Coordinates: 52°13′00″N 13°26′59″E / 52.21667°N 13.44972°E / 52.21667; 13.44972
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Church of the Holy Trinity
Church of the Holy Trinity
Coat of arms of Zossen
Location of Zossen within Teltow-Fläming district
Am MellenseeBaruth/MarkBlankenfelde-MahlowDahmeDahmetalGroßbeerenIhlowJüterbogLuckenwaldeLudwigsfeldeNiederer FlämingNiedergörsdorfNuthe-UrstromtalRangsdorfTrebbinZossenBrandenburg
Zossen is located in Germany
Zossen is located in Brandenburg
Coordinates: 52°13′00″N 13°26′59″E / 52.21667°N 13.44972°E / 52.21667; 13.44972
Subdivisions7 Orts- und 9 Gemeindeteile
 • Mayor (2019–27) Wiebke Schwarzweller[1] (FDP)
 • Total179.57 km2 (69.33 sq mi)
38 m (125 ft)
 • Total20,130
 • Density110/km2 (290/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes03377
Vehicle registrationTF
Church in Nunsdorf

Zossen (German pronunciation: [ˈt͡sɔsn̩] ; Upper Sorbian: Sosny, pronounced [ˈsɔsnɨ]) is a German town in the district of Teltow-Fläming in Brandenburg, about 30 kilometres (20 mi) south of Berlin, and next to the B96 highway. Zossen consists of several smaller municipalities, which were grouped together in 2003 to form the city.


Since the 2003 municipal reform, Zossen consists of the following districts and municipalities:

  • Glienick
  • Horstfelde
  • Schünow
  • Werben
  • Kallinchen
  • Nächst Neuendorf
  • Nunsdorf
  • Schöneiche
  • Wünsdorf
  • Funkenmühle
  • Lindenbrück
  • Neuhof
  • Waldstadt
  • Zesch am See
  • Zossen
  • Dabendorf


Zossen, like most places in Brandenburg, was originally a Slavic settlement. Its name (Upper Sorbian: Sosny) may derive from Sosna meaning pine, a tree quite common in the region.

In 1875, Zossen railway station opened on the railway line from Berlin to Dresden and the Prussian military railway to the artillery range at Kummersdorf-Gut in present-day Am Mellensee. Between 1901 and 1904, Zossen adopted the use of different high-speed vehicles, such as electric locomotives and trams, for transportation to and from Berlin-Marienfelde. These vehicles were powered by an alternating current of 15 kV and used a variable frequency. The power was transmitted by three vertical overhead lines.

In 1910, a proving ground and a garrison of the Imperial German Army was established at the Waldstadt section of the Wünsdorf community – surviving to the present day. In World War I it was the site of several prisoner-of-war camps, including the "crescent camp" (Halbmondlager for Muslims who had fought for the Triple Entente), where the first wooden mosque in Germany was erected. The camp ran from 1915 until 1917, and was used as a show camp for propaganda purposes, as well as an attempt to encourage the prisoners to fight for the Central Powers. Named after the structure, the adjacent Mosque Street (Moscheestraße) has kept its name to this day.[3][4]

From 1939 to 1945, Wünsdorf hosted the underground headquarters of the German Wehrmacht (OKW) and Army's High Command (OKH).

After World War II the area became the site of a Soviet military camp in East Germany known as "Little Moscow" or the "Forbidden City", the largest outside Russia, housing as many as 75,000 Soviet men, women and children with daily trains going to Moscow,[5] until Soviet troops pulled out in August 1994. Since then it has returned to civilian use as the Wünsdorf-Waldstadt book town (founded in 1998),[6] although much of it lies abandoned with evidence of Soviet occupation clearly visible.[7] By late 2019, roughly 1,700 apartments were made from the old barracks, with another 700 planned for subsequent years.

A 2017 news report indicates that at the peak, the camp was home to some 75,000 Soviet persons; stores, schools and leisure centres were available to them. After the camp was abandoned, the authorities found "98,300 rounds of ammunition, 47,000 pieces of ordnance, 29.3 tonnes of munitions and rubbish, including chemicals ... houses were full of domestic appliances".[8]

While new uses have not been found for the installations and bunkers of the unmodified areas of the military camp,[7] they are somewhat maintained and there are various guided tours, exhibits and events.[6] Some parts remain off-limits.[5][9][10]

