Up until Berlin and Germany were reunified, City West around Kurfürstendamm was the showcase of West Germany’s economic miracle. However, after the Berlin Wall fell, the borough lost its role as the capital’s centre as new centres of cultural life arose in East Berlin. But for the last few years, there has been a palpable sense of renewal in the air. The Zoo-Palast has reopened, the Bikinihaus has been transformed, the Schaubühne is enjoying a second spring, several new photographic studios have opened, and so on. City West is reinventing itself. 

The borough has grown very attractive again for EU citizens: in 2020, 33,253 EU foreigners lived in the borough. That is 9.7% of the residents in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. 

Who governs? 

The SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) has governed the borough since 2001. Since 2011, the borough mayor has been Reinhard Naumann. In the last BVV election in 2016, the SPD won 15 seats, the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) 13 seats and the Greens 12 seats. The FDP (Free Democratic Party) received 6 seats, the AfD (Alternative for Germany) 5 seats and Die Linke 4 seats. 

On 26 September 2021, the borough elections will take place in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, in which all EU citizens can also participate. Here you can find out everything you need to know about these elections in eight languages.  

A date 

5 May 1886 marks the official opening of the tram line that ran from Zoologischer Garten to Halensee. The line travelled almost the entire length of the Kurfürstendamm and has thus become the boulevard’s official birthday. West Berlin’s last tram line was, however, closed in 1967 but Kurfürstendamm is still City West’s showcase boulevard. 

A film 

“Im Angesicht des Verbrechens” (In the Face of Crime) is a German crime series that takes place in areas of Charlottenburg known for Russian Mafia activity. A policeman whose brother was murdered ten years earlier is on the trail of a head of the Russian Mafia. He must continuously balance his personal principles with his new life as a policeman. 

An attraction 

The Olympic Games of 1936 were held in the Olympiastadion, though at the time it had been named “Reichssportfeld” by the national-socialist regime. The German stadium was completed in 1913 but remodelled along Roman lines by the 1936 government. Today it can accommodate almost 75,000 people. 

An unusual attraction 

Radar domes bulge out above the trees on the Teufelsberg. The Allied monitoring station used for the Cold War was situated here on this man-made hill, built from 25 million tonnes of war detritus. The electronic equipment was removed after the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany’s subsequent reunification. The building was used to monitor civil flight traffic until 1999 and then left. At 120m, it is Berlin’s highest hill. 

Which is your favourite place in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf? 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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