Einmannbunker at Tempelhof

Tempelhof’s BWS
We were ‘revisiting’ some colour footage taken in the Flughafen Tempelhof area some minutes after a 1944 air raid when we noticed, just before the end of the video, a clear example of a BWS (Brandwachenstände) or ‘einmann bunker’ in Berlin (see our previous post about these small structures, to protect from the bombs splinters during an air raid) or that until now had gone unnoticed (extreme right of the picture). This particular one seems to be a concrete hexagon-shaped type.

Photo: still from film, AKH-media.

Close examination of the post-strike footage reveals the exact location of this BWS/SSZ (red spot on the image, a PR taken on 22 March 1945 by USAAF aircraft): it was located outside Tempelhof next to the northeastern complex of buildings (which housed the Bauleitung der Luftwaffe) adjacent of the airport surrounded by debris and what looks like a working area, more or less where today stands the Columbiahalle concert hall at Columbiadamm.

Photo: NARA.

There were at least two more SSZ ‘bunkers’ similar in shape at the same area across the street, next to Tempelhof’s eastern wing, clearly seen in this aerial image taken facing southwards a few months after the end of the war in 1945. Notice the line of parked American C-47s transport aircraft, which means that the airport was already in US service

The original AKH-archiv footage of this post-strike sequence at Berlin-Tempelhof taken in 1944 can be found on Youtube:


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