September 11, 2009
As I mentioned yesterday, the main attraction for wandering through Treptower Park was the hope of seeing some of an abandoned amusement park I read about called Spreepark. Spreepark had been around since 1969, and was the only constantly running amusement park in the GDR. Its a tangled and complicated tale of how a group of investors ran the park after reunification in 1989, and one of them, Norbert Witte, is blamed with causing the parks demise by 2001. In early 2002, Witte and his family and coworkers left for Lima Peru and even had several of the rides shipped there under the guise of repairs, and he attempted to run a similar "Lunapark" in Lima. He and his son were both later convicted of separate incidents of drug smuggling (including in the rides). For eight years the park has lay dormant. Remains of many of the attractions are far more visible than I had anticipated, as jogging paths run the perimeter separated only by a low fence. Tours are occasionally given of the park (but I found out about this too late to take advantage of that) and while I was there, there were some people running the train ride. Obviously, I have no idea why, but I hope there is some attempt being made to bring the park back. Until then, it still stands as yet another unintended monument of a Berlin that once was.
Posted by Jon Berry at 4:37 PM