Jan 16, 2006

Like Hitler's bunker--as envisioned by IKEA

Saddam's bunker.
Designed by its German builder to withstand an atomic strike on the scale of Hiroshima, the bunker survived the war of 2003 intact.

Yet now the taps are gone from Saddam's bath, human waste fouls his lavatory, his bed has vanished and so has the carpet from his cramped little bedroom at the gas-proof, radiation-sealed core of the underground complex -- think Hitler's bunker remodeled in the 1970s Swedish pine-laminate contemporary look.


Dozens of staff could have survived for months in the 20,000 square feet of rooms and corridors, the German engineer who oversaw construction in the early 1980s has said.

"The bunker can only be cracked by ground troops or a tactical nuclear bomb," Karl Esser told Reuters during the war.

Esser, who claimed a family connection to bunker history through a grandmother who helped build a shelter for Hitler, was as good as his word. U.S. troops finally burst into the complex in April 2003, blowing apart one of the hermetically sealed doors concealed in an outbuilding which, like the entire palace itself, was designed partly as a decoy to conceal the bunker.

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