TLW's Berlinscope™ (Berlin Historyscope)
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: June 17, 2017. Last Update: Aug. 26, 2017.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to Berlin history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
In 1237 the town of Colln (Cölln) on former Slav settlements around the Spree River in Germany is founded, becoming the start of modern-day Berlin.
In 1646 the Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden) on Museum Island in C Berlin near the Berlin City Palace (Berliner Stadtschloss) is built; in 1713 King Friedrich Wilhelm I turns it into a sand-covered parade ground; in 1790 Friedrich Wilhelm II turns it back into a park, which doesn't stop Napoleon from drilling his troops there in 1806.
In 1647 the Unter den Linden (Ger. "under the linden trees") in C Berlin begins as lime trees are planted on his bridle path between the Royal Palace and Tiergarten hunting park, later running from the City Palace (Berlinder Stadtschloss) to the Brandenburg Gate.
In 1650 after suffering from the Swedish occupation in the Thirty Years' War of 1618-48, the Berlin Fortress (Festung Berlin) in Prussia is begun by Brandenburg elector Frederick William I, designed by Johann Gregor Memhardt (Memhard) (1607-78), based on fortresses in N Italy; finished in 1683; demolished in 1734.
In 1702 Prussian king Frederick I rebuilds the City Palace (Berliner Stadtschloss) in Berlin in Protestant Baroque Style, designed in the shape of a cube enclosing a magnificently ornamented courtyard by architect Andreas Schlueter (Schlüter) (1660-1714), who is replaced in 1706-13 by Johann Friedrich Eosander von Goethe (Göthe); in 1845 Frederick William IV has a dome built by Friedrich August Stueler (Stüler) (1800-65) based on a design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841); further interior work is done by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, Carl von Gontard et al.; too bad, the Communist regime of East Berlin demolishes it in late 1950.
In 1737 after the Berlin Fortress is demolished in 1734, the Berlin Customs Wall is built around Berlin, Prussia, with 14 gates, each named to the city to which its road leads incl. Spandauer Tor, St. Georgen Tor, Stralower Tor, Coepenicker Tor, Leipziger Tor, and Neues Tor; in addition the Spree River is blocked with the Oberbaum and Unterbaum custom gates made of heavy tree trunks covered in metal spikes that block the river at night; in 1786-1802 the wooden stockades are replaced by 4m-high stone walls; the New Gate is built in 1832, followed by the Anhalt Gate (1840), Koepenick Gate (1842), and Water Gate (1848); in 1841 the Potsdam Station for railroad traffic is built, followed by the Anhalt Station (1842), Frankfurt Station (1842), Stettin Station (1842), Hamburg Station (1846); in 1860 the Customs Wall is removed, and on Jan. 1, 1861 Berlin amalgamates its suburbs, doubling city pop.
In 1824 the Gothic revival Friedrichwerdersche Kirche in Berlin, Germany, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841) is begun (finished 1831), becoming the first Neo-Gothic church in Berlin.
On June 7, 1840 Prussian king (since Nov. 16, 1797) Frederick William III (b. 1770) dies, and his liberal son Frederick William (Friedrich Wilhelm) IV (1795-1861) becomes king of Prussia (until Jan. 2, 1861), permitting German anti-French anti-Polish nationalist Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769-1860) to return to his post as prof. of history at the U. of Bonn., from which he had been suspended since 1820.
In 1848 after crop failures and recessions leave many of the poor on the verge of starvation, the European Revs. of 1848 (Springtime of Nations) (Springtime of the Peoples) (Year of Rev.) sees liberal revs. er, spring up simultaneously across Europe; only the Euro states of Britain, Russia, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, and the Ottoman Empire are spared; too bad, most of them are quickly quashed, with tens of thousands tortured and killed, although the social changes later prove profound; "Society was cut in two: those who had nothing united in common envy, and those who had anything united in common terror" (Alexis de Tocqueville); Russia suffers from a major cholera epidemic, unusually dry weather causing fires and a bad harvest; at the start of the year, revolution-ripe Ugly Betty Italy is still divided into the Kingdom of Sardinia (incl. Piedmont, Genoa, Nice, Savoy), the Austrian provinces of Lombardy and Venetia, the duchies of Parma and Modena, the Hapsburg grand duchy of Tuscany, the Papal States (incl. Romagna, Ancona, Rome), and the Bourbon kingdom of the Two Sicilies. On Mar. 6, 1848 Frederick William IV appeases revolutionaries with a promise to call the Prussian Landtag, and on Mar. 8 relaxes press censorship; on Mar. 10 street demonstrations begin in Berlin, with barricades erected so fast that surprised Frederick William IV goes out on his City Palace (Stadtschloss) balcony to talk to them, and has to remove his hat as a sign of respect before they listen; army troops are called out to disperse them, but when they hold their own he promises them a new constitution, which Prussian minister Bismarck forever thinks sucks eggplant? On Aug. 16-18 the 300-400 member Junker Parliament in Berlin repudiates the attempted abolition of manorial rights in the name of protection of property, which actually is popular in the countryside? On Nov. 10 Prussian troops under Gen. von Wrangel return to Berlin, and a state of siege is declared in Prussia after Frederick William IV appoints Count Friedrich Wilhelm, Count Brandenburg (1792-1850) (son of Frederick William III) as PM and orders the moving of the Prussian Assembly to Brandenburg; on Dec. 5 the assembly is dissolved and a new constitution is proclaimed, creating three unequal classes of voters based on wealth, with the divine right of kings affirmed.
