Remaining Nazi Sites in Thüringen

Excluding Weimar and Buchenwald
In 1930 Thuringia was one of the free states where the Nazis gained actual political power when Wilhelm Frick was appointed Minister of the Interior for the state of Thuringia after the Nazis won six delegates to the Thuringia Diet. In this position he removed from the Thuringia police force anyone he suspected of being a republican and replaced with men favourable towards the Nazi Party. He also ensured that whenever an important position came up within Thuringia, he used his power to ensure that a Nazi was given that post.  After being controlled briefly by the United States from July 1945, the state of Thuringia came under the Soviet occupation zone, and was expanded to include parts of Prussian Saxony, such as the areas around Erfurt, Mühlhausen, and Nordhausen. Erfurt became the new capital of Thuringia. Ostheim, an exclave of Landkreis Eisenach, was ceded to Bavaria.
Blankenburg
Hitler had spoken at the Stadthalle in March 5, 1932 during his presidential campaign, shown here in 1937 and today.
In the early days of Nazi era, those who opposed the Nazi regime were persecuted and murdered, most notably during the notorious campaign by Brunswick SS commander, Jeckeln, in September 1933, when 140 communists and social democrats were herded together in the inn, Zur Erholung. Here and in the Blankenburger Hof they were severely beaten, some dying as a result. During the Second World War the Blankenburg-Oesig subcamp of Buchenwald concentration camp was set up in the Dr. Dasch (Harzer Werke) Monastery Works and, shortly thereafter, subordinated to Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp. Here some 500 prisoners had to carry out forced labour in the monastery factory and Oda Works. In addition, there was a work camp run by the Gestapo for "half-Jews" who were forced to do hard labour. Another camp was occupied in February 1945 by inmates of the Auschwitz subcamp of Fürstengrube and managed as Blankenburg Regenstein subcamp.  As part of the division of Germany into occupation zones in 1945, Blankenburg district was actually assigned to the British zone in accordance with the Potsdam Conference and London Protocol. But because the larger eastern part of the district was linked to the rest of the British zone only by a road and a railway, the boundary was adjusted and Blankenburg incorporated into the Soviet zone. The largest part of the district thus ended up later in East Germany and became part of the state of Saxony-Anhalt. The main part of the former Free State of Brunswick went to the British zone and thus became part of Lower Saxony.
General Karl Litzmann speaking to a gathering of Nazi officials at the Stadthalle in 1932, and the Cavern Beatles performing inside recently.
 
The former barracks is now classified as a schlosshotel.
Jena
Important for being the site where, on 14 October 1806, Napoleon fought and defeated the Prussian army in the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, near the district of Vierzehnheiligen.
Striking workers in front of the Volkshaus at Carl-Zeiss-Platz in January 1918 (left), during the Third Reich and today. Hitler spoke at this site on November 19, 1925 and December 2, 1932. 
During the Nazi period, conflicts deepened in Jena between the influential left-wing (communist and social democrat) and right-wing Nazi milieus. On the one hand, the university suffered from new restrictions against its independence, but on the other hand, it consolidated the Nazi ideology, for example with a professorship of social anthropology (which sought to scientifically legitimize the Racial policy of Nazi Germany). Kristallnacht in 1938 led to more discrimination against Jews in Jena, many of whom either emigrated or were arrested and murdered by the German government. This weakened the academic milieu, because many academics were Jews (especially in medicine).
 
The Volkshaus from around the time Hitler first spoke there and today, extensively rebuilt
  
The Fuchsturm (Fox Tower), Jena's oldest landmark, during the Third Reich and the Johannistor then and now
 
The Planetarium, the oldest continuously operating planetarium in the world opened on July 18, 1926.
 
The so-called Schillerkirche, where  Friedrich Schiller married in 1790.
 
The Stadtkirche then, flying the swastika flag, and now 
  
After the war. In 1945, towards the end of the war, Jena was heavily bombed by the American and British allies. 709 people were killed, 2,000 injured and most of the medieval town centre was destroyed, but in parts restored after the end of the war. Nevertheless, Jena was the Thuringian city whose level of destruction was exceeded only by Nordhausen, which was completely destroyed. It was occupied by American troops on April 13, 1945 and was left to the Red Army on the first of July 1945.  
 
Hummelshain



The former Bauernschule (with flag of the Hitlerjugend in front) and today, now a seniors' home. During the Second World War, the National Socialist armaments company REIMAHG established a hospital for its forced labourers in the form of six barracks built in the castle grounds, each with 89 beds. Under catastrophic hygienic conditions and constantly overstated, the death rate among the 1,088 patients, including 980 foreigners, was correspondingly high. In this hospital a total of 175 forced labourers died, most of whom came from Italy. The dead were buried in a field east of the cemetery.

Oberdorla
 
A photograph taken on April 4, 1945 by American reporter Charles Eugene Sumners showing infantrymen of 'B' Company, 44th Armoured Infantry Battalion, 6th American Armoured Division crossing the street past the body of 19 year old Pfc. Robert Vardy Wynne from Texas who had just been mortally wounded by a sniper. As subsequent research has revealed, the then 21-year-old photographer is said to have stood directly behind his fallen compatriot and had just inserted a new film in the camera.

