The Association of the Western Allies in Berlin
"Save Teufelsberg! Petition" has a comments page at:
Most of the comments are in German. Here is a translation of one note:
From "Roesi," translated from German, on February 2, 2009:
As a former member of the British Guard Unit 248th German Security Unit, 2nd Royal Military Police Regiment, I am pleased to support this action. There are so many monuments in Berlin, but symbols like Teufelsberg should not be allowed to disappear. A lot has already been lost, and our task is to save what is left, so that the generations that follow us can have their symbols saved as well. With the help of the Monument Protection Office, the three chimneys of the Reuter Power Station were the first to obtain favor. They were a sign of the determination to see things through during the Blockade. Without Reuter, Berlin would have been forced to capitulate. Without Teufelsberg and its antennas, and Tempelhof and its radar, the West would not have know what the East was up to. They were the guarantee of our freedom! That is why I support this project!
From Ralph, translated from German, on February 24, 2009:
This action is intended to demonstrate our thanks for the years of continuing friendship with the Allies in West Berlin. The presence of the Allies in Berlin contributed significantly to the ability of West Berlin to exist in peace and freedom. It is only right that we should create a monument that reflects the almost fifty years that the Western Allies were on duty in Berlin. It is not just the Soviet occupiers who need monuments like Treptow or 17 June Straße in Tiergarten, but also those who stood should-to-shoulder with us in the West during times like the Berlin Blockade and the construction of the Wall. And so we call on EVERYONE to support the petition of the Field Station Berlin Veterans Group (FSBVG) and of the Association of the Western Allies in Berlin (WAiB) by signing this petition right now, here on-line.
English language link:
Robert's European History Blog
on January 24, 2009, Robert Wilde, an About.com Guide to European History since 2001, reported on the FSBVG Campaign to Save Tuefelsberg! He encouraged his readers to participate. Wilde says, "It may seem too soon to start talking about museums and monuments to the Cold War, as it often feels [like] only yesterday that the conflict ended. . .
It's easy to forget now that at one stage, shortly after World War Two, Berlin was a major fault line in world politics and the heart of the Cold War struggle, with Russia believing there was no better way to exert pressure on the West than to "squeeze" the city. . ." Read the entire blog post at:
Post your own comment while you are at this history blog.
Here is one new comment:
CATHY January 27, 2009, 12:42 pm:
Thank you for informing us. Sent info of site to my congressman here in Minnesota. Here in the US we are too much of a throw away society, but when things get known, there is always a chance someone steps up to the plate, a save can be had. Here's hoping a piece of history can be saved for the living & the future.
Transcendental Med on T'berg: Bad Theatre
At a press conference in November 2007, Emanuel Schiffgens, David Lynch's partner for establishing a so-called "invincible university" to teach the philosophy of transcendental meditation atop Teufelsberg put his foot squarely in his mouth when he said: "We want an invincible Germany!" a statement that in German has overtones of Hitler's thousand-year Reich.
"What do you mean by this concept of invincibility," asked an onlooker from the audience, made up mainly of film students with a smattering of meditation devotees. "An invincible Germany is a Germany that's invincible," replied a Delphic Schiffgens, who was dressed in a long white robe and gold crown. "Adolf Hitler wanted that too!," shouted out one man. "Yes," countered Schiffgens. "But unfortunately he didn't succeed." At that the crowd began shouting epithets at the speaker: "You are a charlatan! This is bad theater!"
By Andrew Purvis/Berlin, posted Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007.
The Berliner Morgenpost, January 9, 2008, on an early plan for Teufelsberg development
In the German language article by Von Brigitte Schmiemann, Baustadtrat Klaus-Dieter Gröhler (CDU) commented on a proposal by the "Maharishi-Weltfriedensstiftung" (Maharishi World Peace Foundation) to build a center on Teufelsberg, saying that the area is zoned as forest. "And there is not even the hint of a necessity to grant a construction permit for such a facility."
