Wartime German bunker discovered in Polish capital

AP News
Posted: Apr 14, 2011 8:12 AM
Wartime German bunker discovered in Polish capital

Workers in Warsaw laying a new tram line have uncovered a German bunker dating back to World War II, officials said Thursday.

The bunker was discovered in recent days at Plac Zbawiciela, or Savior's Square, a major traffic hub in the Polish capital where tram tracks and the street are undergoing thorough renovation.

City archaeologist Barbara Piotrowska said it was a surprise that such a massive concrete and metal structure had remained hidden from view for many decades in the city center. She said it will require specialized equipment and the shutting down of the tram power line for the bunker to be moved. It will then go to a museum.

Wojciech Krajewski, a curator at the Museum of the Polish Army, said it is one of 80 bunkers built by the occupying Nazi German forces in late 1944 as part of their defense against the advancing Soviet army. Some 30 of them are preserved in various parts of Warsaw. He said the newly discovered 10-foot (3-meter) deep bunker is valuable as it will help viewers better understand the brutal German occupation Poland was subjected to from 1939-45.

"This is an object of historical value and it would be a pity to destroy it," Krajewski said. "It is interesting, you can go inside, go down the steps. We might arrange it inside to show what it looked like during the war. Visitors like such places, they inspire the imagination."