Freising in the Third Reich


Münchenerstr. during the Third Reich and today.
Mourners at Marienplatz on the left, honouring murdered Kurt Eisner February 24, 1919 with public buildings flying red flags. On the right is a period postcard of the event.
A few days after his April 7 murder, the Räterepublik, a soviet republic, was proclaimed in Munich. On the same day the soviet republic for Freising was also proclaimed.This soviet republic lasted about five days. The period photo is shortly after its overthrow when troops from Regensburg entered. On the 30th they continued south to overthrow the soviets in Munich.

Freising has changed gradually since over the decades...
View from Weihenstephan hill across from the Lindenkeller, east of Cathedral Hill. The period photo from Franz Ress shows how much the slope has been reduced and the view altered by adding vegetation.On the right is the small connecting lane between Johannisstrasse and Veitsmuellerweg leading up to Weihenstephaner Berg from the same path below.

View of Prinz-Ludwig-Straße from the end of Ziegelgasse. The Ziegeltor was destroyed in 1898, the last of Freising's six gates.
Many of the photographs of Freising taken during Nazi rule are from Carl Koislmaier.

Shoe shops then-and-now along the Obere and Untere hauptstrasse.
Two survivors amidst change, with the photo on the left showing the corner of Wippenhauser Straße and Schönmetzlerstraße during the Third Reich and today. The house on the left still stands, now serving the Islamischen Gemeinde Freising. On the right is the forlorn Petuel-Villa on Münchner Straße.
Fischergasse, looking from and at Calafati's, then and now
Fischergasse in the 1930s and today. Fischergasse is, as Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl noted in his 1866 essay on Freising, the only historic street that refers to a trade.
During the so-called Kinderhexenprozesse in Freising, the Hexenturm (Witches' Tower) at the Alte Gefängnis was constructed.
The first trial began with the arrest of the so-called Bettelbuben (beggar children) Andre and Lorenz on December 3, 1715, who were accused of being able to make piglets and mice. Based on their statements two other children were arrested. On August 12, 1717 Andre hanged himself in his cell whilst another boy died of illness. Three boys were executed on November 12, 1717 by sword and fire. Two other boys had to watch their execution and beaten with rods before being placed under "spiritual supervision." One girl, Elisabeth Adlwart was forced to shave the entirety of her body to be examined for physical characteristics of one who has made a pact with the devil.
The last witch hunt in Freising occurred between 1720 and 1722, and it included the execution of eight “zauberbuben” or magic boys. It was triggered by the arrest of Adlwart Veit for theft. Probably due to his conviction in the first children's witch trial (he was one of the two boys who had to watch the execution) the charge of theft was changed to witchcraft. In the course of this period over an hundred people were arrested with eight boys between 14 to 23 years and three middle-aged beggars were executed including Adlwart Veit on December 15, 1721. As so often in history, the wave of arrests and executions did not come to an end until more and more members of the upper classes were targeted.
The left shows the view across from the old gaol house and behind the old university (the "Asamgebäude") along Fischergasse from the 1930s and today, after the bathhouse shown was destroyed in 1962

The äußere Heiliggeistgasse in the 1930s and today on the left, and photo on the right from around 1870 showing the former Münchner Gate which had been emblazoned with the arms of Freising. The neo-Romanesque Altöttinger Chapel on the right is still there. 
St.-Georgs-Schule, now the Staatsinstitut für die Ausbildung von Förderlehrern and, on the right, the former Tischlermuehle, on the corner of Heiliggeistgasse and Erdinger Strasse
The Furtnerbräu and further down Obere Hauptstraße 24, 24a and 26; period photo from 1935
On the corner of bahnhofstrasse and the High Street
1930 and today; the war memorial has been moved slightly since the war and looking at Untere Hauptstraße 19, 21 and 23 in 1935 and today, with only the central building (the Tritscheler-Haus) remaining intact.
Looking towards the other end with the Veitstor, one of the six mediaeval city gates named after the former collegiate St. Vitus. The period photo shows it during its demolition after a man's horse panicked whilst going through the narrow passage, seriously injuring the man. The building on the left was the former site of the Zinnerne Kanne at Obere Hauptstraße 59, torn down in 1970 and now replaced with a Commerzbank.
Freising during the Depression- Freisingers queuing up at the high street tobacconist's. The shop today sells shoes, whilst one of the reconstructed buildings has erected the bust of an aged woman who appears to be a casualty of the town's tumultuous history from the past century.

