In 1939, Poland was the first country to face the violent and relentless assault of the Nazi Blitzkrieg. The world looked on as the Third Reich implemented control over the entire country until the Red Army came storming through in 1945. As a result, Poland remains littered with awe-inspiring WWII history. From the infamous Wolfsschanze headquarters where Hitler was almost assassinated in the July 20th plot to the Riese complex which was rumoured to be the site of Nazi super weapons, hidden treasure and paranormal experiments.
This specialist tour will take you the heart of Poland’s WW2 history exploring off the beaten track locations including in the former footsteps of Adolf Hitler, his would-be assassins and some of the most evil Nazis to walk the earth. Along the way, this tour will give you the chance to fire rare, live WW2 weaponry including an MG42 as well as drive tanks and ride in Soviet cars!
We start the tour in the beautiful city of Krakow. In contrast to other Polish cities, Krakow did not suffer widespread destruction in World War II. It was taken by the German army just at the beginning of the war and the Wawel castle became the residence of the infamous Nazi governor Hans Frank. As a result, Krakow is a great example of how Medieval and pre-war Poland in general would have looked.
Arrival in Krakow at own leisure and check into our centrally located hotel.
For those arriving early we will be able to provide a range of city tours with various speciality subjects from the city’s medieval history to its dark past in WW2.
Group meet up at 6pm. We will head out for some traditional, hearty Polish food and some drinks.
Overnight in Krakow.
Sunday 16th February –
We wake up early and grab breakfast at the hotel before we break up the WW2 history and are picked up by a classic relic of Communist Poland, a fleet of Trabants.
We take off and enjoy a Communism Tour into Nowa Huta – the communist district of Krakow, we will have lunch in an old school “Milk Bar” canteen. You’ll also get a first-hand taste of everyday life in Poland during the 1970s in our exclusive and unchanged genuine Communist apartment, where you’ll watch a propaganda movie and have the rare opportunity to eat pickled cucumbers and have a shot of vodka. We’ll also be visiting the Central Square where Lenin once stood, the restaurant frequented by secret police and informers, residential units, steelworks’ headquarters, the bullet-riddled WW2 Soviet tank and the Lord’s Ark Church.
Please bear in mind vintage Trabbies sometimes break and it’s part of your adventure. In such a case we continue the tour in another Commie car or a taxi.
After lunch, we’ll head to the incredible Oskar Schindler WW2 museum housed in the original enamel factory used in the Steven Spielberg movie.
If there is time we will head to the relatively unknown Gestapo/KGB museum outside of town. This was used a headquarters and torture centre by both feared organisations and it’s possible to get inside the cells underneath where the names and desperate messages and prayers of those condemned to a grim fate are carved into the walls.
Evening meal and overnight in Krakow.
Monday 17th February:
After breakfast we meet our driver and head to the site of the biggest mass extermination of the 20th century: Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Visiting Auschwitz is a spiritual journey into the times of World War II, the times when human life was worthless and the extermination of Jews and other nationalities considered ‘’subhuman’’ was the main task for the German state authorities. Visiting Auschwitz leaves a scar on every visitor; seeing the gas chambers, the watch towers and the death block demonstrates clearly how life ended for many Jews, Poles, Russians, Gypsies and others – millions of innocent victims of the Nazi regime who found themselves in Auschwitz just because they were born in families that were considered politically incorrect or inferior.
We begin with a tour of Camp One, home of the infamous ‘’work makes you free’’ sign, and the crematoria, the gas chambers before heading to Camp 2, which is considerably bigger and stretches for miles.
Return to Krakow with some free time to reflect on the day as this trip lasts the whole day and is a very physically and emotionally draining experience.
We head out for dinner and drinks in this extremely picturesque town.
Overnight in Krakow.
Tuesday 18th February:
Early start as we catch the 6:20am bus to the beautiful city of Wroclaw. Formerly known as Breslau, this city was once part of the Silesia region of Germany but is now part of Poland. In 1944, Adolf Hitler declared Breslau a ‘closed military fortress’ to be defended from the advancing Soviets at all costs. With the civilian population trapped inside, ‘Festung Breslau’ endured a bloodthirsty 80-day siege that cost over 150,000 lives and left the city a smouldering ruin. One of the most savage sieges in modern history, the ‘Battle for Breslau’ ranks among the biggest human tragedies of WWII.
On arrival, we check into our nearby hotel and have a coffee break before meeting our driver and local WW2 expert before we head deep into the Owl Mountains of Southern Poland.
On the way we will stop at the Soviet officers cemetery flanked by two enormous T-34 battle tanks on columns. Amongst the Soviet dead are buried two Germans who switched sides and joined the Red Army, before being killed by their former comrades in the battle for Breslau.
