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Report - Soviet air base near Berlin



Beelitz and Krampnitz are well known locations near Berlin, though there is much more of these soviet relics some kilometers outside. So, I'd like to introduce another one here.

Last weekend I took a train from Berlin to one of the abandoned former Soviet air bases around. I knew, the place would be too much for just one day, so I decided to make use of one of the mid-1980's typical GDR-style pre-fab flats and stay overnight. According to a fairly new book on such air bases (Büttner & Freundt, Rote Plätze. Russische Militärflugplätze in Deutschland 1945-1994, 2007), the foundation was in the late 1930's and it was handed over to the Soviet forces quite undestroyed in May, 1945. The runway has largely been extended in the early 1950's and later in the 1960's. There has been a school for the children of the officers, a building that might have been kindergarten, a hospital, a prison, a communication bunker, large new living quarters and many shelters for the MiG and ammunition. The runway is in use today for driver education, both car and motorcyclists and the whole air field sometimes for festivals.

So, this is part of the living quarters where I stayed overnight. Note, the Soviets did take home a lot of material, but removing literally everything besides the concrete slabs must have been done later, perhapes a job creation scheme:



The first building I entered has been used as a military hospital. Several frames for operational lamps still are visible. Some murals at the entrance to enjoy and calm the sick children. The building also has an air raid shelter in the basement with some original WW2 air filters.


The next building may have originally been the german guard house, but obviously used as a military prison later. There is a stump of a tunnel leading outside, possibly another air raid protection.



The old german cantonments, large comb-shaped buildings in two lines, partly armoured concrete and brickstone, partly timber framed and built in hillside situation, are about to collapse - especially in the timber frame parts.



This unusual bunker probably has been used for communication purposes and is a very special soviet construction, half above ground.


The little drummer boy left back his drum. And took home the guns. Both, the school for the children of the officers and facilities for the instruction and exercise of the soldiers lay side by side:





Glory to the Soviet sports! The huge gym - and the smoking area outside. The building parallel to the runway has got a large porch with sort of a tower and a huge atrium.





To end this report, there are some 1930's hangars and lots of soviet 1980's shelters for the MiG-29 fighter planes and, in an area aside, some ammunition bunkers. The GRANIT obviously has lost its huge doors.






Oh, well… There have been several clubs of course for officers and soldiers, with cinemas and theatres. Here, just the official slogan "Protect the honour, the honour of the regiment and the army!" has been left, the rest of it demolished. In this sauna, however, an unknown artist left his view of a happy life...



And yes, there is that inescapable statue of W. I. Lenin in situ. Unfortunately, the revolutionizer has been badly shaved and not only lost his beard, but most of his face. And the marble imitation of the base.