Thursday, October 30, 2008


I can remember it as if it were yesterday. In the summer of 1966, I took my very first airplane trip on a BEA flight ($25 RT student fare!) from Hamburg to Berlin-Tempelhof. The flight was short, but wow! Not only was the landing amazing for me, but this visit was my first to Berlin, then a divided city - the Wall had been up only a few years. Today the last flight will depart from the world's first air passenger terminal. Tempelhof is closing.

From the International Herald Tribune:
A functioning airstrip since 1923, its monolithic limestone terminal building was built by forced labourers between 1936 and 1941 on the orders of Hitler's architect Albert Speer.

The airport became a powerful symbol of the Cold War when Soviet forces prevented supplies from getting into West Berlin in 1948. The West responded by airlifting more than 2 million tonnes of food and other goods into Tempelhof for nearly a year.
The photo above is a German postal stamp commemorating the Berlin airlift.

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