We will visit the underground city of Gluszyca–Osowka complex located 15 km from Walbrzych. This was the place of extensive Nazi activity during the World War II. Between 1943 and 1945 the Nazis created the Riese (Giant) Complex which consisted of underground tunnels and passages. It was a secret project and its destiny is still a mystery. It’s rumoured that it was supposed to be a factory of secret weapons, Hitler’s headquarters or even a nuclear laboratory.
In the evening we will take a walk with a private guide around Wroclaw’s beautiful Old Town, exploring it’s many fascinating sights including the Rathaus, the former Jewish quarter, war-ravaged buildings, former Nazi bomb shelters, the former Gestapo HQ and the grand hotel Hitler frequented complete with the original balcony he used to address the crowds.
We will head to an excellent local restaurant, where you will have the rare chance to try fantastic pre-war Silesian dishes.
Overnight in Wroclaw.
Wednesday 19th February:
As a group, we will descend below Wroclaw to visit a former Nazi bunker which has been turned into a film, science and war museum. Here you can find props from many well-known movies including James Bond, Gladiator, Valkyrie and the bullet-riddled Nazi uniforms from Inglourious Basterds.
The bunkers fantastic war section details the desperate situation below ground as the Red Army encircled the city. These walls witnessed mass suicides of hardcore Nazis and civilians as apocalyptic scenes closed in around them.
Afterwards, you will have free time in Wroclaw to check out some museums of your choice and grab some supplies for the bus to Warsaw passing through pristine Polish countryside.
Evening arrival in Warsaw, check into hotel and evening meal.
Overnight in Warsaw.
Thursday 20th February:
Breakfast in the hotel, we will then head for a tour highlight, a well-stocked shooting range in the infamous Praga district of the city, known as ‘’the Bermuda triangle’’ in the 1990’s due to its high crime rate and mafia influence.
At the range you will have the chance to fire many authentic WW2 weapons including an original MG-42. The tour price includes 10 rounds on the MG-42 and 20 rounds in another two weapons of your choice. More weapons such as a K98, Luger, AK47, Mosin Nagant etc. can be added if desired.
We will have lunch before doing a WW2 tour of Warsaw. Nicknamed the city that cheated death, it was obliterated in the Warsaw uprising and the following Soviet push into the city. However, a lot of war damage still remains. We will visit ghetto wall memorial, the Polish fighting symbol, monument of the Warsaw uprising, the Prudential building and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
We then head to the Polish army museum with a huge stockpile of military vehicles and aircraft outside. On display are many rare vehicles which took part in the Warsaw uprising as well as chilling Cold War era hardware. Inside the museum are thousands of rare WW2 and WW1 artifacts inside.
Evening meal and overnight in Warsaw.
Friday 21st February:
After breakfast, we meet our driver for the day and head north through the stunning scenery of the Masurian Lakes to Gierloz. This is where in 1941 Hitler decided to build one of his most infamous military headquarters known as Wolf’s Lair (in German: ‘Wolfsschanze’). Hitler spent around 800 days here between 1941 and 1944. The fortress is hidden in the forest and contains 80 buildings of which 50 are concrete bunkers. Wolf’s Lair was also the scene of the assassination attempt against Hitler on July 20, 1944 made famous in the Tom Cruise movie: Valkyrie.
We will take a guided tour around the huge complex in two parts:
Firstly, our expert guide will show us through every detail of this vast complex including the very spot where the bomb was placed next to Hitler, Göring’s bunker, Hitler’s personal bunker, machine gun nests, Hitler’s tea house and much more!
Our second part of the tour will be in alternative transport; we will don helmets and board an authentic Soviet tank with a high-powered machine gun mounted on the top driven by the eccentric Polish owner who has a penchant for throwing sound grenades and flashbangs out of the tank when you’re least expecting it! We will then drive to the second zone of the complex to complete the tour.
Quick visit to the souvenir shop where you can buy very cheap inert grenades, Soviet radiation detection kits and other bizarre items.
We will then head to the Mamerki bunker complex, one of the best preserved complexes of undamaged German bunkers from World War II in Poland. In the years 1940-1944 about 250 objects including 30 concrete shelters were built for the needs of the 40 top generals and field marshals, 1500 officers and soldiers of the Wehrmacht, and most of them have survived to our times undamaged. Germans did not manage to blow up the shelters; they were abandoned without a fight by the Wehrmacht troops in January 1945. Essential orders for the troops of the Wehrmacht were transmitted through this place during World War II. For 4 years, there were attempts made to defeat the Soviet Union. It is here, where conspiracy against Hitler took place when Germany had begun to lose the war. It is the place, where the order to suppress the Warsaw Uprising was sent from.
We will head for an evening meal of locally cooked Polish food. The owner of the restaurant is the Polish version of Gordon Ramsay and is well known throughout the country!
Return to Warsaw in the late evening.
Overnight in Warsaw.
Saturday 22nd February:
Breakfast and end of tour with option to visit the Warsaw uprising museum for those with late flights.
Onward travel to the airport or additional accommodation can be arranged.