In May of 1945 a group of German soldiers were manning four bunkers off the coast of Denmark, one of some 8,00o Nazi fortifications along the long coast of this tiny country. Hearing of the Nazi surrender, the soldiers left their post to walk to the nearest town 16 kilometres away, locking the doors behind them.
The bunkers were covered by sand and forgotten, only to be exposed by ferocious waves during a sea storm 67 years later. Archeologists have recently opened those doors–and found things just as they had been left at the end of the Second World War.
Not only was the bunker fully furnished, but the communications system was intact, and personal effects of the soldiers, clothing, food containers. , books, bottles–right down to stamps, pipes filled with tobacco and half-drunk bottles of spirits–were perfectly preserved.
It’s rare bounty for archeologists and historians, for most of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall have long since been ransacked. But buried in sand, these went unnoticed, their contents preserved in the cold and dark.
The contents are now at the Oelgod Museum’s conservation centre, and the find has sparked a bit of a tourist boom on the long Krylen beach, which is home to many such bunkers.