Goosed in Berlin

07 June 2024

Ray French

I struggle to believe I took this photo 42 years ago, such is the resonance with current events in eastern Europe. This was Berlin, when it was a divided city, back in 1982. When the old Soviet Union was the oppressor. And yours truly was apprehended by the Volkspolizei (but that’s another story…). This Soviet soldier’s role was symbolic, as he goose-stepped his way through the changing of the guard in front of the Neue Wache (New Guardhouse) at what was then known, a tad ironically perhaps, as the “Memorial to the Victims of Fascism and Militarism” (it has been changed since the demise of the USSR to the far more snappy “Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Dictatorship”). The image was shot using my venerable Canon AE1 and a standard 50mm lens.

This image is now part of the Random Images gallery on and may, in due course, make its way onto my Shutter Hub portfolio page here:

HBH-07029 Soviet Soldier, East Berlin, 1982.