Bunker WH-767 “Erlkönig”

Westwallmuseum Beckingen


Useful Information

Location: Pfaffenkopfweg, Beckingen.
At the end of Pfaffenkopfweg.
(49.384180, 6.703600)
Open: Bunker festival on the first weekend in September all day.
[2022]
Fee: free, donations welcome.
[2022]
Classification: TopicWestwall
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours:  
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address:  
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.

History

OCT-1938 begin of construction.
1939 bunker completed.

Description

Bunker WH-767 “Erlkönig” (Alder King) is a part of the Westwall (Siegfried Line). The bunkers were built according to standardized plans, in this case Regelbau 114a, with the highest construction level "A". The construction level A to D denoted the wall thickness, A corresponds to 3.5 m, D corresponds to 30 cm. The bunker is a Hochbunker ("high-rise" bunker or blockhouse) with a six-embrasure tower of the type 20P7, which protrudes about 1.30 m above the bunker ceiling. The steel dome was cast by the Krupp company and has a wall thickness of 255 mm, a weight of 51 tons, and a total height of 2.34 m. The dome is made of steel. The bunker covers an area of 300 m², a volume of 2000 m³ is protected by 3.5 m thick walls. It has six rooms, gas lock, ready room, rations room, ammunition chamber, entrance defence and battle tower. The bunker was part of the Aachen-Saar-Programm, built from October 1938. The second line of defence between Saarbrücken and Beckingen was named Hilgenbach-Stellung.

The nickname of the bunker is Erlkönig (Alder King), which is of course based on the famous poem. It is about a father who rides to the doctor with his sick son, but death is quicker and his son dies. Such pompous names were quite popular among Nazis, nevertheless the bunker was never nicknamed Erlkönig. A local, Willi Ehrl, discovered the abandoned bunker and invested a lot of work and time to open it to the public. Later, the Kultur- und Heimatverein Beckingen e.V. took over the bunker, maintains it and makes it accessible to the public. In honour of Willi Ehrl, they named the bunker Ehrlkönig, a joke that probably took on a bit of a life of its own.

Unfortunately, the association no longer seems to be very active, although it is still listed in the municipality's register of non-profit associations. The homepage and domain are deactivated, the Facebook page has been unchanged for years, and the last posts deal exclusively with a carnival event. Nevertheless, the Bunkerfest seems to take place once a year on the first weekend in September. The bunker can otherwise only be visited by prior arrangement. However, this may also be an effect of the Corona pandemic.