Have you ever been to Berlin? The capital of Germany is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating cities in Europe, due to its mixture of street, clubbing and contemporary culture with its dark and interesting recent history. However, all cities have a certain mystery hidden underneath its streets, behind the walls of its main monuments, floating in the air. Every city with a past has its legends, myths and demons, and Berlin is no exception - which is why we’re dedicating this article to the recent legends of Berlin. Surely after reading about all these myths you will see the main attractions of the city from a different perspective!

Legends of Berlin: The lives of the Wall

 

When talking about the legends of Berlin, or legends in general, it is sometimes difficult to establish where the truth ends and where it starts the imagination of the many storytellers who have transmitted the legend generation after generation. However, there are other cases when the importance of the legend goes beyond if it really happened or not. That is the case of all the myths and stories surrounding the Berlin Wall. Whether those stories did happen or not, the real truth lying underneath it all was still heart-breaking, and we know for sure that other stories as sad as the legendary ones did take place. But let’s discuss one that has a happy ending, which is also one of the reasons people make up legends and stories in the first place: to evade from a sad, and difficult to cope with situation. This one may sound familiar, as Disney produced a movie about it in 1981: Doris and Peter Strelzyk, together with Günter and Petra Wetzel managed to escape to Western Berlin in a balloon built by themselves!

Take a historic tour around Berlin

Legends of Berlin

Legends of Berlin: The prophecy of the Reichstag

 

One of the most visited historical buildings of Berlin, the Reichstag, also hides one uncanny legend. It was built between 1884 and 1894, and suffered a terrible fire in 1933. The truth about the fire was never discovered – Hitler’s government blamed it on a young communist called Marinus van der Lubbe (he admitted it after being tortured) so they could “prove” that the communists were conspiring against them. It is said that Hermann Steinchneider, known as Hanussen or “the man with the green gloves”, a clairvoyant of Jewish origin who was very close to the Nazis and particularly to Hitler, predicted that same fire three days before it happened – he died in mysterious circumstances shortly after. The explanations have been many: one of the hypothesis is that the Nazis set the fire themselves so they would gain power after a so-called attack against them (which is what actually happened after the fire), and Hanussen used irresponsibly that inside information (we must remember that he was Hitler’s favourite clairvoyant), which lead to his assassination. However, some others say that he hypnotised van der Lubbe to set the Reichstag on fire.

Reichstag of Berlin - Gowithoh

Legends of Berlin: Hitler’s doubles

There are many the legends and myths of Berlin associated to the Third Reich and Hitler’s era, but one of the most uncanny and curious is the one related to Hitler’s doubles. It is said that, when the Soviet Smerch entered the Chancellery with orders to take Hitler alive or to take his body, Russian soldiers were in for a surprise. It is said that they kept finding Hitler’s doubles around the Chancellery before finding what was determined as the real body. The presence of doctor Ludwig Stumpfegger added to the legend as well, as he was known for performing experiments in prisoners and was thought by some to be responsible for the “doubles”. This legend is why many people thought that the real Hitler actually escaped.

Legends of Berlin: Brieselanger

Near Berlin there is a forest called Brieselanger where there is a history of sightings of mysterious lights. People have often associated it with UFO sightings, and the truth is that no scientific explanation has been found. Ufologists who have studied them have declared that they consist in two bright lights that move in an impossible, inexplicable way, thus being something that goes beyond the nature of our world. The two lights appear and disappear suddenly and without following any kind of pattern, and are known by the German as Irrlichterm, which means “crazy lights”.

 

What did you think of these legends of Berlin? Whether they’re true or not, they certainly add a certain charm and mystery to a already fascinating city. Keep them in mind during your next trip to Berlin!

Author
At GowithOh, we are an enthusiastic team of self-confessed Europhiles who are passionate about travel. We especially love the variety of city breaks possible in Europe, from the historic UNESCO heritage cities like Prague, to the more cosmopolitan beachside destinations like Barcelona. We love discovering the hidden gems in different cities and sharing them with our fans so everyone can benefit and enjoy the perfect city break in Europe.