Potsdam to Luckenwalde

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Stadttheater and Friedrich-Ebert-Grundschule in Luckenwalde, 1927-30, Paul Backes, Rudolf Brennecke and Hans Graf

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Asparagus fields outside Beelitz

Having read yesterday that there are wolves 25km south of Berlin, I have been cycling more observantly through the forests. Nothing yet to report. However, this morning I did see a hooded crow drop something on the road, pick it up again and fly off. A nut, I wondered? But there aren’t any nuts yet. Then further along, beside the Templiner See, I saw the same thing from closer quarters: it was a freshwater mussel that the crow dropped!

We are following one of the Historiche Stadtkerne cycle routes in Brandenburg. Pleasant and interesting enough, with the advantage of not being too touristy. It goes through tthe asparagus capital of Beelitz, which celebrates its annual Spargelfest in June. Does it have a Spargelkönigin, I wondered?  That’s the level of excitement . . . but it keeps me entertained. Perhaps I could have done without the 4 kilometres of sand and Kopfsteinpflaster, though.

IMG_0689IMG_0688IMG_0673Luckenwalde is interesting. It obviously had a great deal of industry in the late 19th/early 20th century, as shown by the derelict factories in the town’s streets and the elegant Jugendstil residences. Like many towns in this part of Germany, it seems to have been left behind, despite the many signs of renovation. However, Luckenwalde also got a second wind in the 1920s and 30s when it was run by socialists along communal lines and was known as Rotes Luckenwalde. There are factories, housing estates and communal facilities built along modernist, Bauhaus lines outside the centre – too far for me on my after-dinner walk, so I had to be content with the theatre, school and Katasteramt (also by Paul Backes):

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During the Second World War there was a prisoner of war camp at Luckenwalde, and a small sign directs you to the cemetery. And at the back of the Friedrich-Elbert school was a bunker. I think the inscription says that it was used for the storage of files and documents associated with wartime building projects for the engineering Todt Organisation.

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