In the last weeks in Berlin held several demonstrations against police violence and discrimination, one of the requirements of which was the renaming of the street and the metro station Mohrenstraße Moorish streets. The protesters believe the name is racist because the name of the street comes from the word Mohr, which in turn is contemptuous name for a black man.
Amid protests, the Berlin transport company BVG announced the renaming of the Mohrenstraße station on the U2 line in Glinkastraße named locations close to streets named after Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka, Russian composer of the XIX century, which in 1857 and died in Berlin. The renaming process will take a few weeks, but, as reported by news Agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur, should be completed this year.
Opened in 1908, the metro station was renamed several times. Called Kaiserhof she existed until 1950, in East Berlin, the station was called Thälmannplatz until 1986, and Otto-Grotewohl-Straße — until 1991. After the station received the name of the street Mohrenstraße, where it is located.
By words a press-the Secretary of Nelken BVG Petra (Petra Nelken), the protests contributed to the decision on renaming. “Being a cosmopolitan company and one of the largest employers in the capital, BVG rejects all forms of racism or other discrimination, — says the official statement from BVG. — The understanding and respect for the partly controversial debate about the name of the street the BVG decided not to use it to refer to the metro station”.
In late June, activists of the movement “Decolonization of Berlin” (Decolonize Berlin) created a petition on the Internet portal change.org to rename the street in honor of the first scientist of African descent in the Prussian University of Anton Wilhelm AMO (Anton Wilhelm Amo), which has now gained almost nine thousand votes out of the necessary ten. Management of the Mitte district is seriously considering changing the name Mohrenstraße, but can not yet give a clear answer at the deadline, which is this process, and did not disclose the alleged new name.
The debate about the unacceptability of racism flared up in Germany with a new force after the murder of an African American, George Floyd (Floyd George) white policeman Savina Derek (Derek Chauvin) in Minneapolis, USA.
On Tuesday, July 7, Jewish newspaper jü dische Allgemeine has published an article entitled “Bad choice”, which States that to call the metro a name of Glinka — it is a controversial idea. In the text the composer called an anti-Semite.
As justification, the author of the note cites three allegations. First, the most famous Opera of Glinka “Ivan Susanin”, according to the journalist, “steeped in Russian nationalism” fits in “party line, the GDR”, resulting in Glinka street got its present name in 1951 (until, since the beginning of the XVIII century, it was called Kanonierstraße). The author of the text refers to the Opera “Prince Kholmsky”, which supposedly is a “purely anti-Semitic heroic epic”, and in General a kind of “curse of the Jewish elements” was supposedly an integral part of the understanding of music by Glinka. In addition, the composer reportedly called Moscow Conservatory founded by Anton Rubinstein, “piano synagogue.”
A journalist of the German TV company WDR Arnd Henze (Arnd Henze) on the page in Twitter is also called an anti-Semite and Glinka proposed to call the metro station Mohrenstraße (and possibly outside) the name of Fritz Bauer (Fritz Bauer 1903-1968), judges and prosecutors, who played a crucial role in the Auschwitz trials.