The Berlin Wall Project

Art dealing with the Berlin Wall in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary of “ the Fall of the Wall “ 2019 Photography ,Paintings, Collage ,Hand printed Silk screen, Music, Wall Installation and a short movie titled Wall Walk. Some of the art was first made already in 1980 and then again in 1989 more Berlin Wall art was made as a result of that the artist Thomas Dellert was in Berlin when the wall fell and recorded and photographed the historical event.

by Thomas Dellert

I have since childhood always been fascinated by history specially the history of the 20th century. So to have the golden opportunity to be present when a historical event takes place has always been my dream. I saw the Beatles perform live, the landing on the moon, and the killing of JFK directly on TV etc. So when I had a chance to physically be present when the Berlin Wall fell, I took it.

I had like all of my generation grown up with the notion that the Berlin Wall was a result of the Second World War, the occupation of Germany and piding of Berlin into four sectors, Russian, American, French and British. Naturally anyone could feel and see the difference between the Russian Communistic belief in controlling its people by letting them live in ignorance and poverty, and the total contrast of the western world capitalistic system, with all its bad sides of the cruel laws of the jungle.

Two worlds, to goals, two sides of a wall.

I was absolutely a child of the Cold War, and the Wall was the symbol that the war was not over yet. It was erected the 13 of August 1962 and stood there for 27 years piding a nation and its people. As many as 136 people died trying to get over, through or under the wall to be united with their families and friends and to reach freedom. It was by the wall that President Kennedy said the historical words “Ich bin ein Berliner“ and Regan said “Mr Gorbachov tear down this wall“. The Mayor Willy Brandt called it the Wall of Shame and the East German government called it The Anti-Fascist defense wall "antifaschistischer Schutzwall". All depending on what side of the wall you were standing. Never the less the wall was inhuman in all its height and length. With all its barbed wire, search lights and armed guards killing anyone who dared to come too close. It was unrealistic and still it was total reality for those who live through it.

So at some point the Wall had to Fall.

Now at the same time that the East German DDR government celebrated its 40years of Communism in Germany the events started to unfold. Someone had spread the rumor that one could cross the wall and people started to gather along the wall in such numbers that it became unstoppable. The power of the people who crouched the Republic of the People. Soon the East German government realized what was happening and called in the army to stop it, but it was too late. Even the army had after 40 years got tired of the system that did not make anyone really happy if you were not working for the Stasi that is ( the East Germen version of Gestapo., the secret police. Remember DDR was a Police state. So lucky no blood was shed any more. It was like in the Prague “Velvet Revolution “. A sign of the turning of the tide.

I heard the news that night on TV in Sweden and said to myself “You have to get down to Berlin right away to be a part of history. This is totally unique and will not happen again. So I bought a ticket and went. To come to Berlin in those days was not so easy.“

It was isolated and one had to fly in as the only way of entering Berlin, like during the blockade and the air lift. Once in Berlin one could feel the buzz and the hype. The city was boiling and I went directly to the wall itself. Thousands of Berliners was out and , people from the east had started to get through Check Point Charley’

So gates. I did the opposite; I went to the East side to spend the day. There it was dark, and empty on the streets, and the long lines of Trabant’s (the official DDR mini car ) was lining the streets. This funny and ugly little car that was a Communistic version of The Mini Cooper and the Kdf Volkswagen once designed by Hitler and Porsche as a joint project. Her in East Berlin there was only this car, nothing else really. It all looked surrealistic in a way. So uniformed, so totalitarian. I took many pictures in the gloom that day, during my one and only visit to the Cold East and I remember there was absolutely nothing to buy in the stores. All the shop windows were empty. It was a country in total bankruptcy. Like night and day to walk along Karl Marx Allee with its monumental architecture, then to walk along Kurfürstendamm with all its lights and stores full of all that life can offer. The next days I walked along the wall video filming for hours, all the graffiti and all the people hammering on the wall.

I started to hammer on the wall to, and writing with my spray cans things like “Look here Paradise“ with arrows pointing to the holes in the wall where you could see the East sides gloominess, empty houses and empty promises. I also wrote “This is a document of Pain“ and “Tear down all walls“ I then signed the wall with my spray can.

I felt as if I was a part of history in its writing, I was.

I looked through the cracks in the wall and was confronted with the eyes of a lost DDR soldier in his Fur hat with the communistic emblem. He had his machinegun ready but when he saw me smiling and with the camera shooting at him he was calm, and kind of scared of the attention he was not used to. I then asking him if he could reach for a piece of the East side of the wall without any graffiti on and give it to me. He actually did and that kind of chocked me. I even asked him to sign the stone piece and even that he did.

I guess he was happy the nightmare he had lived in and grown up under was over. He would soon also be a free man. That night the Berliners wrote history and I was there to document all of it with my two cameras. No digital in those days. I even got my hands on a historical sign that read in Russian English and French and German “Grenzgebiet“ etc. This was one of the signs I had seen in my history school book. I still today have it in my home as a reminder of that I was a part of a historical moment in time.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall.

