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Report - Teufelsberg, Berlin, May 2012

sirjonnyp

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
I was in Berlin recently, and couldn't refuse heading up to what translates as the Devil's Mountain for an explore.

Some history from wikipedia:

It is an artificial hill with a curious history: It was heaped up after the Second World War from part of the rubble of Berlin, approximately 75,000,000 m3 (98,000,000 cu yd) all over the city, during the following twenty years as the city was cleared and rebuilt. While part of the rubble from destroyed quarters in East Berlin was deposited outside the city boundary, all the debris from West Berlin had to be dumped within the western boundary. Due to the shortage of fuel in West Berlin the rubble transport stopped during the Berlin Blockade.

Its origin does not in itself make Teufelsberg unique, as there are many similar man-made rubble mounds in Germany (see Schuttberg) and other war-torn cities of Europe. The curiousness begins with what is buried underneath the hill: the never completed Nazi military-technical college (Wehrtechnische Fakultät) designed by Albert Speer. The Allies tried using explosives to demolish the school, but it was so sturdy that covering it with debris turned out to be easier.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) built one of its largest listening stations on top of the hill, rumored to be part of the global ECHELON intelligence gathering network. "The Hill", as it was known colloquially by the many American soldiers who worked there around the clock and who commuted there from their quarters in the American Sector, was located in the British Sector. Prior to establishing the first permanent buildings there in the very late 1950s, Mobile Allied listening units had driven to various other locales throughout West Berlin hoping to gain the best vantage point for listening to Soviet, East German, and other Warsaw Pact nations military traffic.
I visited with my host, a reasonably petrified non-member there for the ride, and as soon as we got in it was clear that we weren't alone. As a result I didn't get half the pictures I wanted to, nor spend half the time that I wanted to on the pictures that I did get!


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First up-close view of the station.

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Bottom floor of the main building

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Up a floor

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At this point we found the much more well lit outside staircase :rolleyes:

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This is where the explore turned into cat and mouse with the security that appeared. I was a bit pissed off that they weren't doing anything about the people on the roof making a lot of noise and throwing bottles off, but were getting us and some others taking photos out.

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Of course though, I wouldn't let that stop me.

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For the next half hour we chilled outside the site with some beers before I did my best Solid Snake and snuck in solo to run up to the top... straight into security! I asked for one shot from the roof, which they allowed me. Mid way through setting up one of them said in German what I think roughly translates as 'are you taking the fucking piss you English piece of shit?', but it was windy up there, so I'm not sure if he was using the polite form of 'you' :D

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This was my only roof shot and I didn't even get one of the radomes up close, or the main bit of the city! :mad:

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Got this on the way down

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And this one on the back way out.


Overall it was a great afternoon, but I'm gutted I didn't get the shots I wanted. I am pretty new to the DSLR game though, so I am learning. I've read afterwards that security have threatened fines or to take pictures away, but fortunately this wasn't the case when I visited. They just let all the people getting wasted in the radomes stay there :crazy
 
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