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Nov 10, 2014
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The wall that is always with me

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Berlin, Germany

By Fabrizio Bensch

In the middle of a bustling Potsdamer Platz, a young tourist asks me: “The wall. Where is the wall?”

I look at him astonished and almost want to answer: “It’s over there!” Because for a moment, that picture wells up in full force: the high concrete walls with the rounded tops, which looked like giant tubes snaking through the city. The barbed wire, the watch towers. Where I look now, however, there is no eerie silence, no border with a death strip, but the loud sounds of a lively city, with traffic horns being honked and crowds of people enjoying daily life.

Feb 18, 2014
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Fast and fearless: photographing at Sochi’s Sanki Sliding Center

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Rosa Khutor, Russia

By Fabrizio Bensch

It must take a lot of courage for bobsleigh, skeleton and luge competitors to hurl themselves at mega speeds down the 1,365-meter ice track at the Sanki Sliding Center. It looks crazy – would you do it?

Sanki is one of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic venues, where some of the world’s best athletes compete for glory. The venue is some 60 km (37 miles) northeast of Sochi in the “mountain cluster” of Olympic venues.

Mar 27, 2013
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The German-French friendship

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Near Weisskessel, Germany

By Fabrizio Bensch

Photos of significant gestures between two politicians often mirror the state of the relations between the two countries – and become part of our collective consciousness. As a photojournalist, I am often witness to politicians shaking hands or embracing as part of major engagements. Often it’s daily routine.


REUTERS/Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann/Pool

However, these days if a German chancellor and a French president reach out for one another, this signifies an important development in international relations – and is a very significant symbol for a united Europe. Historically, relations were dominated by wars – for the generation of our grandfathers and grandmothers, seeing the other country as “the enemy” rather than a neighbor was a defining political and cultural force, which molded everyday actions and experiences.

Dec 21, 2012
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Christmas in Afghanistan

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Baghlan, Afghanistan

By Fabrizio Bensch

There are thousands of miles that separate the German soldiers in Afghanistan from home.  For up to one year, they may be stationed in Afghanistan, but for most of them no more than four to five months.

The lead up to Christmas in Germany has a very long tradition and the arriving season is dominated by beautifully decorated shop windows in department stores and the smell of gingerbread and cinnamon. Christmas trees are festively illuminated in the streets with Christmas decoration and Christmas markets and Santa Claus are in every city.

Aug 1, 2012
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Robo-cams cover all the Olympic angles

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By Fabrizio Bensch

We are on day 5 of competition at the London 2012 Olympic games and our robotic cameras triggered by the team of Reuters photographers are producing amazing pictures from the most unusual angles whenever athletes all over the world are competing for gold, silver and bronze medals.

GALLERY: OLYMPIC BEST FROM LONDON 2012

We had big expectations to create pictures from new perspectives and they have been surpassed by what we are seeing right now. From the colorful opening ceremony to the athletes’ reactions, many Olympic moments have been captured by the remote robotic cameras. At the moment I’m covering the fencing events at the ExCel venue and I trigger the remote cameras with the help of wireless Pocket Wizard wireless transmitters, simultaneously as I shoot with my hand-held camera with the 400 to 800mm lenses. When I see a new angle on the field of play, I can make corrections remotely with the joystick to control the two axis camera head.

Jul 4, 2012
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Robo-cams go for Olympic gold

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By Fabrizio Bensch

Is it possible to get 11 photographers into a box and put them in a position where you could never place a photographer? Normally, it would be absolutely impossible. But nothing is impossible when it comes to the Olympic games.

The London Olympic summer games will produce huge emotions, records and we as the Reuters photographers team will catch it from any extraordinary angle. When athletes from around the world compete against each other for the glory of an Olympic medal, hundreds of photographers try to capture the one and only moment which makes the Olympic games so unique.

May 3, 2012
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May Day, the same procedure every year

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By Fabrizio Bensch

Every year I know how my Labour day will end in Berlin. May day concludes in Kreuzberg with riots between radical leftists, the so-called “Autonomen” (autonomists), masked and wearing mostly black clothes and the police.

Since 1987, May Day has become known for very violent riots in Berlin’s Kreuzberg or Prenzlauerberg districts. This annual ritual is repeated but with less violence in recent years. Three years before the Berlin wall came down, violent riots broke out in West Berlin by radical leftists during a demonstration in Kreuzberg, where protesters set cars on fire, built barricades and looted a supermarket.

Apr 17, 2012
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Looking into the eyes of a mass murderer

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By Fabrizio Bensch

A lot has been written about Andres Behring Breivik, the 33 year-old Norwegian man who a year ago was unknown.

He lived completely withdrawn on a small farm far from Oslo, alone to work on his diabolical plan. He built bombs to explode in central Oslo, and in the following chaos drove to Utoeya island and shot as many teenagers as possible. In all, he killed 77 people that day.

Dec 1, 2011
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Following a nuclear train

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By Fabrizio Bensch

126 hours from La Hague to Gorleben; the longest ever nuclear waste transport from Germany to France

This is a retrospective on the past 10 years, during which I have covered the nuclear waste transportation from France to Germany many times. The German nuclear waste from power plants is transported in Castor (Cask for Storage and Transport of Radioactive material) containers by train to the northern German interim storage facility of Gorleben.

Aug 1, 2011
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The way to the island of horror

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It was a typical Friday afternoon in Berlin — traffic in the streets and people looking forward to their weekend. A few hours earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had finished her traditional summer press conference in the capital city, where she answered with quite a lot of humor and unusual looseness, journalist’s questions about the Greek crisis and the EU summit in Brussels before she left for summer vacation. I was at home and not aware of the latest news when I got a phone call from the Berlin office: “It’s an emergency. There was a bomb explosion in Oslo. Can you book a flight to Oslo and immediately fly there?” At first I did not know what exactly had happened. My wife searched for information online and the first breaking news images from Oslo had flooded the media. People were wandering amid the rubble in the governmental area of the Norwegian capital.


REUTERS/Berit Roald/Scanpix


REUTERS/Morten Holm/Scanpix


REUTERS/Per Thrana

I booked the next flight from Berlin to Oslo. I had just two and a half hours until departure. I quickly packed my equipment, took a 500 mm telephoto lens and a few days worth of personal belongings. At the airport check-in I met other journalists — a mix of foreign colleagues and the Reuters cameraman with whom I would fly to Oslo. The plane was packed, every seat occupied, mainly with journalists. This was one of the fastest routes to Norway after the bombing. There was free internet onboard so I was able to check the latest news non-stop. There was now concrete news trickling in about a shooting on Utoeya island, about 40 kilometers (24 miles) northwest of Oslo, with a number of people reported dead.