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SHARKHUNTERS International
Berlin Patrol 2012
Sunday 3 September

We did a lot - saw a lot, went many places...........and walked from 5 to 10 kilometers each day.  Join us on these pages and hopefully next year, you will join us in person in 2013.

HAUS  BOGENSEE

 
     

The Reich built a nice house for Dr. Josef Goebbels outside Berlin so he could get away from the noise of the city, but he didn't like the little place and he had Haus Bogensee built for him which was more to his liking.  It was here that he could escape the rush of the city, review films to decide which could be used for the weekly news films to be shown in the theaters - and it was here that he "interviewed" budding starlets.  He became especially enamored with one, Lida Baarova, that he jeopardized his career for her.  He was married and she was engaged but that didn't matter.  He told Adolf Hitler that he planned to divorce Magda and marry Lida.  Hitler was shocked.  He was not married, so Magda Goebbels was the First Lady of the Reich.  Hitler explained to Goebbels that it would not look good for the First Lady of the Reich to be dumped for this movie star and further, it would destroy their image of decency and family values.  Hitler gave Goebbels a couple weeks to "think it over and make the right decision" before doing anything.  Goebbels was not stupid, realized the veiled threat and told Lida it was over.  She quickly returned to her native Prague and Goebbels kept his other affairs quiet at Haus Bogensee and elsewhere.

 


Haus Bogensee was referred to as 'The Love Nest' for obvious reasons

 
We drive down the very road traveled by Goebbels (and his starlets)   We reach the garage area and park
     
 

The statuary in the woods and at

 

the front door left little to the imagination

     
 

We first come upon the wing (photos above) where Goebbels would review the newsreel footage and decide what could be shown to the German public and what could not, especially as the war was turning against Germany.  It was also in this wing that Goebbels 'entertained' and 'interviewed' aspiring starlets.
 

 

Walking further, we are at the main entrance......

 

.....but no one is at home - and we go to the other side of the house

     
 

The house is totally empty

 

but everything is there and in working order

     
 

At his Berghof on the Obersalzberg in Bavaria, Adolf Hitler had a huge window that could be lowered through the floor to have a huge open air area.  Here at Haus Bogensee, Dr. Josef Goebbels had THREE such windows - and they are all in working order.

Haus Bogensee as well as all the Soviet built buildings on the grounds are now closed.  The Soviet built structures, like so much built by the USSR, are beginning to fall apart and actually are dangerous - even thought not to Sharkhunters.  We go anywhere, but the government doesn't want anyone injured.  Haus Bogensee is solid and not dangerous at all.

This area, with Haus Bogensee and all the Soviet buildings, was going to be put up for auction a few years ago and we are told that high bids began coming in.  Then someone in the government decided that some wealthy neo-Nazi might buy the place and use it for gatherings that would make the government uncomfortable so it is off the market and it appears that it is all deliberately being allowed to fall into ruin so it can be demolished, the same as many such buildings from those years.

     
 
Abandoned, overgrown and left to perish   How long before this piece of history is gone?

We have spent time here at Haus Bogensee and we are now on the march (a couple hundred meters) to the area where the Soviet buildings are.  This was a Soviet version of the Hitler Youth with dormitories for those attending the re-education, and there are massive buildings for the meetings and a parade ground.  Come along - but watch your step.

Memories of a collapsed Empire
The Soviet Union lived only some decades - a short time in history when compared with the United States, Great Britain, the Roman Empire etc.  In their short time on the pages of history, they left a huge imprint; not only in history but they left a huge footprint on the earth as well.  Walk with us to look over the crumbling buildings of this once powerful empire.

 

The once-magnificent hall for meetings and classes, now

 

another abandoned and crumbling memory of the USSR

     
 

There were several dormitories to house the youth

 

who came here for 'instruction and indoctrination'

     
 
Map of a once thriving 'education' center   .....nothing remains but memories and crumbling buildings


We depart this once thriving place and meet our friend who will take us past that annoying sign that says 'Verboten' on our way to the bunker complex codenamed "KORALLE" (it means Coral) that was the headquarters of Großadmiral Karl Dönitz.

 
Our friend is waiting - and yes, that is a can of mosquito repellant   We head down this trail into the deep woods
     
 
As we move on through the woods, we find one-man bunkers   When bombs were falling, the sentry could duck inside

This excellent chart, prepared by our friend Herr Holz, will help you follow our progress through this forbidden place.

luftschutz

  Descriptions of the places:
1.    the Entrance
2.    Luftschutz construction area
3.    Soviet Kampfgruppe area
4.    Guard dog training area
5.    Small structure from the DDR
6.    DDR bunker
7.    Fire fighting reservoir pond
8.    Luftschutz bunker
9.    Barracks
10.  Panzer cupola
11.  Vermittlungsstelle
12.  Kläranlage
13.  the house of Großadmiral Dönitz
14.  Fire fighting reservoir pond
15.  Fire fighting reservoir pond
16.  A foundation

Thanks to Herr Holz for this excellent chart


We turn a corner in the trail and we are suddenly in the midst of the remains of the Soviet Kampfgrüppe and their headquarters

 

These very strange Soviet barracks are dug

 

deep into the ground.

     
 

Above and below - Nature is quickly taking back and

 

removing all traces of this compound

 
     
 

From inside the barracks, the view out

 

the windows is pretty blank

     
 

Above and below - at least the HQ building and the mess hall;

 

what remains of them, was above ground

 


We depart the ruins of the Soviet built (post-war) Kampfgrüppe and head for Koralle and the bunker complex there.  On the way however, we pass this man-made lake.  This was one of six such man-made lakes around the HQ of Dönitz and they served several useful purposes.  First and foremost, from the air this entire compound looked like a farm with houses, barns and lakes, worth nothing as a target.  In case of fire, water from the lakes would be used for the firefighting.  In the background, we see the ruins of the HQ of the Soviet Kampfgrüppe.

