June 26, 2021

Tour Report: Bunker "The Minister's Deputy"

The beautiful forests of the German state of Brandenburg are riddled with military facilities. Some date back to the 19th century, while some have been built as late as the 1980s. Especially the bunkers that have been built during the Cold War are a display of the widespread paranoia in the military circles of the GDR and the USSR that NATO would be starting a large-scale attack any minute.

The bunker that we visited in September of 2018 together with our friend Toeppi is one of those bunkers.

My wife and I had contacted Toeppi if he was up for a spontaneous tour, and after he said yes, so we booked a hotel, hopped onto a train to Berlin and met the next morning.

A little more than an hour later, we arrived at the spot that we had declared our parking lot for this part of the tour. From there, we had to walk about half an hour until we got to the area where the bunker was. Area, because there is no way to exactly know where the bunker is if you don't have the exact coordinates. The facility is completely underground, and all above-ground parts have been completely demolished. Luckily, Toeppi had been there once before and did have the coordinates for the emergency exit. We still had to walk around a bit, as GPS coordinates are never one hundred percent exact, but after a short while, we heard a "thump" under our feet. That was the emergency exit - a round metal plate covered with sand.

We picked up the lid and climbed down the ladder. The first thing we saw was a long corridor. The bunker was huge. It consists of 40 prefabricated bunkers type FB-3, that could be operated independently, 5 monolithic bunkers and 6 tunnels built from prefabricated concrete parts. The central corridor has a length of roughly 250 meters, the total surface area of the bunker is about 2.100 square meters. I would estimate the total length of the corridor system to about 700 or 800 meters.

This was the former remote command post of the Deputy Minister of National Defense and Chief of the Border Troops of the GDR.

The sheer size of the facility was its most impressive feature. The rooms were all empty; except for a few remains of the ventilation systems, there was nothing much to see. We still took our time to explore the underground tunnels, making sure not to miss anything.

While walking the long corridors, I made a short video, which you can find towards the end of this post.

After about one and a half hours, we packed our stuff, climbed back up to the daylight and started walking back to the car - after all, there was another huge bunker complex waiting to be explored that day...

To find out about the history of this place and to check out all the photos, click the button below.

You can check out the short video I made of our exploration here:

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