Schönow (Zehlendorf)

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Schönow is a location in the Berlin districts of Zehlendorf and Lichterfelde in the Steglitz-Zehlendorf district . The former village is located directly on the southern outskirts on the connecting road to Teltow . The southern boundary of the location is the Teltow Canal .

The Angerdorf , first mentioned in a document in 1299, arose - very likely in the course of the German East Settlement - in the Bäkeniederung on the no longer existing Schönower See. In 1894 the until then independent village was incorporated into Zehlendorf and in 1920 it came to Greater Berlin with Zehlendorf . The construction of the Teltow Canal between 1901 and 1906 and the subsequent industrial settlement on the waterway meant that the old settlement image has almost completely disappeared. Only the Alt-Schönow dead end still shows the location of the old village green . Schönow is best known for the Teltow shipyard with the Schönow power station , the Zehlendorf textile factory and the Schweizerhof mental hospital founded in 1853 by Bernhard Heinrich Laehr , whose extensive arable land and gardens have been divided into three parks: Schönower Park and Heinrich Laehr Park and the Schweizerhofpark.

Listed hall on the site of the former Teltow shipyard and the Schönow power plant


Foundation and etymology

Schönow was first mentioned as Schonow in 1299 in a document contained in the Codex diplomaticus Brandenburgensis : "Ciuitatem Teltow infra scriptis uidelicit [...] Schonow." The document contains the fact that Margrave Hermann von Brandenburg (co-regent Otto IV. And son of Otto the Long ), the Brandenburg Bishop Vollrad von Krempa, the city of Teltow and neighboring villages, including Schönow, assigned. The reason was a loan that the margrave had taken out and for which he won Vollrad as guarantor. After he could not repay the loan and his surety had been used, Hermann held the bishop harmless by the transfer.

Memorial plaque, Alt-Schönow 1, in Berlin-Zehlendorf
Horse-drawn carriage of the Berlin Horse Railway owned by the Beschkow brothers, built in 1865

Since the village already existed in 1299, it is assumed that Schönow, like Cedelendorp (Zehlendorf) located around two kilometers to the north, was settled by the Ascanian margraves in the course of the medieval German settlement in the east , who opened up the Teltow from the west and south. The fact that the settlers chose this place in the swampy Bäkeniederung for the Angerdorf is very likely due to the former Schönower See ( see below ), which provided water for people and animals and food through fishing . The etymology of the name Schönow from Middle Low German beautiful (e) and ouw (e), ow (e), ou (= land surrounded by water; water-rich, grass-rich, fertile land; floodplain ) refers to the abundance of water in the square. The spelling Schonowe can be found in a document from 1306 and the spelling Schönow for the first time in the lap register from 1624 .

Manor Schönow

Eight of Schönow's 46 Hufen fell  back to the sovereigns at an unknown time between 1375 and 1451. In 1375, the land register of Karl IV still records the church property , while the lap register in 1451 breaks down the Schönow field into episcopal and electoral (at that time Friedrich II, “the iron” ) property. These eight hooves, which were subject to the electoral obligation , formed the manor Schönow, which in 1609, expanded by one hoof, comprised around 500  acres and until the end of the 17th century was mainly owned by the von Liepe family. In the course of the Reformation , the church property also fell back into the state property, which was subordinate to the Ziesar office from 1560 and to the Potsdam office from 1589 . Although this ended the division of Schönow into church and state property, Schönow remained separate in the district village and the manor.

The manor, east of the village in what is now the area of ​​Lichterfeld, grew to 995 acres and, after changing owners - including von Wilmersdorff - belonged to the entrepreneur Wilhelm Beschkow from 1870, after whom the - misspelled - Beeskowdamm in Schönow is named. The Beschkow family was already based in Schönow from 1785. Wilhelm Beschkow and his brother Ernst operated, among other things, the Berlin horse-drawn railway between Charlottenburg and Berlin. With the proceeds of the trucking business, he bought the estate in 1870 and successfully converted it from agriculture to cattle breeding. In addition, Beschkow donated social institutions such as a day laborer's house and a school property. After his death in 1894, the estate came under his heirs in the property speculation about the imminent construction of the Teltow Canal. Speculators bought the property for 850,000  marks and sold it before the canal was opened in 1906 for 3.57 million marks (adjusted for inflation in today's currency: around 22 million euros).

