Google was reportedly offered the former East German Stasi secret police headquarters in Lichtenberg, Berlin, for its new Berlin campus, according to German media sources.
Wired Germany, Berliner Zeitung, and Le Figaro reported on the offer, which was reportedly made to Google after the company was denied a campus in Kreuzberg for fear of rising rent costs and gentrification.
“A possible alternative location has already been found: The former Stasi headquarters in the district of Lichtenberg,” reported Wired Germany. “Google is invited to take a look at the massive concrete block. For several years, a sensible and sustainable use of the building has been sought.”
“On Twitter and Facebook [it] is already joked about the irony, if Google would actually move just into the house of the former East German secret police. After all, it was known for its sprawling surveillance and data-gathering rage,” Wired Germany continued. “However, that’s not the only offer that Berlin has to Google. Other large vacancies in Frankfurter Allee or Pablo Picasso Street could be interesting. The district of Spandau has also made an invitation to Google to look around.”
Conservatives in Berlin suggesting the old Stasi headquarters for new google campus.
I mean, a database about the people is a database about the people. So why not.https://t.co/LzoY3wazhY
— andreasdotorg (@andreasdotorg) November 1, 2018
On Twitter, Pirate Party Germany politician Katharina Nocun declared, “Google in the old Stasi building-would say that fits!”
— Katharina Nocun (@kattascha) November 1, 2018
“It looks like satire, but it’s obviously true: The Berlin district of #Lichtenberg is offering @Google to establish its new Google campus in the old GDR #Stasi (secret service which spied on its citizens) headquarters after Google faced too much resistance in hip Kreuzberg,” posted Berlin professor Sebastian Dullien on Twitter. “Quote from a Lichtenberg official: ‘We have lots of spaces without any risk of gentrification.’ Looking at the building (and knowing the area), I would say that this is probably true… apartment rents in that area are also still very affordable, much better than in Mountain View. You probably can rent a whole block of flats with your Google salary.”