History

„Keeping up tradition means reflecting on where you come from and, from this reflection and experience, defining where you're going.“
Reinhardt Abraham, Co-Founder of the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung

The Foundation and its history

Berlin of the 1920s and ‘30s was considered one of the world's foremost centers of civil aviation.
It was in those days that Deutscher Aero Lloyd (DAL) and Junkers Luftverkehr merged to create the company known as Deutsche Luft Hansa Aktiengesellschaft with its headquarters in Berlin.

The young company took up regular service in April 1926. At the time, Lufthansa's first airplanes took off from Berlin-Tempelhof. After the Second World War, Lufthansa was refounded. Commencing scheduled flights again in 1955, the company was soon regarded as a leading symbol of Germany's economic miracle. The way to Berlin was obstructed by the Iron Curtain though.

Establishment in Berlin
In 1986, the old Lufthansa turned 60. To mark the occasion, the company had purchased one of the world's few remaining Ju 52s in the USA in 1984 – mainly at the instigation of Reinhardt Abraham, then Chief Technology Officer of Lufthansa. With almost 80 aircraft of this type in service at the last count, the Ju 52 was Lufthansa's backbone in the latter half of the 1930s. Following 16 months of restoration, "Aunt Ju" took up regular service on time for the anniversary in April 1986.

A foundation was set up that became the owner of the 50-year old, tradition-steeped airplane. Everyone concerned agreed: The Foundation belongs in Berlin which is where it still has its headquarters today.

In testimony to the close links with Lufthansa's roots, the founders chose the name "Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stiftung". At the time, no one could have foreseen that the wall would come down only three years later and Lufthansa would again operate flights to Berlin from 1990.
The Lufthansa logo adorning the tail of the Ju 52
The Lufthansa logo adorning the tail of the Ju 52
Tempelhof Airport
Tempelhof Airport