18"Felsenkeller" Air-Raid Shelter

Corner of Wallrothstraße and Beethovenring
(Am Gehege)

Hitler Youth air raid training exercise
Hitler Youth air raid training exercise on the Neumarkt (today: August-Bebel-Platz), 1942 (Stadtarchiv Nordhausen)
Brochure "1000 Worte Luftschutz"
Brochure "1000 Worte Luftschutz", undated (Kreisarchiv Landkreis Nordhausen)

As early as 29 April 1933, Hermann Göring founded the Reich Air Protection Association, which was in charge of training the German population in air protection. These measures were part of Germany's preparations for war and were intended to train the population practically and psychologically for an air war. After the failure of the German blitzkrieg strategy, huge above-ground and underground bunkers were built at great expense in most of the larger German cities to protect the population from Allied air raids.

In Nordhausen, the construction of air raid shelters began in the late summer of 1943. In October 1943, the company Gebhardt & König Deutsche Schachtbau Nordhausen began construction work on an air raid shelter in the Gehege park. This shelter was intended for the approximately 200 employees of Mittelwerk GmbH, who worked in the rooms of a nearby restaurant. The existing underground spaces of the "Felsenkeller" in the Gehege park were expanded for this purpose. This air raid shelter was completed at the end of February 1945. Other bunkers in the town centre remained unfinished.