Living History


When we first moved to Berlin I remember another ex-pat telling us he liked living here because it was “living history.” He was referring to the relatively recent history of the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification, and indeed in our former East Berlin neighborhood there is plenty of interest. Mauerpark, a public park that is formerly part of the Berlin Wall and its Death Strip, is only a kilometer away. But even closer there are reminders of an earlier tragic chapter in Germany’s history.

Today I noticed the sign in the top picture on the outside of the building shown in the bottom picture. It is at the south end of my street, about three blocks from where I live, and I walk by it every day on my way to work. Roughly translated it says that between 1910-42 this building housed a Jewish nursery, kindergarten and children’s home. And between 1941-44, at least forty-nine of those children and staff were killed in concentration camps. That led me to this website, which tells the story: http://www.inge-franken.de/fehrbelliner92/introduction. The author, Inge Franken, is indeed ensuring all parts of this neighborhood’s history stay alive.

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