Eisenberg
 
Schützenplatz has been renamed from both sides of the political spectrum, from Adolf-Hitler-Platz to Karl Marx Platz. 

Eisfeld
 Looking at the church along the Straße der SA and today.


Ruhla
 
Platz der S.A. then and no


Hermsdorfer Kreuz

The Nazi-era Hermsdorfer Kreuz resthouse built 1936-38 south of the Dresden - Weimar  autobahn. Here the federal motorways A 4 (Aachen - Eisenach) and A 9 (Berlin - Leipzig - Munich) cross Görlitz.

Bad Salzungen
 
 The Kurhaus from a 1942 postcard and today


Gotha
 
The fountain at what was once Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today, the Hauptmarkt. 

Stolpersteine at Hauptmarkt 14 commemorating the Wirths, deported to Poland where they were killed. Under the Nazis the town became a centre of the arms industry with nearly 7,000 forced labourers working in the city's factories, where more than 200 died. Furthermore, the Gotha barracks in the southern periphery were enlarged and the synagogue was destroyed during the Kristallnacht in 1938. Bombings in 1944 and 1945 damaged some buildings in the city, in particular the theatre (whose ruins were demolished in 1958) and the main station (which remains only "half-a-building" until today) and the main church (rebuilt after the war). Nevertheless, some 95% of the city's buildings survived the war unscathed.  The American Army reached the city in April 1945 but was replaced by the Soviets in July 1945 and in 1949 Gotha became part of the DDR. 

Friedrichroda
The High Street bedecked with swastikas and today. During the war, Friedrichroda was the site of manufacture of the mock-up production of the double-seat, all-weather fighter version of the Horten Ho 229 V4 and V5 (Versions 4 & 5) jet aircraft. Over one hundred men and women from the countries occupied by Germany had to work in hotels, pensions, hospitals and the Eka furniture factory. From the "Judenhaus" in Alexandrinenstraße the Jewish inhabitants were deported between 1942 and 1943 to the concentration camps Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. In the city park reminds since 1949 a memorial to the victims of fascism. The Communist Käte Duncker lived for some time in Friedrichroda; a memorial stone was dedicated to her in the park.  On February 6, 1945, Friedrichroda suffered an American air attack with the dropping of "120,500 pound bombs and 10 leaflets". 135 died (including 29 children), with 74 totally destroyed and 350 damaged houses were the result. The victims were buried in a community cemetery in the cemetery, which was given a monument by Günter Reichert in 1989. When occupied by the US Army on April 7, 1945, the town was attacked by artillery, especially the dominant Kurhaus (Kurhaus Friedrichroda) was destroyed on a high altitude. 40 deaths were reported on the German side during the occupation.

 Nordhausen
 
Adolf-Hitler-Haus on what is today Baltzerstraße 7. In many German cities there were representative public buildings used as "Adolf Hitler houses" or " Brown Houses " serving as the local Nazi party headquarters. The Nordhäuser party leadership had its headquarters in the former Kaiser Wilhelm club house here on Baltzerstraße, renamed in 1933 in honour of Hitler. Here was also the NSDAP district headquarters and the offices of the Hitler Youth and the German Women's Federation.

