Quello di Weißensee è un distretto (Bezirk) contiguo al Pankow (nel nord-est di Berlino). Prende il nome dal lago (Weißer See), il bacino berlinese più profondo, situato all’interno dell’omonimo parco, e costituisce una zona residenziale che ospita il più grande cimitero ebraico della Germania.
Le autorità comuniste cercarono di incoraggiare l’usanza per cui le coppie appena formate deponessero fiori sul memoriale contro il nazifascismo, edificato all’entrata del parco, ma questa attività ha subito un drastico declino a partire dal 1989. Nella parte settentrionale del parco si estende una pista ciclabile, la Radrennbahn Weißensee, dove ai tempi del Muro erano occasionalmente tenuti concerti rock che attiravano molti giovani della Germania Est.
Pankow and Weissensee - The Rough Guide to Berlin
by Jack Holland, John Gawthrop
Weißer See in Winter
Strandbad Weissensee on facebook
Der Bezirk Pankow-Weissensee
Weissensee is a locality in the borough of Pankow in Berlin, Germany, named for the small lake Weißer See (White Lake) within it. Before Berlin's 2001 administrative reform, Weissensee was a borough in its own right, consisting of the localities of Weissensee, Heinersdorf, Blankenburg, Karow and Stadtrandsiedlung Malchow.
Weissensee was first mentioned in 1313 as Wittense. The first settlers subsisted on fishing and established themselves on the eastern shore of the lake, where an old trade route connected Berlin with Szczecin (Stettin) and the Baltic Sea - today the Bundesstraße 2 federal highway.
As Berlin's least inhabited district, it has been overshadowed historically by its neighboring boroughs Prenzlauer Berg and Pankow. However its popularity is increasing due to its proximity to the hip but expensive Prenzlauer Berg. Its trams make reaching Mitte very convenient.
Mauer memory - Foto di Claudia Ciardi ©
Sul cimitero di Weissensee/ Weissensee Jewish Cemetery
«In Germania è usata un’espressione per questo tipo di cimiteri, ossia ‘cimiteri orfani’, perché tutti i parenti di coloro che sono seppelliti lì furono assassinati o lasciarono la Germania. Non c’è proprio nessuno che si prenda cura di queste sepolture».
«What role does Weissensee play in the consciousness of the German public?»
«Most Berliners have heard of Weissensee, but never went there, though there were always people who were interested and went there. There’s a German term for this kind of Jewish cemetery—they call it an orphan cemetery, because all the relatives [of those buried there] were murdered or had to leave Germany. There’s no one really to take care of it. In the 1950s, the German government decided that they were responsible for Jewish cemeteries because they killed the people in charge, or forced them to flee. There are also private citizens who want to help, who go to the registry and say, ‘I really want to do something. What can I do?’ The people at the registry might say, ‘These are graves of families who committed suicide, so there’s really no one who can take care of the graves. If you want to, you’re welcome to.’ They choose one or two graves and say, ‘I’m the one who goes there now because there’s no one left to do this job.’ So for every birthday or date of death there’s someone coming, sometimes with flowers, or to put stones on it. They feel responsible for it. We, the Germans, are responsible. But there are also governmental intitiatives to take care of the mausoleums, because they say, ‘That’s something that belongs to our culture, and we have to preserve it’.»
Source: gravetender06 | December 17, 2011
politics | culture | religion
Weißensee graves - Seventh Art Releasing ©
Weissensee: ein Friedhof als Spiegelbild jüdischer Geschichte in Berlin, Peter Melcher, Haude & Spener, 1986