Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Where are the Squatters? Wo sind die Hausbesetzer?

I am frequently asked about the building that is part of the header for this blog. The apartment building is located at Kreutzigerstraße 18-19 in Friedrichshain, about a 5 minute walk from where I live. To get there, take the U7 to Samariterstraße station. The building is fairly famous in Friedrichshain. It was one of the first buildings to become occupied by squatters after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Das Gebäude befindet sich an Kreutzigerstraße 18-19 im Friedrichshain,
ca. 5 Minuten von meinem Wohnort. Nehmen Sie die U7 bis
Samariterstraße. Das Gebäude ist ziemlich berühmt in Friedrichshain. Es war
eines der ersten Gebäude von Hausbesetzern nach dem Fall beschäftigt werden.

Friedrichshainwhich was formerly part of East Berlin, is known for its alternative and radical left-wing scene. After the fall of the Wall, many houses there were taken over by squatters, including punks and artists, hoping to set up alternative communities. But as the 1990s wore on, more and more squatters were evicted as the buildings were sold to private owners, my building included.

Kreutzigerstraße 18-19 was occupied in 1990 and is unique since the squatters were able to obtain tenancy agreements. It is one of the few remaining buildings that is home to many former squatters.

A recent study showed that rents in Friedrichshain and the neighboring Prenzlauer Berg have increased in the last three years by as much as 15 percent. Prenzlauer Berg in particular, is infamous for having gone from being the grungy preserve of young artists and lefties in the 1990s to being home to organic-food eating families and up-and-coming professionals. As these areas become more desirable, evictions continue. See the following video from last February

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