Former Airport Tempelhof

Although Tempelhofer Feld is today best known as a former airport and popular public resource, the site held a key military role dating back hundreds of years. In the 18th and 19th century it was used for Prussian military parades and later for those of the Berliner Garnison.1 In the 1920s a supposed demilitarization of the site took place and it was transformed into a civilian airport.2 This change was shortlived however and in 1933 a large part was turned into a military airfield.3
 
At the beginning of the Second World War Tempelhofer Feld was completely transformed into a restricted zone exclusively for military use. The newly built terminal building was converted into industrial facilities for the manufacture of arms and4 Weser Flugzeugbau, which produced various kinds of combat aircrafts,5 as well as Deutsche Lufthansa, responsible for the repair of damaged aircrafts,6 both operated at the site. Both firms, as well, used forced laborer, consisting in parts of the Jewish population in Berlin, to carry out this work. Further, foreigners – largely forced labor – were from 1940 put to work at the site, some of them were housed in barracks at Tempelhofer Feld.7 It is assumed, that in 1944 more than two thousand foreign laborers were working under slave-like conditions for Weser Flugzeugbau alone.8
 
Address: Platz der Luftbrücke 5, 12101 Berlin

1 Bernbeck, Reinhard: Materielle Spuren des nationalsozialistischen Terrors. Zur Archäologie der Zeitgeschichte, Bielefeld 2017, p. 28 and Chronik des Tempelhofer Flughafens, https://www.thf-berlin.de/ (last access: 16.02.2019)
2 Bernbeck, Reinhard: Materielle Spuren des nationalsozialistischen Terrors. Zur Archäologie der Zeitgeschichte, Bielefeld 2017, p. 31
3 Endlich, Stefanie/ Geyler von Bernus, Monica/ Rossié, Beate: Standortgeschichte. Nationalsozialismus. Architektur des Flughafens, https://www.thf-berlin.de (last access: 16.02.2019)
4 Bernbeck, Reinhard: Materielle Spuren des nationalsozialistischen Terrors. Zur Archäologie der Zeitgeschichte, Bielefeld 2017, p. 33
5 Bernbeck, Reinhard: Materielle Spuren des nationalsozialistischen Terrors. Zur Archäologie der Zeitgeschichte, Bielefeld 2017, p. 33 and Endlich, Stefanie/ Geyler von Bernus, Monica/ Rossié, Beate: Standortgeschichte. Nationalsozialismus. Zwangsarbeiter, https://www.thf-berlin.de (last access: 16.02.2019)
6 Ibid.
7 See Endlich, Stefanie/ Geyler von Bernus, Monica/ Rossié, Beate: Standortgeschichte. Nationalsozialismus. Zwangsarbeiter, https://www.thf-berlin.de (last access: 16.02.2019)
8 Ibid.