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The Downfall

Hitler and the End of the Third Reich



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The Downfall
about the movie



events


Short Biography
Adolf Hitler

Short Biography
Eva Braun

Chronology
Chart of events

The Fuehrerbunker
Info & Maps

Who is Who?
the bunker-personnel



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The "Fuehrerbunker"


Entrance in the Garden of the "Neue Reichskanzlei" (New Reich Chancellery)




















Hitler´s Living- and Workroom




















US-Soldier in the Bedroom of Eva Braun,
July 6, 1945




















Winston Churchill in front of the Departure Gate of the Garden,
July 14, 1945






Position of the bunker in the Berlin of today: at the Gertrud-Kolmar-Strasse height of the street „In den Ministergaerten“, nearly on the back side of the house Wilhelmstrasse 92.

Picture: DPA
BundeskanzleramtDepartment of the Federal Chancellor
ReichstagParliament
Geplantes Holocaust DenkmalIntended Holocaust Memorial
BundestagsverwaltungAdministration of Parliament
AbgeordneteMembers of the Bundestag
FahrerbunkerChauffeur Bunker
BundesratFederal Council



The center of Hitler’s governmental district was situated at the Wilhelmstrasse corner Vossstrasse, some hundred metres south of the Brandenburger Tor. Here was the place of the Foreign Ministry, the Old Reichskanzlei and - with the house number Vossstrasse 1 to 19 - the New Reichskanzlei, that was constructed by Albert Speer.

Already in 1933 Hitler arranged for building of Air Raid Shelters in the Governance Area. The first segment of his later bunker construction has been completed in 1935, in the cellar of the new built great festival room behind the Reichskanzlei. The thickness of the ceiling was 160 cm at first. Lateron it had been strengthened by 1 m.

The complex called ´Vorbunker’ (pre-bunker) was in 1943 enlarged by the ´Hauptbunker’ (main bunker). This noticeably lower lying building was ready for occupancy at the beginning of 1945. The outer walls were about 4 m wide, the partition walls 50 cm, the thickness of the ceiling was also about 4 m. The effective area of about 250 m² was split into 20 rooms. An unpleasant narrowness prevailed.

The main bunker (Hauptbunker) was connected with the Vorbunker over an airlock and stairs. In the Hauptbunker Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun occupied several rooms. Goebbels as well had a workroom and a bedroom here. The remaining rooms were determined for the guards and the medical attendant. Besides there were a small and a large conference room, a wash-, machine-, telephone- and radio-room in that complex.

Beside other persons, the Goebbels family inhabited the Vorbunker during the last weeks of the war. The conditions in this underground walls downgraded increasingly. In addition to the disturbing noise caused by steadily running aeration ventilators, there was a cool moistness in the rooms as Berlin has a very high ground-water level.

The Fuehrerbunker was only one of about 20 air raid shelters of the Reich government in the nearby environment. In addition many cellars of the surrounding buildings were used as auxiliary bunkers.

1947 First try of the Red Army to detonate the bunker. During that explosion the partitions broke down but the rest remained undamaged but was filled with groundwater.

In 1959 the former GDR-government took a second attempt to destroy the bunker but entirely in vain. Finally sand was heaped up upon the bunker.

After 1973 the complex was examined in detail by the Staatssicherheit (safety of the state) of the GDR. But they were not interested in historical research, in fact they followed up rumors according to which people could get from and to West-Berlin through underground passages. They however did not find such channels.

Since 1988 buildings made with precast concrete slabs were built up in that area and during this action also the ceiling of the bunker and the partitions of the Vorbunker have been dynamited piecewise now. Only the bowl - consisting of side walls and base plate - and filled with excavations, remained in the ground. Above the ground absolute nothing of the construction can be seen anymore. Beneath a swing for children and a sandbox, there is a parking lot.


The Fuehrerbunker
ZugangEntrance
BeobachtungsturmObservation Tower
LagerraumStorage Room
Hitlers SchlafraumHitler´s Bedroom
VorzimmerAntechamber
Hitlers Arbeits- und WohnraumHitler´s Work- and Living-Room
Eva Brauns SchlafraumEve Braun´s Bedroom
KleiderablageGarderobe
Bad und ToiletteBathroom and Toilet
Aufenthaltsraum RSDLounge RSD
Gasschleuse und RSDGas Lock and RSD
AusgangExit
ArztraumDoctor´s Room
Schlafraum GoebbelsBedroom Goebbels
Lagevorraum (Konferenzraum)Great Conference Room


Drawing on the book ´Der Untergang´ which was the script for the film with same title. According latest researches the Rotunda (labeled ´Beobachtungsturm´) - top left - was in fact the (accessible) main air ventilation slot.
Picture: Joachim Fest / Rowohlt
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