This summer is the 70th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Airlift. Between 1948 and 1949, the Allied Western Powers broke through the blockade of West Berlin by the Soviet Union and saved the population of Berlin from starvation. The Tempelhof Airport, shaped by its National Socialist past, has now become a symbol of freedom as the central hub of the Berlin Airlift.
When the airport building was completed in its present form in 1941, it was considered the largest building in Europe and reflected the monumental megalomania of the National Socialists. At the same time, the architecture of the airport is unique: Tempelhof is the only airport in the world where the check-in and administration buildings have been merged with the hangars. The architectural contradictions between the outer natural stone front and the elliptical steel structure of the hangars, open to the airfield, make the airport building look even more modern today – in 2011 the building was given the distinction: Symbol of Engineering.
Although the former airfield has become a public space and the hangars are now used for exhibitions and events, even today, more than 10 years after the closure of the airport, traces of its turbulent history can still be discovered.