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Bundesbank lifts the lid on nuclear cold war currency bunker

08 October 2010  |  5573 views  |  0 German flag

A secret bunker used by West Germany's Bundesbank to store a substitute, emergency currency at the height of the Cold War is opening its doors to the public.

The 9000 square metre bunker lies around 30 metre below a Bundesbank training and recreation centre in the town of Cochem on the bank of the river Mosel, according to local press reports.

Built in the early 1960s as the Cuban missile crisis played out, the bunker held 15 billion replacement Deutsche Marks, dubbed BBk-Serie II, that would be used if a crisis precipitated hyperinflation.

The money was protected by sensors measuring vibrations and police guarding the bunker, although these people did not know what they were protecting. Only three internal personnel - a supervisor, cleaning woman and technician - were aware of the treasure.

The bunker could also support 175 people for two weeks in the event of nuclear war thanks to an electricity generator, air-filtration and sewage systems and a water tank.

The money was removed and destroyed in 1988, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, for unknown reasons and the Bundesbank abandoned the centre above it in 1994.

The bunker is now opening up to the public, with a group of historians conducting two days of tours later this month.

Secret Bundesbank bunker opens to public - The Local

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