More Remaining Nazi Sites around Freising

Moosburg
Münchenerstraße during the Nazi era
Stalag VIIA
In September 1939, a prisoner of war camp Stalag VII-A was built to accommodate 10,000. The General Command of the Military District VII in Munich chose this site between the Isar and Amper rivers. The General Command of the Wehrkreis VII in Munich chose this area between the Isar and Amper rivers north of Moosburg ad Isar. Within a fortnight the camp was ready for the first prisoners who arrived on October 19, 1939. They were initially housed in tents. In the hall of an adjacent artificial fertiliser factory a delousing facility was built. Initially, the camp accommodated Polish and Ukranian soldiers captured in 1939. From 1940 additional barracks were built so that by the summer of 1940, the area of the camp had grown to 350,000 m².  Thus after the Western campaign in 1940, French soldiers (and members of the Polish armed forces in France ) were increasingly deported to Moosburg. After the invasion of the Soviet Union in mid-1941 there correspondingly followed a large number of prisoners of the Red Army. By the end of the war, the number of inmates grew to 80,000 (including increasingly Western Allied aircraft soldiers who had been shot down in the bombing of Germany, including roughly two hundred generals alone); they were used in surrounding industries, agriculture and trade whilst Moosburg itself had only about 5,000 inhabitants. Tens of thousands of prisoners of war were housed in subcamps and labour detachments around the area. About 2000 German guardsmen of the 512th Landesschützen battalion were stationed in their own barracks area between Moosburg and the Stalag. Due to the presence of the camp the entire surroundings were spared from allied bombing.
On the right is a covert photograph taken at Stalag VIIA at Moosburg in November 1943, showing British PoWs resting by the side of a hut. By early 1945, the number of registered prisoners had grown to more than 80,000 - many working in regional industries and farms. It is likely that the presence of this camp close to the town centre spared it from large-scale bombing.  
 On April 29, 1945 the camp was liberated by a unit of the 14th Armoured Division of the United States Army under General Charles H. Karlstad, wherein the ordered transfer of the camp occurred almost without a fight. The site was converted into a detention centre for 12,000 German civilians held accountable for their activities during the period of National Socialism- the "Civilian Internment Camp No. 6". The camp was released by the Americans in 1948 and served to house German refugees exiled from eastern areas. It became a new part of the town, named Moosburg-Neustadt. Three remaining guard barracks were included in the Bavarian monument list on February 15, 2013.

The entrance to the camp, and the town itself shown in the background
Moosburg Stammlager VIIA, 1945. Pictures from Edward J. Paluch 780 Bomb Squadron. From Fall 1944- Feb 1945 interned in Stalag Luft III. This town about 20km from where I live was the site of Stalag VII A, a POW camp covering an area of 85 acres which also served also as a transit camp through which prisoners, including officers, were processed on their way to another camp. At some time during the war prisoners from every nation fighting against Germany passed through it. By the time it had been liberated on April 29 1945, there were 130,000 prisoners from at least 26 nations on the camp roster. It was thus the largest prisoner of war camp in Germany.
   
