Five Skeletons Discovered Buried Beneath the Wolf’s Lair in Poland

Photo Credit: Michal Fludra / NurPhoto / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Michal Fludra / NurPhoto / Getty Images

Five human skeletons have been unearthed at the Wolfsschanze – “Wolf’s Lair,” in English – in Poland. The human remains, found without their hands and feet, were discovered beneath the former residence of the Reichmarschall and are believed to be that of a family.

Exterior of what remains of the Wolfsschanze, also known as the Wolf's Lair
Photo Credit: Michal Fludra / NurPhoto / Getty Images

Located in the Masurian woods, the Wolf’s Lair served as the first Eastern Front military headquarters for the Germans during World War II. Today, the site has been largely taken over by nature, but much of the brick structure still remains standing. The home where the Reichmarschall lived burned down in 1945.

A recent dig by Fundacja Latebra, one of the few organizations with permission to excavate the site, uncovered the five skeletons. According to a video uploaded to YouTube, they were located approximately 10 cm underground and were found while the team was looking for wooden flooring.

A human skull was the first part to be unearthed, with subsequent excavations uncovering the rest of the remains.

Remnants of the Wolfsschanze ("Wolf's Lair") covered in moss and vegetation
Photo Credit: Michal Fludra / NurPhoto / Getty Images

Much is still unknown regarding the skeletons, including their identities and the circumstances of their deaths and burial. What is known, however, is they belonged to three adults, a baby and a teenager. As well, it’s believed they may have been buried after the house was constructed, given the skeletons were found beneath pipes.

There’s also a question as to whether the Reichmarschall knew the family was buried on the premises, along with speculation regarding whether their extremities decomposed or were removed before they were buried. As no personal effects or clothing were found, it’s likely they were stripped before being put in their final resting places.

According to Piotrek Banaskiewicz, one of the individuals involved in the excavation, the first skeleton had several deformities, including a displaced jaw, a curved spine and a disfigured skull that didn’t have a visible eye socket, indicating whoever it was suffered from health issues.

The Guardian reports that Polish prosecutors are currently investigating the discovery, with a hope of determining if the deaths were the result of German action or if the quintet were the victims of another mass killing.

What remains of the Wolfsschanze ("Wolf's Lair") in the middle of a forest
Photo Credit: Michal Fludra / NurPhoto / Getty Images

The Wolf’s Lair was from where the German military launched Operation Barbarossa, its invasion of the Soviet Union. It was also the site of the 20 July Plot, one of the many assassination attempts on the Führer‘s life.

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During World War II, the headquarters featured a railroad station; 50 bunkers, including private living spaces for those higher-up in the governmental hierarchy; two airfields; and 70 barracks. Today, the site has become a morbid tourist attraction, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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