Nickelbackplatz? Berliners put forward renaming suggestions for square

Nickelbackplatz? Berliners put forward renaming suggestions for square

From the most serious to the silliest, Berliners have put forward their suggestions for Nettelbeckplatz’s renaming, and the jury is about to decide a winner.

Berliners submit name suggestions for Wedding square 

The leafy, cobbled Nettelbeckplatz in Berlin’s Wedding district has been named after Joachim Nettelbeck since 1884. A sailor in the 18th-century slave trade, Nettelbeck was responsible for kidnapping people who were taken to the Netherlands and enslaved. The city of Berlin has been looking for an alternative name for the square since 2021.

Now, over 500 suggestions have been submitted, and on February 15 it was announced that the list will be narrowed down to three alternatives which will be voted on by the district council. May 31 is the deadline set for the council to narrow down the list of names, after which the contenders will be sent to a museum in Berlin-Mitte for further consideration. 

This cautious, final step was added in 2020 after the renaming of Berlin’s Mohrenstraße (“Moor Street”) in favour of Glinkastraße. Only after the local transport association the BVG announced that they would rename Mohrenstraße U-Bahn station Glinkastraße, did they become aware that its namesake, Russian composer Michail Iwanowitsch Glinka, was an anti-Semite.

Which names have Berliners suggested for Nettelbeckplatz’s renaming?

Of the 532 suggestions put forward by Berliners, many think the opportunity should be taken to symbolically name the square after a Black influential figure. Among those put forward were, US poet Audre Lorde who spent eight years living in the city, Afro-German poet and student of Lorde, May Ayim, and author Ika Hügel-Marshall.

For others, the renaming is an opportunity for some silliness. As a homage to Boaty McBoatface, the British underwater vehicle named following a public poll in 2016, one user suggested “Platzi McPlatzgesicht”. 

Others leaned towards puns, “Mach-Mal-Platz” (make some room), “Sitz Platz” (seat) or “Nettobackplatz”, a reference to the bakery section of the German budget supermarket Netto. For one user, the suggestion list was another place to exercise some Berliner Schnauze grumpiness, suggesting “Failed-City-Platz”. “Passend zum Berliner zustand” (fits the state of Berlin), the description read.

Another alternative name which took its inspiration from the original “Nettelbeckplatz” and was suggested multiple times, was “Nickelbackplatz” or “Nickelback-Platz”, to remind passers-by of the Canadian band’s inescapable hits. Stay tuned for the decision!

Thumb image credit: Featureflash Photo Agency /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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