The Berlin metro will complete the renaming of the derogatory station by the end of the year


BERLIN (Reuters) – Berlin-based public transport company BVG said on Saturday that the completion of the renaming of a city center metro station with a name based on a derogatory word for blacks will take until the end of the year.

The entrance to the “Mohrenstrasse” underground station is seen in the center of Berlin, Germany, on July 3, 2020. REUTERS / Annegret Hilse

The “Mohrenstrasse” subway station literally means Moor Street, using the medieval term for the people of North Africa.

It will be renamed after another nearby street, Glinkastrasse, named after the 19th century Russian composer Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka.

BVG said on Friday that it would change the station’s name in the midst of a global toll with the legacy of racism and colonial crimes underlying many Western societies, brought about by the death in the United States of George Floyd , a black man, in the hands of a police force. officer.

The station is a few hundred meters from the Brandenburg Gate, in the very center of Berlin, and has had a series of names since it opened in 1908.

“We are going to change all the network plans, the signs in stations and on buses. Everything has to be changed in the metro, ”said Rolf Erfurt, member of the BVG board of directors, in an interview with Reuters TV.

“We will have finished this by the end of the year,” he said.

Last month, unidentified activists taped the entrance to the station, temporarily naming it “George Floyd Street”.

“I think it’s great (to rename the station) because I don’t think it’s in the 21st century to name the streets after racist insults against black people,” said Akwasi Osei-Dwomoh, a passerby.

“I hope that not only the metro station, but also the street itself, will find a better name.”

Report by Vera Eckert in Frankfurt; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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