This is the sixth post focusing on the work of East German secret police, the Stasi, who post Second World War, ruled the German Democratic Republic (GDR) with an iron fist until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
The Stasi aimed for complete surveillance and interfered in every part of the lives of their citizens, but they weren’t the only ones spying on Berlin.
Devil’s Mountain is an abandoned NSA (National Security Agency) spy station in Grunewald Forest just 30 minutes out of Berlin. The sophisticated listening station was built to eavesdrop by the UK and USA on the Eastern Bloc during the cold war.
Originally a swamp and forest, a technical college for the Nazi’s was being built on the land in the 1930’s. World War Two stopped the project. The war turned Berlin to ashes, a landscape of total ruin. The rubble from houses, shops and buildings was dumped on the land where the Nazi college was. The British and Americans became interested in the uses of this man made mountain which reached 120 metres high.
By the ‘60s various antennas with protective domes were installed by the Americans and the British. For decades NSA workers listened in on East Berlin. Until the end of the cold war, Devils Mountain only served as a military station.
After the Wall fell and the station was finally closed, there was an unsuccessful bid from a group of investors with plans to develop the area.
These days the abandoned spy station is home to an artist community who look after the structure. They also offer guided tours of the complex.
Gary Alikivi December 2020.