The history of aviation in Tempelhof begins with gas balloons at the end of the 19th century. A few decades later, in the 1950s, the airport was already one of the largest in Europe in terms of passenger volume besides London and Paris.
The history of the Tempelhof field also provides an insight into the ideology and reality of the National Socialist regime. The premises were a stage for propagandistic mass rallies and a location for the only official Berlin concentration camp. The new airport building with its characteristic features of NS architecture was used for arms production and forced labour during the Second World War.