Wildpark at Geltow is the headquarters of the Bundeswehr’s IV Corps where they operate an active underground communications centre, Fernmeldesystemzentrum, one of five such interlinked centres in modern Germany from where the Bundeswehr can maintain communications with its units on a world wide basis.
It is 6kM SW of Potsdam an was built between 1980 - 85 to replace an older bunker that had been used by Hermann Goering in WW2. The two bunkers were linked by a tunnel.
Goering’s bunker was known as Kurfürst and was built between 1936 - 40 as a command centre for the Luftwaffe. It was also linked to the Berlin cable ring, a 400 kM circuit that had been laid between 1934 - 1936 at a cost of 9 million Reich marks. Goering’s train was kept on a siding nearby. Coffins of German notables were stored here for a while during WWII hostilities. It was used by the Russians 1945 - 56 and the East German Army (NVA) from 1956 onwards as a centre for their ground forces.
It would also have served as the control centre for the capture of West Berlin where the three western allies had their troops. It was re-equipped 1962 and has been in the hands of the Bundeswehr since 1992. During the Cold War it was designed to function for 20 minutes and then close down.
The large complex could accommodate 160 men for three months with an independent oxygen supplies for two weeks.
It is now surplus to Bundeswehr requirements and was largely stripped and sealed shortly after Sub Brit’s visit as it is too expensive to maintain.
It is a cut-and-cover construction, inside a small hill, with 25m cover.
At the time of our visit, the bunker was no longer ventilated although the lighting was still working; the connection to new bunker via the emergency escape routes had already been sealed. Escape routes were tortuous, via machine rooms with restricted headroom with a narrow tunnel for staff and a wider tunnel with many steps for officers! When the Bundeswehr took over there was an orderly exchange of command, but classified material had been destroyed.
Items of note inside the bunker include free-standing yellow Russian submarine air-conditioning units …these are evidently more than simple silica gel de-humidifiers … they (also) absorbed CO2 and replenished oxygen levels. Most of the plant was still in place as was much of the communications equipment, furniture etc.
There were also NVA (Nationalvolksarmee) surveillance tapes and wooden telephone booth for the ‘hot line to Moscow.’
In the grounds outside there are a number of WW2 ‘windmill’ air raid shelter that are designed to repel blast from anything other than a direct hit. There is also a radiation and blast detector units which would automatically close the bunker external doors in the event of a nuclear explosion and buried wires to detect EMP.