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Berlin: more renaming of streets due to the suffering in the African Colonies

Berlin - A jury made up of residents, administration and the “Decolonize Berlin” and “Berlin Postkolonial” alliances proposed the renaming of Wissmannstraße in Berlin. In future it should be called Baraschstraße, announced the district office of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.

For the renaming, 47 suggestions for a name had previously been received from citizens of the district. The name Baraschstraße will be voted on next Thursday.

The head of the district assembly, Annegret Hansen (SPD), commented on the jury's decision: “Even if the jury did not choose a name from the colonial resistance, I am very pleased that the diverse Jewish life and the Suffering of the people in Grunewald should be remembered."

“Decolonize Berlin” celebrates the renaming of Mohrenstraße
In order to nevertheless establish a reference to German colonial history, a stele on the newly named street should also remind of the suffering “that Germans like Hermann von Wissmann brought upon people in the African colonies,” emphasized Hansen.

According to the district administration, the new name will in future be a reminder of the Jewish couple Irene and Arthur Barasch, who lived on the street with their children until they were deported. The previous namesake Hermann von Wissmann (1853-1905) was a former German colonial official who put down an uprising in what is now Tanzania in 1888.

In Berlin, alliances such as “Decolonize Berlin” are trying again and again to change the names of streets. Last August, around 300 people responded to a corresponding call to celebrate the renaming of Mohrenstraße. At the beginning of 2019, however, there were protests by business people and residents of the African Quarter in Berlin against name changes. “You don't make history better by changing street names,” they said.

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