Missing Connections

Hermann-Bohnstedt-Straße near Zossen

Between the small German Towns of Zossen and Dabendorf, both slightly south of Berlin, is a street called "Hermann-Bohnstedt-Straße", and is located just off the main highway B96. Highway B96 is called "Machnower Chausee" as it passes Dabendorf and Hermann-Bohnstedt-Straße (Hermann-Bohnstedt-Strasse).

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1-2. Hermann-Bohnstedt-Straße in Zossen. Photos by Martin Bohnstedt

In 1992 Martin Bohnstedt corresponded with Mrs. Jutta Melzer, who was the Town historian for the city of Zossen, attempting to learn who this street was named after. The only insight that Ms. Melzer could offer was that the street was named for a Hermann Bohnstedt, but aside from stating this obvious fact, Ms. Melzer had no detailed information about this Hermann Bohnstedt.

Mrs. Melzer also stated that many streets in Zossen were being renamed after the end of Communist rule in east Germany because of the assumption that many of them had been named for Communists. Martin did mention to her that he knew of no Communists in the Bohnstedt family, and that "Hermann Bohnstedt" was probably only someone of local historical significance.

Martin also checked the Zossen city archives for clues, but found no more information about who Hermann Bohnstedt was or why the street was named for him.

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3. Map of Berlin area, with in the lower half
4. Close-up of Zossen area. Sector with Hermann-Bohnstedt-Straße circled in red
5. Street map of Zossen showing Hermann-Bohnstedt-Straße

When I met with Wolfgang and Martin Bohnstedt in Braunschweig in 1994, the subject of Hermann-Bohnstedt-Straße was again brought up. Wolfgang had found that the street was named after a Hermann Bohnstedt who was a gardener for a church nearby. It seems that Hermann was killed, possibly by the Nazis, and it was for that reason the street was named in his honor. Martin also found out later that the rush to rename streets in Zossen and other localities had slowed, or in some cases ceased. Hopefully Hermann-Bohnstedt-Straße has not been affected or renamed.

Update: As of December 2015 it appears that Hermann-Bohnstedt-Straße has escaped the campaign to rename streets in eastern Germany, and still appears on maps of Zossen, including Google Maps.



For Streets Named For Bohnstedts, See Also:
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Architect and Artist, Ludvig Franz Karl Bohnstedt: Bohnstedtstrasze in Gotha
1-22 /
The Lichtenrade Bohnstedt Line: The Descendants of Ferdinand Wilhelm Adolf Bohnstedt: Ferdinand Wilhelm Adolf Bohnstedt, and Bohnstedtstrasse in Lichtenrade

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