restored quadriga atop Brandenburg Gate ►pale-verdigris gateway build-up (“horses’-herma”) in gloomy night◄

restored quadriga atop Brandenburg Gate ►pale-verdigris gateway build-up (“horses’-herma”) in gloomy night◄
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Image by quapan
The quadriga atop the Brandenburg Gate—restored since 1991—is shining in pale-verdigris against a black backdrop of a gloomy night.

In 1793 Schadow installed a roman victory goddess as holding up a coronal of olive leaves behind a roman, triumphal carriage.

In 1806 this sculpture was dislodged to Paris by Napoléon Bonaparte but eight years later—in 1814—the booty was tracked down and re-confiscated by the prussian General Blücher. Back again in Berlin the restituted trophy was overhauled and revised by Schinkel in 1815 who inserted the erect shaft in between the pairs of horses (“Pferdeherme”), supplemented harness for the four domesticated mammals and a coronet of oak leaves for the goddess, and set up the “perch”, i.e. the banner-like standard with the iron cross inside a wreath of oak leaves & acorns from which an eagle coronated by a christian cross atop a prussian crown holds lookout.

The iron cross on the Brandenburg was posted in 1815 and contains the initials ‘FW’ and the figure ‘1813’ in remembrance of its endowment as the prussian war decoration by Friedrich Wilhelm III. in the year 1813 which marks the beginning of the first restoration—the second such reanimation was instigated by the Hitlerists in 1933 under the pompous title “Third Reich”—of the 1806 passed away cadaver of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation by ‘freedom wars’ (‘Befreiungskriege’) that were the prussian tribute to ‘the wars of the 6th coalition’ (1812-1814) for breaking Napoleon’s hegemony over Europe. On 18th Oktober 1913, i.e. at the eve of WWI, all around the victory goddess of the Brandenburg triumphal arch a wilhelmine state act was held by the german emperor; like everywhere in the suburbs of the Berlin and the German Reich it was celebrated the centenary of the Battle of Leipzig

Originally an emblematic build-up to the Restoration epoch (1815-1848) the “horses’—herma” was rededicated in 1991 and refurbished 2000/02 by private businessmen and the Berlin Monument Conservation Foundation that were sponsored to indulge their “faible” for the “imperial prussian flair”.

The Brandenburg Gate in 1945 was one of the few structures still standing on the Pariser Platz but the relics of the copper quadriga atop it had to be melted down; only the head of one of the four horses was preserved and can be visited in the Märkisches Museum. In 1958 a replica of bronze was built up to replace the copper quadriga.
Vehicles and pedestrians could travel freely through the thouroughfare until 13th August 1961; then the wall with its death strip ran just behind it.

On 26th of June 1963, — two years after the put-up of the Wall —, U.S. President John F. Kennedy officially visited West-Berlin and the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate, where he himself and the West-Berlin mayor wanted him to deliver his prepared speech but the west-german chancellor which was demonstratively all the time accompanying him agreed with the western allies that the venue near the soviet sector would have been much too provocative. So he could not hold his oratio in sight of the contended cold-war-focus-point but had to shift to another location: That was the square in front of the office-building of the then ruling mayor Willy Brandt. Unlike Ronald Reagan who could easily overtake the venue twenty four years later—only protected by transparent bullet-proof glass to prevent potential snipers from behind the wall and two decades of détente (“Ostpolitik”) followed up by glasnost & perestroika.
«Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was “civis romanus sum” {translation lat-engl: “I’m a roman citizen”}. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is „Ich bin ein Berliner“. {translation ger-engl: “I’m a Berliner”, after these four words interpreter Lochner is heard whispering instructions to him on how to pronounce the four german words more correctly, and he’s answering insinuatingly into the open microphone: “I appreciate my interpreter translating my German!”}
{JFK continues:} There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. „Lass’ sie nach Berlin kommen! [Lust z nach Bearlen comen]“ Let them come to Berlin. – KA: „Aber lass auch Sie nach Berlin kommen!“ {heckled the standing-by Bundeskanzler Konrad Adenauer who obviously had’nt quite understood the english words of the speech}
{JFK continues:} Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. … While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, …
… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words „Ich bin ein Berliner!“
» (speech by President John F. Kennedy on 26 June 1963 at ‘Rathaus Schöneberg’ in West-Berlin
When he tried to take sight of the Brandenburg Gate on that sultry summerday climbing on the tourists’ platform on the then Hindenburg-Platz he was ‘welcomed’ by large red curtains that were hung into the five doorways of the arch to prevent the VIP from speaking and spying to the East …

In the 1980s, decrying the existence of two German states, the then West Berlin mayor Richard von Weizsäcker said:
The German question will remain open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed.”

On June 12, 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan spoke to the West Berlin populace at the Brandenburg Gate:
To those listening in East Berlin, a special word: Although I cannot be with you, I address my remarks to you just as surely as to those standing here before me. For I join you, as I join your fellow countrymen in the West, in this firm, this unalterable belief: Es gibt nur ein Berlin. … we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace …Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West. The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere — that sphere that towers over all Berlin the light makes the sign of the cross.
Demanding the razing of the Berlin Wall and addressing the then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan said:
And I invite Mr. Gorbachev: Let us work to bring the Eastern and Western parts of the city closer together, so that all the inhabitants of all Berlin can enjoy the benefits that come with life in one of the great cities of the world. To open Berlin still further to all Europe, East and West, let us expand the vital air access to this city, finding ways of making commercial air service to Berlin more convenient, more comfortable, and more economical. We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe.
… There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! … The wall cannot withstand freedom.

