It seems that I have a thing for TV and radio transmission towers – I fell in love with the Fernsehturm in Alexanderplatz when I first came to Berlin and now I’m also a little bit obsessed with the Fernmeldeturm Berlin-Schäferberg.
At 212 metres it is significantly shorter than the Fernsehturm but situated as it is on the top of a hill it is visible from a considerable distance. If you’ve been to Wannsee you will most likely have seen its red and white antenna on the horizon, crowning through the trees of the Düppeler Forst.
In operation since 18 July 1964, it is owned by Deutsche Funkturm GmbH a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG and transmits television, analogue and digital radio signals.
I first noticed the Fernmeldeturm Berlin-Schäferberg when I watched the sunset over Wannsee from a small beach on the Havelchaussee. Steffi helped me locate the ‘mysterious tower’ and on a sunny May day last year I decided to get up close and personal, having already visited the Glienicker Brücke and the former DDR exclave in West Berlin, Klein Glienicke.
At the foot of the steps leading to the tower from the conveniently located Schäferberg bus stop, is a granite memorial to the Communist Party Chairman Johann Schehr and three other members, Rudolf Schwarz, Eugen Karl Schönhaar and Erich Steinfurth, victims of the Gestapo in 1934.
They were shot in the back ‘whilst attempting to flee’ in retaliation for the shooting of the Gestapo informer, Alfred Kattner at the hands of the Communists.
To reach the Fernmeldeturm Berlin-Schäferberg take the S1 / S7 / RE1 / RE7 to S-Bahnhof Wannsee and from there the bus 316 to Schäferberg, which is in Fare Zone (Tarifbereich) B.