Photographs by

Mark B. Anstendig

The Magnificent Winslow Brothers!

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Robert and Gordon Winslow were enormously wealthy Gay brothers from a great American family. They were fixtures in the NYC scene during my Juilliard days and they came to Berlin more than once during their European trips while I was living and working there.

Unfortunately, my negatives of the brothers seem to have been lost, and I have only these scans from odds and ends that I enlarged while they were visiting. Of course, I never thought I would stop photographing and therefore never got around to completing photo series of many people I loved and took for granted, including these brothers.

In a word, these men were fearless. Absolutely fearless. They tooled around Europe in a pre-Silver Cloud model Silver Rolls Royce. And when I started helping some people escape from East Berlin, they came to visit just as I had to help the first person, Horst Flick. After a lot of preparations, like making a passport photo, going across the border to get a “Passier Schein” (a pass to return that night), it was time to do the most dangerous step, where I had to carry the now-faked and hidden pass over the border so Horst could come out using it.

The Winslow Brothers wouldn’t think of letting me risk it alone, so they drove me across the border with the Passierschein hidden in my shoe. It was one of the adventures of my life. Everything worked perfectly and Horst came out safely that night and has lived a long, happy life since then as a TV documentary director, which type of job he had had in East Berlin.

Sadly, my life was so hectic over the years that I eventually lost track of the Winslow brothers and find them no longer listed in any directories. I assume they eventually succumbed to AIDS, like so many other magnificent people of those days, gay and straight.

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