In the northern part of the nature preserve Grunewald Forest, on top of the man-made hill Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain)
sits a former US spy listening station, with which Americans listened
in on East Germans and Russians from the 1950s until 1991 when Germany
was reunited.

The 260 ft tall (80 m) Teufelsberg mountain itself was
built out of rubble from Berlin buildings destroyed during the Second
World War, burying with it a Nazi technical college designed by Albert

The US National Security Agency (NSA) built the listening
stations on top of the hill even though it was in the British sector. It
was and still is clearly visible throughout Berlin, so it was no secret
to the Soviets and East Germans that the US was listening in.

the early 90s there have been various investors and plans to utilize
the hill and the now abandoned listening station. The view from above
onto Berlin and the surrounding countryside makes it a valuable
location. But instead it is today, more than 20 years since it’s lost
its Cold War functionality still in an abandoned looking shape. There
have been many illegal parties and the buildings are full of amazing
street art.

I’d been wanting to visit Teufelsberg for a long time.
Rumors had been flying about fences having holes, these holes being
closed up again, security guards keeping people out, harassing and
hustling them for money. Since May 2012 two artists have been leasing
the area of the former listening station and are charging people an
entry fee (€7 – €15), which is linked to a tour (between 1 and 2 hours,
depends if you go during the week or on the weekend). Even though it’s
more fun to sneak into abandoned buildings for your urban explorations, I
have to admit I didn’t mind so much to pay. It was certainly worth it
to see the art, the buildings and the view. However, I really hate these
time restricted tours. There’s never enough time for me to film and
photograph everything, roam freely and relax for a bit to really take in
the space.

You can find out more about Teufelsberg and the tours on the English or the German version (more information) website Berlin Insight Out.

sounds in the video are a mixture between the natural on-location sounds of birds, wind
and the cloth flapping in the wind and the song “Spamgate” by
Pandacetamol available through the Free Music Archive: Spamgate (Pandacetamol) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Former US Listening Station on top of Devil’s Mountain, Berlin
Ehemalige US Abhörstation auf dem Teufelsberg, Berlin

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