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Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base on the way to a civilian future


Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base was once the cradle of the German Air Force. But now he is facing dissolution. There are many ideas how to use the area afterwards.

Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base was once the cradle of the German Air Force.

But now he is facing dissolution.

There are many ideas how to use the area afterwards.

  • Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base covers a huge area in the heart of the Fürstenfeldbruck district

  • Large parts have already been given up by the Air Force, and the site is to be completely closed in 2026

  • Background information, information on Fursty's history and current developments can be found in this post

Current developments from January 2019

In December 2020 it will become increasingly clear that the neighboring communities and the city of Fürstenfeldbruck are heading for a conflict over re-use.

The mayors of the neighboring communities had long ago stated that they did not consider the working group proposed by the city to be effective.

They preferred a special purpose association.

Maisach meanwhile has new ideas for the area on which the trotters should once build their train.

The city of Munich is fundamentally interested in properties in the surrounding area - including the air base.

The Bundeswehr will not give up the location before 2026.

This became known on December 10, 2019.

In May 2021 it becomes clear that BMW is leaving the premises on Maisacher Flur.

Status of the relocation plans in September 2021

According to current plans, the Fürstenfeldbruck air base property will be closed and returned to the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks, which is expected to take place in 2026. A spokesman for the Federal Office for Infrastructure, Environmental Protection and Services of the Bundeswehr said in response to a Tagblatt request in September 2021.

The time of closure depends on the completion of construction work at the Roth, Untermeitingen, Cologne, Kropp and Euskirchen locations.

The shift from the previous 2023 to 2026 was due to the adjustment of the period that was required for the provision of the necessary infrastructure at the Untermeitingen location.

The specific laying dates of the individual units and departments are closely related to the progress of the respective construction work at the target locations, according to the spokesman.

Taking into account the technical commissioning after the completion of the new building, no reliable statement can yet be made for the start of teaching at the OSLw in Roth.

The Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base - history, anecdotes and backgrounds

Fürstenfeldbruck - The end of military operations at Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base was announced in 2011 as part of the Bundeswehr reform - after more than 75 years as part of Fürstenfeldbruck's history. If it was initially said that all departments should have left Fürstenfeldbruck in 2018, the year 2023 is now officially named as the withdrawal date. The Luftwaffe officer's school is being rebuilt in Roth, Franconia. The aviation medicine institute is to be relocated to Euskirchen. The division, which was previously stationed in Fürstenfeldbruck, was the first to leave the site. 

The area of ​​the Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base - also known as "Fursty" - covers 224 hectares and is owned by the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks (Bima), which will one day market it profitably. The planning authority of large parts of the area, which is still used by the military, lies with the city of Fürstenfeldbruck. The area around the large runway in the direction of Maisach was already given up in 2009. A bypass for the place was created here. 

Also part of the official planning is the construction of a trotting track, the realization of which was considered very unlikely by observers - at the end of 2018, the move of the trotters to Maisach became impossible. In addition, the company BMW has set up its Driving Academy here, although the car manufacturer has not yet been able to expand the system for driving safety training as desired due to nature conservation problems - large parts are listed as Fauna-Flora-Habitat (FFH). The procedure, which is considered extremely difficult and may even be unique in the EU, is ongoing. 

At the moment it must be officially unclear what role contaminated sites in the soil could play in subsequent use. In any case, eyewitnesses like to report that at the time of US use, various things were simply buried and have been gently resting there since then. The shelters - former air raid shelters, some of which are extremely massive - are also considered to be problematic during the conversion. Such bunkers have already been removed from the abandoned area on Maisacher Flur. The bunkers on the area of ​​the city of Bruck, however, are more recent and therefore much more massive than the old ones. In any case, a former Fursty commander wished the civilian subsequent users "a lot of fun" if they were planning to demolish shelters - in a somewhat funny way. The local CSU envisionsto use at least one of them one day (in the Westschleife) as a party location. 

Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base: That is the plan for the part that is still used by the military

On the part of “Fursty”, which is still used for military purposes, long-term apartments are to be built or businesses are to be located.

It's an area of ​​250 hectares - that's more than 250 soccer fields.

The neighboring communities of Emmering and Maisach as well as Olching are to be included in the planning of the city of Fürstenfeldbruck.

