Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
If you are fond of being surprised, of being caught unawares and stunned right out of your sensible winter underwear, then Kreuzberg is your place to be. Today, for example, I had exactly 25 minutes free to go through an online historical postcard collection I am intending to procure as soon as I´ve marketed my left kidney and/or my young ones.
Minute 14 stroke when I looked at a photo of a street I know and decided to look up the postcard´s publisher. I typed the name and found another three pages with postcards he published from his SW 68 (Kreuzberg, old postal code for the post office corner Linden- and Ritter Strasse, including Alte Jakob Strasse). One of the postcards presented a vista in Yorckstrasse. So I did what I do even in my sleep by now: I had a closer look at the names of the cafes and shops that used to exist there. The next thing that happened was that I remembered reading once about a restaurant there that later became quite infamous for hosting – in the run-up to the WW2 – mainly brown-shirted clientèle. Its name was Zum Reichskanzler: symbolic, significant, scary.
I googled it up again and read the following: “The founding ceremony of this NSDAP stand-in party took place at the Zum Reichskanzler, a restaurant in Kreuzberg Yorckstrasse 90. What GDAP (Großdeutsche Arbeiterpartei – Great German Workers´Party) and NSDAP had in common was more less the same that KPD (German Communist Party), SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) or even Linkspartei (the Left Party) share with PDS (Democratic Socialism Party) – practically every single thing. They took over not only the Swastika but also the 25-point-programme of the National Socialists. That evening the party enrolled 194 new members, five of whom were women (politics then was a male domain).”
“That evening”, as Wikipedia, Metapedia et al. confirmed promptly, was the 19th of November 1922. Happens to be today. Luckily for us 89 years later. Zum Reichskanzler is also gone. Replaced by a sleazy Burger King. Serves them right.
PS. The party was called to life to step in for NSDAP banned from Prussia on November, 15th the same year. It itself followed suit in January 1923. Not that it helped much when seen from further perspective.