Photo. Refugees waiting to be admitted to the Marienfelde Refugee Center, August 14, 1961
© DHM-Schirner

July 2013

Kitchen Journal from the Marienfelde Refugee Center,
March 25, 1963 – July 7, 1963 (ENM-002083)

"25 lunches, 6 loafs of bread, 100 pieces of butter, 1,450 pieces of margarine, 20 pieces of Brie cheese, and 2,800 cubes of sugar." This is a small section of the journal that was kept in the kitchen of the Marienfelde Refugee Center. It records the food distributed on July 18, 1963.

From the Center's opening in April 1953 on, its inhabitants were provided, in a cafeteria centrally-located on the Marienfelde campus, with food from the Berlin-Neukölln district kitchen. Although each apartment in the Refugee Center had its own kitchen, they were too small to support the large number of people living in Marienfelde. Daily meals were thus distributed in the cafeteria. Each day, the amount and price of the distributed rations was noted in the kitchen journal. This enabled the Center's administration to know what they had in inventory and to calculate how much it all cost. This was particularly important in those times when over 2,000 meals per day were served.
The kitchen diary was only a small part of the administration system that kept the Refugee Center running. Like many other items in our collection, it shows the efforts and achievements of the administration to properly care for the Center's inhabitants. Those inhabitants were thankful for this support – although some remember the quality of the meals in Marienfelde with uneasiness.