The Wissmannstraße was named in 1890 after Hermann von Wissmann (1853 – 1905). Wissmann was in the military and, as a colonizer, contributed significantly to the forcible colonization of the Congo through military expeditions.

In 1895, Wissmann was appointed governor of the colony of “German East Africa” (present Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) and ordered taxation of the colonized, which is considered to have triggered the Maji-Maji War. In this war more than 100,000 East African people lost their lives. Wissmann defeated the anti-colonial resistance of the coastal population in the colony of “German East Africa” with the so-called “Wissmann Force” between 1888 and 1890. 

Status of the Renaming

The district assembly of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf passed a resolution in 2019 with the aim of renaming Wissmannstraße. The initiative “Decolonize Berlin” supports the proposal of a renaming initiative to honor the Jewish family Barasch, murdered in the Nazi regime, who lived in the Wissmannstraße 11 A from 1921 to 1942. Arthur Barasch owned the company “Gebrüder Barasch, Deutsch-russischer Warenaustausch Berlin” at M*straße 51 until he was deported by the Nazis to the concentration camp Auschwitz in 1942, where he was murdered on November 6, 1942. 

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