Who was standing behind the camera?

Photo exhibition from 2 September 2023 until 12 May 2024 in the tower building

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About the exhibition

Brief outline

In 2022, the Gatow Airfield branch of the Bundeswehr Museum of Military History acquired a set of photographs of the Berlin Airlift (1948-49). It includes about fifty motives taken at Gatow airfield or directly related to the British occupying power and the Royal Air Force, which had been stationed at the airfield between 1945 and 1994. Each photo has a corresponding negative in a 4x5 inch format (10.2x12.7 cm), stored in a labelled and dated paper envelope. The author of the photographs remains unknown. Intense research in the photographic archives has not produced any results thus far.

The large negative format, the precise – even though not always correct – dates and image labels, the evident access to official and unofficial press conferences and photograph spots lead to believe that the photos were taken by a press photographer. This assumption is supported by the technical quality of the paper prints and the photograph negatives, which are mostly in high resolution and of proper exposure. In some cases, the photographer had used a flash light. That required flash bulbs, which at the time were expensive and difficult to obtain.

75 years after the displayed photographs of the Berlin Airlift were taken, we still do not know: Who was standing behind the camera?


Postfach 22 00 53 14061 Berlin


Am Flugplatz Gatow 33 14089 Berlin