Zehlendorf textile mill

The Elberfeld paper factory, which came from Elberfeld , was built on the former estate , and in 1937 it became the Zehlendorf textile mill ( called Spider ). The factory was connected to the Teltow Canal by the Zehlendorfer branch canal - built in the former Teltower See. During the National Socialist era , young Jewish people (including Hanni Lévy ) were forced to work in the textile mill to make parachute silk under unhealthy production conditions . From September 1, 1943, a satellite camp of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp was located on the factory premises .

A subsidiary of Hoechst from 1966 , the textile mill achieved sales of 123 million marks in 1993 with the production of Trevira staple fibers and filament yarns . The factory has belonged to the US building materials manufacturer Johns Manville since 1999 .

The manor house of the former Schönow estate was demolished in the 1960s.

The officially administered part of the village

The part of the village, which is under electoral administration, has only developed insignificantly over the centuries. While Charles IV's land book recorded eight hooves in 1375 , only eight hooves are recorded in 1624. In Schönow, as everywhere in the Mark Brandenburg, the Thirty Years' War led to a considerable decline in the population , which only reached its almost constant number since the 13th century with just under 100 inhabitants. Due to the poor soil quality in the Bäkeniederung with marl and sand , not all areas could be cultivated. Apart from small amounts of barley, only oats and rye could be grown on the usable areas . The village belonged to the poor settlements of the Mark and after 1500 was no longer able to maintain its own parish . Therefore Schönow was parish off to Teltow, where the children also went to school.

Mournful women by Gottlieb Elster on the grave monument in Laehr's private cemetery in Schönower Park

The Stein-Hardenberg reforms and in 1838 the construction of the railway between Berlin and Potsdam brought a turning point for the village . With the peasants' liberation now the owners of the farms they managed, the farmers increasingly grew potatoes and above all Teltower turnips , a popular delicacy of that time. Since the Teltow city fathers resisted the route of the railway through their city, the route was led via Zehlendorf. Teltow lost its previous importance for Schönow, which moved closer and closer to Zehlendorf. On the way to the Zehlendorf railway station, a merchant founded the Schweizerhof farmstead in 1850, which the neurologist Bernhard Heinrich Laehr bought in 1853 and converted into the Schweizerhof mental hospital , which looked after around 100 patients with around 80 employees. The now heavily frequented country road was paved and the Schönowers built a single- story chausseehaus on the road , in which they collected tolls until the 1890s . The population development illustrates the growing prosperity of Schönow: their number fluctuated between 80 and 100 until 1801, it rose to 227 in 1856, to 373 in 1880, to 394 in 1885 and to 459 inhabitants in 1890.

The ever closer integration with Zehlendorf was also reflected in the fact that Schönow came from the Potsdam office to the Zehlendorf district in 1872. At the request of the Schönowers themselves, who wanted to join a larger community, Schönow lost its independence in 1894 by resolution of the Teltow district council and was incorporated into Zehlendorf. At that time, Zehlendorf was still part of Brandenburg and only became part of the capital with the founding of Greater Berlin in 1920, including Schönow.

Schönow in the 20th and 21st centuries

The construction of the Teltow Canal meant that the old settlement image has almost completely disappeared. In its place there was an industrial site between the canal and the Beeskowdamm - already located in the district of Lichterfelde - where today, among others, the companies Ford and Ikon have production sites. Only the Alt-Schönow dead end still shows the location of the old village green . Around 1970 the last original farmhouses disappeared or were rebuilt. In one of these houses, Alt-Schönow 7b, Karl Schuke set up the renowned Berlin organ building workshop in 1950, which he founded in 1950 as an 'offshoot' of the Potsdam mother company Schuke .

