4,000 people died in the construction of Hitler’s Submarine Bunker
The submarine bunker is gigantic — and expensive. A World War II-era military facility is slowly succumbing to the elements, and nobody seems willing to pay for its upkeep. In fact, the German armed forces has offered it for sale.
The bunker Valentin was built by the Nazis as a bomb-proof submarine factory. It never went into use, but 4,000 slave laborers, concentration camp inmates and prisoners of war died in its construction. More photos after the jump.
The building is vast in scale — fully 426 meters long and 97 meters wide. The ceilings are up to 7 meters thick.
The German military owns the facility, but with little use for the bunker, the Bundeswehr is looking to get rid of it. It is listed on the Bundeswehr Web page among properties that are up for sale.
Most would like to see the bunker transformed into a World War II monument. But nobody can decide who should foot the bill.
German states are nominally responsible for cultural facilities, but because the military owns it, the city-state of Bremen to whom the facility belongs claims it should not be held responsible for expensive renovation and upkeep.
At present, the site is costing the German military some €800,000 per year in maintenance costs.
Bremen Mayor Jens Böhrnsen and his cabinet visited the site on Tuesday as a show of symbolic support for the site being turned into a memorial. But he didn’t bring his checkbook.
The German military currently uses about a third of the space in the bunker for storage, and there is a small permanent exhibit documenting the construction of the bunker. Some 12,000 prisoners and slave laborers erected the building.
Via der Spiegel