From the Early Middle Ages until the period of the Thirty Years' War, the area fell under the responsibility of the cloister of Chorin which led to a cultivation of suitable spaces. Forest clearances took place for the sake of producing weapons for the Prussian army, but the woods were usually afforested. Large parts of the woodland were left untouched as hunting area for the nobility, which marked the creation of today's wilderness. During the Third Reich, Hermann Göring chose the spot for his countryside residence Carinhall. After World War II, the forests were again used as an exclusive hunting and leisure area for the East German leaders. The title of a Biosphere Reserve was awarded in 1990 following an initiative of then East German head of state Lothar de Maizière.