This time we are in Adolf Hitler’s bomb shelter for his train, one of two in this area. This one is called the bunker in Konewka and is today a museum. Have a look!
In German, this series of bomb shelters from train wagons is called, “Anlage Mitte”, and was at mentioned before, bomb shelters for entire train wagon sets. These bomb shelters are sometimes also called “protection tunnels”. By the protection tunnels, “Anlage Süd” is the biggest and longest and is located close to Strzyzów.
The idea of these bomb shelters was meant to serve as temporary headquarters for Adolf Hitler and administration when traveling to the main headquarters like Wolfsschanze (in Poland) and Werwolf (In Ukraine), when there was a risk for bombings or other security threats. Some easy adjustments of the train tracks and the train set could disappear from the enemies.
The bunker is 385 meters long and is planned and built by Organisation Todt which was an engineer- and constructing organization in the Third Reich with as many as 1,5 million workers. Some of them were forced labor workers from concentration camps.
These bunkers were pretty unknown for the Allies and were recognized first at the end of the war. There are American aerial photos available dated 24 January 1945.
Why build a protection tunnel in Konewka?
The perfect surroundings made that the choice fell on Konewka. The area has lots of forests and near to the spot was a small railway station located. Due to German sources, 75.100 m2 concrete was used in the construction of the area. Several other building and shelters were also constructed around the railway bunkers, mostly for use by the OKH (The upper commando of the German army).
Although this large investment, the bunkers in Konewka and Jelenia, were never used for their original purpose.
The Germans leave
The German soldiers stationed here fleed from the Red Army in January 1945. The bunker was mined using the bombs that were located there. However, the objects weren’t blown up, there was not enough time to bring the rest of the equipment, and 18 January small crew ran away from the 61st Red Army Divisions coming from Królowa Wola.
Cleaning the bombs and ammunition in and around the bunker started in Spring 1945, and in 1946 the inside of the technical bunker was dismantled and brought to other repaired factories nearby.
In 1954 the two armored gates to the bunker were also dismantled, and replaced with the wooden doors instead.
Since the 70s, until the end of the century, the army was in charge of the bunker in Konewka. The use of the bunkers as warehouses ended in the year 1990.