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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Raiders of Modern Empires

World War Two and the Cold War are still present in the countryside of Poland and the Baltic states in such a strong way that is hard to grasp for us citizens from historically more fortunate nations.

Remains of a Soviet sailor in a former Soviet naval base. PHOTO: Jan Jörnmark

To comprehend what Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania went through during the 20th century, reading can only get you so far. Then you have to talk to those who were there and see the remains of the imperial projects in the region.

Jan Jörnmark has documented with his camera not only various remains of the German and Soviet empires but also all kinds of forgotten giant projects in Europe and the United States. Jörnmark´s website is simply a must if you are into travelling back 30, 70 or a 100 years ago.

But to get the full story of these mainly WWII and Cold War related sites you should get his latest book, produced together with Katarina Wikars. The book is so far only available in Swedish but can be bought just for the sake of the photographs. If you can read Swedish you are in for an ever stronger experience. The title is Atomtorg, porrharar & Hitlerslussar, which translates as "Atomic Squares, Porn-Hares and Hitler Sluices".

Imagine a very disturbing but also beautiful roadmovie - that´s what this book is like.

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