Berlin History from Birchys Berlin Tours

On This Day In Berlin History

This is a list of Berlin History Events, they are listed by month and day. The German capital is filled with events and we picked some modern birthdays and events as well. Have a look at some of the events through the history of the German Capital. There is a Berlin event that happened at some point in history for almost every day of the year! For modern Berlin events, you can check out our posts on Berlin Events.Don’t forget to add a comment for any events, birthdays, and other important dates that we have missed.

Events in Berlin History

03-01-1292Berlin HistoryOn this day January 3, 1292,  St. Mary's Church known to be in existence on this day. In German known as the Marienkirche, it is located right at Alexanderplatz Berlin today. The exact age of the original church site and structure is not precisely known, but it was first mentioned in German chronicles in 1292. It is presumed to date from earlier in the 13th century.
05-01-1919Berlin History
  • On this day January 5, 1919 Left-wing Spartacus organization instigates a revolt in Berlin; terrified by the spread of Bolshevism, German troops brutally suppress the uprising
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06-01-2019Berlin HistoryOn this day January 6, 2019, Berlin Christmas Gardens end.
07-01-1893Berlin HistoryOn this day January 7, 1893, Hermann Sudermanns "Heimat" premieres in Berlin
08-01-1923Berlin HistoryOn this day January 8, 1923, Joseph Weizenbaum, German-American computer scientist & professor, born in Berlin, Germany. (D. 2008)
09-01-1937Berlin HistoryOn this day January 9, 1937, Klaus Schlesinger, German writer, born in Berlin (d. 2001)
10-01-1833Berlin HistoryOn this day January 10, 1833, Felix Mendelssohn composer and pianist's cantata "Die erste Walpurgisnacht" premieres in Berlin
10-01-1927Berlin HistoryOn this day January 10, 1927, Fritz Lang's silent film "Metropolis" premieres in Berlin
11-01-1966Berlin HistoryOn this day January 11, 1966, Dieter Brandes dies from injuries sustained while being shot during an escape attempt at the Berlin Wall. On the grounds of the Nordbahnhof station near Feldstrasse at the sector border between Berlin-Mitte and Berlin-Wedding
13-01-1989Berlin HistoryOn this day January 13, 1989, Ingolf Diederichs tried to overcome the border barriers of the Berlin Wall between the districts Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding and was fatally injured in the jump from a moving suburban train. After him, only two more people died at the Berlin Wall.
14-01-1845Berlin HistoryOn this day January 14, 1845, The Physical Society of Berlin is established and is currently the worlds largest organization of physicists.
15-01-1963Berlin HistoryOn this day January 15, 1963, Horst Kutscher Shot while trying to escape Berlin Wall. Border troops of the GDR shot him on the Rudower road.
16-01-1945Berlin HistoryOn this day January 16, 1945, Adolf Hitler moves into the fuher bunker in Berlin where he would later die.
17-01-1914Berlin HistoryOn this day January 17, 1914, Gerhart Hauptmann's "Der Bogen des Odysseus" premieres in Berlin
19-01-1965Berlin HistoryOn this day January 19, 1965, An unidentified Fugitive was found Drowned apparently whilst trying to escape east Berlin.
20-01-1942Berlin HistoryOn this day January 20, 1942, The Wannsee conference is held. A meeting of senior Nazi officials in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. The conference was held to make sure of support from various German Government organizations and to discuss what was termed the "final solution" and became the Holocaust.
21-01-1972Berlin HistoryOn this day January 21, 1972, Horst Kullack Shot without warning while trying to escape from East Berlin died from his injuries.
22-01-1973Berlin HistoryOn this day January 22, 1973, Holger H. the youngest Victim of the Berlin wall was accidentally suffocated by his mother. She was escaping by truck from east to west Berlin and accidentally suffocated the baby trying to keep it quiet from guards. 
24-01-1712Berlin HistoryOn this day January 24, 1712, Today is the Birthday of Frederick the Great
