Built in 1941, four years before the war was over. Yet Hitler had time to spend more than 800 days on the now abandoned site. This was Adolf Hitler’s headquarters “Wolfsschanze” in East Prussia.
Today it’s hard to imagine, but during World War II, this was a busy place. From the start of the attack on the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, about 2000 people had these bunkers as their workplace.
The logistics and security for Adolf Hitler were rigorous. Of the 2000 employees and residents in the area were 20 women. Some worked as food testers, to reduce the possibility that Hitler would be poisoned.
On July 20, the stillness was broken. Hitler had recently returned from a holiday trip to Berghof and Wolfsschanze had been strengthened to a cost of 35 million Reichsmarks. Despite an immense safety, an assassination attempt against Hitler was carried out as a plot by senior military officers. They hoped for a chance to negotiate peace if Hitler disappeared.
The assassination attempt failed, despite careful planning. The legal aftermath was extensive. Thousands were arrested and some were sentenced to death. The highly decorated field marshal Erwin Rommel was forced to commit suicide.
A new source of concern was also revealed. They knew that the Allies conducted air reconnaissance over the Wolfsschanze and a bombing attack could occur at any time. When security could no longer be guaranteed, Hitler left his headquarters in East Prussia, in November 1944.
In October 1944, the Soviet counter-offensive against Germany was only 15 kilometers from the Wolf’s Lair. The Soviet Union probably didn’t know how close they were Hitler’s former headquarters.
In this connection, the order was given that the entire Wolfsschanze must be destroyed. This attempt was made in January 1945, but the vast amounts of reinforced concrete were difficult to destroy completely.
It is estimated that every bunker had required 8,000 tons of TNT to be destroyed completely. Such amounts were not available at the end of the war.
It is, therefore, easy to visit Wolfsschanze in Poland to see where Hitler theoretically should have been killed, and experience the dramatic history at close quarters – in original condition.