Saturday, February 02, 2008

Plowing Berlin’s History Under

Berlin’s Tempelhof airport, a facility relevant to the history of the city, the 2nd World War, and the Berlin airlift is imperiled by the wrecking ball. If you can sign the petition, I urge you do so.

Ironically, I will help save an artifact meaningful not just to German history, to Berlin’s past, and to the cold war, but to American history as well.

Most importantly the Airport is a reminder of a contentious phase in the struggle for freedom from tyranny in the 20th century and asks one to reflect on a time when former enemies became friends. “Operation Vittles” as it was known, sustained the still war-ravaged population of over 2 million west Berliners that was surrounded and threatened by the Red Army by flying in everything from food and clothing to medical support and heating fuel. Oddly enough, in the years since postwar reconstruction, very little has physically changed in the immediate neighborhood around Tempelhof, preserving on a large scale the look and the feel of alt-Berlin. That of the style of street layout, the courtyard apartments, even the simplicity of form that the nearby U-bahn stations had about them, and still do.

Observing Herrman has more.

- Note too that when in Berlin a visit
to the recently established Allied Museum (in the
former Army, US MWR movie theater) is worth every moment.

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