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Ludwigsfelde is an office-free medium-sized town in the north of the Brandenburg district of Teltow-Fläming with around 27,000 inhabitants. It is located around eleven kilometers south of the Berlin city limits and around eight kilometers east of Potsdam in the Berlin agglomeration. The town charter has existed since July 18, 1965.

The core city of Ludwigsfelde, which gave the entire city its name, is located on the Teltow plateau, while the eleven villages that were incorporated as districts between 1997 and 2003 are mainly located in adjacent lowlands. Districts such as Ahrensdorf and Gröben emerged as colonist villages in the 12th century with the German East Settlement. The core city is a re-establishment of 1750/1753 under Frederick the Great in the course of inland colonization. With the construction of an aircraft engine factory by Daimler-Benz in 1936, Ludwigsfelde received the decisive impetus for the development of today's industrial city.

Around 80% of the population lives in the core city, which is characterized by technology-intensive branches of industry, particularly in the areas of automobile production and aerospace technology. Agriculture continues to dominate in the village districts, which take up 87% of the total area (approx. 110 km²). The near-natural villages, some of which are located in the Nuthe-Nieplitz Nature Park, have also contributed to the tourist boom that has spread to parts of the southern Berlin area since German reunification.



Early settlement
The moist, fertile lowlands and the dry plateaus of Ludwigsfeld attracted settlers very early on, as found in animal bones, pottery shards and hearth stones in Jütchendorf, for example, show. The list of monuments of the state of Brandenburg lists a number of sites in almost all districts, including settlements from prehistory and early history, resting and working places from the Mesolithic, a large stone grave from the Neolithic, settlement sites from the Bronze Age, as well as burial grounds and settlements from the Iron Age . Furthermore, settlements at the time of the Roman Empire have been proven. After the Suebi, the Elbe-Germanic branch of the Semnones, emigrated towards Swabia in the 5th century, Slavs moved into the area, which was probably largely empty of settlement. From the Slavic Middle Ages there are archaeological monuments almost everywhere in Ludwigsfelde. The first German medieval settlements emerged with the expansion of the country in the course of eastern colonization in the 12th and 13th centuries Century.

German colonization in the east, first foundation in Ludwigsfeld in 1170
The western districts of Ludwigsfeld belonged to the border area to the east for a long time. The rivers Nuthe and Havel formed the border between the Slavic tribes of the Heveller in the Zauche and the Stodoranen in the Teltow, who played a decisive role in the founding of the Mark Brandenburg in 1157 by the Ascan Albrecht the Bear. Shortly after the founding of the Mark, the von Gröben family from Gribehne (Saxony-Anhalt) responded to the Ascanians' call for settlers for the new country and founded the village of Gröben in 1170, which is probably the oldest part of Ludwigsfeld. The Cistercians, who in the 12./13. Century in techniques such as fishing or the mill construction were leading and supported the development of the Ascanian margraves missionary and economic support, were also active in Ludwigsfelde: 1242 the jointly ruling margraves Johann I and Otto III transferred. At the instigation of Heinrich von Steglitz and his nephew, the current district of Ahrensdorf was transferred to the Lehnin monastery.

The landlords, who determined the development of the districts and also the beginnings of the two late founding colonies of the core city up to the early modern period, belonged to the best-known Brandenburg nobility and aristocratic families. These included the Torgow, Gröben, Thümen, Schlabrendorf, Boytin, Alvensleben, Knesebeck, Hake, Scharnhorst and Jagow families.

Foundation of the core city of Ludwigsfelde
Overview from 1750/1753 to industrialization in 1936
The core city itself was not built until between 1750 and 1753. On the area of ​​the Damsdorf desert, Frederick the Great had two colonies or establishments set up as outlying works and settled by 12 “small foreign landlords” in the course of internal colonization and repopulation (repopulation of abandoned places). One establishment belonged to the Genshagen estate under Captain von Haacke and was named the Damsdorf desert. The other colony was on the Löwenbruch district under the landlord and Kurmärkischen chamber president Ernst Ludwig von der Gröben (1703–1773) and was named after his middle name Ludwigsfelde.

It was not until the Brandenburg community reform in 1928 that the two colonies merged, initially under the name Damsdorf. Just one year later, on February 22, 1929, the name was changed to Ludwigsfelde due to residents' wishes. Another reason for the change was the Ludwigsfelde station on the Anhalter Bahn, built in 1886, which had made the name Ludwigsfelde much better known than the name Damsdorf. The name Damsdorf is only preserved today in the name of the forest area Damsdorfer Heide north of the city.

The adjacent Pharus map from 1903 shows both parts of the founding of the core city, which in the 19th century was still significantly less important than many of its current districts. For example, in 1800 it was said about Ludwigsfelde: "Colony near Löwenbruch, which makes a place with Damsdorf". Only after the connection to the Anhalter Bahn and then especially with the first industrialization in the 1930s did the core city overtake its current districts and explode in population compared to the stagnating villages.


Damsdorf desert
Between 1997 and 2003 one of the largest excavations of a medieval deserted village in the new federal states took place on the premises of the Preußenpark Ludwigsfelde / Löwenbruch industrial park on an area of ​​25,000 m². The investigations were aimed at the previous Damsdorf settlement. Analyzes showed that the traces of a two-aisled wooden church were built around 1180, the remains of wood from a fountain were built before 1240 and a stone church was built around 1250. The medieval fountain was reconstructed and in 2000 in the Prussian Park, its first symbolic groundbreaking ceremony on November 1st It was inaugurated in 1992.

The village was first mentioned in 1375 in the land register of Emperor Charles IV as Danstorff prope Trebbin. In 1413 there is an entry as the dorffere Damstorff and in 1479 there was already talk of the half wusten veltmarck zu Domstorff. In 1540 the village is finally recorded as a desert: the wuste veltmarcke Dambstorff, also in 1644, again in the spelling Damstorff. According to Gerhard Schlimpert, the village fell into desolation at the end of the 15th century and in 1610 there was only a sheep farm on the desolate Feldmark. As with the Reichenwalder and Müncheberg districts or parishes of Dahmsdorf, Reinhard E. Fischer etymologically derives the name Damsdorf from the designation "after a man with the German personal name Thomas (biblical name, from Hebrew), Middle Low German" Domes, Domas "" .

Johann von Torgow, Herr zu Zossen, was founded in 1413 by Burgrave Friedrich VI. from Nuremberg (later Friedrich I of Brandenburg) with levies from the customs to Berlin and several surrounding villages, including Damsdorf. According to documents from 1462 and 1472, the village was owned by the Lords of Torgow, which also includes today's Ludwigsfeld districts of Genshagen, Kerzendorf and Löwenbruch as well as Kleinbeeren, Rangsdorf and today's Berlin part of Steglitz. It is unclear why Damstorf fell desolate. Possibly the abandonment of the village was related to the extinction of the von Torgow family, which is countered by the fact that all other Torgow estates continued to exist.

Spinner colonies and the effects of war 1756/63, 1813
The two establishments in Damsdorf and Ludwigsfelde were established in 1750/1753 primarily as spinner colonies that stretch yarn for the textile factories in Berlin and Brandenburg. In addition, the settled families practiced some agriculture. To Ludwigsfelde belonged "3 fields, each of which had 3 Wispel Aussat." Both colonies emerged southeast of today's train station in close proximity to each other, only separated by a street, with Ludwigsfelde at the still existing Alte Krug. The Alte Krug from 1753, which was rebuilt several times and originally had thatched roof, is the oldest building in the city center that still exists. The monument has been home to dining facilities since it was founded.

It is not known whether the two small colonies were affected by the Seven Years' War between 1756 and 1763. What is certain is that today's districts such as Gröben suffered hard from the devastation and looting of the war. The Gröben church book contains the entry:

"1760 on 11., 12. On October 13th and 13th, Gröben was visited by a few strolling Austrians, along with a number of the Imperial Army. On what occasion the place not alone at 700 thousand. There was pillage, but the inhabitants were also looted and their horses were taken away from them. Likewise, the church and the rectory have not been spared. "
- Theodor Fontane: Walks through the Mark Brandenburg, Spreeland

In 1791 Ludwigsfelde included "11 fire places, 9 Büdner, 1 Kruger and 59 souls". 1805 lived in both colonies, which "actually formed one place [...]", a total of 85 inhabitants. After the suicide of Major a. D. Karl Wilhelm von der Gröben on November 29, 1805 the male line of this family went out and through Elisabeth von der Gröben, married to Wilhelm Leopold von dem Knesebeck (1735–1803) from Karwe am Ruppiner See, Löwenbruch came and with it the Ludwigsfelde colony to the von dem Knesebeck and in 1823 passed to Wilhelm von dem Knesebeck in a will. Only with the land reform of the Soviet occupation zone in 1945 were the estates of the von dem Knesebeck dissolved. On August 22, 1813, the day before the Battle of Großbeeren, Ludwigsfelde was badly affected in connection with the battles around the Wietstocker Schanzen. It is said that around a thousand dead soldiers remained in the field between Wietstock and Ludwigsfelde. Occasionally there are still worn memorial stones in the forest area, which the authorities have unfortunately ignored.

