When I thought about photographs of the former GDR I often had the picture in mind, that these are black and white, or better: grey. This view is obviously a fallacy because of course you can find color photos of the GDR, too. A book which calls this into my consciousness is the book “DDR in Color”, in 2013 published in the Berlin Story Verlag and edited by Klaus Morgenstern and the ddrbildarchiv.de.
The photographer Klaus Morgenstern (1939-2012) depicts with his photos the social realty of the GDR. He finds the right perspectives and situations to give an insight in the everyday life of the people in East Berlin. Beside scenes of children playing on a playground or people enjoying the sun on the Alexanderplatz there are photographs of military parades and political makers, too. This shows the discrepancy of the life the people lived every day and the state situation in which they lived it. For the first time a summary of his photographs are presented in this book.
The photos of East Berlin from 1960 till 1989 are lettered with captions in six languages: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch, so the book is for an international audience. Most of the photos are in color, but at the end there are some in black and white, too. Whether in color or not, the pictures are really impressively and meaningful and so it is interesting to scroll through the book and read the captions.
More negatives of Klaus Morgenstern you can find on ddrbildarchiv.de, they are prepared by Andrea Terzer-Grahn. The book “DDR in Color” itself can be found in the online shop of the Berlin Story Verlag. The ISBN is 978-3-86368-074-9 and it costs 9,80€.