#238: Stasi killer, defiant Spätis, X-mas party, green tech jobs
Housing target missed
Dear 20 Percent,
Hey, Berlin is the 19th best place to live in the world. Another day, another bullshit ranking.
Being ranked behind Vancouver and Amsterdam, that I can somehow take. But Düsseldorf? Frankfurt am Main? You’ve got to be joking. Sure, Berlin is a joke in so many ways. But in so many ways, it remains the best city on the planet. The nightlife. The Christmas markets. The food. The history. The parks. The lakes. The charming ugliness. And, of course, the huge, sprawling international scene. Of which you, this newsletter and its Christmas party on Saturday, to which you are invited, are a part.
Screw the rankings! Real news below.
A special thank you to this issue’s event partner: Quiz Please! More below.
Stasi killer on trial
An 79-year-old ex-Stasi officer will stand trial for a murder committed 49 years ago. The man, who now lives in Leipzig, is believed to have shot a Polish man at Friedrichstraße station on March 29, 1974. According to Berlin public prosecutors, the defendant shot the 38-year-old victim with a “targeted shot in the back from a hiding place”. Previously, the Polish man had gone into the East Berlin Polish embassy with a fake bomb and demanded free passage to West Berlin. The Stasi pretended to authorise the departure via the border checkpoint at Friedrichstraße station but then ended up “neutralising” the man, according to documents found in Stasi archives.
Mass brawl at Neukölln school
Ach, Neukölln. Violence broke out at a secondary school in the Gropius-Stadt neighbourhood on Monday. According to the Tagesspiegel, 49 kids and teachers suffered pepper stray injuries when a dispute between a few teenage boys escalated. One of the boys pulled out a bottle of the spray and a huge fight broke out. Two teachers tried to break it up but were sprayed. Then the 52-year-old principle attempted to intervene but was pushed to the ground. She was hospitalised for a hand injury.
Sloppy Spätkauf crackdown
Most Berlin districts are pretty lax about cracking down on Spätis opening illegally on Sundays, writes Tagesspiegel. Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Neukölln, known for their high number of Spätkauf shops, are particularly chill about enforcing regulations on opening hours. Pankow, on the other hand, handed out 202 fines for infringements through October this year. This info comes to us thanks to the far-right AfD, which submitted an enquiry to the Berlin government — I suppose to bolster their law-and-order image. But seriously, why does anyone care about Spätis selling a few beers or icecreams on a Sunday?
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Gov drops sidewalk fees
The Berlin government has thrown a bone to restaurants and retail outlets: from next year it will stop charging them for use of sidewalk space. Till now, businesses were billed an annual €100-200 administration fee plus €12.50-€16.25 per year and square metre. Mayor Kai Wegner (CDU) called the move “an important support, because the difficult corona years still have an impact.” Maybe just leave the Spätis alone, too, while you’re at it, Kai.
Training immigrants for green tech
The business models of a lot of start-ups seem a bit … meh. Or maybe I just don’t understand them. Berlin’s Montamo, I get immediately. The firm aims to kill two birds with one stone: train immigrants without excellent German to become tradespeople with the skills needed for the green transition — like installing heat pumps and solar panels — in several languages other than German. Language is a huge hurdle for many trying to score a well-paid job. And the green sector is suffering from huge labour shortages. So these guys seem to be on to something. Montamo just secured €2.1m in funding. Tech.eu has the full story.
We’ve moved our event tips curated by our friends at The Next Day Berlin newsletter to Tuesdays, so you can better plan your week!
Until 14.12, 8-9:45 pm. Babylon Berlin, Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 30, Mitte. Tickets: €4 including one free drink at the bar.
The film festival Doc.Berlin aims to highlight the relevance of different perspectives with which viewers and people in general look at factual situations. This Thursday, seven short films will be exhibited, including “What If Women Ruled The World?” by Giulia Magno, featuring Judy Chicago and Nadya Tolokonnikova (Pussy Riot), and “A Body Like Mine” by Maja Classen, a poetic and fairy-tale-like documentary.
Fiddler! A Musical
13-17.12, 7 pm. HAU 1
English / With translation / Further languages / approx. 180 mins. (incl. intermission)
“Fiddler! A Musical” reimagines theater, loosely honoring “Fiddler on the Roof.” Exploring 20th-century Jewish performances across Russia, Berlin, and New York, it tackles themes of exile and state violence. The show features special guests like Peaches and Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, celebrating a decade of Ariel Efraim Ashbel and friends' creative journey.
Punk Rock Market #26
Sunday, 17.12, 1-9 pm. Cassiopeia, Revaler Str. 99, Friedrichshain.
Rock and punk enthusiasts, this market is your haven! Explore an indoor space with local vendors, DIY businesses, private sales, and artists from the scene. Unearth 2nd-hand treasures, collectibles, pins, records, clothes, and more. Plus, indulge in delicious food and drinks.
More events at The Next Day Berlin
In 2023, Berlin will fall short of its goal of 20,000 new apartments a year — by 4,000 units. This year just 16,000 will be built, even fewer than last year (17,310). The government expects a further drop for 2024. The boss of construction lobby Fachgemeinschaft Bau Berlin und Brandenburg, Katarzyna Urbanczyk-Siwek, blames a number of factors for the construction slump: “High material prices, increased interest rates on loans, hardly any subsidies for energy-efficient construction, but excessively long permit approval times.” Tja, as the Germans say.
☃️ ☃️ ☃️ Visit our event partner! ☃️ ☃️ ☃️
Get in the Festive Spirit with the X-MAS Quiz!
Quiz, please! is here to bring some festive flair to your usual evening out. This isn't just any quiz night — it's a special Christmas Edition that promises to be the merriest one yet. Perfect for friends, family, or team outings.
Save the date: December 18, 19:00 at Belushi's. Follow the link, assemble your dream team, and dive into the jolly fun!
To make your night even more magical, we're offering an exclusive deal: use the promo code 20PERCENT to claim 2 free spots for all new teams. Limited spots available, so don't miss out on this festive fun!