Zehlendorf (Berlin)

Zehlendorf (Berlin)

Zehlendorf is a locality within the borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf in Berlin. Before Berlin's 2001 administrative reform Zehlendorf was a borough in its own right, consisting of the locality of Zehlendorf as well as Wannsee, Nikolassee and Dahlem. Zehlendorf contains some of the most remarked upon natural settings in Berlin, including parts of the Grunewald forest and the "Schlachtensee" and "Krumme Lanke" lakes. Additionally, it has large residential neighborhoods, some with cobblestone streets and buildings that are over 100 years old.

The village of Zehlendorf was first mentioned as "Cedelendorp" in a 1245 contract between the Margraves John I and Otto III of Brandenburg and the Lehnin Abbey. Probably a German foundation, the name "Cedelen" may refer to a former Slavic settlement from the 7th century.

In the affluent and well-educated environment of Zehlendorf, top World War II figures mingled with opponents of the Nazi regime. Express S-Bahn trains, known as the "Banker Trains" whisked them at 120 km/h to the financial and government centers until the service was disrupted near the end of World War II. [* Dittfurth, Udo and Braun, Dr. Michael; "Die elektrische Wannseebahn"; Verlag GVE; Berlin; 2004; page 82. This book also has additional historical information about 20th Century Zehlendorf.]

Visitors can stop at the Dahlem Church, where the vicar, Pastor Martin Niemöller, served from 1931 through 1937. Niemöller's sermons against the Nazis led to his imprisonment and the publication of them in English during the war helped shape discussion of the nature of National Socialism in Christian circles. [* Preface by Thomas Mann in Niemoeller, Martin; "God is My Fuehrer"; Philosophical Library and Alliance Book Corporation; New York, 1941, pages 3-14.]

Many walking trips are available in and around Zehlendorf. Popular destinations include the Grunewald trails north from the Onkel Toms Hütte U-Bahn station and neighborhood shopping center, the walk from Krumme Lanke U-Bahn station to the lake of the same name, and the cross-Zehlendorf walk from the end of the U-Bahn at Krumme Lanke to the S-Bahn station in the center of old Zehlendorf. Zehlendorf shopping center has undergone major changes with plenty of new construction centering around the S-Bahn station "Zehlendorf".

When American forces occupied Berlin and later were stationed in Berlin during the Cold War, Zehlendorf with the "Steuben Barracks", Dahlem and Lichterfelde were the areas where most of those forces were centered. The U.S. Consulate is still located in Dahlem and one can usually see a line of German citizens waiting in line to enter the facility. Zehlendorf is also home to the John F. Kennedy School, an international school and one of the several campuses of the Free University of Berlin (FU), Berlin's largest university. For many years, broken by WW2, there was an annual school exchange between the gymnasium in Zehlendorf and Wallasey Grammar School in the UK. Many lasting friendships were made and the visits of teenage boys to early post war Berlin left deep emotions and must have helped the rehabilitation of Germany to the rest of Europe.


There is direct access to the middle of Berlin via road and S-Bahn. The S1 line makes 3 stops in Zehlendorf and runs right through Unter den Linden, where the Brandenburg Gate is located. The newer portion of the borough of Zehlendorf developed around extended U-Bahn service in the first third of the 20th Century. It may be reached via the U3 line at the station Onkel Toms Hütte and the terminus Krumme Lanke.

The Bundesstraße 1 federal highway runs through the locality along the streets "Berliner Straße", "Potsdamer Straße" and "Potsdamer Chaussee". Zehlendorf has also access to the "A 115" Autobahn (the former AVUS racing track) at the "Hüttenweg" junction.

External links

* [http://home.arcor.de/agksj/suewe/E_index.htm "VSWB"] English language page from German site on rails and other transport modes of Southwest Berlin.

* [http://home.att.net/~rw.rynerson/night.htm "Berlin 1969"] From the American era, begins with account of a summer night in Zehlendorf.


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