Towards the end of World War II, Adolf Hitler sought refuge in his bunker in Berlin known as the Führerbunker. For four months he lived in the bunker with his lover Eva Braun as well as some of his closest officers. It is also where Hitler, Eva, and others took their own lives once the Russians had overrun Berlin. Two weeks after the Soviets discovered the bunker, photographer William Vandivert became the first Westerner to step foot inside the shelter. See the photographs he took and the state of Hitler’s final residence and place of death days after the conclusion of World War II.
The layout of the bunker is more complex than you may think.
Photo Credit: ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images
The Führerbunker or “shelter for the leader” was an air-raid shelter located near the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. It was built as part of a vast underground bunker complex. The subterranean complex was constructed in two phases between 1936 and 1944. It was the last of the Führer Headquarters that was used by Adolf Hitler during World War II.
On January 16, 1945, Hitler moved into the Führerbunker where it became the central hub of the Nazi regime until the last week of World War II. It was also in the Führerbunker that Hitler married Eva Braun in April 1945, just 40 hours before they took their own lives.