The Forbidden City

In 1910 a training ground and a garrison of the Imperial German Army was established at the Waldstadt part of the town of Wünsdorf.
In World War I it it was used for building several P.O.W. camps, including the "crescent camp" (Halbmondlager) for Muslim fighters of the Triple Entente, where the first mosque in Germany was built.
From 1939 to 1945, Wünsdorf was the site of the underground headquarters of the "Supreme Command of the Armed Forces" (OKW) and the "Supreme High Command of the German Army" (OKH).
After World War II, the area became the biggest Soviet military area outside the Soviet Union: 590 hectares with 1.000 buildings were surrounded by a wall of concrete, and completely inaccessible to the German population.
More than 50.000 Soviet soldiers and civilians were living here and there were daily trains from the so called “Russian Station” directly to Moscow.
After the Red Army had conquered this complex in 1945, the High Command of the Soviet Forces in Germany moved to Wünsdorf and continued to expand the military area.
Outside of the wall there were still more than 6.000 hectares used for military purposes by the occupying forces.
During the times of the GDR, Wünsdorf was called “Little Moscow“.

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