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A dachshund named Dakota
Memories of the Berlin airlift at Gatow


Special Exhibition from June 27, 2018

The exhibition

After the end of World War II, it does not take long for the consensus of the four victorious powers regarding the administration of their occupation zones in Germany to break. Since the turn of 1947/48, it had become obvious that a new global conflict would arise between the Soviet Union in the east and the USA in the west which was to shape the political events for decades to come: the Cold War.

This conflict reaches its first peak in the summer of 1948. On 24 June 1948, the Soviet military administration cuts the traffic connections running through its occupation zone to West Berlin as a response to the currency reform (introduction of the West German D Mark) in the Western zones. The Western powers decide to remain in West Berlin and to supply the population with the necessary goods by air.

For more than a year - even beyond the end of the blockade on 12 May 1949 - the airports of Gatow and Tempelhof, later with the addition of Tegel, are the Berlin pillars of the airlift. More than 2.1 million tons of goods, including especially food and coal, are transported this way - even seaplanes that land on the Havel river are used. Children, sick people and industrial products were also flown out to West Germany.

The exhibition of the Bundeswehr Museum of Military History - Berlin Gatow airfield presents photographic snapshots of the airlift to Gatow, as well as reminiscences of contemporary witnesses from Britain and Germany. There is also the story of a dachshund, who was given his name from the aircraft type which had been used to start the airlift: Douglas »Dakota«.