Archive for October, 2012

The zombies have arrived! We have officially launched Zombie Season in the museum. Kelly Eyamie, our resident zombie expert, was feeling a bit lonely so we recruited over 40 zombie volunteers to help her out. Last weekend’s zombie training was a huge success, and everyone got to learn about zombie motion, gashes, and particularly zombie food (braaaaaiiiiiiins.) Kelly has kindly put up a Pinterest board with lots of how-to’s to transform yourself into a zombie.

Tonight was Cold War Cinema, featuring the cult classic Dawn of the Dead, and we had our first zombie sightings.

This is a very scary movie, and as soon as the scary music started (you know something bad is going to happen when the scary music starts) Diefenbunker staff started backing away.  I don’t know how we are going to survive zombie season if a movie already scares the living daylights out of us.

The next three weekends will see even more zombies at the Bunker. Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure will run every half hour starting at 2pm. You can purchase tickets at either The Haunted Walk of Ottawa or at the Diefenbunker. This is a truly scary partnership, so watch out, and above all take care not to get infected by the zombies.

Enjoy the zombie season, and we hope to see you and all your undead out at zombie headquarters!


Happy German Unity Day!

Posted: October 3, 2012 in Cold War
The German Flag

Germany’s Flag

October 3rd is a public holiday in Germany since 1990, a day of celebration of a reunified country after the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the effective end of the Cold War.

Berlin was the epicenter of the division of Germany into East and West since the end of the Second World War. The Warsaw Conference divided Germany into four zones, occupied by the Allied Powers of the United States, France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. The City of Berlin was also divided into four zones. By 1949 the relationship between the Soviet Union and the other three Allies had become less cordial, and Germany was divided into West (democratic) and East (socialist.) East Germany allied itself to other communist, Moscow-led countries through the Warsaw Pact, against the NATO-led capitalist countries of the West during the Cold War. Berlin was in the odd circumstance of being surrounded by East Germany, and thus the Western-occupied zones became an island of democracy within East Germany. Living conditions between the two sides became disparate, as West Germany experienced the “economic miracle” while the East German economy deteriorated. Many East Germans fled to the West, and by the 1960s millions had left.

During the night of August 12th, 1961, the Berlin Wall was erected, stopping the flow of Germans from East to West and separating families, friends and neighbours for 28 years. During this time only about 5,000 people managed to escape, and many others died during their attempts. The Berlin Wall symbolized the global East-West divide.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall was unexpected and rapid as well. 1988 and 1989 saw the Polish, Czech and Hungarian regimes fall. Poland led the way, with the underground Solidarity movement (led by Lech Walęsa). In East Germany, hundreds of thousands of citizens began to demonstrate and demanded freedom in what is now known as the “Peaceful Revolution”. Suddenly, on November 9th, 1989, the borders between East and West Germany were opened. People crossed on both sides, hugging, crying and kissing each other in some of the most memorable moments in recent history.

As we continue to transform the Diefenbunker into an experiential learning environment about the Cold War and Canada’s role in ensuring that the experiences of the past inform our future, let’s take a moment to commemorate the thousands of acts of civil resistance and courage in helping to bring down regimes during some of the most critical times in the world’s history.

We have entered the Aviva Community Fund and we need your support to help make our idea to support at-risk youth with conflict resolution skills.


Survivor: Cold War Conflict Resolution Workshops for At-Risk Youth

Imagine an interactive workshop designed to engage youth while learning key conflict resolutions skills. Imagine an immersive museum experience for at-risk youth in Ottawa. Imagine learning for the future, from the past.

An Immersive Interactive Experience

The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, would like to use actual scenarios, designed by Emergency Preparedness Canada during the Cold War to train Canada’s top government officials, to teach at-risk youth valuable conflict resolution skills.

The Diefenbunker is a 100,000 square foot nuclear bunker. In the event of an attack on Ottawa, the Diefenbunker was designed to house 535 of the country’s most important political and military personnel. Today it is a Cold War Museum and National Historic Site, a unique and enthralling step back in time to an era of international political tension, paranoia and national emergency preparedness.

The Diefenbunker has been a museum, a private non-profit and a registered charity since 1998. We rely on the support of our community to keep the doors open to Canada’s only Cold War museum.

At the Diefenbunker, we have a new vision brought on by the creation of our new 5-year strategic plan. By showcasing Canada’s preparedness to secure the seat of government during the Cold War, the Diefenbunker creates this country’s most unique enjoyable, learning environment for present and future generations to better understand one of the most critical times in the world’s history. Our care of the Diefenbunker will make sure the best of the past is kept to enrich our lives today and in the future.

For the first time, we are faced with a generation of students who did not live through the Cold War. As Canada’s Cold War Museum, it is our job to teach youth the lessons of the Cold War. They are lessons in civil courage, in diplomacy and in conflict resolution. These lessons, in turn, can give at-risk youth valuable life skills. They can learn for their future, from the past.

Visit our project page for complete details and to vote: