Deutschland 1929
September 9, 2005 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Beautiful Gallery (Google Cache) of b & w photos of Germany from 1929. The shots look like something out of a fairy tale, or a Jean Cocteau film. Here are some favorites. Compare to this (all to brief) flickr gallery of photos from about 15 years later, during WWII.
posted by jonson (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
via BoingBoing?
posted by nonmerci at 1:36 PM on September 9, 2005

That "here" picture really makes me think of Escher's Belvedere.
posted by Aknaton at 1:39 PM on September 9, 2005

The beautiful end result of 100 years of romantic nationalism.
posted by stbalbach at 1:40 PM on September 9, 2005

nonmerci writes "via BoingBoing?"

who cares?

jonson, thanks for these. They really are beautiful, and I wish that I didn't know they were Germany since the sense of creeping evil, the rot beneath the skin, is almost overwhelming.

I particularly like this one and this one.

[This post also goes well with the Japanese Castles post, both in content and in Axis-evil-out-of-beautiful-architecture.]
posted by OmieWise at 1:41 PM on September 9, 2005

Actually, via, a newlink aggregator that is fucking awesome. Hadn't noticed this up at Boingboing, sorry if this is something everyone has seen already...
posted by jonson at 1:44 PM on September 9, 2005

Beautiful photographs, but a little let compression would have been good.
posted by fire&wings at 1:46 PM on September 9, 2005

Nice. I concur that the sense of coming dread makes the pictures even more surreal.
posted by MetaJohn at 1:46 PM on September 9, 2005

Oh, wow. Cold and beautiful.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:47 PM on September 9, 2005

From Wikipedia:
By the late 19th century pseudo-medieval symbols were the currency of European monarchal state propaganda. German emperors dressed up in and proudly displayed medieval costumes in public, and they rebuilt the great medieval castle and spiritual home of the Teutonic Order at Marienburg. Mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria built a fairy-tale castle at Neuschwanstein and decorated it with scenes from Wagner's operas, another major Romantic image maker of the Middle Ages.
Germany remade its self in the image of the Middle Ages, in ideal if not always practice. It was Romanticism, a revolt against the sterile and emotionally cold Enlightenment. A revolt against the horrors of the industrial revolution. Romanticism remains strong to this day in such things as the Lord of the Rings, fantasy games and books. See this article for more historiography of the Middle Ages envisioned in history.
posted by stbalbach at 1:49 PM on September 9, 2005

Those are stunningly beautiful. Thanks!
posted by hollygoheavy at 4:03 PM on September 9, 2005

You know what's really eerie about all these photos?

No people.

I recall seeing pictures of Hitler's architectural renderings when he was a struggling artist, and he, too, avoided putting people in the drawings because they always came out way too small.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:34 PM on September 9, 2005

C_D-You're right, I guess I noticed that but didn't really put it into words.
posted by OmieWise at 5:33 PM on September 9, 2005

Small techical note:

I don't think linking to the google cache does much to make sure the site's bandwidth isn't flooded or anything. All they cache is the html, and since the site is image-intensive it's not buying you much. If the original page was down the google cache version would just show broken images.

Liking to the Coral cached mirror however would have the page served up, images and all, with no real load on the original site.
posted by mragreeable at 8:21 PM on September 9, 2005

This shot reminds me a lot of Freiburg, Germany. There are places that still look this, unfortunately modern times hasn't been very kind (same place, different angle).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:51 PM on September 9, 2005

mragreeable - thanks, I didn't know that! Will remember for next time the situation arises.
posted by jonson at 11:50 PM on September 9, 2005


Reminds me of Schindler's List, the scene where they're shooting people in the ghetto and the soldier sits down to play Bach.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:01 AM on September 10, 2005

Wow. These pictures are beautiful and dreadful. There's something about the scale - not just in the urban photos, but the scenery shots too - that just fill me with awe and horror. I don't know how to describe it, except to say that structures like this and this make me queasy in the same way.
Amazing find, jonson. You're on a roll, man!
posted by maryh at 2:11 AM on September 10, 2005

maryh - that first picture you linked to reminds me of the carthedral.
posted by jonson at 9:07 AM on September 10, 2005

Amazing. These pictures make me homesick for Germany (my home for 8 years), though this isn't the Germany I know. The photo of Luther's study is somehow terribly moving and evocative. And I'm an atheist!
posted by melixxa600 at 9:10 AM on September 10, 2005

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