satellite evidence of human rights violations

Satellite Evidence of Human Rights Violations (13): The Soviet Occupation of East-Berlin

Satellite evidence, not of an ongoing human rights violations, but of one that happened in the past. And not really satellite evidence, but just as good: the image below was taken from the International Space Station in April 2013 by Commander Chris Hadfield. Just like you would get with a regular satellite image, it shows Berlin at night. And you can clearly see the separation between East and West Berlin, almost 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, like a ghost of the past.

You can still see the difference between east and west Berlin by the color of the lights. This difference comes from the fact that in the East, there are mainly lightbulbs with sodium gas while there are mainly halide bulbs in the West.

You can still see the difference between east and west Berlin by the color of the lights. This difference comes from the fact that in the East, there are mainly lightbulbs with sodium gas while there are mainly halide bulbs in the West.

In order to make it a bit clearer still, I’ve superimposed on this image the map of divided Berlin:

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The red-colored area was Soviet occupied.

I’m always amazed by the power of satellite images and the manner in which they can provide evidence of massive human rights violations, but I never imagined for a second that they can do so decades after the facts.

More posts in this series are here.

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3 thoughts on “Satellite Evidence of Human Rights Violations (13): The Soviet Occupation of East-Berlin

    • I guess few would argue that the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe wasn’t a rights violation. Frankly, I can’t think of a single human right that wasn’t violated as a consequence of the occupation. And of course the occupation itself was a violation of the right to self-determination.

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