Great Britain

Horrors of World War 2 unfolds on streets of modern Berlin in jaw-dropping images that blend the past with the present

PHOTOGRAPHS depicting the horrors of Berlin during the second world war have been spliced with new images - showing the harrowing contrast.

Armed with a cache of historical photos, Lorenzo Bustillos scoured the German capital looking for the exact spot where each picture was taken, hoping to capture how it looks today.

Mr Bustillos, a lawyer from Caracas, Venezuela, became fascinated by the history of the second world war nearly 20 years ago.

He combined past and present images in a single photo, revealing the eye-popping contrast between the Berlin we know and the war-ravaged city of 75 years ago.

Mr Bustillos, 46, said: “It's a feeling of seeing two epochs at the same time.

“I’m seeing the present through the landscape before me, and the past through photography that allows me to see exactly what that place was like.

“Many times it gives me chills, because terrible things happened on the ground one steps on and they would normally go unnoticed.”

In one of Lorenzo’s images, a dead German soldier is seen in front of the smoking ruins of Brandenburg Gate as modern tourists wander past.

Many times it gives me chills, because terrible things happened on the ground one steps on and they would normally go unnoticed.

Lorenzo Bustillos

Another shows the French Cathedral ablaze, its dome collapsing into the Gendarmenmarkt below, as the untouched apartment buildings of 2020 look on.

And on Warschauer Street, dead horses can be seen lying on the ground as a present-day tram car pulls up opposite.

Perhaps most unsettling is the photo from Voss Street, where a modern cyclist pedals heedlessly past Hitler’s New Reich Chancellery headquarters – today humble apartment buildings.

“I think the main thing is that the present photo complements the historical photo,” said Lorenzo.

“It’s incredible in many cases, especially since you know who was in that place, what happened there and how that past influenced the current state of the place.”

Mr Bustillos has also blended past and present videos, creating a 25-minute tour of the destroyed city.

It inspired him and his wife to visit Europe in 2009, when he took more than 10,000 photos across France, Germany, Austria, Czechia and Poland.

Mr Bustillos is now planning a video tour showing the former Berlin Wall as it appears today, as well as projects on further European cities.

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