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Overview of German bunkers ready – will it be reactivated?

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Overview of German bunkers ready – will it be reactivated?

A man walks down the stairs into a former nuclear fallout shelter from the 1960s. (archive image)

© Fabian Strauch/dpa

In terms of civil protection in Germany, an inventory of the remaining bunkers has been made. The Ministry of the Interior should soon also have a cost forecast for their reactivation.

Berlin/Bonn – At the end of March, experts completed an inventory of the bunkers and other shelters that still exist in Germany. A spokesman for the Federal Agency for Real Estate (BImA) said on request which of these should possibly be reactivated.

A spokesman told the German Press Agency that in the last phase of the three-stage test there was an “in-depth, complex technical test of representatively selected systems”.

The insights gained are currently being evaluated by the BImA and summarized in a report. The Federal Institute wants to present the report to the Federal Ministry of the Interior in the course of May together with a cost forecast for the reactivation of systems. “The federal government will then make a decision on how to proceed based on the knowledge gained in the course of the inventory,” explained the spokesman.

Faeser: Better use of existing resources

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) declared in February that there would be no civil defense bunkers for millions of people in Germany in the future either. The available resources should be better used for an effective warning, for emergency power generators, emergency wells and plants for the treatment of drinking water as well as for mobile shelters for the temporary accommodation and care of a larger number of people.

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In Germany it was decided in 2007 to close down the public shelters. This process was initially stopped in March 2022 – after the start of the Ukraine war. The topic is also likely to come up at the next conference of interior ministers from the federal and state governments, which will take place in Berlin in June.

Civil protection is an issue “where we are currently seeing a total failure,” said the deputy chairwoman of the Union faction, Andrea Lindholz (CSU). It is important to know: “How many bunkers and other ways to protect the population do we have? What might need to be built or reactivated?” A concept is also needed for how the state can be maintained at all levels in the event of a crisis. “It’s particularly about communication facilities and structures to maintain security and order.” dpa

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