Wartime hideouts

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H. Manto str. 25, Klaipėda
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Look around! During the Second World War, temporary hideouts, in case the city was bombed, were established at Bangų, Alyvų, J. Janonio, Gėlių, Daržų, Bijūnų, Plytų and Vytauto streets, near the Joniškės cemetery, next to the train station and at many other locations around the city. Compared to the Soviet hideouts so widespread in Lithuania, the city can be characterised by its German heritage.

Tunnel-type hideouts were the most popular in Klaipėda, something that may help explain the legend about a tunnel network established under the city that supposedly leads from the castle to the location of today’s Lithuanian Sea Museum. Although there are currently no hideouts that people can visit officially, a few of them are open and it’s possible to explore them independently.

When it comes to these hideouts, interest has been gathering since about 2005 when during the reconstruction of the Simonaitytė Library on Herkus Mantas Street, a tunnel was discovered in the yard. Initially, everyone thought that it was supposed to be a vegetable cellar, but a team of specialists soon determined that it was a hideout during the war. There are about 20 in total in the city. It’s difficult to count exactly how many of them there actually were, as on some are now covered by new buildings that were constructed after the war. Some were actually established for domestic purposes, which is supposedly why no items relating to survival were detected in them, although it’s likely that there were gas masks, first-aid equipment and tools for escaping after a bomb attack.

According to specialists, the dimensions of all German hideouts are standard, making them easy to distinguish from those built by the Soviets. The width of a German hideout reaches about 1.6 metres and the height about 1.9 metres. The hideouts had vacuum doors, reliable valves, one or two entrances and one or two exits. The inside was dry because of drainage. The hideouts had electricity and ventilation. It’s believed that the hideouts were established more quickly at the end of the Second World War after the movement of the front.

One of the larger hideouts was on Bangų Street, and its remaining part is about 15 metres. Another part of the building was demolished when a neighbouring brewery expanded. The Germans even established a hiding place on Jonas Hill. Its length is 100 metres and it’s probably the largest Second World War hideout in Klaipėda. However, the wall of the postern had to be torn down when it was established.

Wartime hideouts

H. Manto str. 25, Klaipėda

Look around! During the Second World War, temporary hideouts, in case the city was bombed, were established at Bangų, Alyvų, J. Janonio, Gėlių, Daržų, Bijūnų, Plytų and Vytauto streets, near the Joniškės cemetery, next to the train station and at many other locations around the city. Compared to the Soviet hideouts so widespread in Lithuania, the city can be characterised by its German heritage.

Tunnel-type hideouts were the most popular in Klaipėda, something that may help explain the legend about a tunnel network established under the city that supposedly leads from the castle to the location of today’s Lithuanian Sea Museum. Although there are currently no hideouts that people can visit officially, a few of them are open and it’s possible to explore them independently.

When it comes to these hideouts, interest has been gathering since about 2005 when during the reconstruction of the Simonaitytė Library on Herkus Mantas Street, a tunnel was discovered in the yard. Initially, everyone thought that it was supposed to be a vegetable cellar, but a team of specialists soon determined that it was a hideout during the war. There are about 20 in total in the city. It’s difficult to count exactly how many of them there actually were, as on some are now covered by new buildings that were constructed after the war. Some were actually established for domestic purposes, which is supposedly why no items relating to survival were detected in them, although it’s likely that there were gas masks, first-aid equipment and tools for escaping after a bomb attack.

According to specialists, the dimensions of all German hideouts are standard, making them easy to distinguish from those built by the Soviets. The width of a German hideout reaches about 1.6 metres and the height about 1.9 metres. The hideouts had vacuum doors, reliable valves, one or two entrances and one or two exits. The inside was dry because of drainage. The hideouts had electricity and ventilation. It’s believed that the hideouts were established more quickly at the end of the Second World War after the movement of the front.

One of the larger hideouts was on Bangų Street, and its remaining part is about 15 metres. Another part of the building was demolished when a neighbouring brewery expanded. The Germans even established a hiding place on Jonas Hill. Its length is 100 metres and it’s probably the largest Second World War hideout in Klaipėda. However, the wall of the postern had to be torn down when it was established.

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