The STASI bunker for the Suhl district is now within the hotel grounds of the Suhl Waldhotel Rennsteighöhe, and public guided tours can be arranged.  The bunker (built 1973 - 76) has the external appearance of and was perhaps disguised as, an ordinary covered water reservoir.  The interior is equipped or re-equipped.  Usually only maintenance staff were present but it would only have been fully staffed in times of crisis.  Usual NBC and decontamination arrangements are found at the entrance. Airlock, and numerous compressed air cylinders to maintain internal overpressure, Steel canister toilets (entirely internal) would have been used in times of crisis with waste and corpses stored until external disposal was possible.  This was previously a 'genuine' STASI holiday home! The holiday home image was maintained, within an established game park, and personnel wore hunting gear as 'cover' Curious glass manometers were noted
on walls   The site area c. 40,000 m2 The equipment is not now run, but is still operable.  There was a large room for conferences and training, with maps on walls. Suhl is close to the old internal German border.

Suhl, The bunker is under this building

Main Entrance door

Decontamination Shower in entrance corridor

Internal exit-entrance to building above

Control Area

Dining Room

Dormitary -sleeping area


Control area - Bunker indicator panel

Telecoms area

Main corridor with telecom switch board

Telecom switch board

Main spine corridor

Emeregency exit - fuel inlet pipe in background

Breifing room

Canisters of chemicals for the 'yellow submarine' air conditioner units were noted (one taken with permission for chemical analysis) The wording on chemical canisters is (berech ot goryuchikh i vodi - protect from fuel and water.)

There is an external sewage plant, which would not have been used in war. Full staff would have been c. 130.  Fresh air was drawn in via an emergency exit with the top was designed to look like a streetlight!  Flexible silver-coloured tubes were to be used to connect compressed air cylinders to the internal ventilation systems if needed.  Air pressure balancing (cf. manometers) was necessary for the operation of air locks and maintaining internal overpressure.  Electricity was normally drawn from the DDR National Grid but there were no meters!

A 'bicycle' was again to be used only to assist air circulation not to generate electricity.  The bunker was upgraded in 1987.  Dormitory and kitchen areas were never used with maintenance staff eating and sleeping in the surface buildings.  The bunker was always kept ready for immediate operational use. There were two internal emergency power supplies (Diesel generators), exhausts from which were to be used to warm air intakes.  We were shown a waste storage and mortuary room. Wood shavings would have been used in the internal toilet canisters Food stocks kept underground were rotated so fresh (canned) supplies were always available in the bunker.

A separate area (outside the controlled area) was reserved for technical staff and could be sealed off with separate accommodation for 43 technical staff with kitchen, toilets and emergency escape (to what!?) As at Machern, access was through two large sliding hatches inside one of the surface buildings.

The current hotel owners took over an existing lease and would like to purchase the entire site.

Waldhotel "Rennsteighöhe"
Am Rothenberg 1
D - 99711 Frauenwald / Rennsteig

Tel: +49 (0)36782 62200
Fax: +49 (0)36782 62201