PSU Researchers Investigate Stalactites in Hitler’s Former Headquarters

Ceiling vaults in Adolf Hitler boot (Führerbunker) are under the threat of collapse. That is the conclusion drawn by PSU observation of stalactites in Führer's second headquarters in Obersalzberg, Bavarian Alps, Germany. The investigation has been made by Nikolai Maksimovich, professor at the Institute of Natural Sciences (PSU) and his colleague Natalia Beltyukova, researcher at the Geology Lab of Industrial Change (PSU). 

Till recently the stalactites in the Fuhrer's boot reach 8.2ft (2.5m) while increasing annually by 1.3in (3.5cm). In artificial structures, such infiltrating mineral formations have a higher growth rate than in natural caves. According to the research results, in Oberaltsberg boot stalactites grow faster due to the constant intensive movement of air in the mine.

"The growth of stalactites and other speleothems is the first sign that the structure is in danger. In man-made structures they are formed almost as well as in nature - only that the removal of calcium and carbonates comes from cement, which holds brickwork, and not from carbonate rocks. The result of this process is the gradual destruction of cement with all the ensuing consequences, "says Nikolay Maksimovich.

The system of underground boots in the Valley of Berchtesgaden stretches for almost 1.9 miles (3km) as a network of offices, living-rooms, barracks, warehouses, and a power plant - all around 80 rooms, including the apartments of Hitler, Bormann and Goering. To date, only 1/8 of the tunnels are imbedded in concrete. Now part of the boot is open to visitors, and next to it - the only large-scale exhibition of the National Socialism era, revealing Fuhrer’s personality cult.


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