On July 12, 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton spoke at the Gate about peace in post-Cold War Europe.
On December 21, 2000, the Brandenburg Gate was privately refurbished at a 6 million $ cost.
Depiction of German euro coinage: On the obverse sides of the 1 € and 2 € coins, there are stylized prussian eagles; on the the 50¢, 20¢ and 10¢ coins there are the Brandenburg Gates; on the 5¢, 2¢ and 1¢ coins there are twigs with five oak leaves and two acorns.

The Brandenburg Gate & The Wall
Berlin, it is worth remembering, came of age as a garrison town. Though Friedrich Wilhelm I was not interested in beautifying the city, he did seek to promote its growth. Needing more space to quarter soldiers and more artisans to supply their needs, he gave away hundreds of lots and compelled the recipients to build houses on them. He expanded the city limits and, in the 1730s, replaced the Great Elector’s old fortifications with a new wall built around the expanded city. This was not a fortification but a customs barrier to regulate commerce and prevent soldiers from deserting. (For all the differences, in both these purposes we can see a resemblance to Ulbricht’s later wall.) Among the wall’s eighteen gates, the most prominent lay at the southern and western edges of the expanded Friedrichstadt, where large plazas were laid out inside the gates: a circular plaza inside the southern Halle Gate, an octagon at the Potsdam Gate, and a square at the western terminus of Unter den Linden. Friedrich Wilhelm envisioned all three spaces as military parade grounds.
The last of these gates concludes our look at the eighteenthcentury city. It marks the outer end of the grand axis of Unter den Linden, scene of royal processions, military parades, and elegant promenades throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Though it is not the original Brandenburg all that remains of the eighteenth-century wall, apart from a fragment excavated in Stresemannstrasse. The original baroque gate that separated Unter den Linden from the Tiergarten was replaced at the order of King Friedrich Wilhelm II, Frederick the Great’s successor. The commission given to the architect Carl Gotthard Langhans ushered in a new era in Berlin architecture. To the end of his long life (in 1786), Frederick the Great had insisted on building in ornate rococo forms that had long since fallen from favor in Europe’s more fashionable capitals. Langhans’s Brandenburg Gate, completed in 1791, brought the more severe lines of neoclassicism to Berlin.
Langhans’s simple design, modeled on the Propylaea of Athens, comprises a double row of Doric columns that frame five openings. The gate’s other famous feature is the copper quadriga that was mounted atop it in 1793. This work of the young sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow portrays a goddess riding in a chariot drawn by four horses galloping into the city. The Brandenburg Gate, with its quadriga, has long been Berlin’s most famous symbol, rivaled only by the more ephemeral Wall. Its image has adorned commemorative coins, playing cards, historicist and expressionist paintings, posters for all kinds of events, and East and West Berlin postcards and tourist brochures. It may be an admirable work of architecture and sculpture, but that does not explain its symbolic resonance. Nor does its intended function. Unlike many nineteenth-century structures, it was not erected as a national monument. Its size and form made it much more than a utilitarian structure, but it was nevertheless a functional gate in the city wall, flanked by guardhouses.
History has made the Brandenburg Gate a German monument. At first its official name was the “Gate of Peace”; it was not, after all, a Roman triumphal arch. But its identity changed in 1806, when Napoleon defeated Prussia and triumphantly entered its capital through the western gate. He showed his admiration for the quadriga by ordering that it be taken down and shipped to Paris to join his other confiscated art treasures. The emperor thus became known locally as the “horse thief of Berlin”, and the denuded gate became the symbol of Prussian and German resistance. In 1813 Schadow himself proposed to fill the quadriga’s place atop the gate with an enormous cast of the Iron Cross, the new military medal designed by Schinkel at the behest of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Upon Napoleon’s defeat in 1814, however, a triumphant procession returned the quadriga to Berlin, the neighboring square was renamed Paris Square (Pariser Platz), and the “Gate of Peace” became a “Gate of Victory”. Schinkel designed new insignia for the goddess’s staff: a Prussian eagle and, within a wreath, the Iron Cross.
Thereafter, the gate became ever more firmly established as a symbol of Prussia and its capital. It became the traditional backdrop for military parades (following Napoleon’s example) and for the ceremonial reception of state guests. When the entire customs wall was tom down in the 1860s, the Brandenburg Gate remained; from then on, it was strictly a monument. After Germany was unified under Prussian leadership in 1871, the victorious troops returning from France were welcomed at the Brandenburg Gate. The Prussian monument had become firmly established as a German national symbol, the site of many more ceremonies before soldiers marched through it on their way back to France in 1914. The Nazis, too, embraced the old symbol of victory. The night Hitler was appointed chancellor, January 30, 1933, thousands of torch-bearing Nazi brownshirts marched through the gate.
When the bombers came, the Nazis generally did a better job of evacuating art treasures than saving people. But they apparently did not dare risk morale by removing the goddess and her horses. Instead, in 1942 they had plaster casts made of the quadriga. By 1945, when Soviet soldiers planted their red flag atop the gate, it was badly damaged and only fragments of the quadriga remained. The East German leaders who inherited these ruins decided to keep the gate and adopt it as their own. The shattered quadriga’s fate was less certain. Artists and politicians entertained several proposals for a suitable new sculpture: a group of workers, children dancing around a globe, a mother with child, Picasso’s dove of peace. A Western newspaper, hearing of the last proposal in 1949, declared that if the dove of peace were to nest placidly at the entrance to the Communist world, the West would be obliged to raise a banner in front of the gate with the words Dante had affixed to the gates of Hell in his lnferno: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” {N23} Eventually, however, the East decided to restore the quadriga instead.
Unfortunately, the gate stood in the Soviet sector, the plaster casts were in the West, and during the 1950s the two regimes were busy denouncing each other as criminals and usurpers. After the failed uprising against the East German government on June 17, 1953, the West renamed the street that continued Unter den Linden west of the gate “the Street of 17 June.“ But the two Berlins had only one Brandenburg Gate, and it provided a rare opportunity for cooperation. West Berlin agreed to recreate the statues while the East restored the gate. This joint venture did not, of course, proceed without incident. In 1958 the reconstructed quadriga was brought to the sectoral boundary, a few steps from the gate, and simply left there for the East Germans to claim. Before putting it up, the Easterners sawed the Prussian eagle off the top of the goddess’s staff and the Iron Cross out of the wreath. For the Western public, this was vandalism and deceit, but it should not really have been a surprise. In 1957 West Germany had legalized the display of the Iron Cross, which the GDR had banned as a militarist symbol. In 1958 the Eastern press was filled with editorials and letters demanding the removal of these “fascist“ ornaments. The Brandenburg Gate was once again to be a gate of peace, declared the East Berlin government. {N24}
With the goddess’s staff crowned only by a wreath, the quadriga and gate would remain from 1958 until 1990; only their surroundings would change utterly. At first the gate still filtered traffic passing across the sector line between the Tiergarten and the shattered ruins along Unter den Linden. As the two halves of the city grew apart, the gate acquired a rich new symbolic resonance, captured, for example, in scenes of the 1961 American comedy film One, Two, Three, directed by Billy Wilder (whose ties to Berlin went back to the 1920s) and starring James Cagney as a representative of the Coca-Cola Company caught between the intrigues of Communists and ex-Nazis.
But the film was a commercial flop: by the time it was completed, the Wall had made crossing the Brandenburg Gate anything but a laughing matter. Because the western edge of the Mitte district coincided with the location of Friedrich Wilhelm I’s wall, the sectoral boundary followed the same course after 1945, and after 1961, so did a long stretch of the new wall. The Brandenburg Gate was thus once again part of a wall. Here was a historical continuity that no one wanted to acknowledge. This time it was not a gate; the crossing points lay elsewhere. Erich Honecker, the Politbüro member in charge of national security and hence the man directing construction of the Wall, apparently pressed for the gate’s closure because he thought any activity around it would attract Western media attention, demonstrations, and provocations.{N25} He was probably right, but he may also have been swayed by his own regime’s frequent evocation of the Napoleon-like specter of West German troops marching triumphantly through the Brandenburg Gate on their way to destroy peace and socialism.
Both the gate and the quadriga had been designed to face into the City—that is, to the east. That is not what a visitor would expect, but the gate’s intended audience was local residents, not outsiders. The folk memory of Berlin seems to offer evidence of confusion on this point. Visitors are often told that the quadriga Originally faced the other direction and was turned around at some point—something that never happened. This is an old legend: an 1860 guidebook asserts that the goddess had faced away from town before Napoleon, but had been reerected looking inward in 1814.{N26} Late-twentieth-century versions of the legend tend to be vaguer about the date of the reversal; Ulbricht as well as Napoleon comes under suspicion as a possible culprit.
In its uncertain stance toward inside and outside, residents and visitors, the Brandenburg Gate resembled nothing so much as its newer neighbor, the Berlin Wall. With the Wall’s presence, the poignancy of the gate as symbol became stronger than ever. On its Eastern side, Pariser Platz starkly illustrated the desolation brought by the Wall. Once among Berlin’s most elegant squares, a place of palaces, the French and U.S. embassies, the Academy of Arts, and the city’s premier hotel, the Adlon, it was now bare except for the gate and the Wall. Tourists were restricted to its far end, but distinguished guests and officially invited delegations were brought to the gate and asked to admire the work of the border guards. From the Western side, the gate was now entirely inaccessible, and could only be seen from a dead-end street in the middle of the Tiergarten. Nevertheless, tourist buses regularly came by, and state visitors were brought there too. In 1963, when John F. Kennedy came to see it, he found that the East had hung red banners

