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Falkensee

 

Falkensee is a city with around 44,000 inhabitants in the east of the Havelland district. It is a medium-sized center in Brandenburg and has the status of a large district city.

 

History

Place name
The name was put together as a made-up word when the community Falkensee was formed in 1923 from the two largest incorporated villages Seegefeld and Falkenhagen: Falken (hagen) see (gefeld). The place name is emphasized on the last syllable: Falkensee. Falkenhagen was (and is) emphasized on the penultimate syllable, Seegefeld on the first. So nothing changed in the pronunciation of the combined place names.

Origins
Seegefeld was first mentioned in a document in 1265, and Falkenhagen is noted in a document in 1336. Falkenhagen was hit several times by devastating fires. It burned down completely on April 12, 1676, in 1806 the northern part was destroyed by fire, and in 1822 Falkenhagen again burned down completely except for a few buildings. Thus, the history of the place, recorded on paper and sooner or later burnt, is partly in the dark.

The communities Seegefeld and Falkenhagen belonged to the Havelländischer Kreis in the Mark Brandenburg in the early modern period, and after the Prussian district reform in 1817 then to the Osthavelland district in the Potsdam administrative district of the Brandenburg province. The communities were conveniently located between the seat of the district administration in Nauen and the largest city in the district, Spandau.

The Alte Finkenkrug was built in 1770 and later (up into the 20th century) one of the most popular excursion restaurants west of Berlin. In the early 19th century, a road running through Falkenhagen was built from Spandau to Nauen (today's inner-city street L 201 Spandauer, Falkenhagener and Nauener Straße).

Railway and housing developments
On October 15, 1846, the Berlin-Hamburg Railway, which runs straight through what is now the city, was opened. In 1848 a temporary station was built near the village of Seegefeld, which was replaced by a permanent structure in 1860, today's Falkensee station. Finkenkrug station was opened for excursion traffic in 1852, and from 1891 as a regular stop for passenger trains.

The train stations quickly became the growth centers of a suburban development and the villages became interesting settlement areas for colonies of villas and homes. Seegefeld developed through the railway connection to the small town center of today's Falkensee, while the center of the neighboring Falkenhagen remained recognizable more village. The current district of Finkenkrug developed from scratch in the area surrounding the station of the same name.

In 1898 the Deutsche Ansiedlungsbank bought most of the land belonging to the Seegefeld manor and promoted its settlement. This is how today's districts of Neu-Finkenkrug, Neu-Seegefeld and the Waldheim district came into being. In the same year Falkenhain and in 1902 the settlement area Falkenhagener See was added. Around 1920 there was an enormous increase in population, especially from nearby Berlin.

Since 1908 there have been street lighting in the municipalities of today's Falkensee, in 1914 they were connected to the district waterworks in Staaken. The suburban tariff has been in effect on the railway line to Nauen since 1921, and this also had a major influence on settlement development elsewhere on the outskirts of Berlin.

With the Greater Berlin Act, the municipalities became direct neighbors of the Reich capital Berlin on April 1, 1920, to which the previous neighboring municipality of Staaken and the city of Spandau, which had been an independent city since 1887, now belonged.

On April 1, 1923, the previous rural communities of Falkenhagen and Seegefeld were merged to form the new rural community of Falkensee after approval by the Prussian State Ministry. On April 1, 1927, the Seegefeld manor district was dissolved and incorporated, followed by the Damsbrück manor district on October 1, 1928.

time of the nationalsocialism
Shortly after the NSDAP came to power, terror against institutions and representatives of the labor movement began in Falkensee. For example, the clubhouse of the “Fichte” workers' sports club in Nachtigallstrasse was set on fire by an SA storm, and members of the KPD were attacked with firearms by SA men. Local functionaries of the labor movement such as the workers' athlete and local councilor Oskar Sander were arrested, abused and taken to the concentration camp.

 

In 1943, a prisoner camp was built as a satellite camp of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp on the eastern edge of the city (today's memorial on Hamburger Straße). Originally, this facility was laid out in 1938 to accommodate 650 railroad workers before it was rented to the Army Administration in 1939, which expanded the facility further and built a camp for prisoners of war north of Spandauer Strasse. During the National Socialist era, up to 2,500 mostly foreign prisoners were interned there. They performed forced labor in the RAW of the Deutsche Reichsbahn - the later DEMAG-Panzerwerk Albrechtshof (on Seegefelder Weg) - and in the fenced-in barracks camp that was guarded by the SS. Because the prisoners had learned of the murders during the death march from prisoners from the Lieberose subcamp to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, they refused to obey the order to evacuate on April 20, 1945. After the guards had fled, they received the arriving Soviet troops as liberators. In 1945 Falkensee had 32,000 inhabitants, as numerous bombed-out Berliners escaped to the surrounding area. This was the highest population up to that point and for the next 55 years.

