Luxembourg / Monument

Bunker Kaundorf




In the small Ardennes village of Kaundorf, as everywhere else in Luxembourg, during the Second World War Resistance fighters built underground bunkers. They were built to hide the steadily growing number of forcibly recruited deserters until liberation in 1944. One such original bunker can still be visited there.

With 38 hidden deserters, two US pilots and three French prisoners of war, the unassuming Kaundorf bunkers in particular mustered the unbroken patriotic courage to save the lives of desperate young people from Nazi terror. During the occupation, refugees were continuously hidden and cared for among nine houses and five earth bunkers located in the village.

Most of the time the earth bunkers were dug into young dense spruce forests and were built around tree trunks. The tin roofs were sealed with roofing felt and covered with a layer of soil and foliage for perfect camouflage. The ‘an der Rundschelt’ bunker was partially dug into a rock on a steep slope towards the Sauer Thal and had an emergency exit.

Building material had to be laboriously hauled in at nightime with handcarts and wheelbarrows, and deposited in secret places. This was an attempt to protect the anonymity of the helpers and the general security as extensively as possible.

During Whitsun (Pentecost) 1944, this bunker at Rundschelt was occupied by four refractory soldiers who had been hiding in the village since November 1943.

Despite several autonomous Resistance groups, none of Kaundorf's five bunkers were discovered or betrayed.

Of the 85 bunkers nationwide, about 80 were armed. Many deserters brought their service weapons with them and were prepared to pay a high price in the case of an emergency. An attack on the bunker near Heinerscheid ended tragically when all six refractory deserters were killed in a lost firefight against an attacker.

Only the rapid liberation of the country in September 1944 prevented greater disaster by the increasingly informed Gestapo.

The Kaundorf bunker at Rundschelt was restored as a national monument in 1987, and can only be reached on foot via a signposted hiking trail from the southern outskirts of the village.

Kaundorf, 9662, Luxembourg

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