Recommended as private guide in
Rick Steves' 'snapshot Berlin':
" enthusiastic historian who grew up behind the Wall..."

before and after


Architecture of east-Berlin



Most areas of Berlin were devastated in 1945, partly because of the Allied bombing but also because of the Soviet forces and the Battle for Berlin at the end of the war. The destruction of the city proved to be a trauma for Berlin. At the same time, it also seemed to be an opportunity. In 1945, architects as well as city planners began to think about rebuilding the city rather than just reconstructing it. What came out of these great plans in 1945? This tour offers a look at the history of East Berlin during the Cold War, and is based on sources from various archives as this was my thesis topic at Humboldt University.


Kleiner Friedrich1  Old Berlin

There was once a medieval core of Berlin. This area suffered during the air raids in World War II, and what remained...
was then destroyed after the war. This is difficult to understand today, but at the time the government seemed to have a reason for clearing away this area. Finally in 1987, one part of Old Berlin was rebuilt. I tend to call this site the Disney World of Berlin. It might be difficult to orient yourself when some buildings appear to be the original ones. At least they look like they are. So what is real and what is fake? Let me help you distinguish between them.


Kleiner Friedrich1  Marx - Engels - Forum

When I was a student in school in East Germany, our teachers told us a lot about Karl Marx and...
Friedrich Engels. Their ideas seem to be only a theory. At least, that’s what we think today. Back in the ’80s, though, before the dramatic events of 1989, the Communists created a space in East Berlin where the two philosophers were presented very publicly. This is the Marx-Engels-Forum. It is an extremely interesting place in terms of its design, but it also gives you an understanding of the restraints put on people because of an ideology.


Kleiner Friedrich1  Karl - Marx - Avenue 

Like a shop window, Karl Marx Avenue was once designed to prove that the ideas of Communism were coming true...
The so-called Sugar Bakery Style still impresses visitors. Behind the surface of the buildings await stories: of changing street names, Saber Tooth tigers, sick little girls near Washington, and ears cut off by soldiers.


Kleiner Friedrich1  Highrise Weberwiese

In 1949, East German architects changed their style of design from Bauhaus to Stalin Gothic. The first, and until today...
most prominent building of the new style was built at the Weberwiese. What is especially interesting here is how different it is from the style of architecture just on the opposite side of the square. I can hardly think of a place where architecture can so easily be retraced to its political roots.Hhww




  Friedrichgold4 © Bernhard