A grand house was spotted sitting in the middle Berlin Brandenburg Airport by users of Google Maps, which has sparked theories relating to the Nazi air force
A house spotted in the middle of an airport in Berlin has left Google Maps users baffled.
The grand house sits in the middle of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), formerly Schönefeld airport, and has left people scratching their heads as to why it was there.
A user posted an image of the home on Reddit, which sparked a flurry of theories over what it was used for, the Daily Star reports.
The post has attracted over 100 responses causing debate – including that is was formerly a police station or used by the German air force, Luftwaffe.
One user replied: “Could be an old administration/barracks building from WW2 for the Luftwaffe… I saw a similarly designed building on the airfield at Flugplatz Katterbach/Ansbach now repurposed for administration and a Kantine.”
Another said: “Called the “Generals Hotel”, apparently built between 1947 and 1950 to house/greet state guests during the GDR era.”
A fourth wrote: “Most likely an old building that wasn’t required to be demolished when Berlin Schönefeld expanded, might have been used at some point, is still in reasonably good shape, no reason (or budget) to tear it down.”
In actual fact, BER confirmed that house is called ‘Generalshotel’ and is in the security area of the airport.
The house was built after the end of the Second World War between 1947 and 1949 and was probably completed for the 70th birthday of Josef Stalin.
It was initially used to house senior ‘generals’ of the Soviet Army, hence the name.
The Soviet Army had used Schönefeld Airport after the war, before that the area with the runway belonged to Henschel Flugzeugwerke, and bombs and airplanes were produced there during the war.
The building was designed by Max Schmidt, and the architecture was supposed to be reminiscent of rural castles of the 1930s. The design was then revised by Georg Hell.
The interior of the house is lavishly decorated with marble, travertine (limestone), fabric wallpaper, partially coloured coffered ceilings and equipped with chandeliers.
In 1961, the house came into the possession of East Germany after the airfield was converted into a civil airport. Government flights were then handled via this building, and high East Germany politicians prepared for their departures there in a dignified atmosphere.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the building initially stood empty. Then the Federal Police moved in and still uses it.
The “Generalshotel” is to be demolished but Individual components such as large chandeliers, the wrought-iron railing of the foyer or wall cabinets of the former general suite are to be removed and preserved for posterity.
Its demolition was initially permitted in 2011, but it has been postponed a number of times and the exact date is unknown.
The demolition was approved by the responsible Brandenburg ministry because the house stands in the way of a planned new construction of the government terminal.