Former prisoners of war with recently issued Red Cross food parcels following the liberation of the camp- a number of buildings are still in use. The case of Americans and British Imperial troops was unique in several respects: their countries were unoccupied by Germany, they held large numbers of German servicemen in captivity, ensuring the attention of the German government, and lastly, their status as 'legitimate' signatories to the Geneva Convention was not called into doubt by Germany (unlike the Soviet Union or, after 1939, Poland). The inspectors were not just valued by the home governments as a source of information - their agents usually argued forcefully for the improvement of conditions of their charges directly with the Commandants of the camps, and noted in their reports if their complaints were satisfactorily dealt with at that level or whether further action would be required at a higher level of authority.
Moosburg concentration camp warden from the video game Death to Spies: Moment of Truth, where he wears an armband signifying he's from the 5th ϟϟ Panzer Division Wiking. In the centre is Oberst Hans Nepf, Lagerkommandant 1939-1943, and his successor Oberst Otto Burger. The real-life commandants were no video game villains- Nepf was said to have provided decent accommodation for both German soldiers and prisoners of war, and during his time it had been reported that Stalag VII A was "with its beautiful facilities and facilities the most exemplary prison camp in Germany". By the time he resigned in 1943, Nepf was said to have been criticised by Munich-based Nazi authorities for being too decent towards the prisoners. He would eventually die in September 1952 at the age of 73 years in Garmisch. Burger's time as commandant was certainly the most demanding and his courage at the end of the war acknowledged by all. Disregarding the express orders of the Gauleiter, acting as Reich Defence Commissar, Burger made every effort to hand over POWs to the approaching American troops of General Patton. Given that the stalag was surrounded by fanatical Nazis officials, his ability to save the lives of civilians, prisoners and soldiers on both sides is remarkable and prevented Moosburg from being shelled. After the war he and his family continued to live in Moosburg until 1957; his wife worked s a teacher whilst his son Willy- now a lawyer and bank director in Munich- attended elementary school in Moosburg and later grammar school in Freising. In 1964 Burger died at the age of 76.
The cemetery of the camp was situated here in the south-western outskirts of Moosburg, an area called Oberreit, among whom 22 or 23 buried were British. From 1946- 1958 the mortal remains moved to central cemeteries before finally being closed in 1958 when 866 bodies were exhumed and reburied at the military cemetery in Schwabstadl near Landsberg. The bodies of 33 Italians were reburied at the Italian Memorial Cemetery near Munich. In 1982 the Moosburg City Council purchased a plot at the site of the old Oberreit cemetery and erected a wooden cross with a simple stone remembering the dead of Stalag VII A.
 
In the autumn of 2014 on the 75th anniversary of the opening of the camp, this historical marker was relocated at the site, its façade covered by this bronze plaque but steel helmet remaining above.
Today the municipal authorities have seen fit to place a dog association right next to it...
 
...whilst in the town itself this memorial, the Heimatvertriebenen, from 1958 commemorates the Germans' suffering; by 1950 1,931 out of 8,677 Moosburg citizens were refugees fleeing the Soviets. On the right are views down the same road, Sudetenlandstraße, then and now.
 
Today there are still vestiges of the original barracks being used, and along Schlesierstraße
For a site devoted entirely to Moosburg: Moosburg Online
 
Nearby in front of St. Pius church on land devoted to serve as a memorial to the prisoners of the stalag is this fountain, the Stalag Gedenkbrunnen, which had been created by a French prisoner in 1942 and set up in 1963.
The West and South entrances to St. Kastulus during the 1930s and today
Inside the church during the Nazi era and today
 
At the foot of the Johannes tower on Thalbacher straße in a 1935 photograph and today. The rental office across the narrow passage from the tower was demolished that year. On the right is the tower from the other side on the High Street during the war and today.
  
Hitlerjugend in 1937 and the site today- at the other end of the square is the war memorial shown on the right with Bürgermeister Dr. Müller in front of the memorial on March 10, 1940 and today, the Nazi flags being replaced by the red ensign. In 1935 there were plans in Moosburg to redesign Münsterplatz for political rallies by introducing a wide flight of steps leading from Leinbergerstraße to two "honour temples" and a Gemeinschaftshaus at the choir of St. Kastulus which would be directly reminiscent of Munich's Königsplatz although in the end it was never realised.
 
Moosburg railway station in 1935 and now


Landstraße
Photo developer Georg Reindl driving the first car in Moosburg- a Kolibri- in 1908 on Weingraben


Auf dem Gries in 1936 and during the 2016 Herbstshau and looking the other direction in a watercolour by Valentin Ott just before the war.
One of the oldest gable-topped houses in Germany shown in a colourised photograph taken just after the war, and as depicted in a 1941 sketch by a French prisoner of war interned in Stalag VII A.