When converting the military area into a civil one (this process is called conversion), monument protection is likely to play a certain role.

This is because several of the buildings from the National Socialist era are occupied and therefore may not be changed or only under certain conditions.

The ballroom and the gate tower are well known.


The old tower in front of which the 1972 Olympics assassination ended.

© mm archive

In 2014, the Fürstenfeldbruck air base hit the headlines because the boys' association from Unterbrunn (Starnberg district) succeeded in stealing the maypole from the city of Fürstenfeldbruck, which was believed to be safely kept in the area.

The circumstances under which the boys succeeded in breaking into the military security area and stealing the 34-meter-long trunk from there are considered unexplained. 

Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base: Former air war school houses refugees

Part of the area that used to belong to “Fursty” is used in a completely different way today.

Since 2014, the buildings of the former air war school have housed an accommodation for asylum seekers with over 1,000 places operated by the Upper Bavarian government.

A fence separates the facility from the military area. 

The Olympic assassination

The Fürstenfeldbruck air base became known worldwide through the Olympic assassination, which came to a bloody end in front of the old tower.

Every year there is still a memorial in front of the main guard station to commemorate the terrible events.

The district and state are currently trying to set up a permanent memorial in the old tower.

In the great commemorative year, a well-attended ceremony in memory of the victims of terror took place in front of the old tower.

In this context, GSG9 founder Ulrich Wegener also visited the air base and spoke in the large auditorium of the Luftwaffe officer's school, the Ludger-Hölker-Saal.

Parts of the Hasenheide become the Fürstenfeldbruck air base

The air base was founded in 1935 - although there were already first flight movements on the area between Bruck and Maisach, which is called "Hasenheide". The Munich pilot Hans Jehle carried out several passenger flights in the summer of 1933, as the Fursty archivist Harald Meyer records in his history of the air base. From 1935, the German air force was massively expanded. Many airfields were built - including on the previously agricultural areas of the Hasenheide. If only an emergency airfield was initially to be built, it soon became clear that an airfield with permanent military flight operations would be created. The first construction work began on October 1st.

For the aeronautical training, an approximately 1000 meter long rolled lawn was initially used.

In 1943 it was concreted over a width of 45 meters.

In 1944 it was extended by 500 meters.

The sudden end came on April 9, 1945: The US armed forces flew the first and last attack on the air base.

The runway, taxiways and technical areas were largely destroyed.

Only the accommodations, such as the kilometer building, remained intact.


The Air Force officers' school

© Weber

The Americans marched into Bruck on April 29, 1945.

A year later, according to Meyer, the air base became the home of the 36th US Fighter Wing.

This was the first US Air Force formation in post-war Europe with jet aircraft.

The area also owes the name “Fursty” to the Americans.

In 1946 and 1947 the runway was extended by 300 meters at both ends, and later by another 500 meters to the west.

The Felden estate also had to give way - an agricultural homestead that was an extension of the runway.

The Felden estate was of course severely damaged in the air raid on the air base.

With the last extension from this time, the runway got its final dimensions of 2744 meters long and 46 meters wide. 


The so-called petting zoo: old machines are on display in the military area.

© mm archive

Well-paid jobs were created for the population of Fürstfeldbruck in difficult economic times.

In 1946, around 1,400 German civilian employees worked at the Fürstenfeldbruck air base.

The German Air Force took over the site in 1957. 


A hall in the former NCO's home.

Asylum seekers are now housed in the building complex.

© Weber

Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base: That happened on April 5, 1957

The events of April 5, 1957, for example, are remembered to this day. On that day, the US pilot Richard Higgins got into an emergency while flying over the city.

He steered the machine into uninhabited area in order to avert a disaster in the city of Fürstenfeldbruck and disregarded the order to get out of the tower.

The rescue exit initiated at a height of about 80 meters failed and Higgins died at the scene of the accident.

Higgins was honored several times posthumously in town for his heroism.

A school bears his name, as does a street.

There is also a memorial plaque.

Fursty becomes the cradle of the Air Force

After the Federal Republic of Germany joined NATO, German officers came to Fürstenfeldbruck. Their goal: the gradual takeover of the air base by the air force, as chronicler Harald Meyer describes. After a joint phase between the German armed forces and the US armed forces, the air base was taken over by the German Air Force on November 1, 1957 and officially handed over on December 14, 1957. An important milestone was the relocation of the Air Force officers' school from Neubiberg to Fürstenfeldbruck. In the course of this, a new, modern officers' school, the so-called “Blue Palace”, was built and completed in 1977 - it is still in operation today. 

