> VALENTINA FERRANDES (ita)
Teufelsberg is a well-known man-made hill in the outskirts of Berlin. It was built by the American Allies with the rubble of a city destroyed by World War 2, in the 20 years that followed its end. Created out of debris, on Grunewald’s plateau, Teufelsberg became the highest viewing point in Berlin and a favourable location for military observation of the city. Prior to establishing the first permanent buildings on site in the very late 1950s, American Mobile Allied listening units used to drive to various other locales throughout West Berlin hoping to gain the best vantage point for listening to Soviet, East German, and other Warsaw Pact nations military traffic.
Due to the evident vantage point it could offer, a permanent listening station was then built on Teufelsberg, to be run by the National Security Agency until the fall of the Berlin wall. With the end of the Cold War, the listening station became redundant, it was closed down and its equipment removed. It remained a disused structure for over 10 years, to which followed another 10 years of negotiations between various property developers interested in purchasing the land around it, the possibility to create a spy museum, and the final decision to classify the hill as forest in the land use plan of Berlin, halting any possible attempts to build.