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The Honecker Nuclear Bunker in Berlin

Thankfully, the ever present threat of WW3 with the prospect of the obliteration of mankind via the atomic bomb are behind us now. However, relics of the era certainly do remain. It is the Honecker nuclear bunker in Berlin. Codenamed 17/5001, this secret bunker was one of the communist world’s most advanced bunkers, built to protect the leaders of the former East Germany from a nuclear attack.

This three-storey bunker was built in a forest 25km (16 miles) north-east of Berlin, near Wandlitz. The same area contained the special colony where top East German officials were accommodated. There they enjoyed many benefits over the living standards of their fellow common-man ‘comrades’.

Honecker’s bunker reaches a depth of 70m (230ft) below ground.  85,000 tonnes of concrete were used while a four metre thick ‘blast cap’ over the bunker was designed to protect from explosions above. Complex filters shielded the bunker’s occupants from radioactive or biological agents.

Its submarine-like tunnels divided by heavy metal doors lead on to 170 rooms. It was fitted with a fountain, power generators, air conditioning and “springed” rooms able to cushion residents from detonations.

Its construction began in secret in 1978 and finished in 1983, It was intended to house the East Germany leader along with 400 of his staff.

It is rumoured that Honecker himself visited the bunker only once and wasn’t happy with its environment.

Although urban explorers had found a way to enter inside earlier, the bunker opened for the first time to the public and for only 3 months in 2008. As can be seen from the photographs, the walls are now covered in mould and the decontamination chambers long-defunct.



[Credits: bunker5001.comLindi44wanus/flickr.comJonnyBKirchhain/flickr.com]