The village of Klomino (located in northwestern Poland) is the only “official” ghost town in Poland. Originally known as Westfalenhof, it was a large garrison and training ground of the German Wehrmacht during World War II.
After the war the village (then renamed Grodek) was a base for the Red Army, and for many years it existed only on Russian military maps. Since the Red Army withdrew its forces from Poland in 1993, Klomino has sat empty and deserted.
In the 1930s Wehrmacht planners built a large military base and training ground in Klomino. According to the Polish edition of Newsweek, in 1939 some 60,000 military personnel resided in Westfalenhof’s barracks.
After the Polish September Campaign in the fall of 1939, the Germans opened a POW camp here.
In November of 1939 there were 6,000 Polish soldiers and 2,300 Polish civilians held in Klomino, arrested by the Wehrmacht during the invasion.
In June of 1940, the camp was named Oflag II D Gross-Born, and soon afterwards, French Army officers were brought to it in such numbers that in early 1941 there were 3,731 of them.
Later, the number of French prisoners decreased and they were replaced with Polish POWs brought from other camps.
Westfalenhof was captured by the advancing Red Army in January 1945, and after World War Two it remained in Soviet hands as a military base. Even though officially part of the People’s Republic of Poland, it was a de facto Soviet Union territory and Poles were not allowed to enter the town.
Renamed Grodek, the village was not shown on Polish maps. Around 6,000 Soviet soldiers lived in Grodek, and the parts of the former German base which were no longer needed were razed by the Red Army. The debris was sent to Warsaw to help rebuild the destroyed city.
The Russians left the area in 1993 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The derelict village became one of hundreds of former military installations in countries of the former Eastern Bloc: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
Grodek was given a new, Polish name: Klomino. For a year the village was guarded by the Polish Army, then it was transferred to the civilian authorities.
(Click thumbnails to enlarge)
Since the Russians withdrew, Polish officials have been trying to figure out what to do with the village. For a period of time it was listed on the market, priced at €2M euros. The propertyshowrooms.com webpage advertisement described Klomino:
“Complete ex-Soviet military village capacity for over 1,000 families, 82.78 ha of land with its own lake and barrack style buildings, 11 buildings in varying condition including a firing range and canteen. Nearest town 4 km. Offers invited around 2 million euros. Only partial information available as costs will vary depending on type of project proposed and subsequent EU subsidy availability.”
Unfortunately, nobody was willing to purchase the village and too few decided to settle there. With no development plans and lacking funds for the upkeep, local authorities abandoned Klomino.
The Nazi- and Soviet-era buildings sit vacant, and now the only sign that remains of the town’s past glory is the final wall of a collapsed movie theater adorned with colorful Soviet propaganda.
There were several suggestions what to do with Klomino. It was planned to be a recovery center for drug addicts, meeting points for Polish enthusiasts of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, or possibly a prison camp.
For a period of time the local government in nearby Borne-Sulinowo sent the families who did not pay their rent to Klomino, forcing them to live without basic conveniences until they could pay their rent. However after a short time, all were taken back
As of the date of this writing, there are five permanent residents of Klomino. There is no bus or rail connection with other towns and the nearest shop is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) away. Anything that can be sold has been looted, including bricks, roof tiles, pipes and wooden beams.
http://www.propertyshowrooms.com/poland … 42057.html (now sold….)
See overhead satellite imagery and map it!