Inauguration of the "Wehrfreiheits-Denkmals" in front of the Theater Nordhausen March 15, 1936 during the crisis in the Rhineland. 
The Nazi rule led to the destruction of the synagogue during the Kristallnacht in 1938. The Jews emigrated or were deported to the death camps. The Mittelbau-Dora Nazi concentration camp, established in 1943 after the destruction of Peenemünde, was located on the outskirts of Nordhausen during World War II to provide labor for the Mittelwerk V-2 rocket factory in the Kohnstein. Over its period of operation, around 60,000 inmates passed through Dora and its system of subcamps, of whom around 20,000 died from bad working conditions, starvation and diseases or were murdered. Around 10,000 forced labourers were deployed in several factories within the city, up to 6,000 of them were interned at Boelcke Kaserne, working for a Junkers factory.
The memorial was removed on the orders of the Bürgermeister on May 27 1945. During this ceremony the theatre staged a show dramatising the destruction of the "chains of Versailles" using imagery corresponding to the usual repulsive anti-Semitic stereotypes. The theatre, formerly on Straße der S.A., is now at Käthe-Kollwitz-Straße.
The rathaus flying the swastika and today. In Nordhausen the Nazi party immediately set out to realise its consolidation of the local administration. Just one week after the Reichstag elections of March 5, 1933, when the Nazi Party won over 46 percent of the vote in Nordhausen,  the left-liberal  Oberbürgermeister Dr. Curt Baller and the Social Democratic councillor Albert Pabst were, like other local politicians who did not belong to the Nazi party, deposed as was more than half of the city council. This led to a wave of arrests of its members, the seizure of party ownership and expropriation of property.  The new Nordhäuser rulers seized even bicycles and radios, in order to prevent "communist aspirations."
Nazi flag flying from the stadthaus on the kornmarkt. From December 1939 to June 1940, around 9,000 Saarlanders were accommodated in Nordhäuser private households and collective accommodations. In the autumn of 1939 the first Polish prisoners of war arrived; at the beginning of 1942 there were about 450 prisoners and in March 1945 700 prisoners of war.  From 1937 to 1945, Nordhausen hosted the Mittelwerk Dora armament centre, and from August 1943 the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp with 60,000 inmates (of whom 20,000 died until 1945), in which after the attack on Peenemünde the production of so-called retaliatory weapons, especially the new V2, but also the older V1, took place. In addition, 10,000 German prisoners and foreign forced labourers, housed in 38 camps, had to force-work in various companies. The largest forced labour camp with a maximum 6,000 inmates, some of whom worked for the Junkers Group, were in the Boelcke barracks. This was from the end of January 1945 a "sick and death camp of the Mittelbau complex" and was located in southeastern Nordhausen. It was severely hit during the British bombing raids on April 3 and 4. The US Army forced the inhabitants of Nordhausen to salvage, transport and burial of the dead. The 1,300 victims were buried at the Ehrenfriedhof on Stresemann-Ring. It is reminiscent of a monument erected in 1999. Next to it is a memorial cemetery designed in 1946 for 215 Soviet fatalities.  On the night of 25 August to 26 August 1940 Nordhausen was the first target of an air raid when two bombers attacked the airfield. Smaller attacks were flown on April 12, 1944 and on July 4, 1944. On February 22, 1945  at 12 o'clock 30 US-American bombers attacked the moving train yard, met however the lower town, some plants of the industrial area and the former air force communication school in the Boelcke barracks. In total, 296 multipurpose bombs fell and killed forty people. The Südharzer Kurier published on 26 February a death notice for the "fallen of the terrorist attack" with the announcement to the funeral service of the city.  On October 29, 1944, those born between 1884 to 1928 were forced into the Volkssturm and divided into 29 battalions. The first 200 Volkssturm men were called on 21 February 1945 to the front.  At the beginning of March 1945 42,207 inhabitants were registered in Nordhausen. In addition there were 23,467 "non-local people" (659 prisoners of war, 503 wounded soldiers in 5 hospitals, 420 members of the Kriegsmarine, 6082 foreign workers in mass quarters).   About 1200 to 1300 victims claimed the bombing on 3 and 4 April among the inmates of the KZ satellite camp in the Boelcke barracks. The bombs detonated on the camp roads and in the accommodation block. 
Nazi-led anti-Semitic boycott of April 1, 1933 of Modehauses Schönbeck, owned by the Weinbaum family.
After the Reichskristallnacht of November 1938, the fashion house was 'aryanised' and taken over by the Muehlhaeuser department store and renamed the Modehaus Kramer. After this forced sale of the family business some of the Weinbaum family managed to emigrate to the Netherlands, surviving the German occupation and the war whilst others stayed in Nordhausen and sent to the camps from where they never returned.
Lutherplatz then and now. The Martini Festival on Luther Day in 1933 was used by the NSDAP as a propaganda event. Superintendent Hammer, Mayor Sting and the Thuringian Gauleiter Sauckel gave speeches at Adolf-Hitler-Platz and later that same evening a public book burning took place, organised by the Hitler Youth.  
Children in the uniform of the Hitlerjugend at Neumarkt (now August-Bebel-Platz) putting on gas masks in 1943 and today.

The Siechenhof was the meeting place for Communists and Social Democrats in Salza, a small village near Nordhausen. It was on July 10 1932 that 250 Nordhäusen Nazis, including SA-men, marched under the leadership of the later mayor Heinz Sting. This led to the so-called Siechenhof riots. The Nazis tore down election posters of the SPD and the KPD and smashed the windows of the inn. With sticks and stones they attacked the villagers and fought with their opponents; as the local SPD newspaper wrote on the following day, a "brawl such as Salza has not yet seen." Due to the strong opposition of the Social Democrats and Communists, they finally had to retreat. The so-called "Battle of Salza" went down in the collective memory of the inhabitants. The event is an example not only for the growing pressure on the population, which was exercised in the months before the seizure of power by the Nazis on political opponents, but also for the possibility of active resistance.

