Jerusalem in Berlin
Five places in Berlin, where you can be reminded of Jerusalem.
The “Jerusalem Church” (Jerusalemkirche), was first opened in 1484. It was an important church , located in the centre of Berlin.
One of the oldest churches in Berlin, it was destroyed by an American bombing. After the war the ruins were demolished, to make war for the Axel Springer Publishing House. Springer erected a memorial for the church. The new church moved not far away, opposite the “Jewish Museum” building. The “new” building of the church is used for events, including Christian-Jewish dialogue conferences.
Not far from where the church stood you can find “Jerusalem Street” (Jerusalmer Strasse).
In the early 20th century the street was the heart of Berlin’s “Newspaper District”, with several important publishing houses, including the Mosse House, owned by the German-Jewish publisher Rudolf Mosse, an architectural masterpiece designed by Erich Mendelssohn.
After the re-unification of the city, it became “the craziest street in Berlin” – because of its peculiar shape that includes sharp turns and angles created by the wall and the destruction of the war. The area around the street was also close to the heart of the “Textile District”, of the German fashion industry until 1933, with many businesses owned and run by Jewish-Geman textile manufacturers, designers and haberdashers.
Further in the same neighbourhood you’ll find the Jewish Museum. In 2018, the museum held the exhibition “Welcome to Jerusalem“. The exhibition caused much controversy, among other things, that it referred to the status of Jerusalem by the Palestinians.
Continue in Kreuzberg and arrive in the Jerusalem Cemetery, a Christian cemetery that was indirectly associated with the parish Church of Jerusalem, mentioned earlier. You can find the graves (among others) of Henrietta Hertz (who we mentioned on our tour following women in Berlin), members of the Mendelssohn family who converted to Christianity (including Paul Mendelssohn-Bartholdi, founder of “Agfa”), E.T.A. Hoffman ( of the “The Tales of Hoffman”), scientist Clara von Simson, and other well-known people.
Jerusalem is also… a neighborhood! Quite remote in Berlin terms but definitely worth a visit if you are an architecture fan. The “Neu Jerusalem” neighborhood (New Jerusalem) is located in the Spandau district and was designed entirely by Jewish-German architect Erwin Gutkind in 1925. It is characterized by modernist construction and the whole complex is listed, including even the garden design. https://berlin-jerusalem.de/
Looking for more Jerusalem in Berlin? In many of Berlin’s Israeli restaurants you will find a “Jerusalem Plate” (Meurav Yerushalmi) or food that will remind you of the city .
There is also a film about the similarities between the two cities, directed by Amos Kullek (Teddy Kollek’s son, who was born in Vienna but had many friends in West Berlin like, for example, Axel Springer), scientific cooperation programs between the Berlin universities and the Jerusalem ones – and the recently a proposal was made in the Berlin House of Representatives to make Jerusalem a twin city of Berlin.