Ostwall / East Wall / Regenwurmlager

underground bunkers poland

A section of the underground bunker system near Blesen / Bledzew built by the Nazis in the 1930s and early 1940s.

The East Wall (Ostwall / Regenwurmlager) is an extensive underground fortification bunker system constructed by Germany between 1930 and around 1943, about 120 kms east of Berlin. Although at that time very much part of Germany, the location has, since the end of the Second World War, been part of Poland. The Ostwall was a system of underground bunkers interconnected by tunnels and corridors with a total length over 100 km, which included almost fifty above-ground firing points. Some of the tunnels are more than 70 metres deep. Long lines of anti-tank ‘dragon’s teeth’ were built and the tunnel system had its own power plant, hospital, armaments factory, barracks, and underground electric railway.

Meseritz Dragons Teeth

A section of Dragon’s Teeth near Meseritz / Miedzyrzecz in the Polish province of Lubuskie.

In 1945 it was abandoned by the German troops retreating from the advancing Soviet Red Army with little resistance. Interesting sections can still be visited between the towns of Skwierzyna (Schwerin Warthe) and Międzyrzecz (Meseritz), and a museum and visitor centre offering guided tours of part of the bunker system has been established in Kalawa. Some of the tunnels have become a shelter for more than 30,000 bats, of ten different species.

meseritz regenwurmlager

Part of the Regenwurmlager camp near Meseritz (Miedzyrzecz), c.1937.

In the 1930s an associated military training camp (Truppenuebungsplatz) was established for the training of fortification troops and as a reserve storage and rest area near the village of Nipter (now Nietoperek) south-west of the Ostwall (Festungsfront Oder-Warthe-Bogen) defensive line.

truppenuebungsplatz meseritz

An entrance to the truppenuebungsplatz camp near Meseritz in former East Brandenburg. Since 1945, Miedzyrzecz, Lubuskie, Poland,

More pictures from our collection of images of pre-war Meseritz / Miedzyrzecz.

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