Prenzlauer Berg Berlin, 1970-present : a neighborhood on the fringe of Germany / Jennifer R. Wilz
Includes bibliographical references (p.258-269)
Prezlauer Berg, Berlin, 1870s-Present: a neighborhood on the fringe of Germany explores a hundred years in the history of an exceptional neighborhood in the center of Berlin. The key questions are: what type of nation was formed in 1870s Germany, how was that nation lived in by individuals, what was the modern German urban experience, and how was that experience transformed over the tumultuous 20th century? Prenzlauer Berg, built on a hillside of windmills into one of the most crowded and exciting neighborhoods in the country, evolved along with modern Germany. Its people experienced the extremes of 20th century German life directly. A center of immigration and new industrial jobs, with a thriving and well-integrated Jewish community, a significant art scene and local political activity, Prenzlauer Berg sat on the edge of German national power, poised for the promise of 20 th century growth. But through the repeated crises of two World Wars, bombing raids on Berlin, the deportation of Jewish Germans, and the construction and collapse of the Berlin Wall, the breweries, schools, pubs, churches and political groups of Prenzlauer Berg were sites of identification and belonging, where locals made sense of their evolving—and enduring—modern German lives.My dissertation examines the history of Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, from the construction of its first buildings in the 1870s through the fall of the Berlin Wall along the neighborhood's edge. I include chapters on several settings of neighborhood life, considering their ability to impart and transform a sense of community to their neighbors: the apartment blocks where residents lived crowded together, the immigrant communities, the schools, the breweries where so many residents worked, the pubs and beergardens, and the local political organizations. Prenzlauer Berg is an extreme example of chaotic, modern German urban life, and researching its history over a century reveals the edges of the German national landscape.
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