Hilfskrankenhaus Gunzenhausen


Useful Information

Location: Bismarckstraße 24, Gunzenhausen. Meeting point: entrance area of schools (Berufsschule / Wirtschaftsschule)
Open: two times per month.
[2020]
Fee: Adults EUR 12, Children (0-14) EUR 5.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaSecret Bunker
Light: electric
Dimension: T=8-10°C
Guided tours: D=1.5h
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no, staircase
Bibliography:
Address: Bunkerkrankenhaus Gunzenhausen, Bismarckstraße 24, 91710 Gunzenhausen.
Tourist Information Stadt Gunzenhausen, Rathausstraße 12, 91705 Gunzenhausen, Tel: +49-9831-508-300. E-mail:
vhs Gunzenhausen, Dr.-Martin-Luther-Platz 4, 91710 Gunzenhausen, Tel: +49-9831-88156-0. 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.

History

1963-1965 erected.
1977 Exercise in the bunker.
29-NOV-1986 Commissioning as part of an exercise.
07-NOV-1989 to 12-NOV-1989 used for short time to accommodate GDR immigrants.
JUN-1990 used for short time to accommodate immigrants from Romania.
1996 released from the civil protection bond, two of the facilities dismantled, one owned by the city.
NOV-2009 first public tour.

Description

The Hilfskrankenhaus Gunzenhausen (auxiliary hospital Gunzenhausen) is the last surviving of three such hospitals in Gunzenhausen. It was deliberately built in this small town because it was far enough from all major cities, militarily relevant industry and military bases. In addition to this fully protected bunker, there were two partially protected facilities. Each facility was assigned to a clinic, which should take over with their staff in case of an emergency, here the clinics Nuremberg, Fürth and Ansbach. In the event of a civil disaster and possibly also by military measures, 1,400 patients could be cared for. This was the first of 44 auxiliary hospitals in Bavaria and served as a model for the others. It is also the last of around 220 in West Germany, which is still almost fully equipped. In 2000, all HKH in Germany were abolished.

The plant is located five meters underground and is protected by a 60cm thick layer of reinforced concrete. There is also a lead protection against radiation. The plant is therefore fully protected against the effects of atomic, biological and chemical attacks. 4,000 m² of underground passages and chambers are equipped with intensive care and sick beds, anesthesia equipment, bone saws and field cookers. Only the X-ray machines were delivered to Costa Rica and Cuba. The construction cost DM 3.9 million, the annual maintenance DM 20,000. However, the bunker was not fully equipped. There was no waste disposal or canteen, and it is also questionable whether 15 toilets are sufficient for 600 residents. Probably to combat the potential boredom among the residents, but as those are overworked medical staff and seriously ill, this is not a good strategy. As always with such facilities, we can be glad that they were never needed. And the end would have been delayed only for 14 days, then most of the resources would have ended, for example water or diesel for the emergency generators.

The Hilfskrankenhaus was equipped with an operating and intensive care unit. 18 doctors, 8 laboratory and X-ray staff as well as 30 nurses were planned in a ratio of 24:6. If the assigned hospitals could not fully provide the necessary personnel, additional personnel should be compulsorily required through the Civil Protection Act. The hospital should be operational within 12 to 24 hours, after which the other two, partially protected facilities would have been added within a maximum of 2 days.

After the end of the Cold War, the facility was used for a short time to take in refugees. It was disenfranchised and released from the civil protection bond, the two partially protected facilities were dissolved, the last one became urban property. After that it was forgotten and it was only in 2009 that the public was informed though an exhibition in the Schwandbunker in Fürth. After newspaper and television reports, the public interest grew and guided tours organized by the Gunzenhausen vhs (Adult Education Center) are still offered to this day. The dates are published on the vhs website and can also be reserved there.