The Golden Bunnies

I came across these hopping, jumping, springing and chilling rabbits whilst cycling to Berlin-Wedding! At first I thought there was just one, as I discovered more and more of them I became more and more excited! My trip into Wedding has just become interesting thanks to the little golden rabbits! Much like real rabbits the golden bunnies have been decreasing since they were first put there, due to building works apparently more than 40 have been lost. These golden figures do look a bit like memorials to road-kill…or on a tastier note like the yummy Lindt Bunny, without its bell of course!

Hopping across the border

I didn’t realise it at first but the pretty golden bunnies are actually the memorial “Kaninchenfeld” created in 1999 by Karla Sachse. Jumping around the former boarder between East and West Berlin, these “Kaninchen” were the only creatures who could occupy the Nomansland by the wall. The walls pre-existence is not obvious at the former Mitte-Wedding border crossing and I hadn’t even thought of it as a border crossing!

Look down more!

Unlike many memorials, the bunnies are inconspicuous, and you may miss the little critters if you are not looking down! Not just because they are on the roads, the ones on the path are also hard to spot and blend in with the pavement. This makes them a bit more special, personal and almost magical. It is also more memorable than your usual memorial, because it’s exciting and unexpected. When I first saw them I had no idea what they were, this made me stop, take notice (and photos) and actually encouraged me to look them up and learn more about them than if I’d had a plaque telling me what they were about.

kaninchenfeld, berlin
Camouflaged! Photo: Frances Cragg

Freedom

What’s great about them is they are an enjoyable memorial. They point out an existence that was not badly affected by the wall and who were not restricted by the conflict. The bunnies are hopping between the boarder and instead of pointing out the division, like the long stretch of wall nearly along Bernauer Strasse, they highlight the freedom that exists now. A reminder that Berlin is open rather than reminding that it was once very much restricted.

At the very end of Chaussestrasse between U-Reinickendorfer Strasse and S-Wedding, you will find the rabbits. At the non-busy end of Chauseestrasse, there’s not much else around this area. It still feels very much like a crossing and a bit like the Nomansland it once was! However these bunnies brighten the area and are worth a view, especially if you aren’t expecting to find them there!