Project Riese – Rzeczka, Dorfbach – Owl Mountains, Walim Poland


Posted: , Last update: October 22 2016, in Weapons Industry & Facilities, Project Riese, Weapons Industry & Facilities. No Comments

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, entrance to tunnel two

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, entrance to tunnel two

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, mine cart

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, mine cart

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, Project Riese

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, Project Riese

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, following the tourguide

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, following the tourguide

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka

Tunnel complex Rzeczka lies between the villages of Walim and Rzezka, named Wüstenwaltersdorf and Dorfbach when this region belonged to Germany, long before the Second World War. Construction on Project Riese and Rzeczka started in 1943 and the Germans kept on digging until the Russian army took over the region in 1945. The tunnels and chambers were dug out by forced labourers, prisoners of war and political prisoners from concentration camps nearby, camps like Gross Rosen, Auschwitz and Dachau. Most of the labourers were prisoners of war from Russia and Italy. A smaller camp was created near the construction site. From 1943 Gemeinschaftslager I, civil work camp one, was set up in a textile factory, from 1944 Ausenlager AL Wüstenwaltersdorf was founded. This sub camp, with mostly Jews from Greece, was closer to the tunnel complex.

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, entrance protection from an MG42

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, entrance protection from an MG42

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, entrance protection from an MG42

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, entrance protection from an MG42

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, concrete room

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, concrete room

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, ventilation unit

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, Russian ventilation unit

Entering the tunnels

Complex Rzeczka has three tunnels, two are connected with a concrete side tunnel. The third tunnel can only be reached from the outside. Total tunnel length of complex Rzeczka is 500 metres long with a surface area of 2500 square meters, its volume holds 14000 cubic meters. Rzeczka holds little concrete, some chambers and ceilings, most of the tunnels and chambers are dug out stone walls and are still rough and very uneven. Only eleven percent of the tunnels are made out of concrete. There is a concrete room with a guard chamber next to it, near the entrance of the first tunnel. A rusty MG42 for close cover is placed in a gun position as impression. There is more to the complex which you unfortunately can’t visit. There is a deeper level, fully flooded, and some air pipes run straight up a ceiling but do not show on top of the mountainside.

Project Riese - Rzeczka Map LMS 2016

Project Riese – Rzeczka Map LandmarkScout 2016

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, connecting tunnel between tunnel one and two

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, connecting tunnel between tunnel one and two

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, double level for ventilation

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, double level for ventilation

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, connecting tunnel between tunnel one and two

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, connecting tunnel between tunnel one and two

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, connecting tunnel between tunnel one and two

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, connecting tunnel between tunnel one and two

In and in front of the museum there are lots of items which not originally from the tunnels, but they give a good impression and make the site more vivid. The tubes on top of the ceiling in the connecting hall between tunnel one and tunnel two are a few of those items, like the mine cart and other items in the tunnels.

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, 10 metres high chamber with wooden ceiling

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, 10 metres high chamber with wooden ceiling

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, 10 metres high chamber

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, 10 metres high chamber

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, 10 metres high chamber

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, 10 metres high chamber

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, tunnel three

Tunnel Complex Rzeczka, tunnel three

Visit

Wear sturdy weather resistant footwear for the tunnels are wet and dirty. Helmets are handed out at the ticket box for some tunnels are no more than 1,70 metres high.





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