Escape to the Apocalypse
Drawing by Daniel Mróz. From the Przekrój archives, no. 1626/1976

Escape to the Apocalypse

Our Obsession with the End Times
Tomasz Stawiszyński
time 14 minutes

Why do we ignore what’s happening here and now, to seek out global catastrophes on the horizon? And why does that say more about us than about the condition of the universe?

It may be a luxuriously-outfitted shelter, used by the U.S. Army years ago, somewhere in rural Indiana. If you step on the accelerator hard enough, you can get there in about 24 hours from anywhere on the East Coast or in the Midwest. The solid Cold War-era construction, specially designed for a nuclear conflict, guarantees survival even in the most extreme conditions. In fact, from the outside, everything looks a bit crude, but the interior recalls quite a nice four-star hotel. Leather chairs, comfortable bedrooms, Ultra HD TVs on the walls, and a luxuriously equipped kitchen, in which – for now – the only workers are small, smiling dolls in cooks’ uniforms.

But it could also be a military base built in the 1940s in South Dakota. Of course, it doesn’t look so exclusive, but it’s made up of equally indestructible objects, which “can withstand virtually everything”. Here you have two options: a more expensive, private bunker, or a space in a common bunker. Meaning precisely: a bed and access to a small room with couches and a table. Whatever you choose, you receive a guarantee that maybe soon you’ll be surrounded only by like-minded people, as savvy as you are. In their company you certainly won’t be bored.

Meanwhile, if you live in Europe and don’t intend to move to the States, it can be your own individual 230-square-metre space, in one of the largest and best-protected underground military complexes in the world. It was built back in the previous era by far-sighted specialists from the Soviet Union. Day and night, they carefully dug out tunnels and chambers in the Thuringian Forest, a mountain range that stretches from Thuringia to Bavaria. Their efforts turned out to pay off exceptionally


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