The Largest Relief Operation in History
70 Year Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift
It was the most spectacular and largest relief operation in history; an organizational masterpiece and an impressive demonstration of humanitarian support and adherence: the Allied airlift to West Berlin. From 1948 to 1949 it kept more than two million people alive by transporting food and other crucial goods. It included more than 270,000 flights – almost 1,000 per day. The statistics of this relief operation are still overwhelming. The aeronautical and logistical effort of the pilots and ground crews remains unique. The boundless human commitment was impressive –a phenomenon that in retrospect should be called “the Airlift spirit”. This “Airlift Spirit” describes the great ability of mankind to overcome Seven deeply felt enmity and to stand together as a community. It is proof that even opponents of war can put aside differences and are prepared to take personal risks for the well-being of another, a stranger in need. The “Airlift Spirit” stands for how, in seemingly hopeless situations, the will to help, a common goal, courageous decisions, and energetic engagement can overcome all obstacles. We want to revive this “Airlift Spirit” and carry it as a message into the world. It should be a summons to take action. It should bring back the idea of standing together. Rarely has the awareness of this idea been so important as it is today.