What would have happened had the Germans conquered Manhattan during WWII? Artist Melissa Gould maps out an answer in what she calls “an obsessively detailed alternate-history map.” In Neu-York, She has renamed each street, neighborhood, borough, bridge, park, meadow, and even replaced monuments. See below her rendition of a would-be German Columbus Circle with the Brandenburg Gate.

To create the map, Gould scanned several maps of Manhattan from before 1939 and digitally manipulated them. She took out street and location names and replaced them with street and location names taken from maps of Berlin during the same period. The avenues are all “Kaiserlich and Königlich”, named for kings and kaisers.


Below 14th St., Gould begins to superimpose Berlin directly into Manhattan:

“I have reproduced whole Berlin neighborhoods in sections … Often I match neighborhoods for their character — names from Berlin’s Financial District are used in the Wall Street area; the streets of Savigny Platz and environs (named after German philosophers, poets, writers and inventors) are used around Washington Square Park and Greenwich Village; street names in the Seaport area retain their maritime flavor.”

If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the map, the visitor counter says in German “Besucher unseres schönen Landes” (Visitors to our beautiful land). See the entire map in all of its glorious detail here and check out more work by Melissa Gould on her website.

Get in touch with the author @youngzokeziah. See more maps in our Fun Maps column.

 Fun Maps

2 Responses
  1. Glen Joaks Reply

    They did the opposite after WW I. Renamed some streets w/ German names. My Mom was born on Hamburg St. now Wilson Ave, Ridgewood/Bushwick Brooklyn.

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