My favourite Pub on Herrnstraße, formerly a bakery, and looking the other way towards Herrnstraße 293, the second building on the right, where the Jewish administration was housed after the war from January 1946 to February 1951. At the end of the road is the town hall.
When the Allied forces conquered Germany, they were able to liberate some tens of thousands of Jewish prisoners. Between 1945 and 1950, however, the former Third Reich became a temporary place of refuge for about 200,000 Shoah survivors. Besides the prisoners freed from the work and death camps, these were people who had fled from the Nazis to Russia, fought in Eastern Europe with the partisans, or in some other way managed to survive underground. Starting in the fall of 1945, the US military government set up special Displaced Persons (DP) camps for them. For a short time, the US General Eisenhower had even considered allowing the Jews to set up their own territory in Bavaria. This plan had been proposed to him by David Ben-Gurion, who was travelling through occupied Germany at that time. However, a Bavarian Jewish state was never established. Nevertheless, the Americans conceded wide-ranging rights of self-determination to the Shoah survivors. The British, Russians, and French granted no such privileges. Supplies, too, were more plentiful in the American zone, and so about 85 percent of all Jewish DPs settled here, considering their residence, however, as but a temporary measure. The overwhelming majority believed that their future would only be guaranteed in a country of their own, convinced that “only Eretz Israel will succeed in absorbing and healing them, help them regain their national and human balance.” As the state of Israel would not be established until 1948, some Jews dreamed also of a new life in the USA, Canada or Australia. 
The birthplace of Josef Furtmeier (born September 3, 1887), one of the mentors of the White Rose, especially Hans Scholl. Sophie Scholl referred to him as "the philosopher." 
From the end of 1918 until May 1, 1919 he was a member of the Communist Party, and in the spring of 1919 he took part in a communist demonstration at the Justice Palace in Munich. This, and the fact that he refused to use the Hitler salute nor joined any Nazi organisation, led him to be fired in October 1933 on the basis of the law for the restoration of the professional civil service. Up until 1945 he lived in Moosburg and Munich, receiving a pension which was small compared to his last salary. From mid-1941 Hans Scholl got in touch with Josef Furtmeier about Carl Muth and Alfred von Martin. Sophie and Hans Scholl met regularly with Furtmeier. Concerning a conversation on June 4, 1942 with Furtmeier, Sophie Scholl reported: "... a three-hour, uninterrupted and exhausting conversation was held." After the arrest of the leading members of the White Rose, Furtmeier was held by the Gestapo from February 28 to March 20, 1943.  Furtmeier stated after the war period how he had talked with Hans Scholl about the legitimacy of the murder of tyrants. In May 1945 he was appointed mayor of the city of Moosburg and began investigations into former members of the NSDAP and against Nazi divisions. At the commemorative ceremony for the victims of the White Rose in 1945 in Munich, he gave a speech alongside Romano Guardini. In 1946 he joined the SPD. After 1949 he tried two times to obtain a promotion as compensation for his dismissal in 1933. This was denied him by the ministry which claimed that he had been already adequately compensated. He is buried in the family grave at the cemetery in Moosburg shown here on the left.
Also buried in Moosburg (next to a memorial to those killed in the air bombing) is Koloman Wagner, born April 15, 1905 in Sünzhausen. In 1943 he worked at the Driescher firm producing war materiel when Joseph Goebbels gave his Sportpalast, or total war, speech to a large and carefully-selected audience on February 18 1943 calling for total war, as the tide of World War II had turned against Germany. His colleague, Maria Huber, testified in court that following the speech Wagner repeated Goebbels's question "Do you want your men to come to the front; do you want the total war?" and responded with a sarcastic "yes" before stating that this has "signed your men's death sentence." She went on to say in her denunciation that the female workers were ashamed by his attitude, especially given the number of prisoners of war working alongside them. The Nazi mayor of Moosburg at the time, Dr. Hermann Müller (whose portrait hangs today in the town hall) declared that "Wagner is, in my opinion, a man who threatens public morale through his attitude and lifestyle." Even after the supportive testimony of the company's management which had testified how Wagner had been responsible for labour-saving innovations, his fate was sealed. The Attorney General reported to the minister of justice the enforcement of the judgement on July 27, 1944: "The execution process lasted 53 seconds from leaving of the cell; eight seconds from his handover to the executioner until the fall of the axe. No other incidents or other events of importance occurred."
Nearby is the grave of Heinrich Hiermeier. An active member of the communist party since 1931, he was first imprisoned by the Nazis and held under 'protective custody' in Moosburg from March 10 to May 3, 1933. He remained an antifascist- it had been reported to district authorities in January 1936 that although publicly Hiermeier had abandoned his earlier attitude, it is clear to his work colleagues that he "does not agree with the current system." By the end of that month he had been arrested again and on June 23 appeared before the Higher Regional Court in Munich for apparently planning a treasonous activity before being sentenced to two years and four months at the penitentiary. It's not clear if was released the end of his sentence on June 23 1938 but he is recorded as having died in a camp, possibly one that had used 1000-1200 forced labourers in the Obersalzberg to work on one of the gigantic construction projects at the time. Nor is the nature of his death, recorded on his grave as having been February 19, 1940, other than he had supposedly been crushed by scaffolding which led to a skull fracture, internal bleeding and fracture of neck vertebrae.

