Berlins U-Bahn Bunkers

Villian: Former East and West German Government of Berlin


Plot: At the height of the Cold War in Berlin the Western and Soviet bloc were locked in a stare down. Thus the threat of complete annihilation of humanity was a possibility at the time, with the West of Berlin being physically island off by the Soviet Bloc exasperating the dismal situation. West Berliners understood well that in the situation of a Nuclear show down they were completely expendable. This was even publically understood when West German Chancellor of the time Helmut Schmidt signed on a plan with Nato that in the event of a Nuclear strike on West Berlin, NATO would drop up to 23 nuclear tactical warheads. A sacrifice to hopefully contain communism. The population of West Berlin’s role was to simply occupy what was left of the city to the West after the second world war. An human shield of sorts.


As a placebo effect many of the West and some of the East’s U-Bahn (subway) stations reactivated, expanded or built civil defence shelters that were secretly hidden within the stations. Apparently up to 75% of former West Berlin’s U-Bahn stations has some sort of civil defence shelter hidden within its walls. However these shelters could house up to perhaps 1% of the population. One examples is Pansktrasse Stn in former West Berlin. Some of the stations wall panels are hidden doors that can swing open to reveal a shelter that can house up to 3 400 people in case of a full blown Nuclear attack. Behind some of the panels a maze of various rooms with different functions lurk. In the event of a strike each entrance of the station has steel sliding doors that are roughly 1.2m thick that can air seal the station. The sleek futuristic transformative qualities of the architecture is striking- and bears many similarities to various James Bond villain Lairs. There is even a section of the street above that would open up to let people out. The doors have large extremely strong steel arms that can even catapult a tank should one be sitting on top of that particular section of the street!

Another interesting or upsetting factor is the architectural interventions made that reflect the grim situation. Below are some of them listed:


– The walls a painted green- apparently it is supposed to have a calming effect.

– The kitchen is quite small and inefficient for 3 400. Yet this is strategically done so that food preparation and collecting would take up time. Giving the survivors something constructive to do.

– The bathrooms are also strategically small. This is to ensure a constant line up to use the toilet in the event that someone should try to take their life in a stall. There are no stall doors-just curtains so that nobody can get locked in. The structure holding up the toilet stalls are too weak to hold the weight of a person in the event of a suicide attempt.

– The mirrors are stainless steel and bolted to concrete walls- so that they can never be broken and become a weapon.

– There is barely any medical equipment for serious injuries, however plenty of body bags; clear ones- the plastic lasts much longer than opaque plastic. However plenty of child bearing equipment is provided.

– From the station the doors swings into the hallway of the shelter at the end of the hall is the proper steel door for the decompression chamber. This is avoid having to push bodies that would be presumably be lying on the other side.




Entrance Pankstrasse bunker.



Hermanstasse before the renovation reveals (briefly) a bunker room for 46 people.



A open wall panel reveal another entrance to the Bunker in Pankstrasse.



Another hidden entrance to the Bunker in Pankstrasse. * Notice the dark wall panel to the left of the crowd of people, it is actually a steel sliding door that shuts off the station from outside in a airtight fashion. This is intended for Nuclear war.



A bedroom full on bunk bed in Panskstrasse. It is intended for 102 people.



A plan of the bunker in Pankstrasse. Here we can see that the platform would be populated with bunkbeds, the plan also depicts the hidden rooms that are a part of the bunker within the station.



Glow in the dark paint on the walls in Pankstrasse Station Bunker. This just in case the power runs out. Image originally from Berliner- Unterwelten .



A shower room where people would have to strip naked and take a shower before entering Pankstrasse station Bunker. The mannequin is wearing a tracksuit that would given to each person entering the Bunker.



Kitchen in the Bunker of Pankstrasse station. The kitchen is supposed to be for 3400 people. However it is intentionally small so that collecting food and washing up would take a long time. Giving the survivors something to do.



Bedroom of bunk beds. Pankstrasse station bunker.



Sitting room, Pankstrasse station Bunker. Image originally from Berliner- Unterwelten.



Franzosishche Strasse station- WW2 bunker.



Franzosishche Strasse station- WW2 bunker



For more information please visit Berliner- Unterwelten for official tours

Al Burain, “Berlin’s Suicide-Proof Nuclear Fallout Shetlers”, Vice Magazine Online, Post March 7, 2013,


Posted: July 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Berlins U-Bahn Bunkers

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