One of my all time favourite Nazi archaeological discoveries was the discovery of three Nazi bunkers on a Danish coast back in 2008. Although its old news in the world of journalism i wanted to write about them. Their discovery came when i was in my second year of digging a second war bunker in Melbourne. They were remarkably preserved being found in literally the same condition as they were on the day the last Nazi soldiers had left them.
The tobacco in one soldier’s pipe and a half finished bottle of schnapps was testimony to this. Like so many amazing finds around the world they were not found by archaeologists but rather by two nine-year-old boys on vacation with their parents, who then informed the authorities.
When the archaeologists arrived they were in awe of what they found. “What’s so fantastic is that we found them completely furnished with beds, chairs, tables, communication systems and the personal effects of the soldiers who lived inside,”said Jens Andersen, the curator of the Hanstholm museum. Bent Anthonisen, a Danish expert on European bunkers said, ”The discovery of the fully-furnished bunkers was unique in Europe.” These bunkers were just three of 7,000 built by the Nazi’s as part of Hitler’s ‘Atlantic Wall’ from Norway to the south of France.
The vast majority of such bunkers have been looted and destroyed, but these three owe their survival to sand dunes that completely entombed them. This happened back in 1945 when the Germans surrendered.Giant waves caused by huge storms swept away the sand revealing them. Ive often thought that nature is such a paradox, in its path of destruction it can uncover treasure without destroying it.
The items in these bunkers like boots, mustard bottles, inkpots and stamps featuring Hitler were quite fragile so its amazing that they were so well preserved. They were of course taken to a laboratory at Oelgod museum to be examined and treated.