Baltic Prussia

Wolf’s Lair

In late 1940, the Germans built the Wolf’s Lair in the middle of a forest, far from major roads and urban areas, and close to the Soviet Union. Completed by June 1941, the complex housed 2,000 people, including Adolf Hitler himself. A failed assassination attempt is well documented here.

It was an eery feeling to be in a place from which so much hatred brought about millions of deaths throughout the world. Now overgrown with trees, the bombed out buildings like in piles of concrete rubble…a sign of the destruction that authoritarianism eventually brings about.

Sanctuary of Saint Mary – Swieta Lipka

This church in Northern Poland is named for a wooden statue of Mary (Heiligelinde, which means Holy Linden tree) under which miracles took place. While the current church dates from the 1600s, a chapel was deeded in 1491 by the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights. Heiligelinde has been a pilgrimage site since then, but It was destroyed in 1525 during the Protestant Reformation, when the region became Lutheran.

Tthe Roman Catholic faith was again approved in East Prussia in 1605, after which the chapel was rebuilt by the Jesuits and consecrated in 1619. The current chapel became a popular pilgrimage site among the Roman Catholic populace of the surrounding counties as well as the Lutheran Masurians. The nave of the present church was finished in 1693 while the facade and the adjacent cloister were added by 1730.

When we stumbled on this church that appears to be in the middle of farms, we couldn’t believe how unique it looked on the outside. We waited for mass to let out (the mass had just begun), delaying other locations on the itinerary to have a close look. The baroque details and colorful interior were well worth the wait.

Gdansk WWII Museum

Link to Wikipedia

The Museum of the Second World War was established in 2008 in Gdańsk, Poland.  It is devoted to the Second World War. The original concept of the museum was strongly criticized by national-conservatives as not focusing enough on Polish heroism and promoting "socialist-type pacifism". Newly appointed management of the museum has promoted re-nationalizing the museum and displaying Polish martyrology.  The architectural team that designed the building won the architectural competition.

Torun, Poland

Wroclaw City

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