Neighborhood Day – so important are the Berliners to their neighbors

By Björn Trautwein and Sara Orlos Fernandes

They make noise, drag each other to court, make a mess in the hallway: Neighbors often have a really bad reputation.

But should it be like that, or are neighbors not as bad as we often think? Today, on the official “Neighborhood Day”, Berliners tell BZ why their neighbors are simply the best: Because they feed the turtles on holiday, repair the bike, receive packages, grill with you and water the flowers.

And not only that: Neighbors also tackle things together and get big projects started together. With whom it is better than with those who live just around the corner and know the same problems.

The Berliners we met prove: neighbors are much better than their reputation!

Jessica Haase and her neighbors help Ukrainian families

As a single mother, Jessica Haase (35) especially appreciates her neighbors. “There are also two mothers living next door,” says the doctor from Schlachtensee, “so you network automatically, look after the children or go to the playground together. They even went shopping for me when I was very pregnant. That was a great help. “

Jessica Haase (35, left with daughter Elisa, nine months) has set up a network for refugees from Ukraine together with her neighbor Ulrike Balser and granddaughter Athena (4). Photo: Ufuk Ucta

The doctor’s good neighborhood also paid off three months ago after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. “I really wanted to do something to help refugees,” she says. “We then started an initiative with a neighbor, collected clothes and looked for housing. In the meantime, we mainly support the hosts with all questions. ”

More and more people have joined via the online network “”, and the initiative has now set up a meeting place where families from Ukraine can receive support. “We organize school places, help find housing and via a WhatsApp group we help if a bed or a bike is needed,” she says.

In “Kvarterhuset” the vet takes care of two-wheelers

Sewing school, bicycle workshop, meeting place for like-minded people: Four years ago, Esther Knothe (54) founded “Nabolagets Hus” in Schoelerpark with like-minded people. The name is program. Anyone who wants to make a difference in the neighborhood lends a hand here. “The great thing is that here meet people who would not otherwise meet,” says the committed founder, “pensioners and young people, refugee families or even the homeless.”

Founder Esther Knothe (54) and Gunnar D. (62) in

Founder Esther Knothe (54) and Gunnar D. (62) in the “Neighborhood” house with bicycle workshop for neighbors Photo: Stephanie von Becker

Veterinarian Gunnar D. (62, photo to the right) is also on duty in the house every Saturday. Here he does not take care of four-legged friends, but of two-wheelers. He volunteered to help his neighbors in Wilmersdorf repair their bikes: “We can fix most things together,” Knothe says.

“I’m just bringing my neighbor over a new fence”

Matthias Reinhardt (42) from Tempelhof brings a fence to his neighbor.

Matthias Reinhardt (42) from Tempelhof: “It’s about security and burglary protection.” Photo: Olaf Selchow

Matthias Reinhardt (42) lives in a single-family house in Tempelhof: “My neighbor’s fence is broken, I take him with the one I had with me. Good neighborly relations are important to me. It’s about security and burglary protection. It is good to know that someone is watching you when you are on vacation. The relationship with my neighbors is good. We sometimes have a beer together in the front garden. ”

Turtle Bosse is looked after by all the neighbors

Esther Knothe (54) has lived in her apartment in Wilmersdorf for 25 years and knows she can trust her neighbors: “Many have lived here for a long time and it is a good community,” she says. “When someone is on vacation, the others take care of the flowers, and sometimes you carry the groceries upstairs.”

Esther Knothe (54, left) takes care of the turtle to her neighbor Midja (54, right)

Esther Knothe (54, left) takes care of the turtle to her neighbor Midja (54, right) Photo: Stephanie von Becker

Neighbor Gaby (61, back) looks after the courtyard, and when Midja (54) is on holiday, Esther Knothe makes sure that the turtle heads are well and feeding them. “And in the summer we often all sit in the garden and have a glass of wine. , «Says the teacher.

“On Sundays I always bake rolls and take them to the neighbors”

Renate Reinhardt (79) lives in a house in Tempelhof: “Our neighborhood relationship is very friendly. In addition to a greeting, you also have a longer conversation. A good relationship with the neighbors is important. It is a nice feeling when you open the door that comes someone passes by and you are happy to see someone you know. ”

Renate Reinhardt (79) and Michael Weber (57) live in the pilot district of Tempelhof

Renate Reinhardt (79) and Michael Weber (57) Photo: Olaf Selchow

Neighbor Michael Weber (57) has lived in the pilot district of Tempelhof for ten years: “I have lived here for ten years, the neighborhood relations are wonderful. Together with my neighbors I arrange a street festival for the neighborhood. On Sundays I always bake rolls and bring them to my closest neighbors.It’s important that you do not feel that you are being watched but that you can still see when something is happening.There was water in my garden once and I was grateful that my neighbors saw it. ”

“You give yourself something for Easter or check out the post”

Simona D. (42) and her son Alexander (12) live in an apartment building

Simona D. (42) and her son Alexander (12) Photo: Olaf Selchow

Simona D. (42) and her son Alexander (12) live in an apartment building: “A good neighborhood is fantastic. You give each other something for Easter or check the notice when the others are on holiday. If a device does not work, go and lend it to each other. If you help your neighbors, they will help you too. That is why a good relationship is important to us. We can not imagine living completely anonymously. “

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