Mohrenstrasse | Berlin | Germany
Since 2004 that associations such as “Berlin Postkolonial”, the Initiative Black People in Germany ISD Bund e. V. and people such as Mnyaka Sururu Mboro and Christian Kopp have been campaigning for a change of many street names in Berlin - considered as racist and offensive towards people's from other cultures specially Africans. Negroes or Mohr - terms like these are seen by Mboro as discriminatory and racist towards black people and people from African origin. Mohr means foolish, stupid, simple-minded from Latin, Greek.
Germany's colonial entanglements date back to the 17th century. In 1683 Brandenburg-Prussia had a colony on the west coast of Africa. Her name: Groß-Friedrichsburg. In 1717 the Prussians sold the colony to the Dutch. Until then, they had been involved in the transatlantic slave trade. It was during this period that Mohrenstrasse or M * strasse got its name, says Christian Kopp from Berlin-Postkolonial, an association that offers city tours on German colonial history. “The street is named 1706, that is the time when the first black people were brought here. As a rule, these were underage boys who had to serve here at the court. That means the name is closely linked to the history of the lack of freedom and enslavement of people of African origin. ”
The controversy over the renaming of Mohrenstrasse is representative of how complicated it is to adequately address Germany's role in colonialism. How to deal with it in a city that is full of memorial and memorial sites? And where is most of the neighborhood closer than the colonial legacy?