NumberOver 5

and repurposing
of villas

Die Villa Hagen während der Nutzung als Rechenzentrum (1980er Jahre)Villa Hagen at Potsdam Bertinistrasse being used as a data center (1980s) - Photo: Privatbesitz

In the early twentieth century, influential bankers and manufacturers bought houses on Bertinistrasse and had them converted into magnificent villas and summer homes. A number of these owners were expropriated and persecuted by the Nazis on account of their Jewish origins. Their property was not returned under communist rule in East Germany. The buildings on Bertinistrasse became state property as of 1949. They were used by Potsdam City Council, Border Regiment No. 44 and the Ministry for State Security as barracks and a customs house. Others served as a nursing home, a data center and grocery store.

Villa Mendelssohn Bartholdy

During the GDR, the main building served first as a maritime navigation office, then as a residence hall for students at the Potsdam Teacher Training College. A »Konsum« grocery store was set up in the former coaching stables. In the mid-1980s, Vietnamese contract laborers of the VEB Bau- und Montagekombinat Ost construction and assembly works moved into the main building. They used the building as a dormitory until 1994. The property was returned to descendants of the Mendelssohn Bartholdy family after German reunification.

Historical view of Villa Mendelssohn-Bartholdy built by Paul Schultze-Naumburg (undated) - Photo: TU Berlin Architekturmuseum Historical view of Villa Mendelssohn-Bartholdy built by Paul Schultze-Naumburg (undated) - Photo: TU Berlin Architekturmuseum

Villa Louis Hagen

Villa Hagen is located on the waterfront, diagonally across from Villa Mendelssohn Bartholdy. In 1927, banker Louis Hagen had the original structure rebuilt in Bauhaus style. The villa was equipped with several roof terraces, an underground garage, a gymnasium with a glass roof, as well as a cinema and a boathouse. The Jewish Hagen family was able to escape Nazi persecution during the 1930s.

The villa itself became state property in the GDR. In 1969, a data center of VEB Informationsverarbeitung Potsdam (IVP) moved into the building. The data center was responsible for the planning, statistics and programming of mainframe and desktop computers used in regional industry. The building changed hands several times after 1990.


Video: VEB Informationsverarbeitung Potsdam and Villa Hagen from 1970 to 1992





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