i.e. five perpendicular flags, four of them were red (symbolizing the four-power-status of Berlin), the fifth in the main-gateway was black | red | golden signed with the GDR-coat of arms. klp }
between the columns that blocked any view beyond the gate—interpreted as a Cold War gesture with more figurative meaning than the East had intended. In 1987, the gate served as the backdrop for Ronald Reagan’s speech, with bulletproof glass erected behind the rostrum. (Bill Clinton, in 1994, was the first U.S. President privileged to speak on Pariser Platz, under the heads of the quadriga’s horses instead of their posteriors.)
Both East and West Berliners claimed the gate as the symbol of their city and of their version of German unity. But it may have been the foreign media from the West that made the gate the preeminent symbol of the less telegenic Berlin Wall. During the days after November 9, 1989, the TV networks made the Brandenburg Gate the backdrop for their cameras. It was a fortunate coincidence that the semicircular barrier blocking the gate was the only section of the Wall wide and flat enough to stand (and dance) on. Since the Brandenburg Gate was not a functioning gate, however, the hordes of East Germans actually passed through the Wall elsewhere for several weeks. Finally, on December 22 , 1989. West German chancellor Helmut Kohl led a phalanx of politicians in a ceremony reopening the Brandenburg Gate. Evidence later surfaced that Kohl had in fact pressured the East Germans to delay the opening for five weeks so that he could be present.
A few days later. New Year’s revelers climbed up to the newly accessihle quadriga and left it seriously damaged. Soon afterward, while the gate was being restored, the quadriga. too, was taken down for a careful restoration. Thereupon controversy erupted anew. The summer of 1991 saw a reprise of the 1958 debate about the quadriga, this time without the Cold War to define positions. A young Christian Democratic member of the Bundestag, Friedbert Pflüger, called for the Iron Cross and Prussian eagle to be left off the restored quaclriga. (They had been preserved since 1958 in an East Berlin museum; the reunification of the quadriga coincided with that of Germany.) His campaign found supponers across the political spectrum, only some of whom could be dismissed as leftists antipathetic to any sign of German national pride. The Berlin press anti public was nonetheless hard on Pflüger. He argued that symbols of Prussian patriotism had no place in the new Germany; but others suspected that his real motive was bitterness over the decision to move the governmcnt from Bonn. He was, more pointedly, accused of wanting to falsify history “à la Ulbricht”. Little attention was paid to his claim that he wanted to restore the original “Gate of Peace” and the original quadriga as it had existed up to 1806. It was easy for Pflüger’s supporters to conclude that Berlin was rejecting historical authenticity in favor of patriotic nostalgia.
In fact, no one was proposing the return of the goddess’s original staff, gone since 1814, when Schinkel had not merely added the Iron Cross and Prussian eagle but had redesigned the entire staff. The quadriga Napoleon took, for example, had a Roman eagle where the Prussian one later perched. And that had actually been the goddess’s third staff: Schadow’s first two designs had proved so unpopular that he was obligated to replace each of them within months. In other words, the debate in 1991 was between restoring the 1814 quadriga and the 1958 version. Since the latter’s repudiation of Prussian militarism had been the work of Ulbricht’s regime, it found few defenders. Amid good words for Prussian symbols—the Iron Cross, it was pointed out, came out of the wars of liberation against Napoleon, not World War I or II—Berlin’s leaders ceremonially rededicated the restored quadriga, with the staff of 1814-1945 as well as an artificial patina, on August 6, 1991, the two hundredth anniversary of the gate.
The gate itself could thus claim its traditional place as the symbol of Berlin as well as its newer status as the preeminent symbol of unity. Yet it stood in the middle of the city’s main east-west thoroughfare; the symbol of unity physically separated the two Berlins. The relationship between the gate and the all-important circulation of traffic sparked another debate. The attachment many Germans have to their cars has always stopped short of the American practice of tearing down cities to make way for cars, but the passion of Gennan car lovers seems to arouse in Green-thinking Germans the same kind of suspicion that passionate patriotism does. Happily the question of driving through the Brandenburg Gate did not create clear battle lines. Some car haters wanted to reserve the gate for pedestrians and bicyclists, but others thought that the gate could serve to limit and slow auto traffic. Car lovers’ favourited solutions were a tunnel under the gate or a scheme to circumvent it. The latter, in fact, had first proposed at the tum of the century, and Nazi planners as well had sought to remove the buildings on each side of the gate to make way for traffic. In the 1990s, those buildings were long gone, but plans to direct traffic away from the gate were nevertheless opposed by some who thought it should serve as a gate, a symbol or German unity, not a traffic island, and by others who wanted to rebuild Pariser Platz as the enclosed space it once had been. An initial compromise permitted only buses and taxis through the gate, and they were restricted to the wider central passage, once reserved for the emperor’s carriage.
When the monarchy ended in 1918, that central passage was not the only place that lost its identity. For all the turbulence of Berlin’s history under the Hohenzollerns, they arguably presided over a degree of stability that has not been approached in the rest of the twentieth century. Many Berliners are understandably reluctant to frame their identity in terms of the troubled eras that followed: the weak Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the divided city. Hence the wish to reach back to the relatively placid era of monarchs. How can that nostalgia possibly be satisfied? Since hardly anyone actually wants a king, it is difficult to know just what to salvage from the royal past. The much-restored but never removed Brandenburg Gate, with its twice-removed and thrice-reconstructed quadriga, is as authentic a symbol as Berlin can offer. Other buildings, visible or remembered, embody too rich a variety of meanings to permit any consensus about the legacy of old Berlin, or about how to restore it.

