The flopped Stalinallee (1949-1961). What happens with a birthday gift to the Red Tsar.

Fascinating history

Historical tales about the capital of the 20th century

Renaming the street into the Stalinallee. (Berlin-Mitte/Friedrichshain, December 1949/January 1950. ©Unclear)

Ever since there was traffic between Berlin and Frankfurt a/d Oder, there must have been a -about 100 kilometer long- road between these cities. Since Berlin’s expansion around 1700, it was named the Frankfurter Straße – and since the late 1780s, a part was named the Große Frankfurter Straße. City’s gates came and went, barricades were thrown up and blasted down. The (Große) Frankfurter Straße had a serious history – until a heavy air-raid at the 3rd of February 1945 wiped out most of it. Yet, this all is only a prehistory of the Stalinallee – as the street was called since December 1949.

By renaming the street, the East German politicians didn’t only congratulate Stalin with his seventieth birthday – but they also dedicated their most prestigious urban project to the Soviet dictator. The Stalinallee should be the labor paradise, the incarnated socialist utopia – so it had to be…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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