Pat Hyland - Jan 30, 2012

Hitler, evil personified, has been a puzzle for many historians and the interested public. His Wolf’s Lair in Poland has been attracting WW II devotees and a potential make over may lure a great many new visitors.

Hitler remains one of the most cruel, bloodthirsty military leaders of all time. His persona has been a fascinating subject for many history fans and devotees and monitoring his life and death has become an obsession for many.

Those who are aware of his histories will have heard about the Wolf’s Lair, a fortress where he and many of his men spent several years during WW II. It is located in Polish northeastern woodlands and what now are more or less ruins was a sturdy military headquarters. While currently owned by local forestry authority, the area is available to anyone willing to invest and turn Hitler’s fortress into a tourist magnet.

While the offer has been on the table for some time now, the reactions have been very scarce. It is a demanding project, featuring the refurbishment of nearly 80 buildings, divided into several Security Zones based on who was staying in them.

Wolf’s Lair, or Wolfsschanze was built in 1940 and the first time Hitler personally visited here was in 1941. Within three years, he spent some 800 days here and Wolfschanze functioned as his military headquarters.

The bunker system proved more than adequate and the area was self sufficient; there was a power plant and train station within the complex. It took massive amounts of TNT to destroy most of the area – a rather tiring effort of the retreating German forces in 1945. And even now, many of local bunkers still exist thanks to their firm ferro-concrete skeletons.

Wolf’s Lair has also become known as the place where Col. Claus von Stauffenberg attempted to assassinate Hitler, a plot popularized by the 2008 Tom Cruise film ‘Valkyrie’ which certainly raises its appeal to the general public.

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