About Schönholzer Heide and its Hidden Histories (Dennoch Köstlich Amüsiert)
The public park Schönholzer Heide in Pankow, Berlin hosted in the past a castle, a fair ground, a film studio, a mulberry plantation, a health retreat, a nazi labour camp, war bunkers, a theatre, a public bath, a dumping ground, among other things. Today, if you know where to look you can find traces of these past activities in the park. You can still find remains from the castle and other buildings and constructions in the park. The park is used today for recreation and hosts graveyards as well as an adventure playground and a Soviet war memorial.
‘Bolle reiste jüngst zu Pfingsten’ is one of the most known folk songs using Berlin dialect. The song is about a person called Bolle who visited the Lunapark amusement park and got into all sorts of trouble. Despite this he enjoyed himself (‘Dennoch Köstlich Amüsiert’).
The project has been funded by the local government of Pankow, Berlin.
After the building of the Berlin Wall the park itself was on the Eastern side but the train station on the western side. The theatre was no longer an easy to reach destination and so the park including the theatre lost their importance as a recreation area.
During the time of East Germany much of the park ended up being used as an unofficial dumping ground for people living nearby despite several improvement plans. It is still possible to find old junk from that time in the park. In 1984 however efforts were made to improve the park and among other things the adventure playground was built.
After the reunification of Germany the park again gained importance as a recreation destination. Today the park hosts large open spaces, forest parts, an adventure playground and sports grounds. The Soviet War Memorial and the graveyards are still major parts of the area. There is an annual percussion festival on the grounds used by the gun club.
Bolle reiste jüngst zu Pfingsten,
Nach Pankow war sein Ziel;
Da verlor er seinen Jüngsten
Janz plötzlich im Jewühl;
’Ne volle halbe Stunde
Hat er nach ihm jespürt.
Aber dennoch hat sich Bolle
Janz köstlich amüsiert.