The Gasthof Kolosseum, now gone and replaced on the High Street with a Woolworths, where Hitler gave a speech on February 12, 1928. On 7 September 1922 the Freisinger local group of the NSDAP was created. On the right is shown Freising girls giving the Hitler salute.

A meeting of Social Democrats held at the Landshuter Hof (now a Thai restaurant) at the end of 1932 before Hitler's appointment and its prohibition under the Enabling Act through which many party officials were imprisoned, killed or went into exile.
1933 saw the replacement of mayor Stephan Bierner, who had been in that office for more than 30 years, with Nazi Gottlieb Schwemmer. This took place after the special commissioner for city and district of Freising (Sonderkommissar für Stadt und Bezirk Freising)Hans Lechner had been forced to accept Bierner's resignation by the NSDAP Ortsgruppenleiter George Preiser. Bierner denied, however, in a speech that he had been forced to resign and declared that he was not a National Socialist, but always a German first.

Adolf-Hitler-Strasse, Freising's main street (now Obere Hauptstrasse).

Bedecked with swastikas and today

The eagle that gives its name to the Adler Apotheke at Obere Hauptstraße 62 dates from 1937.
Obere Hauptstraße 3 during the nazi-zeit and today. Originally built in 1905, it housed the Hutmachergeschäft Koislmaier from 1911. By 1966 this building and the ones on either side were replaced with those of local architecht Hans Hofmann. Meanwhile the Laubenbräu at Marienplatz 3, now Café Marienplatz after a fire in 1965 too has changed its façade. On the right is the rear of the town hall.
Military parades in the town centre

Development of the rathaus, with torchlight procession during the last year of the war
In front of the rathaus and St. George church
And in behind.

Marienplatz in 1943 and today

Adolf Hitler Strasse in a 1937 postcard and during a 1940 Bürgerfest. It wasn't until August 1945 that 18 streets in Freising were renamed, including Adolf Hitler Straße to Captain Snow Straße and then Obere Hauptstraße, Hindenburg Straße to Untere Hauptstraße (although in the postcard here it is named after Hitler), Adolf Wagner Straße to Gartenstraße, Herbert Norkus Straße to Fabrikstraße, Von-Blombergstraße was named after the defence minister and Generalfeldmarschall of the Wehrmacht Werner von Blomberg before he fell into disgrace in 1938 and was renamed Von-Stein-Straße after the Bavarian artillery General Hermann Freiherr von Stein (1859-1928), Sigmund-Halter-Straße to Sighartstraße, and Horst Wessel Straße to Bahnhofstraße. A planned " Hermann Goring Road " (the boreal part of the Asamstraße ) was not realised.
Heinestrasse, named after German poet Heinrich Heine was renamed, due to his Jewish origin, Dietrich-Eckart-Straße after the early member of the NSDAP and mentor to Adolf Hitler. A number of streets were renamed after 'martyrs' of the cause- Fabrikstraße became Herbert-Norkus-Straße after the Nazi killed by communists in 1932. Hirschmannstraße, now Kesselschmiedstraße, was named in honour of the Munich SA man killed in 1927. Schlageterstraße, now Goethestraße,was of course named for  Albert Leo Schlageter who had been killed by the French occupiers of the Ruhr in 1923 and co-opted posthumously by the Nazis as one of their own. Those killed as part of the failed Munich beer hall putsch were also honoured with street names-  Andreas-Bauriedlstraße (now Meisenstraße), Kurt-Neubauerstraße (now Rabenweg), Von-der-Pfortenstraße (today Tannenweg), Laforcestraße (renamed Buchenweg) and Karl-Kuhn-Straße (now Erlenweg).

One last example is Casellastraße, whose named has reverted back to Plantagenweg (behind where I live). Theodor Casella was the bank clerk who, according to Ernst Röhm in his book "Die Geschichte eines Hochverräters," was with Martin Faust both members of the armed militia organisation Reichskriegsflagge and were shot down accidentally in a burst of machine gun fire during the occupation of the War Ministry as the result of a misunderstanding with II/Inf.Regt 19.

