Berlin, 15-1-2013

Today I went to the Treptower Park with the monument and burial place for the soldiers of the former Sovjet Union, who lost their lives during the battle of Berlin in 1945.
Later I took the bus to - I thought at least - the Stralau peninsula - to see some modern architecture I had seen on photos. Looking out of the window I suddenly recognised the park the bus just past by. It was the Schlesischer Busch in Kreutzberg, not far from the Cuvry Strasse, where I stayed in 2010.
At the end of the street there is a fallow field - a remainder of the waste land of the Wall, bordering the river Spree, that many favour to chill. To my surprise there were big teepees and all kinds of small tents on the field. I soon discovered people were living in the teepees. They are  squatters who moved in in May 2012 to protest against the coming of the BMW Gugenheim Lab. Well, they were successful  The lab moved to another part of Berlin. But they still stay at the Cuvry field to preserve it for the people of the neighbourhood and to prevent the building of expensive apartments, offices and a hotel,  one of the squatters told me. It might lead to higher rents in the neighbourhood and more people who can't afford living in a decent flat. I wondered why they weren't chased away. That is quite simple. The police won't come into action when they are not payed to do so. The mayor won't pay, because the field is private property. The owner has no intention to pay either, since he thinks the city should do so.

 Treptower park: the rose garden

Treptower Park: Russian war memorial

Schlesischer Busch with a watch tower - a remainder of the Wall

The Cuvry field

The Cuvry field