Berlin is… quite a lot! Many have tried to put down in words the unique, special character of the city. Some of the big words about the pearl on Spree river happened apropos of nothing, other under the eyes of millions. We put together the five best, funniest and most loving quotes about the metropolis – enjoy our Top5 Berlin Quotes:
place5: DAVID BOWIE
“Berlin, the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine.”
Berlin loves Bowie and Bowie loves Berlin. In the late 70s the musician stayed in Schöneberg for two years and recorded his biggest hits here. Until today the hype around the man with tight pants has not vanished and his song Heroes is often seen as a Berlin anthem. His quote seems timeless, Berlin is still a creative space and source of inspiration for the pop culture of our time. And makes a free with it.
place4: FRANZ VON SUPPÉ
“You are crazy, my child, you must go to Berlin.”
To start off with: Whether the quote really goes back to Austrian Operetta composer Franz von Suppé, is not entirely clear. In his stage play Fatinitza there is a rousing march, the melody of which reappeared 80 years later in the German movie Der eiserne Gustav with those special lyrics that became a well-known saying. During the 50s in Germany the song became quite popular. The entire lyrics: “You are crazy, my child, you must go to Berlin. You belong where the lunatics are!” Valid back then, still valid today.
place3: KLAUS WOWEREIT
“Berlin is poor but sexy.”
For more than 13 years Klaus Wowereit had been Governing Mayor of Berlin before he resigned a month ago. He has often been smiled at for his saucy patters, a few antics, and an image that did not meet the expectations of conservative politicians. Still, “Wowi” has left a mark on the city like no other in the last few years. His most memorable quote about the city in debt goes back to an interview with Focus Money magazine in 2003. The words are legend – just like “Wowi” himself.
place2: ANNELIESE BÖDECKER
“The Berliners are unfriendly and reckless, gruff and bossy. Berlin is odious, noisy, dirty, and gray; roadworks and congested streets wherever you go – but I’m sorry for everyone who does not stay here.”
Anneliese Bödecker is not exactly famous. But the social worker and philanthropist, born in 1932, has dedicated her live to the city in many ways. In 1999 she was awarded the Order of Merit by the district of Berlin. Her quote is on many postcards in the capital and I’m sure that all Berliners can totally relate to her words.
place1: JOHN F. KENNEDY
“All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words: Ich bin ein Berliner!“
US President J. F. Kennedy said these famous words on June 26th, 1963 in his speech to the people of West Berlin, right in front of the city hall of Schöneberg. What brought it about was ostensibly the 15th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. But principally it was supposed to be a strong signal of support two years after the wall had been erected. West Berlin should stand as a stronghold against GDR and UDSSR. Fun fact: the words “Ick bin ein Berliner” were spoken twice during the speech. That he also declared himself a jelly filled pastry (‘Berliner’ is a common name for donuts with jelly filling in Germany) JFK only learned afterwards…
Are you crazy enough for Berlin? Come to the capital of cultural extravaganza, poor and sexy as ever! Book your bed here with us at Industriepalast Hostel, and soon you can say “Ich bin ein Berliner” as well!
See you there,
Blogger at Industriepalast Hostel
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.