As I stood close to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche I noticed a group of women stood around talking. They were joined a few minutes later by some men who started shouting at them; well they were stood around talking and should be getting to work. They decided whose turn it was to have the baby and who was going to get the crutch and accompanying limp. Have made these important decisions they then went on their way to accost passers by for money. If you are aware of this scam you will see it in numerous other countries.
I saw another group of these women at Checkpoint Charlie going around with boards. No matter what language you speak these ladies will always be able to communicate with you. Please remember these ladies are not poor and if you saw them arrive or leave they travel in style, in expensive vehicles. If you are tempted to give money it is far better to give it straight to a charity rather than lining the pockets of these gangs.
Everyone knows about the women with "babies" on their arms who walk around the tourist spots in Europe asking for money.It looked to me as if it was worse in Berlin this time. They tend to be all over the city, especially on Alexanderplatz. One of them got so close that I could see the "baby "was a doll.
The next morning we saw them standing at a large Mercedes van, where they got their instructions for the day. They were more aggressive than usual and kept coming up very close to the tourists.
I know these womes are under a lot of pressure themselves by their bosses in the background, especially as they are not allowed to keep the money.When you give them money, you finance the boss's next Mercedes.
Take care around the main Station Zoologischer Garten for beggars.
There is a police station near-by, but none the less be aware!
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche is nearby across the street.
The bus station and rail: U-Bahn and S-Bahn seem to bring them out because of the crowds;
better chance of getting money I would think. Watch your pockets and bags.
Just keep walking among others and don't talk to them.
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche and Zoo are worth visiting in this area.
Within the church you will find a Mosaic of the Hohenzollerns.
Mosaic Decoration are to be found and the church's history.
When riding the subway, at certain stops (it seemed usually near the Potsdamer Platz) a young man or woman may board the train with a stack of newspapers. They then go on to give usually a very loud speech about why they are there, what they are doing, etc. and at the end they ask for a small donation in exchange for one of their papers. They will then get off at the next station.
I'm not totally fluent at German, but the first time I saw this it sort of rattled me, but they are OK. A friend I was visiting with told me that it is actually a legitimate deal. Some of them are homeless and they get a share of the donations.
So if you encounter one (you will definitely be able to tell by the sometimes huge stacks of papers), it is OK to ignore them of course--it all depends on your comfort level and internal good sense. But just a friendly bit of advice--it is also OK to toss them a Euro cents coin or two.
The ones I encountered weren't pushy about it at all, and if they didn't get anything they left the train at the next station calmly and without incident.