Tempelhof: Transformation From Airport To Refugee Shelter

Airports were the major form of transport and supply during World War II and the major usage of such services was by the intense participating nations of the War. And by the nations of war, the first names that come to mind are the USA & Germany. The countries were in desperate need of supply and airports were thought to be the most reliable source of supply. Berlin airport was found to be one of the major airports during the war. The Tempelhof has turned out to be a place of historical importance. 

The following are the reasons supporting Tempelhof’s legacy.

  1. The bricks of the Tempelhof airport were cemented in 1923 and were mainly used for parades by Germany followed by the Prussian forces. 
  2. The Tempelhof airport is the birthplace of Deutsche Lufthansa and was formed by the coalition of 2 commercial airlines in 1926. 
  3. During World War II, the Soviets had blocked all the access points to transport goods in West Berlin leaving Tempelhof as the only entry and exit point. 9000 tons were delivered daily throughout western Berlin.
  4. Bringing us to its dimensions, the Tempelhof reaches a massive 355 acres out of which 55 acres were dedicated to the building space. 
  5. Throughout the cold war, Tempelhof airport was used as the terminal for American military transport. The Tempelhof was the only way they could access West Berlin.  
  6. It is one of the only 3 Europe’s pre-world war airports and thus adds up to its historic importance.
  7. Due to its ancient existence, it also has seen a series of accidents. From the early-phase testing of plane accompanied by its crash in 1892 to hijacking in 1978, till the emergency landing in the closed airstrip of Berlin – it had always been on the media.
  8. The last commercial airline that flew from Tempelhof airport was for Mannheim. During this time, “The time to say Goodbye” was sung by the spectators during the conclusion. 

Speeding towards the 21st century, the operations of the Tempelhof ceased in the year 2008, due to the economic and environmental constraints. 

Article Continued Below

The changes in the Tempelhof airport space took a massive turn — with its switch to the establishment of rehabilitation and recreational centers. After 2 years of the announcement to convert as a recreational center, the proposal of the park was sanctioned with a whopping sum of 60 million pounds solely dedicated to converting the airport into a park. 

Tempelhof has been a major sight in US film productions. At the same time, it also schedules Berlin Music week. A major reason for such importance is the title “Mother of all airports” by British architect Norman Foster. These days the larger parts are derelicts including the departure halls. The architecture of the airport supports modular expansion which is estimated to accommodate 45 million passengers per year. 

That was quite a history, right? But these were just a few of the many facts you are most welcome to fill in the puzzle of Tempelhof and let us know in the comments which of the facts you liked the most.

Looking for our newsletter? Subscribe here!