Pfaffengasse
Pfaffengasse
Just one week before the invasion of US forces, the city was destroyed 74% by two British air raids on Nordhausen on April 3 and 4, 1945, killing around 8,800 people and leaving over 20,000 homeless. The bombing was ordered by the Allied High Command (SHAEF) on 2 April 1945. There they demanded an attack in support of the 1st US Army with priority to the earliest possible opportunity. The purpose of the RAF attacks in April 1945 was to pave the way for an unhindered advance from the counterattack expected in the southern Harz region. The first major raid on April 3 at 4:00 pm was carried out by 247 Lancaster bombers and eight Mosquitos of the 1st and 8th bomber groups, which dropped 1,170 tons of blast bombs in 20 minutes, especially on the southeastern quadrant of the city. It also killed about 1,200 prisoners.  The second major attack on April 4 at 9 o'clock with 243 Lancaster bombers of the no. 5 Bomber Group and 1,220 tons of bombs is considered the heaviest attack and was targeted as a surface bombardment, including with fire bombardment triggered firestorm on the inner city area. It mainly destroyed residential areas (10,000 apartments), the hospital and numerous cultural monuments of outstanding importance. The city hospital, which had already been evacuated on the evening of 3 April, moved to the Stollenanlage im Kohnstein on April 8. There were from April 3-4 many thousands of Nordhäuser forced to flee. beyond the former Boelcke barracks, no targets were identified as militarily or important to the war effort. Thus the station, the airfield, the railway tracks, the industrial enterprises and the concentration camp Dora, in which the "retaliatory weapon 2" had been produced, remained unbroken. Heavily damaged were the St. Blasii Church, the cathedral and the Frauenberg Church. Destroyed were Frauenberg monastery, Neustädtische parish church of St. Jakobi, Marktkirche St. Nikolai, St. Peter's Church (its tower partially preserved). The remains of these buildings were demolished after the war.The city wall, including the partially used towers and Wiechhäuser was hit hard, the city hall destroyed to the outer walls. In large numbers, the characteristic for Nordhausen bourgeois half-timbered buildings from Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and early Classicism were destroyed. For days on end, numerous fires raged in the city centre, bombs with time-bombs exploded, and the city was under attack by low-flying aircraft. Initially only a few inhabitants tried to bury the dead or to recover their belongings.  Losses of the permanent population 6,000 Losses of non-permanent population 1,500 Losses of prisoners of Boelcke barracks 1,300 8800 together The estimated number of victims of 8,800 refers only to the narrower city of Nordhausen, without the losses in the later incorporated hamlets. There are also higher estimates of over 10,000 deaths, according to the Antifa Committee in June 1945.  Of the 8,800 dead, there were about 4,500 women and children. At the beginning of April 1945 the Volkssturm made preparations to defend the city. In the Gumpe, on the Holungsbügel, on the promenade, in the enclosure and at the city entrances ditches were dug. Much of the officers and aviators sat down in the following days direction "Harz fortress". Shortly after the police and party officials left the city, the Volkssturm, decimated by the air raids, broke up.  On the morning of April 11, 1945 occupied over Werther 104th US Infantry Division (1st US Army) with tank support without a fight Nordhausen. At about 11 o'clock in the heavily damaged Boelcke barracks, the soldiers struck the survivors of the concentration camp Dora-Mittelbau. About 1,200 prisoners died in the bombing of the city in the accommodation block. On the same day, the northwest concentration camp was reached. The middle factory Dora itself had never been bombed and fell to the US troops undestroyed with all secret weapons and documents in the hands. In the vicinity of the Kohnstein and in the village of Crimderode, German followers blew up bridges over the Zorge. About 200 German soldiers and suspicious persons in the city area were captured and brought together in the collective camp Rothleimmühle. In the afternoon, the official transfer of the city took place; Military Governor was Captain William A. McElroy.  The military government released Nordhausen on April 12 for eight days to plunder former prisoners and foreign forced laborers. Activities of the organization Werewolf became known at the end of April and some weapons and ammunition supplies were confiscated. On May 8, 1945, the mayor appointed by the Americans, the social-democrat workers' leader Otto Flagmeyer, had to threaten the death penalty in a call to all plunderers. On May 13, a memorial service for the victims of the Boelcke barracks took place at the Ehrenfriedhof. At her all adult Nordhäuser had to participate, after which they received personal documents and food cards. Since the Nordhäuser hospitals had all been destroyed, from April 1945 an auxiliary hospital was established in Ilfeld. Also in Nordhausen prevailed in the spring of 1945, a typhoid epidemic and exacerbated the desolate situation in the city.

The Petriturm after the war and reconstructed
 
The Horst Wessel memorial has been destroyed and old war memorial replaced since the war.  On April 11 1945, the Americans occupied the town, and on 2 July the Red Army took over. A Special Mission V-2: US operation, by Maj. William Bromley, meant to recover V-2 rocket parts and equipment. Major James P. Hamill co-ordinated the rail transport of said equipment with the 144th Motor Vehicle Assembly Company, from Nordhausen to Erfurt (Operation Paperclip). On July 18 the Soviet administration created the Institute Rabe to develop Soviet rocket technology on the basis of the substantially more sophisticated V-2 rockets. In May 1946 the Institute was subsumed into the new Institute Nordhausen, under an expanded programme of research across the Soviet occupation zone, including a new Institute Berlin. On October 22 1946, under Operation Osoaviakhim, 10-15,000 German scientists, engineers and their families were deported to the Soviet Union, including around 300 from Nordhausen. Transplanted along with their equipment, many remained there until the early 1950s.

Erfurt

1933 parade attended by Attorney-General Frick, Gauleiter Sauckel, Hitler and Hungary's  Minister-President Gömbös (the first Head of State to visit Hitler, setting off a continuous series of state visits from Hungary all the way up to 1945) in front of the cathedral at the Domplatz. 
 
In 1938, the new synagogue was destroyed during the Kristallnacht. Jews lost their property and emigrated or were deported to Nazi concentration camps (together with many communists). In 1914, the company Topf and Sons began the manufacture of crematoria later becoming the market leader in this industry. Under the Nazis, JA Topf & Sons supplied specially developed crematoria, ovens and associated plant to the death camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau and Mauthausen. On 27 January 2011 a memorial and museum dedicated to the Holocaust victims killed using Topf ovens was opened at the former company premises in Erfurt.

Hitler signing the goldene Buch der Stadt Erfurt June 18, 1933 (and footballer Clemens Fritz shown doing so in 2009). It was on this occasion that Hitler declared
Just as we have taken possession of this city today, we have also overcome the Social Democratic movement as it manifested itself in Erfurt, I am particularly pleased to accept the freedom of the city with very special thanks.
 
