The Cold War Museum — Berlin

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In a reunited Germany, in a Europe without the "Iron Curtain" it would be easy to forget the terrors of the Cold War.

On the 1st of May 1960, an American U2 reconnaissance (spy) plane was shot down over the USSR. The "U-2 Incident" moved the world. The Soviet President, Nikita Khrushchev, seized the opportunity to thwart the Paris Summit thus extinguishing the discussion of the "Germany Question" (May 16, 1960.) Further, the planned Moscow visit of US-President Eisenhower was canceled. The young pilot, Francis Gary Powers, found himself at the center of the Cold War crisis. Having survived unharmed from the parachute landing, Powers was arrested tried and sentenced to ten years custody by the Soviets. On the frosty winter morning of February 10, 1962, Powers was exchanged, unexpectedly, for the high-carat agent Rudolph Iwanowitsch Abel on the Glienicker Bridge (Bruecke der Einheit).

In 1996 the son of the pilot, Francis Gary Powers, Jr. and John C. Welsh founded The Cold War Museum. The Museum endeavors to collect, preserve and research the history of the Cold War. For further information, visit the home page

For the past five years, I have been the Cold War Museum's official German Representative. In September 2005, the founder of the Museum, Francis Gary Powers, Jr, visited the Harnekop Atomic Bunker Monument. It was there that the initial discussions were made for the collaboration of the two organizations, The Cold War Museum and the Harnekop Atomic Bunker Monument. On the 6th of February 2006 a decision was made by Mr. Mehland, the chairman of the non-profit association for Harnekop Atomic Bunker Monument, and I, as Representative of The Cold War Museum's Berlin Chapter, for the construction of a permanent Cold War Museum exhibition in the rooms of the bunker. Together we want to examine the Cold War process in Germany on both sides of the "Iron Curtain". The Cold War Museum - Berlin together with the Harnekop Atomic Bunker Monument will offer students and interested visitors tours, seminars and various exhibitions. The symbolic foundation stone for the Cold War Information Center was placed on November 4, 2006.

Three permanent exhibitions located there:

  • 2007: The U-2 Incident
  • 2008: The Berlin Airlift
  • 2010: The Berlin Wall

The former Atomic shelter of the department of national defense of the GDR is a 3-story building built between 1971 and 1976 for the command of the NVA. In case of war, it was planned to become the main Coordination Center between NVA and the united supreme command of the Warsaw Treaty states. Today is the bunker a Memorial Site to inform and teach the interested visitor and young generations about a time when the world was divided in two parts.

Supporter: Association Memorial Site Bunker Harnekop e.V.

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The Cold War Museum

P.O. Box 861526

(7142 Lineweaver Road)

Vint Hill, VA 20187

(540) 341-2008