Germany Wünsdorf-Waldstadt

Once known as “Little Moscow”; and indeed, trains rain daily between this forest stronghold and the Russian capital. Wünsdorf acted as the Soviet Union’s headquarters in Germany, and was the largest installation of its kind outside of the USSR.
Built by the Germans, the Russians took control of the site on 20 April 1945. A fierce attack against the base left 120 inhabitants dead, and by the time the Red Army arrived in force, Wünsdorf was handed over without further conflict.
By 1953, more than 800 people lived onsite while the surrounding 260 hectare complex contained the homes of 30,000 associated soldiers, and as many as 75,000 working men and their families. It was from their headquarters at Wünsdorf, that the Soviets provided military backing to create a 155km border around West Germany: the notorious Berlin Wall. When they finally evacuated Wünsdorf, the Soviets left behind weapons and ammunition, bomb parts and chemical waste, mixed in alongside the general domestic refuse.

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