January 1945, the Wedding and the church in rubble. In may 1999, starts the building Period of the Chapel of Reconciliation 23d of Mai 1999, Generalsuperintendent Passauer starts the Building Period.
From the Church of Reconciliation
to the Chapel of Reconciliation
In 1945, Berlin lay in rubble and ashes. Postwar Germany had a difficult legacy to bear. In Berlin, the "Trümmerfrauen" enabled the reconstruction of the city. The damaged Church of Reconciliation, too, was repaired. But then the city was divided. The border passed right through the middle of the Reconciliation Parish. The mission of the parish on Bernauer Strasse, however, remained reconciliation, a reconciliation which extended beyond political borders.
In 1989, the Wall fall in Berlin. Europe continues to grow together, East and West. What does reconciliation mean today? The remains of the old church were gradually discovered - a pew, the altar, the church bells, the statue of Jesus Christ, the fallen tower cross. Finally, the old church foundations were exposed. After the property upon which the Wall stood was returned to the Parish, the question arose as to how it should be used in the coming millennium, what the form and content of that use should be. The Parish was aware of the significance of its location through many conversations with old Berliners as well as with young foreign guests of the city
Its location on Bernauer Strasse, on the former "death strip," on the foundations of the demolished Church of Reconciliation, on the Berlin Wall Memorial Site.
With this in mind, the Parish formulated a simple mission: that the rescued bells and the altar of the old church should be put to use at their original location. Where could there be a more fitting place to establish a "Chapel of Rec-onciliation's" an international sign of gratitude for overcoming of the division of Berlin, and the separation of Germany and Europe?