Skeletons With Missing Hands And Feet Discovered Underneath The Home Of Nazi Leader Hermann Göring In Poland

Published April 30, 2024

Buried beneath the sprawling Wolf's Lair complex were the skeletons of three adults, a teenager, and a baby — but the details of their macabre deaths are still unclear.

Wolf's Lair

Christian Kober 1/Alamy Stock PhotoThe Wolf’s Lair in Poland as it appears today. This complex of bunkers once housed 2,000 Nazis.

It’s no secret that Hermann Göring, the highest-ranking Nazi official put on trial at Nuremberg, committed some of the most vile crimes in human history. It seems, however, that the full extent of those crimes had not yet been realized, perhaps, as a team of German and Polish archaeologists recently uncovered skeletons missing hands and feet buried beneath Göring’s home.

Göring’s home in northeastern Poland was part of Adolf Hitler’s headquarters on the Eastern Front during World War II. Known as the “Wolf’s Lair,” this complex was believed to have been thoroughly searched in the post-war years. Evidently, the search was not as thorough as it could have been.

While looking for potential building materials, the excavation team unearthed the skeletal remains of three adults, a teenager, and a newborn baby. No clothing or jewelry was found alongside them, meaning they were likely buried naked, and the fact that each of the skeletons was missing its hands and feet suggests that something truly horrific may have happened to them.

Now, Polish prosecutors are launching a murder inquiry into their deaths.

The Grisly Discovery Of Skeletons In The Wolf’s Lair

Skull Found At Wolf's Lair

Piotrek Fundacja Latebra/YouTubeThe team ultimately found the remains of three adults, a teenager, and a baby, some with missing hands and feet, one with a twisted spine, and another with no eye socket.

As of now, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the bodies. Oktavian Bartoszewski, a researcher who has worked at the site for many years, told the German publication Spiegel, “Those who laid the pipes should have discovered the human remains. We were completely shocked.”

In other words, if the workers laying pipes didn’t notice the bodies at the time, then it’s likely that they weren’t there yet.

Polish police noted that they have found no evidence of any recent crime at the site, further supporting the theory that the bodies likely came from the time of World War II. Of course, it’s also possible that the crime involved Hermann Göring himself.

Other theories suggest that the bodies may have been victims of a killing that took place after the abandonment of the Wolf’s Lair, though it’s too soon in the investigation to say for certain.

“The sight shocked us,” Piotrek Banaszkiewicz of the Latebra Foundation, which was involved in the discovery, told The Daily Mail. “Initially, we thought they were animal bones, and we weren’t sure what we were dealing with until a delicate skull emerged at one point.”

Hermann Göring On Trial

Wikimedia CommonsHermann Göring on trial for his crimes at Nuremberg.

Banaszkiewicz added that the first of the discovered remains was “arranged unnaturally,” with the spine being “highly curved” and a “deformed skull” that suggests the deceased had been plagued with major health issues. The skull’s teeth were also worn down, likely indicating that they had been elderly.

The investigation into who these individuals were, how they died, and whether Göring was involved is still ongoing, with Polish prosecutors noting that their findings will be published in due time.

The Story Of The Wolf’s Lair Complex, Hitler’s Headquarters On The Eastern Front

As for the site itself, the Wolf’s Lair was a sprawling complex deep in the woods of Kętrzyn, Poland. It was constructed in 1941 and housed Hitler along with 2,000 fellow Nazis. The Wolf’s Lair contained 50 bunkers, 70 barracks, two airfields, and a railway station where other artifacts have also been found in recent years.

The secluded nature of the complex, however, also inspired dissent in Hitler’s regime, as the Nazi leader became increasingly detached from the ongoing war over the course of his 850 days at the Wolf’s Lair.

It was here, in July 1944, that Nazi Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and others attempted to assassinate Hitler, but failed.

Adolt Hitler At Wolf's Lair

Wikimedia CommonsHitler inspecting damage to the Wolf’s Lair after the failed attempt on his life.

After Hitler’s suicide and the subsequent surrender of Nazi Germany in May 1945, the Wolf’s Lair was quickly abandoned and neglected as the rest of Europe began to rebuild. The Wolf’s Lair soon became overrun by moss, and for a time was used as a makeshift site for paintball matches.

It wasn’t until 2017 that the Polish Forestry Inspectorate acquired the complex and installed historic markers, information panels, and tourism guidelines.

And while artifacts have continued to be discovered at the Wolf’s Lair, none have been quite as macabre or sinister as this new discovery.


After learning about this grisly discovery at the Wolf’s Lair, read up on Dr. Theodor Morell and the truth about Hitler’s drug habit. Then, learn about Hans and Sophie Scholl’s White Rose movement — and how it fought back against the Nazis.

author
Austin Harvey
author
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Austin Harvey has also had work published with Discover Magazine, Giddy, and Lucid covering topics on mental health, sexual health, history, and sociology. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Point Park University.
editor
John Kuroski
editor
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Harvey, Austin. "Skeletons With Missing Hands And Feet Discovered Underneath The Home Of Nazi Leader Hermann Göring In Poland." AllThatsInteresting.com, April 30, 2024, https://allthatsinteresting.com/wolfs-lair-skeletons. Accessed May 23, 2024.