Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘Spandauer Vorstadt’

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Intl. Holocaust Remembrance Day (2017)

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

•   United Nations
•   Yad Vashem
•   US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Outside the Old Jewish Cemetery near Hackesche Höfe in Berlin’s Spandauer Vorstadt is Will Lammert’s sculpture “Jüdische Opfer des Faschismus” (Jewish victims of fascism). The sculpture shows men, women, and children with horror and despair on their faces, directly confronting visitors with an equally direct question: “why?”

More from me in Berlin

•   City’s oldest Jewish cemetery
•   Grunewald train station, track 17
•   Memorial to murdered Jews in Europe
•   Memorial to murdered Sinti and Roma

I made this photograph on 21 November 2012 with the Canon EOS450D, 18-55 kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/25s, f/5, ISO800, and 28mm focal length (45mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-8WN.

Brandenburger Tor, Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Germany’s urban G-E-M-S: Berlin

A travel writer once asked me: how would I describe Germany? Start with geography: lush forests, lakes and rivers, jagged Alps to the south, and open seas to the north. But that’s only the surface, where deep underneath there’s rich artistic and cultural heritage; and critical lessons from times of unimaginable ignorance, cruelty, and tragedy.

Her cities also form a large part of the German picture, and I’m very fond of her five largest cities. For every city, I have a selection of G-E-M-S: one Green space (G, Grünanlage); a place to Eat (E, Essen gehen); Museum (M); and something Special (S, Sondertipp). I’ve already written about Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, and Frankfurt am Main.

The German capital city of Berlin marks the final part of my series.

[ Click here for more ]

Berlin’s Oldest Jewish Cemetery (Spandauer Vorstadt)

“Der Jüdische Friedhof in der Grossen Hamburger Strasse”

In the past, I’ve often felt guilty for taking photographs at a cemetery, as if the act of opening and closing the camera’s shutter somehow “exposes and steals” the essence of people who are laid to rest. Only in the last few years have I overcome these feelings, as I now see cemeteries as beautiful places to visit and to witness frozen snapshots to individual lives over time. On this late-autumn afternoon, I stood in the middle of the garden, transported to a different place and a different time, surrounded by tranquility and living memories.

Große Hamburger Straße (or Greater Hamburg Street) was the key central road in what was once the Spandauer Vorstadt, which was the suburb or town at the foot of the former Berlin city gates. The road allowed for trade and movement from Berlin in the direction towards the nearby town of Spandau.

According to berlin.de, the area developed around the Hackesche Market and Courtyards:

Historically, development of the Höfe went hand in hand with the growth of Berlin as a thriving urban centre. The expansion started around 1700 from an outer suburb known as Spandauer Vorstadt, located outside the Spandau City gate which already had its own church, the Sophienkirche as early as 1712. Friedrich Wilhelm I built a new city wall here and the former suburb became a new urban district belonging to Berlin. Today’s Hackescher Markt takes its name from the market built here by a Spandau city officer, Count von Hacke.

The influx of Jewish migrants and the exiled French Huguenots gave the district the cosmopolitan diversity which it never lost. The first synagogue was built in this area and the first Jewish cemetery established on the Grosse Hamburger Strasse. Another name for the area, the Scheunenviertel (barn district) is associated today with up and coming art galleries and the more bohemian side of Berlin. The largest synagogue in Germany was built in nearby Oranienburger Strasse in 1866.

In use from 1672 to 1827, this is Berlin’s oldest cemetery for the Jewish community. Buried here is Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786), philosopher, a founding father of the Jewish Enlightenment, and grandfather to the great composer Felix Mendelssohn. During the last stages of fighting in the Second World War, 2425 dead were buried here in 16 mass graves. With no clear boundaries separating those buried in the past from those buried during the war, the new memorial garden was constructed and restored in 2007-08 with all of the buried left undisturbed as they were.

The present location was also the site of the first nursing home in 1844 for the Jewish community in Berlin. The Gestapo transformed the home in 1942 to a collection and staging point for prisoners, and ordered the destruction of the entire site in 1943. 55000 Berlin Jews from infants to the elderly were deported and murdered in the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Theresienstadt.

I also wrote about the “Shalechet” (Fallen Leaves) sculpture installation at the Jewish Museum Berlin.


Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com
Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Moses Mendelssohn

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Moses Mendelssohn

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com
Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

In memory of the oldest Jewish cemetery in Berlin

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com
Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

In memory

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Wrongs to be righted

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com
Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Sophienkirche at right

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Graves on top of graves

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

“Jüdische Opfer des Faschismus” (Jewish victims of fascism), by Will Lammert

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Once a home to seniors, then a place for staging and deporting

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Front gate to Fernsehturm

Old Jewish Cemetery, Grosse Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

Nie wieder. Never again.


Directions

Visitors can reach the Old Jewish Cemetery with the MetroTram (M1, M4, M5) to Monbijouplatz; Strassenbahn 12 to Monbijouplatz; S-Bahn (S3, S5, S7, S9) to Hackescher Markt; S-Bahn (S1, S2, S25, S26) to Oranienburger Strasse; or the U-Bahn (U8) to Weinmeisterstrasse. After disembarking the train or tram at any of these stations, it’s a short walk to the cemetery which is located next to the Sophienkirche church.

In Berlin-Mitte at Spandauer Strasse 68 (at Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse) a memorial plaque marks the location of the house where Moses Mendelssohn and his family lived; see also articles in German Berliner Morgenpost (3 May 2015) and Süddeutsche Zeitung (16 June 2016).

I made the photos above on 21 November 2012. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-2MX.

My Berlin: the humble currywurst

Curry 61 – Hackescher Markt

Walking around Berlin’s Mitte district on a wet March afternoon, I found myself in the area around Hackescher Markt. I stepped briefly into the quiet Hackesche Höfe courtyard complex to pick up some postcards. I’d already seen (and smelled) numerous cafés, bakeries, and snack shops. I hadn’t had lunch, and with the possibilities of food reaching my eyes, the grumbling belly meant it was time to feed.

The ubiquitous yet humble currywurst came to the rescue. I retraced my steps back towards Hackescher Markt, and I arrived at the street-side counter for Curry 61.

Curry 61, Berlin Mitte

Curry 61 (HL)

A short history of Berlin’s claim to currywurst’s origins goes something like this. In 1949, Herta Heuwer, who ran a snack counter in Berlin, mixed curry powder and Worcestershire sauce with ketchup, and when she served grilled pork sausage with the new sauce to her customers, they loved the new concoction. She patented the sauce as “Chillup” years later. Today, currywurst is ubiquitous, challenging even the Döner as the champion of street-food throughout Berlin.

Bratwurst mit Darm

Grilled sausage, with casing (HL)

Bratwurst ohne Darm

Grilled sausage, without casing (HL)

I had a short conversation in German with the owner:

  • Was hätten Sie gern? — Einmal mit (Darm) und Pommes rot; scharf, bitte.
  • Woher kommen Sie? — Kanada, doch ich arbeite zurzeit in Chile.
  • Was machen Sie hier in Berlin? — Urlaub, ein paar Freunden besucht.
  • Wie sprechen Sie so gut Deutsch? — Schon 2. Jahre hier gewohnt, und viele Mass Bier getrunken.

Roughly translated into English …

  • What would you like? — An order with (casing), and fries ‘red’; spicy, please.
  • From where have you come? — Canada, but I work presently in Chile.
  • What are you doing in Berlin? — Vacation, visiting friends.
  • How did you come to speak German? — 2 years in the country, and many litres of beer.

The owner seemed to like that last answer.

Although the owner asked if I really wanted the spicy (Scharf) version, I got a good dose of spice; my serving had a good sharp edge.

Currywurst mit Pommes

The noms: sliced pork bratwurst with fries doused in ketchup, curry and chili powders (HL)

Curry 36 – Zoologischer Garten

In subsequent visits to Berlin, I’m passing through the train station near the city’s zoo more frequently. Next to the station at Hardenbergerpltaz is a satellite of Curry 36. While their mainstay is near Mehringdamm station, the location next to the station at Zoologischer Garten gets its fair share and flow of people streaming in and out of the station serving U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and regional trains.

I order two grilled sausages sliced into bite-sized pieces, accompanied by “Pommes rot-weiss”, french-fries with dollops of ketchup and mayo (red-white) and topped with curry powder.


Many have written about and swear by these currywurst joints in Berlin: Curry 36 and Konnopke’s Imbiss. I’ve also visited the German Currywurst Museum to learn about the history and evolution of the snack. Come to think of it, every time I’m in Berlin, I’ll seek out the currywurst, from one “Imbiss” stand to the next, in my perpetual search for the ultimate taste of the city.

This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-pr.

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