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About this City Journal

The square that has shaped Berlin throughout the century

Entries in this City Journal


When the war started everyday life in Berlin changed Drastically. citizens no longer engaged in unneeded shopping or entertainment. And so it was that Potsdamer Platz began its long decline. beginning in 1943 allied air raids over Berlin leveled whole blocks of city and set many buildings on fire. From February 1944 to may 1945 over 50 bombing raids over the city were carried out by the RAF and the US air force. Potsdamer Platz was an obvious target for these raids and thus the square suffered heavily.



When Soviet Troops entered the square in late April 1945 they found it in ruins. Almost 80% of the buildings in and around the square were destroyed.




After the war Berlin was split into occupation zones by the victorious allies. Potsdamer Platz lay directly between the American and Soviet occupation zones. Most of the rubble from the war was taken away in the early 1950's and potsdamer platz was paved over.


In 1961 the Infamous Berlin Wall was built right down the middle of Potsdamer Platz. this turned the square into a desolate no-mans land for 26 years. by 1975 Potsdamer platz has ceased to exist. it was now just a barren waste land between the two Berlins.



More to come!!!


Part 2: Heyday 1920-1939

In the 1920's Berlin was a global center of jazz, cabaret and swing. this showed in the hustle and bustle of Potsdamer Platz, which was also enjoying its status as the center of Berlin and the busiest square in Europe. The square was home to many cabaret clubs, upscale bars, clubs and restaurants serving an astounding variety of food. Potsdamer Platz was nicknamed "the crossroads of Europe" and it truly was.




In 1933 the National Socialist party took power in Germany. Their strict Economic and social policies meant that Potsdamer Platz would no longer be a center of culture. This would pave the way for the next traumatic chapter in this squares history.



more to come!


Part 1: Introduction

Potsdamer Platz is one of Berlin's two "big" squares (the other being Alexander platz) Today Potsdamer Platz is reminiscent of Times Square with tall high-rises, flashy advertising and upscale shopping and dinning.


But it has not always been this way. This square has been at the center of Berlin's history for over 100 years and thus has beard witness to this city's traumatic history. A bustling center of nightlife and cabaret in the 1920's, bombed flat in WWII, cut in half by the infmous wall and now re-united and re-developed to be a symbol of the new Berlin. Potsdamer Platz has come to define Berlin and a re-united Germany. In this CJ we will cover the development of Potsdamer Platz starting in 1920. I hope you enjoy!





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