The Shmooze

Hitler Bunker To Become Tourist Stop

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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It looks as though there might be another site added to the Polish Holocaust tourism trail. According to Reuters, Poland is searching for someone to spruce up the Wolf’s Lair, in the northeast of the country, near the Russian border, and open it up to the public.

“Wolf’s Lair” was the code name for Adolf Hitler’s heavily fortified bunker complex, where Hitler and his top officers were protected from bombardment during Operation Barbarossa, otherwise known as the German invasion of Russia. The fortress, which was built in 1940-1941, had its own power plant and railway station. The German forces destroyed it as they retreated in early 1945.

The site is already visited by tourists and WWII buffs interested in seeing where Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (played by Tom Cruise in the 2008 film “Valkyrie”) attempted to assassinate the Fuhrer. One company, whose website is wolfslairtours.com entices people to “follow the footsteps of Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow Conspirators in their attempt to assassinate Hitler, on our Wolf’s Lair Tour. Hear the real story of what happened before, during and after the bomb exploded…”

However, given the fortress’s location deep inside a forest and the difficulty involved in accessing it, there are not as many takers for these pitches as the Polish government would want.

Therefore, the local forestry authority is hoping to find an investor who would turn Wolf’s Lair into a must-see destination. “The requirements [for bidders] are quite high because we want a new leaseholder to invest a lot, particularly in a museum with an exhibition that could be open all year long,” a forestry official said. “We are waiting for offers, but so far we have none.”


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