collectors or

Checkpoint Charlie (or " Checkpoint C") was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War (1947–1991).

a sign on a cloudy day: Clouds gather over the portrait of a Soviet soldier that marks the old divide bewteen east and west Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie on Berlin's Friedrichstrasse© John MACDOUGALL / AFP Clouds gather over the portrait of a Soviet soldier that marks the old divide bewteen east and west Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie on Berlin's Friedrichstrasse

Giant photos of the Allied soldiers who once patrolled Berlin that have been displayed at Checkpoint Charlie for years are being sold off by a German auction house next week.

The pictures were taken by photographer Frank Thiel in 1994, several years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and before British, French, Russian and US forces that had been stationed in Berlin since World War II were re-deployed.

They were installed at Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing point between East and West Berlin where soldiers from the rival sides in the Cold War would have stood.

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Checkpoint Charlie was a renowned crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Under pressure. Reenactors had performed at Checkpoint Charlie for nearly two decades. Read more: Tourist trap and memorial: What is to become of Checkpoint Charlie ?

Checkpoint Charlie is on the American side of the border - next to lots of additional museums showing the history of the wall -there are photo opportunities with soldiers in period costume.

It was the site of one of the tensest moments of the Cold War, when US and Soviet tanks faced off in 1961.

The photos -- stark individual portraits of young soldiers -- have themselves become a Berlin landmark.

Stefan Koerner, art expert at the Grisebach auction house that is selling the photos, said the images were "iconic" and could be popular with collectors or museums.

"It is a special joy to be showing this work on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall," he told AFP on Wednesday.

The 12 works, which include images of Russian soldiers still wearing Soviet uniforms, are being auctioned with a starting price of 90,000 euros ($100,000).

Germany celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9.

Ahead of the celebrations, Berlin authorities banned actors who stand at Checkpoint Charlie in military uniforms pretending to be soldiers for tourists.

The ban came after plainclothes police found that tourists were being pressured to offer a "donation".

Thiel's photos will remain as a visual reminder of the Cold War history of the once-divided city.

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