The article is accompanied by a recent, small, aerial photo of the Field Station buildings on Teufelsberg. The mindless vandalism that the little photo reveals is shocking. It is worth following the link below to the article just to see the photo.
Berliner Morgenpost, April 16, 2008, on plans for the development of Teufelsberg
An article by Brigitte Schmiemann in the Berliner Morgenpost (16 April 2008) details the situation surrounding Teufelsberg. In 1996, the Teufelsberg Investors Consortium (Investorengemeinschaft Teufelsberg [IGTB]) bought the hill from the city of Berlin for 2.65 million Euro. Plans called for apartments, a restaurant, a hotel and a "spy museum." The expected completion date was 2001, but in 2004, when no obvious progress had been made, the Berlin Senator for City Planning, Ingeborg Junge-Reyer (SPD), broke the contract with IGTB, and rezoned Teufelsberg as forest.
In late 2007, IGTB sold Teufelsberg to the Maharishi World Peace Foundation. IGTB, however, is in an uncomfortable position, because the agreement with the Foundation was conditional on the Foundation obtaining a construction permit. But as the Planning Commissioner for Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Klaus-Dieter Gröhler (CDU), has said, here and in other articles, Teufelsberg is zoned forest and no construction permit will be issued.
IGTB wants to reach an agreement with the city that will allow some development of Teufelsberg. The original grand scope of IGTB's plans have been reduced to a museum and a small-scale restaurant in the middle of the woods. IGTB has said that it will be guided by the plans for the re-use of Teufelsberg by the architects Bettina Franke und Simon Micha Karsunke, which won the Peter-Joseph-Lenné-Preis des Landes Berlin in 2007. Their plans called for a restaurant and museum in the Field Station buildings, and for using the FSB tower as a panoramic viewing platform. According to their plan, the surrounding undeveloped meadows would be arranged to offer an unrestricted view of the city.
You can read the whole article in German at:
The article is accompanied by an aerial photo of T-Berg showing immense damage by vandals. Viewing the picture is worth following the link even if you can't read the article in German.
Write Senator Ingeborg Junge-Reyer (SPD), and let her know that you want to Save Teufelsberg!
Senatorin Ingeborg Junge-Reyer
Senatorin für Stadtentwicklung
Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung
Württembergische Straße 6
10707 Berlin, Germany
Berliner Morgenpost, January 22, 2009, on the
"Save Teufelsberg!" campaign.
The German language article makes two key points:
1 - The current owner is the "Maharishi-Weltfriedensstiftung" (Maharishi World Peace Foundation) which want to build a "Tower of Invincibility" on the Hill, and
2 - The head of the planning commission in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf,
Klaus-Dieter Gröhler (CDU), says that there is no construction permit for this property, and that this will not change. The property is zoned as forest.
When asked by the Berliner Morgenpost, Mr. Gröhler could not say if "the American's plans" (that's us) might be implemented. Gröhler is a key player in the decision making process that will determine if we can Save Teufelsberg or not. We encourage all Friends of Teufelsberg, especially in Berlin, to write to him. Let him know you want to Save Teufelsberg! Use the sample letter on the Save T-Berg! page, or use your own words, but write. His contact info is:
Stellvertretender Bezirksbürgermeister und Baustadtrat
Deputy Mayor and Planning Commission Councilor
Bezirksamt Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf von Berlin
Fehrbelliner Platz 4
10707 Berlin, Germany
email to groehler[at]charlottenburg-wilmersdorf.de
This contact information has been added to the lists on the Save Teufelsberg! page.
You can read the entire Berliner Morgepost article in German at:
Two Comments on the above story
There have been two comments posted to the 22 January 2009 Berliner Morgenpost article on the Save Teufelsberg Campaign. The FSBVG translation follows:
From Micha, 26 January 2009
Right on! The radar facility is a part of Berlin's history and has to be preserved for future generations! We Berliners have absolutely no need for Yoga sects, and there are a lot of uses for the buildings! It's tragic the way things look there now! I fully support the Field Station Berlin Vets!
From Marc, 10 March 2009
Exactly. I also support preserving this facility. It is almost completely preserved, in contrast to the many other reminders of the time of the Wall! Simply come take a look around http://fsbvg.homestead.com/save_teufelsberg.html and sign the petition!
Dear Reader, Be sure to post your own comment on the article at this site:
The link to click to post says "oder selber einen Kommentar verfassen". (Or publish a comment yourself) You will need to enter a security code to post. The "send" button says "Sichern".
The Siedlerverein ("Neighborhood Association") Eichkamp has put up a special page for the SAVE TEUFELSBERG! Campaign. Eichkamp is a neighborhood just northwest of Teufelsberg. On this map, below, T-Berg is the letter 'A' and Eichkamp is "B".
They liked our new Teufelsberg Coat of Arms so much that they are displaying a copy on their page. Here's our translation of what they have to say:
"The veterans of the former Field Station Teufelsberg have begun a big campaign to preserve the intercept station on Teufelsberg. It should be protected from further deterioration and kept as a Cold War Monument.
You can see how grass-roots campaigns are run in America Here . "Contact your elected representatives, write to Angela Merkel." There is an electronic Petition, and, naturally, matching campaign T-Berg shirts. There are also references to our site on the Eichkamp news page about Teufelsberg, and people are being encouraged to post comments.
Eichkamp says, "Hats off to so much power!"
You can see for yourself and leave a comment at:
The link to click to post says "oder selber einen Kommentar verfassen". (Or publish a comment yourself) You will need to enter a security code to post. The "send" button says "Sichern".
Because the Eichkampers liked the T-Berg logo and the idea of matching campaign T-shirts so much, our artist made a special edition Eichkamp Rettet den Teufelsberg! (Save Teufelsberg!) T-shirt for them. You can see it on CafePress at http://www.cafepress.com/Eichkamp.
The Berliner Morgenpost, January 28, 2009, on the support that FSBVG is getting
most importantly from the Western Allies in Berlin Association in the form of endorsement and a supporting petition. The story describes the FSBVG as the project initator, and tells how our campaign operates. Read the German language article at:
Question Time in the Berlin Senate
Introduction: The government of the State (Land) of Berlin is made up of the Abgeordnetenhaus (Legislature) and the Senate (Executive Branch). Part of the political process in Berlin includes the formal submission of written questions by the Abgeordnetenhaus to the Senate.
In 2008, the FDP shadow minister for Urban Development in the Abgeordnetenhaus, Albert Weingartner, submitted a series of questions to the Senate on Teufelsberg.
Below is the FSBVG translation of the Senate's official response.
Answers to the Questions asked by Albert Weingartner (FDP) a member of the Berlin Abgeordnetenhaus (State Legislature)
Ref: Drucksache 16/11 961 (April 2008)
(You can read the original document in German in PDF format at:
The title of the Questions list is:
"Is Teufelsberg a 'Devilish' project?"
(It's a great pun in German)
I [Dr. Ehrhart Körting, Senator für Inneres und Sport] respond to your [Deputy Weingartner's] questions in the name of the Berlin Senate as follows:
1. What is the Senate's assessment of the structural soundness of the former Allied Intercept Facility on Teufelsberg?
2. What possibilities does the Senate see from improving the present situation, and how does the Senate intend to put them into practice?
3. Which structures are in need of urgent structural security? What steps will the Senate take to implement them?
Response to questions 1 -3:
The Senate in principle shares the assessment of an unsatisfactory situation on the southern plateau of Teufelsberg that underlies the questions. The situation cannot, however, be influenced by the Senate because the property is privately owned. Because the property is fenced in and guarded, independent of the structural condition of the facility, no immediate danger to the public can be assumed.
4. Is it foreseeable during this session of the Senate that the State of Berlin will obtain ownership of the property?
a) if yes, what steps and financial resources will be necessary, and how long with the transfer take?
b) if no, for what reason is this not foreseeable?
Response to question 4:
The Senate's idea is that the property be returned to nature and integrated into the surrounding Grunewald. To this end an offer to purchase the property was made to the owner in 2005, but it was not accepted.