Post-war period and GDR
After the war ended, Falkensee was right on the border between the Soviet occupation zone and the British sector of Berlin.

After the state of Prussia was dissolved in 1947, the parts of the province of Brandenburg that remained in Germany became the new state of Brandenburg in the Soviet occupation zone, and from 1949 the GDR. With the administrative reform in 1952, the state of Brandenburg and the district of Osthavelland were dissolved and Falkensee part of the district of Nauen in the new district of Potsdam.

In 1951, after decades of planning, Falkensee was connected to the Berlin S-Bahn network.

At the same time, long before the Wall was built, the construction of traffic routes to the western bypass of West Berlin, which made the building of the Wall possible in the first place, began. All three connections (rail, road and waterway) pass directly west of Falkensee.

The first measure was the construction of the Havel Canal from May 1951, which was opened in June 1952 and runs from Hennigsdorf (Nieder Neuendorf) through the Falkensee neighboring communities Brieselang and Wustermark to Ketzin (Paretz) and thus Spandau and Potsdam, but above all West- Bypasses Berlin territory.
In 1953/55, the Berlin outer ring followed in two sections, which connected all the railway lines on GDR territory running towards West Berlin and thus made driving through the western sectors avoidable. Falkensee received its own train station on the outer ring, which was used from 1954 to 1996.
In 1979 the western section (and ring closure) of the Berliner Ring followed, which created a motorway connection from Oranienburg to Potsdam, parallel to the Havel Canal through Brieselang and Wustermark.

The connections to western Berlin, especially in the Spandau district, which were still intensive despite the zone border, were cut with the construction of the Berlin Wall (August 13, 1961). As a result, Falkensee lost its location advantage as a suburb of Berlin and now existed in the "slipstream" of walled-in West Berlin as a community relatively remote from the big cities. The travel time to East Berlin (via Potsdam and Schönefeld or via Hohen Neuendorf and Pankow) was about two hours. The S-Bahn line to Falkensee, which opened exactly ten years earlier, was shut down. After a spectacular breakthrough in the fortification of the border in Albrechtshof station on December 5, 1961, the long-distance tracks of the Hamburg Railway were also cut, and the trains to Hamburg continued via Griebnitzsee (Potsdam), and from 1976 via Staaken on the Lehrter Bahn.

A few weeks after the Wall was built, on October 7, 1961, the twelfth "Republic Day", Falkensee was granted city rights. The award certificate is in the exhibition of the Museum and Gallery Falkensee.

In the same year, West Staaken, which had previously belonged to the Soviet sector of Berlin as an exclave, was incorporated into Falkensee, but in 1971 it was spun off as an independent municipality. The Falkenhagener Wiesen exclave, which had previously belonged to West Berlin (Spandau), came to the GDR and thus to the city of Falkensee in 1988 as part of a territorial exchange.

On the extensive grounds of Berlin-Seegefelder-Industrie AG (BSI), which until 1945 was south of the railway line between what is now the Falkensee and Seegefeld stations, VEB Landmaschinenbau Falkensee / Kombinat Impulsa and the transformer factory worked for over 30 years after the GDR was founded. Today there is a large shopping market in the south industrial area and, in addition to other small and medium-sized companies, a wholesale market.

After reunification

After the reunification, Falkensee experienced a second strong increase in population, especially from the western districts of Berlin. In a short time the city doubled its population.

The GDR district of Potsdam became the re-founded state of Brandenburg in 1990 with two others. Due to the district reform in 1993, the districts of Nauen and Rathenow became the new district of Havelland with headquarters in Rathenow. The district seat was chosen to be in Rathenow, far from Berlin, in order to create a counterweight to the population center of the district around Falkensee and Nauen. Since then, however, Falkensee has been the largest city in the district.

The former death strip of the GDR border was planted and built, meanwhile it can no longer be seen everywhere. The course of the former wall can now also be followed in Falkensee on the Berlin Wall Cycle Path. After the border security systems had been completely dismantled, a typical barrier element from the above-mentioned section of the wall was re-erected in the courtyard of the local history museum, but not in full.

Since 1992 there has been a memorial with memorials and admonishing works of art on the site of the former prison camp, some of which were created together by young people from Falkensee and the Israeli city of Maʿalot-Tarshiha (there has been a youth exchange between both cities since 1990).

The embassy of Madagascar was reopened in 2003 on a former private property at Falkenhagener See.

By decree of the Brandenburg Minister of the Interior, Falkensee received the status of a town belonging to the Middle District with effect from January 1, 2006.

On May 25, 2009, the city received the title “Place of Diversity” awarded by the federal government.