Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
What a coincidence, meine Damen und Herren🙂
Only yesterday the best local TV news programme, RBB Abendschau, in its new and as always fascinating series about the little secrets of Germany´s capital, presented this video material.
It is a story of one of Kreuzberg´s own ghost underground stations, built in the 1920´s and named “Oranienplatz”. The U8 line from Gesundbrunnen to Neukölln makes a rather unexpected and hard to justify curve between the stations of Heinrich-Heine-Strasse and Kottbusser Tor. Logic and common sense would tell you that there is a simpler, direct way between the two.
Which, of course, there is. According to the original plans, the underground line was to pass Oranienplatz and curve gently into Dresdener Strasse. But WW1 and the inflation led to the works being interrupted. Before they re-commenced in the 1920s, the plans underwent a scrupulous fiscal revision. Allegedly, their results were clear: the course should be changed.
It was everybody´s secret, however, that the change of the underground line´s course and the leaving of the already built stretch and the station unused had a very fiscal background, indeed: that background were 5 million Reichsmark paid by Wertheim to have the U-Bahn line pass right in front of their shop at Moritzplatz. Just as the same line and today´s U7 passed in front of and under the competitors´department store: Karstadt at Hermannplatz.
Here´s RBB roaming around the ghost station in the company of the expert from Berliner Unterwelten, an agency offering tours of underground Berlin. Please click the photo below.
More about the history of the station and the line in our YOU ARE HERE series soon.