The German Democratic Republic (GDR), known as East Germany, was founded on 7 October 1949. It was at the 30th anniversary celebrations of the communist state that Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was famously snapped locking lips with GDR premier Erich Honecker, and the photo promptly appeared on newspaper front pages around the world.
In 1990 the iconic image was reimagined as a graffiti painting on the Berlin Wall, in the final months before it was dismantled. The painter, Russian artist Dmitri Vrubel, left viewers in no doubt of its satirical meaning with the accompanying slogan: My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love. The dissatisfaction of many with the GDR leadership’s apparent passion for the Kremlin overriding their concern for the German people was finally alleviated with the dissolution of the GDR and German reunification on 3 October 1990.
Image: Dmitri Vrubel, My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love, 1990