Germany / Museum
The Berlin Story Bunker was built as the Anhalter Hochbunker in 1942 for protection of the residents and railroad passengers of the former Anhalter Station. In April 1945, it was involved in heavy fighting between the German defenders of Berlin and the advancing Soviet troops. In 2014, the Berlin Story Bunker with several exhibitions about the history of Nazi Germany was opened.
The Berlin Story Bunker was built as the Anhalter Hochbunker during 1942 after the requirements for constructing air raid shelters on certain traffic-loaded centres. The bunker contained not only shelters for the passengers or local inhabitants, but also rooms and offices for the railroad top functionaries. Built in ferro-concrete, with three storeys above ground and two below, its walls were up to four-and-a-half meters thick. While the Anhalter Station was heavily damaged in February 1945, the bunker continued to function. In April 1945, the station formed a key element of the city defence and was defended by SS men from the French Charlemagne division.
The Anhalter Station and the bunker were within range of the artillery of the Soviet 8th Guards Army on 26 April. Soviet units tried to cross the nearby Landwehrkanal after the retreating German troops destroyed the channel bridges. At this time, the bunker was overcrowded with Berlin inhabitants from the south of the city, who fled from the advancing 8th Guards Army. The bunker housed at least 10,000 people inside. This led to catastrophic conditions in the premises, since food, water, and energy supplies were cut off and bodies were left lying where they died. Some bunker inhabitants tried to leave via the S-Bahn and U-Bahn tunnels near the station.
The Soviet troops started their advance towards the Anhalter Station at noon on 29 April 1945 and were involved in heavy fighting with the SS troops defending it, which lasted two days and ended with the capture of the area on 1 May. During the Cold War, the bunker was used for storage of the West Berlin strategic reserves. In 2014, the Berlin Story Bunker was opened, which offers several exhibitions about the history of Berlin including the history of the bunker and of Nazi Germany.