The State Forests will reclaim The Wolf’s Lair

The Appeal Court in Białystok declared, that the Srokowo Forest District (RDSF in Olsztyn) terminated private company’s lease agreement of the Wolf's Lair in Gierłoża in accordance with the law.
10.07.2017 | ADAM PIETRZAK, SPOKESPERSON FOR RDSF IN OLSZTYN

The Appeal Court in Białystok declared, that the Srokowo Forest District (RDSF in Olsztyn) terminated private company’s lease agreement of the Wolf's Lair in Gierłoża in accordance with the law.

Monday’s sentence is final and binding, and allows the State Forests to reclaim this historical property. The Appeal Court’s decision ends the battle over the Wolf's Lair.

Back in 2012 the Srokowo Forest District signed a twenty-year lease agreement with Wilcze Gniazdo company, concerning Hitler’s former military headquarters. However, in March 2015 foresters terminated this agreement.

The construction of lair started in 1940, in May 1941 it  was already prepared for Hitler’s arrival. Although its outward extension lasted until the end of 1944. Within the area of the Wolf's Lair there were about 80 concrete or reinforced concrete structuredobjects and almost 100 wooden barracks. On the top of the bunkers artificial trees were placed, roofs were covered with a layer of soil and overgrown with grass and young trees. After the end of WWII, until 1955 the areas around the lair were being demined; since 1959 the object has been made available for tourists.

There were three reasons for that decision:  the company stopped paying the rent, it didn’t performed any renovation or modernization of the buildings included in the agreement. Moreover, the company didn’t meet the obligation concerning cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, which wanted the anti-Nazi exhibition to be created within the area of lair.

Srokowo Forest District issued court proceeding involving not only the payment for delinquent rent and penalty for groundless usufruct of  the Wolf's Lair, but also the handover of the property. The company Wilcze Gniazdo, on the other hand tried to prove to the satisfaction of the court that the forest district ineffectively terminated the agreement.

At the beginning of 2016 the Regional Court in Olsztyn decided that foresters terminated the lease agreement in accordance with the law. However, the current tenant of the Wolf’s Lair appealed against that decision. 

Only the Monday’s judgment of the Court of Appeal in Białystok finally ends the case. The appeal dismissal means that the verdict, which was previously given by the court in Olsztyn is final and binding. As a result, this decision paves the way for reclaiming the Wolf's Lair by the State Forests. There are plans to make the State Forests an independent administrator of Hitler’s former military headquarters.