Berlin Underwelten

19:17 Paul Robinson 0 Comments

April 2nd, 1pm, Cafe on Oderberger Strasse, Prenzlauer Berg (still)
After the fun of the pub crawl last night, I had to force myself out of bed reasonably early. I travelled to north Berlin, to go on an underground tour of Berlin. The tour was 90 minutes long and was really good.
Picture from here
I went on a WW2 bunker tour. The tour detailed the construction and use of many underground bunkers in Berlin. There were many repurposed subway systems that were prepared well in advance of the beginning of the war. I was fascinated by the level of planning the regime had gone into. One neat trick was the use of glow in the dark paint, which would illuminate darkened rooms during power failure and would also calm those people hiding in the bunker.
When Allied aircraft were spotted over Germany, Berlin had approximately 40 minutes to warn it's population and get them to safety in the bunkers. The Allied air forces would often fly into German airspace, trigger warnings and panic as people flooded to the bunkers, and then return to base - all in order to demoralise the Germans. On average, there was an air raid warning every other day during the war.
It must have been horrible to spend time in the bunkers. There were no seats, no windows and very little space. Even the toilet doors had to be removed to deter people from commuting suicide in the cubicles.
It was a fascinating and sobering tour and the guide brimmed with facts that I wont try to bore you with. But if you have the chance, I'd recommend it and I'd do one of their other tours the next time I'm in the city.

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