Wehrwolf


In December 1941, the construction of FHQ Wehrwolf (sometimes spelling Werwolf occurs) began, about ten kilometres north of Vinnitsa, Ukraine. When it was completed in July 1942, it consisted of 20 barracks, three bunkers and a number of underground tunnels. The whole area was shielded by a well protected security zone. In the barracks, exhibition hall, tea house, hair salon, sauna, cinema, guest rooms and military conference rooms were established. It was even built a small swimming pool for Hitler, which, however, never came into use. Wehrwolf was, together with Wolfschanze, the two FHQs on the eastern front that Hitler used during the war. But Wehrwolf was considerably less than Wolfschanze and Hitler spent in comparison with Wolfschanze considerably less time in Wehrwolf.

In connection with the German offensive against the Caucasus in the summer of 1942, Hitler wanted to be closer to the front. He arrived at Wehrwolf on 16 July 1942 and returned to Wolfsschanze on 30 October 1942. During this stay, Hitler suffered from a severe flu and had a fever of about 40 degrees. He returned a second time between 19 February and 13 March 1943 and a last time between 27 august and 15 september 1943. In december 1943, the germans began to destroy Wehrwolf and when the soviet red army arrived in march 1944, the site was more or less destroyed.
 

Current status: Demolished with museum (2019).

Location: 49° 18' 30 N 28° 29' 36 E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

When I visited Wehrwolf in the spring of 2007, it was not a museum but more of a hiking area with no information whatsoever about the place. Since 2011, the site is a museum, Historical Memorial Complex to the Victims of the Nazi Regime. I guess it was a prerequisite for getting money for the museum that it included more than just Wehrwolf. The museum has a local starting point and provides a historical overview of the region around Vinnitsa during the German occupation between 1941 and 1944.

Around the area there are information boards (english text) that not only informs what purpose that particular ruin/bunker had, but also other things linked to the occupation. The ruins and information boards are bound together by paths that make the area easy to orientate. It is a moderate loop and at the museum there is a detailed and interesting model of Wehrwolf that it is easy to stand by. Unlike Wolfschanze in Poland, there are no bunkers that you can enter. On the other hand, Wehrwolf is not a tourist attraction in the same sense as Wolfschanze, where the historical significance of the place has given way to the forces of commercialism. In Wehrwolf, I feel that there is room for education in a way that it does not in Wolfschanze.

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