Bunkerstadt Wünsdorf, historical site

Memorials of recent German history
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The departure of the last Soviet military personnel from Germany at the beginning of September 1994 left a ghost town in Wünsdorf, about 35 kilometres south of Berlin: "The last telephone switchboard was still in operation, and the last meal still lay on the table in the canteen," observers noted. Up to 40,000 Soviet soldiers and officers, some of them with their families, had lived strictly screened lives in Wünsdorf up to then.
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  • Lenin Statue vor dem Haus der Offiziere, Foto: ZZF / Hans - Hermann Hertle
  • Stabsgebäude Innenhof Stoj, Foto: ZZF / Hans - Hermann Hertle
  • Haus A2, Foto: Bücherstadt-Tourismus GmbH
  • Haus A4 Heeresquartiermeister, Foto: Bücherstadt-Tourismus GmbH
  • Haus der Offiziere, Foto: Bücherstadt-Tourismus GmbH
The history of the Zossen-Wünsdorf military site began around 1910 when a military base camp, a military training ground and other military facilities were established in the region under Emperor William II. After 1933, armoured units of the Reichswehr, the Armed Forces of the Weimar Republic, were housed in Wünsdorf. At the end of the 1930s, the "Maybach I and II" bunkers and the news centre ("Zeppelin") were built for the High Command of the National Socialist Unified Armed Forces, which moved its headquarters to Zossen in August 1939. At that time, the construction of so-called “Spitzbunker”, above-ground pointed tower-shaped air raid shelters, began as an air defence measure.

Soviet troops took over the military facilities after their victory over National Socialism. In 1953, Wünsdorf became the headquarters of the High Command of the “Group of Soviet Armed Forces in Germany” (GSSD). During the popular uprising in the GDR on June 17, 1953, Soviet troops led from here intervened and forcibly defeated the uprising.

By contrast, in the autumn of 1989, they remained in their barracks. Following the collapse of the GDR and the unification of Germany, the High Command based in Wünsdorf organised the return of a total of around 380,000 soldiers and 170,000 civilians, as well as their military equipment, to the Soviet Union.

The literature and bunker town of Wünsdorf has grown from the ghost town since the late 1990s. Bookworms can choose from hundreds of thousands of books in many antique shops in the town. Guided tours explain the workings of the bunker facilities to interested visitors. Several exhibitions illustrate the history of the military site, including one on the daily life of Soviet soldiers with exhibits left by the garrison.

Literature:
  • Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst (Publ.), Der Abzug. Die letzten Jahre der russischen Truppen in Deutschland. Eine fotografische Dokumentation von Detlev Steinberg, Berlin 2016.
  • Andreas Franke/Detlev Steinberg, Wünsdorf. Eine russische Stadt in der DDR. 20 Jahre nach dem Abzug der Sowjetarmee, Halle (Saale) 2014.
  • Gerhard Kaiser/Bernd Herrmann, Vom Sperrgebiet zur Waldstadt. Die Geschichte der geheimen Kommandozentralen in Wünsdorf und Umgebung, 5th edition, Berlin 2010.
  • Stefan Büttner/Jörg Morré, Sowjetische Hinterlassenschaften in Berlin und Brandenburg, Berlin 2014.

Continue readingcollapse
The departure of the last Soviet military personnel from Germany at the beginning of September 1994 left a ghost town in Wünsdorf, about 35 kilometres south of Berlin: "The last telephone switchboard was still in operation, and the last meal still lay on the table in the canteen," observers noted. Up to 40,000 Soviet soldiers and officers, some of them with their families, had lived strictly screened lives in Wünsdorf up to then.
Continue readingcollapse
  • Lenin Statue vor dem Haus der Offiziere, Foto: ZZF / Hans - Hermann Hertle
  • Stabsgebäude Innenhof Stoj, Foto: ZZF / Hans - Hermann Hertle
  • Haus A2, Foto: Bücherstadt-Tourismus GmbH
  • Haus A4 Heeresquartiermeister, Foto: Bücherstadt-Tourismus GmbH
The history of the Zossen-Wünsdorf military site began around 1910 when a military base camp, a military training ground and other military facilities were established in the region under Emperor William II. After 1933, armoured units of the Reichswehr, the Armed Forces of the Weimar Republic, were housed in Wünsdorf. At the end of the 1930s, the "Maybach I and II" bunkers and the news centre ("Zeppelin") were built for the High Command of the National Socialist Unified Armed Forces, which moved its headquarters to Zossen in August 1939. At that time, the construction of so-called “Spitzbunker”, above-ground pointed tower-shaped air raid shelters, began as an air defence measure.

Soviet troops took over the military facilities after their victory over National Socialism. In 1953, Wünsdorf became the headquarters of the High Command of the “Group of Soviet Armed Forces in Germany” (GSSD). During the popular uprising in the GDR on June 17, 1953, Soviet troops led from here intervened and forcibly defeated the uprising.

By contrast, in the autumn of 1989, they remained in their barracks. Following the collapse of the GDR and the unification of Germany, the High Command based in Wünsdorf organised the return of a total of around 380,000 soldiers and 170,000 civilians, as well as their military equipment, to the Soviet Union.

The literature and bunker town of Wünsdorf has grown from the ghost town since the late 1990s. Bookworms can choose from hundreds of thousands of books in many antique shops in the town. Guided tours explain the workings of the bunker facilities to interested visitors. Several exhibitions illustrate the history of the military site, including one on the daily life of Soviet soldiers with exhibits left by the garrison.

Literature:
  • Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst (Publ.), Der Abzug. Die letzten Jahre der russischen Truppen in Deutschland. Eine fotografische Dokumentation von Detlev Steinberg, Berlin 2016.
  • Andreas Franke/Detlev Steinberg, Wünsdorf. Eine russische Stadt in der DDR. 20 Jahre nach dem Abzug der Sowjetarmee, Halle (Saale) 2014.
  • Gerhard Kaiser/Bernd Herrmann, Vom Sperrgebiet zur Waldstadt. Die Geschichte der geheimen Kommandozentralen in Wünsdorf und Umgebung, 5th edition, Berlin 2010.
  • Stefan Büttner/Jörg Morré, Sowjetische Hinterlassenschaften in Berlin und Brandenburg, Berlin 2014.

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Arrival planner

Gutenbergstraße 9

15806 Zossen OT Wünsdorf

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Brochures

Tourist information

Tourismusverband Fläming e.V.

Zum Bahnhof 9
14547 Beelitz

Tel.: +49 (0) 33204-62870
Fax: +49 (0) 33204-618761

Weather Today, 24. 1.

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