Tempelhof airport in Berlin, once dubbed as ‘the mother of all airports’ by Lord Norman Foster, will officially see its last take off at 9.50pm tonight marking the death of an icon of the Nazi era. Officially designated by the ministry of transport in 1923, Tempelhof was one of only three European pre-war airports (with the others being London’s Croydon Airport and Paris Le Bourget).
The second terminal’s limestone façade, grand halls and neighbouring buildings were constructed by enforced laborers during the second world war and was intended as a gateway to Europe and a symbol of Hitler's "world capital" Germania. The addition of this terminal elevated Tempelhof as the largest airport in the world at the time.
The airport was designed by Hitler’s architect, Albert Speer, who in a post-war interview with his biographer, Gitta Sereny , said: "Of course I was aware that [Hitler] sought world domination ... That was the whole point of my buildings. They would have looked grotesque if Hitler had sat still in Germany. All I wanted was for this great man to dominate the globe."
A referendum was held in April to save the building in its current form, however this was unsuccessful. The Berlin Government will continue with the closure in a bid to continue the expansion of nearby Schönefeld International Airport, although it is yet unclear as to what will happen to Tempelhof’s terminal buildings with the expansion taking place.