In 1855 the New Museum (Neues Museum) in Berlin, Prussia (begun 1843) is finished, designed by Friedrich August Stueler (Stüler) (1800-65), located N of the Old Museum (Altes Museum) on Museum Island, going on to house an Egyptian collection; too bad, it is bombed-out during WWII, and doesn't reopen until Oct. 2009 after being overseen by English architect Sir David Alan Chipperfield (1953-).
On Jan. 15, 1945 (eve.) Hitler arrives in Berlin by train from Bad Neuheim to face his personal final solution; an SS Col. tells him "Berlin will be most practical as our headquarters - we'll soon be able to take the streetcar from the Eastern to the Western Front", causing Hitler to laugh. On Feb. 1 Hitler declares Berlin a fortress city, calling out everybody who can walk to build defense works, with the slogan "Victory or Siberia". On Feb. 3 the Allies drop 2.3K tons of bombs on Berlin, almost destroying the Reichsbank, causing them to transfer 100 tons ($238M) of gold plus 1B Reichmarks in currency reserves 200 mi. SW to a salt mine near Merkers; Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal becomes a hero again when his B-17 suffers a direct hit and he continues to target, drops his payload, stays at the controls until the rest of the crew bail out, then bails out at 1K ft. just before it explodes, after which he is rescued by the Russians and returned to duty; Nazi hanging judge Roland Freisler (b. 1893) dies in the attack in the cellar of the courthouse where he is hearing the cases of Fabian von Schlabrendorff, the widow of Wilhelm Solf, and her daughter Countess Ballestrem, whose files are destroyed by the bomb, allowing them later to walk. On Feb. 25 Hitler meets with his Gauleiters in Berlin, uttering the soundbytes: "The German people did not have the inner strength they were perceived to have", and "You may see my hand tremble sometimes today, and perhaps even my head now and then, but my heart, never." On Feb. 26 the Allies bomb the hell out of Berlin again. On Mar. 18-19 (night) 1,250 U.S. bombers bomb the Kraut out of Berlin again. By the end of Mar. seven Allied armies (over 80 divs.) have crossed the Rhine River into C Germany, while the Red Army has reached the Oder River opposite Berlin in the N and Vienna in the S. On Apr. 1 Hitler moves his HQ from the Berlin Chancellery to a bunker deep below it known as the Citadel; the Berlin govt. district around it is defended by SS Gen. Wilhelm Mohnke (1911-2001). On Apr. 1 Stalin sets Apr. 16 as the date to drive for Berlin, talking the Allies into targeting C Germany and Czech. so the Red Army can reach Berlin first; on Apr. 2 after telling Averell Harriman on Mar. 23 "We can't do business with Stalin. He has broken every one of the promises he made at Yalta", Churchill tells Gen. Eisenhower that they should take Berlin first, with the soundbyte: "I deem it highly important that we should shake hands with the Russians as far to the East as possible." Finally, hier kums the zupa veapon to save der vaterland? On Apr. 10 German Messerschmitt Me-262 Swallow (Schwalbe) jet fighters shoot down 10 U.S. bombers near Berlin, after which the Great Jet Massacre sees U.S. pilots shoot down 14 German jets over Oranienburg, cutting their force in half and making them abandon the defense of Berlin - talk about too little too late? On Apr. 13 Hitler issues a clueless proclamation to German troops on the Eastern Front, promising that Berlin will remain German, and Vienna will be German again, with the b.s. soundbytes: "A mighty artillery is waiting to greet the enemy" and "Our infantry losses have been made good by innumerable new units." On Apr. 15 Hitler's babe Eva Braun arrives at his bunker in Berlin from Munich, with the soundbyte "A Germany without Adolf Hitler would not be fit to live in." On Apr. 16 (5:00 a.m.) the Soviets begin their final attack on Berlin, crossing the Oder River with 3K of their best tanks after firing 500K shells; 60 German suicide planes try to stop them on the bridges; after Hitler issues an order of the Day that "He who gives the order to retreat is to be shot on the spot", 100K frantic Nazis of the German Ninth Army under bottom-of-the-bushel throw-us-under-the-bus Gen. Ernst Hermann August Theodor Busse (1897-1986) repulse the 1M-man Red Army under Marshal Georgi Zhukov at the Battle of Seelow Heights on Apr. 16-19 on the outskirts of oh-no-not-Berlin in bitter fighting; U.S. fighters