Berlin Decolonises Some Streets

The city of Berlin has decided to decolonise the names of some streets, by now commemorating the heroes of the resistance and no longer the colonial protagonists.

Decolonize Mitte activist. Photo: Tahir Dell

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On April 19, 2018 the Assembly of the Mitte district of the city of Berlin has decided, after two years of preparation, to change the names of some streets of the African quarter, by now commemorating the heroes of the resistance to colonialism and no longer the colonial protagonists. The necessary changes for the transformation into Cornelius-Frederiks-Straße of the former Lüderitzstraße, into Bell-Platz of the former Nachtigalplatz, into Anna-Mungunda-Allee and Maji-Maji-Allee of the former Petersallee will therefore be carried out by August 10, 2018.

This result arrives after years of work by initiatives and associations for decolonisation, started on October 3, 2010 with the Call for a fundamental change in dealing with Germany’s colonial heritage, for the renaming of streets that honour colonial protagonists as well as for promoting postcolonial cultures of remembrance. The activities then continued on the ground with, for example, the annual organization starting from 2014 of the Festival of name change and the production in 2016 of the music video Rename the streets.

The news of the decolonisation of some streets of the city of Berlin, just published, has had great diffusion as well as in Germany (Deutsche Welle, Die Welt, etc.), also at international level (BBC, CGTN, Daily Sabah, Daily Trust, eNCA, Gulf Times, Le Monde, Le Nouvel Observateur, L’Orient-Le Jour, Prensa Latina, Público, RaiNews, etc.).

Colonialism Reparation welcomes that the city of Berlin has decided to decolonise the names of some streets by now commemorating the heroes of the resistance and no longer the colonial protagonists and calls on all other cities to follow its example, as Brussels, New Orleans and Bordeaux have already started to do.


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Colonialism Reparation is part of the movement for the condemnation, the reconciliation, the apologies and the compensation for colonialism. Colonialism Reparation promotes, supports and spreads non-violent activities aimed to create awareness of the current world situation and thereby to encourage the achievement of its objective

  • that the colonizing nations condemn their colonial past recognizing it as a crime against humanity and
  • that the colonized nations exert pressure to make it happen that the colonizing nations reconcile with their past, permanently distancing themselves from it by officially apologizing the colonized nations
  • that the colonizing nations compensate the colonized nations for the atrocities and abuses committed thus allowing an improvement in their socio-economic conditions.

The contribution of every person who recognizes the importance of this activity to the creation of a climate of friendship and cooperation between peoples is necessary and appreciated. This contribution will create an extremely positive precedent in international relations as well, promoting the supremacy of the “force of law” on the “law of force”.