Officials in Poland are hoping that a secret fortress once used by Nazi German leader Adolph Hitler to hold meetings and to shelter from aerial bombardments becomes a major attraction for tourists.
Located deep in the Mazurian forestlands of northeastern Poland (then German East Prussia), Hitler’s “wolf lair” served as one of Der Fuhrer’s most important military headquarters during the second world war. At one time, the hideout comprised a total of 80 buildings. For security purposes, the lair was heavily camouflaged by trees and surrounded by a minefield. It even boasted its own railway station and power plant.
Located near the border with Russia, the property was constructed in 1940 or 1941 to protect the Nazi hierarchy from Russian invasion during Operation Barbarossa.
The bunker complex was also the stage for a failed July 1944 assassination attempt on the German leader by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.
The lair was largely destroyed by retreating German forces in early 1945.
According to the Warsaw Business Journal, some of the structures in the lair survived the war and have in recent years been a major tourist destination, and have already been attracting from 180,000 to 200,000 visitors every year.
Now, The State Forests National Forest Holding (the Polish forestry authority) is seeking investors in order to make the remote property more easily accessible to potential tourists. “We are waiting for offers,' said local forestry official Zenon Piotrowicz, according to British media reports. 'The requirements 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.'