Berlin: NP, 1953. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto (9 x 6 1/2"). Leporello within its original illustrated pocket. 16 loose photolithographs, as issued. Leporello and photographs housed in their original blue pebbled cloth clamshell box, with a 1 1/2 x 1" embossed metal piece depicting the East German flag adorned with a dove flying over the Brandenburg Gate, and the inscription "Nationales Aufbau Programm Berlin II" at bottom. Also on front cover of clamshell box is printed in white lettering the following inscription from Wilhelm Pieck, the first President of the German Democratic Republic: "Die großen, schönen Wohnbauten der Stalinallee sind die weithin sichtbaren Zeugen unseres Friedenswillens" (The large and beautiful dwellings of Stalinallee are the most visible evidence of our will to peace)
"Berlin Stalinallee: Die Strasse des Friedens" documents the construction of the Berlin Stalinallee, a monumental socialist boulevard built by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) between 1952 and 1960 in Berlin Friedrichshain.
The boulevard was rebuilt on the previously Große Frankfurter Straße (mostly destroyed during an air raid on 2/3/1945) and named Stalinallee in 1949 to honor Stalin's 70th birthday. It kept its name between 1949 and 1961, and was a prestigious urban project of East Germany's reconstruction programme after World War II.
It was designed by the architects Hermann Henselmann, Hartmann, Hopp, Leucht, Paulick and Souradny to contain spacious and luxurious apartments for workers, as well as shops, restaurants, cafés, a tourist hotel and an impressive cinema (the International).
"On June 17, 1953, the Stalinallee became the focus of a worker uprising which endangered the young state's existence. Builders and construction workers demonstrated against the communist government, leading to a national uprising. The rebellion was smashed with Soviet tanks and troops, resulting in the loss of at least 125 lives" (from Wikipedia). Later the street was used for East Germany's annual May Day parade, featuring thousands of soldiers along with tanks and other military vehicles to showcase the power and the glory of the communist government.
The box is complete with its leporello and 16 photolithographs after original silver gelatin prints documenting the construction of the Stalinallee. The series of photographs starts with Otto Grotewohl (GDR's first prime minister) laying the symbolic cornerstone, and concludes with the larger-than-life bronze statue of Stalin overlooking the newly designed and impressive boulevard.
Each photogravure measures 5 1/2 x 8" and is captioned at verso.
Captions in German. Clamshell box, leporello and photographs in very good condition. vg. Item #43564