Notmsparker, known as Beata Gontarczyk-Krampe to German Inland Revenue Office, is a Pole living in Berlin with her German husband and their three international sons. Like 52% of all Berliners today (tendency growing) she is a “newcomer”. Having moved to Berlin in 2003, since 2008 she has been writing about its quirks, its less known corners and its ever surprising history. And by the look of it, living in what must be the most fascinating, the most surprising and the most inspiring city on earth (Paris and Venice are welcome to protest), she is not going to run out of topics any time soon.

Her books, “Notmsparker’s Berlin Companion” and the 2018 “Notmsparker’s Second Berlin Companion” are now available via berlinarium.bigcartel.com, in selected Berlin shops (Volta Press, Hallesches Haus).


You can contact me using the following form:


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  1. amazing, amazing, amazing

    did not have too much time. will certainly go back and do some more reading ABSOLUTELY great, you found what you are real good at. profound research, great style and language. funny and touching. and yes, this is it.

    kreuzberg´d claudia

  2. Great blog. Totally exciting. I am so happy to see someone really exploring the history. This is the best way to explore Berlin.

    I have already learned a lot about the histories of Mitte and Prenz’l Berg but definitely not enough about Kreuzberg.

    I am a kreuzberg’r in spirit. I am down there a lot and so am looking forward to discovering some of its secrets through your blog!

  3. I just spent a week in kreuzberg and it was the first place I’ve been in my 50 years on the planet that I really didn’t want to leave . Your blog is helping me explore it by proxy. Thank you!

    • Hey, neighbour! You are right about Number 13 – the courtyard is still very much open but behind a nice looking fence.
      I am glad you stumbled upon the blog and that you are planning to re-visit. I am also writing about the Kaserne. I´d be very happy to hear your opinion and any comments. Perhaps you know even more about it than I do in which case I will be even happier to hear from you:)
      Greetings from Schleiermacherstrasse!

  4. Hi notmsparker,
    We just want to double check if you have read our last email.
    We are quite interested in your blog and desire to invite you to write for us.
    If you’re interested, please reply me ASAP.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Kind regards,

    PR at Made In Shoreditch
    35 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AA
    Mobile : +4474287 46265 email: wen@madeinshoreditch.co.uk

    • Oh, but I did (they must have forgotten that) – I kindly declined the offer. It´s the past I am interested in and wish to write about, not today. I´m a research monster, you know:) Very un-trendy.

    • Right now it´s a bit (and I emphasize the “bit” part) like in the 1980s – gentrification is a huge problem but it is nothing as desperate as back then. I´ve heard that Brooklyn has a similar issue going but I guess it is part of the urban development. We saw it happen here in Berlin in other boroughs – they have changed but only in some respect for worse. Greetings from grey (but charming as usual) Kreuzberg!

      • It’s creeping up into Harlem over here as well. And yes, gentrification is such a difficult thing because in some respects it’s good and in many it is bad. Anyways if you ever decide to come witness NYC’s problems first hand let me know. I love Berlin and Berliners so I’m sure you’ll enjoy New York!

  5. Hello NotMsParker, I love your blog since I found out about it a few weeks ago.

    I am a recent transplant to Berlin via NY City and I too love researching its history. I wish there was a person like you for every neighborhood here!

    Currently I am the organizer of a “Get out and see Berlin” Meetup.com group (http://www.meetup.com/Berlin-Social-Activities-and-Events, 400 members and growing daily) whose purpose is to get people together to see Berlin while making friends and meeting new people. I was very touched by your Stolpersteine post as it’s something I think more people should know about in general, and, in this case, it’s such an imporant story that I thought it would be great to show support for by having some member of my group attend.

    BUT, I don’t know if you would think it appropriate for an additional group of 10, 15, 20, 25 people to come to it?

    Would it be possible for you to get in touch with me (ctroise@gmail.com) concerning this, and besides this question, I would appreciate if you could find some time to get together to talk about Berlin research in general and how my group could leverage the work you do?

    Thanks and best regards,
    Chris Troise

    • Dear Chris, thank you so much for all the kind words – my heart obviously melts when I hear of someone truly enjoying the blog. I put enough of it in it;-)
      The idea of attending the ceremony is great – the more people come and witness such moments, the less the people whose names are being commemorated are forgotten. So by all means come and join me and the others.
      As for meeting your group and perhaps saying something about the research techniques I am using in Berlin, I would love to do that but at the moment I am a bit short in the time department. I will try to find a moment but I´m afraid it is not going to be possible before mid-February. We should stay in touch though:)
      Wishing you a great 2013!

  6. Sure thing, I’ll circle back in mid Feb. Btw I was more meaning you and I having an informal chat over a cup of coffee, not you doing a presentation to the group. The Meetup group is more about going out for drinks and seeing movies and exhibits at night (although I am thinking about having guest speakers down the road.) I do a lot of research to find things the group may find interesting and figured you may have some good places/resources I could look into. Happy New Year too!