Much has been looked into this year back on the special moments of the German and Berlin’s history, and most of the time the last digit 8 played with these anniversaries a crucial role: the revolutions of 1848 and 1918, the beginning of the airlift in 1948, the uprising of students in 1968. All historical events full of drama, and no thought of “silent night” or “O du fröhliche”. Nevertheless, even in times of crisis like these, Christmas has been celebrated, if often with not to vertreibendem discomfort, full of worry what the next day would bring.

well, of 1848, this feeling was not pronounced, perhaps, quite so powerful, the Berlin street fights were three-quarters of a year. And also, in 1968, the rebellious students preferred, apparently, a warm spot under the Christmas tree, instead of on the Kurfürstendamm, water cannons, splash: demonstrations have been reported on Christmas eve. But the Christmas day of 1918 and 1948 were in Berlin is anything other than cosy, there were days of lack, of fear, even of death, but at the same time, days of Contemplation. Often only hours between the most contradictory events, and the associated sensations.

On Christmas eve, 1918, there were civil war-like clashes

It is only the photo that was taken 100 years ago of the press photographer Willy Römer in the evening in the pleasure garden: In the foreground a crowd of people, eyes usually to a in the center of the radiant Christmas tree is directed, where, apparently, the music chapel plays, the Romans mentioned in the image legend. In the middle of the picture the equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III rises behind the castle, a dark mass without contours is located in a peaceful manner. The recording has a Spectacular nothing, were it not for the Romans called date of recording: 24. December 1918.

“In Berlin’s Lustgarten was burning a large light tree, and a band played Christmas songs”, titled Willy Roman…photo: bpk / Kunstbibliothek, SMB

At night, there was so back to peaceful normality, where hours earlier, is still fiercely fought. Ironically, on Christmas eve, there were civil war-like clashes between the revolutionary Sailors in the castle and in the stables entrenched people’s Navy division and government troops loyal to. The castle was fired upon with machine guns, and from the Lustgarten, with artillery, could be taken, but had to be re-cleared after other revolutionary units, and armed workers came and the Sailors help, and Friedrich Ebert, Chairman of the Council of people’s deputies, the command for the setting of the fight was granted.

the scene of The bloody showdown attracted after many onlookers, may be one or the other in the evening remained the same since, hoping on a couple of touching moments under the Christmas tree. But bizarrely, the Romans captured scene is, took the day 56 government soldiers, eleven Sailors, but also civilians life.

unemployment, lack of fuel

Contemplation with goosebumps – so the basic feeling of most of Berlin is expected in those violent days of Christmas fulfilled have been 100 years ago. And many will have the stomach growling, there were in Berlin, the “Berliner Tageblatt” reported on 22. In December, a total of 88.500 unemployed. Still, the Newspapers of death from printed advertisements of front-line soldiers, even though for almost two months in the West really nothing New happened, the war came to an end. Also, the announcement of the school Board that the Christmas holidays up to 11. January to renew, will have pleased the students. On the occasion of the “impending lack of fuel”, it was said to the grounds.

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But even in the then turbulent times, something like Christmas markets and a seasonal, albeit modest assortment in the shops and Department stores of the city. For example, the Christmas plate from the porcelain manufacturer. Rosenthal showed, the end of the war, appropriately, a humble kneeling and praying warrior in knight’s armor, framed by the Bible, saying “peace to the people on earth who are of good will.” The Royal porcelain manufactory of Berlin had recognized the signs of the times and showed two Sailors on a U-boat, one carrying a small Christmas tree. After all, with the Sailors, the KPM was on the right track.

For the mass of Berlin were cheaper gifts ready, such as “Christmas tree decorations to melt as lucky figures the new year”, in turn, by a photo of Willy Römer documented, taken at Christmas of 1918, on an unspecified localized, but quite poor Christmas market: Two returning front-line soldiers is a cover there with gifts, still in their uniforms, Laden with a backpack and a piece of Luggage, turned into ammo box. Long, you will have the military clothes no longer worn, was only on 22. December, a “notice of affected. Delivery of army weapons and other Heeresgut“ in the Newspapers has been published.

24. December 1948, between the case in the air corridor

After all, it had been rich the day before the Christmas eve snow, a thin white blanket adorned as the poor district, the writer Klabund has described the increasing gap in between, in the poem “Berliner Weihnacht 1918”: “On the Kurfürstendamm, since crouching together / The people of today with great fanfare. / Brilliant with aunts, a tailcoat with what’s inside A mink fur, a stone heart, a double chin.“ Further to the North from the Boulevard, it was different: “The Wedding’s dead silent and dark. / None tree Sparkle, none of dream Sparkle. / No coal, no light … in the Zimmereck / Is the man drunk in the Dirt.“

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Also, 30 years later, Christmas eve 1948, “no coal, no light”, this time, however, especially in the West of the city and to Blockade it. And if not to each other was shot, dramatically enough, the times were also like that. Ironically, at 24. In December, the 184. Day of the Blockade, there was a serious incident in the air corridor to West Berlin. A four-engine C-54 Skymaster U.S. Air Force crashed shortly before the city in an altitude of 600 meters, almost with his Soviet fighter plane. Such incidents were during the air bridge is not rare.

raisin bombers, but also civilian machines were often harassed by Soviet fighters, sometimes even fired. This time, however, the incident went well, and the daily mirror was able to report for the day 369 the flights 3312 tons of coal, food and other goods to West Berlin. Fatal accident ended, however, shortly before Christmas, in the Moab, Fleming road: A ruin collapsed, burying four men, two of them died.

Colonel Frank Howley felt the “deepest sympathy for Berlin”

There were times in which the word of a not-so-high-ranking U.S. was officer more than that of the Pope. That he “feel the deepest sympathy for Berlin,” as the Director of the American military government in Berlin, Colonel Frank Howley, in his Christmas message, the population will know, was sat to the daily mirror, the still in the Tempelhof Ullsteinhaus, or at least the headline on the first page of the edition of 25. December value. Second, the words of Pope Pius XII

followed to Understand the was already, without the air would have been forced to bridge with the machines of the US Air Force and the Royal Air Force in West Berlin due to the Blockade soon in the knee. Shortage however, of all places, the newspaper columns were full of messages negotiated by the Plight of the population, be it that of the reference options by the ubiquitous permission slips have been reported, it is that war returnees were gifted or again the allied soldiers for the Berlin children gathered, and these donations had passed at a Christmas party.

And many parents had to celebrate alone, had accepted the offer of the British military government and sent to your children via air-bridge Relatives to West Germany. There they could eat, and be again full.

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1968 in the daily mirror, The battle of Charlottenburg

Uwe Soukup

It must be you homesick from the land of plenty happened – a small Boy who had been taken up by new settlers in the lüneburg Heath, the Hamburg correspondent of the daily mirror: “portrayed it? Every lunch I wish that my mom could see our dining room table. I write for me what it has given, and I’ll tell you then, in my Sunday letter.“