On a recent trip to Poland to attend my cousin’s wedding, Kelly and I made a stop eight kilometres outside of Kętrzyn to see Wolfsschanze (The Wolf’s Lair). In short, it was one of Adolf Hitler’s HQs and where much of the invasion of Poland was planned. It was also the location of an accidentally foiled assassination attempt on Hitler. It’s actually a very interesting story, if only for what it could have done to the annals of history had it happened as intended.
I’m no history buff. In fact, geography and history are two things that I’ve never been able to grasp — I just can’t remember where and when. I felt compelled to see some World War II history while in Poland, mainly to somehow to please my dad who’s a bit of a WWII buff. Dunno.
Walking around the grounds though, seeing the destroyed concrete bunkers, I couldn’t help but imagine the soldiers and commanders running around and generally busying themselves with WWII. I always do this — put myself in the time of the historical site. I did it in Scotland with the castles, and in Japan with the temples. It helps me appreciate the history I would otherwise have only read about, and ultimately forgotten. It was kinda eerie, and if it wasn’t for our animated and rubber-faced guide, I think it would’ve been downright spooky.
My memory of the grounds is haunting (I choose to erase the rubber-faced guide from my memory). The historical importance alone does that to a large extent, but the images left in my mind are less literal (what I actually saw) and more etherial (what I actually felt). The images in this series try to evoke that. Heavy, haunting, secret.