The glass crunches underneath my shoes with every step I take, the stairway is dimly lit by diffused daylight on this wintery day. A cold blast of air blows through the broken window sending a thin layer of snow swirling on the stairs as I continue to walk to the top level. The paint on the walls and ceiling is peeled and cracking. There is a faint smell of smoked meat that still oozes out of the building and I’m nervously aware that I’m the only one here. I cautiously enter the doorway to the top floor and round the corner into the hallway. I look down the hall and let out an audible gasp and mutter to myself “shit”. This is not a place that I should be – wandering around an old abandoned meat factory in East Berlin – but at the same time I’m unexplainably drawn to it.
Situated in old East Berlin, the Alte Fleischfabrik (Old Meat Factory) was owned by the Konsumgenossenschaft (KGB), a consumer association, and was established in 1899. The KGB office buildings, meat factory, bakery, and power plant were built in 1909. These hearty brick buildings survived two world wars, but it appears that after the wall fell, so did the KGB. The buildings were abandoned, sold to private investors, and today remnants and odors of the old KGB business remains as if it were hit by a nuclear war.
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