The “Eisenbahnstraße” in Leipzig


TV Premiere MDR Tuesday, October 10th, 21:00

as of now ARD Mediathek

The most dangerous street in Germany – that’s what they called it just a few years ago – Eisenbahnstraße in Leipzig’s east. Crime and drug dealing are still part of the reality here. But above all, the diversity, the charm as a trendy neighbourhood and the comparatively low rents are attracting more and more people today and make Eisenbahnstraße the most exciting and metropolitan that Leipzig currently has to offer. 

This is where Gabi Sergel discovered something she thought she had lost long ago. Her love for an old, now dilapidated cinema. Others have also succumbed to the charm of the building. 
Together, they bring new life to the hall through construction work and small events. It is a mammoth project that will keep Eisenbahnstraße busy for years to come. 

These unfinished places here magically attract young people in particular. They come to East Leipzig from all over, looking for space for new, sometimes unconventional ideas. One of them is Sam Fearon from Honduras. He converted an old petrol station in a side street into a beer garden. Now he dreams of students and families partying with drag queens and seniors doing yoga in the “Radtanke”. 

Diversity is typical for Eisenbahnstraße and its neighbourhoods. People from over 70 countries live here over a length of almost two and a half kilometres. Despite the positive development – the negative image of the street as an alleged crime hotspot is only slowly fading. 

Former police chief Bernd Merbitz experienced the gang wars or the introduction of the gun ban zone first hand and is nevertheless tired of the street’s reputation. He ironically counters critics: “Eisenbahnstraße is not the most dangerous street in Germany, but in the whole universe.” 

The film looks behind the clichés and shows everyday life on an extraordinary street that is becoming increasingly popular despite – or perhaps because of – its differences.