The city of Wroclaw is located in the western part of Poland in the region called Silesia. The region was a part of Germany up until the end of World War II when the city was turned over to Poland. Towards the end of the war the German city of Breslau – the German name of Wroclaw – was named Festung Breslau or Fortress Breslau. The town was supposed to form part of the last defense against the Soviet approach towards Berlin.
The town had limited natural defenses but it was located on an important road crossing on the route to Berlin so it did have some strategic importance. To prepare for the defense the Germans cleared a large section in the city to make room for an airfield to be used for supplies to the city and some limited communication by curriers. To help with the defense large stocks of ammunition was stored in the city to be used in the upcoming battle and extra troops were recruited to a people defense front of the older men who had not been conscripted to the regular army. A regiment of youth from the Hitler Youth was also sent to the city to reinforce the city defenses.
The Soviet arrived at the city on the 13th of February and considered to attack the city and conquer it – but they didn’t succeed and started a long run siege of the city. The Soviet didn’t really consider the town an important strategic position so they just bypassed the city on their way to Berlin. The siege of Wroclaw continued to after the fall of Berlin and the final surrender of Breslau took place on 6 May 1945 just two days before the unconditional surrender of all German troops.
The defense of the city came at a cost. The city was almost entirely destroyed by the bombing of the Soviet but also by the intentional destruction of the German defenders who wanted to give nothing to the Soviets.
Today the city has fortunately been restored and it is a nice place to go and explore. The city has several pretty churches like the main cathedral, the Orthodox Church and the pretty church The Holy Name of Jesus. It is worth having a look around these old religious monuments.
Other attractions are the old square in the center of the town or the last remaining synagogue in the city. The funny little attraction of the town is the many dwarfs which are spread across the town and is fun to go hunting for.