|Location:||Near Oberried, in the Schauinsland mountain. 20km southeast Freiburg/Breisgau.|
|Open:||In some years during the Alemannische Woche, a local festival|
|Address:||Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe (BBK), Deutschherrenstraße 93-95, 53177 Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Tel: +49-228-5554-0 oder +49-1888-550-0, Fax: +49-228-5554-580 oder +49-1888-550-580.|
|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.
|14-MAY-1954||Germany signed the Hague Convention.|
|1961||start of microfilm backups of archive documents as one step to fulfill the Hague Convention.|
|14-MAY-1967||Germany ratified the Hague Convention by law.|
|22-APR-1978||inscribed into the international register of objects with special protection at the UNESCO in Paris.|
|2000||opened to the public for one day during the Alemannische Woche.|
|03-OCT-2002||opened to the public for one day during the Alemannische Woche.|
|2003||extension of the bunker to allow storage in two levels.|
|01-MAY-2004||Zentralstelle für Zivilschutz (ZfZ) at the Bundesverwaltungsamt (BVA) is relinquished, Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe (BBK) errichtet. BBK is new bunker administration.|
Inside the 1.284m high Schauinsland in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) exists a secret bunker which is able to endure World War III and is protected by the Hague Convention. This special status is granted to protect cultural heritage during wars, and was granted only to two sites in Europe: the central library in Sarajevo and this bunker called Zentraler Bergungsort in the Black Forest. Zentraler Bergungsort is beaurocrats jargon and translates central safekeeping. 1954 the Hague Convention, a treaty between 90 countries, among them the Federal Republic of Germany, was ratified. The parties of the contract pledged themselves in Chapter 1, Article 3 to safeguard cultural property: "The High Contracting Parties undertake to prepare in time of peace for the safeguarding of cultural property situated within their own territory against the foreseeable effects of an armed conflict, by taking such measures as they consider appropriate."
The storage of the cultural property is a former silver mine, a tunnel leading 600m into the granite complex of the central Black Forest. The are two adits, at 340m and at 440m, which are used for storage, covered by hundreds of meters of granite an gneiss.
But not the original historic documents are stored in this bunker. They are backuped on microfilm, which is sealed in stainless steel barrels, in a special dry atmosphere. At the low temperature of the adit, sealed from light, oxygen and humidity they will not loose a single bit of information for at least 500 years. In the two adits, each 50m long, 3m high and 3,40m wide, over 1,300 barrels are stored at the moment. Each barrel contains up to 24 kilometers of microfilm!
Normally the adit is not open to the public. Quite the contrary it is highly secured to protect a content which is of no economic value. But it was opend to the public for two times until now. The Bundesamt für Zivilschutz (BZS) had a booth on the local festival Alemannische Woche 2000 and informed the public of the work. The visitors had the chance to take a shuttle bus to the bunker and visit the storage. Of course the parties were accompanied by employees of the BZS, who took care of the security of the barrels and answered the questions of the visitors.
The enormous effort, which is necessary to offer those open days, the general danger to the stored documents and the extremely small budget of the Zentralstelle für Zivilschutz (Civil Protection Headquarters, the responsible authority) make it unlikely that it will be opened on a regular schedule. So it might be closed for the next ten years.