   {N23. Michael S. Cullen and Uwe Kieling, Das Brandenburger Tor: Geschichte
eines deutschen Symbols
(Berlin: Argon, 1990), 108.
   {N24. Jürgen Reiche, “Symbolgehalt und Bedeutungswandel eines politischen
Monuments,” in Das Brandenburger Tor: Eine Monographie, ed. Willmuth
Arenhovel and Rolf Bothe (Berlin: Arenhövel, 1991), 304.
   {N25. Peter Möbius and Helmut Trotnow, “Das Mauer-Komplott”, Die
(overseas ed.), Aug. 16, 1991.
   {N26. Friedrich Morin, Berlin und Potsdam im Jahre 1860 (reprint, Braunschweig:
Archiv-Verlag, 1980), 16.
   {N27. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 18, 1991.
   {N28. Ulrike Krenzlin, “Eisemes Kreuz und Preussen-Adler: Ja oder
Nein?” in Hauptstadt Berlin-wohin mit der Mitte? ed. Helmut Engel and
Wolfgang Ribbe (Berlin: Akademie, 1993), 104-7.
SOURCE: The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape. Brian Ladd. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997, pp70-81, UCSB: HT169.G32B4127 1997}
Das Brandenburger Tor am Pariser Platz … wurde von 1788 bis 1791 auf Geheiß des preußischen Königs Friedrich Wilhelm II. von Carl Gotthard Langhans errichtet … 1793 wurde ihm die von Johann Gottfried Schadow gefertigte Quadriga mit der kupfernen Siegesgöttin Nike aufgesetzt, welche 1806 nach der Schlacht bei Jena und Auerstedt von Napoléon nach Paris verbracht wurde. Doch bereits 1814 wurde sie von General Blücher nach Berlin zurückerobert, wo sie im Stil der jetzt anbrechenden Restaurationszeit überholt wurde: Die römische Standarte, auf welchen sich die Siegesgöttin Victoria bisher gestützt hatte, wurde ihr entwunden, und durch einen Stab ersetzt; der bisher von einem römischen Adler besetzte Olivenkranz wurde durch einen Eichenkranz ersetzt, auf dem ein preußischer Adler mit Königskrone saß. In den jetzt neuern Kranz hinein wurde vom Re-Designer Schinkel ein Eisernes Kreuz als angeblich uraltes, preußisches Staatssymbol ‘hineinrestauriert’. – Nachdem also nun mal seit 1806 das „Heilige Römische Reich Deutscher Nation“ nicht mehr existierte, wurde natürlich auch die ehemals römische „Quadriga“ zu einer preußischen „Retour-Kutsche“ umgemodelt .
Berliner sehen im Brandenburger Tor vor allem ein Symbol ihrer Stadt, während deutsche Münzen, Briefmarken etc. es auch nach dem Ende des Kalten Kriegs weiterhin zum Symbol deutscher Einigkeit hochstilisieren.
(© oedipusphinx, 30.Juli 2009, after freekeypedia)


