Untertageverlagerung Dachs 1

Useful Information

Location: Ehem. Untertageverlagerung Dachs 1, Hausberger Straße, An der Pforte, 32457 Porta Westfalica, NRW.
A2 exit 33 Porta Westfalica, B482 north 5 km.
(52.2448515, 8.9221243)
Open: APR to OCT see website.
Fee: Adults EUR 20.
Classification: SubterraneaWorld War II Bunker SubterraneaFactory
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=90 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Rainer Fröbe (1986): "Vernichtung durch Arbeit"? - KZ-Häftlinge in den Rüstungsbetrieben an der Porta Westfalica in den letzten Monaten des Zweiten Weltkriegs
In: Joachim Meynert, Arno Klönne (Hrsg.) (1986): Verdrängte Geschichte - Verfolgung und Vernichtung in Ostwestfalen 1933-1945 AJZ-Verlag Bielefeld 1986, S. 221–297.
Address: KZ-Gedenk- und Dokumentationsstätte Porta Westfalica, Kempstraße 1, 32457 Porta Westfalica. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1944 beginning of Geilenberg-Programm with the construction of Dachs 1.
2015 beginning of guided tours.


Untertageverlagerung Dachs 1 (Underground Relocation Dachs 1) is an unfinished attempt to relocate war-important production underground in the final years of the Second World War. The tunnels in the Wiehen and Weser mountains near Porta Westfalica were also used for this purpose. The abandoned sandstone gallery in Jakobsberg in Hausberge was converted into the Dachs 1 underground relocation centre, as the Nazis called it. The facility was intended to house a lubricating oil refinery and was therefore part of the Geilenberg-Programm or Mineralölsicherungsplan (mineral oil security plan). A total of nine refining plants were planned for Project Dachs I to IX. The aim of the project was to build a complete refinery for Deurag-Nerag, a Hanoverian company, underground. The plant is also incorrectly referred to locally as a "Hydrierwerk" (hydrogenation plant).

The plant was to be housed in an existing tunnel system in the Jakobsberg in the Weser Mountains. From mid-1945, 4000 tonnes of lubricating oil were to be produced per month on a production area of 15,000 m². However, the project was not completed due to the end of the Second World War in May 1945.

As with all of these projects, forced labourers were used to a considerable extent. These were concentration camp prisoners from the Neuengamme concentration camp who were housed in three satellite camps at Barkhausen, Lerbeck and Hausberge near Porta Westfalica. Not only were they forced to work, they were also exposed to hunger, illness and violence. This is the reason why the guided tours are organized by the KZ-Gedenk- und Dokumentationsstätte Porta Westfalica (Porta Westfalica Concentration Camp Memorial and Documentation Centre). Obviously in keeping with historical tradition, they demand a compulsory donation for this, the Nazi terminology and cynical euphemisms have probably rubbed off a little. Regardless of this, the tour is extremely competent and informative, and worth every cent.

The entrance to the tunnel is located between the Weser river and the Weser Mountains, on the east side of the Weser on the B482. Here in the narrow Porta Westfalica, space is limited and there is no car park. It is recommended to park at the Porta railway station, from there it is a 300 m walk. Please allow enough time to arrive 20 minutes before the start of the tour. Visitors are (unnecessarily) given helmets, which is probably to add to the local colour, or it is necessary for insurance reasons. The tunnels do not have any guide paths, but they are even except for a little bit of a fall, which is in the nature of things. The guided part is electrically lit.

We weren't actually sure whether we should include this object. Unfortunately, realistically speaking, it is not accessible to tourists. There are only a very small number of tour dates each year, you have to book online many months in advance, and it is not certain whether you will actually get a place. The dates are only finalized in April each year, by which time the reservations are already full. The waiting list is currently 2 years long! In other words, you sign up without knowing when the tour will take place, you don't even know the year! Why this is done is beyond our knowledge. In any case, these complicated regulation makes a visit practically impossible for a normal tourist, which is a great pity.