Nazis, bombing raids, Allied occupation, a desperate air lift, Cold War division. In the nine decades since the first plane took off from its runway, Berlin’s oldest airport has witnessed more than its fair share of pivotal historical events.
But perhaps the most exciting incident of all took place one April morning in 1991. The sun had already climbed above the airport’s cavernous Nazi-era hangar and photographers Kai-Uwe Heinrich and Mike Wolff had just finished a late breakfast.
Suddenly, three black limousines raced onto the airfield, speeding towards a small craft waiting on the runway. From their office, Mr. Heinrich and Mr. Wolff watched spellbound as soldiers jumped out of the cars and bundled a man dressed in civilian clothes into the aircraft. The propeller blades began to spin and the plane disappeared off West towards Frankfurt.