Cold War Chic

Remember the Cold War? There was a space race and lots of rockets and other technology stuff, and alzheimery Reagan and unfortunately birthmarked Gorbechev were frenemies, and everyone was a uber paranoid double crossing secret agent, and there was that Land Of Confusion song by Phil Collins (who I dislike intensely, but the puppets were kind of cool). All in all, I have always felt the Cold War rates a solid BORING on Erin's Entertaining War Scale, with the Civil War topping the scale as SLIGHTLY LESS BORING.

And then I saw these pictures of the now demolished Palast der Republik in Berlin, where cold warriors hid behind their angry wall and secretly plotted death to America, or something like that. All that plotting makes me nervous, but the Palast makes me feel vaguely traitorous -- like switching sides. Or maybe just like becoming a secret spy and committing a little espionage.

Because those bastards were plotting in style.

Built in the mid 70s, the Palast didn't just house a bureaucratic freedom hating government, it "contained 13 restaurants, lounges, and beer and wine bars, a bowling alley and even a discotheque."

Huh. You know what I love even more than freedom? Beer. Wine. Bars. And gorgeous lighting.

Those fancy bureaucrats even got to see concerts by awesome acts like Harry Belafonte and Carlos Santana for free. Yep, they were treated to the very best of America. The cream of the crop.

But it wasn't all fun and games at the Palast. There was a lot of work to do, what with all the cold and the war going on.

Ok, yeah, mostly it was all fun and games.

Sadly this little gem of a time capsule was demolished due to an overabundance of asbestos. Oops! Payback is a bitch. Just kidding, because my grandma died of cancer from asbestos and that really sucked. I hope those freedom haters didn't get all cancery. I am magnanimous like that.

And also I hate to think of this beautiful building as a disease infested death trap. And just maybe I would like to buy those lights off Ebay (I swear I've seen them), and I would prefer that they not be smeared with cold war cancer dust.

Call me paranoid.

Gorgeous photos by Thorsten Klapsch are available in book form for purchase here.