Have you ever heard about Haus der Offiziere?
Wunsdorf, Germany. Approximately 27 miles away from Berlin lies an army base called “Haus der Offiziere,” which stands for the „officers’ compound.“ Opened in 1916, the building hosted Kaiser William II’s troops. Later on, it was used over World War II as a Nazi command center. The fortress “operated” until 1994, when the last soldiers permanently abandoned it.
Haus der Offiziere as Moscow secondment during the Cold War
Werner Borchert, 67 years old, works as a tourist guide in the building; the man claims that “Haus der Offiziere appears to be a tiny Moscow in a German territory.” In fact, during the Cold war the building became the center of the soviet army for the Eastern part of Germany. Inside the building were several facilities, such as a theater, a museum, a swimming pool, many barracks and different kinds of shops. The army base, approximately 4 miles wide, is surrounded by an eleven-mile-long wall and can contain about 40.000 soldiers. The complex still worked after the reunification of the country. Since the mid-1990s, the base has been abandoned and left unattended.
How the “forbidden city” appears today
During the soviet regime, it was almost impossible to reach the army base. Due to this reason, the building earned the name of “forbidden city” as German citizens couldn’t get into the building. Today, if you want to visit the ex-army base, it is possible to do so by booking tickets in advance. At the main entrance stands a Lenin statue; also, a set of Nazi vaults is to be found there. Currently, the base belongs to the federal state of Brandenburg; however, the building doesn’t have a real owner who can refurbish it.