Over the course of the German occupation, the Nazis sent thousands of forced laborers known as Todt workers to Guernsey to fortify the island. Amelia tells Juliet mostly about the concrete bunkers the Germans had built along the coastline. Amelia sees the bunkers as symbolic of the cruelty of the Germans, and of the thousands of deceased Todt workers themselves. When she looks at them, she cannot forget how many people died, cold and starving, over the course of the bunkers' construction—and while she hopes that vegetation will soon cover the bunkers, she also recognizes that reclamation by nature won't erase the bunkers from the landscape or her memory. With this, the bunkers act not just as symbols of cruelty and death, but also become symbols of the war itself. They indicate that while the war may be over, it will continue to affect and influence people for years to come.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Bunkers appears in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part One, 10th April, 1946
Part Two, 22nd May, 1946