East-Berlin’s Mayor

Fechner, Herbert. BEREIT ZUR ARBEIT UND ZUR VERTEIDIGUNG DES FRIEDENS. [Ready to Work and Defend the Peace]

East Berlin: 1954. Photo album with 37 silver-gelatin photographs on [35] lvs. 295 by 390mm (11 ½ by 15 ¼ inches). Half-leather with parchment cover, two metal clasps, and gold-stamped cover vignette. The album was presented to Herbert Fechner (1913–1998), the mayor of East-Berlin to commemorate the 1954 construction of the Weißensee Bicycle Racetrack in East-Berlin. Two photos of Fechner (7 by 5 inches), stamped Sport-Foto-Kollektiv”; the remaining photos (9 ¼ by 7 inches) show athletes from East Germany at various competitions (rowing, diving, sailing, bowling, wrestling, etcetera) stamped on reverse Pressebild Manfred Malinowski”. Malinowski was a prominent East German sport photographer, his archive is at the Sportmuseum Berlin. Along with, a bronze medal in a cardboard box lined with fabric. Medal with outline of Budapest and street sweeper in the center; diameter (3 12 inches). Engraved on back in German: [“In memory of the visit of comrade mayor Herbert Fechner to the Budapest Public Works Office. Budapest August 31, 1973.”] Along with, a collage of newspaper headlines folded as leporello (32 by 5 ¼ inches). Presented to Fechner on the occasion his election to the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party in 1967. Collage includes numerous cut-outs from those in the west (allegedly) irked by Fechner’s success. Album somewhat stained, edges rubbed, leather strap rubbed; several photos loose, none missing. Collage slightly browning.

Fechner was on East-Berlin’s City Council [Stadtverordneter] from 1954–1976; East-Berlin’s Mayor 1953–1961 and Mayor of Berlin-Köpenick 1961–1967. With his long tenure in the highest reaches of city government, he was instrumental in shaping East-Berlin, especially the built environment that remains (Alexander Platz, Karl-Marx-Allee, and hundreds of large housing developments).

In the beginning: The first two pictures show Fechner at the racetrack groundbreaking ceremony.

In the end: In 1988 at the same racetrack, Bruce Springsteen gave the largest concert in East German history. 200,000 to 300,000 people attended. During the concert, Springsteen announced his hope that one day all barriers would be torn down. 16 months later the wall fell and commentators credit this concert and the impact it had on East Germans as an important factor.

These personal objects of Fechner’s reflect his commitment as Mayor of East Germany’s largest and most important city. Sold as a set (three items).


Stock Code: 1391A20 Collections: , , Catalogue:


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