A child looks so out of place next to the uniforms and destruction, but it’s an important reminder of the clashing of civilian and military in Soviet occupied Berlin. Here Soviet soldiers try to force a German toddler to pose for a photograph in the ruins of Monbijoustraße. On the streets of Soviet occupied Berlin, you can see the child’s mother looking on with trepidation and frustration, unable to intervene despite the toddler’s tears. The onlooking soldiers and civilians add a layer of pressure and voyeurism to the image, creating an uncomfortable sense of surveillance.

Soviet Occupied Berlin

Berlin, Germany.

May 1945.

Image taken by Timofey Melnik.