The Berlin Clock of Lives, 1935

“A CLOCK of Lives operated by the Statistical Office in Berlin, Germany, informs spectators that the German population is constantly increasing. To insure being seen by many people, the clock was placed in Dönhoffplatz, a busy Berlin thoroughfare. The clock tolls the number of births and deaths occurring every quarter of an hour. The tone of the bells indicates whether a birth or a death has occurred.”


Another view of the Clock of Lives:


The clock, more properly called the Wilhelm-Lach Tower, was built in 1935. The small bell tower had the following inscription:

Every five minutes, nine children are born in the German Reich – every five minutes, seven men die. This tower is dedicated to the memory of the first National Socialist Mayor in the Central District, P[arty] M[ember] Wilh[elm] Lach, Born 9 June 1801- Died 6 July 1935″

According to the German Wikipedia site, the buildings around the square were heavily damaged during the war, and were largely razed and rebuilt. It is assumed that the clock tower met its demise around the same period.



A photo of the clock memorial taken in 1935.

Berlin no longer has a population clock, but it has a pretty sick world time clock in Alexanderplatz:



Der Alte Wolf hat gesprochen.

3 responses to “The Berlin Clock of Lives, 1935

  1. Danke für diesen interessanten Artikel, der jmir einmal mehr etwas von meiner Heimat zeigt, dass ich bisher nicht kannte!
    Liebe Grüße aus dem südlichen Texas,

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