Stasi emergency command centre

This alternative command post in Machern was built between 1968 and 1972 and was designed for approximately 100 full-time employees of Leipzig Stasi headquarters. In the event of a war they would have moved their activities here from the “Runde Ecke”. For this purpose, all communication connections to the Leipzig headquarters also went here in parallel. But in the case of a nuclear strike the bunker would have provided secure protection against nuclear radiation for only about 12 hours. The entire premises of the emergency command centre was camouflaged outwardly as a holiday complex belonging to a Leipzig water supply and sewage treatment company. The two steel blast doors either end of the entrance tunnel, each leading in to one half of the bunker. Excluding the generator rooms and the water plant, the two halves of the bunker are a mirror image of each other in layout.

The bunker was discovered between 1989/90, largely unknown to the public. The Citizens Committee of Leipzig succeeded in being awarded a 99 years lease over a substantial portion of the 5.2 hectares (12.844 acres) site from the county Wurzen, to preserve this testimony to the past from destruction by conversion. Citizens Committee is a registered association which originated during the Peaceful Revolution and is today the custodian of the “Runde Ecke” Memorial Museum and Stasi Bunker Museum – a unique combination of authentic memorial sites. The primary mission of the Citizens Committee is to keep alive the memory of the socialist dictatorship in its museums and by its political education work. It wants to demonstrate the value of freedom and self-determination as well as the dangers of totalitarian ideologies.

Photographer et al. 2009