And then… Well I came home and got out of the taxi and left my camera on the street with all my material. Someone took it. I went on the radio and said I would pay to get my material back. I did. Then made an exhibit with all the photos, video and new big paintings in collaboration with artist Baltazar Silveira. We opened at the Swedish World Trade Center 1990. No one came to see the exhibit. There was no interest in those days in Sweden for what was happening in Germany etc.

All my Berlin Wall Art was first exhibited in World Trade Center in Stockholm in 1990 ( see photo)

Then I stored all the art away for over 25 years in a container.

And in Berlin in 2013 it was again exhibited at Check Point Charley Art Studio Gallery, a large event with a lot of madia attention
and toe years later in Provocation Art Gallery on Tauben Stresse in Berlin Mitte
alongside with the the movie I made in 89/90 titled " WALLWALKN "

First recorden in 1989 titled DANCING ON THE BERLIN WALL ( Rap Version )
later recorded as BERLIN CITY OF TOMORROW ( House Version )
now for the 30th anniversary here is the final Rock version


TALK: This is a song for all of you, who grow up in the shadow,
of the Berlin Wall

We had a dream, to taste the sweetness of the west
We wanted all, that the other side, had in such excess
We were the children of the darkest past the DDR
We wanted freedom, but the wall stopped us from going far

We were beating on the Berlin Wall
Hoping that a miracle, would make it fall
I was just a kid , and the wall, was Much to tall
But when your young , your hungry and you want it all

Want it All

Now finally the wall came tumbling down
The concrete was turned to rubble, on the ground
We wanted just to live a life, and not to fight
Now it was possible as East and West would just unite

We were beating on the Berlin Wall
Hoping that a miracle would make it fall
I was just a kid, and the wall, was Much to tall
But when your young, your hungry and you want it all

Want it Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall

Today I walk around in the ruins of Berlin
I know the evil of the past will never win
But still I feel the city in a way ‘s divided
Its like the people living here are still misguided
The wall is in our heads, and can’t be turned to rubble
We are all victims of the past, and that’s the trouble

We were beating on the Berlin Wall
Hoping that a miracle would make it fall
I was just a kid, and the wall, was Much to tall
But when your young, your hungry and you want it all

You want it aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall.


The Soviet-allied East German authorities built the Berlin Wall from August 1961 to stop a flood of defections to the democratic West through the city.
The 155-kilometre barrier essentially surrounded West Berlin, which was an enclave within East Germany. The portion that split Berlin from north to south was 43km long.
Concrete panels 3.6 metres high made up 106 km of the wall; the rest was composed of barbed wire.
7,000 guards
A heavily guarded no-man's land known as the "death strip" ran along the
Eastern side of the Wall.
More than 7,000 East German soldiers manned 302 watchtowers and 20 bunkers. At night, with lamp posts every 30 metres, it was the best-lit part of Berlin.
There were also alarms, ditches, barbed wire, guard dogs and devices that automatically fired shots at would-be escapers.

Checkpoint Charlie
The Wall had seven official crossing points, the most famous being Checkpoint C, called Checkpoint Charlie by Western troops.
It was located in the heart of Berlin in a sector secured by American
In a high-stakes standoff at the checkpoint in October 1961, the US and Soviet militaries stared each other down for several hours in a dispute over an attempt by US diplomat Allan Lightner to visit East Berlin.
A year later East border guards at the checkpoint shot 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he was trying to flee to the West. He was left to bleed to death under the barbed wire, in view of onlookers and journalists.

About 140 people died attempting to make the crossing between 1961 and 1989, according to the Berlin Wall Memorial.
The most successful escape route was Tunnel 57, dug by students from the
West from the basement of a disused bakery into the East. In October 1964, 57 East Germans used the 140-metre tunnel to defect.
One of the more extraordinary escapes came in August 1988 when a family of
four made it over the Wall aboard a small crop-duster plane.
Electronics engineer Winfried Freudenberg was the last to die, crashing in March 1989 in West Berlin having made it over using a self-built inflatable balloon.
Kennedy gave his famous speech at Berlin-Schöneberg's Rathaus on June 6th, 1963. Photo: DPA
US President John F. Kennedy's stirring declaration, "I am a Berliner," issued just metres from the barrier in 1963, has become its most celebrated condemnation in a message of solidarity with the East Germans.
In another famous speech by a US president at the Brandenburg Gate, Ronald
Reagan challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 to "tear down this
Just two years later, as Eastern Europe's communist regimes began falling, the embattled East German authorities unexpectedly ceded to weeks of mass demonstrations and allowed the checkpoints to be opened on November 9th, 1989.
Over the next days euphoric Berliners perched on the wall and used pickaxes
and hammers to knock out chunks. Its systematic demolition followed, with just
sections remaining today as historical monuments.

The Berlin Wall stood for 10,316 days, which means it has now been open (Nov 9 1989-Feb 5 2018) for as long as it was standing (Aug 13 1961-Nov 9 1989).
This week Nov 2019
The Berlin Wall has been opened longer then it was standing 30 years today.

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