Difficult to see in every image apart from the one at the NS-Dokumentationszentrum in Munich (left), the bus that transported armed Nazis to Munich for the failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch came from Freising- it reads on the side 'Hofbrauhaus F[reising]' 
Seen from the opposite side, 'Freising' is clearly discerned

Postcards from 1942
The Fürstbischöfliches Lyceum in 1933 on Untere Hauptstrasee directly across Marienplatz.
In 1936 and in front of the Marcushaus
SA marching past and SA man intimidating any thinking of shopping inside.
The memorial plaque on the side of the building remembers the former Jewish inhabitants who had suffered during the Nazi regime using the usual vague terms such as 'Judenverfolgung'. One name on it belongs to the family of the first Jew who demonstrably established himself here- Isaac Raphael Ignaz Neuburger (born 30iv1853 in Buchau in Württemberg) where he launched his business in 1881- a factory producing materials and articles of clothing. The business ran well, so that by 1931 the adjacent building was acquired. In 1893 the Neuburgers received Bavarian nationality and on request to Ignaz Neuburger the right of domicile and citizenship of Freising was awarded. The family enjoyed an high reputation in Freising as seen in the condolence letter mayor Bierners wrote upon the death of Ignaz Neuburger in 1928 where he was described as "a splendid, honourable man as well as large benefactor of the municipality and its people ."
The Kreisleitung of the NSDAP in 1936; formally the 'alte rathaus', the locals would refer to it as das 'braune haus.' On the façade can be seen the Nazi eagle and the writing "Ein volk, Ein fuhrer, Ein reich." On the side is clearly shown a Hitler Youth drummer. The Kreisleiter (County Leader) was a Nazi Party political rank and title which existed as a political rank between 1930 and 1945 and as a Nazi Party title from as early as 1928. The position of Kreisleiter was first formed to provide German election district coordination and, after the Nazi assumption of power, the position became one of county municipal government, effectively replacing the traditional German government establishment.

In 1881 Ignaz Neuburger opened his family-run department store on Bahnhofstr. 4 directly across the road from the Nazi party headquarters.. The photos above show the business as it was and after the business had been 'aryanised' and the family sent off to exile and/or death. By the time the photograph on the right was taken Bahnhofstraße was rechristened Horst Wessel Straße.
The same building, showing anti-Semitic graffiti (pogromstimmung) on the former shop owned by the Neuburger family. Note how the buildings on either side are unchanged, especially the Hotel Gred.
On 10 November 1938 the second large, publicly organised action against the Jewish community took place against in Freising after four large meetings including those organised by the NSDAP Ortsgruppe in the Kolosseum and the owner of the Stieglbräu. A large crowd with signs marched before the house of the Neuburgers and the Holzers and demanded loudly that all Jews in Freising should leave. Irma Holzer was humiliated own the road by the crowd, which broke the windowpanes of the Neuburger's department store. The Lewins left, selling their house in 1936 for substantially less than it was worth. Martin Holzer emigrated to Palestine, whilst the Neuburgers remained the longest in the city when their official notice of departure to Munich took place only by 27.x.1939.
Nearby on the high street, which I found hard to find despite looking out for them, are the so-called 'stumbling blocks' (stolperstein) that mention the fates of Freising's Jewish victims:

Another victim of the pogrom was lawyer and future mayor Max Lehner. Although not a Jew, he was forced to wear a sign reading Juda verrecke around the town.
 Memorial to ethnic Germans forced out of the Sudetenland after the war

Neustift- the kloster when it served as a military barracks and today and the kindergarten which was originally established in 1937 by the Nazis as the NS-Kindergarten Neustift.
The Bürgerturm from the Topographia Germaniae and when it was used by the Hitlerjugend during WWII. I'd been locked inside for an hour one morning when the proprietor locked up without knowing we were upstairs at the time.

