Gdynia

Babie Doły

15 Mar 2018
Gags about Japanese soldiers still fighting WWII in the jungles of Asia are ten-a-penny. But what about the Germans? You never know your luck, snoop around the concrete bunkers found by the coastline and you may be in for the surprise of your life. On June 25, 1951 Time Magazine reported the discovery of two Wehrmacht soldiers who had apparently been entombed in an underground bunker for the previous six years. The two, along with four comrades, found themselves trapped underground in Babie Doły (30km from Gdynia) after demolition charges sealed the entrance to the supply store they were looting. Two of the soldiers topped themselves, unable to cope with their confinement, while the other two died of natural causes. Burying their colleagues in a sea of flour the remaining pair survived on the numerous crates of food scattered around, apparently washing in schnapps in order to conserve drinking water. They were finally freed when Polish labourers assigned to rubble cleaning duties stumbled upon the bunker, opening up the entrance to be greeted by the sight of two ghostly soldiers sporting beards running to their knees. A surprise? You bet. In fact, so much of a surprise that one of the soldiers keeled over dead. The whole episode inspired the 1973 Clive Rees film ‘The Blockhouse,’ a psychological drama starring Peter Sellers and Charles Azvanour. The rotten news is that the integrity of the original story is largely open to question: you won’t find any other source reporting this crazy tale, and absolutely no news on the fate of the sole survivor. So, urban myth or classic anecdote, you decide.

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