24-01-1963Berlin HistoryOn this day January 24, 1963, Peter Kreitlow Shot while trying to escape Berlin Wall. Five teenagers set off from Hennigsdorf to escape east Berlin. Guards opened fired costing Peter Kreitlow his life.
27-01-1945Berlin HistoryOn this day January 27, 1945, Soviet soldiers liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp. Today is celebrated as Holocaust Memorial Day/Liberation of Auschwitz.
27-01-1967Berlin HistoryOn this day January 27, 1967, Max Sahmland was Shot at attempting to escape and drowned from his injuries. It took place in the Teltow Canal near Kanalstrasse on the sector border between Berlin-Treptow and Berlin-Neukölln
28-01-1914Berlin HistoryOn this day January 28, 1914, A Strike broke out at the Berlin ammunition factory
28-01-1944Berlin HistoryOn this day January 28, 1944, 683 British bombers attacked and bombed Berlin.
30-01-1933Berlin HistoryOn this day January 30, 1933, Hitler was "elected" Chancellor of Germany.
30-01-1971Berlin HistoryOn this day January 30, 1971, Rolf-Dieter Kabelitz Shot during an escape attempt weeks earlier dies from his injuries. He was shot on the outer ring between Bergfelde (Oranienburg district) and Berlin-Reinickendorf
03-02-1945Berlin HistoryOn this day February 3, 1945, The American 1000 bomber raid of World War II begins on Berlin.
05-02-1989Berlin HistoryOn this day February 5, 1089, Chris Gueffroy becomes the last to be killed at the Berlin Wall using firearms on the Britzer Zweigkanal, near the garden settlement "Harmonie" and "Sorgenfrei" on the sector border between Berlin-Treptow and Berlin-Neukölln.
06-02-1963Berlin HistoryOn this day February 6, 1963, 16-year-old Wolf-Olaf Muszynski is reported missing. It is later found out that he drowned during an escape attempt. The escape probably took place near the Oberbaum Bridge at the sector border between Berlin-Friedrichshain and Berlin-Kreuzberg.
07-02-1966Berlin HistoryOn this day February 7, 1966 Willi Block Shot at while trying to escape and died from his injuries. At the end of Finkenkruger Weg, where it intersects with Strasse 347, you can find a memorial cross for Willi Block.
10-02-1471Berlin HistoryOn this day February 10, 1471, death of Frederick II of Brandenburg (Iron Tooth)
10-02-1962Berlin HistoryOn this day February 10, 1962, Francis Gary Powers an American Spy Pilot is exchanged at the Glienicke Brucker in exchange for Soviet Colonel Rudolf Abel.
11-02-1986Berlin HistoryOn this day February 11, 1986, Exchange of Soviet Human rights activist Anatoli Sharanski + 3 spies held in DDR or Czeckoslovakia exchanged at Glienecke Bruckke Berlin.
12-02-1987Berlin HistoryOn this day February 12, 1987, Lutz Schmidt Shot while trying to escape Berlin Wall.
16-02-1620Berlin HistoryOn this day February 16, 1620, Birthday of Frederick William The great elector
16-02-1977Berlin HistoryOn this day February 16, 1977, Dietmar Schweitzer was shot and killed trying to escape East Berlin. Near the Berliner Allee on the outer ring between Schönwalde and Berlin-Spandau.
18-02-1968Berlin HistoryOn this day February 18, 1968, Dieter and Elke Weckeiser where Shot while trying to escape Berlin Wall across from the Reichstag building, near Kronprinzen Bridge at the sector border between Berlin-Mitte and Berlin-Tiergarten. Elke was dead at the scene and Dieter passed away a day later from his wounds. The border soldiers were commended and awarded the "Medal for Exemplary Service at the Border." Thirty years later they faced charges from the Berlin district court for the shots fired at Elke and Dieter Weckeiser.
19-02-1962Berlin HistoryOn this day February 19, 1962, Dorit Schmeil Shot while trying to escape Berlin Wall. Although the official East German reports claim otherwise, the guards opened fire without calling out first. When the guards stopped firing and approached there where 5 young people. Ordering them to stand up. Detlef T., Dieter B. and Brigitte K. obeyed the order. The 16-year-old Eberhard B. was also able to get up by himself although a bullet had wounded his shoulder. However, Dorit Schmiel remained on the ground, the 20-year-old girl was taken away and later died. Thirty years later three border guards stood trial for firing the shots.