SA march down the eastern part of the Schlösserstraße in 1933
The rathaus in 1936 and today. 
 Bombed as a target of the Oil Campaign of the Second World War, Erfurt suffered only limited damage and was captured on 12 April 1945, by the US 80th Infantry Division. On July 3, American troops left the city, which then became part of the Soviet Zone of Occupation and eventually of the German Democratic Republic. In 1948, Erfurt became the capital of Thuringia, replacing Weimar.
 
Nazi demonstration June 23, 1933 at the  Steigerwaldstadion, built 1933; the entrance has not changed.

Eisenach
Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today with the schloss and rathaus unchanged. Eisenach once had one of the largest Jewish communities in Thuringia with nearly 500 members at the beginning of the 20th century. Many Jews migrated from the Rhön area around Stadtlengsfeld to Eisenach after their emancipation in the early 19th century. The new synagogue was built in 1885 and destroyed by the Nazis during Reichskristallnacht in November 1938. Most Jews emigrated at that time, others were deported to concentration camps and murdered there.
 
St. George church at Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today
 
The now dilapidated Fürstenhof from where Hitler spoke on October 23, 1932.

Now the Elisabeth-Gymnasium, it was opened August 13 1939 as the Hans Schemm School after the late Gauleiter of Bavarian Ostmark Hans Schemm. In the Second World War , the school was among other things used as a hospital and officers' mess. During the bombing of Eisenach, the building was badly damaged but today still sports its Nazi imagery.
 
More Nazi iconography on this gate on Jakobsplan which still has its hakenkreuz from when it served the SA 
Before the Second World War, BMW had produced motorcycles in the town. In preparation for World War II, new barracks were established in Eisenach and the car industry started the production of military equipment. After 1940, around 4,000 forced labourers (most of them from the Soviet Union) were pressed to work in the city's factories, where some of them died due to the bad working conditions. Postwar, the managing director of the BMW aircraft engine works, Dr Schaaf, told the Fedden Mission there were as many as 11,000 working in the town, 4,500 in a plant inside a hillside turning out BMW 132 engines and parts for the 801, the rest in town.

The Geschäftshaus at Lauchergasse 6-8 is another hold-out from the NS-zeit. The Nazi-inspired iconography dates from the opening year of the war.
The bombings during the war destroyed about 2,000 housing units and big parts of the car factories, as well as some historic buildings in the city centre, which were rebuilt soon after the war. The US Army arrived in Eisenach on 6 April 1945, but the Soviets took over control of the city on 1 July 1945.


Altenburg

The Landestheater & Philharmonie on Adolf Hitler Platz  
Nazi flags behind the Scatbrunnen in the marketplace. The Skatbrunnen was built in 1903 and is the only monument dedicated to this game. During the war, the bronze Wenzel, the pig heads and the iron lattice were melted down. It was not until 1955 that the sculptures could be reconstructed although the iron grates were not replaced. 

A couple of swastikas hanging from windows of the schloss with one flying from the top.
Altenburg was a stronghold of the SPD, which had formed in 1932 with the KPD a working group in the city council. After the Nazis took power heavy clashes between members of the workers' parties and the Kampfbund black and white red took place. 91 Communist officials were arrested and some were sent to concentration camps. Nevertheless, in the 1933 Reichstag elections, the candidates of the workers' parties still received more than 50 percent of the vote. On May 2 another attack took place against trade unionists and members of the workers' parties. The SPD member of parliament Erich Mäder, who had meticulously interrogated Hitler in the parliament, was mistreated for revenge by the Nazis and died as a result of his torture in January 1934. Further groups persecuted by the National Socialists were members of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Wehrmachtsdeserteure and "Wehrkraftzersetzer", a total of 274 recognised 'victims of fascism', including 45 murdered or deceased persons. 96 Jewish citizens of Altenburg lost their lives through the Nazi reign of terror, with over an hundred forced to emigrate. 390 people were victims of Nazi-induced suicides.
Now a dilapidated shell of what it once was, the Preußischen Hof had been the site of a speech by Hitler given on April 11, 1926.
May Day 1933 and the site today 
By the end of the war, the situation had changed completely. This 31 year old Altenburg woman is forced to support a sign reading "I am cast out of the people's community."Altenburg was a working-class city during the Weimar Republic, ruled by SPD and KPD, which led to heavy conflicts between left- and right-wing forces after 1933. The Jewish community was destroyed during Reichskristallnacht in 1938 when many Jews emigrated or were killed in the concentration camps. Furthermore, communists and invalids from Altenburg were murdered.  During the war several subcamps of the Buchenwald concentration camp were located here. They provided 13,000 forced labourers for HASAG, the third largest German company to use concentration camp labour. 
During the Second World War Altenburg experienced several air raids between 1940 and 1945, a total of 265 times the sirens howled. There were building damage and at least 13 dead. Between 1941 and 1945 there were several camps in the city, in which prisoners of the Buchenwald concentration camp and foreign prisoners of war and civilian forced laborers were housed. During this time around 13,000 prisoners worked for the defence company HASAG. A total of 431 victims are remembered at the cemetery. On April 15, 1945, US troops invaded without a fight in the city, preceded by a coup d'état by Altenburger antifascists under the leadership of the Communist Walter Fröhlich, who was appointed in July by the Soviet commander as the first mayor. The Red Army took over the region Altenburg on July 1, 1945.

