The KaDeWe in 1970
© Roger Woll­stadt via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Kaufhaus des West­ens (‘Depart­ment Store of the West’), abbre­vi­at­ed to KaDeWe, is a world-famous depart­ment store locat­ed in the bor­ough of Char­lot­ten­burg. It is one of the largest and most renowned depart­ment stores in Europe, often com­pared to Har­rods in Lon­don or Galeries Lafayette in Paris. The KaDeWe is cel­e­brat­ed for its lux­u­ri­ous shop­ping expe­ri­ence, a vast array of high-end brands, and an exten­sive selec­tion of gourmet food prod­ucts.

Some­times we’d go shop­ping at KaDeWe, the giant depart­ment store in the Cen­tre of West Berlin, which had the hugest food coun­ters any­one could imag­ine with dis­plays that are only imag­in­able in a coun­try which either must have been seri­ous­ly deprived of food at one time or where the pop­u­lace just plain likes to eat a lot. We’d stock up occa­sion­al­ly on what felt like lux­u­ries at the time like choco­lates or a small tin of caviar. One day, while we were out, Jim had come in and ate every­thing in the fridge we had spent all morn­ing shop­ping for. It was one of the few times that Co and I were tru­ly mad at him. I could write a lot more on all this… but.

David Bowie, Uncut, 1999

The depart­ment store is men­tioned in the lyrics of Bowie’s song “Where Are We Now?” from his 2013 album “The Next Day”.

Sit­ting in the Dschun­gel
On Nürn­berg­er Strasse
A man lost in time
Near KaDeWe
Just walk­ing the dead

– David Bowie, “Where Are We Now?”, The Next Day, 2013

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