Scars of concrete
Kętrzyn, Poland 09-2013
In the center of a wet and dark forest close to Kętrzyn, Poland, history left some indelible marks. Here was built Wolfsschanze, Adolf Hitler’s first Eastern Front military headquarters in World War II. The complex of bunker, which would become one of several Führerhauptquartiere (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.
In October 1944 the Red Army reached the borders of East Prussia during the Baltic Offensive. Hitler departed from the Wolf’s Lair for the final time on 20 November when the Soviet advance reached Angerburg (now Węgorzewo). Two days later the order was given to destroy the complex. However the actual demolition did not take place until the night of 24–25 January 1945.
Despite the use of tons of explosives - one bunker required an estimated 8,000 kg of TNT - most of the complex buildings were only partially destroyed due their immense size and reinforced structures, and almost 70 years later, the ruins of the bunkers are still in the forest, gloomy and threatening, covered by a green moss, breaking the quiet of the nature with their sharp edges.
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