shoot down the last 22 German jet aircraft over Berlin; on Apr. 18 in their 2nd attempt the Red Army launches numerous attacks against the defending Germans, gaining 1 mi. at the cost of 3K men and 368 tanks, taking the heights on Apr. 19. On Apr. 17 after refusing a request from Gen. Beating, er, Heinrich Gottfried Otto Richard von Vietinghoff (1887-1952) in Italy to withdraw to the N, and ordering his armies in the West to attack the weakest points of the Allied flanks and supply lines, while Field Marshal Kesselring orders his troops in the Harz Mts. to stand firm, Hitler orders all road bridges in Berlin blown up, with the soundbyte: "The Russians are in for the bloodiest defeat imaginable before they reach Berlin." On Apr. 20 what really happens is that Maj. Vidkun and NKVD Maria Quisling issue a decree for Hitler's extraction from Tempelhof Airport to the Orland Airfield near Trondheim along with Eva Braun, and on Apr. 22 they arrive escorted by six Messerschmitt Bf-109s flying in a delta formation, driving to Austrtt Manor; on June 6 Prince Olaf inspects the manor house Austrttborgen? On Apr. 20 (night) the Gestapo celebrates Hitler's birthday at Bullenhuser Damm School in Hamburg, Germany by hanging 20 Jewish children used in medical experiments along with four adult Jewish caretakers and 30 Soviet POWs. On Apr. 21 the Soviets reach the outskirts of Berlin, while Hitler forbids its 2M pop., incl. women and children to evacuate (hoping to have them all wiped out because he's a secret Jewish mole?); meanwhile Joseph Goebbels gives his last radio broadcast - hide, Hitler? On Apr. 21 Hitler orders SS Gen. Felix Martin Julius Steiner (1896-1966) to move N to Eberswalde and break through the Soviet line to reestablish German defenses NE of Berlin and envelop the First Belorussian Front via a pincer movement, forbidding him to fall back to the West; too bad, his tattered unit is outnumbered 10-1, and when Steiner reports that he can't stage the counterattack, Hitler goes into a tearful rage on Apr. 22 during the daily situation conference in the Führerbunker. On Apr. 22 (night) the Gestapo shoots 13 prisoners, incl. anti-Nazi activist Rudiger Schleicher (b. 1895), brother-in-law of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, monarchist Albrecht Georg Haushofer (b. 1903), and Dietrich Bonhoeffer's brother Klaus Bonhoeffer (b. 1901) at the Lehrter Strasse prison in Berlin. On Apr. 23 Hitler assumes personal command of the defense of Berlin, signing up everybody who can walk; Hermann Goering sends Hitler a telegram proposing to take full control of Germany, with the soundbyte: "If no reply is received by 10 o'clock tonight I shall take it for granted that you have lost your freedom of action", pissing-off Hitler and causing him to overreact and dismiss Goering from all offices of state and order his arrest for treason, summoning Eastern Front Luftwaffe cmdr. (since Feb. 1943) Col.-Gen. Robert Ritter von Greim (1892-1945) from Munich. Wang-te-wang, I'm a little airplane now? On Apr. 26 after taking off from Gatow, Hitler's favorite pilot Hanna Reitsch (1912-79) and Hitler's personal pilot gen. Hans Baur (1897-1993) land on an improvised airstrip in the Tiergarten near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin bringing Col.-Gen. Robert Ritter von Greim, who was flying the plane until he was wounded in the foot by Soviet AA fire, after which Reitsch, who was stuffed in the plane's er, tiny tail took over; Hitler surprises him by appointing him Herman Goering's successor as head of the Luftwaffe, promoting him to field marshal, becoming the last German field marshal appointed (until ?); on Apr. 28 after Hitler finds out about Heinrich Himmler's secret negotiations with the Allies, von Greim is sent to arrest him, with the soundbyte: "A traitor must never succeed me as Fuhrer"; on Apr. 30 Reitsch evades Soviet searchlights, flak and fighters to reach temporary freedom in German-held territory; too bad, on May 8 von Greim is captured by the Yanks, and after hearing he is to be handed to the Soviets commits suicide with cyanide on May 24 in Salzburg, Austria. On Apr. 26 (night) the Berlin suburbs of Moabit and Neukolln (Neukölln) are occupied by the Soviets. On Apr. 27 (night) the Soviets forces encircling Berlin link up, cutting off the Germans inside, controlling 75% of Berlin. On Apr. 28 the Soviets liberate, er, occupy Moabit Prison in Berlin near the Tiergarten, releasing 7K POWs, then attack the Tiergarten, whose battle sounds and fumes penetrate Hitler's bunker. On Apr. 28 Gen. Sigfrid Henrici (1889-1964) becomes Heinrich Himmler's successor as cmdr. of the Vistula Army Group, getting immediately dismissed for not having carried out a scorched earth policy; meanwhile after he slips away to his home in Charlottenburg on Apr. 26, Himmler's rep. in Hitler's bunker SS Lt.