Ramble On

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Whatever Happened to Flughafen Tempelhof? Part 3

Aerial of the airport in its heyday. If you know the origin
of this or any of the photos I've used, let me know,
I'd love to give the photographers due credit.

As I’ve been doing the research for this series of posts, I’ve come across quite a few links that outline the history of Tempelhof Airport – some of which I was familiar with, and some information that is new to me.  For example, I knew that the root of its name was a hint that the Templars had encamped here in the early part of the millennium, and I also knew that the Wright Brothers had barnstormed the place in the early 20th Century, showing off their airplane.

Later, the National Socialists dreamed of Berlin as the capital of a unified Europe, where Tempelhof would become the modern central airport, designed on a grand scale.  That’s the legacy of the building that remains, although on an international scale these days we wouldn’t consider it so grand.  In the intervening years, post-War, it was first occupied by the Soviets, then we took it, and it has also been the location of German firms and municipal government functions – all in addition to being a working airport for much of its history.

One of the better links I found, focused on the technical analysis of the architecture of the place, is here:
Be sure and check out the slide show that accompanies that article.

Of course, the following search will take you to all of the posts I’ve put up here on the Hawksbill Cabin blog about Tempelhof:

Two of these are noteworthy to me today as I consider them:  the one that includes the YouTube video tour of the tunnels under the airport, and the one that makes note of my friend D. Mitchell Lindemann’s book Last Flight from Tempelhof.  In the book, the cemetery I pointed out in yesterday’s post takes a central dramatic role, as do the tunnels.

At the time that he was writing Last Flight from Tempelhof, the future of the airport was very much in play.  In fact, Lindemann talks about one of the plans to turn the place into an amusement park, and goes into some detail about what that might be like.  (I’m including an Amazon link to the Kindle version of the book here for reference:  Last Flight from Tempelhof)

So tomorrow’s post will finally turn to what’s to become of Tempelhof – thanks for hanging with me so far!

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