Book release from the “Edition Berliner Unterwelten”
The book: “Vom Forschungsstandort zum Gelegenheitsziel – Auf den Spuren der bewegten Vergangenheit Oranienburgs” (From a research site to an unexpected destination – On the trail of the changing past of Oranienburg) by Ralf Blauermal has been published by the association.
In house pneumatic post goes into service
Thanks to the Fa. Aerocom company, the Berlin Underworlds Association now has a modern pneumatic post system in its office. The first traveler was a chocolate St. Nick, which after a few trips began to melt a bit…
Reading held in the Berlin Underworlds Museum
Association member and author Ralf Blauermel read from the manuscript of his soon-to-be-released book: “Vom Forschungsstandort zum Gelegenheitsziel – Auf den Spuren der bewegten Vergangenheit Oranienburgs” in the Underworlds Museum.
Preserving traces of the “Reich capital”
On request of members of the association, the historical road curb of the planned “north-south axis” has been preserved as part of the sidewalk of Straße des 17. Juni.
A visit from Great Britain
Members of the association along with some colleagues from a sister organisation: “Subterranea Britannica” visited a demolished “mother and child” bunker in the Humboldthain park, along with other structures.
the documentary theatre berlin – guest performance in Luebars
The documentary theatre berlin performed the play: “VERA” – which deals with the life of 81 year old Vera Friedlaender – for three consecutive days to a sold-out crowd at the LabSaal in Luebars.
Restoration of the historical ventilation system
The T. Koepp company has restored historical ventilation system and replaced its missing pieces in the Berlin Underworlds Museum, in order to improve the air conditions for the next summer season.
Visit to the waterworks in Friedrichshagen
The “tunnel escapes” workgroup visited the special exhibition “the underground border” in the museum in the Friedrichshagen waterworks museum, which documents the division of the canalization during the time of the Berlin Wall.
We would like to thank the museum director, Mrs. Butter for the detailed tour though the exhibition and museum.
Special tour K for the Festival of Lights
For the “Night of Open Doors” during the 2010 Festival of Lights, 102 guests visited the tour K at the site of the former Berliner Kindl brewery in Neukoelln.
Rescue exercises in the Humboldthain Flak tower
In a combined exercise of the rescue service of the fire departments Wedding and Marzahn, the firemen practiced rescuing two injured people out of the ground floor and cellar of the Flak bunker in Humboldthain park. The particular difficulties in the exercise were the problematic access, the transport of the bodies to the surface, the insufficient wireless communication inside the bunker and the lack of lighting in the case of a power failure.
A shop stewards committee is formed
The founding meeting of the newly elected shop stewards committee took place. Its members: as well as the substitute member who were elected in July at an election meeting, represent the interests of the employees of the association. They are released from other responsibilities to carry out these duties.
International sound-art festival __tiefKLANG 2010
The international sound-art festival, in its fifth year, was held for the second time as the “_tiefKLANG” festival under the direction of Thomas Gerwin, with the cooperation of and in the Berlin Underworlds. The theme is “felt moments”, and poses the question of subjective and collective passing of time through sound. The accompanying exhibition in the “Gasometer Bunker” on Fichtestrasse is the first sound-art exhibition in the world with a continual multi-sensorial conception. The newly founded tiefKLANG workgroup is also taking part for the first time. The festival improved on the previous year’s record with 500 visitors, the exhibition had over 2200 guests, many of which came during the Long Night of the Museums.
Special tours for the Day of the Open Memorials
On the occasion of the “Day of the Open Memorials 2010”, with the slogan “culture in movement – travel, trade and transit”, the association offered special tours through the hospital bunker on Teichstrasse and the model air raid shelter on Friesenstrasse, and was represented with an information stand at the festival on Petriplatz.
Guest performance in café/theatre Schalotte
The documentary theatre Berlin performed the play “VERA” in the café/theatre Schalotte on Behaimstrasse in Charlottenburg. In spite of the cramped fit in the former movie theatre, the 27 person ensemble performing the piece together with the 82 year-old Vera Friedländer was received with enthusiasm.
27th Long Night of the Museums
The association took part in the 27th Long Night of the Museums with the “Gasometer bunker” on Fichtestrasse in Kreuzberg. Despite the lack of a nearby stop on the ‘Long Night’ shuttle bus network, the event was a success. Between 6pm and 2am 2158 visitors found their way to the Gasometer to see the exhibition, to hear the talk by eyewitness Regina Schwenke, or to learn about the work of the association.
Filming for History Channel
Berlin Underworlds’ historians assisted the History Channel as specialists once again on the 16th and the 24th of August. In addition to a visit to the underground V-weapon production facility at Dora-Mittelbau near Nordhausen in the Harz mountains, also a card catalogue of forced labourers was presented. The program will be broadcasted in April 2011.
Memorial services for the 49th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall
The memorial service for the 49th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall took place on the 13th of August with a large attendance. From 5pm, guides from the “tunnel escapes” work group, along with former tunnel diggers and escape helpers led visitors along the former death strip of the Berlin Wall on a tour of the locations of the successful and unsuccessful tunnel projects on Bernauer Strasse. Following that, a service for the victims of the Berlin Wall took place at the Chapel of Reconciliation near the memorial. Ingrid Stahmer (former senator) pastor Manfred Fischer and Dr. Burkhart Veigel (escape helper).
