July 8, 2014 - June 7, 2015


After the Soviet forces had taken the airport, the Americans took it over in July 1945, and established an Air Force base. Almost five decades later, in 1993, the American era at Tempelhof came to an end – a year before the four victorious World War II powers finally withdrew from Berlin.

The American era at the Airport is long since history, with all its highlights and dangers; until now however, it has never been portrayed in an exhibition. This fascinating chapter of Berlin and world history is now coming to life at the Allied Museum: The four-power air-traffic administration which was so important for the existence of West Berlin, the airlift and the refugee flights, the spy flights and the electronic espionage, spectacular aircraft hijackings and escapes, and the colorful world of the allied airlines – it all comes to life in numerous original exhibits. The architecture and design of the exhibition in the Allied Museum contribute to the feeling of the unmistakable atmosphere of the airport.

Nazi Germany staked its claim to world-class status in civil aviation with its monumental Airport. However, the incomplete building was not able to serve civilian purposes, but rather, when the war broke out in 1939, was put to use for air force production. Over the course of the war, several thousand people from countries occupied by the Wehrmacht were assigned to forced labor in the vast halls, and housed in the barracks-like camps at the edge of the airfield. They were liberated at the end of April 1945 by the Red Army.

When the victorious anti-Hitler coalition fell apart, Tempelhof Airport became the “home base of the airlift,” and later, via the allied airlines, West Berlin’s “Gateway to the free world.” Since then, the Airport has been one of the most important and best-known memorial sites to the Cold War.

The exhibition will for the first time show contemporary historical archeological finds recently discovered on the terrain of the former Airport. They are symbolic of various time horizons which overlap on the airport terrain. The former Airport, now known under the name Tempelhofer Freiheit (“Tempelhof freedom”) is one of the most important and at the same time most controversial urban development projects in Berlin.

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