-Gen. Hans Georg Otto Hermann Fegelein (b. 1906) (Eva Braun's brother-in-law) is returned by the SS to Berlin and shot for desertion. On Apr. 28 German chief of staff (since Apr. 1) Gen. Hans Krebs (1898-1945) makes his last telephone call from the Fuhrerbunker, calling Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel at the new Supreme Command HQ in Furstenberg (Fürstenberg), telling him that if relief does not arrive within 48 hours all will be lost, causing Keitel to promise to pressure Gens. Wenck and Busse; that night Wenck reports to Furstenberg that his Twelfth Army has been forced back along the entire front, incl. XX Corps after it established temporary contact with the Potsdam garrison, and that no defense of Berlin is possible. I'm the one that you want, ooh ooh ooh? On Apr. 28 (night) as Soviet troops fight their way towards his bunker, and his pal Mussolini's body is being transported to Milan, Germany's most eligible bachelor Adolf Hitler dictates his Last Will and Testament to his private secy. (youngest) Traudl Junge (1920-2002), then finally pops the question and marries longtime blonde certified Aryan girlfriend Eva Braun (b. 1912) in a brief ceremony, and they rush off to nowhere for their honeymoon; his testament claims that neither he nor "anyone else in Germany" wanted war with Britain and the U.S., and contains the soundbyte: "Centuries will go by, but from the ruins of our towns and monuments the hatred of those ultimately responsible will always grow anew against the people whom we have to thank for all this: International Jewry and its henchmen", ending with the soundbyte: "Above all I enjoin the government and the people to uphold the race laws to the limit and to resist mercilessly the poisoner of all nations, International Jewry." On Apr. 28-29 after its last schedule flights leave on Apr. 21, and a flight to Madrid on Apr. 23 is shot down over S Germany, and base cmdr. Rudolf Böttger refuses orders to blow it up and commits suicide, the Soviets occupy Templehof Airport in Berlin. On Apr. 29 (eve.) German Gen. (last cmdr. of the Berlin defenses) Helmuth Otto Ludwig Weidling (1891-1955) tells Hitler that the Soviets have reached the Potsdam Station nearby, and that there are no more anti-tank guns left, and little ammo, causing Hitler to utter the soundbyte: "I cannot permit the surrender of Berlin. Your men will have to break out in small groups"; at 11:00 p.m. Hitler telegraphs the message: "Where are Wenck's spearheards? When will they advance? Where is Ninth Army?"; after distributing vials of poison to those closest to him, and testing one on his German Shepherd Blondi (b. 1941) (it works), Hitler appoints Grand Adm. Karl Doenitz (Dönitz) (1891-1980) as the 2nd (last) Fuhrer, and Joseph Goebbels as the new chancellor - good trivia question? On Apr. 30 (2:30 p.m.) (same day that George Washington became the first pres. of the U.S. in 1789) Soviet (Georgian) Sgt. Meliton Kantariya (1920-93) waves the Red Flag from the 2nd floor of the Reichstag, while German troops are still on the 3rd floor; at 3:30 p.m. Adolf Hitler (b. 1889) and his blonde Aryan honeymoon girl ("come on, pee on my face"?) Eva Braun Hitler commit suicide in his bunker in Berlin, robbing the Russkies of their big prize; she takes the poison first, then he shoots himself with a 7.65 cal. Walther pistol; Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda kill their children with cyanide then commit suicide; Hitler's staff scavenges Berlin for gasoline and burns all their bodies; the Red Flag flies from the roof of the Reichstag at 10:50 p.m.; after the war ends the German pop. first learns of Hitler's single mistress for 15 years who died as his bride, thinking he lived a celibate life like a wanking monk; Hitler took power on Jan. 30, 1933 33 days before FDR did (Mar. 4) and died 18 days after he did (Apr. 12); he really escaped to Argentina with Eva, had two daughters, and lived to age 73, dying on Feb. 13, 1962?