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Berlin's Tempelhof takes on a new crisis role

As it was in 1984, now to serve refugees


Berlin's now-closed Tempelhof airport, famous for its role as the hub of the Cold War Berlin Airlift and more recently Berlin's newest public space, will now re-open as a refugee reception center for some of the 800,000 refugees Germany expects to take in.


The refugees, 800 to start, will be housed in a hangar at the field; a heated airdome will be set up inside the hangar. Because Berlin's first Lollapaloza festival used the site last week, there are lots of temporary toilet facilities on site, and they will be left for now. In addition, there will be a shuttle bus service to the nearby Columbiabad swimming pools, where showers will be available.


The airport, originally built in 1927 and closed in 2008 as part of the plan to move all of Berlin's flights to the now-years-delayed Berlin-Brandenburg airport, can conceivably hold many more; the main terminal building is one of the world's largest buildings.

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