|Address:||Mauerwald, 11-600 Węgorzewo, Tel: +48-, Fax: +48-,|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|22-JUN-1941||operation Barbarossa, the attack on the Soviet Union was|
|AUG-1941||Hitler and Mussolini visit Mauerwald.|
The bunkers of Mauerwald, once the Hauptquartier des Oberkommandos des Heeres (OKH, Headquarters of Army Forces), are today known as Mamerki or Bunkry w Mamerkach. They are located a few kilometers west of Węgorzewo. The whole forest is full of huge bunkers, there is a museum which is also the starting point of a long hike from one bunker to the next. While the museum is underground inside a bunker and thus not dependent on the weather, we strongly recommend clothes which are suitable for the weather for the hike. Some food and water is probably also a good idea.
The bunkers were built for the attack on Russia. In 22-JUN-1941 over 3 million soldiers, 148 Wehrmacht divisions, attacked the Soviet Union. Mauerwald was the military command center of that huge operation. It had been secretly built by Organization Todt, and was by far not completed. The plan of the attack on the Soviet Union code-named Barbarossa was developed by field marshal Friedrich Paulus, who was here. Also field marshal Walter Brauchitsch, commander of the land forces, chief general Franz Halder, and a group of 40 highest-ranked Wehrmacht generals were her for this operation.
At the end of the war, it was intended as a last fortification against the Russians. There are numerous such bunkers all over Poland, but they are by for not as elaborate as the Atlantikwall on the North Sea coast. Nevertheless, they are generally in much better shape, because they are not in the reach of the sea, and there were actually never any fights. The bunkers were abandoned by the fleeing German army, they were never actually manned. They just ran, not taking the time to blow them up, which would have been futile anyway. And as they were unmanned they were also ignored by the russian army.
The bunker museum contains a lot of original items from the World War II, including uniforms of the German army. Unfortunately the bunker is quite humid and the uniforms start to mold as soon as they are put on display. Other items are weapons, equipments and things of daily use. But there are also models of "superweapons" and other stuff which seems to be from a movie set. All in all the museum is quite informative.
The bunkers were buildings constructed for the forty highest generals and field marshals. There was also room for 1500 officers and Wehrmacht soldiers. 250 buildings, including 30 shelters, remained undamaged.