The bridge that became the main strategic objective in the battle between Patton and the German ϟϟ in Moosburg, led by the tanks of Sergeants Claude Newton and William Summers and Lieutenants Hack and Boucher. The Germans eventually bombed the bridge as Newton’s tank moved into the first span in order to keep the American tanks from crossing it. The battle didn't last long however and by the evening the 14th Armoured Division was established along the Isar. Behind it were miles-long columns of German prisoners being marched to the rear and the fields all around with two thousands of Germans prisoners guarded under lights. Among them lay the burned out German vehicles caught in the fight that morning with the German dead lying in grotesque positions as Graves Registration Officers moved among them preparing for burial and British ex-prisoners of war rode bicycles through the towns. The bridge has recently been replaced by a new one.

Next to the bridge is the Gasthof zur Länd, shown in 1941, April 29, 1945 with Major-General A.C. Smith of the 14th Armoured Div. of the 3rd U.S. army overseeing the building of the auxiliary bridge over the Isar by the 300th Combat Engineers, and 73 years later.
About twenty miles south of Landshut is the tiny town of Dorfen, its Marienplatz shown here during the Nazi-zeit and today.


Erding
Prior to and during the Second World War Erding was a Luftwaffe pilot training airfield. It was seized by the United States Army in April 1945 and used as a United States Air Force facility during the early years of the Cold War. 
 