Railway connection in 1843 and consequences

The industrial revolution left Ludwigsfelde and the spinner families without a trace for a long time. The first modest upswing began with the construction of the Berlin-Anhalt Railway Company between 1839 and 1841. The railway line ran through the district and in 1843 the still small town was given a stop called Ludwigsfelde at the instigation of the landowners who wanted to participate in the technical progress. The halt developed into a transshipment center for all surrounding manors. From Löwenbruch, Genshagen, Gröben, Siethen and Kerzendorf “the heavy farm wagons rolled up. The carters got in contact with the railroad workers and in this way found out about what was going on in a world that until then had been outside their imagination.

In 1861 there were nine households in the Damsdorf colony. The population, without exception, was Protestant and consisted of three overseers, a housekeeper, five servants, three maids, a craftsman and a large number of day laborers. The households had nine domestic pigs and fifteen domestic goats. "In addition, six civil servants from the private railway company and three people lived in Dahmsdorf who" partly lived on alms. " and had eleven goats. With the exception of a house and a stable, all Ludwigsfeld buildings belonged to the lords of Löwenbruch.

In 1886 the Ludwigsfelde train station was completed as a representative brick building, which today serves as a museum and is the second oldest preserved building in the city center and is a listed building. The upswing due to the railway connection was accompanied by an expansion of the road network, for the financing of which a road building had been set up at the entrance to the town to collect road tolls. In 1904 the place received a telegraph office.

Start of industrialization in 1936 and World War II
The colonies that were now united to form Ludwigsfelde received the decisive impetus to become an industrial location in 1936 with the construction of an aircraft engine plant. The population exploded from around 100 residents in 1900 to 229 in 1933, 1,032 in 1937, 3,640 in 1939, 5,810 in 1950, 13,009 in 1960, 16,663 in 1970 to 22,900 in 1983. Ludwigsfeld's settlement and industrial history have been closely intertwined since 1936.

In 1936/1937, the Reich Aviation Ministry (RLM) decided to build an aircraft engine plant in Genshagener Heide. The Kurmärkische Kleinsiedlungsgesellschaft built inexpensive apartments in order to tie a trunk of workers to the plant. This is how one of the largest housing estates in Germany was built, the Daimler factory settlement, on both sides of today's Ernst-Thälmann-Strasse. The northern end of this district is formed by the wooden housing estate that was built in 1944 and for which the city council passed a conservation statute in 1992. The need for labor in the war phase was so high that more and more prisoners of war and forced laborers were used in production; in the spring of 1944 there were 11,000 members from almost all occupied countries. In addition, there were inmates of the Großbeeren labor education camp and 1,200 inmates of the Danzig-Matzkau SS penal camp, who had to live under inhumane conditions. Although it had already been partially destroyed by Allied air raids, a satellite camp of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp for 1,100 women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp was set up on the factory premises in September 1944. They too had to work under terrible conditions. Many died of hunger and disease, and 43 workers were executed by the Gestapo.

Development in the GDR
After the Second World War, the destroyed aircraft engine plant was dismantled. From 1952 onwards, with the establishment of the Ludwigsfelde industrial plant (IWL), later a truck plant with around 10,000 employees, there was renewed immigration, in particular by numerous resettlers from the eastern German regions east of the Oder-Neisse border. Several settlements in different architectural forms were built for the new residents. Particularly outstanding is the “socialist residential town” built around Heinrich-Heine-Platz (poet's quarter) in the form of the national building tradition in the 1950s.


