In January of 2016 a fellah' posted the following in one of the Tempelhof chat-groups that I follow:
I work for Tempelhof Projekt GmbH, the state owned company currently running and managing the Tempelhof Central Airport building. I would like to collect memories and stories of people who used to work or were stationed at TCA. I am mainly looking for stories and information about the basketball arena, the bowling alley, the fitness room in building C level 5 and the air control center in building B level 6. I would like to put some stories and anecdotes into an article that I am currently working on.
Is anybody able to help me out with this endeavor? I would very much appreciate your support!
Thank you very much.
This was my reply:
In the attic space in H2 Long, on the slanted ceilings, there are murals and other artwork done by airmen from times past. No idea if they still exist, and I just never managed to snap a photo of them because the attic area was partially restricted. When I was there this is where the airmen stored their spare luggage and other items too large to keep in one's room. Just one person had the key to that attic area. I would often fake a reason to need to get to my luggage just to walk the long space, smoke a couple of cigarettes, and look at the artwork on the ceilings and walls. If there is any chance your position gives you access to this area, I for one would be eternally and profoundly grateful if you could snap some photos and perhaps post them here. I say "attic space", but it's really another complete floor to the building, and one is given the impression that at some point in the past it was used as living area. As many other members in this group will attest, Tempelhof, the building, the structure itself, left a lasting and deep impression on many of us.
Today he posted this:
Dear Reinaldo, I now finally managed to check out the attic space in H2long. It is currently a police facility, so I met up with the building manager of the police forces whom I have worked with for a few years now. She showed me around. Unfortunately, most of the painting seem to have disappeared. The few I found I attached here. It seems to me that the area being used for the "painter apprenticeship program" is the most likely explanation. I hope you remember the paintings that I posted and sorry that I don't have better news... Best, Christoph
(Don't expect to be amazed by the photos. That's not the point.)
The point is that up until today, these images were just foggy memories getting foggier every day. I used to go and spend time up there and smoke cigarettes and just enjoy the quiet (barracks are noisy places) and the feeling that no one else really knew about this place, not these days, not now, just in the past, way back then. It was calming. That desk, I sat at that desk, in that chair, when I was 19 and 20 years old (I'm 47 now) and smoked and thought about stories and the things that happened in this building all through the war and up to the present day.
The random act of kindness was simple. Someone whom I don't know cleared the smoke from my memories and let me have them clear and crisp from an ocean and a continent away, and, seemingly, from a vortex in time back to my youth. I'm a little bit in awe that someone would do this for me, for nothing. No lie, I cried when I saw these images.
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