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"Berlin Wall victims' park" Berlin Wall Tip by vichatherly

Berlin Wall, Berlin: 153 reviews and 313 photos

  Berlin Wall victims' park
by vichatherly

"Alexandra Hildebrandt, an art historian and the director of a private Checkpoint Charlie museum, began erecting 1,065 wooden crosses on two vacant lots near the famous crossing point between the U.S. and Soviet sectors of Berlin.

Each of the 8-foot wooden crosses bears the name and sometimes the picture of someone who died attempting to flee East Germany. Many of them were killed trying to go over, under or through the wall. Others died trying to make their escape elsewhere.

After the wall's fall in 1989, the land where the crosses now stand was purchased by commercial developers who promised that they would put up some sort of suitable memorial. Instead the developers went bankrupt, ownership of the property reverted to the bank and one of the most famous pieces of real estate in Berlin became a garbage-strewn wasteland."

Enter Hildebrandt, a feisty Ukrainian emigre who rented the site from the bank and declared her intention of creating the cross memorial.

Ignores owner's wishes

"The bank refused permission for the crosses, so we decided we didn't need their permission," she said. "This is a historical place, a sacred place. It has to have a memorial."
Extract from Chicago tribune
By Tom Hundley
Tribune foreign correspondent
Published March 6, 2005

Will the bank, owners of the land, really try to have it dismantled?

Address: Friedrichstrasse
Directions: A short walk from the Checkpoint Charlie museum.
Phone: +49 30 467986666

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 10, 2005
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