Saturday, 27 June 2015


Today we will have a little history lesson. I do not know if all of you know that what is now the north-eastern part of Poland, before the Second World War was southern part of Prussia, part of the Third Reich. When Adolf Hitler started in 1941 Operation Barbarossa, he decided that he needed military headquarters, as close to the front as possible. Such a top secret and highly secured place was created near Kętrzyn and is known as Wolf's Lair (in German Wolfschanze).

"Wolf" was a nickname of Hitler, since his name means a noble wolf. But the name Wolfschanze and the real use of the complex was known only to a small group of people, the others thought they worked in the Askania chemical company. It was guarded with the use of military vehicles like these ones.

The most important personnel have worked and lived in bunkers built from multi layered ferro-concrete, so thick that bunkers were almost as high as surrounding trees.

Here you can see the height of the bunker in comparison with doors. To improve the security, inside there was only one storey and no windows. To hide the complex at night, only blue light was used. Now we know that such separated light has bad influence on people's sight and mind. It is believed to have had a negative influence on Hitler's mental disease.

But there were also lighter buildings for daily work.

In one of such a buildings, on 20th July 1944, Claus von Stauffenberg performed the best known Fuhrer's assassination attempt. You can watch the story in the movie Valkyrie.

Hitler (number 1 on the chart below) narrowly survived because someone unknowingly pushed the briefcase containing the bomb behind a leg of the heavy conference table. When the bomb exploded, the table deflected much of the blast away from Hitler.

When Soviet armies were approaching, Germans tried to destroy most of the bunkers, so that they cannot be used by ennemy. Even 8 tones of TNT was needed to make the bunker unusable.

Thanks to the dynamite we can now admire the inner construction details and ...

... the power of the nature, both of the flora ....

... and the fauna.

Nowadays the area can be visited and I advise you to take a tour guide. Although the place is made safe, keep in mind how many lives it cost we can live here and visit the incredible places like this.

1 comment:

  1. To jest miejsce, które chcieliśmy odwiedzić z rodzicami w zeszłe wakacje. A najbardziej to właściwie chciał tam jechać mój tata, interesuję się on historią, czołgami itp. W końcu nie zobaczyliśmy Wilczego Szańca, ale właściwie nawet czytając Twój post, nie wiem, czy warto. Może dla kogoś, kto jest zafascynowany historią?