Tours Begin of East German Leaders' Nuclear Bunker

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PRENDEN, Germany -- Nearly 19 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the huge and elaborate bunker where communist East Germany's leadership would have sought shelter from a nuclear strike has opened to the public.

The bunker — known by the military code name 17/5001 — was built between 1978 and 1983 under a pine forest some 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Berlin,

"At the time it was built, it was the most elaborate Warsaw Pact protective structure outside the Soviet Union," Hannes Hensel of the Berlin Bunker Network, a private group now in charge of the facility, said before the first public tours on Saturday...

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