Reply from Richard G. Lugar
US Senator (Republican-Indiana)
US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations ranking member, and most senior Republican in the U.S. Senate, as well as fifth most senior member of that body. Served 1957-60, US Navy. He manages his family's 604 acre (2.4 km²) Marion County corn, soybean and tree farm.
January 23, 2009
"Thank you for writing me regarding the U.S. Field Station at Teufelsberg. My staff contacted the Department of State regarding your inquiry. My understanding is that there are no specific plans yet to alter the status of the Field Station, though the City of Berlin has considered new uses for the facility. I will continue to closely monitor U.S. Diplomatic activities on this matter. Thank you, again, for writing."
senator_lugar AT lugar.senate.gov
Suggestion: Write to the chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and to any committee member who is from your own state.You will find all their names and contact info here:
American Embassy in Berlin
February 24, 2009
Dear Mr. Smith:
Thank you for your e-mail.
We understand your interest in what happened to the U.S. Army Field Station Berlin which was located on Teufelsberg at the time you served in Berlin.
After the Allied Forces left Berlin in 1994, the premises were returned to the State of Berlin. The Berlin Senate sold the property to a private investor in 1996.
You will understand that the American Embassy in Berlin cannot exert any influence on decisions taken by either the Berlin Senate or private investors. We are hopeful that an appropriate solution to the use of the area will be found that takes into account the historic importance of the Teufelsberg complex.
Mitchell R. Moss
Deputy Press Attaché
Pariser Platz 2
Reply from Monica Thiemen
Bezirksbürgermeisterin (Mayor of the District) of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf
February 4, 2009
I have forwarded your correspondence to the responsible official, the Bezirksstadrat (District Planning Commission Councilor) Gröhler with the request that he take this matter under consideration.
I hope that you will understand that I have not replied personally, and that you will receive a response from him in due course.
Office of The Governing Mayor of Berlin
January 8, 2009
The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, has asked me to respond to your e-mail of 2 January 2009 supporting the U.S. Field Station Berlin Veterans Group campaign to save the former listening post on the Teufelsberg and have it turned into a memorial.
I can tell you that the Senate, Berlin's government, agrees that the situation on the southern half of the Teufelsberg plateau is unsatisfactory. However, it currently has no influence over what is happening in this area, since the land is private property. In 2005, the Senate made an offer to purchase the property, which the owner has so far not accepted. The Senate would like to restore the natural landscape there and integrate the grounds into the surrounding forest, the Grunewald. Ideas going beyond these plans will be further developed once we get closer to resolving the question of ownership.
The Berlin Senate hopes very much that the situation can be resolved soon.
Referentin für Amerika / The Americas
Senatskanzlei Berlin - IV B 3
Auslandsangelegenheiten / International Relations
Berliner Rathaus /Berlin City Hall
Office of the Bundestag
The Chairwoman of the Petitions Committee of the German Bundestag, Frau Kersten Naumann, MdB, instructed one of her staffers to respond. The letter was polite, informative and helpful. It was one of the better responses we have seen from a government agency. Our thanks to Frau Braun who wrote the letter.
The key points of Frau Braun's letter are:
The constitutional division of powers between the Federal Government (Bundesregierung) and the States (Länder) places decisions about monuments and memorials in the hands of the States. This means, says Frau Braun, that the letter should have been addressed to:
Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin
10111 Berlin, Germany
She requests that we address all further correspondence to that address instead of to the Bundesrat. If you were planning to write the Bundestag but had not gotten around to it, please send your letter to the above address.
That is why we have removed the addresses to the Bundesrat and Bundestag from our list of addresses to write to on our SAVE TEUFELSBERG! page.
Frau Braun forwarded the gist of the original letter to the Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin, and advises that we should hear from them in due course.
Nevertheless, Frau Braun also asked the Federal Office for Culture and Media for a position statement on the issue of Save Teufelsberg! and advises that we can expect a response from them as well.
Thanks again to Frau Braun for her assistance.
-------------------- Extra Contact info for the Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin ------
The webSite for the Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin is located at:
The Petition Office does have a webForm, but it says right at the top of it that they will only take action on correspondence that is on paper and signed.
Paper letters only, therefore, please, to the Petition office at:
Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin
10111 Berlin, Germany
President of the Berlin Legislature
Präsident des Abgeordnetenhauses von Berlin
President Walter Momper responded to an eMail from one of our most active Save-Teufelsbergers, Fritz Lowan, To learn why you should have written President Momper, see our "German Politicians on the Need for a Monument" web page.
Thank you for your eMail of 20 February 2009. Even though the World Peace Foundation is no longer able to construct a Peace University of Teufelsberg, the property still belongs to them. The Senate, therefore, has no influence on what happens to the property, because it is in private hands. The property is currently zoned as forest. I suggest that you address all your further questions to the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf City Hall. The staff there are much closer to events than we are [in the Senate].