25-02-1713Berlin HistoryOn this day February 25, 1713, Death of Frederich III/Frederick 1st of Prussia and beginning of the reign of Frderick willhelm II (Soldier King).
27-02-1933Berlin HistoryOn this day February 27, 1933, The Reichstag catches on fire, a result of an arson attack. Taking place one month after was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany, Hitler used the fire to prove that communists were out to ruin Germany. A Dutch communist party member Marinus van der Lubbe was found near the building and blamed for the fire.
27-02-1974Berlin HistoryOn this day February 27, 1974, Walter Hayn - is Shot while trying to escape Berlin Wall and dies.
10-03-1988Berlin HistoryOn this day March 10, 1988, Today marks the first successful escape over the Glienekce Brucke
28-03-1935Berlin HistoryOn This Day March 28, 1935, The film "Triumph of the Will" premiered.
31-03-1944Berlin HistoryOn this day March 31, 1944, The RAF's  bombing campaign termed "battle of Berlin" ends
09-04-1708Berlin HistoryOn this day April 9, 1708,  Neue Kirche is completed and can still be seen today in Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt.
11-04-1929Berlin HistoryOn this day April 11, 1929,  Kino Babylon opened in Berlin and is still open today!
16-04-1945Berlin HistoryOn this day April 16, 1945, The Battle of Berlin also known as the fall of Berlin Begins
30-04-1945Berlin HistoryOn this day April 30, 1945, The death of Adolf Hitler in the Fuhrer Bunker by suicide.
01-05-1927Berlin HistoryOn this day May 1, 1927, Hitler gave his first speech in Berlin at the Clou Concert Hall
02-05-1945Berlin HistoryOn this day May 2, 1945 German Forces Surrender, Ending World War II
02-05-1945Berlin HistoryOn this day May 2, 1945, The Battle of Berlin Ends. Nikolai Berzarin becomes commander of the Soviet sector of city.
05-05-1955Berlin HistoryOn this day May 5, 1955, The Allies proclaim Germany a sovereign state, officially ending the occupation.
08-05-1945Berlin HistoryOn this Day May 8, 1945, The Ceremonial German Instrument of Surrender signed in Karlshorst in the district of Lichtenberg Berlin.
10-05-1933Berlin HistoryOn this day May 10, 1933, Opernplatz Berlin plays host to the infamous Nazi Book Burning.
16-05-1881Berlin HistoryOn this day September 24, 1892, In the suburb of Lichterfeld Berlin, the  Gross-Lichterfelde Tramway opens for service, the world's first electric tram line.
21-05-1945Berlin HistoryOn this Day May 21, 1945, The Berliner Zeitung starts publishing. The newspaper continues publication today
23-05-1949Berlin HistoryOn this day May 23, 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland, West Germany) is founded.
09-06-1965Berlin HistoryOn this day June 9, 1965, Dieter Brandes Shot at while trying to escape and died from his injuries, on the grounds of the Nordbahnhof station near Feldstrasse at the sector border between Berlin-Mitte and Berlin-Wedding .
11-06-1982Berlin HistoryOn this day June 11, 1982, U.S. President Ronald Regan visits Berlin for the first time.
17-06-1953Berlin HistoryOn this day June 17, 1953, A workers revolt sweeps across East Germany. Workers in many cities go on strike to demand better working and living conditions.
22-06-1865Berlin HistoryOn this day June 22, 1865, The first horse-drawn tram line in Berlin is set up.
23-06-1848Berlin HistoryOn this day June 23, 1848, The Berlin Police are formed. Happy Birthday, Polizei!
24-06-1922Berlin HistoryOn this day June 24, 1922, Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau assassinated.
24-06-1948Berlin HistoryOn this day June 24, 1948, The Berlin Blockade begins. The Soviet Union cuts of all land and water routes in east Berlin leading to the west sectors.
26-06-1963Berlin HistoryOn this day June 26, 1963 U.S. President makes his famous "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" speech in front of  Schöneberg City Hall.
10-07-1877Berlin HistoryOn this day July 10, 1877, Berlin opens up old Nordbanhof as a new U-bahn stop.
