DEAR photography

Ute Mahler
Ibrahim Böhme 12

April 1990 Berlin, leaving the SPD headquarters after relinquishing all his posts.

The first free elections were held in East Germany in March 1990. Ibrahim Böhme, the party candidate for the SPD-Ost, was tipped as the favourite for the post of Prime Minister. He was charismatic, clever, charming and armed with a curriculum vitae as a dissident. The first photos still show a naivety in his face, whilst later he was able to play his new role almost perfectly.

To the great surprise of many, he and his party did not win the election. Days later it emerged that he had worked as an informal collaborator for the Stasi secret service in the GDR and had betrayed his friends.

The photo in the lift that Ute Mahler took five weeks after her first encounter with him shows him at the end of his political career. Böhme went undercover, no longer leaving his two-roomed apartment in a back courtyard in Berlin, and becoming ill. Two years passed between the first photo and the last. Seven years later he died.

Ibrahim Böhme 12
Baryte Print
40 × 50 cm
2/5 + AP
Dittrich & Schlechtriem Gallery