“Kramkiste – Schöne alte Sachen” (literally Stuff Crates – Beautiful old things) is one of the first second-hand stores that I got to know in Prenzlauer Berg. Full of East Berlin nostalgia, I have only visited the stores a few times over the years, as usually I try to be as little a tourist as possible – although I admit that I am one as a constant state of mind. But for friends who are visiting Prenzlauer Berg, Kramkiste is a very lovely permanent flea market. Flags of East Germany or those of the still-existent FDJ (Free German Youth), used telephones or analogue cameras, second-hand furniture or cookbooks, or nostalgic toys and postcards, make Mrs. and Mr. Schütze’s shop a little museum of East Berlin.
The shopkeepers’ office desks look just so much in the same mood that if not some funny notes like “PRIVAT” or “BIN DA” (AM HERE) remind us, one would even think these desks are also for sale. For those who love books, there is a very pleasant surprise for you! A wonderfully decorated “PRIVAT” children’s room is opened for clients looking for books. How lucky are the children who can use this place! I found one more love here: “Children’s and Household Tales” by the Brothers Grimm published in 1963 in East Berlin, with heart-melting drawings by one of my favorite German illustrators, Werner Klemke (1917-1994).