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Lustgarten: Protest and Nazi square

Nowadays the Lustgarten (pleasure garden) on the museum island is a beautiful small park. It is a favorite of families and tourists to sit back and watch the world go by. It used to also be one of the favorite places of the Nazi’s in Berlin. They used the Lustgarten many times for speeches and rallies, including speeches by Adolf Hitler. But it was also the place were 200.000 people demonstrated against him.

Berlin, NS-Kundgebung im Lustgarten

Hitler speeches at Lustgarten.


Lustgarten and protests

For centuries it had been used as a garden, but during the decades before Hitler came to power it was on of the most popular spots to demonstrate. It was especially a favorite among members of the labour movement. When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 the protesters went to this square. 200.000 people demonstrated against the Fuhrer. It was one of the many examples of the troubled relationship between Hitler and the inhabitants of Berlin.

uitzicht vanaf Berliner Dom op LustgartenOne would think that Hitler would hate the place where so many people had protested against him. Apparently this did not bother him too much. When he was in office Hitler picked the Lustgarten as one of his most loved places in Berlin to speech. Between 1934 and 1935 the NSDAP (Hitler’s party) paved the Lustgarten, so it would be fit for military parades. During the Olympic Games in Berlin the Lustgarten played a prominent role. 20.000 members of the Hitler Jugend (Hitler’s Youth) and 40.000 members of the SA (paramilitary nazi’s) celebrated the end of the Olympic Games there.

One of the most important episodes of the German resistance also took place at The Lustgarten. In 1942 there was a Propaganda exhibition at the Lustgarten. The resistance group consisted mostly of Jewish members. They managed to set a part of the exhibition on fire, but many (27 members of the group) were arrested. A couple of weeks later the Nazi’s imprisoned 500 jewish men and killed 250 of them.

During the battle of Berlin the Lustgarten and almost all buildings surrounding it were severely damaged. After the Second World War the communist took over the square and once again used it as a place for parades and speeches. After the fall of the Berlin Wall it was transformed into a park, a place to relax and hang out. A sort of garden, what it had been in the 13th century when the history of the square started.


More Nazi Berlin on Place to be:

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Right in the middle of Berlin, at former airport Tempelhof, was Berlin’s concentration camp. To be exact: Berlin’s forgotten concentration camp Columbia-Haus. Everybody knows about how the Allied Forces organizes an airlift to fly and drop supplies to the people of West Berlin via Tempelhof. But very few people know Berlin’s one and only concentration camp was at Tempelhof too.

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It was build by the Nazi’s especially for the Olympic Games of 1936. It turned into a battle field during the battle of Berlin when the Hitler Jugend fought against the Russians. Also read about the curious history of the architect, who was a loyal member of the Nazi party (NSDAP).


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Rosa Luxemburg Platz has a very bloody history. In the twenties the communist party had their headquarters at Rosa Luxemburg Platz. They often fought with the Nazi’s in this area. Police officers kept a keen eye on both sides, which were the key ingredients for a major row. When the Nazi’s came into power they renamed this square Horst Wessel Platz.


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This water tower is not only remarkable because of it’s size, but also because of it’s sinister history. Dicke Hermann was built in 1856 to provide the inhabitants with water. In 1933 it became a very sinister location. Local Nazi’s used the former engine room to torture people. 28 people died in the cellars of the building. Today, there is a kita, a children day care center.

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