Moabit

From Academic Kids

Moabit is a borough in the center of Berlin. Since the beginning of the year 2001 it is belonging to the newly regrouped governmental district of Berlin-Mitte. Previously, from 1920 to 2001, it belonged to the district of Tiergarten. Moabits borders are defined by three watercourses, the Spree, the Westhafen Channel and the Berlin-Spandau Navigation Channel.

Contents

Name

The Origin of the name Moabit is disputed. Arguably it can be traced back to the first inhabitants of the area, the Huguenots, in the time of Frederick William I of Prussia. These French fugitives named their new residence by analogy to the Biblical description of the Israelites in the country of Moab, where they stayed before being allowed to enter Canaan. Other possible origins include the French "terre maudit"" (cursed land), the Slavic "moch" (moor) or a worn off pronunciation of the German (Berlin dialect) "Moorjebiet" (swamp area).

Demography

For a long time, Moabit has not been inhabited. Its population grew considerably after its incorporation into Berlin in 1861:

  • 13th century: The area known as "Greater Heathland" is incorporated into Berlin.
  • 1716: Formation of the colony of Moabit ("Old Moabit")
  • 1801: 120 Inhabitants
  • 1805: 201 Inhabitants
  • 1818: Formation of New Moabit, which grows together with Old Moabit to an industrial suburb district.
  • 1861: ca 6.534 Inhabitants
  • 1871: 14.818 Inhabitants
  • 1880: 29.693 Inhabitants
  • 1910: 190.000 Inhabitants

Historical notes

The industrialization of Moabit began in 1820 when, with the financial support of court counsellor Baillif, a simple bridge was built to remove the isoltation of the "island". The bridge was followed by factories, a power plant, the Berlin-Spandau navigation channel, the Westhafen port and the station Hamburger Bahnhof.

A first prison was built in 1848, soon followed by other penal institutions and a court of law. This resulted in an exponential growth of the population, facilitating the spreading of a smallpox epidemic. In consequence, Berlin's second hospital was built in Moabit.

On 9 November 1918, Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed the Weimar Republic from a window in Moabit.

Large parts of Moabit are traditional worker class residentials. Some areas were known for their political activity during the Nazi era, such as the "red Beusselkiez" or the neighbouring "Rostock kiez". After Hitlers takeover in 1933 they counted as communist resistance cells.

Moabit today

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Moabit's location has changed from a border district of West Berlin to a central district in the reunited city. Due to its proximity to the new Government District, many new buildings are being raised there, such as for example the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The new central station of Berlin, Berlin Hauptbahnhof - Lehrter Bahnhof, in currently being built at Invalidenstrasse, where the east-west railway axis and the north-south axis (under construction) meet. It will be Europe's largest train station.

Links

(all links in German language.)

Literature

  • Saeger, Olaf, Moabiter Details - Schatten im Paradies, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3925191593

de:Berlin-Moabit

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