The premises of AG Märkische Kleinbahn on Goerzallee in the Lichterfeld part of Schönow

Bernhard Heinrich Laehr's Schweizerhof mental hospital closed in 1929, and the property was sold to the State of Berlin with social restrictions . Except for the complex of the Schönow house, in which a geriatric clinic was built, the historic buildings of the Schweizerhof have been demolished. They were replaced by senior residences, a senior citizens' home, the church college , a day care center , the parish "Zur Heimat", a Protestant deaconess house and the John F. Kennedy, Biesalski and Schweizerhof schools. The extensive arable land and gardens of the farm merged into Schönower Park, Heinrich-Laehr-Park and Schweizerhofpark. In 1960 the architects Ewald Bubner and Frei Otto built the Schönow Church of the Evangelical Community of Schönow-Buschgraben. Frei Otto equipped the building, which is dominated by a large tent roof and glazed gable walls , with a free-standing bell tower based on pneumatic and biological construction principles. The church and its tower are under since the 1990s listed building .

The Schönow cemetery was closed in 1968 to allow for new corporations and then used as a green area with cemetery elements.

Schönow is the southern terminus of the Zehlendorfer Eisenbahn , a private connection railway that has opened up the Schönow industrial area since 1905 and connects it with the network of the former state railway and today's Deutsche Bahn . Due to the borderline, Schönow was away from the Berlin traffic routes in the shadow of the Wall from 1961 to 1989 . It was not until June 1990 that the Knesebeck Bridge was put back into operation - initially as a border crossing between Berlin and the GDR . Since the canal was built, the Teltower Damm has crossed the federal waterway over this bridge.

Former Schönower See

The Schönower See in the course of the Bäke on a map from 1780

The Bäke Schönow flowed through until the Teltow Canal was built between 1901 and 1907 . The river, which rises on the Fichtenberg in Steglitz , formed an elongated lake in this swampy part of the Bäkeniederung after the silting processes after the Vistula Ice Age , of which four individual lakes remained: Giesensdorfer See, Teltower See, Schönower See and Machnower See . With the exception of two smaller rivers in Steglitz and Kleinmachnow in the Teltow Canal, the Bäke opened up, and apart from Lake Machnower, all of the lakes also disappeared when today's federal waterway was built .

The almost one kilometer long and in 1887 still 16  hectare lake (formerly also: Schönowsee) had to give way to the canal construction because its water level was three meters above that of the planned canal and it was also largely marshy. The lake and its surroundings posed special challenges for the civil engineering office Havestadt & Contag when it broke through the Teltowplatte . The sand fillings of the up to 18 meters thick peat layers sank to a depth of 20 meters, so that up to 300 m³ of sand had to be piled up for one meter of the towpaths along the canal. In addition, the amount of sand pressed up the boggy subsoil between the path embankments, so that the upheavals had to be dredged again and again. The excavation was used, among other things, to level the lake. Today's canal follows the south bank of the former Schönower See, on the old site of which allotment garden colonies have arisen.

Teltow shipyard and Schönow power plant

Winch house of the slipway from 1906/1907 (front) and oil house from 1905, provided for as a café or
tea house in the development plan

In the south-western corner of Schönow on the border with today's Brandenburg district of Potsdam-Mittelmark is the former Teltow shipyard, which included a construction port and an "electrical central station", which later became the Schönow power station. The shipyard emerged in 1924 from the building yard built in 1906 to maintain the Teltow Canal . The building yard and the power station originally served primarily to maintain and power the towage operation . The building yard belonged to the Brandenburg district of Teltow and remained in the ownership of the Brandenburg district even after Zehlendorf was incorporated into Greater Berlin in 1920, although it was now located in Berlin. The shipyard performed pioneering technical work in electric arc welding , which it used innovatively in shipbuilding . In 1927, the first fully welded passenger ship in Germany was launched here, the Zehlendorf .

In 1962 the shipyard ceased operations. The shipyard is now owned by B Plus Planungs-AG , which was founded in 2007 and is a 100% subsidiary of BEHALA , while the power plant belongs to "Teltower Kreiswerke GmbH", in which various Brandenburg regional authorities are involved. The ensemble of the construction port and numerous buildings are under monument protection . Recently used partly for commercial purposes and as a warehouse, according to the development plan from 2009, a residential area is to be created on the site under the concept of intergenerational living , which integrates the protected shipyard buildings as canal construction evidence of particular historical importance. The urban reorganization provides for the locomotive shed with a floor area of ​​around 1350 m² to be converted into the center of the new residential area and to be designed openly like a market hall .


