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Mysterious Structures | East Germany’s Forgotten Bunkers

April 13, 2010

German historians are divided over the significance of a massive Communist-era bunker in the former East Germany. Was it to be used as a command post in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe? Researchers now believe Europe was closer to the nuclear abyss than was previously believed.

The new was published at Spiegel on-line, where they say:

Riding in fully enclosed trucks, a military construction crew under the command of the East German National People’s Army was driven to a remote woodlot near Kossa in the state of Saxony, which at the time was part of communist East Germany. They were not supposed to hear anything, see anything or say anything. They were only here to work.

Caption: Kossa was practically jam-packed with communications electronics. The facility even had an AP 3 mainframe computer made by the East German computer manufacturer Robotron. Sophisticated video technology would have made it possible to send battle plans directly to the front.

As we commented on the post Relics of the Cold War Exhibition in Berlin, there are still lots of bunkers that are undiscovered. Roemers wrote for that exhibition: “I’ve been surprised by the enormous quantities of shelters, bunkers, airfields, shooting ranges, barracks, missile bases, border barricades, and radar stations.”

Going on with the notions that there are still so many bunkers in the zone, it has been discover that even today, there are telephones sitting in the dust of the bunker. Subterranean antenna arrays extend under the forest floor. The bunker had direct lines to Moscow. Using tropospheric radio stations, they would have been able to send messages even through large atomic flashes.

Caption: In the event of a war, East German leader Erich Honecker would have taken refuge in Prenden, near Berlin, where the Politburo had set up a vast fortified bunker (seen here in a 2008 photo).

Some treasure hunters armed with metal detectors occasionally poke around in the musty subterranean chambers. Some of the structures have collapsed or filled with water. Others have been turned into museums or even as hotels, as proposed in Albania, but we can not escape to the magic and terror that bunkers transmitt at the same time. So, we’re not talking here about politics but just were amazed about the architecture that still lies under our feet, in the form of secret installations.

The bunker is now a museum. Here we see the entrance area to the leaders’ bunker. Museum director Olaf Strahlendorff is seen in the background.

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