Wedding, between Volkspark Rehberge, Müllerstraße and Seestraße, U Afrikanische Straße
- Streets and places that mirror Germany’s colonial history
- The first streets were named in 1899
When you take the U6 towards Tegel, you will pass a stop named “Afrikanische Straße”. Get off here and walk south and you will find yourself in a quarter where the streets are named after African countries and places. Those might not be very impressive, but they are a reminder of an interesting – and kind of neglected – part of German history: German colonialism. The street naming began in the late 19th century as a kind of advertisement for the German colonies. So today, Afrikanisches Viertel is still like a map of German imperialist activities on the African continent but also a place of commemoration.
There are three streets in the quarter that are not named after places, but people: Lüderitzstraße, Nachtigalplatz and Petersallee. Even though these three guys have been seen as honorable men when the streets were named, they have actively deceived, humiliated and/or murdered locals in the colonies. This is why several initiatives demand that those three street names should be changed, for example into names of local resistance fighters. There has been a lot of discussion in the district, but finally the local government has voted to change them (but the new names are not there yet)! You can find more background information about those three street names and suggested alternatives here (in German).
To know more about Afrikanisches Viertel, check out the talk below:
Photo: Roberta Caldas | Episode: Christin Noll