WOLF’S LAIR

WolfschanzeWolf’s Lair is situated in the heart of Masurian forests, far from major roads. During the Second World War it was a headquater of Adolf Hitler. In fact, in the past, Wolf’s Lair looked like a hidden town. There were nearly 200 buildings: shelters, barracks, a railway station, two airports, a power station, air-conditioners, water supplies, heat-generating plants and two teleprinters. About two thousand people lived and worked at the Wolf’s Lair, soldiers but also hairdressers, cooks, doctors and secretaries.

Construction of Wolf’s Lair started in the autumn of 1940. Complex was built in this place because it was close to the former Soviet Union border and Hitler plan was to defeat Russians in a few months, so he wanted to be close to the warfare. Wolf’s Lair consisted of three security zones, the most important of which was Security Zone 1 in which was located the Hitler’s Bunker and concrete shelters of members of his inner circle. There were a total of ten bunkers in this area, all protected by more than 2 meters thick steel-reinforced concrete walls and camouflaged by having bushes and grass planted on the flat roofs.

Hitler came to Wolf’s Lair on 24 of June 1941 and departed for the last time on 20 November 1944. Overall, he spent there more than 800 days. Wolf’s Lair was the place, where the most important decisions of the Second World War were made. There were daily strategy meetings in the Hitler’s Bunker. On 20 July 1944 staff officer Claus von Stauffenberg carried a bomb hidden in a briefcase into the meeting room in Wolf’s Lair and placed it just a few feet away from Hitler. At 12:43 p.m. the bomb devastated the interior of the building but left Hitler only slightly injured.

The Wolf’s Lair was blown up and abandoned by Nazis on 25 January 1945, two days later the Red Army took the undefended place without a shot. It took over ten years to clear over fifty-four thousand landmines, which surrounded Wolf’s Lair. Many of the bunkers were so thick that their damaged walls and ceilings still persist. The remains of Wolf’s Lair are located in Poland near Ketrzyn (Rastenburg). They are open for the visitors.

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