According to the Stasi protocols published by the project on June 17, 1953, a demonstration took place in Ludwigsfelde during the uprising of June 17, 1953, during which the strikers carried banners with slogans such as free elections, more butter, HO price reductions, and dissolution of the national armed forces. The 1,500 participating workers did not come from the industrial plant, but were construction workers for the housing construction of the Potsdam Building Union. According to the minutes, the strikers went to the industrial plant and asked IFA workers to also stop working. When the latter did not comply, the strikers allegedly tried to destroy machines in the plant. After the Stasi had disbanded the gatherings in the meantime, 200 people appeared in front of the industrial plant in the evening to free a person detained there. The Stasi arrested 15 so-called ringleaders. However, the MTS Ludwigsfelde [...] remained occupied by the protest demonstrators. At that time, according to their protocols, the Stasi had 35 employees in the industrial plant and another 35 on site. On the morning of the following day, June 18, 1953, around 400 construction workers gathered in front of the mayor's barrack in Ludwigsfelde and demanded freedom for the strike leadership. The Stasi then sent another 35 employees to the town.

A further expansion of the industrial plants required new housing estates, so that the second residential town and Ludwigsfelde West were built in the late 1950s and 1960s, and the Ludwigsfelde-Nord housing estate, which was built in several construction phases using prefabricated panels, was built in the 1970s and 1980s. The Ludwigfeldes Kulturhaus was built in 1959 as a community facility with corresponding use, and in 1965 the town was granted city rights.

In October 1976 Ludwigsfelde became an army base. The National People's Army set up a location for a news regiment in Neckarstrasse on the western outskirts of the city. In 1981 the barracks wall was decorated by the Ludwigsfeld artist Volkhard Böhme with a ten-part mural History of Communication. The wall was preserved even after the site was closed and was placed under monument protection in 2019.

After the reunification
After reunification, the 9,700 employees at the IFA plant lost their initial hopes of a joint venture with Daimler-Benz. The last IFA W50 truck left the assembly line on December 17, 1990. However, Daimler-Benz resumed its old tradition in Ludwigsfelde as early as 1991, so that the continuity of the Ludwigsfelde industrial location was maintained. The settlement of new companies and the formation of industrial and business parks in the 1990s and at the beginning of the 21st century ensured constant growth in the city (see below: Industrial production), which was taken into account with new residential areas and representative buildings. On November 30, 1996, the city inaugurated a new town hall, which was previously housed in a barrack of the Nazi forced labor camp. In 1999 DaimlerChrysler built a residential complex on Ahrensdorfer Heide, followed by the Preußenpark residential area and in 2001 the pine settlement. In 2006, a new attraction opened in Ludwigsfelde with the Kristalltherme (see below).

Administrative affiliation
Until 1952 Ludwigsfelde was part of the Teltow district in the Prussian province of Brandenburg, from 1947 it was part of the state of Brandenburg. From 1952 to 1993 Ludwigsfelde belonged to the Zossen district in the Potsdam district, from 1990 to the state of Brandenburg. With the administrative reform in 1993, the city became part of the newly formed Teltow-Fläming district.


Geographical location

The entire city of Ludwigsfelde is surrounded by the following cities and communities: in the northwest by the Stahnsdorf district of Sputendorf, in the north by Großbeeren, in the northeast by Blankenfelde-Mahlow, in the east with a short stretch of Rangsdorf Lake by Rangsdorf and then by the Zossen district of Glienick, in the southeast of the Zossen district of Nunsdorf, in the south of the Trebbin districts of Märkisch Wilmersdorf, Thyrow, Glau and Blankensee, in the west of the Nuthetal districts of Tremsdorf, Fahlhorst and Saarmund.

The core city is traversed in a west-east direction by the Autobahn 10, the Berliner Ring, and divided into Ludwigsfelde-Nord and -Süd. Ludwigsfelde has two train stations connected to the Anhalter Bahn, which connects Berlin to Halle an der Saale via Wittenberg. Another train stop connects Ludwigsfelde with the Potsdam - Berlin Airport BER line. In a north-south direction, the urban area runs through the federal highway 101 (or B 101n), which has been expanded into the “Yellow Motorway”, with several junctions throughout the city.

Natural space
Teltow and lowlands
The entire city of Ludwigsfelde is culturally part of the Teltow. From a geological point of view, however, only the core city lies on the Teltow Plateau, because the geological boundary of the Teltow is more narrowly defined than the cultural one, as the two boundaries on the adjacent map make clear. Then the core city is located on the southwestern Teltow tongue, which is separated from the Trebbiner Platte in the south at the Thyrower Pforte by the Ice Age Saalow-Christinendorfer drainage path. The districts, on the other hand, are mainly located in adjacent lowlands. To the west, the Teltow merges into the Trebbin-Potsdam drainage line, the valley of which the Nuthe and Nieplitz rivers flow through today. To the east, the Teltow tongue descends to the Löwenbrucher valley sand area and to the former Rangsdorf-Thyrower drainage channel, which today is traversed by an extensive ditch system with the main ditch Nuthekanal.