5. Is the Senate aware that target practice with firearms is being carried out in the basement of the unsecured building?
a) if yes, which official authorized them?
b) if no, what measures have been taken to ensure the safety of life and limb on the property?
Response to question 5:
b) The property is completely fenced in and is patrolled by the police as a part of their daily duties.
6. Are the present owners of the property known, and does the administration have a valid address for them?
Response to question 6:
[Signed in Berlin, 15 May 2008]
Dr. Ehrhart Körting
Senator für Inneres und Sport
FSBVG Supplemental Information to 'Question Time in the Berlin Senate:
The Berlin Senate is moving at a snail's pace, hoping that the problem will go away, if they ignore it long enough, the Teufelsberg buildings will just collapse.
The Shadow Minister, however, is trying to shake up the Senators from their lethargy, and we must thank him for that!
Albert Weingartner is the FDP Shadow Minister for Urban Development in the Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin. We must write to Deputy Weingartner to encourage him to submit more questions about Teufelsberg. The reason to write Minister Weingartner is to ask him to keep asking questions and thus to continue to rattle the Senate's cage to get the Senators to take action. He's performing as our ally. What he needs are potential questions you can give him. Think of some questions for him to ask now. This is important. You can write him at:
Fraktion der FDP
Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin
10111 Berlin, Germany
Or eMail: fdp at albert-weingartner.de
Or use his official contact form:
Dr. Ehrhart Körting is the point man for the Senate on this issue, so we need to make him aware that there is a constituency for Teufelsberg, so the Senate should reconsider its position. He's a gatekeeper. All he needs is a standard Save T-Berg! letter. You can write him at:
Dr. Ehrhart Körting
Senatsverwaltung für Inneres und Sport
10179 Berlin, Germany
The eMail for his department is: poststelle at seninnsport.berlin.de but we recommend paper letters as more effective than eMail in this case.
Wouldn't you love to be able to sit in a snack bar (the old mess hall) on top of the hill and have a curry wurst? Be sure to put that in your letters. Both of these gentlemen speak English, and have English-speaking staffers. It's a question of numbers. The more letters, the more attention we get.
Berliner Zeitung, March 24, 2009, says:
Keep Out! - Danger!
In its local news column for 24 March 2009, Oliver Ohmann reports on the damage done to the antenna tower at T-berg, attributing the damage to "Rowdies", in a short article entitled "The Devil to pay on 'Devil's Mountain" (Teufelsberg = Devil's Mountain). The article notes that even though the property is surrounded by a chain-link fence, the trouble makers keep cutting holes in the fence and entering the property, stealing scrap metal and wrecking the facility. Warning signs have been posted, but they are being ignored. The article cautions readers of a real danger to life and limb.
In "Question Time in the Berlin Senate" (above), one of the answers provided by Dr. Ehrhart Körting, Senator für Inneres und Sport, to the questions asked by FDP shadow minister for Urban Development in the Abgeordnetenhaus, Albert Weingartner, was:
"Because the property is fenced in and guarded, independent of the structural condition of the facility, no immediate danger to the public can be assumed. . . . The property is completely fenced in and is patrolled by the police as a part of their daily duties."
The Berlin Senate needs to urgently reassess the security situation on the southern plateau of Teufelsberg, and implement measures to protect the "public" from this "attractive nuisance", and to prevent the facility from further deteriorating while its fate is being decided. The Senate's failure to act would seem to indicate that it had decided on a policy of "demolition by neglect."
Der Tagesspiegel (Daily Mirror), March 24, 2009
reports on the destruction of the outer skin of the central antenna tower at Teufelsberg. The damage was caused by the wind.
The chain-link fence around the property has been cut-through with bolt-cutters in more than a few places, says Baustadtrat Klaus-Dieter Gröhler (CDU), the director of planning for the Charlottenberg-Wilmersdorf District where Tuefelsberg is located.
