By Sven Felix Kellerhoff
In summer 1972, a team of various East German state authorities began a long-term and technically complicated research project on the subterranean constructions of Berlin. The East Berlin administration of the State Security Service (Stasi) had suspiciously followed up news about diggings and tunnels in the West-Berlin media. Now the time for “operative action” had come. In the area round the Wilhelmstraße, near the Berlin wall, the security people searched for connections to the Berlin underworld in order to close these potential escape routes to the western part of the city. During these excavation works in the former government district of the German Reich they came upon several bunker constructions on the ground of the meanwhile demolished Reichskanzlei (Reich Chancellery), including the bunker for the Reichskanzler (Reich Chancellor) and NSDAP leader, Adolf Hitler.
After the removal of rubble and groundwater in the bunker constructions, the secret service found next to remains of the original furniture and technical installations 15,000 sheets of seriously damaged documents from the Third Reich. All working steps and things found by the commission were documented thoroughly at that time. Today, the former Stasi files with reports, drawings and photos of the “Führerbunker” can be examined at the BStU (Federal Commissioner for the documents by the State Security Service of the former GDR).
Sven Felix Kellerhoff describes in full details the bunker construction in the garden of the Reich Chancellery, as well as the last hours of the National Socialist leadership in this bunker.