The Church Jesus Built, German version

What Happens After Death?, German version

Is The Bible True?, German version

Heaven or Hell?, German version

Bible Prophecy, German version

Goodbye Tempelhof Airport

April 28, 2008: Yesterday over 2.4 million citizens of Berlin had the opportunity to decide the fate of the city's historic Tempelhof airport. However, in Berlin's first-ever referendum, less than half of eligible voters were interested enough to go to the polls. Even though 60 percent of the votes cast were in favor of keeping Tempelhof open, the total failed to meet the referendum's required 25 percent of eligible voters for passage. After the results were released, Berlin mayor Klaus Woworeit, a supporter of Tempelhof's closure, announced that the airport would close on October 31, 2008.

In recent months the debate over the airport's future had become a political affair, with Woworeit's "Social Democratic Party" (SPD) at odds with the main opposition party in Berlin, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Residents near the airport generally favored its closure, but a citizen's initiative and the CDU wanted to preserve the airport for its historic value. The initiative had enough support to get the referendum on the ballot.

An inner-city airport, Tempelhof has a long history. Orville Wright took off from the field that later became the airport in 1909. The airport officially opened in 1923 and was the first in the world to offer regularly scheduled passenger flights. By 1939 it had become the main transit airport for inner-European flights.

When Berlin was divided into four sectors at the end of World War II, Tempelhof became the military airport for the American zone. On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union initiated a blockade of Berlin, cutting off access to the three Western occupation zones in the city. Two days later, the Berlin Airlift was launched under orders from General Lucius D. Clay, commander of the U.S. occupation zone in Germany. From June 25, 1948 until the Soviet blockade was lifted on May 11, 1949, the airlift delivered food and other necessities to over two million people in West Berlin. rosinenbomber(Flights continued through September 1949 in order to stockpile supplies in case of another blockade.) The operation required the transportation of 5,000 tons of goods a day, with British and American planes taking off and landing every three minutes. The airplanes were a favorite among children and earned the nickname "raisin bombers", since some planes dispersed chocolates and other candy to the youngsters below.

After the Berlin airlift, Tempelhof became the main civilian airport for West-Berlin until 1975 when Tegel airport opened for civilian air traffic. With Berlin's Schönefeld airport enlarged and scheduled to open as "Berlin Brandenburg International Airport" in 2011, Berlin's smaller airports are all scheduled to be closed. Tempelhof will be the first one to go.

There is no official development plan yet for Tempelhof's future. The main terminal building is to be retained for office space and possibly for an air museum. One proposal has the runways being used for rollerskating and skateboarding, and portions of the airport's land being converted for a technological industrial park and a housing complex. One thing is certain – located near the center of Berlin, Tempelhof airport's prime real estate will not remain undeveloped. As it is converted to other use, a piece of Berlin's history will disappear, and along with it a reminder of Germany's relationship to the United States in the postwar era.


God's Sabbath Rest, German version

Making Life Work, German version

What is Your Destiny?, German version

Gospel of the Kingdom, German version

The Ten Commandments, German version