ABOUT THE BUNKER

The Nuclear Bunker Expostition in Prague is a unique collection of Cold War items placed inside a marvelous relict of the nuclear weapons age. Here on this page You can read and learn about the exposition and its history.

THE BUNKER EXPOSITIONS


COLLECTION
The bunker exposition consist of a collection of the most common and major used gear and other equipment used from WW II to 1989. It includes gasmasks,measuring equipment,dozimeters,chemical analyzers,uniforms,army gear, photographs,books,newspapers,helmets,bags,boxes,flags,pins and authentic original equipmnet from the bunker.

STRUCTURE
The bunker expositions consist from 3 basic parts:
- equipment rooms (the main exposition rooms including photo-panels with an overview of the history)
- technical machine rooms (the original machines used for holding the bunker ready in case of isolation)
- the tunnel system (the abandoned looking rooms and connection tunnels where the people would stay)

INTRODUCTION


CIVIL PROTECTION
The civil protection is a summary of all activities and procedures including the given authorities and actions of of the participating components, organs, organisations of the state and the general population which is intended to minimize the negative impacts and other possible risks and crisis-situations onto their health and living conditions. The civil protection becomes during war times a part of the defense system of the state and secures the performance of humanitarian tasks stated by the art.61 of the Expansion Protocol to the Geneva Treaty for Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts from the 12th August 1949, revised on 8th of June 1977.

FEAR
After the WW II. the world slowly formed into 2 basic blocks which divided the former allies into enemies. After the USA invented and used the nuclear bomb at the end of the war it became inevitable that other contires will follow and a new era of warfare started. The cold war luckily never escalated into a real war but the fear from the actual war was much bigger and by itself prevented the war. On both sides preparations were done, but on the side of the east-block many more funds were spent than on the west to be prepared. Just in case...

REALITY
After the end of communism all facilities which were intended to be used for the war became useless. Most of them were stopped to be mainteananced and became the victims of time. In consideration of all historical facts which were not known before it is almost sure, that in the real case of a nuclear war, non of theese would have helped and such a conflict would cause a full inreparable destruction of the country and death to all inhabitants.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND


INCIDENTS AND REAL RISKS
The closest point to a global nuclear conflict was the Cuban Crisis. From this time on the awareness of the global destruction and the non-existence of a winner kept both sides of the Iron Curtain always restrained but also prepaired at the same time. Except this most famoust and globally followed historical event there were many other, smaller and major incidents which the general population was informed about at that time and thus were discovered only in after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

CONSTRUCTION
Nuclear bunkers have been built on both sides of the cold war time front. In both parts many of the former WW II structures and army bases have been re-used to house new generations of weapons and equipment. On the Soviet side though many more such structures were constructed as the east-block economy was fully focused onto the demands or the coutries defense and army structures, which in the end cripled its economic functions in general and became one of the main reasons why the eastern block has fallen apart.

SURVIVING A NUCLEAR CONFLICT


PREPARATIONS
The population was constantly brainwashed to hate the everything coming from the west and create the idea of beying treatened on life by the western Imperialists and the Nato. Everybody was from being a child taught in schools and at work to be constantly prepaired for evacuation and how the handle the effects of an attack life injuries and illnesses. At home an evacuation suitcase shall be ready, containing especially a radio and extra batteries which would be the main way how the government and authorities would inform the general population about further actions in case the other networks as TV, telephones and electricity would be set out of order. Until the very end of the cold-war period in 1989 no changes in these policies were introduced.

PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES
Already during the WW II. it was found out, that the behaviour of the dwellers must be controlled and that for the future prepartions to handle all possible risks must be taken very seriously. A very big impact on the psycholgy of the dwellers under the stress and fear coming from the war raging outside can be can be moderated, but not fully eliminated. Incidents as suicide,amok,panic and fights have been witnessed during WW II inside the bomb shelters. These events created a new field of medical and psychologigal reasearch in order to create proper means and methods how such insidents can be prevented or in case of their happening handled by others.

WHAT TO DO AFTER
The nuclear bunker as a structure was not intended to keep its inhabitants for years, neither decades.The basic idea was to save the people from the immediate death by explosions and bombs in order to be evacuate them from the area into the countryside.

OTHER BUNKERS IN PRAGUE


THE SUBWAY SYSTEM
The main bunker in Prague is the subway system. Most of the stations which were built in the 1970s and 1980s can be used as underground shelters.The actual subway,tunnels and stations,are only a quarter of the entire system built.

VIP SHELTERS
During the peak of the terror era in Czechoslovakia in the mid 1950s most of the main vaults were built. The presidential shelter, hidden 60 meters below the surface of the Prague Castle inside the rock, forms a typical example of wasted resources coming from the paranoia of that time. Inside the hill a mid-size complex od tunnels and rooms was built on order of the president Zápotocký ( biography, presidential bunker ). In the end of the 1950s, before even the start of operation, a smaller subway station near the seat of the government was built which was later transformed to the hide-out of the leaders of the country (governmental bunker).

BUNKERS FOR GENERAL POPULATION
The most famoust bunker is hidden under the Vitkov hill, where on top the Army Memorial is hidden and the Czech Army Museum (Vitkov hill bunker). Not far from that, withhin the Parukarka hill is an other civilian bunker Bezovka. This one is the neighbour of a still in secret kept emergency shelter of the Czech Radiocommunication Service, which has its headquarters close by as well. These are the bigger sized shelters for several hundred up to thousands of people, which are accompanied by dozens of smaller shelter usually situated in the basements of buildings.