Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
In Berlin a new tramway-line, number 191, opened its steel arms to welcome grateful passengers. It spanned proud 14.2 km between Görlitzer Bahnhof (one of the main railway stations in pre-war Berlin, for the trains going to Silesia) in Wiener Strasse and Roseneck in Grünewald (end station for MetroBus line M29 today). It run from the little loop – now Spreewaldplatz – right in front of the Görlitzer Railway Station (not to be mixed up with today´s U-Bahn station on the line U1, which is also called Görlitzer Bahnhof), then turn right into Lausitzer Strasse, pass Lausitzer Platz and go towards Mariannenplatz. Behind the square and Bethanien Krankenhaus (today a well-known alternative cultural centre) it turned right and down Adalbert Strasse it would reach Köpenicker Strasse, next to the no longer exisiting old fire station.
After crossing Neander Strasse (for that´s what it was called in 1936 on the wonderful city transportation map I found in Berlin Central Library – since 1960 it´s Heinrich-Heine-Strasse), the tramway Number 191 would stop at Märkisches Museum: that´s where you can learn almost everything about the history of Berlin you never knew you didn´t know and/or you have not read about in this blog yet. The next big stop was at Spittelmarkt. Along Leipziger Strasse the tramway arrived at Potsdamer Platz from where it would take Potsdamer Strasse to travel to Bülowstrasse, Nollendorfplatz and further west until it reached Roseneck.
Then it would take the same route back to Görlitzer Bahnhof.
Number 191 was not the only tramway that run from this station. Numer 44 took its passengers to Kaiserplatz in Wilmersdorf and later to the corner Siemens- and Birkbuschstrasse in Steglitz. Tramways line 44 were making the life on Oranienstrasse even more interesting and risky that it already was – back in 1920s or 1930s it was definitely not less busy than it is today.
One more tramway passed Görlitzer Bahnhof back then: number 4. Known as Ost-West-Ring (East-West-Ring) the line joined several boroughs such as Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg, Wedding, Moabit, Tiergarten only to return to Kreuzberg. Here it met with Line 191 at Potsdamer Platz, continued to Hallesches Tor and hurried down Blücherstrasse (before it was cut off from Hallesches Tor and built over with the American Library & Co.) into Urbanstrasse. Behind Hermannplatz it turned left into Reuter Strasse (Neukölln, ladies and gentlemen), picking up people waiting in Friedelstrasse and over the bridge it got to Grünauer – now Ohlauer – Strasse.
From there it would rush to Görlitzer Bahnhof, then go right into Wiener Strasse and once around the station (or park today), where it whizzed right past our old house in Görlitzer Strasse (and I was complaining about the noise 4 years ago! it could be – and was – much, much worse) and take the second right into Falckensteinstrasse. Behind Oberbaumbrücke Friedrichshain was waiting but that´s clearly outside our scope of interest.
And all of those lines met at Görlitzer Bahnhof whose ruins can be seen in this great drawing by Kurt Mühlenhaput (1921-2006), the same man who made the famous Feuerwehrbrunnen (Fire-brigade Fountain) in Marianneplatz. If he had not died in 2006, he would be celebrating his 91st birthday today…