Access to the popular Lost Place in the south of Berlin, the “forbidden city” Wünsdorf, is not easy even nowadays. Only those who book a tour of the “Book and Bunker City of Wünsdorf” or who have a special permit are allowed to enter the site. The historic district of Zossen, a town in Brandenburg, is only 40 kilometers away from Berlin and is a popular destination for hobby photographers and fans of deserted places.
Already in the 19th century the place served as a military training area, on which shooting and artillery exercises were carried out. From 1910 barracks were built, later the headquarters of the Reichsheeres and a gymnasium where athletes were trained shortly before the 1936 Olympic Games. During the Second World War, construction of the bomb-proof, underground bunkers “Maybach I” and “Maybach II” began on the site. They lie 20 meters below the surface and were camouflaged above ground by a village.
Restricted area for GDR citizens
In April 1945, shortly before the end of the Second World War, Wünsdorf was handed over to the Red Army without resistance and became the headquarters of the high command of the “GSSD” (Group of Soviet Armed Forces in Germany). From 1953 Soviet soldiers were stationed there. There were Soviet shops, schools, kindergartens and even a bathing establishment on the military site. Every day a train drove from a special area at the train station directly to Moscow, 1,800 kilometers away.
In addition to the 2,700 inhabitants, up to 75,000 Soviet soldiers lived with their families in the “Forbidden City”. The restricted area was shielded by walls, fences and strict security. GDR citizens were not allowed in – unless they had a special permit. In 1994, the Soviet troops were withdrawn from Germany and a society for town planning, housing and transport takes care of an alternative use of the 600 hectare area.