Pneumatic post compressor donated
The Association received for its future open air exhibition a pneumatic post compressor that was previously in the cellar of the postal cheque office on Dorotheenstrasse in Berlin Mitte. We would like to thank Helmut Maier for the donation, the nature and park office in Mitte and Karl Altendorff/ Hr. Fromm for the transport.
5th annual BBQ on the Flak tower in Humboldthain
As in 2009, before the BBQ, a few experienced tour guides offered members of the association the opportunity to climb into the ruins of a “Mother and Child” bunker in the Humboldthain park. A total of 16 members visited the remains in an adventurous climbing trip. Afterwards BBQ was set up in front of the entrance to the former Flak tower. Beer from the Rollberg microbrewery in Neukölln was tapped, and a giant mountain of meat found its way into the 120 member’s bellies.
“Germania” model now belongs to the Berlin Underworlds Association
Constantin Film’s 11 metre-long “Germania” model, which can be seen in, among others, the film “The Downfall”, has been purchased by the association and was deposited in the storage rooms on Gesundbrunnen.
With the help of the association’s financial and active support, the entrance to the abandoned water holder on the premises of the water works in Friedrichshagen on Müggelsee has been restored, in order that numerous visitors could take part in a tour for the “Day of City Nature” on the 20th of June, led by an expert in the subject, biologist Carsten Kallasch. The former water holder now serves as a home to various species of bats.
Guest performance of the documentary theatre Berlin in Kiev.
As part of a trip to the “Master Class” culture centre in Kiev, the documentary theatre Berlin gave three performances of “Dancers behind Barbed Wire”. The entire report of the experience and the prelude to the trip can be read here (in German).
Reading in the unfinished U-Bahn station
As part of the “12th Long Night of Books on Oranienstrasse”. The publisher Onkel & Onkel in cooperation with the Berlin Underworlds Association hosted a reading of the Norwegian author Åge Bringsværd, which drew numerous listeners into the never-activated U-Bahn station Oranienplatz under Dresdener Strasse.
Premier of the tour K
A successful start for the tour K: “Kindl brewery in Neukölln – Brewers as pioneers of the Berlin underground”. Almost 13 years after its foundation, the Berlin Underworlds Association finally offers a tour dealing with the beginnings of Berlin’s underground construction, the breweries and their subcellars.
Long Night of the Opera and Theatre
For the first time the documentary theatre Berlin took part in the “Long Night of the Opera and Theatre” and performed the piece “Ost-Arbeiter” (eastern worker) six times back to back between 7pm and 1am in the civil defence shelter at Blockplatz. All the performances were completely full. Around 20 members of the ensemble in addition to numerous helpers took part as well. In order to shorten the waiting time, short tours through the Berlin Underworlds tour were offered at the simultaneously, which were also received positively.
Day of the Archives
The Berlin Underworlds Association presented its work at an info table in the Berlin state archive for the “Day of the Archives” which took place in 2010 with the motto: “crime scene Berlin… on the search for clues”. The initiative for the “Day of the Archives” comes from the Association of German archivists, and took place for the 5th time. The photo shows the participants and organizers.
Bat counting in the Flak tower in Humboldthain.
The yearly counting of the bats in their winter quarter, the Flak bunker in Humboldthain, carried out by biologist Carsten Kallasch, showed no change in the population since the previous year. The largest species found locally hibernates here, the greater mouse-eared bat. Additionally, Natterer’s and Daubenton's bats are to be found.
Internal tour for association members of the “DomAquarée”
15 members of the association were, as part of a tour, able to look behind the scenes of the CityQuartier’s “DomAquarée, in which the world’s largest cylindrical saltwater aquarium is located. Additionally, the underground water treatment plant as well as the quarantine and breeding stations as well as the and the laboratory and fish food kitchen were all viewed.
Foundation of a new workgroup “Tunnel Escapes”
On the 21st of February, the department secretary’s committee confirmed the newly founded workgroup “Tunnel Escapes”, placing in the sales and marketing department. The workgroup speaker is Dietmar Arnold, the deputy speaker is Heike Miersch. The research focus of the workgroup is the constructions built for crossing underneath the border from East Germany to West Berlin between the years 1952 and 1989.
The Workgroup “Café Brademann” voted unanimously to dissolve itself. After examining the local situation and the requirements over the previous year, it had to be concluded that there is currently no possibility for the building’s use.
Steering committee partially replaced
In the place of Christian Kruse and Dominic Poncé, the member’s assembly elected Sascha Keil and Andreas Körner to the steering committee. The three headed steering committee is now composed as follows:
Dietmar Arnold (chairman)
Andreas Körner (finances and business operations)
Sascha Keil (members, personal and communication)
A new record for visitors
In 2009 our tours were visited by a total of 176,560 people. The exhibition ]Myth Germania – shadows and traces of the Reich capital[ that ended on new year‘s eve had 23,040 guests. 1,259 visitors attended the performances of our documentary theatre at Gesundbrunnen, and 1,850 more visited performances at other locations, amongst them Monaco and Namur (Belgium). Our website had over 750,000 visitors, a new record. We would like to thank all of those involved, our friends and supporters – but also our visitors and guests – who helped us exceed the mark of 200,000 visitors in one year in the Berlin Underworlds for the first time.