My maternal grandparents, Hans Boltz (1910-1992) and Charlotte  Manock (1912-1988) were married in 1937.

Their first home was in Eschershauser Weg 27, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Berlin. Zehlendorf is a district in the south-west of Berlin near the Krumme Lanke lake, on the edge of the Grunewald forest.

They lived in a  flat (apartment) in a housing estate known as Onkel Toms Hütte, served by a  U-Bahn station named after the 1852 anti-slavery novel. The estate, designed by several by well-known architects, among them Bruno Taut and Hugo Härings, was built between 1926 and 1932 . The apartment blocks had communal back gardens that led into the forest.

My grandmother, Charlotte Boltz, outside her new home in 1937


Eschershauser Weg in 1937


Eschershauser Weg in the snow about 1937
from Google maps
A satellite view of Eschershauser Weg showing how it is set in the forest and the communal grounds surrounding the flats from Google maps

According to Google Maps a U-Bahn leaves for Berlin Zoo every ten minutes. The journey takes just over half an hour. Charlotte’s parents lived near Berlin Zoo.

Public transport from Eschershauser Weg to Berlin Zoo from Google maps

Hans’s parents lived at Florastraße 13 in Steglitz. His father, Fritz Boltz (1879-1954) was a live-in janitor at a school there. There is still a school at that address. Florastraße is about six kilometres away from Eschershauser Weg and it takes about half an hour to get there by public transport.

From Eschershauser Weg, Zehlendorf, to Florastraße, Steglitz per Google maps
I visited Eschershauser Weg in 1982
The back of the flats overlook a communal garden with a sand pit and play space. Each flat has a balcony. Photographed 1982.


The sandpit at the back of the flats in 1982
My mother playing in the sandpit at Christmas time. She was three years old.
My mother playing in the sandpit aged 4
My mother on her sled at Christmas when she was three years old. The balconies at the back of the flats can be seen.

My mother told me about tobogganing on her sled down a very steep slope with two stones at the bottom of the path that you had to avoid. I found the path and stones in 1982. The slope was not big but it must have seemed so to a small child.

the sloping path with stones at the bottom in 1982

The flat was very close to the forest.

The forest was a very short walk from the flat in 1982



My grandmother pushing my mother in a pram near the flat with her parents Emil and Helene Manock

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