Anhalter Bahnhof, Air Raid Shelter and Deutsche Reichsbahn offices

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Anhalter Bahnhof, Air Raid Shelter and Deutsche Reichsbahn offices

This is part of the front facade of Anhalter Bahnhof in Berlin, all that remains of what was Berlin’s main railway station. It was destroyed by the RAF on 22/23 November 1943, at the time the RAF’s biggest air raid, the same raid which saw the destruction of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.

The railway station complex stretched from this front entrance to the goods yard which now forms part of the site of the Deutsches Technikmuseum at Gleisdreieck.

Close by is a remaining Nazi emblem on what was an office building of the Deutsche Reichsbahn. The swastika has since been removed but the winged wheel design remains;

close up

Also close by is this air raid shelter built in 1943. Three storeys above ground and two below, with walls up to four and a half metres thick in places.

Conditions inside the bunker deteriorated as the war progressed with people staying within its walls for days on end until the Red Army arrived in the area.

I have edited out the stuff on the exterior walls now advertising its main purpose today which is a crappy haunted house type of thing. The whole thing is really poor but the lower floor is given over to an exhibit about the building’s original purpose. It isn’t very well done either but some of the rooms are as they were, which was my reason for visiting;


Below; Anhalter Bahnhof after the war but before the ruins were completely demolished in 1960

Image from wikipedia

4 comments on “Anhalter Bahnhof, Air Raid Shelter and Deutsche Reichsbahn offices
  1. Paul says:

    Great series Ian . Its a shame that they dont pay the dues to the history of the air raid shelter . Was it an air raid shelter only or one of those gun towers too ….I have seen one in Rostock which I am led to believe also doubled as an AA guntower.
    I understand the reluctance of the German nation to embrace their past but its a shame they cannot do better than dracula horror shows within one of the few remaining buildings of the time .

    • Ian D B says:

      Don’t think it was a flak tower, no. Agree re; the chamber of horrors thing. Sometimes happens when small scale private businesses take over something like this. Overpriced too; the German Technology Museum, which would take a day at least to see everything, cost 6 euros. For that there are aircraft (museum pieces and recovered wrecks), ships and boats, locomotives, a cattle truck used to transport Jews to death camps and everything from a history of typewriters to jewellery manufacture. A decent cafe, loads for kids to mess with, working steam engine displays etc etc…

      Just up the road from there is this air raid shelter; 9 euros to get in and after 20 minutes you are done. The chamber of horrors nonsense combined with a half arsed attempt to display a history of the place is hard to fathom. It could be so much better.

  2. ang wickham says:

    An amazing heritage building, in that railway station – shame that so little of it is left, but I guess many parts of Europe experienced the same loss .. some places [like Crete] worse off than others. Shame too, to hear of the poor use of the shelter building … over here there is something similar but perhaps done better – a House of Horrors set up, well enough that patrons wet themselves with fright, in what was previously a ‘mental hospital’. Not sure what the PC term is for that nowadays.

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