One of my favorite WWII color slide groupings was shot by a US Engineer who was stationed in Berlin at the end of the war. Quite the shutter bug, he was able to track down German Agfa color film and shoot some of the scenery around Berlin. In one image, Captain Smith captures a brisk October, 1945 morning on Curtiusstraße in Berlin. An intrepid researcher was able to track down the original location using information from the store signs. Special thanks to Berliner Niko Rollmann for reshooting the image for me.
Here’s a link to a google map image: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=52.442804,13.296139&num=1&t=h&gl=us&z=18
Snapped over 65 years ago at the Lichterfelde-Berlin SS Barracks in October of 1945, this shot gives us a rare glimpse of the US Army unit that transported the famous Isted Lion from it’s home in Berlin back to it’s ancestral lands of Denmark. Danish sculptor Herman Wilhelm Bissen created the monument for installation as a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the common Danish soldier. The statue we see today was completed and unveiled in 1862 with the following inscription:
Isted den 25. Juli 1850. Det danske Folk reiste dette Minde
(Isted, 25 July 1850. The Danish people set this memorial)
The statue was then taken in 1864 by the Germans after a bitter Danish defeat at the Battle of Dybbol. From there it was put on display, attacked by German nationalists, dismantled, copied, reconfigured and moved to the arsenal in Berlin, moved again to the barracks at Lichterfelde where it rested until October of 1945. This is where my recent photograph acquisition comes into play.
Isted Lion is Lifted
Lion on the Move
This pair of incredible photographs was privately taken by a member of a US Army engineering unit who were stationed in Berlin right after the end of the war. This shot shows the engineers loading the wandering lion into the bed of a heavy-duty truck. I can’t find any other shots of this scene. Also, there aren’t many soldiers in the shot…… this could be the only photograph of this scene on the web. From there, the lion was transported back to Denmark where it rested until 2010. Please watch the video below to finish the story!