Militär Flugplatz Sperenberg

THE ABANDONED MILITARY SITE IN GERMANY


This is the ‘Militär Flugplatz Sperenberg’ an abandoned military airfield built in 1958 near Sperenberg, south of Berlin in Brandenburg. The site in the forests was originally developed for the Prussian Army.

Photo: Bert Kondruss

Sperenburg was not always an air field, not even during the Nazi-days. The area was originally part of the Heeresversuchsanstalt Kummersdorf, doing research in the usability of military hardware since 1870. Until the Second World War it also served as a training facility for railway pioneers, as shown by the many remnants of bridges and railway tracks. During Second World War it served as a rocket and missile research facility to Dr. Werner von Braun, before he moved to Peenemünde.

1950

In 1950 the Red Army was looking for an airfield for exclusive military use. It served as a replacement for the military use of Berlin Schönefeld that became an airport for civilian flights only. Over time the airfield developed into a Soviet city within East Germany, with schools, shops, movie-theaters, hospitals, and at its peak housed 5.000 military and civilian personnel. Flugplatz Sperenberg has two runways, a concrete 2500 meter long strip and a 1000 meter grass emergency strip.

1996

The Soviets made heavy use of Sperenburg: it had both cargo and passenger aircraft (such as An-22 and Il-76) stationed, but also bombers and combat helicopters. When the two German countries were reunited, things changed almost overnight for the Russians. The Soviets operated from the airfield (although severely restricted) until 1994. From 1996 the airport and the surrounding lands, altogether 2.400 hectares of property, were abandoned. In 2009 the property was handed over to the Federal State of Brandenburg, since then Sperenberg is left to the weather, nature and vandals. Luckily it’s protected by Museum Kummersdorf. I took these photos of ‘Militär Flugplatz Sperenberg’ in 2008 and 2019.

Built 1958
Abandoned 1994
Endangered
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