1814 the quadriga became a symbol of national pride and inspired many anti-napoleonic caricatures („Übermut nahm sie – Tapferkeit bringt sie zurück“, Daniel Berger)
1933 -1945 When the Nazis ascended to power they used the Gate as symbol for their party. – The Brandenburg Gate was used extensively by the Nazis for propaganda purposes, beginning with a torchlit parade by the SA following their acquisition of power in 1933. @barwick
1945-1958: «cold war» In 1945, Wehrmacht artillery shot down the Quadriga after a red flag was flown there by someone. torstenbel
In 1958 the red flag was replaced by the bronze quadriga from West-Berlin, and relocated in front of the left guardhous; moreover it was added a second flag in front of the right guardhouse: This one was the GDR-flag which was later – during the Mauerbau in 1961 – replaced by another red flag, and located atop the Brandenburg behind the carriage. @answers
In 1956 was decided to rebuild the Quadriga and to put a copy on top of the Brandenburger Tor. torstenbel
In 1950, the relics of the blown up copper Quadriga were removed and a red flag was waving there instead. In 1956 the restoration of the gate and its sculpture was decided by the East-Berlin municipal authorities. In 1957 the West-Berlin senate granted the money for the melting of a bronze Quadriga from a cast of the copper quadriga taken precautiously during WWII. In July 1958, the restoration of the Brandenburg Gate had been terminated, and on 1st-2nd August1958, the quadriga had been built up but was removed the next night (2nd – 3rd August), and stored in the Marstall: The prussian iron cross and eagle were dismantled on September 16th 1958 and on September 27th 1958 the quadriga re-installed. (History of the Brandenburg Gate)
… There had been some talk of removing it for safe keeping during the war, but the regime considered that too defeatist, and a compromise was reached whereby plaster casts were taken and put into storage… Kartofelpreußer
1961: «peaceful coexistence»
In spite of the brave show put up by the restored quadriga of Schadow crowning the Brandenburg Gate (and now facing east), the old centre of the city, now in the Soviet sector, remains a grim unreconstructed desert hidden by the Potemkin façades on either side of Unter den Linden. It is as if the east had given up the struggle and drawn back into its shell to hide its real face from a west Berlin with which it could never successfully compete. What life it has has shifted to the Alexander Platz and the somewhat mellowed architectural inanities of the Stalin Allee, to which time and grime have given an almost respectable air. AIR OF MELANCHOLY East Berlin is now merely drab, no longer so grim, save at night, and things have improved vastly since the uprising of 1953. The crowd looks no more ill-clad than that in any populous area in west Berlin; only its shoes give it away. And there is some more functional building in the periphery. But the regime is now behaving almost as though it had given up east Berlin as a bad job and were concentrating on improving the standard of living in other large cities like Magdeburg and Leipzig. If things are so much better in the west, one of the unsolved mysteries is why east Berlin is not deserted by its inhabitants. Apart from attachment to home and family, there must be behind the drab shop-window some material advantage which a highly competitive capitalist society still fails to provide. And there is always the possibility of escaping to Karl-Marx Strasse for a breath of freer air and a cup of good coffee. In spite of its bright lights, its prosperity, its incomparable atmosphere (the stimulating virtues of the Berliner Luft are not exaggerated) there is about west Berlin something undefinably melancholy, reminiscent of the Vienna of Carol Reed and Graham Greene. Those who live there are perhaps not aware of it, or try not to think about il; but it strikes the returning visitor in countless ways. Berlin is an aging city, its youth is going west, in spite of efforts to retain it. The vast monuments of an Imperial past, whether ruined like the Gedächtniskirche. or restored like Charlottenburg and Bellevue Palaces, are like discarded properties on a stage which is no longer used—or used but once a year when the Federal President comes to town. The conscious effort of Berlin to remain a capital—not only culturally and artistically, which it does successfully, but politically as well—prompts much respect and sympathy but carries less and less conviction as the cleavage of Germany hardens into what appears to be the accepted pattern of peaceful coexistence. Behind the Bright Lights of Berlin, From Our Bonn Correspondent, The Times | April 10, 1961
Approaching the Brandenburg Gate is not easy nowadays. On the West Berlin side, you are stopped by a policeman at the intersection called Grosser Stern, half a mile away … when the seismographs of history have registered a particular shock — in 1848, 1871, 1914, 1933 — there have been repercussions around the Brandenburg Gate. Within its sight, the Reichstag went up in flames. After the fall of Paris, Hitler made grandiose plans to build his own Via Triamphalis between the Stern and the Brandenburg Gate, but again the wheel of history turned. Thoughts at Berlin’s Symbolic Gate; To the people of the divided city, the Brandenburg Gate stands for hopes and fears. Berlin’s Symbolic Gate, By Joseph Wechsberg Berlin, New York Times, November 19, 1961
2008: Brandenburg gate venue for sitting U.S. presidents only? German Chancellor Angela Merkel has signaled unease over the prospect of a possible speech by Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama at Berlin’s historic Brandenburg Gate. Merkel has "only limited understanding for using the Brandenburg Gate as an election campaign backdrop, as it were, and has expressed skepticism about pursuing such plans," Thomas Steg, a spokesman for the chancellor, told reporters. … Steg noted that the Brandenburg Gate has become "a place with a particular exclusivity, intensity and symbolism" in view of past speeches by sitting U.S. presidents and events such as a large rally in solidarity with the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. … Steg said that "no German (chancellor) candidate would think of using (Washington’s) National Mall or Red Square in Moscow for rallies, because it would be considered inappropriate." He stressed that giving permission to use the venue is a matter not for Merkel’s government, but for Berlin city authorities. Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said Tuesday that he would be "delighted" for Obama to appear at the Brandenburg Gate or elsewhere. (Wednesday, July 09, 2008, @foxnews | politics)

