Hidden away in the Brandenburg forest north of Berlin is an abandoned complex with a sinister history, rooted in the soviet past, in fact the place used to be so secret, no locals were allowed near it, no one with any sense would speak of it, and no local East German officials were informed of its various Cold War activities.
Now of course, the dusty secrets of the old Soviet Union are accessible to anyone that takes an interest.So what did go on here, so close to the Iron Curtains edge?.A frightening enough thought for this Western author, Vogelsang was where the Soviet Union once had atomic weapons primed for Western Europe.
This was the atomic front line of the Soviet Cold War effort, with missiles ready to launch in retaliation for a preemptive strike or in preemption of an imminent retaliation. Now the whole site is abandoned of course, and is a favourite for urban exploration.
Like all good abandoned buildings, the site is extremely eerie, especially when you consider its dark yet relatively recent past. Curtains remain, fluttering through broken school, shop, and barrack windows. Giant bunkers on the garrison’s outskirts stand empty and desolate, doors creaking forlornly, their stash of deadly nukes gone and with it their raison d’être.
The construction of Ordensburg Vogelsangwas financed by expropriating employers’ associations and trade unions. Most of the complex lies within the district of the town of Schleiden, The Krössinsee and Vogelsang projects designed by the architect Clemens Klotz of Cologne.
The majority of the sculptures in Vogelsang – “Der deutsche Mensch” (The German Human), “Adler” (Eagle), “Fackelträger” (torch bearer) and the “Sportlerrelief” (sportsmen-relief) were sculpted by Willy Meller. One of the sculptures, In 1945 “Der deutsche Mensch” was stolen, The other sculptures remain but have been partly damaged.
Meller’s works are still admired and celebrated in right-wing, fascist and nazi circles.
When Adolf Hitler visited the complex in 1937 he dictated that Doric pillars without any static function should be added to the entrance gate.
More information on Wikipedia
[Image Credits: Ciarán Fahey ‘Abandoned Berlin‘]