Czechs ‘fired up’ over WW II-era bunkers
For years now, the Czech Army has been selling off, or in some cases donating, concrete military bunkers built in the 1930s. Originally, they were to have served as key fortifications against Nazi Germany but were never put to use. There are some 5,000 such pillboxes in the Czech Republic, one-fifth of which are now in private hands. More than 360 bunkers were sold in the last year-and-a-half alone.
“She said, I don’t have money for diapers but you need a machine gun?!”
The new owner is determined to restore the bunker to its former glory: to that end, he repainted it in camouflage colours, bought a decommissioned machine gun, and obtained an historic periscope to be able to scope the surrounding countryside. He even replaced the original armoured door. Jan Málek again:
“For this I had to go for the door all the way to Ostrava. So it can be quite time-consuming.”
“Generally-speaking, bunkers sell from between 2,000 – 40,000 crowns. Prices vary depending on where they are located and what kind of shape they’re in.”
Bunkers in good condition could still arguably serve in their original function even now; historian Václav Houfek:
“According to the technical parameters they were built to directly withstand 150 or 155 mm shells, so they should be able to survive a blast from a tank even today.”