Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
The motto of this blog being “Better late than never”, we would like to invite all of those interested in participating in Kiez life to an event which might have already started but definitely hasn´t come to an end yet: to KiezKulturWoche am Kreuzberg.
From August 30th until September 7th the neighbourhood stretching between Viktoriapark and Landwehrkanal (the western part of Tempelhofer Vorstadt) is celebrating itself and its history.
The official opening took place at Rathaus Kreuzberg in Yorckstrasse 4-11. One of the main guests was of course the new Mayor of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Monika Herrmann. Her short welcome speech also marked the opening of a historic exhibition called So Entstand Unser Kiez – Einblicke in die Geschichte des Wohngebietes zwischen dem Kreuzberg und dem Landwehrkanal. The title´s translation must be equally lengthy: “How Our Kiez Was Born – Insights Into The History of The Residential Area Between the Kreuzberg and the Canal”.
Whatever interesting parts of the programme we missed there is still a lot to look forward to. A historic tour with Michael Thomas Röblitz today at 4PM, for instance.
The tour is called The Wars of Liberation against Napoleon in Tempelhofer Vorstadt and presents both the National Memorial (Nationaldenkmal) on top of the Kreuzberg (do not get confused: the Kreuzberg is the hill in Viktoriapark while Kreuzberg is the whole of the borough – not easy but makes sense) and the etymology of the street names around the neighbourhood. All of those interested and armed with a working knowledge of German are welcome to join the group. The meeting point is the platform on top of the Memorial. Which means that a pair of fit lungs and even fitter legs might be good things to be armed with as well.
After you have descended from the top of the hill after the tour and still feel thirsty to learn and enjoy, at 7PM another event is beckoning from not afar. In the Community Rooms of Möckernkiez e.V. in Yorckstrasse 62 Prof. Dr. Kurt Paetzold will be talking about The Kiez and The Nation – Nationalism in 1813 and 1933. Prof. Paetzold is going to talk about the battles of 1813 and how they became the name-sakes for the streets around the Kreuzberg. He will also present the history of the National Memorial on its top and discuss the developments in the borough after January 1933 when Hitler came to power.
As for tomorrow, you might want to visit Chamissoplatz at 4PM and enjoy the historic tour of one of Kreuzberg´s most beautiful plazas, led by Gabriele Hermsdorf. The tour From Düsteren Keller to Marheineke-Markthalle begins in front of the Belle-Alliance-Apotheke, the old pharmacy in Mehringdamm 62 at 4PM. Sharp.
Personally, we are very much looking forward to another event later that day: The Kiez Fights Back. What options do the people in the Kiez have to defend themselves against the exploding and for most no longer affordable rents? How to prevent the driving out of the long-time residents? We wish we knew, too. It is going to be interesting what the others believe could be done. Should you care to listen or to participate in the discussion, it is going to take place at the BVV-Saal in Rathaus Kreuzberg in Yorckstrasse 4-11. From 7PM. Sharp.
Should you, however, feel that your German might not pass the test of a public discussion or if you are not a fan of such, there is just the thing waiting for you behind the corner. In Großbeerestrasse at the pub called Dodo you can sit down at one of the several language-tables. The so called Sprach-Cafe is an opportunity for all those whose German legs are still rather shaky (linguistically speaking) and prefer to rely on the help of their mother tongue or any other tongue they feel at easy speaking.
As for Friday, our pick would be the lecture and the historic tour with Beate Winzer at 5PM. Insights Into Forced Labour in the Area during the 3rd Reich should be an obligatory tour for all Kreuzbergs. It is still hard to imagine that practically every street of the borough was a slave territory under Hitler´s rule and that almost every business active in this neighbourhood during the war profited, directly or indirectly, from the slave labour of the Reich´s prisoners. Meeting point for this tour is the wonderful old portal of Anhalter Bahnhof in Stresemannstrasse.
The festivities come to an end on Saturday and, as always in Kreuzberg, they do so with a bang. The Hornstrasse Fest will begin at 3PM around Christuskirche in Hornstrasse and will provide enough live music to last us the whole winter. There will be choirs singing, bands performing, singers-songwriters presenting their skills and all that in a “open-for-all, multigenerational, organic, intercultural and barrier-free” atmosphere as promised by the organisers.
AND it is in Kreuzberg:-)
To see the full programme of KiezKulturWoche in Kreuzberg please follow the link.