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.