Friday, June 24, 2011

Interview Trip...Day 2!

Leaving Gdansk this morning, I have convinced President Nielson that he needs to take a few hours and see some of Poland besides the chapels and centrums of the bigger cities. Even Mission Presidents are to take a P-Day! We got up early and started on the roads in the rain and ran into this....

See the ATV in the middle of the picture? He was holding up tons of traffic as he was 'putting' down the road! The big white truck on the left just barely missed hitting him! This is a major highway in Poland, lots of traffic and you have someone on an ATV who won't move over for others to pass. Welcome to Poland...the land of crazy drivers and unusual vehicles traversing the roads! You've got to love this place, though. It keeps a road trip interesting!

The rain stopped, and we happened to see these "Polish Scouts" walking along the road heading to a service project. We didn't have a clue what city we were in but saw these Scouts and had to take a picture. Their organization was inspired by the original 'polish scouts'---the children that used to transport guns and messages during WWII. The original scouts would go about 'doing good' undetected while the Germans thought they were just playing.

This is our destination...Hitler's Wolf Lair. He spent over 3 years here (1941-1944) with only short trips to the outside world. He used to say that this was one of the few places in Europe that he felt safe.

Hidden in the thick forest, the location was carefully chosen in a remote part of East Prussia. It was far away from important towns and transport routes but was a convenient command center for the German advance to the East.

The Wolf's Lair is famous for being the sight of the 'almost' assasination of Hitler by Colonel Stauffenberg. The monument on the rock is to honor the Colonel. (See the movie "Valkyrie")
This is the remains of the sight where it happened. A briefcase was placed under the table a few yards from Hitler. Although it killed two others, it only wounded him. Why is the building so demolished? As the Germans were facing defeat and leaving these hideouts, they blew them up trying to destroy the buildings.

This is one of the best preserved 'bunkers'. There were 7 heavy bunkers such as this for top leaders and about 80 structures in all on the premises.

Some of the walls and ceilings are more than 25 feet thick.

#13 was Hitler's personal bunker. It was over 2100 square meters big......over 4X the size of the other bunkers. Not much is left intact.

As the Germans left, there wasn't enough TNT to completely destroy the buildings. The explosives would most often crack the structures in half. The entire commandpost was hidden by design and years after the war it was discovered. Those who worked constructing all the buildings were killed when it was completed so it could remain a secret unknown area for Hitler to hide.

This shows the marshlands that this complex was built in. We saw these trees growing out of moss-covered water. This area was an extensive minefield that actually took the Russians 10 years to clear the 10 km of mines within the complex. (They found over 55,000 mines!) The Wolf's Lair is totally worth the visit.

As we were leaving, we were headed into another storm. We have come to appreciate the beautiful clouds in the skies of Poland. With such diverse weather, the sky is truly spectacular!

Not being able to make it to Bialystok, we stayed in the Masuria area....that is full of lakes. It was a very full day....a fun day....this 2nd day of interviewing! We'll see what tomorrow brings!

No comments:

Post a Comment

To make a comment you must have a Google account (gmail)