The 17/448 bunker, at Kunersdorf, is a 2 level bunker disguised as ‘Weather observation station’. It was in reality the top secret main transmission bunker of the former East German Ministry of Defence. To maintain the cover story of the weather station, daily weather reports were transmitted back to the NVA headquarters. 17/448 was the main transmitter command centre and it was connected to 11 remote ‘sputnik’ transmitter sites each equipped with 2 x 1Kw shortwave KN – 1E transmitters. The bunker itself was equipped with 10 x 1Kw shortwave KN – 1E and 3 x 5Kw shortwave KN – 5E transmitters. Multiple remote transmitter sites were used in order to prevent the location of the bunker being discovered by triangulation by the enemy (us!). The remote transmitters were within a 450 square KM area and used randomly so triangulation would have proved difficult.
The bunker was opened in 1982 and was operational until 1991 and the reunification of Germany when it was declared redundant and closed. Full facilities within the 16000 square metre bunker were provided including decontamination, dormitories, kitchen, backup generators, medical bay and a ‘submarine’ environment. The top level of the bunker is the transmitter equipment and the bottom level is the plant machinery and the extensive cooling system needed to cool the large transmitters. Full security was provided on the surface including the notorious 5000volt electric fence used commonly in DDR era military establishments.
The bunker would have been staffed with 40 (but at times upto 60) East German Army (NVA) specialist staff with a further 10 civilian support staff in the surface buildings, although the civilians were not allowed into the bunker proper. It was built at a huge cost with each remote transmitter site costing half a million marks. It is in private ownership and has been restored and opened as a museum including a very good display of items and period photos from the whole of the period of the division of Germany. This is a superb bunker in excellent condition, and the guide that shows you round is the ex-Commandant of the site when it was operational during the NVA years.
The Bunker and associated museum is in private hands and can be visited on certain open days. Open days for the bunker and museum are listed on this website Bunker-Kunersdorf. Unofficial visits are strongly discouraged as the land is private property.
Further information can be found at Untergrund Brandenburg