As already mentioned several times on our blog, OSTKREUZ is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Because of this, we will be showing single images of 1990 from our archive during the following months. Images that remember a time of change, of new freedom and also the first disappointments. A time in which everything seemed possible in Berlin, after most things stood still for previous decades. Germany, then, was in transformation. The Wall had already fallen, the reunion, however, was still to come. The GDR still existed, but the first products from the West were already coming into the country and the people could cross the border freely for the first time.
We want to start this new category with a contribution from Ute Mahler about Ibrahim Boehme:
In March 1990 the first free elections were held in the GDR. New parties were being founded; Ibrahim Bohme was the odds-on favorite for the post of Prime Minister - he was the leading candidate of the SPD-East (Social Democratic Party of East Germany). He was charismatic, clever, charming and with a biography of a political dissident. "Our Little King", he was affectionately called by the comrades of the SPD.
The magazine "Stern" gave me the assignment, to photograph him during the campaign. I accompanied him over a period of 5 weeks. Not continuously, but I was present during his trip to Moscow, at campaign events in Dresden and at the party conference in Leipzig. The first photos still reveal a certain naivety in his face, later he could play his new role almost perfectly.
It came as a big surprise that he and his party did not win the elections. Days later, it was revealed that he worked as an "informal staff" for State Security of the GDR and had betrayed his friends.
The photo in the elevator, which I took 5 weeks after the first encounter with him, shows him at the end of his political career. Ibrahim Boehme hid from the public eye, no longer left the two-room apartment in Berlin, became ill. Two years lie between my first photo and the last one. Seven years later he died.