1972 – Signed Large Press Photo of Fidel Castro in East Berlin

Fidel Castro in East Berlin
Cuban-German Political Collaboration
Large Professional Photograph
by Joachim Spremberg

Rare Original Photograph


Berlin: 13 June 1972. One large print press photograph of Fidel Castro with Erich Honecker, with Castro’s original signature and manuscript dedication to front, taken by renowned German photojournalist Joachim Spremberg, and in turn dedicated to him by Castro, in Spanish, “Para Achim Spremberg, fraternalmente, Fidel Castro.” [To Joachim Spremberg, fraternally, Fidel Castro]. Photograph measures approximately 21,5 x 19,5 cm, accompanied by a green mount, suitable and ready for framing. Official press stamp caption to verso. Excellent condition, a rare vintage colour photograph.

This striking vintage photographs captures prominent Communist leader Fidel Castro gaining an important political alliance during his first tour to East Germany in 1972, as he was welcomed upon his arrival at the Berlin-Schönefeld airport by Erich Honecker, General Secretary of Germany’s Socialist Unity Party.

Signed, dated, and dedicated in the original by Fidel Castro on 13 June 1972, this image was taken at the onset of foundational negotiations for friendship and cooperation between German’s Free Democratic Party (GDR) and the Cuban Republic. Fidel Castro’s first visit to Berlin began on June 13, 1972 and at various points addressed the border guards that policed the Berlin Wall to prevent East Germans from escaping to the West. At Brandenburg gate on June 14 in the afternoon he addressed the men charged with shooting East Germans fleeing to West Germany as “the courageous and self-denying border guards of the Free Democratic Party (GDR) People’s Army who stand guard in the front line of the entire-socialist community.” Later in the evening Premier Castro addressed the Nikolay Bezarin Barracks in East Berlin. He also made a formal address to German civilians, walking through the crowds to greet them in person. He spent most of his visit accompanied by Erich Honecker, leader of the German Democratic Republic, who is seen in this photograph.

In 1974, at Havana, Erich Honecker and Fidel Castro would sign an “agreement on cooperation between the German SED and the Cuban Communist Party for the years 1974-1975”.

Hans-Joachim Spremberg (1943-1978) is the author of this photograph and supporter of Fidel Castro who dedicated and signed the press print for his personal keeping. Commonly known as simply Joachim Spremberg, he was a German photojournalist in East Germany, born in Berlin. He documented life in East Berlin, as well as the construction of the Berlin TV tower. He was selected as official photographer for several high state occasions with Free Democratic Party (GDR) Party, and also with communist politician Walter Ulbricht. He died in a helicopter crash at Wadi Suf al-Jin in Libya.

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