Before the Berlin’s 2001 administrative reform, Marzahn is a locality within the borough of Marzahn-Hellersdorf. After the said administrative reform, the former boroughs of Marzahn and Hellersdorf were fused together to create a single new borough. The Marzahn locality in the north includes the neighborhoods of Bürknersfelde and Ahrensfelde, which once belonged to the Bradenburg municipality of Ahrensfelde, which was also incorporated into Berlin in 1990. Marzahn is divided into 3 Ortslagen or zones, Marzahn-Nord, Marzahn-Mitte, and Marzahn-Süd.
This historical village, Marzahn, was first mentioned as Morczane in a 1300 deed by Mangrave Albert III of Bradenburg-Salzwedel. It was the time when he granted the estates to the Friedland Cistercian abbey, which is Neuhardenburg as of today. The district fell to the hands of Elector Frederick William of Bradenburg after the Thirty Year’s War. A new village church was planned by Friedrich August Stuler to be finished in 1871. Another known landmark is the Marzahn post mill, which was rebuilt in 1994. The village was officially part of thje Greater Berlin in 1920, as a locality of the district of Lichtenberg.
Marzahn was a place where a labour camp was stationed, (which has been changed into a water treatment plant), and it is the exact location where Roma were interned from July 16, 1936 onwards, two weeks before the 1936 Summer Olympics which was held in Berlin, away from visitor’s view. Up to 2000 inmates were imprisoned there as a part of the Nazi’s Porajmos extermination policy. In 1943, they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where most of them were brutally murdered by gas. In 1941, the large factory of the Carl Hasse & Wrede machine tool company, which is known today as Knorr-Bremse, was built. In order for the factory to work, forced labourers were employed. The victims or the forced laborers were buried at the nearby Parkfriedhof, which is marked by a memorial. Marzahn was the first district of Berlin that was conquered by the Red Army led by General Nikolai Berzarin on April 21, 1945. The first “freed house” is located on Landsberger Allee.
From 1949, Marzahn has been a part of East Berlin and had remained a rural site until 1977 when vast housing estates were built by the order of the East German authorities. The construction of the estates, which were carried out in the typical plattenbau fashion and style, had a very slow progress that reached the late 1980’s. While there is a growth in the population, Marzahn was separated from Lichtenberg in 1979 and became an independent borough or a borough in its own right. In 1986, the new Hellersdorf district, including Kaulsdorf and Mahlsdorf, were separated from it.
In 1987, the district of Marzahn hosted the Berliner Gartenschau, which is horticulture show on the occasion of Berlin’s 750th anniversary. The area, which is called Erholungspark Marzahn as of today, has the Garten der Welt (Gardens of the World) which shows Chinese, Japanese, Balinese and Korean labyrinths, which were modeled on Hampton Court Palace and Chartres Cathedral. The district also has a garden that was inspired by the Italian Renaissance.