Berlin 1961-62 photos from Robert Paul

Frank da Cruz
fdc@columbia.edu
May 2015

Photos taken in Berlin 1961-62, just as the Wall was going up and taking shape. These were sent to me by Robert C. Paul (Bob) in March 2015 after he stumbled on my Frankfurt High School (Germany) website, which also includes some photos I took of Berlin in 1959, before the Wall. Bob and I were in Frankfurt at the same time but in different schools.

The images range in width from about 1400px to about 3500px and the quality varies; some are extraordinarily sharp. You can use the Enlarge button to view any image full size (and then you might also have to click the full-size image itself to "unscale" it, depending on your browser). The captions are underneath the pictures so you might need to scroll down to see a caption. See the bottom of this page for Bob's introduction to the collection.

  (Click on any photo to enter)

1. Pictures of Berlin August-September 1961 purchased in Berlin

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

2. Pictures taken by Robert H. Paul, Sr. in May 1962

36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64

3. Pictures taken by Robert C. Paul, age 12, May 1962

65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107

Berlin 1961-62 Introduction

Robert C. Paul
May 2015

There are three groups of pictures:

  1. The first were taken in Berlin in August-September 1961 when the Wall was just going up, and were purchased by us at newsstands and shops as we toured West Berlin in May 1962.

  2. Robert The second group was taken in May 1962 by my Dad, Robert H. Paul, Jr., Inspector-in-Charge, Office of the Inspector General, with the United States International Cooperation Administration and then the United States Agency for International Development, US Consulate Frankfurt. He retired in 1974, and passed away on October 5, 2000. Dad's camera was a Voigtländer Bessamatic, which he bought in the PX in Frankfurt. It was a very modern German camera with a built-in light meter which we all thought was about as advanced as things could ever get! He only took slides with it.

  3. The third group was taken by me by me in May 1962, all black-and-white snapshots from my Kodak Brownie Holiday camera.
They were all scanned, by me, on a Canon LidoScan 110 flatbed scanner at 600 dpi. The bought black-and-white pictures were snapshots; the color pictures were slides.

My family and I lived in Frankfurt from May 1960 to July 1962, with a home leave trip of several months to Washington, DC, in late 1960 to January 1961. Dad worked at the American Consulate General in Frankfurt, which was within walking distance of our home at 11 Jakob-Leislerstraße*. My brother (who is three years younger than I am) and I attended Frankfurt Elementary School #1, which also was a short walk from home. I have fond memories of school there, my friends, learning German Christmas carols, and learning to speak German (and since kids learn languages so easily, I also learned I could correct my parents' horrible German — that was fun!).

In May 1962, we traveled from Frankfurt to West Berlin by train, which was operated by the US military. We were stopped at the border of the German Democratic Republic and East German patrols inspected each train car by walking through them, very slowly. It all seemed very cloak-and-dagger to my 12-year-old mind (and it was, in a sense). The train was sealed until we reached West Berlin. American citizens were not forbidden from entering East Berlin (and thus implicitly crossing the border, using their passports, to travel into East Germany), but my father told us in no uncertain terms that we would not. He explained that as holders of US diplomatic passports, we could not under any circumstances, use our passports to cross into East Germany because that would be tantamount to the American government recognizing the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), when, at the time, the American government did not recognize East Germany as a nation and we had no Embassy in or diplomatic representation to East Germany. On my next trip to Berlin, many years later in 1992, I was thrilled to cross into the territory that was once East Berlin.
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*   Jakob Leisler was born in Frankfurt in 1640 and went to New Netherland in the service of the Dutch West India Company. He became rather wealthy, and among other things bought a French Huguenot family out of slavery. He was a Lieutenant Governor of New York, and led a rebellion against the British and the wealthy Dutch patroons. He apparently was gruesomely executed by the English in 1691. How nice that the High Commission in Germany (HICOG), which built the American housing development that included where we lived in 1960-62, named one of the streets after such an illustrious Frankfurter.

Rights and Disclaimer

The images in this gallery may be copied and reproduced without explicit permission provided the source is acknowledged: "By permission of Robert C. Paul", and that a link back to this gallery is included:
http://www.columbia.edu/~fdc/germany/berlin1961/index.html
Note that the images in the first section are not original with Robert Paul or his father; I have no way of tracking down who, if anybody, might own the rights.

Send inquiries and comments to Frank da Cruz, fdc@columbia.edu.


Created by Photogallery 2.03 June 9, 2015