Saturday, November 12, 2016

Pictures From Our Trip to Germany and Poland: Wolfschanze

Wolfschanze was Hitler's advanced headquarters just outside of Rastenberg (now Gierloz), Poland, where he spent much of the war conducting the campaign on the Eastern Front. Built to oversee the implementation of Operation Barbarossa, Hitler used Wolfschanze as his primary headquarters, spending more than eight hundred days there from 23 June 1941 until he left it for the last time on 20 November 1944. On 25 January 1945, the SS attempted to destroy every building on the compound two days before it was overrun by advancing Red Army troops.

Hitler's bunker (#13 on the map below). The walls of this bunker were twenty-five feet thick in some places and designed to withstand bombing attacks from the air. Most of the bunkers were so heavily fortified that the SS found it difficult to destroy them to prevent the Red Army from using them.

Martin Bormann's bunker (#11 on the map).

A collapsed section of the Bormann bunker wall. This photo gives you a good idea of the thickness of the walls and how heavily they were reinforced with rebar and steel.

Herman Goring's bunker (#16 on the map).

 Herman Goring's private residence (#15 on the map).

The interior of Goring's house.

Me inside Goring's house.

The bunker belonging to Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht OKW, the supreme command of the German armed forces (#19 on the map).


The bunker belonging to General Alfred Jodl, chief of staff of the OKW. (#17 on the map).

 The former barracks for Hitler's SS bodyguard detachment, now turned into a motel for visitor's to Wolfschanze (#1 on the map).

The accommodations are far from luxurious.

The layout of Wolfschanze's Sperrkreis 1 (Security Zone 1), the inner circle of the headquarters reserved for Hitler and his closest associates. Following the destruction of the compound by the SS in 1945 and its capture by the Red Army, the area was abandoned and left for nature to reclaim the land, only becoming a tourist attraction following the collapse of Communism in the 1990s.

[Next week: Treblinka]

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