The legacy of German weapons research

# 1 In the Brandenburg Forest

After hours of walking in the Brandenburg Forest, charged with excitement and driven by childlike curiosity, a world of lush vegetation and dense undergrowth opens up to me, an abandoned terrain that has willingly subordinated itself to the surrounding vegetation. In between, areas of man-made structures, wild vegetation and a peaceful, seeming tranquillity that almost sends me into a frenzy of pictorial imaginings of history.

It is a warm July morning, it was still raining the evening before. On the moss and undergrowth, raindrops reflect the emerging sunbeams, which fight their way through the treetops and ignite an enchanting play of light. It is quiet there. Not a soul is present, only the occasional chirping of birds can be heard. The short, gentle rustling of the gusts of wind that sweep through the leafy canopy create an oppressive scenery, a sensory intoxication.

From the edge of the path, huge, twisted reinforced concrete buildings can be seen in the background of wild shrubs and trees, reaching up into the canopy: imposing monuments that are barely visible through the vegetation. Tall grasses, deciduous trees and mature shrubs barricade the buildings. The jungle-like overgrowth must first be overcome.

Concreted walls that look like oversized dominoes placed end to end. Equipped with numerous iron viewing windows and cable ducts, they stand out like memorials of a long-gone, apocalyptic time.

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