- Simonskall, Hürtgenwald, Allemagne
- +492429 90 26 13
The medical aid bunker Nr. 374 in Simonskall was built in 1938. Here four medics could give emergency treatment to about twenty to thirty wounded or sick soldiers. After the war the bunker first served as provisional housing for returning evacuees and later as a cellar for a private home. Access is very limited.
The medical aid bunker Nr. 374 in Simonskall is situated at the beginning of the road leading uphill to the village of Vossenack. It is the only one left of its type in all of Nordrhein-Westphalia. Built in 1938 according to the standard bunker type 32 (10,20m x 14,90m), it is surrounded by 1,5m thick walls. Here four medics could deliver medical assistance to about twenty wounded or sick soldiers. Conditions were very cramped. Only two treatment rooms were available for the patients. Treatment Room 1 for ‘gas sick’ persons for example accommodated no less than 10-15 beds on just 2,70 x 5,00 metres. There are also a number of other, much smaller spaces. The inventory of the bunker is almost completely original.
During the autumn of 1944 the main front line in the Huertgen Forest ran close to Simonskall. On 4 November 1944 soldiers from the U.S. 110th Infantry Regiment succeeded in capturing both the village and the medical aid bunker.
After the war the bunker first served as a provisional home for returning evacuees and since then as the foundation and cellar for a private home. For that reason access to the bunker is very limited. Visits can best be arranged via the museum in Vossenack, which is run by the same volunteer organization that renovated the bunker. The location is also linked to the historic hiking trails ‘Historisch-literarischer Wanderweg – Hürtgenwald 1938-1947’ and the ensuing project ‘Multimedia History Guide’.
During the autumn and winter of 1944/45, the longest battle of the Second World War on German soil took place in the Huertgen Forest. With this battle, the war precipitated by the Nazi regime returned to Germany. The battle caused numerous casualties on both sides. For the American soldiers, it’s very name – with its first syllable ‘hurt’ – became a byword for injury and death.