"We lost the fight for the open spaces. They’ve all been built up. But there are many, many more people living in trailer camps. Now we have around 12-13 trailer camps with some 1000 people. There have never been so many of us."
Gerold Kohl was born in Aachen in 1958 and moved to West Berlin when he was 29. He studied electrical engineering and architecture and trained to be a cabinet maker and solar technician. He has lived in trailer camps since his arrival in Berlin because he likes the sense of independence and community they embody. But he remembers that the trailer camp at the East Side Gallery did not have the same feeling of cohesion. He recalls that it became isolated from other trailer camps due to the increasing criminality associated with it and received almost no support when it was vacated by the police. Gerold Kohl has worked towards keeping trailer camps (Wagenburgen) in Berlin since the 1990s and is active in the Berlin society Gesellschaftsspiele e.V.