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Railroad pioneers on Schumkasee

Lake Schumka is hidden in the forest near Sperenberg. Around 1871, on the orders of the General Staff, the Prussian army began to train the construction of bridges for a mobile railway on the six hectare area of water. The reason were major problems and grievances with the field railroad construction in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71.

The permit for the construction and operation of a permanently laid practice track from Kummersdorf, where the shooting range was located, to Lake Schumkasee, four kilometers away, was granted by the district president in Potsdam in 1892.

The railway pioneers received a wide range of training in Sperenberg.  Not only did they have to be able to lay entire railway lines quickly, they also had to master all the practical rules of rail traffic. But later on she had tasks that exceeded everything she had learned. One reason for this was that a large part of the troops consisted of officers and NCOs, engineers and, to a not inconsiderable extent, professors from technical universities. Then there were the one-year volunteers who were students from technical colleges. A field exercise was carried out once a year and a large-scale exercise every three years. During these exercises, what was learned was put into practice, but always under the conditions that might arise in the event of war. War bridges were built with prepared materials (including segments) as well as pile yoke bridges and subjected to load tests.

From 1890, the field railways were expanded and connected to the surrounding towns. The wartime construction of field railways was practiced. Up to 100 km of track are said to have been built.

After the war, the entire field railways were dismantled and brought to the Soviet Union. At the end of the 1950s, a GDR construction company built the Soviet Sperenberg airfield on the site.


World War I veterans had organized themselves into war clubs in the 1920s and fostered memories of earlier times. From their ranks came the initiative to erect a memorial in Sperenberg for the railway pioneers who died in World War 1914-1918. A solid and original memorial was built in the form of a ten meter high stone pyramid and provided with two memorial plaques. It is located directly on the shores of Lake Schumka.  

You do not have to enter the premises illegally. A tour can be booked at the Kummersdorf Museum Association. I did that too. The tour was very informative and educational.

Hier sind einige Fotos von Montage- bzw. Modellbauhalle:

Nachfolgend einige Bilder von den Kasernen aus der Kaiserzeit und der Zeit der Wehrmacht. Ein sowjetischer Supermarkteingang ist auch dabei. Die Gebäude sind nach 30 Jahren Leerstand eigentlich nur noch reif für den Abriss.

Auch ein Schießstand aus deutscher Zeit befindet sich am Hegesee:

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