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Inside the Reich Chancellery bunker

Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich

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Bunker der Höchsten Sicherheitsstufe.

The Reich Chancellery bunker was initially constructed as a temporary for Hitler (who actually spent very little time in the capital during most of the war). Increased bombing of Berlin led to expansion of the complex as an improvised permanent shelter. The elaborate complex consisted of two separate shelters, the ( "forward bunker"; the upper bunker), completed in 1936, and the , located 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) lower than the and to the west-southwest, completed in 1944. They were connected by a stairway set at right angles and could be closed off from each other by a bulkhead and steel door. The was located 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) beneath the cellar of a large reception hall behind the old Reich Chancellery at Wilhelmstrasse 77. The was located about 8.5 metres (28 ft) beneath the garden of the old Reich Chancellery, 120 metres (390 ft) north of the new Reich Chancellery building at 6. Besides being deeper under ground, the had significantly more reinforcement. Its roof was made of concrete almost 3 metres (9.8 ft) thick. About 30 small rooms were protected by approximately 4 metres (13 ft) of concrete; exits led into the main buildings, as well as an emergency exit up to the garden. The development was built by the company as part of an extensive program of subterranean construction in Berlin begun in 1940.

On 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler took his own life in the Reich chancellery bunker in Berlin, with Soviet troops only a block or so away. Today, the last person still alive who was in the bunker is 95-year-old Rochus Misch, who has provided one of the most interesting accounts of those last few hours.

Vorbunker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reich Chancellery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things went smoothly to start with. On his first visit, Conrad found himself in the New Reich Chancellery bunker. He worked hectically, worried he might be caught at any time, taking pictures of rusted ventilation pipes, tiled walls, safes and projectiles. Despite the haste with which he had to work, Conrad is critical of his work as a younger photographer. "Those weren't my best shots. Today I would go about it much more systematically," he says.

The Reich Chancellery bunker was initially constructed as a temporary air-raid shelter for Hitler (who actually spent very little time in the capital during most of the war). Increased bombing of Berlin led to expansion of the complex as an improvised permanent shelter. The elaborate complex consisted of two separate shelters, the Vorbunker ( “forward bunker”; the upper bunker), completed in 1936, and the Führerbunker, located 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) lower than the Vorbunker and to the west-southwest, completed in 1944.
They were connected by a stairway set at right angles and could be closed off from each other by a bulkhead and steel door.