The Nazi flag flying before the stadtturm and flanking the town's war memorial, today its iron cross now replaced from the top.
The 1941 aviation comedy Quax, der Bruchpilot had several scenes shot in or around Erding- one can for example recognise the Frauenkircherl on Schrannenplatz in the scene shown above.
Directed by Kurt Hoffmann and starring Heinz Rühmann, it was set in the 1930s before the outbreak of the Second World War based on an aviation story by Hermann Grote about an ordinary man who wins a newspaper competition that offers free flying lessons. Despite initial struggles, he gradually shows himself to be a good pilot. It was followed by a sequel Quax in Africa which was also made during the Nazi era, but not released until 1947 in Sweden and 1953 in West Germany. The character inspired Disney to recently 'revamp' the character as Quack der Bruchpilot, although in English his name is given as Launchpad McQuack.The film is set somewhere in the south of Germany in 1930; the main town is referred to as Dünkelstätt although at one point on a sign it's stated as being Dünkelstedt. Otto Groschenbügel, aka Quax, a small employee of a traffic bureau, wins in a competition providing free sport aviation training at the aviation school Bergried. Although hooping for a different prize, he hopes to become famous overnight in his hometown of Dünkelstätt. Kicked out of the aviation school owing to his behaviour covering up his cowardice, he is soon advised to stop the course.  In Dünkelstätt, where the reason for his speedy return home is unknown, Quax is celebrated as an aviator. To live up to expectations, and also out of disappointment that his friend Adelheid was unfaithful during his absence, he returns to continue his education. Over time, he actually becomes a disciplined airman and even proves to be talented. As a reward, he gains the affection of Marianne, who has helped him out of difficult situations several times. At the end of the film set two years later, Quax is seen working as a disciplined flying instructor at Bergried Flying School. The movie itself was shot from May 23 to September 1941 at the Ufa Atelier Berlin Tempelhof and in Bavaria at the airfield of Prien am Chiemsee and here at the Erding Air Base , where the landing on the course was shot. Other parts of the film were shot on the airfield Kempten-Durach, Germany's highest-lying airfield. During the filming the stand-in pilot had to be replaced due to a leg fracture and, due to the war, could not be substituted. Rühmann himself, an avid sports aviator in real life, flew in all the scenes. Both on the wing and in front of the cockpit of the Udet U12 a camera from Bell & Howell was mounted which only allowed for 27 metres of film, which was just enough for a minute. As a result Rühmann had to take-of fity times to record the flight scenes. The première took place on December 16, 1941 in the Ufa Palace in Hamburg. It was helped by the Werner Bochmann hit song Heimat, deine Sterne and went on to win the regime's Filmprüfstelle before eventually making five million Reichsmarks at the box office. Hitler aparently loved the film and had it repeatedly shown at the Fiihrer's headquarters.  A sequel- Quax in Fahrt (renamed Quax in Africa after the war in West Germany)- also starring Heinz Rühmann in the lead role was made in 1943-45 under the direction of Helmut Weiss. As in all Nazi aviation films, values such as discipline, camaraderie and social adaptation are highlighted. A special feature of this film is the main character who, an anti-hero, shows how even an obvious failure can become a "German hero" - if he meets only one competent leader- thus when Quax is at his lowest his instructor does not display the usual authoritarian traits of discipline and obedience but, on the contrary, demonstrates confidence by making Quax himself a flight instructor. Through Nazi film policy, the film was also intended to promote the Luftwaffe, especially as the Third Reich had a particularly high demand for new blood in this area during the Second World War. The High Command of the Allied occupying powers banned the film after the war; Rühmann himself always asserted that he had never felt that he had any propaganda, let alone military, training.
Some scenes set in  and around Erding's Schrannenplatz from the film:
Heinz Rühmann landing in Schrannenplatz at the end of the film. His role in the 1930 movie Die Drei von der Tankstelle led him to film stardom. He remained highly popular as a comedic actor (and sometime singer) throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, remaining in Germany to work during the Nazi period, as did his friend and colleague, Hans Albers during which time he acted in 37 films and directed four. After the Nazis seized power in 1933, Rühmann did not speak openly about German politics, but instead kept himself as neutral as possible. In 1938 he divorced his Jewish wife Maria Bernheim who managed before the war to move to Stockholm, and as a result, survived the Holocaust. His second wife, Hertha Feiler, whom he married shortly after, had a Jewish grandfather, a fact that caused Rühmann problems with the Nazi cultural authorities. Rühmann retained his reputation as an apolitical star during the entire Nazi era. During the war years, Rühmann increasingly let himself be co-opted by the Third Reich. The same year as Quax, he also played the title role in Der Gasmann, about a gas-metre reader who is suspected of foreign espionage. In 1944, the première of Die Feuerzangenbowle was forbidden by the Nazi film censor for "disrespect for authority" although given his good relationships with the regime, Rühmann was able to screen the film in public. He brought the film to the Führerhauptquartier Wolfsschanze for a private screening for Hermann Göring and others. Afterward, Göring was able to get the ban on the film lifted by Adolf Hitler. As a "state actor", the highest title for an actor during the Nazi era, Rühmann was not drafted into the Wehrmacht. 
He did have to take the basic training to become a military pilot, but for the Third Reich, Rühmann was more valuable as an actor and he was spared having to take part in the war effort. In August 1944, Goebbels put Rühmann on the Gottbegnadeten list of indispensable actors. Rühmann was a favourite actor of Holocaust diarist Anne Frank, who pasted his picture on the wall of her room in her family's hiding place during the war, where it can still be seen today, as well as both Hitler and Goebbels. Rühmann had a difficult time resuming his career after the war, but by the mid-1950s, the former comedian had established himself again as a star, only this time as Germany's leading character actor. In 1956, Rühmann starred in the title role of the internationally acclaimed picture Der Hauptmann von Köpenick, the true story of a Prussian cobbler, Wilhelm Voigt, who dressed up as an army officer and took over the town hall in Köpenick. Rühmann was also the leading man in the 1960 film version of The Adventures of the Good Soldier Schweik, after the novel by Czech author Jaroslav Hašek. He also played the role of Father Brown in three German films during the 1960s. In 1965, Rühmann was brought to Hollywood by producer Stanley Kramer for a supporting role as a German Jew in his all-star movie Ship of Fools.
His last film was Faraway, So Close! (1993) by Wim Wenders, in which he played an old fatherly chauffeur named Konrad. Rühmann died in October 1994, aged 92 years. He was buried in Berg-Aufkirchen. His popularity with German audiences continues: in 1995, he was posthumously awarded the Goldene Kamera as the "Greatest German Actor of the Century"; in 2006, a poll voted him number one in the ZDF TV-show Unsere Besten - Favourite German Actors. Erding proved an appropriate site for an aviation movie given it provided the location for Fliegerhorst Erding, a military airfield northeast of the town. Prior to and during World War II, Erding was a Luftwaffe pilot training airfield. The air base was built in 1935 by the Air Force of the Wehrmacht. From 1941 it hosted various flying overpass units, such as the transfer point Erding, the transfer command air group 3, the group South / aircraft transfer squadron 1 and the airlock airlock commando 2. From April to December 1944 the 10th (supplementary) squadron of the combat squadron 51 was stationed here. Only in April 1945 with the III./KG(J) 54 was an active flying unit based at the site which boasted the Messerschmitt Me 262. After the war the US Air Force occupied and used Airfield R.91 , according to the then-Allied code designation. From 1949 the 7200th Air Force Depot Wing was stationed on the air base. It was from Erding that British and American aircraft started to supply flights in the context of the Berlin Airlift. For this reason the number of employees increased to 7,512, 2,704 of which were soldiers.
Nazi rallies, marches and demonstrations in Erding
 