  • District Office Steglitz-Zehlendorf of Berlin: Development plan 6–21 VE for the plots Sachtlebenstrasse 60, 64/66 and the parcels 1328/3 and 3535/3 in corridor 11 in the district of Steglitz-Zehlendorf, district Zehlendorf. Preliminary justification. For the early involvement of the public interest bodies acc. § 4 (1) BauGB and for the early participation of the public acc. § 3 (1) BauGB. Draft as of May 14, 2009. Online PDF
  • The construction of the Teltow Canal , section: 'The building yard'. In: Zeitschrift für Bauwesen , vol. 56, 1906, Sp. 663/664.
  • Jan Feustel , Horst Köhler: Lifeline through swamp and sand , 100 years of the Teltow Canal , Hendrik Bäßler Verlag, 1st edition 2006, ISBN 3-930388-36-7 .
  • Gerhard Schlimpert : Brandenburg name book, part 3, The place names of Teltow , Hermann Böhlaus Nachf., Weimar 1972, p. 165.
  • Kurt Trumpa: The Schönow district, a forgotten village . In: Zehlendorf yesterday and today . Verlag Elwert and Meurer, Berlin 1983. pp. 35–48 (3rd revised edition; page numbers after 2nd revised edition 1979) ISBN 3-7669-0141-9 .

Web links

Commons : Schönow  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Quoted from: Gerhard Schlimpert: Brandenburgisches Namenbuch… . Text passage in Codex diplomaticus Brandenburgensis : Part I, Volume XI, p. 205.
  2. a b c d Kurt Trumpa: The district of Schönow ... , p. 35 ff.
  3. ^ Gerhard Schlimpert: Brandenburg name book… .
  4. Beeskowdamm. In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near  Kaupert )
  5. a b Kurt Trumpa: The district of Schönow ... p. 38 f.
  6. ^ Architecture Wuppertal Alte Papierfabrik Elberfeld . See note on moving to Zehlendorf.
  7. ^ Peter Hahn: What remained of the Teltower See, Zehlendorfer branch canal .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: Märkische Allgemeine , December 19, 2005.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  8. ^ Edith Raim: Justice between dictatorship and democracy. Oldenbourg, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-486-70411-2 , p. 702.
  9. Alexander Korb: Berlin-Zehlendorf. In: Wolfgang Benz , Barbara Distel (eds.): The place of terror . Volume 3: Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald. CH Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-406-52963-1 , pp. 130-132.
  10. ^ Directory of the concentration camps and their external commandos (6. DV-BEG) Ser. No. 118.
  11. a b c Kurt Trumpa: The district of Schönow ... , pp. 39–42.
  12. Kurt Trumpa: The district of Schönow ... , p. 45.
  13. ^ Karl Schuke Berlin organ building workshop
  14. Initiative to save the Schweizerhofpark ( Memento of the original from June 9, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. The history of the Schweizerhofpark . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. Architekturmuseum, Frei Otto ( Memento of the original from August 21, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  16. ^ Former Schönow cemetery. July 25, 2018, accessed May 27, 2020 .
  17. a b Jan Feustel, Horst Köhler: lifeline through swamp and sand , ... p. 61 f.
  18. Kurt Trumpa: The district of Schönow ... , p. 36
  19. Jan Feustel, Horst Köhler: lifeline through swamp and sand , ... p. 57 f.
  20. Homepage B Plus Planungs-AG, About us . ( Memento of the original from May 28, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  21. Entry in the Berlin State Monument List Complete Ensemble, Bauhafen
  22. Entry in the Berlin state monument list Kraftwerk Schönow
  23. Entry in the Berlin state monument list engine shed
  24. Entry in the Berlin State Monument List Oil House
  25. District Office Steglitz-Zehlendorf of Berlin: Development plan 6-21 VE for the properties ... , pp. 12 f, 23, 26 ff.

Coordinates: 52 ° 25 ′ 0 ″  N , 13 ° 16 ′ 0 ″  E