Wolf's Lair: Will Hitler HQ makeover create a Nazi theme park?

BBC News | 7/31/2019 | Staff
magiccastlemagiccastle (Posted by) Level 4
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Remote, hidden in dense forest, protected by nearby lakes and marshes - the Wolf's Lair in Poland was a secure headquarters for Adolf Hitler in World War Two.

So much so, that the Nazi dictator spent 850 days at the vast, secret complex in 1941-1944, before withdrawing to his Berlin bunker.

State - Srokowo - Forest - District - Site

Now the Polish state's Srokowo Forest District, which manages the site, is giving the Wolf's Lair a big makeover to pull in more tourists.

The district's spokesman Sebastian Trapik told the BBC that the foresters were "making every effort" to maintain "due seriousness and respect for historical truth" at the crumbling complex.

Critics - Attractions - Re-enactments - People - Uniforms

But critics argue that insensitive "attractions", such as amateurish re-enactments with people wearing Nazi uniforms, could turn it into a sort of ghoulish "Disneyland".

All the Germans' reinforced concrete bunkers, minefields and camouflage were no protection against the mutinous officers who tried to kill Hitler at the Wolf's Lair on 20 July 1944.

Assassination - Plot - Site - Visitors - Today

The assassination plot makes the site all the more fascinating for visitors today.

Hitler survived the briefcase bomb with only light injuries, mainly thanks to a massive oak conference table.

Bomb - Officers - Army - Plotters - Col

The bomb killed four - three of them officers - and injured more than 20. The German army plotters, led by Col Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, were quickly arrested and executed.

Mr Trapik says a "priority" at the site now is to reconstruct the scene of the bombing, including life-size "symbolic figures depicting those present at the time".

Nazis - Explosive - Charges - Dozens - Bunkers

The Nazis detonated massive explosive charges to demolish the dozens of bunkers and other installations as the Soviet Red Army advanced in January 1945.

For decades, in communist Poland, the forest grew back in the ruins and moss spread over the giant concrete blocks.

Site - Spread - Hectares - Acres - Income

The site, spread over 250 hectares (618 acres), is an important income source in the Masurian Lake District, a scenic area dependant on...
(Excerpt) Read more at: BBC News
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