Jeffrey LewisGerman Nuclear Tourism

The German Federal government is working with a German history museum in Bonn, the Haus der Geschichte, to transform the former Emergency Seat of the Constitutional Organs of the Federal Republic (Ausweichsitz der Verfassungsorgane des Bundes)—Germany’s answer to Mount Weather—into a tourist destination.

The New York Times has a story by Mark Landler complete with gorgeous photographs by Marcus Gloger (see above).

The stroy avoids the bunker’s Nazi past, which I gather was a bit of a controversy when German authorities decided to repurpose a World War II railroad tunnel built with slave labor.

For further information about the bunker as object, I recommend this article with even more gorgeous photographs by Andreas Magdanz.

The article, written by Jürgen Reiche, director of exhibits at the Haus der Geschichte, is wonderfully German:

No other site in Germany – nor any other place in the world for that matter—offers a more authentic description the political history of the twentieth century in a more impressive way, communicates the military, technical, cultural, and social history of German in a more emotional way, and provokes us to think about the past, present, and future more emphatically.

“What right do we have,” asked the daily newspaper “TAZ” about the started demolition, “to be shocked at the criminal destruction of cultural items by the Taliban, when we are depriving ourselves of memorials to our own history?”

And who, we might add, wants to be responsible for destroying forever one of the most German places in Germany, a combination of idyll and decay, achievement and contempt, just as perfectly organized and straightened up as it is unfathomable and profoundly labyrinthine, a mirror of German mentalities and continuities – and hiding it from public attention? This site must be preserved!

And now we will reflect upon the misery of childhood.


  1. EEK (History)

    Ja- und I have that postcard of Dieter at my desk, to remind me of that glorious past when I was as happy as a little girl.

  2. J. (History)

    The photos really remind me of Mt Weather (yes I’ve been inside). Love the 70s decor in the German’s pink leisure room there…