Starting in 1952, the section of East Berlin’s Karl-Marx-Allee between Strausberger Platz and Frankfurter Tor was transformed into a grand, representative avenue in the style of Socialist Classicism; it was modeled on the Stalinist architecture of the Soviet Union. Beginning in the mid-1950s, Soviet-sponsored de-Stalinization converged with new economic imperatives to force a change from manual to industrial building in the GDR, and this eventually allowed for the cautious realization of a certain type of architectural modernism that had been frowned upon up to that point. Starting in 1959, the section of Karl-Marx-Allee that runs east from Alexanderplatz to Strausberger Platz was lined with imposing buildings made from prefabricated slabs. Work proceeded according to a plan submitted by Edmund Collein and Werner Dutschke. The architecture of Karl-Marx-Alle was also shaped in large part by Josef Kaiser, who designed “Kino International” [“Cinema International”] and the 13-story “Hotel Berolina,” both of which can be seen below. Photo by Max Ittenbach.

The “Kino International” and the Hotel Berolina (background) on Karl-Marx-Alle, East Berlin (c. 1965)

  • Max Ittenbach


Source: The “Kino International” in Karl-Marx-Allee, in the background the Hotel Berolina. The film “Der Teufel und die Zehn Gebote” [“The Devil and the Ten Commandments”] is playing in the cinema. A DKW Junior de Luxe car can be seen in the foreground. Date: c. 1965. Photo: Max Ittenbach. 
bpk-Bildagentur, image number 40008320. For rights inquiries, please contact Art Resource at requests@artres.com (North America) or bpk-Bildagentur at kontakt@bpk-bildagentur.de (for all other countries).

© bpk/ Max Ittenbach