The Grenztruppen der DDR (originally known as the Grenzpolizei), or Border Guards of the former East Germany were a military force tasked with the defence of the inner German border, the Berlin Wall and the borders of the DDR. To effect this there were 5 command areas – National Command, Northern Command, Southern Command, Middle Command and Coastal Command.
In the GrenzKommando Süd (Southern Command) at Erfurt the headquarters are in the form of a bunker, or rather a series of bunkers. These were for administering, organising and training for 12 different regiments and companies within the Grenztruppen southern area. They are as follows
Order of battle:
- Grenzregiment (Frontier troops regiment) 1 “Eugen Levine”
- Grenzregiment (Frontier troops regiment) 3 “Florian Geyer”
- Grenzregiment (Frontier troops regiment) 4 “Willi Gebhardt”
- Grenzregiment (Frontier troops regiment) 9 “Konrad Blenkle”
- Grenzregiment (Frontier troops regiment) 10 “Ernst Grube”
- Grenzregiment (Frontier troops regiment) 15 “Herbert Warnke”
- Grenzausbildungsregiment (Frontier troops training regiment) 11 “Theodor Neubauer”
- Grenzausbildungsregiment (Frontier troops training regiment) 12 “Rudi Arnstadt”
- Pionierkompanie (Engineering Company) 27
- Sicherungskompanie (Security Company) 27Stabs- und Versorgungsbataillon (Staff and Supply Battalion) 27
- Musikkorps (Parade Band)
The bunker at Erfurt takes the form of around 24 different ‘rooms’ all linked together with concrete cut and cover tunnels in the shape of an elongated ‘H’ forming the corridors with the ‘rooms’ branching off of each leg. The rooms themselves are actually made from preformed semi-circular sections and are all identical. These appear similar to many other low protection level bunkers and shelters in the former east germany and of a fairly uniform design approx 8 feet wide, 7 feet high and around 20 feet long. The only exception to this is the battery and electrical rooms which are square in shape with a convential box shape. Air filtration (standard soviet items), emergency batteries, bunks, decontamination facilities and communications suites were all provided and there were 3 entrances. Each ‘room’ has a pair of fold down bunks for the occupants as well as there own individual filtration and heating. The bunker covers around 10,000 square feet but a good deal of that is corridors! The bunker was built around 1986 and the surface buildings destroyed in the early 1990’s with the bunker being sealed at this time. Internally it remains in reasonable condition although heavily deteriorated due to natural decay, however lots of original equipment remains insitu and intact including a telephone switching room that covers 2 eras of telephone switching (manual and digital). There is minimal vandalism probably due to its early demolition and difficult to find location, and various pieces of barely legible paperwork lay strewn about as well as remains of telex machines, phones and lots of Soviet marked equipment.
For further information, please visit Sachsenschiene.net