Dunkerque - May 21-22, 2002                                                       ---->  See also Paris


Old Bunkers in the Dunes.


“…And we saw it, this beton. We were allowed to caress it and admire it; the beton was mute”. One of my favorite passages in the Gunter Grass’s famous roman “Tin Drum” narrates about the visit of the Lilliputian theatre to the German fortification line at the Atlantic coast of France, and made there a picnic on a bunker’s roof. Their host, captain Lankes, a former painter who decorated few bunkers to bit his boredom, reasoned: “When everything will end here, and sooner or later it must end in this or that way, the bunkers will stay, while bunkers always stay, even when everything else is collapsing. …Centuries will come, and centuries will elapse, but the bunkers will stay, like the pyramids stay. And once a so-caller investigator of antiquity will come and think: “How poor with art was that time, the time between the first and seventh World War: the dull gray beton – seldom silly dilettante wiggles in the folk style above the entrances to the bunkers, - and suddenly near Dora-four, Dora-five, Dora-six and Dora-seven he will see my structure formations and say to himself: what is this here? Curious, curious. I’ll claim: magical, threatening, and at the same time a penetrating spirituality. A genius worked here, probably this was the single genius of the twentieth century who expressed himself univocally and for the times forever. And does this oeuvre have a name?


/From Gunter Grass, “Die Blechtrommel”, translation mine)

Bunker No. 1

Bunker No. 2

Bunker No. 3

Sand worms

A pair





Dune flower




Sorry for the translation, you should better find the book and read it. I have here only the translation to Russian.

The bunkers really stay, some of them half-destroyed, some sunken in sand. It looks unusual, moon like, shaking. And the dunes are wild and beautiful.

We made the distance from Dunkerque to De Panne, the nearest Belgian town, by foot. We walked twenty kilometers along the beach, and everywhere the saw bunkers, sand, old rusty barbed wires and empty shells of mollusks.

The place should be renamed from Dunkerque/ Dunkerk/ Dunkirchen (The Church in the Dunes) to Dunbunker…


But the town of Dunkerque is absolutely different. It’s cozy, full of old villas built in early XX century. Bicycles serve as flowerpots. In summer the beaches must be crowded with holiday-makers, and the bunkers surely serve as a best playground for children.




Railway station

Morning in the camping


Israel   Europe  Russia