Fest der Luftbrücke (Festival of the Airlift) took place on Sunday 12 May 2019 at the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin. It’s an occasion with historical significance has it has been 70 years since the end of the Berlin Blockade.
“The Berlin Blockade (First Berlin Crisis) refers to the blockade of West Berlin by the Soviet Union from 24 June 1948 to 12 May 1949. As a result of this blockade could the Western Allies West Berlin, which as enclave in the Soviet zone of occupation was (SBZ), not on the land and water connections provide. The blockade was a means of pressure on the part of the Soviet side with the aim of ultimately classifying Germany into its own economic and political system via West Berlin. This was a strategy developed a few months earlier by the Soviet side and can be understood as the “first battle of the Cold War“.
The Tempelhof Airport, one of Europe’s three iconic pre-World War II airports, is not in use for any flights. In fact right now many locals and visitors alike set up for picnics, to fly kites, to go for a run or skate especially for the summer. On this day, however, it was set up with many artifacts from the past as well as present-day vehicles – ranging from DDR-era police vehicles to present-day Bundespolizei helicopters. There was a lot of food stalls set up – from currywurst and fries to Brasilian and Canadian street food. Also a stage set up with bands.
Below is a photo from the US Air Force in Europe band headed by a female Lt. Cln wearing uniforms (I believe from 1949 era?) playing big band jazz.
There were a hanger dedicated to a large video and sound installation with snippets of the speech by Ernst Reuter “Schaut auf diese Stadt” (more details here) and snippet below:
“Ihr Völker der Welt, ihr Völker in Amerika, in England, in Frankreich, in Italien! Schaut auf diese Stadt und erkennt, daß ihr diese Stadt und dieses Volk nicht preisgeben dürft und nicht preisgeben könnt! Es gibt nur eine Möglichkeit für uns alle: gemeinsam so lange zusammenzustehen, bis dieser Kampf gewonnen, bis dieser Kampf endlich durch den Sieg über die Feinde, durch den Sieg über die Macht der Finsternis besiegelt ist.”
Another hanger with some more artifacts, photos below: