Walking tour to Tempelhof-Schöneberg

As it was cold and clammy on 11 February 2020, the members of “Berlin - I discover my city” group did their walking tour mostly inside the buildings. The first destination was Schwerbelastungskörper (heavy loading body) at the General-Pape-Straße. The 14 meters-high huge concrete cylinder was a Nazi architectural experiment built by the National Socialist architect Albert Speer in 1941. It was constructed in order to estimate the ability of the soft underlying soil to sustain the weight of their planned gigantic dome.

The group continued the tour to the Malzfabrik Schöneberg (the former Europe’s largest malt production facility). The imposing brick-clad industrial complex was built directly at a railway siding in the 1910s. The actual mechanized large-scale production started in 1926. After the dismantling of the machines in 1945, they resumed the production after the refurbishment in the 1950s. Unfortunately the factory was shut down in 1993. During the guided tour, the members were shown the production process at that time, from the delivery of the grain through the various processing steps of germination and drying until the delivery of the malt to the Berlin Schultheiss Brewery.

Memorial SA Prison Papestraße was the last destination of the group’s walking tour. The historic site was one of the first concentration camps during the oppressive Nazi regime. The victims were mainly the political opponents and the Jews who were imprisoned in 1933. Thirty people lost their lives instantly after a torture. The information panels, photographs and original documents inside the former prison cells provided insight into the tragic fate of approximately 2,000 men and women prisoners.