same motive – different camera-data:
─► Canon PowerShot A75, 0.125 sec (1/8) w no tripod!, f/4.8, 16.2 mm (my noisy one taken on October 7, 2008 at 9.31pm)
──► Canon EOS 1000D, 0.0077 sec (1/13), f/5.6, 90 mm, ISO 1600 quadriga, taken by Leandro (: on August 3 and uploaded on August 10, 2009 || same motive – same colouring with photoshop – a little bit further away from the object – different camera-data
──► same frame & color, less noisy
─► Canon PowerShot A95, 0.6 sec (3/5), f/4.9, 23.4 mm (less noisy)
─► Canon EOS 350D with EF 70–200 mm 1:4 L USM, 2 sec, f/10, 200 mm, ISO 100, tripod cable release, October 2006 by א (Aleph) (most less noisy)
─► Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, 0.0017 sec (1/60), f/5.0, 59 mm, ISO 400 Quadriga, taken by Umberto Luparelli uploaded on March 31, 2009.

same motive – different subtitles & descriptions:
─► Quadriga of Victory The Brandenburg Gate is a Triumphal Arch and stands on the former border between East & West Germany in the city of Berlin. The Neo-classical gate was designed by Carl Gatthard Langhans and was erected from 1788-1793 as a "Gate of Peace". The gate was inspired by the Propylaea, the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. The structure is crowned by the "Quadriga of Victory", a statue of a chariot drawn by four horses. The Doric gateway once served as a customs port.
From 1961 to 1989 the gate was blocked as the construction of the Berlin Wall divided East and West Berlin. The gate was reopened on December 22, 1989 after the reunification of East- & West Berlin.

─► Brandenburg Gate (reference with external links)
─► Senate Department for Urban Development Carl Gotthard Langhans selected as the model for his design the Propylaea in Athens, the monumental entry hall of the Acropolis. Just as the Propylaea led to a shrine of the Ancient world, this gate was to represent the access to the most important city of the Prussian kingdom. This reference to Antiquity made it the structure which founded the Classic age of architecture in Berlin, an epoch which brought the city its sobriquet "Spreeathen" ("Athens of the Spree" — Berlin’s river is called the Spree).
The relief on the pedestal portrays her again with her attendants. Personifications of virtues like friendship and statesmanship are represented, along with symbols of arts and sciences, because they make a city like Berlin bloom in times of peace. Reliefs with the exploits of Hercules in the passages allude to the time of the wars and the subsequent period of reconstruction, during which Friedrich II made Prussia into a European power and laid the foundation for flourishing trade and crafts. The gate thus is also a memorial for the king who died a few years before its construction.
Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung

─► Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape. Brian Ladd. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997, UCSB: HT169.G32B4127 1997
─► The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts, by Jussi M. Hanhimaki , Odd Arne Westad, Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN-13: 978-0199272808

Bomber-Rabbit does it again. Nichts ahnend fährt Pink Rabbit durch die Stadt… plötzlich stößt er auf eine Erinnerung an seine Hasen-Jugend. Das Stadtsschloss soll wieder aufgebaut werden – gefüllt mit "Trophäen" der kolonialen Vergangenheit….   Will history repeat itself?

