Although 27 years have passed since Berlin ceased to be divided, there are still plenty of relics throughout the city which illustrate the complicated and arduous dissolution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Whenever I have visitors, I love taking them around to see buildings and structures that tell the story of Berlin’s past. One outstanding example of these is the abandoned Iraqi Embassy, located in the former embassy quarter of East Berlin in the district of Pankow.
Situated off a lacklustre street, the 1970s plattenbau villa has stood empty since 1991 when the Iraqi diplomats based there were required to leave due to the Gulf War. A complex law system dictates that the land now belongs to the German Federal Republic; however, the Iraqi government still maintains rights to the property, despite having a new embassy on the other side of town. The abandoned embassy is a prime example of the challenges the contemporary German government is still faced with regarding its recent past.
Inside there are old photographs and documents scattered everywhere among dilapidated office furniture. Sometimes it’s unlocked, but this has changed in recent years as local authorities have begun paying more attention to the property. Nonetheless, just seeing it from the outside and walking around the premises is fascinating in itself. Check the map on your first before going as Tschaikowskistr. forks at some point, and both forks are called Tschaikowskistr. You want the one that ends at the car park. I recommend cycling there!