Danke für Ihre E-Mail vom 20. Februar 2009. Auch wenn die Weltfriedensstiftung die Friedensuniversität jetzt doch nicht auf dem Teufelsberg errichtet, befindet sich das Gelände trotzdem noch im ihrem Besitz. Der Senat hat also keinen Einfluss darauf, was mit dem Gelände passiert, weil es sich immer noch im Privatbesitz befindet. Nach dem geltenden Flächennutzungsplan ist es als Forstgebiet ausgewiesen. Bitte wenden Sie sich für weitere Fragen und Informationen an das Bezirksamt Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Die Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter sind viel näher am Geschehen dran sind als wir.
President Momper seems to be overlooking the fact that the Senate could indeed influence events by declaring the Field Station Buildings a protected historical monument. That would force the owner to take protective measures to preserve the buildings. He is also overlooking the issue of public safety. See our News Page article, "Berliner Zeitung, March 24, 2009, says: Keep Out! - Danger!"
Contact information for the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf City Hall is on the
Naturschutzzentrum Ökowerk Berlin
Ökowerk Berlin Nature Protection Center
Dr. Hartwig Berger, Chairman
Dr. Berger wrote a reply to an eMail sent by one of Save Teufelsberg!'s most active supporters, Fritz Lowan.
Naturally, in addition to the reforestationwith recreation facilities and a playgroundwe actively supported preserving the tower ensemble, because it is a through-and-through Berlin landmark and monument to the Cold War. Now, thanks to the inaction of the Berlin Senate nothing is happening.
Natürlich haben wir uns neben der Wiederbewaldung - mit Erholungs- und
Spielwiesen - für eine Erhaltung des Turmensembles eingesetzt, da es
durchaus ein Wahrzeichen innnerhalb Berlins und ein Denk-Mal an den Kalten
krieg ist. Nur geht dank der Untätigkeit dee Senats am teufelsberg seit
Jahren überhaupt nixchts voran.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
FSBVG comment: Ökowerk ran its own Save Teufelsberg! (Rettet den Teufelsberg) campaign against the construction projects planned for Teufelsberg, and was instrumental in having the construction permit for the project revoked.
The Ökowerk website complains that "the Berlin Senate has thus far been unable to push through a reacquisition of the property, which means that the highest hill in Berlin -- with the exception of the Müggelzügen -- is inaccessible, the buildings on it deteriorating or being willfully damaged, with no prospect of renovation."
Our goal, says Ökowerk, is that after a renovation and reforestation, the property be outfitted with a recreation meadow and a playground, and that the tower be preserved as a look-out tower.
Wolfgang Thierse, Bundestag Vice-President
March 26, 2009
Thank you for your letter of 17 February. You are absolutely correct: The current situation on the southern half of the Teufelsberg is very unsatisfactory. There is, however, presently no way to get a hold on the situation with regard to the future use of this property as it is in private hands. The owner has of yet not accepted the [Berlin] Senate's offer to take over the property.
Teuflesberg is currently zoned as forest. According to the plan of the State of Berlin, the detrimentally affected area will be reforested and integrated into the surrounding woods of the Gruenewald. Using the property as an environmentally responsible recreation area and museum might be conceivable in the future. More extensive plans for the use of Teufelsberg, however, can only be sensibly made after a resolution of the question of ownership.
I hope that the situation surrounding the old radar station on Teufelsberg will soon improve, and thank you for your concern!
Besten Dank für Ihr Schreiben vom 17. Februar. Sie haben völlig recht: Der aktuelle Zustand auf der südlichen Hälfte des Teufelsberges ist sehr unbefriedigend. Allerdings gibt es gegenwärtig keine Handhabe, über die weitere Nutzung des Areals zu verfügen, da es sich in privatem Eigentum befindet. Auf ein Angebot des Senats, das Gelände zu übernehmen, ist der Eigentümer bislang nicht eingegangen.
Der derzeitige Flächennutzungsplan weist für den Teufelsberg eine Nutzung als Wald aus. Dementsprechend plant das land Berlin, das in Mitleidenschaft gezogene Gebiet zu renaturieren und in die umliegenden Wälder des Forstes Grunewald wiedereinzugliedern. Denkbar wäre künftig auch eine naturverträgliche touristisch und museale Nutzung. Allerdings sollten wietergehende Planungen für eine Nutzung des Teufelsbergs sinnvoller Weise erst nach einer Lösung der Eigentumsfrage angegangen werden.
Ich hoffe sehr, dass es bald zu einer Verbesserung der Situation rund um die alte Radar-Station auf dem Teufelsberg kommen wird, und danke Ihnen für Ihr Engagement!
FSBVG comment: Bundestag Vice President Thierse's letter is polite and friendly, even encouraging to our hopes that Teufelsberg may indeed someday be a memorial as we are hoping it will be. Wise Politicians walk a thin line before decisions are made to express themselves in a coureous yet non-committal way. Yet some others have written in a decidedly negative and unfriendly way. Therefore we take this letter as a good sign of positive possibilities.