Wehrwolf, Hitler's Ukrainian Bunker, Becomes Controversial Attraction
Posted Jul 1st 2011 08:40 AM
According to the BBC, Communist Party leaders are particularly worried about the opening of the Wehrwolf command center because the new attraction's operators plan on allowing visitors to dress up in Nazi uniforms and pose with swastika flags. Hitler used this bunker while helping to plan the expansion of the Eastern Front.
German soldiers destroyed most of the sprawling site, which was built largely by forced Ukrainian labor, as they retreated in 1944, but left three large bunkers and most of a swimming pool, which is the sites most obvious marker. A mass grave was also left behind, filled with the more than 10,000 POWs and locals who were forced to build Wehrwolf.
Lydia Zakusylova, a local communist politician, told the BBC that the Wehrwolf site was already attracting droves of neo-Nazis that had to be controlled by police.
On the other side of the debate sits Kateryna Vysotska, who works at the Vinnitsa Museum and says the bunker will become a tourist attraction no matter what and might as well incorporate some historical exhibits and officially open to the public. Vysotska claimed the museum would also serve as a memorial for victims.
Many Nazi symbols are illegal in Germany, which has long struggled with its violent past, making neo-Nazi travel to countries without such anti-right wing legislation attractive for young extremists.
The Wolf's Lair, one of Hitler's main headquarters located in Poland, is already a popular tourist attraction with Neo-Nazis, according to the Lonely Planet guide to Eastern Europe.
The guide makes this recommendation: "Some reports from visitors have mentioned the attraction of this place to neo-Nazi skinheads. If walking through the woods, stick with other people and be aware of your surroundings, particularly if you're of non-European appearance."
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