Wunsdorf Ghost Town Was The Biggest Soviet Military Camp Outside The USSR. It’s Abandoned Now, Mostly Forgotten And Discarded.

The Forbidden City, an abandoned military complex, is behind a large padlocked gate in the tranquil area of Wünsdorf. Wünsdorf is around 40 kilometers (nearly 25 miles) south of Berlin.

Wunsdorf was the largest Soviet military camp outside of the Soviet Union. Yet, it also boasted shops, schools, and recreation facilities, as well as a railroad station with daily trips to the Soviet capital. Wunsdorf had a population of 60.000 individuals, of which 50.000 were soldiers. Marshal Georgy Zhukov established it as his headquarters, and the Soviet High Command stayed here until their evacuation in 1994. It is now mainly forgotten and disregarded.

Wünsdorf was formed in 1874 by the merger of the two communities of Nächst-Wünsdorf and Fern-Wünsdorf. Wünsdorf’s railroad station opened in 1897, and by 1910, there were many army barracks in the town of 600 inhabitants.

With the completion of the railway line, the entire area gained strategic importance, and by the time the First World War began in 1914, the 60,000-acre complex had become Europe’s largest military post. By 1935, Wünsdor had become the headquarters of the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germany’s united military forces. When Russian soldiers advanced on Berlin in 1945, German forces abandoned the station, and it became the nerve center of the Soviet operation in East Germany for decades.

Wunsdorf was designated as a Soviet city in Germany and a prohibited city for Germans. Locals were evicted from the region, and all highways into the city were closed to traffic. From Wünsdorf, the Russians supplied military support to their East German colleagues in order to protect the 155-kilometer boundary around West Berlin.

With the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Germany’s reunification, and the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian soldiers were summoned home. They were leaving in such a haste that they couldn’t carry anything with them. Homes were crammed with household equipment. Wunsdorf has been deserted since the last Russian soldiers left many years ago. In 2015, the Wunsdorf was put up for sale for an estimated £3 million, with the vendor requiring that the buyer restore Wünsdorf to its former splendor.

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