Although the last years of global war ended over 70 years ago, the remnants of this time are still visible in a few places. Arguably the epicentre of the final years of the World War II conflict took place in Berlin, Germany’s capital, a city that housed most of the hierarchy of the fascist government of the time. What has been left from this dark period of European history is the artefacts that were unremovable through financial, social or structural constraints.
Within Friedrichshain, a section of a Berlin that is largely taken up by mostly by a large green space lies two seemingly natural hills. These hills are in actual fact one of the reminders of the drastic change the city went through during the build-up to and years of World War II, which have come to be known as the ‘Bunkerbergs’ (bunker mountains). These are constructed of sand, rubble and debris that conceal two military installations used during the air raids of Berlin.
The park itself is a spritely area for families, couples and dogs enjoying time together alongside the many play areas, fountains and communal areas. Despite this contradictory use to its previous extreme reformation, it seems to fit in well with the local community, those enjoying the area unaware or completely accepting of the previous aggression intended within the area.
One of the two hills within the park has been completely overtaken by greenery, all that can be seen of the previous bunker being its shape and the odd piece of concrete jutting out of the ground. The other, larger, mountain features a winding path all the way to the top of the hill, with a constructed perimeter that previously must have had stunning views over the city.
Since the early 1960s, when these areas began to be changed and molded into something more suitable to a city no longer at the centre of war efforts, the hills have begun to be forgotten. Trees have grown out over the previous viewpoints and footpaths have fallen down hill sides. Atop the bunker, however, the area has been kept clean and free of nature’s invasion.
It seems that the history of these areas has been somewhat forgotten, with only two noticeboards being seen anywhere near the areas, most of the information found around these hills is online in war relic databases. Despite the lack of knowledge and information around these areas, they have nonetheless kept their place in the city more than the many other parts that were once involved in world domination.