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CounterpreservationArchitectural Decay in Berlin Since 1989$
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Daniela Sandler

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703164

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703164.001.0001

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Destruction and Disappearance

Destruction and Disappearance

East German Ruins

(p.197) 6 Destruction and Disappearance

Daniela Sandler

Cornell University Press

This chapter tests the concept of counterpreservation against two ruins of a more recent past: structures built by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and called into question after unification. One of them, the now-demolished Palace of the Republic, exemplifies counterpreservation in a different form—not as the display of picturesquely crumbling façades, but as new interventions and installations set into the gutted shell of a former Socialist civic center. The second structure is the Berlin Wall as it is preserved and memorialized in the Berlin Wall Memorial Grounds on Bernauer Straẞe, built between 2007 and 2014. The centerpiece of the memorial grounds (and the reason for their being there) is a long, decaying section of the Wall, complemented by a constellation of remains and archaeological findings related to the border fortifications.

Keywords:   East German Ruins, German Democratic Republic, GDR, Palace of the Republic, Berlin Wall Memorial Grounds, Berlin Wall, memorial grounds, unification, counterpreservation by contrast

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