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On top of Devil's Mountain

On Top of Devil's Mountain

Long before the National Security Agency drew outrage in Germany over revelations of mass surveillance, residents of West Berlin went about their days knowing that the agency and other American military services had their antennas tuned in to many of the conversations carried out in the city and for miles beyond, the New York Times reports.

But in the black-and-white geopolitics of the Cold War, there were few doubts that spying on the Warsaw Pact powers from Field Station Berlin - deep within East German territory - was necessary to keep West Berlin free and safe.

Now, more than two decades after the United States pulled up its final cables from the site, the ruins of the complex still hold a mystical attraction for history buffs, artists and tourists.

Teufelsberg, or Devil's Mountain, includes an abandoned Cold War NSA listening post in Berlin that has evolved into a de facto art installation. Everyone who worked there simply called it 'the hill,' and there's still something a little otherworldly about it.

It's an artificial mountain built of the rubble from WWII in Berlin. For 22 years, up to 100 trucks came out every working day and dumped the rubble. Then, a listening station was built on top of the hill.

The gleaming white domes were once crammed with some of the most sophisticated surveillance
equipment in the world.

Now, it's a place where history, decay and art mingle to create one of Berlin's most unique places.

Join the discussion

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KITKATMOM1 February 16 2014 at 8:28 AM

It's trashy looking, they need to tear it down and clean up the area.

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DCD February 16 2014 at 3:28 PM

I can't believe this many imbeciles responded tom\ this article!

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BOB February 16 2014 at 9:39 AM

It kinda looks like a mini golf course would fit in .... Justa thought

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thosholzel February 16 2014 at 9:49 AM

Remember the tunnel the CIA built in the 1950s that crossed over to the East and tapped the main telephone lines running through Berlin and on to Moscow? Fabulous coup!

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Sandy February 16 2014 at 2:28 PM

Strange, yet interesting!

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thorrsman February 16 2014 at 9:58 AM

I knew guys stationed at Field Station Berlin--I was at Field Station Augsburg myself.

The black joke was that the East German army already had the signs that read "Berlin Prisoner of War Camp" ready to be hung on the outside of the walls of West Berlin if the balloon ever went up.

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k.questar February 16 2014 at 11:41 AM

Great article -- amazing what we did to win the COLD WAR and defeat USSR.... money well spent.

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2 replies
loveeurope2 k.questar February 16 2014 at 1:44 PM

Do you feel you are historically correct?

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Bill k.questar February 16 2014 at 1:50 PM

The "we" should include PM Thatcher and Pope John Paul II.

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ala3bama February 16 2014 at 11:01 AM

I wonder in what state or states big bro has them here, of course now I am sure it is alot smaller, maybe small enough to be in our cell phones and computers, just a thought..

Flag Reply +4 rate up
ft82 February 16 2014 at 10:09 AM

I worked there from 1962 to 1964, pretty exciting days during the cold war. Every day we drove up on a different road as they were building a new road every day due to the rubble still being dumped.
Yes, I was an electronic spy, Ieft exactly 50 years ago Valentine's day. I was a Russian linguist
at the time, was there when it was built.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
bootsnchaps60 February 16 2014 at 10:34 AM

The American who had nowhere else to practice graffitti is free to buy a property somewhere and spray paint to his heart's content. These folks seem to want free unrestricted "canvasses" yet they tend to pick places that are not visible to many.

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