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SHARKHUNTERS International
Küstrin, east of the Oder

There is much history in this little village of Küstrin.  For centuries, this was part of Prussia.  When still a young prince of 26 years, Friederich (before he was Friederich the Great) was an officer in the King's Army.  He and his best friend, a fellow officer, decided that the military life wasn't what they wanted.....they wanted to write poetry and play the flute so they just walked away - they deserted.  They were quickly captured and brought here to Küstrin, where the king ordered the execution of both men - his son included.  The nobility of the land raised such a protest that the king relented and spared his son's life but the punishment for his son was to watch as his friend was beheaded.  It happened right here in Küstrin.

 
     

We arrived Küstrin in the evening - just in time for supper.  As always, we ate really well on this "Patrol".  We also visited the museum (upper right and below left) of Seelow Heights, site of one of the most fearsome armor and artillery battles ever in history.

 

the Ancient Trading Center of Küstrin
Once again in 1945, the village of Küstrin (pronounced koos-TREEN) was completely flattened as it had been so many times before in history.  This time they decided to just leave it in ruins, so there are not houses, no shops, no churches - even the castle that imprisoned Friederich is gone.  There is nothing left of this once-thriving medieval trading center but basements.

 
     

Küstrin - the village of cellars and roads that lead nowhere.............
 
     
 
     
 

not much remains of the fortress where Friederich

 

the Great was imprisoned as a young man.

     
 
Part of the city wall is still standing.
     
 

This signboard, being read by our Members, tells of

 

the imprisonment of Friederich and the execution of his friend.

     
 
     
 
     
 
    the "Berlin Gate".  The road led directly through
this gate to Berlin......once upon a time.


the WW II Soviet Cemetery and Memorial
In the village of Küstrin, on the eastern bank of the Oder, is a Soviet military cemetery.  Once it was beautiful - now it is falling into disrepair.  The emblem at the top of the monument is twisted and will probably fall off in the next few years.

 
     
 

Local government has suggested to the Russians that they should remove their soldiers to Russia and give them an honorable burial there.  We are told that the Russians are in full agreement - if the local Küstrin government and the Polish Government pays all the expenses!  This was turned down, so there appears to be a stalemate - and the cemetery continues to deteriorate.

Onward to Fort Gorgast!

 

There is always time to visit historic Fort Gorgast which is

 

being carefully restored.  Inside there is another museum.

     
 
     
 
     
 












Yep - that is a bat.  They are protected here by law so one sees them everywhere.
 

These old castles and fortresses are constant mazes of tunnels.  It is a wonder that anyone could find their way around without a map.  And as we see by the photo below left - people are not the only ones who live here.  These old fortresses and castles across Europe are home to millions of bats and they are protected by law.  They don't bother anyone, but they make great photo subjects.

Below left - no central heating in the days this fortress was built, so each room had its own fireplace.  Below right - we stop for a hearty lunch in the same little Polish grill we always visit in this area.

 
     
 

The food was simple but tasty despite the look on the face of MIGUEL GONZALES (3076-2005) - and there was a lot of food!  The conversation and camaraderie was just as good as we see KARL ADOLF WOLFF (7137-2006) making a point here.

the Ruins of Fort Zorndorf
We also visited Fort Zorndorf.  It is still in the same condition as when it was discovered in the woods some decades ago.  Perhaps one day this fort will also be restored, but such endeavors requires a huge influx of money.


spooky looking place. 
 
"Sharkhunters Welcome!" sign even here in Poland
     
 

Let your mind wander - who walked here four hundred years ago? 

 

 What did this fort look like in its day of splendor?

     
 
     
 
     

LOREN CHARLES (3818-2003) is wondering where these
stairs lead - and how to even get on them.
 
COOPER is just wondering.
     
 
Deeper into the fortress - HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983), MIGUEL GONZALES (3076-2005) and CRAIG NANCE (6837-2004)
     
 
Even here, history does not escape graffiti.  There was
more, but nothing we can show here.

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Next we visit the massive fortification Ostwall

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