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Images - Nature’s Rubble and Landscapes of Ruin

Seidenstücker had a special relationship with nature. He undertook frequent excursions into the surroundings of Berlin and Brandenburg, where he photographed landscapes, trees, shrubs, and animals. His numerous outdoor self-portraits, as well as his private correspondence, give further testimony to his love of nature. It is thus all the clearer why the destruction of parks and gardens in Berlin touched him so deeply.

Many of his photographs feature the Tiergarten, the so-called green lung of Berlin. This once magnificent park area was badly destroyed in the last days of fighting. Its condition only worsened at the end of the war, when Berlin’s under-nourished population used it to grow much-needed food. Seidenstücker’s photographs show how the Tiergarten’s original function as a public park was changed by the planting of fruit and vegetables.

Seidenstücker also explored other green elements within the city. Individual trees, which populated the city in great numbers before the war, were either chopped down or cut back to provide firewood for the cold winter of 1945. A sycamore tree riddled with bullets testifies to the heavy fighting in Berlin’s city center.

List of Images