When Spreepark opened in 1969 it had a ferris wheel, tons of attractions, and plenty of easily impressed young customers from East Berlin. It was clearly one of the best things on the GDR side of town because before the unification of Berlin, the park had up to 1.7 million visitors a year! Despite its collection of life-seized dino statues, Spreepark experienced dwindling popularity after the Berlin Wall fell. The park was finally shut down for good in 2001.
After closing, Spreepark faced a debt of over €11 million. Norbert Witte, Spreepark’s owner, was faced with a tough decision. His options were: 1. file for bankruptcy and sell the land and rides of his beloved park or, 2. gather his family and most loyal theme park workers, disassemble the few rides they could pack in boxes, and hightail it to Lima, Peru!
Needless to say, they chose option number 2.
After a failed attempt to make money from “Lunapark” in Lima, Witte’s morals seemed to take a turn for the worse. Soon after his second park shut down Witte was caught attempting to smuggle 180 kg of cocaine (worth about £14 million) from Peru to Germany in the masts of his “flying carpet” rides.