Inside the old church. Entrance of the church, Bernauer Strasse 4, in the early 50th. In the 50th, the church behind the iron curtin
From the Church of Reconciliation
to the Chapel of Reconciliation
Was does it mean that Gothic church was built in the 19th century, in a workingclass district? Symbols are a matter of feeling, it requires intuition in order to understand them. In the neo-Gothic, romantic emotion resonates, there is the aesthetic of the sublime, the overpowering, as well as nostalgia, the yearning for the clear relations of the village church, which one discovers the first time one looks out of the houses, and the glory of the highest which shines between the modest dwellings. On the other hand, there is the neo-Gothic belief that one can treat one's own history like a store room of props that can be used at will. Since 1961, the church has stood directly on the "death strip" or Todesstreifen of the Berlin Wall, less a symbol of reconciliation than of the impossibility of reconciliation.
One can also say that the Church of Reconciliation be came a symbol the moment its Parish members had to cross the sector border in order to enter church property. The 20th century, however, has found its symbols not in the building of churches, but in their destruction. And that one can see a symbol in the demolition of a church is itself again a metaphor for the destructive character of this century. The demolition was supposed to create a free field of fire. But it was also supposed to do more than this. An image was supposed to be destroyed. The church, which was literally walledin by the border, and which, in addition to this, bore the name "reconciliation," exposed the lie of erecting the Wall as "an antifascist wall of protection."