Episode 04: Teufelsberg

teufelsberg oliver schmoi

Location:

Teufelseechaussee 10, 14193 Berlin

Facts:

  • Highest point in Berlin
  • Man-made hill

What is Berlin’s highest spot? You’re probably thinking the TV Tower, right? Fail! It is Teufelsberg, a hill in the middle of the woods in the city’s Western side.

Its name means Delvil’s Hill. Sounds intense, right? Truth be told, the Teufelsberg has a really crazy history that you can learn more about in our Talk below.

A former intelligence station during the Cold War, Field Station Berlin was shared between the British and the Americans. It is now a street art and graffiti gallery in the coolest background you can imagine. The view from there is sweet and the construction itself, even decaying as it is, is pretty amazing. Something from another world.

The equipment that used to be in Teufelsberg until 1992, was able to intercept communications made by electronic emissions from a distance up to 300km away. That means that A LOT was intercepted there from the Soviets, the GDR and other Warsaw Pact countries.

More recently, in 1996, Poor but Sexy Berlin sold Teufelsberg to private investors that wanted to build a luxury resort at that spot. In 2004, the city declared the area a protected forest and ruined the investors’ plans. They then sold Teufelsberg to no one less than David Lynch and his crazy guru called Emanuel Schiffgens. Emanuel, head of the Maharishi Peace Foundation, started babbling about how they wanted to build a university for an invincible Germany at the new property. Obviously, everyone freaked out, and when Emanuel Schiffgens was confronted with the fact that Hitler once had the same ambitions as him, he replied by saying that “unfortunately he didn’t succeed”. People around had emotional mini strokes.

Berlin will never approve something like Schiffgens and Lynch’s plans and for now, the place is being leased to Shalmon Abraham, who organizes the tours and events at Teufelsberg today.

For more about the history of how the former flat land in Grunewald that went from a Nazi building to a hill and a spy station, listen to our Talk below.

Photo: Oliver Schmoi | Episode: Roberta Caldas

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