May 04 2010

Berlin: Führerbunker (Hitler’s bunker)

by in Central & Southern Europe, Germany

Life recently released a set of never-before-published images of the Führerbunker taken shortly after the fall of Berlin. They are worth perusing if you have an interest in World War II history.

I visited Berlin a few months ago, back in December 2009. Incredibly, this was my first visit to Germany. How foolish of me not to visit when I lived in London; it’s truly a lovely city. My primary interest, of course, is in the various World War II and Cold War sites that are scattered throughout the city. On one cold morning I found myself wandering through several side streets, family in tow, looking for the location of the Führerbunker, where Hitler spent the final weeks of his life watching helplessly as the Soviet forces encircled Berlin.

And this is what remains of the Führerbunker:

A rather nondescript location, it’s hard to imagine that under this small patch of grass surrounded by parking lots and apartment buildings is where the disgusting reign of the Third Reich, a dictatorship that terrorized and killed millions across Europe and North Africa, finally came to an end on April 30, 1945 when Hitler killed himself.

After the war, Soviet forces tried to destroy the bunker but their attempts met with minimal success. During the Cold War, the site was a no-man’s land on the East German controlled side of the Berlin Wall. Parts of the bunker were further destroyed and filled with rubble in the 1980s and 1990s when the government began constructing the apartment buildings that now dominate the area. Fearful that the site would become a shrine for neo-Nazis, the German government neglected to mark the location of the bunker until 2006 when the government installed a sign that you can see in the above pictures.

More photos here.

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3 Responses to Berlin: Führerbunker (Hitler’s bunker)

  1. From paul sanders:

    Wish I had these before I went to Berlin last week, I never found the exact place. Cab driver took me to corner of Voss and Wilhelmia Str and there was a small sign with picture of the old Reich Chandellery.
    He was charging me too much to wait around while I tromped around.
    Great pictures.

    Posted on March 21, 2011 at 3:05 am #
  2. From Ian Henderson:

    We saw this in 1998, it was in a guide book we got at the Albert Hotel museum.
    Also saw some guided tours stopping here, so we knew it was the right place.

    I thought the bullet marks in the houses opposite were more interesting.

    Posted on July 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm #
  3. From kevin moor:

    I can understand why this shelter (bunker) was destroyed, but the reasoning for it was not well thought out. Neo-nazis will rally anywhere; the restaurant Hitler ate in, the hotel Hitler slept in, or the water closet Hitler farted in. It might have been better to have preserved this struckture to instruct how were lived and spent the last days of a meglomaniac lunatic.

    Posted on January 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm #
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