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Friedhofspark Pappelallee
© tic / Andreas Schmidt

Friedhofspark Pappelallee

Graveyard Park

The former grave yard of the non-denominational parish in between Pappelallee and Lychener Strasse isa public park today.

Laid out in 1848 the grave yard was used as a place for funerals from the non-denominationalists. Their slogan is written on the inside of the entrance door. The non-denominational parish was founded in 1845 as an alternative to the Catholic Church. They kept on being persecuted by the government. In 1934 the parish was amalgamated and dispossessed by the Nazis. Commemorative plaques remind visitors of the 90 victims (civilians, German and Russian soldiers) of the Second world war that were buried there in mass graves. In the DDR (Former Democratic Republic) the parish was band and the grave yard was run by the city. The East Berlin Magistrates decided in 1952 that the grave yard would be open for public use after 1990.
The last funerals took place in 1970. Since 1978 the grave yard is listed as a historical monument. After the fall of the wall in 1989/90 the East German residents and a local action group fought for its upkeep. Taking ecological and social as well as the historical interests into account they wanted to commemorate of the non-denominational background.
From 1993 the grave yard was changed into a park with a play area for children and in 1995 it was handed over to the public. The headstones with historic value were placed in a structural formation, e.g. the headstone of Agnes Wabnitz, a women activist born 1841 - till 1894 (not like inscribed on the stone 1842) and the ADAV president, the SPD chairman and member of parliament Wilhelm Hasenclever (1837-1889) in front of the celebration and lecture hall on the south side as well as the monument for the author, inventor of short hand and short hand typist in the parliament Heinrich Roller (1839-1916).
The combination of historic memorials and the use today as a public park was awarded in 1995 with the Gustav-Meyer-Prize. Currently, there is a struggle about the development plans for a part of the cemetery park area.

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