Back in the "Fuchsbau" - 15 years later
I am on the highway in the direction of Fürstenwalde.
Hardly any traffic this Saturday in the direction of the Polish border.
That's good today, because until the agreed meeting at the gate of the bunker property I still have 15 minutes.
Exactly one year ago, Mr. Hensel of the BBN e.V. had written to me about a legal opening of the bunker.
He wanted to know from me how to get in.
For 10 years, the "Bunkerspechte" had tried in vain to find an entrance.
I had suggested to him to open the load entrance of the old bunker, because this gallery had not been backfilled.
But the dates were constantly postponed until the television from RBB wanted to shoot there. Then suddenly everything went very fast...
My thoughts are already in the bunker.
I know in the meantime that the entrance to the old bunker is open since midnight.
THW and fire department from Fürstenwalde have done a great job.
But it will be pitch dark and cold, I think. Hopefully, the batteries of my light and the digital camera hold. To be on the safe side, I plugged in 3 sets of batteries. I try to memorize the order of the rooms that I absolutely want to look at and photograph.
I wonder if the NVA-GVS messaging scheme in the DNF room is still hanging where it has been sleeping beauty since 1990 ? Are the emergency exits really filled in?
Whether the doors to the new bunker can be opened ? What will it look like in "my" rooms?
There is already the object gate. Locked, although I am registered! As if to mockery is now also no one from the BBN e.V. by cell phone reachable.
With a leap the large gate is overcome and I go the usual way up the mountain.
Finally in front of the bunker! The pressure door is wide open and gives a view into the tunnel tube.
Press and camera teams are busy. Filming is taking place once again - the same motifs as before 1994: airlocks, air-conditioning blocks and corridors...

Here at the outer pressure door, a "bunker woodpecker" was at work in 2004 !
Passing the first visitors, I almost run forward and have the feeling to have been here only yesterday.
. Even without light I would not have lost my way. Too often I have gone down here in 13 years long.
I feel nothing of cold, but the air is bad. It smells of mold and mildew.
The further I advance, the drier the walls become.
It's clear: the moisture came in through the backfill!
In the DNF room the disappointment : The GVS scheme of the news channels of the NVA fox building is gone and only recently removed!
So on to the new building. Here the first big surprise for me:
All doors to TO-01 could be opened easily, because the transition is completely dry and clean.
Supposedly, everything here should have been filled with lignite filter ash in 1995. In that case, however, the world would have ended here.
First I want to know how far the entrance structure is affected by the backfilling. In the stairwell, breathing becomes more difficult with each step up.
That here at all still useful air to breathe is, one should not believe. At least one picture I would like to make but at the top.
The way up to the entrance tunnel is freely passable. After 80 steps I see the 1995 retracted Ytong barrier wall in front of me.
The concrete slurry has nevertheless run through the joints and solidified on the stairs like lava. Quickly back, I can hardly breathe.
In passing, a look into the control room: there fixed lighting - the RBB team is shooting here right now. Quickly on to the dispatcher.
Everything as Hugo had described it to me years ago. Almost everything is out, only a lot of garbage remained.
Nevertheless, I find everywhere still familiar things from GDR times:
There a data acquisition device DEP-81, then a computer I helped build, called MIDA-32, modules, circuit boards and whole blocks of the ALMAS system.
The parts were probably gathered for the city museum and then not taken after all.
Next to where I worked at the time is still the locked locker cabinet for personal VS documents.
I think briefly, which was my compartment and what might still be in there. But now is no time.
Still SND headquarters, teletype room and "general toilet" look. In the chemist room still hangs the huge NVA dislocation map.
A black flag as a marker for the ZGS-14 near Fürstenwalde and around Berlin the marked divisions of the 41st missile brigade.
Pictures taken and continue.

A "DEP", but not from Bavaria, but a data acquisition desk from GDR production !
The emergency exit cannot be opened!
So it was completely filled with concrete? See me still the Einführunsstelle of the electric cables and I realize that one would have come in here only with difficulty from the outside through the supply shaft.
Had recommended that to the BBN e.V. as a variant, if the transition tunnel would be buried.
Via the stairs back up and a quick look into the flight control rooms.
From the looks of it, the Bundeswehr was not in here.
The Chief LSK/LV rest and work rooms are actually unchanged.
The colorful fiberglass wallpaper is still there, but the upholstered furniture is moldy.
Now quickly back to the old bunker. The rooms of the aviation weather station have been totally cleared out.
I am now interested in what the MfS room next door looks like. But the door is locked and someone has knocked a hole in the filling.
From the transmission station, excited voices sound in the dead silence down here.
Later, I learn in passing that a visitor has purposefully taken a device from one room.
The police are called, but they are also curious.
The 3 men first make a sightseeing round through the catacombs and are surprised that their radio does not work down here.
In the post transmission room, I now see the only damage visibly caused by the concrete mass.
At first everything looks normal.
But then I wonder why the tables here are so low:
Half of them are standing in solidified concrete, which has penetrated from below from the feeder shaft of the underground cables.
My flashlight is still flickering vigorously, and I also want to get into the rooms of the radio transmitting and receiving center, which used to be off-limits to me.
For the first time I see the service room of the DNZ and the narrow room with the warning center.
Another look into the kitchen and to the Med-Punkt: On the floor are still unopened packs of "ATA".
The "Bohnerkule" in the air-conditioning room must also still on my film. Whether the young visitors today even know what that is?
At the end of the aisle it becomes light.
I smell the fresh air and feel the feeling as if I would come like 15 years ago after a 24h service back to daylight.
One hour I was only in the building today. My batteries have held up well. Over 80 pictures I have shot.
Hopefully they turned out well. The 6 hours drive home in the car I hardly notice.
My thoughts still hang down in the bunker and I am annoyed that I have photographed so little.

A thank you to BBN e.V., THW and fire department Fürstenwalde!

Manfred Rassau 23.11.2005

The Bohnerkeule:" standard weapon" in the "Fuchsbau"