Wolfsschlucht I

When the Germans attacked Western Europe on May 10, 1940, Hitler monitored this from FHQ Felsennest outside Rodert, Germany. However, the rapidly advanced of the german armies made Felsennest’s geographical location being too far from the front. Hitler left Felsennest early in the morning of June 6, 1940, and went to the small Belgian village of Bruly-de-Pesche in southern Belgium. Wehrmacht had already begun construction of Hitler’s new FHQ in May of the same year. At first it was called Anlage Waldwiese, but Hitler changed it to Wolfsschlucht (Wolf’s ravine) because he had used the pseudonym Mr. Wolf in the past. The inhabitants of Bruly-de-Pesche were ordered to move and the houses were taken over by the Germans who used them for military purposes. A small temporary airfield was also built just outside Bruly-de-Pesche. Hitler’s barracks and protective bunker as well as a dining room were built in a wooded area next to Bruly-de-Pesche. It was also from Wolfsschlucht that Hitler departed from when he toured First World War sites. This was done in the company of former front soldiers and was followed by a large media entourage. Hitler finally left Wolfsschlucht on June 28 and went to his new FHQ Tannenberg in the Black Forest outside Freudenstadt in the state of Baden-Wurtenberg. Then the Germans dismantled all the barracks except the protective bunker.

Current status: Partly preserved/demolished with museum (2008).

Address: Place Saint-Méen, 5660 Brûly-de-Pesche.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Several pictures of Hitler were taken during his stay in Wolfsschlucht and some are published in After the battle – A guide to Hitler’s headquarters no 19. Much of the pictures bares similarity with how the village actually looks today. It was also in Wolfsschlucht that Hitler received the information that France applied for capitulation. This made him so excited that he raised his right leg and stomped it into the ground while gesticulating with his arms. The entire sequence was filmed and when the film was shown abroad, a Canadian film technician edited the sequence so that it looks like Hitler is performing some kind of (funny) dance.

Follow up in books: Seidler, Franz W. & Zeigert, Dieter: Hitler’s secret headquarters (2004).