The barracks of the Prussian railway regiments
In the year 1841 the railway line between Berlin and Jüterbog, south of Berlin, was opened. The Prussian railway regiments were settled on property in what was then the town of Schöneberg along the railway line. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 the military importance of the railway formations increased. Soldiers could be now transported to the site of their operations and supplied with reinforcements more quickly by train.
Two extensive complexes of barracks for the soldiers of the railway troops were built along General-Pape-Straße between 1893 and 1906. However, the railway regiments were dissolved as a result of the defeat of Germany in the First World War and coming into force of the Versailles Treaty in 1919.
The property of the barracks remained in state hands and the buildings were used by various public authorities, private tenants and companies. Among the residents in 1933 that were located in the vicinity of the present-day memorial were the revenue office of the district of Teltow, a company named Iris-Type that produced typing levers for typewriters as well as the German Orthopaedic Works. At this time the property was a public space where people lived and worked.