Berlin – Around the center

Berlin – Around the center

If you turn left when leaving the station, you will come to the Weidendammbrucke wrought iron bridge. Right on the left, przy Bertolt-Brecht-Platz, houses the Berliner Ensemble theater, a few blocks away on Schumannstr. 13and is home to the Deutsches Theater. W 1905 Max Reinhardt took over as director of this institution, which was to dominate the German theater scene for almost the next three decades, a w 1922 This year, a young and unknown Marlena Dietrich debuted at this theater. Until recently, it was the best theater in East Berlin, thanks to the talent of director Alexander Lang, but after his emigration to the West it declined somewhat.

Return to Friedrichstrasse along Reinhardtstrasse, then via Oranienburger Tor to Chauseestrasse. Dorotheenstadtische Friedhof is on the left, Berlin's Cemetery of Merit, where Bertolt Brecht and his wife Helene Weigel are buried, pisarz Heinrich Mann, a luminary of the Dada movement and a master of interwar photomontage John Heartfield, philosopher Georg Hegel, whose ideas influenced Karl Marx and the great 19th-century architect of Berlin, Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Right behind the cemetery, at Chauseestr. 125, is located Brecht-Haus, Brecht's last house and studio. There is now an archive of this playwright, and you can visit the rooms every half hour, where he lived and worked (wt., Wed. i pt. 10.00-12.00 i 17.00-19.00, under. 9.30-11.30 i 12.30-14.00).

Return to Oranienburger Tor and turn onto Oranienburger Strasse. After a dozen or so meters you will see the old synagogue on your right, once the most important in Berlin, which burned down during Kristallnacht ("Crystal night" 9/10 November 1938), when the Nazis launched a massive attack on the Jewish minority in Germany. Kristallnacht, named after the sound of breaking glass in the windows of Jewish shops and institutions, it meant the intensification of Nazi attacks on Jews and the introduction to the terrifying atrocities of the "Final Solution". Not counting the additional damage during the war, the synagogue on Oranienburgstrasse was left untouched from that brutal night in 1938 year and it remains a depressing memento of Nazi barbarism. A little further east, the oldest Jewish cemetery is located at Grosse Hamburger Strasse (founded in 1672 year) and the first Jewish retirement home in the city. W 1943 the Nazis dug a trench across the cemetery, using tombstones to strengthen the structure, and they transformed the old people's home into temporary detention, where Jews were placed before deportation to concentration camps.

The Sophienkirche is not far from the Grosse Hamburger Strasse, one of the most beautiful baroque churches in the city, dating from 1734. Sophienstrasse starts a little further behind a sharp right bend, restored 19th-century street, which now houses a number of art and craft studios. In some places the restaurant is very superficial and dingy hide behind the pastel facades of old tenement houses, crumbling courtyards.