The flight operations were finally stopped in 2003 after the Fighter Bomber Wing 49 (JaboG) was disbanded in 1991.

The flight teaching group was dissolved in 1997.

The last Alpha Jet took off from Fursty.

In the time before, flight days attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors.

The last open day took place on July 18, 1992.

180,000 visitors came on that day - the large number of visitors exceeded all expectations and was judged by the organizers as proof of the acceptance of the Bundeswehr, especially the Air Force, writes chronicler Harald Meyer. 


The air shows attracted thousands of spectators.

© mm archive

Anecdote from 1961

The then world-famous queens of dance, the Kessler twins, stayed at the air base in the summer of 1961 to make a film.

Title: "Too young to be blonde." The twins and director Michael Pflegehar were offered to fly in jets. 


The Kessler twins in Fursty.

© Meyer Collection

Corresponding investigations and a test in the vacuum chamber followed.

The Kessler twins completed a sightseeing flight of one hour in length, it has been handed down.

Pflegehar, who was sitting in another machine, is said to have asked for an early landing.

At the celebration in the evening, the Kesslinger twins were named honorary pilots of the pilot school B, reports Meyer. 

The air base shrinks by half 

Another decisive moment was the transfer of part of the air base, including the large runway, to the responsibility of the Maisach municipality in 2005, when the Bundeswehr parted with around half of the original 500-hectare area.

"That hurts a lot," commented Major General Norbert Finster at the time - although politicians from Maisach saw the surrender of the land very early on as a great opportunity, as the newspaper headlined.

Already a dream back then: the construction of a southern bypass for the place. 


The map shows the entire area of ​​the air base before half of the area was given up in 2005. The area above the yellow line was withdrawn from military use at that time.

© mm archive

Maisach was able to set up the "Driving Academy" safety system from BMW on part of the area that was given up at the time, and the Bavarian police use part of it for driving safety training.

Above all this use, however, lies the shadow of nature conservation: large parts are subject to the fauna-flora-habitat regulation and should not actually be changed.

The municipality of Maisach has been trying for years to deal with this with a land-use plan and to give BMW more design options than is currently possible.

Among other things, the attempt to find compensation areas in the Mallertshofener forest (also already under nature protection) is considered difficult.

The southern bypass of the municipality of Maisach was opened to traffic in mid-December 2018.


The main guard.

© mm archive

In 2010, when the area was legally deedicated from its status as an airfield, part of the area was also used for civil aviation purposes.

It was also never really established because the community of Maisach blocked a route to the civil aviation site.

In addition, the aviators met with great resistance from the population.

The fear of increasing aircraft noise was particularly great in Maisach and Gernlinden, but also in Olching.

The aim of the planes was to organize civilian air traffic between regional airports (e.g. to Frankfurt) with 5.7-ton trucks and to establish aviation-related companies at the Fursty location. 

The Air Force Memorial

The Air Force Memorial is located a little outside the military area, on Lützowstrasse.

It reminds of fallen and fatally injured comrades. 


The Air Force Memorial

© Harald Meyer Collection

The foundation stone was laid in 1956 and the memorial was completed in 1966. The motto of the monument is: “You will be unforgettable.” The centerpiece is a five by five meter memorial stone.

A recess in it has the shape of the iron cross.

The wall around the core is interrupted to the south.

The memorial stone is thus brightly lit at lunchtime.

The memorial was created by the architect Professor Ernst Adolf Zinsser (1904 to 1985) in collaboration with the sculptor Professor Kurt Lehmann (1905 to 1979).

In the long term, it is planned that the city of Fürstenfeldbruck will take over the maintenance of the monument after the air force has withdrawn.

There is a regular memorial service the day before Memorial Day.

A wreath is also laid regularly at the beginning of May.

In the vernacular, the memorial is sometimes also called the "elephant toilet". 