Looking down Landshuter Strasse, comparing the view after the war and today. 






Spiegelgasse

On April 18, 1945, Erding was devastated in a bomb attack in which 144 people were killed, many due to an earlier, mistaken all-clear warning which lured people into the open air. Shortly after 15.00 a relatively small American bomber group consisting of about a dozen planes arrived from the direction of Hohenlinden. Air-raid sirens had sounded at 12.15 for the first time. At 12.55 a pre-warning siren sounded followed at 13.35 by another. At 15.00 the radio broadcast a pre-warning for the city of Munich but a subsequent all-clear signal sound led many who had sought shelter in their basements to come out. By this stage of the war air-raid alarms was an everyday occurrence in Erding as the constant threat of airborne traffic had been accepted. With the Americans already in Nuremberg and along the Danube, most waited for an end. Nevertheless, at 15.20 came the short but deafening noise of the bombing. After a few seconds houses had blown away with the destruction especially strong in the south-eastern part of the city between the railway station and Hagervorstadt. Roughly fifty ten-tonne bombs were dropped. 126 people were killed immediately by splinter, flying building parts, air pressure or under the masses of their collapsed houses with 18 more succumbing to their injuries later.
On Haager Straße the greatest damage was reported as was the number of killed. The pressure of the detonations destroyed roofs and windows in the Innenstadt- on the Schrannenplatz the pharmacy and the Lehner house burned as shown in the photo here. It had taken days of work by mountain commanders to dig up the buried people. To make matters worse, electricity and water were left non-existent for days. The dead wee first placed on the roadside in Hagerstrasse, then brought to the heavily damaged city parish church. The coffins had been stacked on top of one another for reasons of space. Many other towns  in Bavaria were bombed that day- Freising, Rosenheim, Dillingen, Augsburg, Neuburg an der Donau and Traunstein. Erding's city archivist, Markus Hiermer, observed that the "flying fortresses" of the US air forces on April 18 should not have actually thrown their cargo over Erding- "An attack on Pilsen was planned, but it was blown off course. They did everything they could to get rid of their bombs." Nazi air defences had already collapsed in the final phase of the war. Nevertheless, Americans and of course the RAF needed to bombard small towns like Erding to break the Germans' last resistance. Thus the attacks were no longer of strategic importance, but it was seen as an appropriate response to the relentless bombing the Germans had happily initiated and continued against civilian populations from the start of their war, particularly against British cities. 
 The Stadtturm beside the remains of the church on Friedrich Fischer Straße
From the other side on Kirchgaße 
 Of course, many other towns in Bavaria were attacked that day including Freising, Rosenheim, Dillingen, rural districts around Augsburg, Neuburg an der Donau and Traunstein. In fact, the plan was for the USAAF coming from Sicily to attack Pilsen but it was blown off, leaving the crews to do everything they could to get rid of their burden. By now the air defences had already collapsed in the final phase of the war. Nevertheless, Americans and British are deliberately bombarding small towns like Erding to break the Germans' last resistance. The attacks were of no strategic importance, but it was an answer to the Germans' bombing of the civilian population.   On April 30 German troops returned through Erding with the last squad passing ordered to destroy all the bridges. Only the Freisinger bridge, under which the power lines run to the power plant, was spared because the master of the works, Georg Pfab, convinced the responsible officer that Erding could not be allowed to sink into the dark. A day later, American soldiers entered Erding from the already-taken Eitting: "After this blaze of fire, the 34th Regiment stormed Erding at 8 am, and at 11 am, the city was in American hands," according to a military report from the US Army. When the American tanks arrived at Erding on May 1, winter returned with snow covering the rubble. On May 5, 1945 Army Group G signed the capitulation order in Haar near Munich ending the area's war.
 