The flat, undulating ground moraine surface of the Teltow, on average ten to twenty meters thick, was formed around 20,000 years ago in the Brandenburg stage of the Vistula Ice Age. The height differences between the plateau and the glacial runoffs are reflected in the different height levels of the Ludwigsfeld urban area. While the core city at an altitude of 43 m above sea level. is, Schiaß is at a level of 35 m above sea level. and Ahrensdorf as the lowest district at 32 m above sea level. At Groß Schulzendorf on the Glienicker Platte east of the Teltowzunge, the city then again reaches 43 m above sea level.

Core city - heather, sand and pitch pool
The core city is surrounded by the Ahrensdorfer Heide, the Siethener Heide am Landschaftsschutzgebiet (LSG) Pechpfuhl, the Genshagener Heide, the Damsdorfer Heide and the Ludwigsfelder Heide. Since 1936 the Genshagener Heide had to give way to industrial buildings in large parts. Due to the dry, sandy Teltow soils, extensive pine stands dominate the forests. Blown sand deposits illustrate the labeling of the Electorate of Brandenburg as the “sand can of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” in Ludwigsfelde, almost ideally.

At the edge of the inland dunes, on the loamy ground of the Teltow, some damp depressions with fractures and stagnant waters formed. This includes the landscape protection area (LSG) Pechpfuhl, which borders directly on the residential areas of the northwestern Ludwigsfelder core town. The former glacial drainage channel drains over the Leopoldsgraben into the Siethener See and further into the Gröbener See. Originally it flowed west of the Nuthe against the current direction of flow of the Nieplitz on over the Schiaßer See and the Grössinsee to the Blankensee. The elongated southern part of the Pechpfuhl is characterized by four open bodies of water and in the northern part, where it takes on the character of an upland moor, by cottongrass moorland and alder forest. Among the flora and fauna, the carnivorous sundew (Drosera), which is specially protected in Germany, and the strictly protected wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), bird of the year 2004, are noteworthy.

Districts of the Nuthe-Nieplitz lowland

The channel of the Trebbin-Potsdam drainage line west of the Teltow now flows through the Nuthe and the Nieplitz. In the Nuthe-Nieplitz lowland lie the districts of Schiaß, Mietgendorf, Jütchendorf, Siethen, Gröben and Ahrensdorf, all of which are part of the Nuthe-Nieplitz Nature Park. The lowland is characterized by rupture areas and lake-like extensions in the hypertrophic river-lake system in the lower reaches of the Nieplitz, which in the Ludwigsfeld area consists of the Grössinsee and the Schiaßer See. At Mietgendorf, the southwestern border of Ludwigsfeld runs through the Glauer Berge, which in the middle of the lowland landscape form an isolated compression moraine made of pre-poured sands from the Vistula Ice Age. The highest elevation of the Glauer Berge with 93 m also forms the highest elevation in Ludwigsfeld.

District articles, especially Gröben and Jütchendorf
Districts of the Nuthekanal lowlands, Glienicker Platte
The eastern districts of Kerzendorf, Löwenbruch, Genshagen and Wietstock are located in the former Rangsdorf-Thyrower drainage channel on the edge of the Löwenbruch valley sand area, which today is traversed by a rift system with the main ditch Nuthekanal. The boundaries of these villages partly belong to the extensive landscape protection area Notte-Niederung. A part of Wietstock is already up on the Glienicker Platte to the east and the easternmost district of Groß Schulzendorf lies entirely on this plateau. With a small tip, Ludwigsfelde extends even further east in this area to Lake Rangsdorf.

Natural monuments
Ludwigsfelde lies in a temperate climate zone in the transition area from the Atlantic climate of Northern / Western Europe to the continental climate of Eastern Europe. The temperature curve corresponds roughly to the national German average. The seasonal temperature fluctuations are less than in the usual continental climate, but higher than in the more balanced maritime climate of the coastal regions. The annual mean temperature is 9.0 ° C. The annual sunshine duration is 1618 hours on average. The mean annual rainfall of 551.2 mm is less than the national average of around 800 mm. Most of the precipitation falls in the summer months of June to August with a peak of 69 mm in June. October has the lowest rainfall at 33 mm. Weather extremes such as storms, heavy hail or above-average snowfall are rare.