Wolf's Lair

Kętrzyn, Poland

Wolf's Lair (Wolfsschanze) was Adolf Hitler's first Eastern Front military headquarters in World War II. The complex, which would become one of several Führer Headquarters located in various parts of occupied Europe, was built for the start of Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of the Soviet Union - in 1941. It was constructed by Organisation Todt.

The top secret, high security site was in the Masurian woods about 8 km from the small East Prussian town of Rastenburg (now Kętrzyn). Three security zones surrounded the central complex where the Führer's bunker was located. These were guarded by personnel from the SS Reichssicherheitsdienst and the Wehrmacht's armoured Führer Begleit Brigade. Despite the security, an assassination attempt against Hitler was made at Wolf's Lair on 20 July 1944.

Hitler first arrived at the headquarters on 23 June 1941. In total, he spent more than 800 days at the Wolfsschanze during a 3½-year period until his final departure on 20 November 1944. In the summer of 1944, work began to enlarge and reinforce many of the Wolf's Lair original buildings, however the work was never completed because of the rapid advance of the Red Army during the Baltic Offensive in autumn 1944. On 25 January 1945, the complex was blown up and abandoned 48 hours before the arrival of Soviet forces. The Red Army captured the abandoned remains of the Wolfsschanze on 27 January without firing a shot. It took until 1955 to clear over 54,000 land mines which surrounded the installation. Today only impressive concrete ruins exist.


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Kętrzyn, Poland
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Founded: 1941
Category: Castles and fortifications in Poland


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ainis Stankaitis (11 months ago)
Good for WWII history buffs. Good audio guide with interesting stories and facts. Poland has a lot more to offer so we walked around for an hour and got back on the road.
Mart Einpalu (11 months ago)
The place is worth visiting if you are having holidays in the north of Poland and are intersted in history. Overall it will most probably leave you with somewhat depressed mood, after having seen what mankind has been capable of. Concrete walls of 7m and more to protect a person who has only evil in mind. Concrete walls that have been turned to rubbish by people avenging with mad rage. The exposition itself is well arranged and the location is naturally beautiful, left aside the Hitler made camp.
Julius Senkus (11 months ago)
Absolutely stunning and very interesting. Visited with toddlers so did not used in person or audio guide, but for such historical would recommend
suzana r (12 months ago)
Waw!!! The place is absolutely stunning. A lot of sad history. The car park is clean and tidy. You can camp there for a decent price. The showers and bathrooms are very clean. Hot water. A lot of barbecue and picnic places. Totally recommend.
Arc lit (13 months ago)
Great facilities and overall area is well made for comfortable and insightful visit. Huge parking, automatic audio guides in multiple languages. We'll worth the ticket cost.
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