Ten months before Berlin would hold a plebiscite asking citizens if the city should change its name, an article was published in the Berlin Daily Telegraph (the Berliner Journal also reported on this) which reported on an article published in Berlin, Germany. The article, written on December 15, 1914, prophetically reported that the city’s name had become offensive, and that Berlin, Ontario was now called Kitchener. In June 1916, “Kitchener” would be a last minute addition to the ballot of choices for Berlin’s new name. It was added to the ballot only after the death of British secretary of war, Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener. His death is also the accepted reason for the name’s popularity among voters, yet it had been predicted in Germany by accident 18 months before.
The German article also erroneously reported that special constables in “Kitchener”, as in all smaller Canadian towns, were arresting anyone with a German accent and that all German-language papers would soon be prohibited in Canada.
(John English and Kenneth McLaughlin, Kitchener: An Illustrated History, (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1996): 124-125.; “Berlin Is Now Called Kitchener?” Berlin Daily Telegraph, 20 April 1915.)