The Abandoned Soviet Camps of Jüterbog
by Guest Blogger
Take a bunch of French and English expats, tell them about some abandoned Soviet camps an hour outside of Berlin, and you can get them to wake up at 7am on a Sunday morning for the first time in their lives. Of course the English one is hungover, but eh, what did you expect?
Despite getting lost in the Berlin suburbs after just five minutes on the road, we’re soon on our way to Jüterbog, a sweet abandoned town in Brandenburg. So sweet that, before the DDR settled hundreds of thousands of Soviets there, Hitler had a “gruß Postkarte” (greetings card) made to commemorate his 1938 visit.
Built in the nineteenth century as an artillery centre, Jüterbog was occupied by the military until 1990, when the “groups of Soviet forces in Germany” left the reunified country. OK, enough with the history lesson, all of which has been badly Google Translated from the Internet. We didn’t know much about the place before going, and we obviously didn’t learn much more when we were there – but the remains speak for themselves.
The now abandoned site is quite huge, and surrounded by wire fences and boards saying “Betreten verboten – Lebensgefahr”. Fortunately none of us could understand German, and the wire’s really easy to get through, because what’s inside is definitely worth the risk. Beware careful though – we got kicked out by local guards after two hours of exploring, when we tried to enter what seemed to be the best-kept building. That won’t deter us from going back, and making another trip through history. But next time we won’t get up so early!