So I left the confines of my little dorf (village) by the Havel as I had to work in Prenzlauer Berg last night. After work, I decided I would round out my KMs with some walking in a different part of town… a change of scenery… and I passed by a building that encapsulates Berlin’s history…
And all was well… and Jonass did well… until the Nazis came to power. Jonass brought in two non-Jewish partners to make nice with the regime, and the non-Jewish partners pushed the Jewish partners out. Sad… but true. It happened to many Jewish owned businesses.
The store building was then rented to the Hitlerjugend- The rather fanatical youth organisation of the Nazi party. It was lead by Baldur von Schirach and later Arthur Axmann. Why did they like this location so much? It was close to the grave of Horst Wessel, the ‘patron saint’ and martyr of the NSDAP. (I will cover Herr Wessel another time. Short version… the man was NO saint…)
And the Nazi kinder were happy in their building…
Until WWII ended… and there no longer was a Hitler Youth… but this was deep in East Berlin… and the building survived! It was a big building, quite usable. So who took it over? The SED, or the East German Communist party. They used it for some time, until they build a bigger building closer to the center of East Berlin. Then it housed a Marxist-Leninist think tank.
After the wall fell down, the original Jewish owners family got their building back… and sold it to Soho House… which is a hotel and club for the media elite… so really, as a bit of a propaganda hotspot, it hasn’t changed since the 30s.
But the thing which amazes me about Torstr 1, especially after looking at these pics… is it reminds me of the impermanence of… well… just about everything. I am sure Jonass thought they would have their building a while… The HitlerJugend thought they would be there for at least 1000 years… The communists thought it would be theirs for… oh… a good hundred more years… and as for Soho house? I don’t know what their long term plans are, but they just spent a wodge tarting the old edifice up.
And that is Berlin… and people ask my why I don’t make long term plans in my life! 🙂
This is your training. Check it out!
|When||Mon, 4 Feb 16:41|
|How did it go||Not my usual shoooooes….|
|Total Distance||5.71 km|
|Average Pace||11:35 /km|
|Average Speed||5.18 km/h|
|Total Calories Burned||728|
|Weight||Higher than a breadbox, less than an elephant!|
|Weather||7 °C, WC: 3 °C, 24km/h W, 81%|