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  • Writer's pictureAllon Zaslansky

008~ Stopping the madness back in 1936...

Olympic Stadium 2008 Lomography

Back in 2008, Neta and I decided to go and check the Olympic Stadium, where all those Leni Riefenstahl movie clips of crowds- roaring herds towards Hitler gathered to marvel at the Nazi Supremacy Over the rest of the world in 1936.

I was still quite disorientated and overwhelmed by ghosts in my head, while Neta navigated the S-Bahn and U-Bahn. We rushed underground, over ground, across Graffiti, switching platforms and there it was - the Stadium Station...Or so we thought.

The station we got off was clearly too small to resemble any bahnhoff which is supposed to be able to contain masses of people conjuring for a big sport event (or Death Wishing Rally)...anyway - once we realised we got off at the wrong station - we went on to our next mistake which was - to walk the 1 station distance through the woods.

Shouldn't be a problem, since we are in Berlin not thinking about any history...right?

Had we waited in the station 4 more minutes, I'm pretty sure the next U-Bahn would have arrived...but we were on the run...Old habits are hard to break...

I rememebr huge leaves on the ground, and small pits, which seemed like good hideouts, Ooh the thoughts are haunting and pounding! It must have been a 15-20 minute walk through the woods, I remember hearing 2-3 missed trains behind us (we could have just waited...) but we had our shoes on, what else does a person need in order to survive???

We reached the open area and saw the ridiculously huge train platform we should have got off at...and realised we might have responded a bit radically to a simple mistake...

As we reached the platform, I pulled out my Lomo and shot the two towers, I didn't know that later I will return here again, taking the right train all the way, and shooting the photo with adequate equipment.

The short rain shower that washed everything that day did the perfect job in cleaning everything, and using the thin slice of cloud, advancing to the background, added some nice touch to the massive concrete structure. Thank you, Photography godess for your touch of unexpected miracles.

I got all the moments I needed for the perfect shot to choose from - starting with low contrast all the way to high contrasts – I will choose later the best image to photoshop on.

I could see the holes in the right hand side tower, where the Swastika decoration was blown out from, and I was thinking - with all respect for sports...those 5 circles should be 6 - to commemorate the 6 million Jews who paid the price for the ‘flexibility’ the international delegations worldwide displayed, amid the subtle restrictions the Nazi regime imposed on everybody, and I was toying with the naive thought that no body should have come and participate in this unity pretence.

I loved the speakers potentially yelling out the incoming rage, I loved the clear marks of the blown up (or shot down) area of the swastika, I even liked the guard looking at me from a far, from the right hand side.

Olympic Stadium 6 Rings "Photoshopping history"

My 2 cents on this photo, which pushed me to reshoot it was this:

Often, when people are asked "what would you do if you had a Time Machine...they reply something like "I'd g back in time and kill Hitler". Simple, as if it's just something a person can do, you know, with ZERO time practicing in killing, and loads of screen time, simply- waking up after a good night sleep, you eat a good breakfast, take a knife, walk up to Hitler who just happens to be totally un-paranoid or under insane security protection, you just walk up and say "Yo’Hitler, I loved your book, can you sign a copy?" and killing him in one strike, making it back for brunch. Saving Europe, and keeping it all to yourself… Sure.

But...I looked at this monument from 1936 and thought to myself - 3 years later in 1939, millions will be persecuted and murdered, Blacks, Roma-Sinty, Gays, Jews, communists, disabled, and so many others. Approximately 65 Million people will perish, ripping the world to shreds - just three years from now.

1936 was the moment this could have been stopped - an empty stadium.

Hitler would have been merely a joke that perishes into the arms of his sick powerless doubting allies.

Just like so many other events, some of which I’m afraid are occurring now, could have been stopped long before they grew out into monstrous proportions...

Back when they were small, and a simple, un apologetic "No!"

could have been powerful enough. ❤️‍🩹

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