The quadriga of the hippodrome of Constantinople resides today on St Mark’s Basilica in Venice; it was looted by Venetian Crusaders in the Fourth Crusade of 1204. In 1797 Napoleon brought the ancient quadriga from Constantinople to Paris. In 1808 he surmounted the sculpture on the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel which was designed by Charles Percier and Pierre Léonard Fontaine and built between 1806 and 1808 on the model of the Arch of Constantine I (312 AD) in Rome. In 1815 the booty had to be given back to Venice, and it was replaced by one sculptured by Baron François Joseph Bosio glorifying the Restoration of the Bourbons depicting Peace riding in a triumphal chariot led by gilded Victories on both sides…
Nike was the personification of victory for the ancient Greeks. There is existing a depiction of her from the 5th BCE that depicts her standing in chariot behind a quadriga. According to Hesiod’s Theogonia Nike was the daughter of Pallas, a Titan, and the river Styx. Her various sisters and brothers include: Kratos (Strength), Zelos (Zeal, Rivalry) and Bia (Force). Despite being the children of a Titan, these siblings fought alongside the Olympian gods against the Titans and were, as a result later honored. This image might be of the Nike from Delos, currently in the Athens National Museum and created around 550 BCE. Early depictions of Nike, like this one, tended to show her wingless. Later, during the Classical period, she not only appeared with wings but also other accoutrements of victory like the garland.
Herma (engl) A Herma, herm or herme is a sculpture with a head, and perhaps a torso, above a plain, usually squared lower section, on which male genitals may also be carved at the appropriate height. In ancient Greece the statues functioned as a form of apotropaic and were placed at crossings, country borders and boundaries as protection. Before his role as protector of merchants and travelers, Hermes was a phallic god, associated with fertility, luck, roads and borders.
Herma (esp) En la Antigua Grecia, una herma (en griego antiguo έρμα, plural έρμαι hermai) era un pilar cuadrado o rectangular de piedra, terracota o bronce (el estípite) sobre el que se colocaba un busto del dios Hermes, normalmente con barba (signo de fuerza física), y cuya base se adornaba con un falo en erección (símbolo de masculinidad y de disposición a las armas). El nombre del dios Hermes proviene de las hermas, y de ellas procede también su papel como protector de mercaderes y viajeros, pues anteriormente fue un dios fálico asociado con la fertilidad y la suerte. Las hermas eran usadas como marcas para señalar carreteras y fronteras y marcar los límites de las propiedades, aunque también tenían una función apotropaica, es decir, de alejamiento de lo maligno, ya fuera espíritu, adversidad o enemigo. En Atenas se colocaban fuera de las casas para atraer la buena suerte. Cada barrio tenía su herma, y se conservan vasijas con pinturas que muestran sacrificios particulares siendo realizados en ellas.
Heiliges Römisches Reich / Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanicæ From 1792 onwards, revolutionary France was at war with various parts of the Empire intermittently. The Empire was formally dissolved on 6 August 1806 when the last Holy Roman Emperor Francis II (from 1804, Emperor Francis I of Austria) abdicated, following a military defeat by the French under Napoleon (see Treaty of Pressburg).
Emperor Napoleon in front of the Brandenburg Gate on a white horse After defeating Prussian forces at Jena, the Napoleonic Army entered Berlin on 27 October 1806. (Charles Meynier 1810, Musée national du Château et des Trianons – Versailles)
Karl Friedrich Schinkel (b. Neuruppin, Prussia 1781; d. Berlin, Germany 1841) was born in Neuruppin, Prussia in 1781. He studied under Friedrich Gilley at the Bauakademie in Berlin. Between 1803 and 1805, he travelled through Italy and France. He returned to a French controlled Prussia where he worked as a painter and stage designer. After the French were driven out of Prussia, Schinkel was appointed Surveyor to the Prussian Building Commission. As surveyor he redesigned the city with a series of buildings that expressed Prussia’s cultural ambitions and national pride. General disenchantment with France turned most Prussian architects against the classical Roman manner favoured by the Ecole des Beaux Arts. This national rejection led Schinkel to design in a Neo-Greek style that symbolically recalled the political and moral freedom of Athenian Greece. Although he preferred classic architecture, Schinkel created designs in both Classic and Gothic manners. His drawings suggest a continuous analysis between Neoclassical Prussia and Periclean Athens. (Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p137.)
restoration 1. the action of returning something to its former owner, place or condition 2. the return of a hereditary monarch to a throne, a head of state to government, or a regime to power
restitution: 1. the restoration of something lost or stolen to its proper owner 2. recompense for injury or loss 3.the restauration of something to its original state


3rd Oct 2008:
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) allows the United States Department of the Treasury to purchase or insure up to 0 billion of "troubled" assets.
The authority of the United States Department of the Treasury to establish and manage TARP under a newly created Office of Financial Stability became law October 3, 2008, the result of an initial proposal that ultimately was passed by Congress as H.R. 1424, enacting the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and several other acts.
14th Oct 2008: Secretary of the Treasury Paulson and President Bush announced revisions in the TARP program.

21st Oct 2008:
Istvan Meszaros speaking at Conway Wall London (part 1)
I want to show you an issue of time magazine,…, I bought it in 1977. And this front page of time magazine says: MARX IS DEAD! They have waited a few years before they have discovered it but eventually they did it – ninety four years later. … And if you look at the small print you’ll read: © FRANCE’S NEW PHILOSOPHERS. Now their ostentatious ideology proves to be as silly as the statement of a graffiti prankster of that time who wrote onto a Nietzsche-Bust at the university of Vienna: NIETZSCHE IS DEAD! © GOD.
Istvan Meszaros speaking at Conway Wall London (part 3) "Absolutely fundamental system change is what we need: The rest of the world which has been paying up to the present time for the ever increasing american debt. … When I wrote this the american debt was only counted may be two and a half trillion, today it’s well over ten trillions. … It is really global and potentially catastrophic. … And our problem is not simply the collapse of capitalism, our problem is securing the possibility of the continuation of humanity … "

Nov 2008: I.O.U.S.A. motion graphics by Brian Oakes Informational graphics take center stage in a film that puts the U.S. financial crisis into very real terms and images.

March: "Global economic downturn" (BBC)
April: "the greatest financial crisis since the Depression" (G20)
May: recession ‘less bad than 1929’
… the figure of 1.5% in the three month to the end of April made the fall in output less steep than the 1929 recession, it is still greater than the 1979 recession … (NIESR)

24th March 2009
8 hours: WTO: Welthandel droht schlimmster Einbruch seit Kriegsende (AFP)
Als Folge der Finanzkrise befürchtet die Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) den schwersten Einbruch des Welthandels seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg. Das Handelsvolumen werde 2009 um neun Prozent zurückgehen, sagte die Organisation in Genf voraus. Die weltweite Nachfrage sei angesichts der schlimmsten Wirtschaftskrise seit Jahrzehnten zusammengebrochen. Den Industrienationen droht demnach ein Rückgang der Handelsvolumen um zehn Prozent, die Handelsströme der Entwicklungs- und Schwellenländer dürften um zwei bis drei Prozent schrumpfen.
Im vergangenen Jahr wuchs der Welthandel nach WTO-Angaben noch insgesamt um zwei Prozent, verlor aber seit Sommer 2008 drastisch an Fahrt. Deutschland wurde demnach mit Ausfuhren im Wert von 1,47 Billionen Dollar vor China Exportweltmeister. Größte Importnation waren die USA mit Gütereinfuhren im Volumen von knapp 2,2 Billionen Dollar.