The individual buildings in the part used by the military

The Air Force Officer School:

The building complex is also called the “Blue Palace” because of its color. It contains rooms for the officer candidates and classrooms, including the Ludger-Hölker-Saal with space for around 800 students. The hall is named after a pilot from Westphalia who completed his training in the USA, among other places. Ludger Hölker was sitting with a major in a plane that took off from the Lechfeld military airfield on September 15, 1964 and got into trouble at around 1,000 meters above sea level. The machine went into a constant descent and all attempts to do something about it failed. The major demanded: “We have to get out.” Ludger Hölker replied: “Not yet, first we have to go across the houses.“The machine glided over the premises of the Hoechst company near Augsburg and reached the northeastern outskirts of the community of Straßberg. Now the two pilots operated their ejection seats. The major is seriously injured when he falls through the treetops while hanging on a parachute. Hölker hits a tree with full force. Both are taken to the hospital, where Hölker died about three hours later. In the flight safety report it is later stated that the pilot in charge, Hölker, deliberately stayed in the aircraft for a long time in order to avoid a crash on populated terrain. Because he sacrificed his life to save people, Hölker serves as a role model for young officer he falls through the treetops hanging on his parachute. Hölker hits a tree with full force. Both are taken to the hospital, where Hölker died about three hours later. In the flight safety report it is later stated that the pilot in charge, Hölker, deliberately stayed in the aircraft for a long time in order to avoid a crash on populated terrain. Because he sacrificed his life to save people, Hölker serves as a role model for young officer he falls through the treetops hanging on his parachute. Hölker hits a tree with full force. Both are taken to the hospital, where Hölker died about three hours later. In the flight safety report it is later stated that the pilot in charge, Hölker, deliberately stayed in the aircraft for a long time in order to avoid a crash on populated terrain. Because he sacrificed his life to save people, Hölker serves as a role model for young officer avoid falling on populated terrain. Because he sacrificed his life to save people, Hölker serves as a role model for young officer avoid falling on populated terrain. Because he sacrificed his life to save people, Hölker serves as a role model for young officer candidates.

The Blue Palace was built between 1971 and 1977 according to plans by the Munich architect Professor Kurt Ackermann. The Blue Palace is intentionally built as a counterpoint to the old weapons school. It should appear open, not like a fortress. With the decision to leave Fursty, the decision was made to rebuild the Luftwaffe officers' school in Roth in Franconia. What will happen to the Blue Palais after the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr is unclear. The building complex was not officially declared a monument until August 2018, but those responsible had already signaled that they consider the building worthy of a monument. In August 2018, the news of the monument elevation followed.

The Air War School:

It came into being during the Nazi era.

The core of the facility is the school area in the form of a three-wing facility that includes a large parade ground.

The representative rooms and the command office are located in the north wing, the classroom wing is in the west wing.

The accommodations are located to the south.

A little further to the east is the almost 1000 meter long kilometer structure.

The main guard house, the officers' casino and residential buildings are located in the west.

The structures built between 1935 and 1937 were included in the list of monuments at the beginning of the 1990s. 

More buildings

  • Accommodation and Fähnrichtsheim: They are located in the south of the core area.

    This was where student pilots were accommodated, so flagjunkers and ensigns.

    The ensign's home with its large kitchen and dining rooms is the core of this facility.

    Part of it is, among other things, the large south-west hall.

    It is painted with swords, lances, eagles, lions, centaurs and stylized oak leaves.

  • The officers' casino: The two-storey saddle building is located in the southwest of the site.

    The house has dining and lounges, a fireplace room, a bar, a salon and a winter garden.

    The original furnishings of the rooms were largely destroyed in a fire in 1976.

    There are living rooms for guests on the upper floor. 

  • The air base church is not part of the original ensemble.

    It was built under US occupation in 1950. 

  • Gate tower and flag hall: the building looks like a castle.

    Its floor plan is almost square.

    There is a bell carrier on the roof.

    The flag room is a representation room.

    The gate tower and flag hall are the heart of the former air war school.

    In the 1950s, a gallery was built into the hall, which, according to monument preservationists, seriously damaged the overall effect. 

  • The auditorium: It was the largest assembly room in the Air War School.

    Later it was used as a cinema

  • The 1st season bunker

  • The home of the fighter-bomber pilots

  • The command post

  • The Jabog weapons store 

    Also interesting: secrets, myths, legends, riddles and hidden places in the Fürstenfeldbruck district

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-09-23

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