Comparison of the same street during the Third Reich and after its wartime bombing
 
Many of the photos of Erding during the Nazi era come from the town museum, shown here before the war and today with its mural still intact, during its special exhibition focussing on Erding's eighty year-old aviation history of the site. 
Another museum in town occupies the house where Franz Xaver Stahl was born and which was named after him. Stahl was a painter during the Third Reich whose paintings of farmlife were bought by Hitler, such as his "Weidende Kühe" in 1941. He has a street named after him and his paintings continue to hang in the town hall as well as in the district office and in the canteen of the Bavarian Ministry of Agriculture on Galeriestraße in Munich.  In 1931 he moved into a studio on Nymphenburger Straße in Munich, which he kept until 1944. On June 6 of the same year, some of Stahl's pictures were destroyed during the fire of the Glaspalast in Munich. From 1937, Stahl regularly participated in the Great German Art Exhibition in the House of German Art in Munich, the propagandistic exhibition of Nazi art. From 1937 to 1944, with the exception of 1939, Stahl represented one or two of his paintings at the Great German Art Exhibition each year, an unmistakable sign that he had attained a very prestigious position in the regime. He joined the Nazi Party in 1941 and 1947 was classified as a "follower" during the denazification campaign, although the question remains whether Stahl was a fellow traveller for career reasons or for support of Nazi ideology. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed head of the animal painting class at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In 1942, the Academy awarded him the service title Professor. Regardless, his work seemed entirely focused on animals- horses in the smithy, cows in the pasture, pigs at the trough. Even with his landscapes, a flock of sheep often appear in the background. In fact, only he only produced about ten portraits, mostly of family members and close acquaintances which never changed even after Hitler's seizure of power; up until his death in 1977, his interest had only one topic: the animal. The earliest document which provides an indication of his involvement with the Nazis is a receipt from the Nazi treasurer in the Max II barracks in Munich on January 30, 1939, confirming that Stahl had paid twelve Reichsmarks to join the party. He was admitted to the party in 1941 and, in October that year, was appointed as a teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he had previously studied. 
More recently one of Germany's most visible far-right extremists has been sentenced to ten months in gaol for greeting a Jewish interviewer with "Heil Hitler." A judge described Horst Mahler as "utterly incorrigible" after he denied the Holocaust, again, in open court. Mahler is said to have started a conversation for the magazine "Vanity Fair" with "Heil Hitler" and denied the Holocaust. The interview was conducted by the journalist and former vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Michel Friedman, who subsequently filed a complaint after the interview. Since the conversation was conducted in a hotel at Munich Airport, the prosecutor in Landshut and the court in Erding are responsible for the case. "Vanity Fair" justified the ten-page interview as an exposure of German right-wing extremists.  Friedman himself has defended his collaboration in the interview against the criticism that he had offered Mahler a forum. Mahler himself was co-founder of the left-wing terrorist Red Army Fraction (RAF) and later member and advocate of the right-wing extremist NPD. Most recently, he was convicted in November in Cottbus for giving the Hitler salute and sentenced to half a year in prison without parole. 

Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm
Adolf-Hitler-Platz in front of the town hall bedecked with Nazi flags as shown on the cover of Pfaffenhofen unterm Hakenkreuz by Reinhard Haiplik, now in its third edition. As Haiplik reveals, in the Reichstag election in 1933, the Nazis achieved its highest election result in Oberbayern with 43.1 percent of the votes in Pfaffenhofen- "indeed by far." As early as 1923, some of Hitler's adherents from Pfaffenhofen had participated in the so-called "Marsch zur Feldherrnhalle," otherwise known as the Munich beerhall putsch. Some ϟϟ men from Pfaffenhofen made a career, most notably Anton Thumann. Between 1933 and the end of the war in 1945 there was a lively support of the ruling regime among the citizens of the city. In this edition Haiplik was especially concerned about the subject of war criminals: "I wanted to name the perpetrators and keep the memory of the victims." In his newly-written chapter titled "Victims of the Holocaust - Individual Destinies of Murdered Pioneers," Haiplik devoted his focus to Jewish families, some of whom lived in Pfaffenhofen for decades and became victims of the Holocaust. Earlier Haiplik had previously written that there were probably no Holocaust victims from Pfaffenhofen; he has since determined that several Jewish families lived in Pfaffenhofen until the 1930s before being sent to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz to be murdered.
 
SA men jumping out of a wagon in Munich marked "Burgerbräu Pfaffenhofen" during the Beer Hall Putsch, November 9, 1923.
Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now, renamed Hauptplatz, with the rathaus on the right
The Brauerei Bortenschlager sporting the Nazi flag and today, a K&L clothing shop.
Karl Riemer spent the entire time of its existence, from 1933–1945, in the Dachau concentration camp. He fled from the camp on April 26, 1945. He succeeded in getting through to Pfaffenhofen, some fifty kilometres away and already in American hands, by April 29. The American town commandant there assured him immediate help for the prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp. Karl Riemer was unaware that the order for liberating the camp had already been given on the morning of his arrival.



Memorial in Aign about 20 miles north of Freising to the murdered crew of an American B24 bomber, the Gawgia Peach (42-52709), which crash-landed near Sillertshausen in the district of Freising on June 13, 1944 during a bombing mission to the Milbertshofen Ordnance Depot in Munich, by German ME 109s. Almost all members of the ten-man crew managed to rescue themselves via parachute only to have three of them- Dennis Griggs, Theoron O. Ivy and Robert Boynton- murdered by the Nazis. On the right is a photo of the crew of the 831st Squadron- The second man in the front Row is Boynton; Theoron Ivy is second to the right alongside flight engineer Francis Winners. Griggs, the copilot, is third in the back row next to pilot Herbert Frels who, in 1999, received the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism from then- Texas Governor George W. Bush. At the time Frels had been loaded into an ambulance and taken to the Freising hospital (where my son was born) where he would stay for two months before going to a POW camp. Boynton was murdered on the ground by Nazi officials, as was Griggs who was killed by enraged German villagers after parachuting down to safety. It is believed that Ivy was killed several days later by the same group of Nazis.
The incident served as the subject of a documentary by Marcus Siebler
Schloss Hohenkammer in kreis Freising, flying the Nazi flag