Archive for the ‘history’ Category

Bus to Nowhere


among this year’s crop of new memorials remembering victims of the Nazi regime is the Grey Bus near Potsdamer Platz. Since January 18th the ominous grey concrete bus has been stationed on Tiergartenstrasse near the one time offices of the Third Reich’s General Foundation for Welfare and Institutional Care. It was in these offices (long destroyed and now replaced by the Berlin Philharmonic) that the Nazi euthanasia program was planned and put into motion. “Aktion T4” – named after the building’s address of Tiergartenstrasse 4 – eventually killed over 200,000 adults and children deemed to be “unfit”. While the method of killing varied (some institutionalized children being simply starved to death) the most emblematic was the Grey Bus, in which the engine’s exhaust was redirected into the passenger cabin, causing death by carbon monoxide poisoning. The inscription inside the monument reflects the question of one of the Aktion T4’s victims –
“Wohin bringt ihr uns – Where are you taking us?”

Bad Day in Berlin

it was eighty five years ago today that the first NSDAP group was formed in the city. The party that would eventually bring about the deaths of millions and the near total destruction of Berlin set up its first offices in Kreuzberg’s Yorckstrasse 90 on 19 November 1922. Following a short lived ban in 1923 (as a result of the Munich putsch), the party would accelerate its rabble rousing and tendency to violence following the arrival in 1926 of Gauleiter Joseph Goebbels.

The Violence of Right Wing Extremists

Berlin Wall


If you are into photography, check out this link. Someone created a large picture of the Berlin wall through Zoomify. You can see (almost literally) ever bit of it.

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Regan vs. the wall

Today (), 20 years ago (1987), delivered his famous .

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Benno Ohnesorg

(Roughly) 40 years ago, university student was shot at a demonstration in Berlin.

40 years later – a primer, because until now the authorities officially never expressed regret over the accidental shooting of Ohnesorg by Berlin police officer Karl-Heinz Kurras.

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung (Spätes Bedauern in Berlin: Polizeipräsident legt Kranz für Ohnesorg nieder) police men laid a wreath at the memorial of Ohnesorg two days ago. The wreath was signed by Berlin’s chief of police.

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Tee(r) und Federn Blog writes about the compound of the former Marthashof in Schwedter Str (that was called Verlorener Weg = Lost Lane in the times of the Marthashof), where the buildings were razed to the ground in the last weeks. These were unspectacular buildings from GDR times, but built on grounds rich with history. The Marthashof was a hospice for young women who came from the countryside to the big city in the search for a better life which often ended in exploitation and prostitution.
Later it became a school for maidservants and nannies. Parts of it were destroyed in WW 1, rebuilt and it was a hiding-place for Jewish women during the Nazi regime until it was finally destroyed in the war 1943.
Tee(r) und Federn and me wonder if anybody knows something about the future plans for the premises??

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Special Olympics


On Flickr I saw this fantastic photoset by Jonas K of the Olympic Village in Elstal / Dallgow-Döberitz just a few kilometers outside of Berlin. It shows the decay of the premises built to accommodate the athletes of the Olympics of 1936 in Nazi-Germany.
After the games the compound was used military for some decades until it was abandoned in 1992. Today it is landmarked but still deteriorating and open for the public from april to october.
Click here for more infos (in German) and pictures.

Photos: Jonas K

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Kleine Opfer müssen gebracht werden!

sculpture of german aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal at TXL.

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Berliner Häuser
There are stories to tell about more or less every old building in the centre of Berlin. Most of them experienced so many changes: of owners, of functions, of appearance… An interesting example is the building at the corner Torstr / Prenzlauer Allee.

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