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CityEuropeThe old theater by Francesca Pompei

25 miles from Berlin, the East German military camp of Wünsdorf, city headquarter to the Nazis and then the Soviets, was once home to 75,000 Soviet men, women and children. Now ‘Little Moscow’, the biggest Soviet military camp outside the USSR, has been quickly abandoned after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the reunification of Germany.

25 miles from Berlin, the East German military camp of Wünsdorf, city headquarter to the Nazis and then the Soviets, was once home to 75,000 Soviet men, women and children.

Now ‘Little Moscow’, the biggest Soviet military camp outside the USSR, has been quickly abandoned after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the reunification of Germany. Headquarters of the Soviet military forces in Germany, a city in the forest, aka the ‘Forbidden City, was firstly the Nazis’ underground bunker headquarters for the German Wehrmacht and Army’s High Command, home to the sophisticated Zeppelin communications bunker that sent commands to German forces during WWII.

But this story is a long one. Six years after the formation of the German Empire in 1871, it was established as a military area of the Imperial German and Prussian Army. The Red Army arrived here on April 20 1945, taking place until the collapse of the East Germany. The Little Moscow was provided with every comfort and facilities for the pleasure and relax of the army, including a theater. Now the site and the backstage have uneven surfaces, broken glass, debris and it is difficult to access. Nevertheless there is still plenty of life: the echoes of the actors, the austerity of the audience, the creaking of the stage still float in the dusty air of this unique place.

About Francesca Pompei

Francesca Pompei is a professional photographer focused on arts and architectural images, member of the board of Italian Association of Professional Photographers-TAU Visual. She is represented by the Galerie Bruno Massa in Paris and the Art+Commerce Agency- PhotoVogue Collection New York.

Her photos have been featured in national and international exhibitions such as Art Basel Miami Beach 2012, Frieze Art Fair New York 2014, FOTOGRAFIA-Festival Internazionale Roma 2014, Art Fair Tokyo 2017, Architectural Digest Design Show New York 2018, Praxis Gallery & Photographic Arts Center Minneapolis, Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong 2018, the 5th Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography-Barcelona, Paratissima Art Fair 2018 and Photokina 2018. Her works feature also in PhotoVogue, LensCulture, blink, Saatchi Art, iStock by Getty Images, Fondo Malerba per la Fotografia, ArtPrice.com, L’Oeil de la photographie, Artsy, Artsper and Artnet. Her name is included in the Art in America’s Guide to Museums, Galleries and Artists 2017 and in the TOP 100 artists 2018 by the Circle Foundation for the Arts-France. [Official Website]

The box office of the old theater.

The rehearsal space. The theater was the location of many plays for the Russian Army.

The rehearsal space. The theater was the location of many plays for the Russian Army.

The building interiors.

The balconies gallery entrance. The site and buildings have uneven surfaces, broken glass, and building debris.

A mirror abandoned in the backstage.

The backstage of the abandoned theater in Wünsdorf. On the floor, the relics of the last show with a bunch of flowers…

The old theater backstage

The Russian elegance of the theatre’s architecture interiors.

The abandoned backstage’s spaces. Wünsdorf was the Red Army’s headquarters and the biggest Soviet military camp outside the USSR.

Wehrmacht headquarters,the Red Army arrived here on April 20, taking place until the collapse of the East Germany. The Little Moscow was provided with every comfort for the pleasure and relax of the army, including a theater.

The foyer

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Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
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