17-07-1945Berlin HistoryOn this Day July 17, 1945, The start of the Potsdam Conference. Allied forces meet here to discuss the post-war order of Germany which had surrendered nine-weeks earlier. At the conference where the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represented by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, and President Harry S. Truman.
20-07-1944Berlin HistoryOn this day July 20, 1944,  Claus von Stauffenberg and other conspirators attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The attempt took place inside the Wolfs Lair with Stauffenberg himself placing a bomb under a meeting table where Hitler was sitting. The operation has later picked up the name  Operation Valkyrie.
01-08-1936Berlin HistoryOn this day August 1, 1936, Olympiastadion opened in Berlin.
01-08-1973Berlin HistoryOn this day August 1, 1973, Walter Ulbricht, the head of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), dies in office.
09-08-1931Berlin HistoryOn this day August 9, 1931, The Murders of Paul Anlauf and Franz Lenck took place.  Police captain Paul Anlauf and officer Franz Lenck were assassinated by members of the Communist Party. One of the murderers, Erich Mielke, later became head of the Stasi in East Germany, and was convicted of the murders in 1993.
13-08-1961Berlin HistoryOn this day August 13, 1961, East German troops and workers begin stringing barbed wire and setting up barriers in Berlin. This is the start of the Berlin wall.
25-08-1923Berlin HistoryOn this day August 25, 1923 The last horse bus ran in Berlin.
25-08-1940Berlin HistoryOn this day August 25, 1940, The first bombing in Berlin of World War II Begins.
01-09-1895Berlin HistoryOn this day September 1, 1895, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church inaugurated
12-09-1960Berlin HistoryOn this day September 12, 1960, Walter Ulbricht becomes the head of the German Democratic Republic. He is also the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.
24-09-1846Berlin HistoryOn this day September 24, 1846, The planet Neptune was discovered at the Berlin Observatory.
24-09-1892Berlin HistoryOn this day September 24, 1892, The Komische Oper opens in Berlin. It is still open and producing operas musicals and other forms of stage entertainment.
29-09-1867Berlin HistoryOn this day September 29, 1867,  Friedrichstadt-Palast is built and still operating today.
01-10-1920Berlin HistoryOn this day October 1, 1920, Berlin City area expands per Greater Berlin Act, incorporating Charlottenburg, Köpenick, Lichtenberg, Neukölln, Schöneberg, Spandau, and Wilmersdorf.
07-10-1949Berlin HistoryOn this day October 7, 1949 the creation of the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, East Germany)
09-10-1760Berlin HistoryOn this day October 9, 1760, Berlin is taken by Russian and Austrian forces until October 13th of the same year. This was part of the "Seven Years War"
15-10-1810Berlin HistoryOn this day October 15, 1810, Berlin University opens.
16-10-1757Berlin HistoryOn this day October 16, 1757, Austrian general Hadik raids Berlin. During the Third Silesian War Cavalrymen of the Holy Roman Empire attacked and briefly occupied Berlin
29-10-1838Berlin HistoryOn this day October 29, 1838,  first railway in Prussia, the Berlin–Potsdam railway opened.
09-11-1989Berlin HistoryOn this day November 9, 1989 The Fall of the Berlin Wall, Uniting East and West Berlin.
18-11-1943Berlin HistoryOn this day November 18, 1943, The RAF's Battle of Berlin Begins.
21-11-1806Berlin HistoryOn this day November 21, 1806,  Napoleon issues the "Berlin Decree" while passing through the city. The Decree stated that "the British Isles are declared to be in a state of blockade." The goal was to block trade and commerce with Great Britain in order to force a peacefull surrender.

For more on Berlin history head over to our dedicated section of posts!

Or if you’re looking for a quick overview summary of the city’s history, head over to the wiki article here.

Comment below if there is an event, birthday or anything else that you think we should add to this list!

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