Steinstücken Exclave - Atlas Obscura

Steinstücken Exclave

A helicopter memorial commemorating what was once the only way to access this West Berlin exclave.  

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The Steinstücken exclave is a plot of 30 acres belonging to Berlin, but is surrounded by the Brandenburg municipality. After its establishment in 1787, the small exclave was unburdened by its surroundings for hundreds of years.

After the Second World War and the partition of Germany, Berlin’s city boundary became the line between Soviet Germany and Berlin, which was occupied by the American, British, and French, and Steinstücken became surrounded by the German Democratic Republic. Initially, this didn’t change a lot for the exclave. But as the Cold War progressed, crossings between East and West Berlin became treacherous, and people started using the exclave from the former to the latter.

In 1961, a U.S. military post was established in the tiny area, and a large wall was built around the exclave. The station featured a helicopter landing pad, which flew soldiers in and out of the area. In 1972, a bridge was finally built connecting Steinstücken with the rest of the West.

After Germany was reunified, the border around Steinstücken was dismantled and the exclave integrated with the surrounding area. Today, the military area is demilitarized, but there is still a memorial for the helicopter platform in the form of two helicopter blades and a helicopter-themed play area. 

Know Before You Go

The memorial is open to the public.

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January 23, 2024

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