Foreword: Reportage 6km from the Border
Text and photos by Bruno Koens Kreisky

I took the train one day form Berlin to Frankfurt Oder and continued my journey by bike passing the city centre, its shops and malls you find everywhere around Germany. I cycled over the Bridge, over the Oder, yes over the Oder, this is actually what distinguishes the cities name Frankfurt from Frankfurt Oder.
Frankfurt is the big German city and Frankfurt Oder the respective border city between Poland and Germany.
First overwhelmed by the Change, Alcohol and Tobacco shops 500 meters further along I found myself on quieter ground, pedalling my bike on the side of the dual carriage way.
I drove through a forest, but found I was not the only one here.
All though I found I was on a leisure ride I discovered the girl I passed by on my right was a working girl.
The road became wide, sunny and a bit further, 6km from the border I found myself in a different world.
I found myself 60 year’s back in time, where streets were still built up out of a main road, a sidewalk with it’s overgrowing grass, fences with diagonal lines made out of green wire. The houses all different, one brick by brick, the other with a grain stone façade. It was as if they all had their own characteristics and because of weather, wear and tear and yes also the poverty you could actually distinguish the materials the houses were all built out of.
I loved this world, it was as if I found myself in a Europe I would expect around its old western borders, Europe’s former East Block. It was not the Europe one would expect 6km from the German border, not one 110 km from Berlin Europe’s most prosperous Capital!
But what I loved most here was the smell I smelt form the chimneys around here. The smell of burnt wood, something I didn’t know coming from such an urban developed country as The Netherlands where literally every square km had been planned not as life I would discover around here.
Why were things so different here only 6 km form the German Border?
Is it because on one side of the side the border people live their lives and on the other side live theirs! People just copying habits and traditions of the ones around them. I guess the big difference here makes the border line.
I wanted to discover both sides of the border and decided to do a photo reportage on both sides. 

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