Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Streets of Berlin: #1 Berzarin Platz (Friedrichshain)

Every city has generic streets names and very specific ones. The toponomastic of Berlin has changed a lot in the years, from the Nazi time to the doubled streets names of the Cold War and to the new names of Riunification.
Sometimes it happens to pass by specific street names and it's interesting to understand how the street name and the person are related with the city.
This is a small section dedicated to places and people of Berlin.

Berzarin Platz
Nikolai Berzarin was a famous Generaloberst (Colonel general) of the Red Army in the WWII.
During the Battle of Berlin, Berzarin's 5th Shock Army was the first Soviet Army to enter Berlin and Marshal Zhukov made him the first town major of the Soviet occupying forces in Berlin, in an echo of the Tsarist tradition of rewarding the first commander to enter a city with command over it. By his "Order No. 1", Berzarin assumed all governmental power. He worked to re-establish order in the ruined German capital, creating a city police force and supplying the population with food, water, gas and electiricity, as well as re-opening schools and theatres.
He was killed 2 months after in a motorcycle accident (rumors said that he was killed by the Nazis).
In 1975 Berzarin posthomously was bestowed honorary citizenship of East Berlin. After German reunification mostly of the original East-Germany streets names were changed and also his name was formally removed from the roll of honorary citizens by the Senate of Berlin in 1992 (he was suspected to be part of Soviet war crimes).
But he the accusations were proved false and he got his honorary citizenship again, together with the square that has his name, for the effort to re-establish order in Berlin. 

More infos: WIKI