Cover photo: Armin Hary becomes Olympic champion in the 100m at the 1960 Games in Rome | Heinrich von der Becke Picture Archive at the Berlin Sports Museum (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Photo edition on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the great Berlin photojournalist Heinrich von der Becke

Complete photo archive in the Berlin Sports Museum. By Thomas Willaschek.

In the news metropolis of Berlin, his name carried weight for more than six decades. Friends and representatives of the press esteemingly called him “Picasso with the camera” or the “Great Small Print”.

Since the 1930s, many stars and celebrities of sport have stood in front of the lenses of his cameras – Max Schmeling, Bubi Scholz, the running idols Paavo Nurmi and Emil Zatopek, “Sepp” Herberger, Sonja Henie or “Krücke”, the whistler from the sports palace – but also countless “sportsmen and women from next door”.

With great intensity, passion, loving attention and photographic skill, Becke also documented the development of his home city of Berlin over the entire period of his creative work: formative political and social events, urban development, culture and art, everyday life in the city.

Heinrich von der Becke died in Berlin in June 1997 after a short, serious illness.

Only a few months before, he sold his complete picture archive with approx. 65,000 b/w prints, 1.2 million negatives, 2,000 colour films including extensive documentation as well as parts of his photographic and laboratory equipment to the Berlin Sports Museum.

The preservation and long-term continued use of his unique pictorial documentation was as close to his heart as the promotion of the museum itself. His archive is an almost inexhaustible treasure trove for sports museum work and Berlin’s urban history.

It is carefully preserved in the Berlin Sports Museum, scientifically processed, gradually made accessible and frequently used – also by third parties.

Heinrich von der Becke would have turned 100 on 20 March 2013. To mark this occasion, the Berlin company TIME TUNNEL IMAGES from Berlin-Kreuzberg, in cooperation with the Berlin Sports Museum, is publishing an edition with impressive sports and children’s motifs.

Thomas Willaschek (Sports Museum Berlin)

Sportmuseum Berlin | Olympiapark Berlin | Hanns-Braun-Straße | 14053 Berlin
Tel. +49 (0) 30-90223-1392 oder +49 (0) 30-3058300 | Fax +49 (0) 30-3058340

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