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Wolf's LairFast Facts
- Location: In Gierloz village about 8 km east of Ketrzyn in northeast Poland.
- Attraction Type: Historical place
- Significance: Adolf Hitler's headquarters in Poland
- Best Time to Visit: May to September
- Visiting time: Daytime
- How to reach: by road from Ketrzyn
- Nearest International Airport: Frederic Chopin International Airport in Warsaw
History of Wolf's Lair
Adolf Hitler built the Wolf's Lair in the quiet and secluded hamlet of Gierloz, in what was then a part of the German province of East Prussia. The idea was to provide a safe haven for the Nazi officials and soldiers, including rank and file and higher officials of the Nazi ranks before the Russian invasion of 1941. The self-sufficient complex had as many as 80 rooms, 50 among them being bunkers. It was served by its own electric and water supply as well as a nearby airfield. What the most fascinating was the way it was literally whisked away in the interiors of a deserted wilderness, perfectly camouflaged with barbed wired and other defensive strategies.
Hitler spent an eventful 800 days at the bunkers of Wolf's Lair before leaving it for the last time on 20th November 1944, in the face of immense military pressure from the Russian frontline. The Nazi plan failed to come to fruition, and the Russians victoriously approached Angerburg, the Germans thought it wise to blow up the entire complex before the Wehmacht retreat. Probably, this ambitious project was Hitler's labor of love, and was too close to his heart to let the Russians use it.
Wolf's Lair or Wolfsschanze bears testimony to the glorious Operation Valkyrie, the resistance attempt of German soldiers to assassinate Adolf Hitler and bring an end to his reign of terror for once and for all. Led by Claus von Stauffenberg, this was the most serious and well-planned attempt on the life of the Furor, one that he barely escaped. The incident took place on July 20, 1944 and was probably the first indication that a fascist dictator would not necessarily be accepted always even by his own people.
Things to do in Wolf's Lair
While touring Wolf's Lair in Gierloz you might put up in Ksiezycowy Dworek, or Hotel Wilczy Szaniec. Alternatively, you could stay in Wanda, and Koch in Ketrzyn about 8 km away.