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Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church - Berlin

Updated on July 2, 2017

The Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Church in Berlin, Germany

This is the Church I was baptized in, Kaiser Wilhelm Church Berlin, Germany.

A short history of this Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Church

Originally the church was built in 1890's and then destroyed in WWII November 23, 1943.

The church was named in Honor of Kaiser William I by his grandson Kaiser Wilhelm II...designed by a contest winner Franz Schwechten and consecrated September 1, 1895. Completion with the opening consecration on February 22, 1906...Then again after the war the new church was consecrated May 25, 1962.

(Church before it was destroyed)

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Kaiser Wilhelm Church "Before" being destroyed by the bombings

Traveling back in time with the history and photographs of this church...

This Historical Memorial Church is a must see when in Berlin Germany.

see photos below:


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I'm on the left and sis on the right
I'm on the left and sis on the right | Source

Our Baptism

I can say proudly, that I and my twin (fraternal) sister were baptized in this famous German Church Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche about a year before it was destroyed.

We had the most beautiful Christening gowns. They were made from my grandmother Georgianna's wedding dress of French lace with beaded seed pearls...what I would give, to have those dresses now! They were lost or left behind in Berlin due to our migration during the war. All I have is one photograph for that day, and a label from a Champagne bottle.

As seen I painted this event for my Blog of Childhood memories.

Standing on the steps where mom stood

| Source

To enter the church was a heart wrenching experience, that's because my mom always wanted to take me there. Eventhough I never got to visit there together as an adult, she was in my heart and spirit...I lit a candle and prayed for her.

My husband took a photo of me on the very steps where mom held me and my sister on our Baptism day...I hope to be able to go back again some day.

Champagne bottle label - Brut Imperial 1928 Moet & Chandon Champagne Epernay

Brut
Brut

The other side of the label -

Moet
Moet

Champagne for the Christening...

Amazing that this item could be found during the war, but I guess if you have enough money anything can be bought. I'm happy to have this label commemorating that day...I just wish I had a bottle of this Champagne "Brut Imperial 1928 Moet & Chandon Champagne Epernay"

On the reverse side of this label includes the names of relatives and friends that attended our Christening.

My Tante (Aunt) Eva was my Godmother, she was the youngest of mom's sisters, so one of my middle names is Eva.

My sister's Godmother was Tante Ruth and her Godfather's name has been forgotten, although one of her middle names is Teddi...something I had meant to ask my aunts, but they are all gone now, so really it doesn't matter.

Because of my father having a title of Baron, we inherited the titles of Baroness. We did not use the titles after becoming citizens...in this country a title means nothing unless you have the money to back it up...so be it!

Postcard from my Aunt Margot -

postcard Berlin church
postcard Berlin church

My Aunt Margot (Tante Margot) sent me this postcard in 1964 and she marked it with, "this is where you were Baptized."

The last time I visited with her in Nuremberg, she told me the Pastor that baptized us was quite famous, something I never knew.

If it were not for this aunt I wouldn't have been able to confirm many stories about the family (I miss her dearly) She spoke English and it was easy to understand her, she's one reason I write about this, so that I will never forget or that my daughters never forget, who and what my family stood for (sadly both of my girls have no interest in my past or family's past, but they might someday when I'm gone.)

After the bombing

Click thumbnail to view full-size

One of my first Photos of the Church - back side

Kaiser
Kaiser

Another View at a Different Time Setting

Kaiser
Kaiser

A candle lit for my mom and dad in the church

candle
candle

Inside the church

type=text
type=text

The New modern Church had been added - Inside

alter inside new church
alter inside new church

We where lucky enough to be there when they had a free special concert of wonderful music, mostly sung in English. The service was late at night 11:00 pm...the lights from the outside came through the blue stain glass...it was lovely, I am so glad we chose to go to this.

Service and singing - was in English

Service and singing
Service and singing

An evening stroll viewing the Church

evening
evening

On the street Kurfürstendamm - the church in background
On the street Kurfürstendamm - the church in background | Source

Born, Baptized and Lived on Kurfürstendamm

We were born at a Hospital on this street Kurfürstendamm, my father also had a Photography Studio, and the House that we lived in on this street. The Hospital was not a real one, but a mansion converted into a Hospital.

We left the Hospital early because my mother and father were angry. One of the nurses spilled boiling water on my left leg causing a severe burn and scar to this day... when my mother questioned the nurse why I was wrapped up and not all of me could be seen, the nurse replied that she feared my dad because of his title...so my father insisted that we leave the Hospital, and that was certainly a Blessing in disguise, the Hospital was bombed the following day, and everyone perished.