The article recaps the history of the controversy surrounding the lack of action with the property, pointing to the open legal issues of private property versus the state's ability to act. No action is possible until they are resolved.
The article includes a mention of FSBVG's Save Teufelsberg! campaign, WAiB's support of it, and the ePetition to Save Teufelsberg! When asked about the campaign, Helmut Trotnow, the director of The Allied Museum in the old Outpost Theater said that he saw little chance for its success. "It started years too late," said Trotnow.
FSBVG Comment: The police have rejected the idea that the damage was the result of vandalism, but they are only half right. If vandals had not cut holes in the skin of the antenna tower in the first place, the wind would not have been able to find purchase to rip the skin to shreds. Normal design specs call for the ability to withstand 100mph winds. For a view of the way the antenna tower looks now, visit: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/medien/hermes/cme1,265291.html
Now with the skin of the tower completely gone is many places, the danger to life and limb has increased substantially for trespassers on this "attractive nuisance." The property owner's security precautions are clearly not sufficient to keep the trespassers out. (See Gröhler's comment above.)
The Berlin Senate and the Charlottenberg-Wilmersdorf City Hall should be proactive and insist that the owner implement a level of security that will keep out vandals and potential victims of the accidents that are waiting there to happen before someone gets killed. If the owner cannot provide that kind of protection, then the city should arrange for it and send the owner the bill.
The address for the Allied Museum is on the front page. Write to Dr. Trotnow and let him know that you think that it is not too late to SAVE TEUFELSBERG!
From our own Guest Book, Friday, 3/20/09
Rudolf Präger of Friedland, Niedersachsen
I was on Teufelsberg, and I was astounded by the vandalism. Not to mention the destruction! It is all very sad. I would love to take a bat to that bunch of rabble and give beat 'em black and blue, but at 70 there's not much chance of that. Kind regards.
"Hauptstadt Blog: Wir Bloggen Berlin"
November 2, 2005
The blogger commented on the fact that plans at that time called for razing the Field Station Berlin facility on Teufelsberg. "It's a really shame," said the comment, "the cupolas are what give Teufelsberg its face." Fortunately, the blog's prediction, that this could take a while if legal problems broke out, proved to be true, so Teufelsberg hasn't been razed yet. Read the entire post here:
Please leave a comment when you visit the Hauptstadt (Capital) blog site.
New comments to the Hauptstadt Blog by Berliners, translated from German:
Ralph Schulz: February 18, 2009, 10:02
We should preserve Teufelsberg as a monument to the Cold War. This piece of architecture, more than all the others, tells the story of the Allies who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us, fighting to keep Berlin free. In my opinion, putting up a monument to our friends, the Allies in Berlin, is the least that we can do to say "Thank you" for almost 50 years of freedom.
MarcFritz Lowan: February 18, 2009, 10:49
The intercept station on top of Teufelsberg is a part of Berlin's history of the Cold War, and must be preserved. It has become a Berlin landmark and is a part of Teufelsberg. A petition has been started for this purpose [see the link on the main page]. There are more than enough things that the facility could be reused for. Berlin has to be more protective of its history!
Frank: February 21, 2009, 23:46
Berlin should not destroy its history because it costs too much! It should be worth the money it costs to preserve the radar station to show respect for what the Allies did for Berlin. Planting three trees is not always the solution. A little more imagination should be applied to the situation.
City of Berlin Blog, March 19, 2009
Melvin Heward has a pro-Save Teufelsberg! post in his blog "City Of Berlin Weekly." His post includes a short history of T-Berg and tells his readers where to go to help Save Teufelsberg! Heward lives in Berlin with his German wife. His profile photo shows him in Army uniform with Specialist Fourth Class insignia of rank.
Read his whole post at:
You have to be registered to post comments to his blog.
Berliner Morgenpost, March 4, 2009
In its "Experience Berlin" column, the newspaper lists what Burkhard Kieker, the head of Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH, considers three must-see Berlin spots.
Number 1 on the Berlin Tourism list of the Best in Berlin is Teufelsberg, with its view to the horizons of Berlin. Kieker says that the view is "A perspective of the city that one seldom gets."