SA marching down my street- Prinz-Ludwig-Strasse

Looking from the other direction-  the 7. Infanterie-Division and 19. Infanterie-Regiment marching down the same road on May 1, 1939. The buildings are identifiable but covered by trees
Postcards of the General von Stein Kaserne der Bundeswehr. Today it's known as the Vimy kaserne, named after the immortal Canadian victory over the Germans during the Great War. The street was given its name by the Nazi authorities. It was here that ϟϟ-Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann, holder of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, assigned to the 19. Infantry Regiment for two years. Heinrich Himmler also attended military training in 1918 here, writing to his family in nearby Landshut:
The Freising course is getting more and more rotten and strict: oh well, we’ll make a reasonable job of it, even if we’re not brilliant.
Prinz Arnulf-kaserne in 1914 before being renamed Vimy kaserne during the Nazi era, and from my street

From a postcard sent 10 August 1939 and today. The road entering into the complex, Major-Braun-Weg, is named after Major Alois Braun (1892-1963), head of the Freisinger Panzer Replacement Division 17.

It was just outside Freising to the north in the Haidberghof in the hamlet of Pettenbrunn that Braun chose as a base for the anti-Nazi Freiheitsaktion Bayern (FAB). In early April 1945, the Major met with members of the FAB which consisted of a total of five groups, mainly from members of the military in Freising, Munich and Moosburg, who had also reached out to civil society groups and even U.S. intelligence in Switzerland. It wasn't until the night of April 27-28 that they initiated any action, the plan of which attempted the removal of higher military personnel and the Gauleiter of Munich and Upper Bavaria, Paul Giesler (1895-1945) in order to negotiate, with the Reich Governor in Bavaria, Franz Xaver Ritter von Epp, an armistice with the Allied troops. Then, based on a ten-point program, a transitional government would be established. With leaflets, newspaper and radio, the public was called upon for support. In the end, nearly 440 soldiers were involved. The radio station in Ismaning was taken over under the command of Lieutenant Ludwig Reiter with 100 to 150 men and tanks,and from 6:00 the FAB was able to transmit within a radius of more than 100 kilometres, declaring that the FAB had "fought the power of government" and called for support from listeners. In Munich and many other places south of the Danube, 78 actions took place involving some 990 participants who responded to this FAB call for action. Governor Ritter von Epp had responded hesitantly and had been brought at night to Haidberghof, meeting Major Brown and several officers. However, von Epp left the isolated farm in the morning unconvinced. In total 57 people were arbitrarily executed
After the war, Major Alois Braun worked in the Bavarian Ministry of Education as an elementary school consultant. From 1947 he founded the "Archives of the resistance movement set up by order of the Bavarian State Chancellery."

The Haidberghof was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the construction of a missile base.
Next door to the Vimy kaserne is the Pallottiner, taken over by the Nazis in 1939 for its "political unreliability." The suburbanisation has made then-and-now comparisons from the period problematic.
Albert Eise, the Pallotti House's first rector, was born on 7 January 1896 in the Swabian town of Oeffingen. After the First World War he joined the Pallotti, completed his novitiate at Limburg and was ordained a priest in 1925. In 1936 in connection with the December issue of monthly magazine "Queen of the Apostles" for which he served as editor, he fell for the first time in conflict with the Gestapo. He was accused of promulgating in the issue"remarks which were likely to cause unrest and an erroneous impression about the German armaments in the reader." Other versions were referred to as "spiteful attacks on party and state". From the start of the war his rejection of the Nazis increasingly grew until he was finally arrested on August 4, 1941 by the Gestapo. He had spoken at a public meeting "in the sense of an enemy of the state". On November 14 he was sent to Dachau concentration camp. Due to the tortures of the camp and poor medical care Father Albert Eise died on September 3, 1942. This plaque inside commemorates him.
On the base of Mary's column on Marienplatz is a reference (incongruously in German rather than Latin) to local boy and former Hitlerjugend Pope Benedict's 2006 visit when he was made an honorary citizen.
In the 1997 book Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was asked in an interview With Peter Seewald to address the question of whether he was ever in the Hitler Youth.
At first we weren’t, but when the compulsory Hitler Youth was introduced in 1941, my brother was obliged to join. I was still too young, but later as a seminarian, I was registered in the Hitler Youth. As soon as I was out of the seminary, I never went back. And that was difficult because the tuition reduction, which I really needed, was tied to proof of attendance at the Hitler Youth.
Both brothers were ordained in Freising on 29 June 1951; the photo of their ordination is often found cropped online to depict him making the Hitler salute. Ratzinger is shown right on Freising Dom as Archbishop of Munich and Freising (1977-1982).