Zinnwald 
The Gasthaus Sächsischer Reiter where Goethe stayed July 10-12 in 1813, flying swastika flags then and now

Schwarzburg

The Hans Breuer Haus Youth Hostel. It was in  Schwarzburg that on August 11, 1919, whilst on holiday, Friedrich Ebert — the first Reichspräsident of Germany — signed the Weimar constitution, the first democratic constitution of Germany.
It was in Schwarzburg on August 11, 1919, whilst on holiday, that Friedrich Ebert — the first Reichspräsident of Germany — signed the Weimar constitution, the first democratic constitution of Germany.

Saalfeld
Blankenburger Straße sporting swastikas and today, Saalfeld of course is best known as the ancestral seat of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha branch of the Saxon House of Wettin, which was renamed the House of Windsor in 1917 during the Great War.  Because it served as a railway junction and garrison town of the Wehrmacht armed forces from 1936, it was strongly affected by strategic bombing during the Second World War. In the time of National Socialism, people were subjected to persecution for racist, political and religious reasons, which began in 1933 with the imprisonment in the Amtsgerichtsgefängnis. People were also persecuted for eugenic reasons, such as the 571 persons who were made by the genetic health court to victims of forced sterilisation. The Jewish citizens of Saalfeld were forced into the emigration and from 1941 were put to death in ghettoes or extermination camps.  As early as 1939, Jews were employed in the construction of the Hohenwarte dam in the course of the Closed Work and placed in a camp near Saalfeld. During the war 1,491 prisoners of war, as well as women and men from the countries occupied by Germany, mainly from the Soviet Union, had to carry out forced labour: at the optical station 99, at the SAG 99, at the Mecano works, at Mitteldeutsche Elektro, at the The company Max Schaede, at Auerbach & Scheibe, at the working group of the Saaletalsperre in Hohenwarte, at the company Paschold, Döger & Co., the chocolate factory Mauxion, Adolf Knoch, Paul Eberlein Söhne, Gustav Bodenstein and the company Railroad In the cemetery, a Soviet memorial was built in 1947 with 68 gravestones and three memorial plaques. In memory of the victims of the death march of Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945, a stele was erected at the Schloßstraße / Auf dem Graben junction in 1985. In 2008 ten Stolpersteine ​​for Jewish victims of National Socialism in Saalfeld wereset up. From 1936 to 1945, Saalfeld was the garrison town of the Wehrmacht. 819 Saalfelder citizens were killed as soldiers. The city had been severely damaged by bombardments towards the end of the Second World War, the main focus being on the extensive railway installations. In an American air attack on Monday, April 9, 1945, the bombshell of the six attacks of six to seven airplanes, or of their guns, of at least 208 people, which had begun shortly before 9:00 pm and continued until 19:00. Victims were mostly women and children, military personnel, wounded in a hospital train station and railway staff. In addition there were countless injured people. According to surveys by the town administration, this attack destroyed 22 houses, bombing 146 apartments and damaging them. This resulted in a damage of 7.5 million Reichsmark, which caused more than 1,300 bombs with an explosive force of 500 to 1,000 pounds as well as the fires. The railway station, an important transport hub, and the industrial area (Altsaalfeld) near the railway station were severely bombed. An air raid attack at 8:20 clock also brought the production in the Maxhütte to a halt, because the energy supply centre was hit completely. Old-town buildings have also been affected: the Johanneskirche, the Franciscan Monastery (Stadtmuseum), the Saalfeld Palace, the Kitzerstein Castle, the Saaltor and the Town Hall.  On April 12, American troops were on the outskirts of the city; on the 13th of April, in the morning, Saalfeld was handed over to the Americans by the acting mayor. Previously, on the 12th and 13th of April, all the bridges of the town and surrounding area had been blown up by the Wehrmacht.

Schleiz

The little railway station sporting a swastika and today
Greiz

The Oberere Schloss from Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today
Platz der SA and today, Westernhagenplatz
Gera
From an issue of the Illustrierter Beobachter devoted to a Nazi rally from September 5-6, 1931. During the German Revolution of 1918–19, the prince of Reuss had to abdicate and the state became a democracy – the Republic of Reuss, which joined the new founded state of Thuringia in 1920. After the incorporation of some suburbs in the 1910s and 1920s, Gera with its 80,000 inhabitants was the biggest city in what was Thuringia at this time (without Erfurt), nevertheless the more central located Weimar became its capital. After the Nazis' takeover, the Jewish community of Gera was destroyed, the synagogue burnt down in the Kristallnacht in 1938 and the Jews emigrated or were murdered in the concentration camps. Aerial bombing destroyed some parts of the city at 6 April 1945. 300 buildings were hit, including the former residence Osterstein castle and some historic buildings in city centre. Many of them weren't rebuilt after the war. The Americans occupied Gera on 14 April 1945 and were replaced by the Soviets on 1 July 1945.
 
Hitler in Gera September 1, 1931

The town hall with Nazi flags in the kornmark on the left and theatre on the right.
On August 6, 1944, the theatre was closed due to the war and eventually bombed on April 6 1945, the worst Allied bombing of the war on Gera. Already on September 15th 1945 by decision of the Soviet city commander the theatre reopened with Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. By November of 1945, the theatre was forcibly renamed the Reußischen Theaters. 
 
