75 Years – 75 Memorials – Stage 1: Berlin’s Northeast
Stage 1 of the photo project “75 years – 75 memorials”, on May 8th from Berlin-Buch via Bernau, Seefeld and Blumberg, to Ahrensfelde and Berlin-Marzahn, as well as Alt-Hohenschönhausen, Berlin-Lichtenberg, Berlin-Rummelsburg to Berlin-Treptow, where main celebrations take place.
Tour start without memorial
My S-Bahn stops in Karow. People on the track. Yay, that starts well…, this 8th of May 2020. Probably aluminium-protected separatists fleeing from fantasies involving forced vaccination. Means I have to pedal unplanned between Karow and Buch additionally. There are no memorials along this stage, only dachas, dachas and again dachas, solely being interrupted by idiots ploughing through with their SUVs on sand roads, making everything and anything being dusted. Grandma rants, Grandpa rants, daddy rants and even I greet those retards with a juicy “Fuck you, very much!”.
Arriving the Soviet memorial in Berlin-Buch, not only local Leftists and Communist Party are present, but also the police. Apparently the first celebrations are planned to begin at 10 o’clock. Flowers and wreaths have already been laid down when grandpa starts to babble something through his Corona face mask into the microphone. I escape this politically charged scene towards Bernau, where I may film grandma, grandpa and grandson laying down flowers. The moment is followed by a very nice conversation. How relaxed and cool people can be… :-)
I carry on shredding with my bike through woods and fields towards Seefeld, where the Soviet memorial is located on the central green. A beautiful little village, but being afflicted by the plague called B158, a road. Car after car, truck after truck, penis extension after sports car wanker. In short, pretty much some egocentric displayal and a parade of all things actively destroying this planet. My tour takes me on to Blumberg, where the Soviet memorial is hidden in the forest. Everything looks like a dead end, but then there’s a little road to the left. And bingo, there it is! Some flower laying villagers gathered as well, also to have a heated discussion about Corona consequences. None of the guys being buried here, at the memorial, may have ever thought back then that the world on an 8th of May would be upside down because of a virus.
…and back to the city, on the fuckin’ B158
I got my photos, hence let’s go to Ahrensfelde. The Soviet memorial over there is unmissably located on Lindenberger Straße. Here again I meet people laying down flowers. Not far away I meet some biker boys, who freak out about my bike :-) Together we occupy the sidewalk for a mountain bike tech talk. The kids are cool. The question if I am YouTuber was strange, but that’s the way it is these days. The world has changed, and so have its ways of communication. In fact, that is one of the main reasons for my memorial project, because real commemoration definitely also happens online or in social media.
The journey continues to the next stop. Not a real memorial, but, according to culture, the first liberated house of Berlin. In the past I used to rush over Landsberger Allee into city hundreds of times. I didn’t even notice this house just before the Marzahn Mill, despite an unmisseable mural. The policemen standing guard are relaxed. Basically, I have experienced the Berlin police during the whole Corona time being resolute but with a sense of proportion. My compliments. I wish them a quiet day and I continue my journey towards the Marzahn Soviet memorial. There I meet two beer-heavy German fellas, indulging themselves in Budweiser in the blazing sun. They are definitely half in the bag, but are nice, unobtrusive and rehabilitate themselves by pointing at Budweiser and the blazing sun :-) They’ve got a lot to tell, but they also take excellent care of my bike.
Some Russians join us, the conversation begins and even vodka gets put into play. I’m asked what I am doing and the background of my actions. But also trembling voices appear, because of a father’s fate having ended in Marzahn. Real and authentic emotions. I love it, eventhough for others it has a sad background. I remember my own grandfather, who was forced to the German front in Romania when he was 19. Two countries, two nationalities, one moment, and a similar fate. My next stop is the Soviet memorial in Alt-Hohenschönhausen, being not far located from the former Stasi prison. The people around here seem to have a similar background… They are nice, there’s no question and I gladly help to take selfies, but half of my ear catches phrases that couldn’t be more GDR than GDR itself… Let’s back off!!!
All roads lead to Treptow
East Berlin’s stupid traffic lights delay my bike ride. How dumb that is to let red follow green within 5 seconds only…?! A grandma has no chance to make it over the road here without getting harassed by cars… My butt gets wider, my mood suffers and after 70 kilometers the respect for red lights melts, a bit. Anyway, the Lichtenberg Soviet memorial at the end of Herzbergstraße already awaits me. Surrounded and hidden in the trees I bump a few New Berliners enjoying their sparkling wine over there. Bizarre thing, here at the memorial, but hey, Cheers! I plough through the local Lichtenberg kebap&booze elite towards Rummelsburg, where my final stage awaits me right in front of the church in Nöldnerstraße.
Here is the route as well as data of this tour on Komoot