German Air Raid Shelter
The German occupation force in the ”Kastellet” got one of the sortie gates appointed as an air raid shelter by the Danish commandant, one like the one shown here.
The one used by the Germans was the so called eastern poterne behind the Southern Magazine House, (during the War used for the military bread factory) while the one like it behind the Northern Magazine House was appointed as shelter for the Danes who still were living in the citadel until expelled by the Germans in 1942.
In the beginning of the war this was enough, since the Germans did not see the air threat as serious. The Danish commandant, who stayed in his position until the Germans attacked the remaining, small Danish army in 1943,
wrote in his report that the Germans hardly cared to go to the shelter in case of air alarm. This changed dramatically as the strength of the British air force grew, and the Germans lost air supremacy. Then orders were issued that all German soldiers should seek shelter during allied air raids. Then they found, that there was not room for all. Thus they chose to build an extra “poterne” or sortie gate through the rampart just a little (50 meter) east of the Norgesport (northern gate). It was built of wooden mine frames, 2 x 2 meter in size and went all the way through the rampart with doors in both ends and an emergency shaft all the way to the top of the rampart.
The place was chosen because during that time there was a big barracks building here, housing more than 200 German soldiers.
The shelter had a length of over 30 meter and could accommodate 26 lying men and 60 sitting, but often gave shelter to twice as many.
Only the north entrance has survived until today, as the shelter after the war was used to draw electric cables into the citadel, after which it was filled with earth. Just the northern entrance was kept, because a transformer was placed in a concrete room here. Only this shows, where the air raid shelter was situated during the war.
The entrance of the air raid shelter turned into a
concrete transformer station just east of Norgesport
And in close up beneath – this were once the north entrance.
When you walk the path on top of the rampart and get to this spot, then please remember that during the war hundred German soldiers hid underground here.