History of ICHTHYS

Luft Aufnahme 1993Until 1989, the area of today’s social work ICHTHYS contained barracks of East Germany’s border troops: GAR 39/GR42. GAR 39 means border training regiment 39, GR 42 means border regiment 42 pioneer unit.

Border Regiment 42

The aerial photo (see above) of 1993 shows the area of the social work as it is today. At that time there were still fields behind the property.

This area contained one of the last flame-thrower sections. The building with the clinker brick front accommodated the soldiers’ barrack rooms, the armory, the dining room, the kitchen and the training room as well as the guardroom in the entrance area. The building which is yellow today contained the officers’ accommodations and the detention cell. The halls for the “SPW” (armored personnel carriers), which were unofficially called “iron pigs”, are also preserved.

ICHTHYS Area 1993

View of the main building from Arco Street in 1993

View of the main building from the yard in 1993

The Christian social work ICHTHYS started its work in Berlin-Mahlow, 40-42, Arco Street (local center Waldblick) on 18 January, 1993. A year earlier, on 7 June 1992, the society was founded, consisting of members of the Lichtenrade Jakobusgemeinde (Lichtenrade St. James’ Fellowship). Under the leadership of Katrin and Norbert Dennewill a self-help accommodation project for alcohol addicts and other addicts was set up. The aim was to enable these addicts to endure without the use of addictive drugs the time between detoxification and the beginning of their therapy. Later on, out of these the following facilities developed: the transition facility, the day-care center and the facility for homeless people.

Photos: ICHTHYS yesterday and today picture Gallery >>>

The video below shows the opening of the Christian social work ICHTHYS in Mahlow, Arco Street on 17 January, 1993. Please excuse the quality of the video since the film material is now more than 20 years old.

We would be pleased to find out more about historical facts. If you have anything interesting to tell about the garrison “border regiment 42” in Mahlow, please contact



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+49 / 03379 - 37 91 76

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+ 49 / 03379 - 202 78 79

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