The history of Teufelsberg goes back to 28 November 1937, when Hitler laid the first stone for the Wehrtechnische Fakultät – a military school. Except for a contribution to Nazi Germany’s military force, the Wehrtechnische Fakultät was a part of the project to develop the Ost-West Achse – a planned axis from the city centre East (Alexanderplatz) – passing the Siegessäule which was relocated from the Königplatz (now: Platz der Republik) to its current destination (the Großer Stern) in 1938, the Technische Hochschule (now: Technische Universität), the Adolf Hitler-Platz (nowadays: Theodor-Heuss-Platz) till the city’s West, where the Olympic Stadium on the northside and the Hochschulstadt – the covering term for the militair complex where the Wehrtechnische Fakultät was part of – should came on the southside.
The construction of the Wehrtechnische Fakultät was put on a hold because Karl Becker – the leader of the building development – committed suicide in April 1940.
Within 1952 and 1972, 26 million cubic meter of devestated buildings were heaped there – which is about a third of Berlin’s bombed buildings after the war.
The nearby Teufelssee gave the name to the mountain, now called the Teufelsberg.
When the Wall was build in 1961, the American NSA (National Security Agency) reacted with the construction out of a 27 meter high search tower on the Teufelsberg. And created a department of Signal Intelligence.
During the heats and the colds in the Cold War, the spy station at the Teufelsberg expanded further. The most visible are the sites three white domes, which are build between 1969 and 1972. The highest dome is 69 meter. As spectacular as the view over the city, are the amplified echoes when you are standing in the middle of the dome.
Many of the Teufelsberg 1500 employees fulfilled their military service, and braught by a buss to the gate. Although the secret service spies worked in nine hour shifts and without long breaks, they also enjoyed comfortable working conditions – especially after an expansion in 1984. From then on, the canteen was accompanied by a casino, a fitnesstudio and even a Biergarten.
The NSA left the Teufelsberg in August 1992 and the site became property of the Wilmersdorf city council – which sold it in 1996 to the investor Gruhl & Partner for 5 million Deutsche Mark. Two years later, Gruhl & Partner started to construct villa’s on the Teufelsberg. Apartments up to 5 million DM were sold and the constructions started. When the Wilmersdorf council changed from CDU to SPD in 2001, the plans for the developing of villa’s were frozen in 2002.
I did not intend to rewrite the history.The text was written by http://joepwritesthehistoryofberlin.wordpress.com/ and http://dasalte.ccc.de/
For future visitors
There is a fence and security. No one is welcomed there, unless you take guided tours or hire the place for shooting. I got there during the Heritage Days, and we did not have to pay for the tour. But there are lucky riskers 🙂 Good Luck!