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Report - Nazi Army Clothing Agency/Soviet Military Camp, Berlin – August 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Idle Hands, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Heeresbekleidungsamt

    Nazi Army Clothing Agency/Soviet Military Camp



    I wasn’t really banking on doing any exploring in Berlin but my fascination with the Chernobyl disaster has evolved into something of a fascination for all things Cold War. Euro exploring seems to get a something of a bad rep, relatively speaking, but if you like nosing round abandoned places you don’t lose that feeling just because you’re on European soil. So when I realised there was a huge Soviet military camp buried in the woods of Bernau I had a feeling it would be right up my Straße


    Its history is even more intriguing in that its roots are planted firmly in Nazi Germany, offering the opportunity to see what was left – if anything - of two failed twentieth century regimes in one fell swoop.


    It’s 1938 and the German army was striding out under the misguided optimism of the Third Reich. They wanted to look smart, and looking smart and disciplined can cover a multitude of sins: you don’t have to look much further than the over-promoted management figures of today to see that and wonder how they get away with it unquestioned... Neville Chamberlain was convinced, returning from his meeting with Hitler waving the famous ‘piece of paper’ and proclaiming “peace for our time”. Of course, his piece of paper wasn’t worth, well, the paper it was written on, and within a year the world was at war.


    I digress – there’s not a lot of history on the Heeresbekleidungsamt for me to write about other than the fact that this huge set of interconnecting buildings was built in 1938 in the forests of Bernau and served to make, clean and repair Nazi uniforms. There were two complexes, this one serving as the administration site for the operation and a separate one on the other side of town to do the work – and over 1300 people worked here at the time.


    Aside from the buildings there’s little to show for the Nazi era. In 1945 after just twelve years the Third Reich was finally broken by the Allies and Germany emasculated and segmented. Then the Soviets rolled into town…


    If history was lacking on the Nazi era at the site, information on its use by the Red Army is at best patchy and at worst downright contradictory, but the gist of it is that they took over the sites and used them as military camps. It went through various incarnations in the half century that followed, the end of which saw Germany reunified and set to emerge as the major world power it is today. The Soviets left, and like many other buildings in the former states of the CCCP, it lies abandoned and almost forgotten as the world moves on around it.


    The site is enormous – something you only get a glimpse of as you walk nonchalantly through the car park of the local Lidl and head in. Four hours of welcome respite from the European heatwave later and I think I’d seen most of it…


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    The Soviets liked plastering their newspapers to the walls - something heavily evident in every room of the smaller buildings on the edge of the site. There were also huge maps of Europe in many of the offices.


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    Although largely stripped there were bits and pieces left over from the day the Red Army marched out of town for the last time…


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    Hacking through the trees revealed a huge set of interconnected buildings, the Red Star still clinging on from the top of the main entrance. Closer inspection revealed it to be made of cheap wood, not made to last…


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    The raised walkways that connected the buildings were in a pretty precarious state as well, with bricked-up windows falling onto the ground below…


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    Inside there were more Red Army relics and peeling CCCP murals. Sadly I haven’t been able to get any translations done this time. If you can shed any light, feel free to comment…


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    The roof spaces seemed to be set up with basketball courts…


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    … while the main tower contained the water tanks at the top. As well as a curious piece of street art that seems to resemble the current Russian premier…


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    It wasn’t the only art that had been painted in the years of abandonment – for a while each room seemed to offer up a new gallery:


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    Showers:


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    Strong room:


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    Soviet infographics. Looks like something education related:


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    Again, I’m not sure what this is but I’d be interested to hear from anyone that knows…


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    Parting shot:


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    Something a bit different anyway, I hope you enjoyed it.

    Thanks for looking :thumb
     
    Bolts, ClaireM, andycat and 15 others like this.

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  2. UrbexCamo

    UrbexCamo "Just having a look officer"
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    Some unbelievable graffiti mate! Really nice pictures and top report!!
     
    Idle Hands likes this.
  3. Lancashire lad

    Lancashire lad chief taster for costa coffee
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    fantastic what a great report nice one chap
     
    Idle Hands likes this.
  4. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    That's exactly how I like my Euro-derps... Soviet and Military, with some clever graff thrown in...

    [​IMG]
     
    Idle Hands likes this.
  5. ZerO81

    ZerO81 Team Weasel
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    This is a really nice report mate, one of the most interesting ones I have seen for a while.
     
    UrbexCamo and Idle Hands like this.
  6. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    That is awesome...some great graff, excellent report and capture :thumb
     
    Idle Hands likes this.
  7. Bigian88

    Bigian88 The Massive Mancunian
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  8. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks very much for the comments guys - much appreciated as always :thumb
     
  9. Structure4

    Structure4 28DL Member
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    I'm pretty sure the picture with the soldier drying boots is a guidline on how to put them on the drying rack properly and the second board with Russian writing relates to guidlines on how quick you should be able to complete certain excercises. I.E It says you should be able to run 3km in 12:30 seconds. Great pics!
     
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  10. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    Thank you very much for that! Very interesting. I'm hoping to shed some light on other bits and pieces I photographed here too.
     
  11. Structure4

    Structure4 28DL Member
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    Ok so the yellow signs with lots of writing is basically telling soldiers which crimes are punishable and the prison sentences for each different crime.

    I think stealing a weapon is up to 7 years in prison. Something about stealing ammunition too and explosives???

    The scraped poster on the wall translates litereally as: "candidate for the master of sports USSR"

    Also the newspaper you found is a copy of the newspaper "Pravda" which translates to Russian as "Truth". There is something about the economy on the front page and what is happening in other Soviet republics except Russia (I think....) also something about a law that is still yet to be passed...

    The little book I think translates into "Armed forces book"

    The picture below that has a coupon form and a form which translates to "who" and "where" which is probably for holiday and visits.

    Absoloutely stunning map and nothing more interesting for me than finding these soviet maps in Eastern European countries still today (try town halls etc.)

    Great find, really enjoyed this post. Happy to translate more things (very badly!) for you too if you need. Thanks.
     
    Oxygen Thief and Idle Hands like this.
  12. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    @Structure4 - that's fantastic! Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed the report :D
     
  13. prawnstar

    prawnstar 28DL Full Member
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  14. scotty markfour

    scotty markfour 28DL Regular User
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    report n fotos are SEHR GUT ....am really jealous of this derp, all the soviet stuff fascinates me as i served in west germany in the 80,s
     
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  15. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Really interesting report, thanks for posting it up.
     
    Idle Hands likes this.
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