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Underwater inspection at synthetic petrol plant site

In cooperation with the “Treasure” Association of Police, divers from No Gravity and Gralmarine (which provided the opportunity to use an ROV) undertook an underwater inspection of the flooded basement of the synthetic petrol factory in Police. In the vast area, there are still ruins of buildings, adits and undiscovered and unexplored tunnels. Three of
Published: October 10, 2015 - 19:08
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 11:55
Underwater inspection at synthetic petrol plant site

In cooperation with the “Treasure” Association of Police, divers from No Gravity and Gralmarine (which provided the opportunity to use an ROV) undertook an underwater inspection of the flooded basement of the synthetic petrol factory in Police.

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In the vast area, there are still ruins of buildings, adits and undiscovered and unexplored tunnels. Three of these tunnels were visited by the aforementioned team of explorers.

At 10 a.m. a three-person diving team penetrated the flooded corridor as the first dive site. During the dive, the descriptions on the walls of the corridors under water and what constitutes the post-war remains were documented with a camera.

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Among other things, gas masks were found, the remains of items used by the workers who worked in the factory and many other items that were difficult to identify underwater, but which unfortunately disintegrated when lifted.

At 12:00 a.m. a group of explorers went to the second underwater tunnel, which is located near the ruins of a power plant that once supplied the factory site. The dive team did not undertake a dive in this tunnel due to the intense smell of oil coming from the water. Only photographic documentation was carried out.

The last site was explored using the aforementioned ROV, supplied by Gralmarine. This provided an accurate outline of the underground corridors located at this site.

Of course, in the flooded rooms things from the war period survived. The flooded factory vaults have not yet been inventoried in such a professional manner. The official presentation of the results will take place in the near future, during one of the lectures organised by the “Skarb” Association of Policka Land.

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The history of the factory in a nutshell

The synthetic petrol factory in Police was a German factory (Hydrierwerke Pölitz AG) which operated between 1938 and 1945. It was mainly used for the production of aviation petrol and lubricants, mainly for the Luftwaffe.

The plants covered a total area of 200 hectares. Civilian workers, forced labourers, prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates were employed to operate this huge complex.

It is estimated that during the Second World War about 13,000 people died here from hunger, disease, exhaustion and cruelty. Mostly Poles.

Hydrierwerke Pölitz AG was repeatedly bombed by the Allied air force until the end of the war. In April 1945, the ruined plant was entered by the Soviets, who dismantled the facility until 28 September 1946.

In the 1960s and 1970s, military facilities were established on the Hydrierwerke ruins. A fuel depot as well as repair and construction companies were established. Since the early 1990s, the area has been accessible to the public. In 2008 a Natura 2000 area was created here – Police channels (PLH320015).

Information about the association

The aim of the “Treasure” Association of the Police District is to promote and protect the historical values, cultural assets and monuments of the Police District. The association looks after the site of the synthetic petrol factory Hydrierwerke Pölitz AG.

Every Saturday at 1 p.m. they give guided tours through the ruins of the factory, during which they acquaint the participants with the history, myths and legends of this mysterious place. In addition, they run a museum where they collect souvenirs from the past. They also take an active part in conferences, meetings and symposia on history, sightseeing, tourism and nature. They also organise activities popularising the history and natural values of our region.

Tours

Every Saturday at 13:00 a guided tour of the old synthetic petrol factory Hydrierwerke Politz AG is organised.

It is also possible to participate in excursions, which are part of the museum tour. The museum is open to visitors from Monday to Thursday, from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Field trips depart at 10.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. The cost of taking part in a field trip is an optional “brick” purchase of a chosen value (several denominations to choose from).

Gather at the association’s headquarters (bunker) Police, 31 Spółdzielcza St.

Tour plan:

  • factory tour
  • descent into the underworld
  • visit to the permanent exhibition at the association’s headquarters
  • campfire (own provisions)
  • Duration of the tour: approx. 3 hours

For kindergartens, schools and other organised groups, it is possible to visit the factory during the week by prior arrangement under the following telephone number: +48 508 825 665

The excursion takes place on uneven and difficult terrain in some places, therefore we ask all participants to have basic tourist equipment in the form of light clothing that does not restrict movement, comfortable shoes, clothing adapted to the season and weather, drinks on hot days, protection against insect bites (mosquitoes, ticks).

You are cordially invited!

Source: Organiser

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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