Pope Benedict XVI's arms incorporate the Coat of arms of the Prince-Bishopric of Freising and the seal of Freising (right). Both the bear and the head represent St. Corbinianus, a 7th century bishop of Freising.
The Domberg as it appeared during the war
and after

Leading up to the cathedral
The Cathedral during the NSDAP era and now. Apparently there had been a judensau on the cathedral until 1921. The inscription attached to the fifteenth century Judensau in the choirof read:“Sowahr die Maus die Katz nit frisst, wird der Jud kein wahrer Christ” (as much as the mouse does not eat the cat, the Jew won’t become a true Christian).

The former Knabenseminar, (now the Dombergmuseum) was converted by the Nazis into a military hospital during the war.
The Christi-Himmelfahrt Evangelical Church after the bombing of April 18, 1945.

As it appears today after plans of the Günzburger architect Julius Ott. It was consecrated May 22, 1952. The memorial in front marks the 200 who were killed in the bombing, forty of whom were parishioners of this church.
The railway station immediately after having been bombed, provisionally cleared up, and now

The post office across the street too was destroyed, shown after its destruction, as it appears in Freising von 1945 bis 1950, and today

Brunnhausgasse after the April 18, 1945 bombing

The provisional graves of the victims have been replaced, and today a memorial at the waldfriedhof commemorates Germans from the lost territories

 The Isarbrücke then...

On April 29, 1945 at 18.00 the Isarbrücke is blown up, its current incarnation seen from Korbinianbrücke ...but does nothing to stop the allies.

Social housing estates (Wohnungsbau) built immediately after the war on Sighardstrasse and today

An American GI stands in front of what is now the Technische Universität München at oldest brewery in the world- Weihenstephan.
 In 1904 and today

The park beside the Hochschule Weihenstephan in 1937 and now
 What passes for Weihenstephan's war memorial in a disused lot
Images of Freising from the wartime photographs of a member of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 442 Regimental Combat Team provided by his sons as Layla 'n Pip. The 442nd is notable in US history for a few reasons, the most extraordinary of which is that soldiers were recruited out of the "relocation camps" -- facilities behind barbed wire in remote parts of the American West where West Coast citizens and resident aliens of Japanese descent were "relocated" by order of the government.
Nazis on Marienplatz during the Third Reich, and Neo-Nazis commemorating the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Freising at the same location.
Neo-Nazis at the same site on March 13, 2011 over seventy years later; looks like the handful of members hurried out of their car to take the picture at 3 in the morning... One weekend I was stopped by a nice group of National Socialists on the bridge in town over the Isar and given this brochure against foreigners such as myself. My Chinese wife, a bit further back, wasn't offered one. Difficult to see in the image are the dashed borders within those of Poland and Czech Republic denoting the land Germany "lost" (including the Sudetenland) after the war and which, presumably, this group has still not accepted.
Here, just outside Freising in Dürneck where I cycle past everyday to get to work, is where Ferdinand Marian died in a road accident in 1946. He had been the star of history’s most incendiary film, Jud Süß despite having had an half-Jewish daughter from his first marriage and whose second wife had been married to a Jew whom Marian hid in his house. Apparently he had been driving to Munich drunk with a borrowed car to collect denazification papers that with the permission by US film officer Eric Pleskow that would have allowed him to work again, having celebrated this news just beforehand. Other sources suggest that the accident was suicide although I can't find any support for this claim. His losing fight to not appear in the film was the subject of the German-Austrian movie Jud Süss - Film ohne Gewissen of 2010.
Kloster Wies during the Great War and today 
Also just outside Freising but to the east is the 'Naturfreunde' centre in Hangenham overlooking the area which hosted the Nazis in 1933.

Schloss Hohenkammer in kreis Freising, flying the Nazi flag, and a view of the town during the Third Reich and today