 


Okay - onward to Koralle and the headquarters of the Kriegsmarine Großadmiral Karl Dönitz, not far on foot from here.  You will note that the bunkers are blown up and there is heavy use of cinder blocks here too, and you will wonder who blew these bunkers up and why the use of cinder blocks.

 

Our first views of the Kriegsmarine Command bunker

 

headquarters is almost like a scene in an Indiana Jones movie

     
 

Above and Below - We note the cinder block construction on

 

the rooftop of the bunkers.

 

This construction with concrete blocks were house-like structures built by the Soviets after the war.  This was to train their military in the art of urban warfare.........in the event of civil unrest.  Unsettling thought, isn't it?  Doesn't COOPER ever smile?

We now go in, on and around the massive bunker system that was Koralle - the headquarters of the Kriegsmarine.  We note that these bunkers are all demolished, but by whom?  It definitely was not by Allied bombing and it was not by German forces at the time of the surrender.
     There was an agreement of sorts between the victorious Allied powers that they could use the standing buildings, bunkers etc. of the Reich but when they were no longer needed, the occupying force would destroy them and so, with the evaporation of the Soviet Union and all her puppet nations and the withdrawal of the troops, all the above ground bunker systems used by Soviet forces were blown up with one exception.  They were unaware of the Army bunker complex in what is now Poland, not far from the Wolfsschanze and so it stands today, undisturbed.  Koralle, on the other hand, is blown up.  Come with us now as we go through this very important place of history.

 

The roof is slanted because the force of

 

the explosion blew the walls out

     
 

High up on the top of the bunker, looking

 

down some forty or fifty feet below

     
 

Nature is quickly reclaiming this part of the history of the Third Reich as

 

this is what government wants - erase all the history of the Reich

     
 

Above and below - some of our group is in the lower portions of the

 

bunker system - in the hallways and office rooms as well

 
     
 
     
 

 

This was a massive above ground bunker system for the headquarters of the Kriegsmarine but the best is yet to come; the personal underground bunker for Großadmiral Karl Dönitz.

We walk through this gate and along a path to a hidden bunker entrance, off limits to all............well, not off limits to Sharkhunters.  Come on - walk with us in history!

 


Air Raid Bunker of Großadmiral Karl Dönitz - What have we here?  Up this weed-covered path and stairs, under a metal sheet we find a hatch with a ladder leading down.

We have arrived!  This is not the main entrance to the underground bunker but rather this is the escape hatch for that bunker.  The main entrance is closed and blocked, and is not useable.  Join us as we venture deep into the earth in the security bunker of Großadmiral Karl Dönitz.

Our guide asked if anyone wanted to go down into the bunker and three almost ran him over getting to the hatch.  They were:
    *  HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983)
    *  Dr. CHARLES ELLIS (7324-LIFE-2008)
    *  Bernie Burdt

COOPER strapped on his miner's light and was the first guy down the hatch.

 

Hard to spot the hatch from here   It's a long way down - about two stories
     
 

COOPER going down into the first level......

 

.............finally at the bottom of the ladder

     
 

CHARLIE ELLIS heading

 

into the depths

     
 
Next is Bernie into the hatch   Don't forget the flashlight, Bernie
     

"Will we ever see these three guys again?" wonder the guys at the top.  There are several levels of this bunker system to explore, so let's get started.  Our guide is also down here with us.

 
     
 

On one of the levels,

 

long hallways stretch into the darkness

     
 

In the lowest level there is a sump pump to keep the water out

 

and a furnace for climate control - this thing needs work!

     
 
Will this old diesel ever run again?   Will the generator ever produce electricity again?
     
 
Fresh water tank?   Water filtration?
     
 
Shower room?   Keep in mind, we are several stories underground here
     
 
This place needs a good clean-up    
     
 
     
 

More stairs down to another level...

 

...more and more and more stairs

     
 
And where does this spiral staircase lead?   We simply are not going to tell you.


All hands made it safely back into the light of day, and now we go to the home of Großadmiral Karl Dönitz.

 
"Time spent in Recon is never wasted"  Some of our group
goes over a map with one of our special guides
  Through the trees we see the house;
and another one of those annoying signs
     
 
     
 

We are here, but we cannot believe what we are seeing!  When we were here just a few years ago, this house was in excellent condition - in fact, a real estate agent was showing it to prospective buyers when we were here last.  Now it is a vandalized shell of what it once was.

     

Vandalized, yes.  Being destroyed, to be sure.  But we notice something very different here at the home of Großadmiral Karl Dönitz.  In all the other places we have visited - buildings, bunkers, tunnels etc. we have always found many broken beer bottles, sandwich wrappers, empty snack containers, pillows, mattresses etc and the remains of a place on the floor where a campfire had been, all indicating that young people had used the place for late night parties out of the eyes of their parents and in some cases where young couples had used the place for.......well, you get the idea.

We found none of that here.  There were no beer bottles, snack wrappers, pillows and no indication that any campfires had been here.  In short, there was no evidence that the house had been vandalized by drunken kids having parties.

One of our German guides said he thought that this vandalization was caused by or at least allowed by the government.  Anything to do with the Third Reich is being quickly destroyed either by people or nature.

 
   

What will remain for you to visit in a few years?  At the rate of decline we have personally witnessed over the past decade of coming to Germany, it will not take long indeed, before most is gone.

 

This has been a long day and we have seen much.  It is time to return to base, to have a nice dinner then much deserved sleep.

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