HomeDocument of the WeekBerlin Directory 1957

The Berlin City Address Directory from 1957 is clearly my document of this week. All 2442 pages have now been scanned, and I have started uploading them to the Taxodium website in manageable pdf-files of thirty pages each. The directory is so important as a source, because it was the first of its kind since 1943. If you want to know, where somebody had ended up in Berlin after the war or if somebody had survived it at all, you have to look here first. The volume contains the West Berlin districts only, as there were no such public directories in East Berlin, according to the GDR secrecy policy.
The address directories, which had been common since the 18th century, were slowly replaced by the phone directories, and the last address directories in Berlin were published in the 1960s.
This volume, which has not been available online up to now, has already helped me in a number of family research projects, and I discover new interesting or amusing details again and again.
Not David Bowie, who was just ten years old by then and came to Berlin much later in 1976. Closest to his name is a Gerda Bowi in Paulsborner Strasse 93. Well, Bowie was the stage name for David Robert Jones. A David Jones lived right around the corner of my place in Südwestkorso 8. My own family name appears only five times in the spelling variant Jarzembowski, but my birth name “Schmidt” fills – to be precise – 22 pages. Anyhow, there is no “Marc Schmidt” – the given name was not common by then – but, for example, 281 “Walter Schmidt”s, twelve of them locksmiths.
Perhaps you find some old acquaintances, relatives or familiar names in the directory, too?

Image: Berlin City Address Directory from 1957


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