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Auf Wiedersehen, Tempelhof

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Auf Wiedersehen, Tempelhof

Post by shammy on Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:33 am

Despite the cold, wet weather, up to five hundred protesters gathered outside Tempelhof to vent their anger at the closure of the airport.

It was a last show of strength by campaigners who had fought a series of legal battles over the past decade to save Tempelhof.

Holding candles, they didn't seem too bothered by the cold or the police.

One man screamed, "If the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, has guts, then tell him to come out here."

The protesters say they won't give up.

"We still have a couple of legal challenges pending," said Rainer Classe, a campaigner. "We're also trying to get Tempelhof listed as a Unesco World Heritage site - the airport would finally get the recognition that it deserves."

Inside the massive terminal, the authorities had thrown a big party as a send-off for Tempelhof. The local TV channel RBB set up a large stage and the whole event was broadcast live.

But as hundreds of local VIPs, the mayor of Berlin and officials popped open the champagne bottles, it seemed odd that they were celebrating the closure of the airport.

'Really sad day'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7701232.stm

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shammy

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Re: Auf Wiedersehen, Tempelhof

Post by shammy on Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:41 am

Glorious past

It's a far cry from the past. Tempelhof played a crucial role during the Berlin Airlift.

From June 1948, hundreds of Allied aircraft landed at Tempelhof.

The planes dropped coal, food, medicine and other supplies to the residents of West Berlin, which had been cut off by the Soviet Union.

At the height of the airlift, one Allied aircraft landed at Tempelhof every 90 seconds. The Airlift was an extraordinary humanitarian operation and it kept people alive in West Berlin for 11 months until the Soviet Union ended the blockade.

As a reminder of the airport's rich history, an old "candy bomber" DC-3 took off from Tempelhof on Thursday night ("Candy bomber" was the name given to the crews who dropped sweets attached to parachutes to German children during the Airlift).

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