After 1945, Berlin was a city split, partitioned and, finally, cut through by a wall. Not much was left of the capital’s former significance or old splendor.
In the 1970s, Karl-Ludwig Lange captured both sides of the divided city in a series of street photos, showing everyday people waiting at stoplights.
In the West, he captured images of teenagers in bell-bottoms, their hair coiffed like Günter Netzer, a popular soccer player. He shot people, wealthy from West Germany’s economic miracle, in expensive coats, standing in front of jewelry and nightclub advertisements.
His photos of the East of the city are a stark contrast. The building facades are sooty and grey, the people wear old-fashioned coats. And yet, the faces in both parts of the city resemble each other. They view the world with skepticism. They are glum.
Even though his name is not so well-known now, Mr. Lange is probably the most important Berlin photographer of the post-war era.
For more than 40 years, he photographed the continuously changing city in all its facets. Now the Kommunale Gallery in Berlin is showing over 1,000 of his photos in 10 venues around the city.