Tempelhofer Feld’s history dates back to the 13th century and its name refers to the local headquarters of the Knights Templar. From its time as the first parade ground of Frederick William the First of Prussia, called ‘the Soldier King’, in 1722 through to the withdrawal of the Allies from Berlin in the early 1990s, the field has constantly been put to military use throughout its history. It was the parade and training ground of the Berlin Garrison, the setting for early attempts at flight, a practice area for pioneering aviators and a demonstration field for scientific flight experiments. In 1923 the civil “Tempelhofer Feld airport was built but was soon replaced by the Nazis’ new building. In the “Columbia Haus” building on the field’s northern edge the Nazis established Berlin’s only SS official concentration camp. Forced labourers from occupied countries used in the production and maintenance of fighter planes were housed in a large barracks. During the Berlin Blockade Allied pilots kept the people of West Berlin supplied with their legendary Airlift.
An “Information trail” marks 20 commemorative and memorial sites with texts and historic pictures that explain eras in Tempelhofer Feld’s history to visitors.
Planning and implementation: Berliner Forum für Geschichte und Gegenwart e. V.; Stefanie Endlich, Monica Geyler-von Bernus, Beate Rossié; www.bfgg.de
Design: Helga Lieser, Berlin
Commissioned by Tempelhof Projekt GmbH and Grün Berlin GmbH