By Timmy Odejimi
UNNERVING images offer a glimpse into the crumbling remains of the deserted Iraq embassy once home to Iraqi diplomats and a place believed to have sheltered terrorists.
One picture displays a rusty exterior of the Brutalist building which was erected in 1974 following then German Democratic Republic’s (GDR) growth in power and recognition as well as their growing relationship with Iraq.
Other haunting shots show decomposing walls covered with graffiti, a mural dedicate to classical composer, Peter Tchaikovsky, decayed water tanks covered with cobwebs, possessions which appear to belong to squatters.
These striking photographs were captured in Pankow, northern West Berlin, Germany, by freelance journalist, Andrei Ghilan (32).
“Iraq became the first non-socialist state to acknowledge the GDR, so in gratitude the building on Tchaikovsky street was selected for the embassy of Iraq,” said Andrei.
“Rumour has it that a cache of weapons was organized in the embassy and diplomats, using the opportunity to walk freely between East and West Berlin, supplied the GDR with radical activists and provided shelter for terrorists.
“It is thought that the activists and terrorists did their darkest deeds for them.”
Following the reunion of Germany in 1990 and during the peak of the first Gulf war, the new German government urged the Iraqi diplomats to depart the embassy.
Andrei managed to get inside the building, even though access into the embassy is forbidden and not easy as it surrounded by a two-meter grid.
The embassy has since been abandoned by its staff over thirty years ago, and it has now become a hub for graffiti artists and a home for squatters.
“After the reunification of Germany, the new German authorities demanded that Iraqi diplomats urgently leave the embassy,” said Andrei.
“The staff took only the most necessary things and left the building, leaving behind tons of secret documents.
“For many years, the building has remained abandoned and over time the embassy was looted and there has been a fire.
“It isn’t easy entering the embassy territory as the building is surrounded by a two-meter grid.”