Visiting Wolf’s Lair (Wolfsschanze) – Hitler’s Headquarters)

If you’re you’re a history enthusiast especially about World War II period, there is one place you cannot miss – the ruins of Adolf Hitler’s former military headquarters known as „Wolf’s Lair (Wolfsschanze).

The decision of constructing Wolf’s Lair was made between August 27th and August 29th 1940. \At that time, three members of Hitler’s staff did a reconnaissance of the Gierloz Forest, which was chosen for the location of the future headquarters because of the small distance between the

Ketrzyn Forest and the border of the Soviet Union. This fact had a huge psychological importance because of the plans to attack the Soviet Union. The Reich Security Service was responsible for Hitler’s personal safety. It consisted of two groups, each of which had 10 officers of criminal service and a dozen members of Hitler’s bodyguard.

The responsibility of the outside protection of the headquarters fell on Fuhrer’s adjutant battalion, which grew to the size of a regiment by July of 1944. Hitler came to Wolf’s Lair on June 24th 1941. He spent more than 800 days here.

On July 20th 1944, an unsuccessful attempt was made to kill Hitler. It was organized by the officers of Wehrmacht under the leadership of colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who put a bomb in Fuhrer’s headquarters. Other famous people who lived in Wolf’s Lair and were closely associated with Hitler included:

  • Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel – one of Hitler’s closest associates, who earnestly fulfilled all of Hitler’s orders.
  • Heinrick Himmler – a gestapo leader, who was responsible for the extermination of the Slavs and Jews in Europe
  • Martin Bormann – an SS general and Hitler’s personal secretary.

In October of 1944, the Red Army arrived at the border of Eastern Prussia. For that reason, On November 20th 1944, the main headquarters was moved to Zossen, not far from Berlin. Later, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel gave the order to destroy Wolf’s Lair, which was executed On the night between January 24th and 25th 1945.

Today, Wolf’s Lair is available for sightseeing. It is divided into 2 areas, which used to be known as „safety zones”. Zone I is the place, where Hitler and his entourage used to live. You have to purchase a ticket to visit this zone, but Zone II doesn’t have organized sightseeing and you can easily visit it on your own, on foot.

At the area of Wolf’s Lair there is a hotel with a tourist standard, located in one of the bunkers, which was adapted for touristic purposes. You can book a stay in this hotel if you want.

It is allowed to bring dogs to Wolf’s Lair, but you must remember to walk them on a leash and with a muzzle, as well to clean up if they make a mess.

Poland Travel organizes tours to Wolf’s Lair from Warsaw and Gdansk and Olsztyn .

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