Bomb Shelter Steel Covers in Vienna

In Vienna one can still find the covers to WWII civilian bomb shelters. Originally I thought these metal grates were either storm drains or vaults lights with missing glass, but I discovered that in fact they were covers for ventilation shafts and emergency exits. Across the territory of Nazi Germany basements in cities were designated as bomb shelters and sometimes ventilation shafts and emergency exits were built from them and covered by special covers.

On the outer walls of these buildings “LSR” (short for “Luftschutz Räume,” which means “air raid shelter”) was painted in white along with an arrow pointing to the entrance. Emergency exits were marked with arrows and the letters “NA” (examples of which can be found even in Lviv).

The air-raid covers that I found were made by a company called Mannesmann.

8 thoughts on “Prewar Painted Stripes in Lviv

  1. Thank you Areta for another important and timely blog post on the challenges and issues of Jewish heritage and recovery of memory. We are hopeful that soon the headstones used as basement steps in a courtyard in Lviv (Hałycka Płoszcza 15 / Galitskaya 15) will be recovered. The Lviv Volunteer Center is working behind the scenes to make this happen, with the support of the Lviv Jewish community and others.

  2. This is the part that blows my mind: “During periods of transition, the records occasionally show the use or mix of two languages—Church Slavonic and Latin, or Latin and Ukrainian…”
    SO COOL!
    Thanks, Areta!

  3. > The largest and best-preserved fragment of Lviv’s medieval defense structures is the Hlyniany Gate (1618)

    Areta, Hlyniany Gate and wall around it have been renovated.

    There used to be some residential building in its place (behind the now-demolished fire station in the foreground)
    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N3g4hWC9YuQ/TbF5heED-OI/AAAAAAAAE2o/r66p5JhJ9iMx0UWnvU7y4dyC_M14zc8XwCCoYBhgL/s0/mit-001.jpg

    Building, close-up
    https://audiovis.nac.gov.pl/i/PIC/PIC_2-8519.jpg

    The wall looked like this
    https://audiovis.nac.gov.pl/i/PIC/PIC_1-U-3615.jpg

  4. Any idea what the Yiddish is on the hat sign on the right? I can make out most of the letters, but my Yiddish isn’t good enough to fill in the blanks. I used to pass by that wall frequently on my way to a friends house, but he has moved since then. It’s still my favorite ghost sign, though 🙂

  5. Kudos to you, Aretha. I came across your blog from a repost from one of your diaspora Ukrainian language from Pre-war Galicia words versus accepted and widely used Post-war words for a long list of foods. I too grew up in the diaspora in Cleveland. I was in Lviv in November of this soon to be last year. Although Lviv is my Dad’s ancestral city, I had family from Central Ukraine and grew up hearing both dialects. I think the blog was from 2014 or 2015. I wanted to leave a comment on your new blog and commend you for the interesting sociolinguistic and cultural discussions you have initiated. Nice to see that you are now in the field doing your research first-hand.

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