Berlin, Germany


The Vorbunker (upper bunker or forward bunker) was an underground concrete structure originally intended to be a temporary air-raid shelter for Adolf Hitler and his guards and servants. It was located behind the large reception hall that was added onto the old Reich Chancellery, in Berlin, Germany, in 1936. The bunker was officially called the "Reich Chancellery Air-Raid Shelter" until 1943, when the complex was expanded with the addition of the Führerbunker, located one level below. On 16 January 1945, Hitler moved into the Führerbunker. He was joined by his senior staff, including Martin Bormann. Later, Eva Braun and Joseph Goebbels moved into the Führerbunker while Magda Goebbels and their six children took residence in the upper Vorbunker. The Goebbels family lived in the Vorbunker until their deaths on 1 May 1945.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler decided to expand the Reich Chancellery (Reichskanzlei), which he considered too small for his needs. On 21 July 1935, Leonhard Gall submitted plans for a large reception hall (that could also be used as a ballroom) to be built onto the old Chancellery. The drawings were unique because of the large cellar that led a further one-and-a-half meters down to a bunker, which later became known as the Vorbunker.

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