Sunday, September 26, 2021

A Glimpse of Pre-War Berlin

Before the Hurricane

Berlin 1936

Here are a couple of color videos of Berlin from 1936 that have been enhanced using modern Artificial Intelligence software. If you ever wondered what Germany looked like before Adolf Hitler and the war destroyed it, this is a good place to start.

Of course, all of this beauty and grandeur masked truly nefarious forces working in the background. History's verdict is that Germany brought its troubles on itself and has only itself to blame. But it was truly criminal to risk all this for nebulous nothings and sinister intentions.
Berlin 1936

The film is a little unusual because the original was in color. That makes the colors more accurate and vibrant than in the typical case with these types of AI exercises.
Berlin 1936

There are troops and military vehicles, but they are not at war and are just going about their business, just as in other countries of the time. What surprises me a little is how militaristic the society had become, and not just during the 1930s. It had been like that for a long, long time, as indicated by some of the artwork that is shown.

Despite all the historic architecture, the scenes look surprisingly modern to me. People are just going about their business, parents with children, sightseers, and businessmen.

Berlin 1936
Not much traffic compared to now!

The city is all decked out for the 1936 Olympics. That's when the government pulled out all the stops for an impressive showing to the worldwide audience. It was like Berlin's coming-out party.

Berlin 1936
Those huge banners you see in the WWII movies were certainly real! 

The Germans already had cable television to show the Olympics to city dwellers. The cables ran from the stadium to theaters in the heart of Berlin, where people could sit and watch the events on the screen for free.

This cable TV later found war purposes, of course. Many of the technicians who worked on it later became hugely important to the development of broadcasting in the post-war era.

Berlin 1936
Back when cars were still allowed to have vibrant colors!

Watching films like this may give you an idea of how tragic World War II was, how much was lost due to warmongering and repression.

You can catch glimpses of the Brandenburger Gate, The Siege Saule, Unter den Linden, the Haus des Rundfunks (radio broadcast building), Berlin Zoo, the subway, and outdoor sculptures.

Anyway, I'm always interested in windows to the past. If only Germany had taken a different path. I hope you enjoy it!
Berlin 1936