This part of Berlin has always had a long history in aviation.
Between 1907 and 1911, Georg Wilhelm von Siemens ordered the construction of the first rotating Airship Hangar on a plot of land here. Around the same time, a small airport known to locals under two names - Flugplatz (Airfield) B. and Flugplatz K. - was constructed north of the airship hangar and consisted of an aerodrome and several airplane hangars.
During WWI, the complex was expanded with some new hangars and a railway line (which
was removed in the 1930s).
After the defeat of the German Empire, the Treaty of Versailles prohibited Germany the use of any aircraft which meant that the airbase remained abandoned and unused over the following years.
In the 1920s, the district planned to convert the area into a park, but the concept was never realized.
With the rearmament of Germany in the 1930s, the Nazis wanted to expand the existing military academies.
In 1936, the construction of the "Festungspionierschule der Deutschen Wehrmacht" began, one of the most important “contemporary” buildings of the Wehrmacht.
The Officers Casino on the south-western end of the complex was where the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht against the allied forces was signed on the 8th of May 1945.
The whole complex was then taken over by the Soviet Army, and was declared a restricted area. It became the initial headquarters of the “SMAD” (Soviet Military Administration of Germany) and the KGB in Germany.
At the time, some of the flight hangars were then used by the VEB SHB (Spzialhochbau - Special Structural Engineering) – a construction company under direct command of the Stasi (State Security), but how the others were used is undocumented.
The "Festungspionierschule" has been renovated and was turned into living apartments, and the hangars on the northern end of the area have been torn down to make room for new apartment buildings.
The photos you see here are from the remaining hangars in the southern part of the area.