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What Happened in the Friedrichshain Flak Bunker in May 1945?

Regine Dehnel

The paper outlines the history of the anti-aircraft bunker located in the Friedrichshain park near the historic center of Berlin in the months and years following the end of World War II. This bunker was one of the central locations in which the Berlin State Museums and other institutions held their art treasures safe from the Allied air strikes from 1941 onward. The history of the bunker includes two fires, the destruction of hundreds of famous paintings from the Berlin Gemäldegalerie, investigations and excavations after these fires by the Soviet occupation authorities, and the transfer of hundreds of other works of art to the Soviet Union. Some of these art treasures were returned from the Soviet Union to the GDR in the late 1950s, while others are dislocated until now.