10 hours: China schlägt neue weltweite Leitwährung vor (AFP)
China hat eine neue Leitwährung für die Welt vorgeschlagen. Diese solle an die Stelle des US-Dollar treten, erklärte der chinesische Zentralbankchef Zhou Xiaochuan. Auf diese Weise könne verhindert werden, dass das Währungssystem durch das Handeln einzelner Staaten beeinflusst werde. Gesteuert werden soll das neue Währungssystem den Vorstellungen des Zentralbankchefs zufolge stattdessen vom Internationalen Währungsfonds (IWF).
"Der Ausbruch der Krise und ihr Ausbreiten auf die gesamte Welt hat die Verletzlichkeit und die systemischen Risiken des bestehenden internationalen Währungssystems gezeigt", schrieb Zhou in einem auf der Website der Zentralbank veröffentlichten Essay.
China stützt sich auf den US-Dollar. In der derzeitigen Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise hat dies zu Bedenken geführt, wie sich das Vorgehen der USA gegen die Wirtschaftskrise auf die chinesischen Währungsreserven in Höhe von 1,95 Billionen Dollar auswirken wird.

2nd April 2009 Is this the end of capitalism? Hardly, but it’s a great excuse for the antiglobalization crowd.
The housing bubble that floated into view in 2007 is turning into the blob that ate the world. Real-estate mortgages and their derivative securities are a significant problem. That discrete problem, however, has been pumped up to an historic "crisis of capitalism."
Capitalism didn’t tank the U.S. economy. Overbuilt housing did. Overbuilt housing tanked the economies of the U.K. and Ireland and Spain. If little else, we’ve learned that artificially cheap housing sets loose limitless moral hazard.
Virtually every white-shoe financial institution in the world, plus the Russians, stuffed their balance sheets with securities carved out of the dreams of real-estate developers. This plunge had less to do with capitalism than with psychosis, defined in textbooks as "a mental illness that markedly interferes with a person’s capacity to meet life’s everyday demands." For sane bankers that includes due diligence and risk management.
After the full folly of the mortgage plunge became public in September 2008, the broad credit markets locked up, stock indexes fell and the world’s economies spiraled into a severe recession.

by Daniel Henninger in the ‘Opinion Journal’ | ‘The Wall Street Journal’ , page A17.
2nd April 2009: U.S. property bust threatens condo(minium) "death spiral"
The apartments were converted to condos at the height of a boom that saw prices — inflated by speculation and fraud — double within four years, then tumble in the last three. A one-bedroom, 560-square-foot (52-square-meter) unit that topped out near 0,000 might now get ,000, leaving owners drowning in debt.
Still, said Housen, it could be worse. She pointed to a nearby tower where she said more than 200 of the 244 units have liens or lawsuits pending.
Housen said an upscale building not far away — where units that once sold for over million and are now priced below 0,000 — has 16 troubled apartments of 44 in the building.
The crisis could mean serious pain for Miami Beach, a resort town with 88,000 residents and 42,000 condos. If debtors walk away from their units, buildings could become derelict.
Condo advocates say banks are partly responsible for hobbling condo boards by being slow to foreclose on owners who have fallen behind.
Lenders don’t become responsible for an apartment’s costs until they foreclose and under current law, a bank is liable to pay only six months worth of fees in arrears, or 1 percent of the mortgage value, when it takes back a property.

4th April 2009: There are reasons why Obama refuses to accept repayment of TARP money
I really thought the administration would welcome the return of bank bailout money. Some 0 million in TARP cash flowed back this week from four small banks in Louisiana, New York, Indiana and California. … The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control… By Stuart Varney in the ‘Opinion Journal’ | ‘The Wall Street Journal’, page A9.

24th June 2009:
Marxist accounts of the current crisis Joseph Choonara in: International socialism ✪ A quarterly journal of socialist theory
Financial expansion is best seen as a “counteracting tendency”, deferring crisis, but one of a transitory nature.

3rd September 2009:
Warning signs One of the common warning signs of an impending tipping point is when a system takes longer to recover to equilibrium after it is disturbed. Most systems exist in temporarily stable states of equilibrium. If the system is perturbed by some force and pushed in a new direction, it usually moves back toward equilibrium quickly. But if the system is approaching a tipping point, it tends to take longer to recover its balance.
Another universal warning sign is when fluctuations in the system slow down. For example, in a climate approaching a tipping point, the weather tends to look more similar day to day leading up to the big change. In a brain before an epileptic seizure, neighboring patches of neurons look more like each other than they would in a regular brain. Prior to major economic change, stock markets in different areas start to act similarly to each other. While fluctuations take longer in these systems, they often are greater in magnitude. That is, under normal circumstances fluctuations tend to be short and small. When a drastic transition approaches, conditions fluctuate between greater extremes, and the fluctuations take longer to pass. "Close to a tipping point the system becomes more inert," Scheffer said. "If you displace it, there is less of a tendency to come to its own equilibrium value. … The research is detailed in the Sept. 3 issue of the journal Nature.

livescience: Tipping Points: What Wall Street and Nature Have in Common

15th September 2009: Obama warns Wall Street not to block tighter regs (AP) Lecturing Wall Street on its own turf, President Barack Obama warned financial leaders not to use the recovering economy to race back into "reckless behavior" that could cause a new meltdown. … He spoke on the first anniversary of the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history …

27th November 2009: «Die Finanzkrise wird die Welt so stark verändern wie der Fall der Mauer», sagte Schäuble der «Bild am Sonntag».