Friday, June 8, 2012

Welcome to the Brink

A sign signalling leaving the American zone at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, Germany. Checkpoint Charlie was a major crossing point between West & East Berlin during the Cold War. Notice it is written in English, Cyrillic, French and German denoting the languages spoken by the occupying forces.
Welcome friends, readers & history enthusiasts,

The intent of this blog is to share the stories, images and objects from one of the most defining periods of modern human history; the period between 1945 through 1994 known as the Cold War. (Although the Cold War technically ended in 1991, the last Allied troops left Berlin upon it's reunification in 1994) It was an era of extensive political and ideological struggle between the powers of the West representing democracy, and the powers of the Eastern bloc whom embraced communism. The purpose behind this blog is to preserve a period of history which some try to quickly forget in order to share it with the future generations.

Each item presented here has a particular story to tell for it has seen, represented or been somewhere at a crucial point in our history. The Cold War was a time of great fear, struggle and in some parts of the world repression. It saw the largest arms development race in civilized history. Every article has a story tied to a particular moment on the brink. A time when the world was a tinder box waiting to ignite at the strike of a match. Preserving these items is to preserve the history of those who were there, those that lived through it, grew up in it's looming shadow and those that unfortunately did not survive.

Though it was not officially a military conflict, it saw service members and ordinary people alike effected by the struggle of governments and their extensive ideologies.

In a time where the whispers of the past are largely going unheard, and the painful lessons of history forgotten we must not forget the struggles of people repressed by an idea. So many lessons of the participants of that conflict are passed over frequently and the items of that era are largely just as forgotten hidden away in basements and attics, stuffed away in trunks or largely discarded much to the despair of human kind.

As the son of a service member who served on the front lines of the Cold War, this particular period has a significant meaning to me. I was one of hundreds of thousands of 'Border Babies' born to an American military family who was there. Even though I grew up during the final years of the global conflict, as I grew older I developed an intense appreciation for world history and the events that shape civilized society on a daily basis. I treat every article that comes into my hands with the utmost care and respect in an effort to preserve them to share with generations to come.

This is the story of our grandparents, our parents, it is us, it is our brothers and sisters. It is the story of those who lived it, who experienced it. It is the story of an event that had the possibility to ignite a Third World War.

Some of the items portrayed belong to states and nations which no longer exist, all but a shadow in time many have purposely forgotten. But their stories and symbolism should never be forgotten...