Mohrenstrasse

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Mohrenstrasse: Hitler’s marble and completely destroyed

At first sight Mohrenstrasse may look like an ordinary street in Mitte Berlin near the Potsdamer Platz. But its history is far from ordinary. Even its name has changed a number of times. And so has its appearance.

Berlin, Ruinen und zerstörte Autos

Battle of Berlin

The darkest days of the Mohrenstrasse were during the battle of Berlin in 1945. It was heavily hit on the third of February 1945 by the allied forces. They nearly demolished the whole street as can be seen on the photograph that was taken on that day. The street and its surroundings were so severely damaged that it took five years before the beautifull subway station could be reopened. The station was called Kaiserhof and named after a nearby hotel with the same name. It had one of the most remarkable entrances of the Berlin subway with decorated pillars.

Berlin_U-Bahnhof_Kaiserhof_westlicher_Eingang

The old entrance at hotel Kaiserhof.

After the war everything was in ruins. The Mohrenstrasse was in East-Berlin (the Soviet zone). The communists named the square Ernst Thalmanplatz, after the communist leader. Therefore the station changed its name too. Red marble was used to decorated the rebuild subway station. There are rumors that the communist had taken it from the Reich Chancellery (Reichskanzlei), where Hitler held office.

The subway name didn’t last very long. In 1986 it was called Otto Grotewohlstrasse and named after Otto Grotewohl the first GDR prime minister. Two years after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 the station got its last name: Mohrenstrasse. At the moment it is not a very attractive or vibrant square. There are shops, offices and a apothecary. Nearby there’s a statue of Hans Joachim von Zieten, a former general of the Prussian Army.

Today the story of the subway is more remarkable than its architecture. The Mohrenstrasse is also a symbol of the many streets in Berlin, that have a more turbulent and fascinating history than one may think.

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