Photographer's Note

The iron curtain separated free from socialist Europe for more than 40 years. NATO and Warsaw Pact armies stood closely behind their borders, eager to push back any aggression at the possible price of a third world war and a nuclear armageddon.
The government of the (East) German Democratic Republic had their bunker, code name "Objekt 17/5001", built in the Brandenburgian sands 40 kms north of Berlin. The counterpart for the government of the Federal Republic of Germany (West) was situated in the lovely Ahr valley, between the town of Ahrweiler and the village of Dernau, 30 kms southwest of former West German capital, Bonn.
Two former railway tunnels under a slate mountain were reinforced and extended into a tunnel system with a total length exceeding 17 kms, intended to house 3000 members of government incl. staff for 30 days and capable to resist a nuclear strike.
As the iron curtain had fallen in 1989, the bunker system was given up eight years later. Nobody was willing to buy it for an acceptable price, so they started to remove literally everything inside. The first 203 ms of tunnel remained intact as a highly interesting museum of cold war for future generations, called "Dokumentationsstätte Regierungsbunker".
Image shows an international group of visitors in front of the iron bars separating the intact museum from the abandoned part which used to contain two stories of offices and living rooms plus the necessary infrastructure. Even the paint has been scratched off the walls! While the eastern part of the tunnel has remained dry, the western part began to run full of water and is only accessible by boat now.

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Additional Photos by Sven Erich Czernik (Energysavingelk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 351 W: 1 N: 922] (4487)
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