Berlin Philharmonic  In the Philharmonic the opening concert of the 14th Berlin Festwochen took  place on 13  September 1964 at 11 o'clock. This concert is officially designed as a memorial service for John F. Kennedy. Various choirs (including the Choir of St. Hedwig's Cathedral and the  choir of the "Black Nativity Play") sing chorales, gospels and spirituals. The Governing  Mayor, Willy Brand, had personally asked Martin Luther King jr to hold the memorial. In  his speech, King not only recalled the famous words of the American president, "I am a  Berliner," but emphasized the importance of Kennedy's work for freedom and justice. The Philharmonic was built between 1960 and 1963 according to the designs of Hans  Scharoun as the first building of today's cultural forum. Its gold-yellow, luminous exterior façade is as impressive as the tent architecture of the building. This tent architecture is  also felt in the large concert hall. Due to the asymmetrical design and the placement of  the spectators around the stage, the hall offers not only excellent acoustics, but also  interesting perspectives on singers and musicians. The hall has 2250 seats. The  Philharmonic Hall also houses the Chamber Music Hall (1180 seats) and the Museum of  Instruments. Both parts of the building were later added. Visitors to the Philharmonic  now enter the building from the former entrance, which is located between the  Philharmonic Hall and the Chamber Music Hall. The representative main entrance, with a  forecourt, is towards the Tiergarten. At the time of the edification and until 1989, the  Berlin Wall ran along Potsdamer Platz. The whole area was undeveloped by the border.  The station Potsdamer Platz was a so-called "ghost station" - in which the S-Bahn trains  did not stop. Visitors went by bus or car to the Philharmonic. With the fall of the Wall, the redesign of Potsdamer Platz and the opening of the station this changed. Therefore the  "rear entrance" and parts of the foyer were redesigned and received in 2009 a  representative letter.       


The Stallschreiberstraße is located in the district Friedrichhain-Kreuzberg. The wall has  been running along this road since 1961. The border installations have been reinforced  several times since the construction of the Berlin Wall. In the wall strip there are several  border fences with barbed wire before you reach the actual wall to West Berlin. In the  early morning hours of September 13, 1964, the 21-year-old jockey Michael Meyer  escaped to the West via the border installations in the Starnschreiberstrasse. Meyer was  shot several times by the border policemen with machine guns and was severely injured  on the wall to West Berlin. Residents of the Stubenschreiberstrasse had noticed the flight and informed the police. It was only thanks to the courageous behavior of a US sergeant  that Michael Meyer was saved. He threw a rope to the refugee and finally went over the  wall. With the rescue, Sergeant Puhl violated the law, as he threatened the border  policemen with the firearm and damaged the border installations. The GDR authorities  are protesting against this incident. Puhl deliberately violated the law - hears his  conscience and thereby saves a human life. For this "heroic act" the US sergeant of the  the US sergeant was honored by the Governing Mayor Willy Brandt. When Martin Luther  King jr. heard of the flight, he went to the Starnschreiberstraße. King spoke to residents of House No. 42 and inspected the numerous bullet holes in the windows and façade. He  went directly to the wall and showed himself shaken by this tragic incident. Michael  Meyer was also treated in the Urban Hospital. Following his testimony, Martin Luther King jr visited him in the hospital together with Axel Springer. Today a commemorative placard reminds us of this escape attempt. radio interview with Michael Meyer:  Potsdamer Platz   The pictures with Martin Luther King jr. In front of the border installations at Potsdamer  Platz are part of a city tour. Potsdamer Platz is one of the most important and oldest traffic intersections in the inner  city of Berlin. That is why it was one of the most lively places in Berlin (even Europe) until the Second World War, and was a popular meeting place for art, culture and politics. After the bombing of the Allies, Potzdamer Platz was half ruined. With the division of the city  became the place to the "Dreiländereck" with a blooming black market. From 1961, the  square was actually a border area, in which nearly all buildings were demolished in the  1970s. At no point in the wall was the death row so wide. The Berlin Senate (West Berlin)  bought the numerous ruin grounds (among other things for security reasons) to tear  them down as well. Until 1989, the entire area was "dead." After 1990, the life at  Potsdamer Platz slowly began to pulsate again. New quarters were created that  characterize today's cityscape and attract countless tourists.  
Commemoration in Philharmonic Hall / pic: Bundesarchiv 
program of the commemoration / pic: Berliner Festspiele 
King, Jr. talked with residents / pic: akg images 
contemporary witness M. Meyer 2013 / pic: king code 
made with MAGIX copyright by GJW-BB/ king-code project 2017
Potsdamer Platz 1964 / pic: Ev. Landeskirchearchiv Berlin