Until the end of the Cold War in 1989, Berlin’s Teufelsberg with its Field Station was used for espionage. With four radomes, in which satellite dishes rotated and from which radio signals were transmitted, the Western Allies tried to intercept the radio traffic of the Warsaw Pact, the GDR authorities and armies of the USSR as well as their soldiers.
The exact nature of these interception activities and their results will only become apparent when the corresponding Allied archives are opened after 2020. Because after the end of the Cold War, until 1992, the dismantling of the interception facilities took place at the Field Station. Information and material, which would have suggested ormer ctivities of the past 20 years, were no longer found on the Teufelsberg when the American real estate office transferred the Teufelsseechaussee 10 property in the Berlin district of Wilmersdorf back to the Oberfinanzdirektion Berlin on 26 August 1992.
Not least because of the considerable operating costs, the State of Berlin finally decided to sell the site. This mistake, which the government fraction made not only with the sale of the Field Station, was only to become apparent a good decade later.
Not least because of the considerable operating costs, the State of Berlin finally decided to sell the site. This mistake, which the government fraction made not only with the sale of the Field Station, was only to become apparent a good decade later: the investor community Teufelsberg GbR (IGBT) acquired the site in 1996 and planned a large leisure area there. Hotels, living spaces, a multi-storey car park and a new observation tower were to be built. However, the plans failed. After legal objections could be cleared of the way, the financing of this building project collapsed around 2000s.
On August 15, 2005, the Senate Department for Urban Development issued a statutory decree repealing the previously valid project and development plan. Thus, private construction projects on the Teufelsberg were and are no longer possible. After the area had become an “abandoned place” in 2006, a usurpation by different groups took place. Theft and vandalism completely destroyed the remaining facilities. Only in 2010 did the former tenant succeed in creating an organised structure and possibilities and making the site accessible again for regular visitors. This was also the person who initiated the Graffiti Gallery, the largest gallery in Europe, which is located on the site. In 2015, he left the Field Station, which is now managed and developed by the new tenant. A guided tour currently gives visitors the opportunity to get an impression of the monument.
In those “abandoned” days of the Teufelsberg field station, Stefan Kaz paid the site a visit. This was before Teufelsberg was a landmark protected event location for brands and rich people. Teufelsberg, like many other privatized landmarks, has become a commodity on the tourist itinerary. It’s quite a pity, considering most of the art featured stems from illegal activities.
On the other hand, some visitors may be happy to hear that they can safely access the landmark for a small fee, and enjoy a guided tour with historical anecdotes. I guess it’s a fair compromise.