SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE
Until now “Berliner Straßenszene” by Karl Holtz, a picture owned by Berlin´s Stiftung Stadtmuseum and painted in the early 1920s, has been dated for 1920-1923. However, the tram line No. 21 between Augustenburger Platz in Wedding and Rathaus Britz in Britz (Neukölln), did not open until 31st of March, 1924 and the artist himself did not return to Berlin until the end of 1923 – he was travelling in Germany, France, Italy and Tunisia between 1920 and 1923.
The line ran from Wedding and Moabit, passing the Reichstag as well both big terminus railway stations Potsdamer Bahnhof and Anhalter Bahnhof. It then reached Hallesches Tor at Belle-Alliance-Platz (Mehringplatz today) and continued down the today no longer existing part of Blücherstrasse – converted into a green (well, sort of) spreading between Zossener Strasse and the American Memorial Library at Blücherplatz. Then the No. 21 drove across Kaiser-Friedrich-Platz, or Südstern as it is called now, along Hasenheide in the direction of Hermannplatz, behind which it entered Berliner Strasse (Karl-Marx-Strasse) and meandered through Neukölln to Britz.
Somewhere along that route – maybe in Moabit, or at Blücherplatz in Kreuzberg, or perhaps already in Neukölln itself, Karl Holtz, painter and cartoon author for several satirical magazines in Berlin, put up his easel and captured that lively street scene which can be admired at the Ephraim-Palais in Mitte.