Our View of Berlin

lunapark-blog-750x500We have a direct view of what remains of the old central Berlin stockyard and slaughterhouse, whichopened in 1881.  At around the same time, in the Western part of the city, the “Lunapark” was built, the backdrop for a new crime novel set in the Weimar Republic.

A View of Berlin History

From our offices we have the best view of the original ruins of an interesting piece of Berlin history.  The place where we develop your digital trade fair media today was once the place where the cattle that supplied all of Berlin was slaughtered and sold.

It was a large-scale measure taken for the sake of better hygiene in the rapidly growing big city Berlin: before, there had been countless private small-scale slaughterhouses distributed throughout Berlin, starting with backyard businesses almost impossible to regulate up to large enterprises with their own railroad connections.  In 1881, however, the central city stockyard and slaughterhouse at what is not the S-Bahn station Storkower Straße started operations and was a complex of superlatives in its time.  On a total of 15.5 kilometers of railroad track, up to five trains of 400 meters could be unloaded at the same time.  What was particularly important was the direct connection to the S-Bahn ring, since over 80 percent of the cattle was transported from the former Eastern territories of Germany.

Here work, there play: almost at the same time, at the other end of the city, at the Halensee near Kurfürstendamm, which at the time was hardly more than a forest path, a huge tavern with an attached fairground arose.  Later, the restaurateur August Aschinger along with the former chef of the Kempinski hotel, opened the Terraces at Halensee, renamed as Lunapark in 1909.  The amusement park offered theater, revues, jazz music, dance locales, and a fireworks display every night.  In 1926, the young Max Schmelling won his first title fight there.  The restaurant alone could seat 16,000.

In the summer of 1934, however, the Lunapark, which had been closed for some time, was rotting away.  Volker Kutcher sets the plot of his new crime novel, just published at the end of November, against this background.  As is always the case in Kutscher’s bestsellers featuring the Berlin commissioner Gereon Rath, the story deals with an exciting murder case and at the same time with the rise of Nazi rule.

Soon, Rath’s murder cases can be experienced on television, since they’re being filmed.  Since May 2016 and until the end of the year, the directors Tom Twyker, Achim von Borries and Henk Handloegten are making the Roaring 20s come alive at original locations throughout Berlin as well as the Babelsberg film studio.  The series “Babylon Berlin” will be broadcast in 2017 by Sky and 2018 by the German television network ARD.

More info, as well as virtual visits of sets, can be found here:

https://www.babylon-berlin.com/de/uebersicht-babylon

Lunapark: Gereon Raths sechster Fall, von Volker Kutscher, Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 22,99 Euro