He came to Berlin in 1972 as a child with his parents from Greece, because they found work here. He comes to Hermannplatz every day, all year round, to sit, eat, drink, look at people and let time pass. He never talks to anyone here. He lives in a psychiatry-home because he is hearing voices. Hermannplatz is his favourite place - here time just passes, he says and smiles, and looks at his fake gold watch.
He tells me he ran away from the police and is hiding here at Hermannplatz, because he knows too much about all the conspiracies in the world. He says he is a political messenger and sometimes Obama calls him with insider information.
They are originally from Egypt but have been here many years. They play theatre and perform together. Even though Firas lives quite far away from Hermannplatz, they still meet up here almost every day to chat, look at girls and chill. This feels like their place and they love that there are so many different people to look at.
She is a real Berliner, born and raised in Neukölln. She is meeting her sister on Hermannplatz. They will spend the afternoon together shopping in Karstadt, which they enjoy doing very often.
He used to spend a lot of time here but doesn’t do it so often anymore because he thinks it has been too commercialised after the Tyrkish people arrived; they only think about making money. It used to be different! Hans really enjoys talking to people but it’s not that often anymore he has the opportunity to do so, because most family and friends around him are dead. So he tells me a lot about his childhood, when he was playing the trumpet and about sailing in big a storm to Canada, almost falling overboard, when he was a young man.
They both grew up in Kreuzberg and met though a dancing community more than 30 years ago. They go to Hermannplatz several times a week to eat, drink and gossip and have done so through all the years. They find it very lovely here, but Berlin in general is getting too crowded, they think. And now you have to watch very carefully for your things so people don’t steal your bag, it was not like that before, they remember.
She is born and raised in Berlin. She loves to watch people at Hermannplatz because you don’t have to do anything to be entertained. One of the most significant changes in Berlin during the last years is all the foreigners coming here; Berlin is too full now, she thinks. People think we have so much and they can get everything, when they come here, but Germany has already been through a lot and we don’t have enough for all, she says.
She grew up in Berlin, has 6 kids and is here today to meet her boyfriend. She loves Hermannplatz but thinks there are too many alcoholics and dangerous types nowadays. In general she thinks that Berlin has become a very dangerous place, where you should never walk around alone. We are all humans, Lilli says, but a lot of the foreigners who come here are not! They are so dangerous, she thinks.
Richard comes to Hermannplatz every time he has to take out cash from the bank. He meets people and discuss what happened in the world since they last saw each other. Today he even made a new friend, but he is a drug addict, so Richard doesn’t think they have so much in common.