70 years Marienfelde – Arriving in Berlin from the East

For 70 years 1,35 million people from Eastern Germany, then Poland and nowadays Eastern, central and south Europe have been arriving in “Notauffanglager Berlin Marienfelde”. Built in 1952 this camp is special: It has no privisional appeal, but is a proper housing estate although with a canteen, sub-post office and a doorkeeper. While people used to stay for only a couple of weeks in the 1950s when the first big waves of East-Germans arrived, today individuals and families are forced to stay for years due to Berlin housing shortage. 

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary three former inhabitants shared their memories they came with, their hopes and fears: A young man arriving from Eastern Germany in 1957, a teenage girl arriving from Poland in 1981, and a girl arriving from Syria in 2014. Hopes and dreams as much as historical parallels in war and flight are also the starting point for the now shown collaborative work “Here and Now”. All over the buildings huge paste-ups show young inhabitant’s visions and longings. The artist duo Maria Vill and David Mannstein has created the paper murals together with Aya, Silin Abdula, Kulstan Maho, Kanwar Nabou, Fatima Nabu and Jowan Shaikho. 

The artwork can be visited together with the memorial site that is hosted in one of the camp’s buildings.