The Heinrichsbrücke in 1934 and its current incarnation today. It was here in November 1925 that Hitler and his entourage were briefly prevented from crossing to get to the Gasthaus Heinrichsbrücke to give a speech. 
 
The Tonhalle on Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today
 
The Handelshof during the 19th Sängerfest (Festival of Song) in 1935
 
The Biermann department store during the boycott of Jewish businesses organised April 1, 1933. It would become "aryanised" by the end of 1935. In front of the site today are stolpersteine for the members of the Biermann family who would be murdered in front of the former site of the Biermann department store at Johannisplatz. 
 
From October 16, 1925 until January 24, 1946, what is now Ernst-Toller-Straße was named Hindenburgstraße.
 
The hakenkreuz flying above the town from Schloss Osterstein 
 
Schloss Osterstein before the Great War and today

The central train station before the war and today

 Schmölln


The rathaus flying Nazi flags. Under the authority of Saxon Minister of Justice Otto Thierack on July 31, 1933, Schmölln citizen Alwin Engelhardt was hired as "Saxon Scharfrichter." The execution of every death sentence was rewarded with 350 Reichsmarks, with several concurrent executions - for the future - allowig each further one with 150 reichsmarks. The Schmöllner address book of 1910 named Engelhardt as managing director of a shop at the Kemnitzgrund. The Communist resistance fighter Alfred Nitzsche from Schmölln died October 1944 in the Zuchthaus Ludwigsburg after five years of imprisonment. The Alfred-Nitzsche-Strasse is named after him. During the Second World War more than 300 forced labourers were employed in the hotel "Deutscher Kaiser."  On April 13, 1945, the Schmollner citizens handed over the city to the 76th US Infantry Division and the 6th Panzer Division. These were used in Schmölln as occupying troops until July 1, 1945. This is today comemorated with a memorial stone.  The Americans handed over the occupation to Soviet forces in July 1945.

Weida
 
Looking at the Osterburg, a 54-metre-high bergfried which is the third highest and one of the oldest surviving bergfrieds in Germany seen from the Platz der SA

Egendorf (Blankenhain)
 
The Thüringische Staatsschule für Führertum und Politik flying the swastika and today. It served as an ideological school for the NSDAP when established in 1933 and was open to doctors, lawyers, teachers, military leaders, et cet. 

Zeulenroda
The town hall during the Nazi era and today. In the city council elections of December 4, 1932, the Nazis won nine out of 25 seats. During and after the war many refugees came to the city, especially after the bombing. The high-frequency laboratory of the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt under its head Adolf Scheibe had been relocated to Zeulenroda with the onset of the surface bombardment. In an attack by the US Air Force on Zeulenroda on March 17, 1945, eight were killed. On April 16, 1945 the United States Army took over Zeulenroda without a battle. On July 1 the Red Army occupied the town. In 1949 Zeulenroda and Triebes became a part of the German Democratic Republic. After German reunification in 1990, the Free State of Thuringia was reestablished. Zeulenroda merged with Triebes in 2006 and so the new name of the town is Zeulenroda-Triebes. On their departure from Thuringia, the Americans evacuated the high-frequency laboratory, including its employees and their families, to Heidelberg.
 
Nazis commemorating the town's 500th anniversary.

Wasungen
 
Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now. During the Nazi era at least ten of Wasungen's inhabitants were victims of forced sterilisation. During the Second World War, 130 prisoners of war, military internees and women and men from the countries occupied by Germany had to endure forced labour in Wasungen. 295 persons died in the hospital in the prison. A memorial stone erected on the Hungerberg in 1948 commemorates the Soviet victims of the camp whilst an obelisk and another memorial stone are in the cemetery.

Masserberg
 
The Kurhaus overlooking what had been Adolf-Hitler-Park, now completely dilapidated.


Quittelsberg
The Quittelsberg is a 709 metre high mountain in the Thuringian Slate Mountains in the district Saalfeld-Rudolstadt.  The summit of the wooded hill is a designated nature reserve, where the ruins of a tower built from June 1933 stand on a stone base- a tower named after Hitler with a swastika affixed. The observation deck was a skyward closed hand. The tower was inaugurated on May 13, 1934 in the presence of the then Reich governor of Thuringia and Reichstag member Fritz Sauckel, who in 1946 was executed as a war criminal. The tower was destroyed October 1949 on the orders of the Russian occupying powers; of the wooden tower today only the base remains.

