Back in the day, Berlin had 6 Airports – Schönefeld, Tegel, Tempelhof, Gatow, Staaken, and Johannisthal. 4 of those have since been closed, some converted into parks and nature reserves, others into museums – and some, such as the old Airport Johannisthal was became home of the VEB Kühlautomat, one of the leading manufacturers of cooling and freezing units in the DDR.
The Flugplatz Berlin-Johannisthal openend in 1909 and was Germany’s second Airport. After The Berlin-Tegel Airport was constructed in 1923, civilian flight traffic drastically began to decrease from Johannisthal. Over the years, the military took hold of the airport and set up the “Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt” (DVL) – whose aim was to aid the secret rearmament of the German Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe. After the end of the Second World War, the Soviets used the Airport for a year and then pulled out to the larger complex in Schönefeld. At the same time, the Soviet Military Administration established the „Autoreparaturpark V“ – a vehicle repair complex – on the western end of the Airfield. With the decreased military use of the Airfield, the Autoreparaturpark, including all of its machinery was moved out to Bernau.
The Magistrate of Groß-Berlin decided that instead of leaving the huge complex empty, a “Kältebetrieb” should be set up in the empty factory halls. The VEB Kühlautomat was officially founded on the 5 of April, 1950. Its main task initially was to cover the high demand for repairs and servicing of commercial and industrial fridge units, and with the development of commercial fridge units.