Germany, Berlin, Krumme Lanke Siedlung, December 21, 2016
Today I went to Waldsiedlung Krumme Lanke a historically charged residential quarter of cute, country-style cottages and terraced houses. A bit disrespectfully said, it all looked rather like Hansel and Gretel.
In 1939, when it was finished, it was known as the Kameradschaftssiedlung der SS. Only members of the SS were allowed to live in the estate.
The project was initiated by Heinrich Himmler, who, in 1937, expressed his desire to create a residential quarter providing "satisfactory and healthy housing particularly suited to the raising of (SS) families".
Unsurprisingly, the entire undertaking was heavily imbued with Nazi ideology. A competition was held to find suitable names for the new streets, with winners including Führerplatz, Siegstraße (Victory street) and Dienstweg (Duty Way). Those names were changed at once after the fall of the Nazi regime.
Nowadays it is a much sought estate to live in. It is an idyllic place. Quiet, lots of space, cosy and the forest at your doorstep. Nothing reminds you of the dark past. Some residents, like the owner of one of the houses, know who once lived in his house, many don't. Knowing or not knowing doesn't change to joy of living in this estate.