Book tickets at the best rates!

Wolf’s Lair Museum
Ketrzyn and surrounding
Architecture,  Castles, Fortresses, Towers
Castles, Fortresses, Towers

Hitler’s headquarters named Wolf’s Lair (Wolfsschanze) is the main headquarters and command complex of the German army. Adolf Hitler was living here in a freestanding bunker for over two years. From here, he led Operation Barbarossa, hatched his plot to enslave the world, and also made butcherly decisions to exterminate people in concentration camps.

Hitler chose the Gierloz forest for a reason: for many kilometers, it is surrounded by impenetrable swamps. The sparsely populated area and proximity to the borders of the Soviet Union made the Wolf’s Lair the safest and most convenient place to control the German army. The construction of the headquarters began in 1940.

The gigantic site occupied an area of 250 hectares, was soundly camouflaged and protected. In total, about 80 bunkers were built. Almost 2,000 people served at Hitler’s headquarters. It was the largest headquarters, more like a town than a defensive fortification.

Hitler first arrived at the headquarters on June 24, 1941, right after the attack on the Soviet Union. The Fuhrer had other, no less secure options: “Felsennest” on the Rhine, “Waldwiese,” “Barenhohle,” but “Wolfsschanze” turned out to be the most favored. The leader of the Nazis felt completely safe only here.

The 20 July plot dented the confidence of the complete safety of Hitler’s headquarters. On July 20, 1944, Claus von Stauffenberg, the army reserve executive officer, carried explosives to a meeting with Hitler. The assassination attempt failed, and the Fuhrer came off with a slight concussion; those responsible for the attempt were shot the following day. A memorial to the participants in the assassination attempt and anti-fascist resistance was erected on the Wolf’s Lair complex to honor this event.

During the emergency evacuation in January 1945, the Nazis tried to destroy the headquarters. Many explosives were used, and dozens of fortifications were demolished, but most of them remained undamaged. When mine clearing of the surroundings was complete, the complex was gradually turned into a tourist attraction. Even now, it attracts the attention of history lovers and tourists from all over the world.

Address: Gierłoż 5, 11-400 Gierłoż

Published by

Diane Mikheeva

All content and media files are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Rating based on 0 reviews
6 images
of the Wolf’s Lair Museum
on 7toucans
See on the map

Book and buy tickets at the best rates!

Best hotels in Ketrzyn!

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set.To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy including cookie use

 I accept cookies from this site.