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The village was first documented in a 1264 deed issued by Margrave Otto III of Brandenburg. In 1751 Bohemianweavers founded Neu-Schöneberg also known as Böhmisch-Schöneberg along northern Hauptstraße. During the Seven Years’ War on 7 October 1760 Schöneberg and its village church were completely destroyed by a fire due to the joint attack on Berlin by Habsburg and Russian troops.
Alt & Neu Schöneberg were not combined as one entity until 1874 and received town privileges in 1898. In the following year it was disentangled from the Kreis Teltow and became a Prussian Stadtkreis (independent city). Many of the former peasants gained wealth by selling their acres to the settlement companies of growing Berlin and built luxurious mansions on Hauptstraße. The large town hall Rathaus Schöneberg was completed in 1914. In 1920 Schöneberg became a part ofGreater Berlin. Subsequent to World War II the Rathaus served as the city hall of West Berlin until 1991 when the administration of the reunited City of Berlin moved back to the Rotes Rathaus in Mitte.
The area around Nollendorfplatz has been a centre of gay life in Berlin since the 1920s and early 1930s during the Weimar Republic. The Eldorado Night Club on Motzstraße was closed down by the Nazis on coming to power in 1933. The painter and printmaker Otto Dix used patrons of this establishment as subjects for some of his famous works. Christopher Isherwood lived just around the corner on Nollendorfstraße. This apartment was the basis for his book Goodbye to Berlin (1939) and later the musical Cabaret (1966) and the film Cabaret (1972) and is commemorated by a historic plaque on the building.
Born in Schöneberg
- Blixa Bargeld, musician, born January 12, 1959
- Marlene Dietrich, actress, born December 27, 1901, Sedanstraße 65 (today: Leberstraße 65), Rote Insel, died May 6, 1992 in Paris, buried in the Städtischer Friedhof III cemetery, Friedenau
- Gisèle Freund, photographer, born December 19, 1908, Bayerisches Viertel, died March 31, 2000 in Paris
- Wilhelm Furtwängler, conductor, born January 25, 1886, Maaßenstraße 1 at Nollendorfplatz, died November 30, 1954 in Ebersteinburg, Baden-Baden
- Alfred Lion, co-founder of the Blue Note jazz record label, born April 21, 1909, Gotenstraße 7, died February 2, 1987 in New York City
- Helmut Newton, photographer, born October 31, 1920, Innsbrucker Straße 24, died January 23, 2004 in West Hollywood, buried in the Städtischer Friedhof III cemetery, Friedenau
- Nelly Sachs, writer, holder of the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature, born December 10, 1891, Maaßenstraße 12, died May 12, 1970 in Stockholm
- Willi Stoph, politician, born July 9, 1914, Rote Insel, died April 13, 1999 in Berlin
Lived in Schöneberg
- Hans Baluschek, painter lived at the Ceciliengärten housing estate 1929-1933
- August Bebel (1840–1913) Hauptstraße 97.
- Gottfried Benn (1886–1956) Bozener Straße 20.
- David Bowie (Born 1947) and Iggy Pop (Born 1947) Hauptstraße 155.
- Paul Burridge (Born 1959) lived at Winterfeldt Straße 83 from June 2006 – October 2008.
- Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924) Viktoria-Luise-Platz 11. Buried in Städtischer Friedhof III cemetery, Friedenau
- Albert Einstein (1879–1955) Haberlandstraße 5.
- Hans Fallada (1893–1947) Luitpoldstraße 11.
- Sepp Herberger (1897–1977) Bülowstraße.
- Hilde Hildebrand (1897–1976) (Actress) Voßbergstraße 2 (1930–32).
- Christopher Isherwood (1904–1986) Nollendorfstraße 17.
- Klaus Kinski, actor, lived on Wartburgstraße 3 1930-1944
- Hildegard Knef, actress lived on Sedanstraße 68 (Rote Insel).
- Else Lasker-Schüler (1869–1945) Motzstraße 7.
- Friedrich Luft (1911–1990) (Theatre Critic, Author and Broadcaster) Maienstraße 4.
- Friedrich Naumann (1860–1919) Naumannstrasse
- Annemarie Renger (1919–2008) (President of the Bundestag 1972 -1976) Bülowstrasse
- Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner-von Sivers Motzstraße 30 1903-1923
- Claire Waldoff, singer, born October 21, 1884 in Gelsenkirchen, died January 22, 1957 in Bad Reichenhall lived at Bamberger Straße, Starnberger Straße 2, Landshuter Straße 14, Regensburger Straße 33 1919–1933, Haberlandstraße 7
- Billy Wilder (1906–2002) Viktoria-Luise-Platz 11 from (1927 to1928).
- Paul Zech Naumannstraße 78