Kulturpark Plänterwald was a popular entertainment park in socialist East Germany. The funfair opened in 1969, next to the river Spree, and covered an area of 29.5 hectares. After the reunification of Germany, contracts changed and Norbert Witte, under Spreepark GmbH, operated the park. During his leadership, the park was gradually altered to a more western oriented recreational park, and to finance this face-lift he accumulated large debts. Thus, they had to raise the entrance fee, but at the same time the number of parking lots dropped, and visitors were, hence, increasingly reluctant to visit the facilities. The number of visitors dropped sharply, from 1.5 million to 400 000 per annum in 2001.
In january 2002, Witte and his family announced that they intended to move to Peru to run another entertainment site. Both parks failed. The Spreepark GmbH was declared completely insolvent in August 2002 and as a consequence had to close down. Witte was in Berlin, May 2004, sentenced to 7 years in jail for trying to smuggle 167 kilograms of cocaine, with a market value of 14 million USD, in the 12 meter steel masts of a flying carpet carousel. The customs cover was that the carpet ride needed repair in Germany and was therefore shipped from Peru. After four years, mostly in low-security, open facility prison, Norbert Witte was released. His less fortunate son, Marcel, got 20 years in Peruvian prison for the drug smuggling.