Zossen station
Church in Schünow


  • 1809/1810: Kietz and the vineyards of Zossen are suburbanised
  • 1885: Monument to the fallen soldiers of the 1864, 1866, and 1870 wars is erected in Kietz
  • 1906: School on Kirchplatz is expanded
  • 1910: Military area between Zossen and Wünsdorf is developed
  • 1932: Flyers of the town councillor and deacon Emil Phillip [de] regarding the threatening change in the Protestant community and the city Zossen
  • 1933: As a result of the National Socialists' rise to power, Socialists and Communists in Zossen are arrested by SS troops and are held in the school on Kirchplatz. Emil Phillip is removed from his post, upon the order of Pastor Eckerts
  • 1934: Expansion of the town hall
  • 1939: The military zone in Zossen is developed into military headquarters
  • 1956: The city park is created
  • 1992: The "Alter Krug" Zossen society is founded
  • 1994: Formation of the administrative district of Teltow-Fläming from the old districts of Jüterbog, Luckenwalde, and Zossen
  • 1996: 450th anniversary of Prince Elector Joachim II's awarding of rights and privileges to Zossen
  • 1998: Wünsdorf Book Town declared, the only book town in Germany[6] – though Mühlbeck-Friedersdorf, which started in 1997, claims to be the first book town in Germany.[11]


Zossen: Population development
within the current boundaries (2017)[12]
YearPop.±% p.a.
1875 7,335—    
1890 8,549+1.03%
1910 10,611+1.09%
1925 13,012+1.37%
1933 14,231+1.13%
1939 18,173+4.16%
1946 17,000−0.95%
1950 16,507−0.73%
1964 13,834−1.25%
1971 13,368−0.49%
1981 12,879−0.37%
1985 12,795−0.16%
1989 12,502−0.58%
1990 12,282−1.76%
1991 12,241−0.33%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1992 12,193−0.39%
1993 12,108−0.70%
1994 12,441+2.75%
1995 13,087+5.19%
1996 13,612+4.01%
1997 14,289+4.97%
1998 15,108+5.73%
1999 15,750+4.25%
2000 16,310+3.56%
2001 16,414+0.64%
2002 16,772+2.18%
2003 16,958+1.11%
2004 17,063+0.62%
2005 17,183+0.70%
2006 17,321+0.80%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2007 17,441+0.69%
2008 17,477+0.21%
2009 17,590+0.65%
2010 17,606+0.09%
2011 17,392−1.22%
2012 17,465+0.42%
2013 17,600+0.77%
2014 17,657+0.32%
2015 17,905+1.40%
2016 18,115+1.17%
2017 18,915+4.42%
2018 19,403+2.58%
2019 19,912+2.62%
2020 20,182+1.36%


  • Hans-Jürgen Lüders (SPD) 1993–2003
  • Michaela Schreiber: 2003-2019
  • Wiebke Schwarzweller: since 2019

Notable people[edit]

Walter Budeus

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wiebke Schwarzweller ist neue Bürgermeisterin von Zossen". MAZ - Märkische Allgemeine (in German). Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  2. ^ "Bevölkerungsentwicklung und Flächen der kreisfreien Städte, Landkreise und Gemeinden im Land Brandenburg 2021" (PDF). Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg (in German). June 2022.
  3. ^ Andrews, TL; Osinski, Agathe (20 April 2017). "How Germany used Islam during World War I". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  4. ^ Gith, Thomas (27 October 2015). "Wünsdorf - Deutschlands älteste Moschee stand mitten im Wald" [Germany's oldest mosque stood in the middle of the forest]. Deutschlandfunk Kultur (in German). Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  5. ^ a b "The Forbidden City: inside the abandoned Soviet camp of Wünsdorf", The Guardian, Ciarán Fahey, 11 January 2017
  6. ^ a b c "Welcome ⋆ Bücher- und Bunkerstadt Wünsdorf". Bücherstadt-Tourismus GmbH, Wünsdorf-Waldstadt. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Rosenberg, Steve (October 8, 2019). "Inside the Soviet base the Cold War left behind (4:43)". BBC News. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  8. ^ The Forbidden City: inside the abandoned Soviet camp of Wünsdorf
  9. ^ "This abandoned 'Forbidden City' was once the largest Soviet military base in East Germany". CNN Travel
  10. ^ "Contact & Getting There". buecherstadt.com
  11. ^ "Mühlbeck-Friedersdorf – das erste deutsche Buchdorf | My CMS".
  12. ^ Detailed data sources are to be found in the Wikimedia Commons.Population Projection Brandenburg at Wikimedia Commons

External links[edit]