The southern Hansaviertel – “Interim of the 70 Houses”
Several air raids in January and March 1943 and, above all, a major attack in the night of 22nd to 23rd November 1943, almost completely destroyed the Hansaviertel of the imperial era. Of the 343 houses, 70 remained, many of which were badly damaged.(1) The churches were also destroyed. In order to give shelter to the many war refugees, displaced persons and people made homeless by the bombardments, the remaining large middle-class apartments in the Hansaviertel were each divided into four or five smaller units.
About 4000 people still lived here in the narrowest of spaces and between the rubble. (2)
Due to the enormous housing shortage in 1951, the district of Tiergarten sought to organize a competition for the reconstruction of the area, but this was not approved by the Senate. Not only that, there was a suspension of all building work in the Hansaviertel. The valuable inner-city residential area thus lay fallow, waiting for its revival. It was not until 1953 that the Senate itself announced an ideas competition for the reconstruction of the Hansaviertel and declared it the core area of the International Building Exhibition Interbau.
Dr. Sandra Wagner-Conzelmann