Enjoying a wonderful breakfast at the Hotel Hardenberg

Hotel Hardenberg - eating breakfast
Hotel Hardenberg - eating breakfast

My husband and I where so very lucky to get a room reserved at this Hotel Hardenberg...it was one block from the train station Berlin and right across the street from the Memorial Church, between Kurfurstendamm and the Zoo station. The Hotel manager who spoke English made special arrangements for us to get a room, this after he found out about my Berlin family history. All the hotels in town had been booked and all rooms were taken, this because of the World Champion Soccer 2006 Tournament...we were lucky indeed to have gotten this room.

The only regret I have about our visit there was my lack of research of Berlin touring places, it never occurred to me to visit a tour place there, since I forgot to do it at home...we did go on a boat trip down the river in Berlin, went to the Museum, then to the Wall and the Brandenburg Gate, of course walking a great deal...I guess I was just too excited being there and overwhelmed with it all, there were so many people and so much noise because the Germans won a tournament in Berlin...you can imagine the pandemonium...it scared me!

After Berlin, our next stop was Dresden where my dad and other family members were born, what a treat and wonderful experience that was. I wish I had known what I know now when we visited, but that gives me a chance to go back for another visit.

I wrote a little part about our visit in a page already having information on Dresden and family (see my family crest page)


Mapped portion where the Church is located

map
map
Behind the Berlin Wall
Behind the Berlin Wall

Visiting famous Churches or Cathedrals

I love History, and when we travel we try to visit Churches and Cathedrals that are famous...In Europe you can't beat them for their beauty, age and history...you don't have to be religious to appreciate this.

I enjoy the History and the Architecture of these building


Created 01/23/2010

What you are is God's gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God: Danish Proverb

Thank You for taking the time to read this story!

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    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      What a beautiful church. I am not religious at all, but I love the feel of a big beautiful church.

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 4 years ago

      Once I visited Berlin...just 3 days; very adorable city...

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      You've really brought color to this story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your wonderful story.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      How very magnificent the old buildings and churches were. They had personality which out modern day sky scrapers just do not capture.

    • DonD LM profile image

      DonD LM 5 years ago

      The Church is so huge and beautiful. The photos are great. Your lense is very informative. Thanks.

    • Karicor profile image

      Karicor 5 years ago

      What an incredible story! I have stood before that church but reading your personal account gives it an entirely new perspective. It's heart wrenching to consider all that was lost. Still, how wonderful to have that one photograph to spark this inspirational story.

    • oxfordian profile image

      oxfordian 5 years ago

      Your story is so beautiful and inspirational. I wrote a short story about the Berlin Wall that I published here on Squidoo; I only wish that I knew you at the time I wrote it! I have been drawn to that period in time as well. What a wonderful, heartwarming journey. I have never been to Berlin in person; for that I have been only a mental traveler, but I will go there some day and I hope it is very soon. I spent so many weeks researching my story, I feel that I know it, but of course, when I finally do get there, I can only now imagine what a powerful experience it will be. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful story.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      the river in berlin is called Spree. some delicious gurken pickles are being produced there in spreewald.

    • profile image

      travelerme 5 years ago

      I have done over a hundred likes.

    • profile image

      travelerme 5 years ago

      A thumbs up? sure.

    • GETREADY LM profile image

      GETREADY LM 5 years ago

      We would like to put a link on your lens pointing to our site http://www.getreadyberlin.com

      please get in touch with us at info@getreadyrentals.com

      Thanks for your time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Just doing some research on Berlin and came across your blog. So very interesting and touching to see the old photos and your more recent visits. Having also been to Berlin it is astounding to see how much was lost during the 2ndWW, What a travesty!! Still, there are beautiful old places. I can hardly imagine what it was like before. Thanks again! What a treat it is to share your memories!

    • annrhi profile image

      annrhi 6 years ago

      I have been in this church a few years ago, it fascinated me then so I was very pleased to find this lens and learn more about it

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i have some private photos of Hannes Stelzer from his Nachlass.

      contact(at)germanfilms.net

    • profile image

      casamonika 7 years ago

      I love history too and this lens touched my heart. I was also born and baptized in Berlin (1948). Left for America when I was 23. I'm so glad you're here to tell about your life. If my mother hadn't narrowly escaped one of the bombings (she was one of the few who made it out of a burning building, 300 others perished that night), I wouldn't be here to tell you how much I love your lenses and your art and your spirit.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      I adore all of your family history lenses, and this one was a real treat. I have seen that church and it's interesting to know of someone who was actually baptised there while it still stood. Your past is the most fascinating I've come across and will be lensrolling this to my True-Life Family History Stories lens.

    • profile image

      Geeve 7 years ago

      Fascinating lens Delia, 5*.

      I am sure others will enjoy it, so I have also lensrolled it to my "What's happening in Berlin" lens.

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 7 years ago

      This lens is amazing! How sacred to have a picture of you standing in the same place that your mother had so many years before. What a beautiful thing to have experience.

      "Blessed by a SquidAngel"

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      OK, I'm thinking that picture in the hotel restaurant at breakfast??? That would be a great cover for a book with recipes and reminesces. You know? Hugs.

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