Ronald Lauder is behind a nearly $.5 billion project to rescue Berlin’s historic Tempelhof airport. The 104-year-old airport had been scheduled for closure after the city approved construction of the new Berlin Brandenburg International airport, which can handle up to 22 million passengers a year. But Lauder, the president of the Jewish National Fund and a candidate for president of the World Jewish Congress, stepped in with plans to turn the historic airport into a luxury fly-in health clinic for Europe’s super rich, according to flightglobal.com. Orville Wright was one of the first pilots to land in Templehof. Under the Nazi regime, it became a monument to fascist power after Hitler built a raised stand for 65,000 spectators atop the 3,000-foot concave terminal so his subjects could greet him on his homecomings. The airport was also a crucial landing point for the Allies during the Berlin Airlift in 1948. The renovation is a business venture that could save a historic structure, Lauder’s special assistant Warren Kozak told JTA.
Lauder to save Berlin airport