Walking Tour: This City Kills Fascists. The Death of Horst Wessel (A Historical Murder Mystery)

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  • 19/02/2023
    14:00 - 16:00

Horst Wessel was a young leader of the Nazi Party in the working-class neighborhood of Friedrichshain. On January 30, 1930, he was shot in his apartment, and he died a month later. Joseph Goebbels turned him into the Nazis’ principle martyr. After 1933, the Horst Wessel Song became the national anthem of the Third Reich. There were Horst Wessel Streets, Horst Wessel Squares, a Horst Wessel Hospital — Friedrichshain even became Horst Wessel City.

Hitler said that Wessel would be remembered for hundreds of years. Today, most people have never heard of him. Two myths have since competed about Wessel’s murder: the Nazis said he was assassinated by a red hit squad; the communists said he was a pimp and was killed in a dispute with another pimp. Both these myths are false, and the real story offers important insights about working-class life in Berlin in the late 1920s.

Our tour will start at the site of the murder. In the style of a historical murder mystery, we will trace the path the murderers took on that cold January night so many years ago. We will end up at the site of a Communist bar in the Scheunenviertel.

Our tour will be meeting in front of Kino International, Karl-Marx-Allee 33, U5 Schillingstraße. We will meet at 14:00 and leave by 14:10.

The tour will end two hours later near Rosenthaler Platz. We will not be using public transportation — the tour will be entirely outside.

Suggested donation is 10 euros per person, but any contribution is appreciated and none is required. You can also pick up a signed copy of the new book Revolutionary Berlin.

We ask that you only come if you’re fully vaccinated.