FSBVG agrees with his assessment, and that is another one of the reasons that we want to Save Teufelsberg! It's not just for us, but for the Berliners as well.
Find out what his other two favorite spots are when you read the whole piece at:
Bild.de lists "The real 'High Points' in Berlin"
Bild includes Teufelsberg in a April 2009 feature about the best points to view the City of Berlin. Bild's appraisal of Teufelsberg starts, "Want to escape the hectic pace of big city life, get out of the hustle and bustle? Then Teufelsberg is the right place for you. The thickly wooded rubble hill is a real oasis, and at 114 meters high, it is the highest "Berg" (Mountain) in Berlin. From the top you get a great view of Berlin from the west. Where? On the Teufelschuassee, between S-Bahn Grunewald and Heerstrasse."
This info in German is on the webpage, and there also in slides 13 and 14 of the slide show at:
[See the left and right arrows on either side of the picture of the Reichstagkuppel? Down in the lower right corner of the capture is the caption "1 von 14". That tells you that this is a slide show, and that you are looking at slide 1 of 14. The Tberg slides are 13 and 14. You have to arrow left to find them.]
FSBVG Chairman Dave Wallace Dead
It's with great sadness that we have to report that our much-loved and long-serving chairman of the Field Station Berlin Vets group has passed away after a very long illness. David R. Wallace of Martinez, Georgia, was long disabled with multiple schlerosis, and was finally taken from us after a long battle with cancer. Dave was a six-year veteran of the United States Army Security Agency in Berlin, Germany, and many other stations around the world. He is survived by his wife Jean, and by a son who lives in Alaska. FSBVG officer Bruce Ford will serve as Chairman in his place.
The Technical University in Berlin
is presenting an architectural seminar (SS099) during their summer session 2009 using the Field Station Facility as the design project for the course. The seminar will develop a design for a viewing tower with a visitors' center and cafeteria covering approximately 500 square meters. The course blog has a bibliography and a You-Tube video from German TV on exploring Teufelsberg looking for tunnels. There is an interview with Stephen Bowman, Colonel, US Army, retired, who was the last US officer to have jurisdiction over Teufelsberg, and who continued as a Department of the Army civilian agent to look after Teufelsberg by guiding people to the hill and on it. Even thought the text is in German, it is worth watching.
The Bibliography does not mention FSBVG's Save Teufelsberg campaign, but it does have a link to the petition to Save Teufelsberg.
You can find the blog at: http://fgbaurmann.blogspot.com
Save Teufelsberg Activist gets Army Award
April, 2009: The United States Army awarded its Freedom Team Salute Certificate of Appreciation" to FSBVG Chairman Bruce Ford for service as a US Army veteran. This is in recognition of efforts in reuniting veterans of FSB, honoring Field Station Berlin service, and specifically for the campaign to Save Teufelsberg.
The award stated: "For outstanding service to the Nation as a United States Army
Soldier. You are being recognized for your patriotism and continued support of
the Army family. Your legacy is today's Army and the values Soldiers exhibit
while fighting the Global War on terrorism. Their efforts are a direct
reflection of your service, and the United Satates Army and a grateful Nation
An accompanying letter stated: "Our Army would not be the best in the world without the service of its Veterans who continue to provide support and exhibit patriotism. You make a difference to today's Army and to our Country. Please accept the enclosed Army lapel pin. It symbolizes the partnership between our Army, its Soldiers, their families and Veterans -- a partnership as old as the Nation itself. As our partner, we hope that you will wear this pin with pride, as a statement of our shared commitment
to support America's Soldiers. We thank you for the honor of your past service
with our Army and for your continued support of our Soldiers." Both the letter and the award were signed by the Secretary of the Army Pete Geren and the Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey, Junior, both appointed in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and still serving under President Obama. FSBVG considers this as official recognition for FSB veterans working together to honor our military service, and Department of the Army approval of the campaign to Save Teufelsberg.