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Berlin’s endless guessing game goes something like this: “Which is going to be the capital city’s next hip borough?” Prenzlauer Berg is, like, so yesterday, and Wedding is still on the verge of becoming the next big thing, so there are those who suggest that Lichtenberg is it. Clubs are opening on Rummelsburg and Ostkreuz, art projects are popping up between the tower blocks and young creatives are moving into Herzbergstraße. Lichtenberg lies somewhere on the scale between hip borough and GDR façade.

The borough has become more and more attractive to non-German EU citizens. More than 6,000 have registered there between 2009 and 2015. This represents an increase of over 130%!

Who governs?

The mayor, Birgit Monteiro, is a member of the SPD (Social Democratic Party). In the 2011 BVV (local) election, the Left Party won 20 seats, the SPD 17, the CDU (Christian Democrats) 7, the Pirates 5, the Greens 4 and the NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany) 2.

On 18 September 2016, all EU-citizens have the opportunity to vote for the district assembly. You can find out here what it is all about and how it works in six different languages.

A date

On 15 January 1990, a civil movement appealed to people to demonstrate against the Stasi “with imagination and without violence”. 2,000 people stormed the Zentrale to demand the disbandment of the Stasi and the prevention of the destruction of its archive. The GDR’S security apparatus had been responsible for monitoring political activity and repression of all citizens for 40 years.

A film

“Die Legende von Paul und Paula” was one of the GDR’s most successful films. It tells the dramatic tale of Paul, an unhappily married man, and his lover Paula. The film became a cult classic after reunification. A scene that was shot on a bank of the Rummelsburger See in Lichtenberg is today named after the two lovers.

An attraction

The Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen (historical site at Hohenschönhausen) may be a gruesome place, but it remains nevertheless an unforgettable corner of history. The Soviet prison that was established here after the War later became a Stasi prison. Countless prisoners were physically and psychologically tortured there between 1951 and 1989.

An unusual attraction

The Dong-Xuan Center on Herzbergstraße is an enormous Asian market. You can find everything in its large halls, from foods and textiles to gadgets and machinery. The centre was founded after the fall of the Wall by Vietnamese to create jobs and social networks for members of their community, who, as foreign guest workers, had been wholly isolated in GDR times.

Which is your favourite place in Lichtenberg? What could the borough do better, how should it change? Your comments are part of the political discussion leading up to the BVV (local) election!

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