Meiningen

A mass Nazi Party rally in the marktplatz in 1932. Hitler had given a speech in Meiningen on March 19, 1921.
  Another Nazi demonstration outside the rundbau of schloß Elisabethenburg. The three-storey round building connects the ends of the southern and northern wings in a semicircle and borders the courtyard of the schloß. Up to 1920 the ministries of the Duchy and the Free State of Saxony-Meiningen were accommodated, since the destruction of the Town Hall in February 1945, it is the headquarters of the city administration. The central arched gateway forms the main entrance to the castle ensemble. On the ground floor north of the gate, the city set up a citizen's office. South of this, the ground floor is occupied by a restaurant.  During the war Meiningen was the site of a prisoner of war hospital, and several German military hospitals. The Deutsche Dienststelle was based in the Drachenbergkaserne barracks from 1943 to 1945. A heavy air raid on Meiningen on February 23 1945, by the USAAF caused 208 deaths, destroyed 251 houses and two bridges in total, and damaged 440 buildings. Meiningen was occupied by American armed forces on 5 April 1945. 
Brunnhartshausen 
 
The Gasthof Katzenstein then and now


Sonneberg
Built in 1927, within six years of the Nazis' seizure of power, the décor within the town rathaus still incorporates swastikas. In a blatant attempt to offset its uncomfortable history, its façade sported a shield of David over Christmas whilst keeping the hakenkreuzen. 
At the beginning of Nazi era residents were persecuted for political, racial and religious reasons, imprisoned with imprisonment or penalties or deported to concentration camps. Among them was the co-founder of the KPD locality group Otto Bergner in Köppelsdorf, who was arrested many times before being transferred to Buchenwald concentration camp and finally transferred to the concentration camp commando Witten-Annen, where he was killed in March 1945. A street name commemorates him. Adolf Wicklein, who was sentenced to death by the National Court of Justice and executed in the court of the Weimar district court for providing humanitarian aid to escaped Soviet prisoners of war, is also recalled through a street which had been renamed since then in Marienstrasse. In Köppelsdorf there was also resistance from Protestant churches against the Nazi regime, especially against the German-Christian church leadership. The pastor Reinhard Metz sat down with sermons and letters for preached priests. A member of the Confessing Church (BK) provided a room in their factory building Friedrichstraße 38 for confessional church youth work. The Jews of the city suffered anti-Semitic persecution and deportation, which brought them into the emigration or the extermination camps, which few survived. Between 1934 and 1943, 687 women and men from Sonneberg and surrounding areas were victims of forced sterilisation.

During the Second World War, about 4300 men and women, mainly from the Soviet Union, but also many other nations occupied by Germany, had to work mainly in armaments production: in the Thuringian gear trains, at Siemens-Schuckert (SSW) in Oberlind, in the companies Louis Siegel, JC Eckardt and Kopp & Solonot. In the KZ Buchenwald Auskommando Sonneberg concentration camp opened in September 1944 at the Reinhardt works site in Hallstrasse 39 an average of 400 mostly Jews-Polish / Hungarian detainees worked under conditions that were unsuitable for men. Many prisoners were killed on the death row in the direction of today's Czech Republic. Along the two routes were installed in 1982, at the instigation of the SED Kreisleitung Sonneberg metal panels which remind them of them. 
The so-called Lutherhaus, shown flying the Nazi flag. It has since been ascertained that despite earlier claims, Luther could never have stayed here given the later age of the building. On February 16, 1945 an air attack from 23 American flying fortresses B-17 dropped 800 bombs (half of them fire bombs, the other high-explosive explosive bombs) onto Sonneberg. A residential area adjacent to the railways received the most hits. 28 civilians died and dozens suffered serious injuries. Had not many bombs fallen on open ground, more victims would have been recorded. After the war Soviet military tribunals sentenced to death 21 juveniles aged 15 and over from 1946-47 in Sonneberg as being members of the so-called "Werwolf" resistance movement or to long-term work-bearing fines. Ten of the youths were killed in special Soviet camps. A total of 77 juveniles were condemned, of whom 8 were shot, 30 died in camps. The three young men who were sentenced to death because of their supposed membership in the werewolf organisation were rehabilitated by the Russian authorities during the 1990s. Also rehabilitated was also pensioner Martin Albin, who was sentenced to death in 1946 because of the alleged production and distribution of leaflets and the visit of anti-Soviet assemblies. Other death sentences must be regarded as highly arbitrary.

Bad Klosterlausnitz
The Hotel Herzog Ernst flying the Nazi flag and Gasthof Friedrichshofthen and now

In an astonishing online marketing campaign by Kristall Sauna Wellnesspark, a spa in Bad Klosterlausnitz, guests were invited to take part in a “long, romantic Kristallnacht”—on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, a violent pogrom during which Nazis shattered the windows of Jewish businesses, raided homes, and lit synagogues on fire throughout Germany- with candles placed all over the baths. 

Kahla
In 1944, a construction project was commenced by Nazi Germany to convert the former sand mines at the Walpersberg to a bomb-proof underground factory for the production of the Messerschmitt Me 262. These jet-powered Messerschmitt 262A had two Junkers 004 jets, each making 1,980 pounds of thrust, mounted under the wings. Top speed was 540 miles per hour over a range of 420 miles. Armament was limited to four 30-mm can- non. The aircraft was designed primarily to attack Allied bombers, which it did very effectively. 
To achieve this, the existing tunnel system was extended to 30 km by the use of over 12,000 forced labourers from Italy and Eastern Europe, and a further 3,000 skilled workers. Conversion of the former sand mines into the aircraft factory led to construction of a runway at the top of the Walpersberg, with the first aircraft taking off on 21 February 1945. Had the aircraft been introduced earlier and in much greater numbers, its impact on the air war. However, Eventually only around 20 or 30 completed aircraft left the facility prior to the end of the war.  The first group of forced labourers were housed here in the RAD Arbeitsdienstlager Kahla-Thüringen which had been converted from the Rosengarten guesthouse t which it returned after the war.