The discussion about changing street and station names in Berlin is not new, but the new racism debate triggered by the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota seems to be speeding things up. Two renamings are imminent.
Earlier this month, inhabitants of Wissmannstrasse in Berlin’s Neukölln district received leaflets with interesting content. It included an announcement according to which “Wissmannstrasse will be renamed”. Residents are supposed to hand in suggestions for a new name. The idea of renaming the street next to Hasenheide park is old. And there is a good reason: Hermann von Wissmann, whom the street was named after and who lived from 1853 to 1905, was the “colonial administrator” of ‘German East Africa’. His job title sounds good, but what he actually did does not.