The Ukraine war has brought back the fear of a third world war. But Germany is ill-equipped. The number of bunkers is frighteningly scarce.
Berlin – The war in Ukraine has brought a terrible certainty back to Europe: peace does not necessarily have to be permanent. With Russia's war of aggression, the fear of air strikes or nuclear strikes is also palpable again - rightly so or not. But what would happen in the event of war? Can the Germans then simply seek shelter in bunkers, air-raid shelters or subway stations? According to a recent report, civil protection does not seem to be in good shape. The Greens sounded the alarm months ago.
Too few bunkers: Disaster control in Germany is poorly positioned
For example, civil protection in Germany is worse off than previously assumed. This is the result of an inventory by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which Wirtschaftswoche has now reported on. According to this, despite the outbreak of the Ukraine war, there are only just under 480,000 places in around 580 bunkers and shelters in this country. This would mean that only a fraction of Germans, specifically half a percent of the population, would find a safe haven.
Bunker and emergency stockpile: Ukraine war has brought back fear
After the end of the Cold War, the shelters in Germany were gradually dismantled. Earlier war scenarios seemed outdated. Bunkers, emergency supplies and tanks – these were things from the 1980s. But the Ukraine war has changed that and suddenly the question arose: How many shelters are still there, which is why the Federal Ministry of the Interior commissioned a review a few months ago. The investigation has now been completed at the end of the mail.
Hardly any protection: In Germany, the number of bunkers is lower than expected. © Fabian Strauch/dpa
At the height of the Cold War, there were around 2000,2 shelters in the Federal Republic of Germany with an estimated 3.580 million places. But now there are only <> plants left. According to the newspaper report, most of the buildings are privately owned and owned by states and municipalities.
Will there be another change in the number of bunkers in Germany? The Federal Ministry of the Interior wants to seek dialogue with the states, at least for now. Statements on concrete plans and costs are only possible afterwards, it said.
Civil defence: Greens want to convert underground car parks into bunkers
But parts of the federal government are aware of the pressure to act. Months ago, the Greens presented a concept for the reform of civil protection. The 15-point paper also included calls for an increase in shelters. For example, the experts of the eco-party proposed to make subway stations and underground car parks fit for emergencies. The war of aggression had "made it terribly clear that the previous peace order in Europe no longer applies," party leader Omid Nouripour told the Tagesspiegel at the time. Therefore, the protection of the population must now be placed at the center. (jkf)