Freising in the Third Reich

Freising

Münchenerstr. during the Third Reich and today. It was here where I live today (and where my son was born) that Julius Streicher had claimed to have been tortured to which historian Werner Maser devoted two pages in his 1977 book Nuremberg: Tribunal der Sieger. Streicher's biographer William P. Varga, in his 1981 book The Number One Nazi Jew-Baiter mentions the allegation of torture at Freising: [U.S. Army Intelligence Captain John) Dolibois later related that Streicher complained bitterly of his treatment at the hands of American soldiers before his transfer to Mondorf. Evidently his notoriety as a fanatic racial persecutor was known to the troops at Freising. Streicher claimed that he and his wife were forced by some black American soldiers to walk in public stripped of their clothes. These soldiers allegedly spat on them and extinguished cigarettes on their bare skin. At Mondorf, an unconfirmed report was circulated stating that some soldiers had taken photographs that showed Streicher dressed only in an open coat, with swollen testicles and a crown of thorns on his head with a sign draped over his neck with the words "Julius Streicher, King of the Jews."

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 on the right is shortly after its overthrow when troops from Regensburg entered. On the 30th they continued south to overthrow the soviets in Munich.
video 
Video my senior students made about this time in Freising's history
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.
The small connecting lane between Johannisstrasse and Veitsmuellerweg leading up to Weihenstephaner Berg from 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.
 
 The photos on the right are of 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.
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.


 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

The former Tischlermuehle, on the corner of Heiliggeistgasse and Erdinger Strasse
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, 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

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.
The eagle that gives its name to the Adler Apotheke at Obere Hauptstraße 62 dates from 1937.

The Furtnerbräu and further down Obere Hauptstraße 24, 24a and 26; period photo from 1935


  Huss Delicatessen store then and now

1930 (before the name change) and today; the war memorial has been moved slightly since the war
Untere Hauptstraße 19, 21 and 23 in 1935 and today, with only the central building (the Tritscheler-Haus) remains intact.
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.

Military parades in the town centre

The rear of the town hall on the right

Development of the rathaus, with torchlight procession during the last year of the war

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/Von-Stein-Straße to General-von-Stein-Straße, 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), Karl-Kuhn-Straße (now Erlenweg),

and 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.
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 ).


Postcards from 1942

The Fürstbischöfliches Lyceum in 1933 on Untere Hauptstrasee directly across Marienplatz.

In 1936 and in front of the Marcushaus



An SA man intimidating any thinking of shopping inside.

SA marching past. The memorial plaque on the side of the building remembers the former Jewish inhabitants who had suffered during the Nazi regime. 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." 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.
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
Untere Hauptstraße 17



At the end of Untere Hauptstraße
 
Behind the old university (the "Asamgebäude") along Fischergasse from the 1930s and today, after the bathhouse shown was destroyed in 1962
The junction of Bahnhofstraße, Fabrikstraße and Gartenstraße soon after the war and today, the trees a victim of progress when it had originally served as a beautiful first approach of Freising's mediaeval quarter.The building on the left is the former Gaststätte "Munchner Hof," its façade now a dreary grey from its original yellow.
 
The forlorn Petuel-Villa on Münchner Straße

Kloster Neustift when it served as a military barracks and today

The kindergarten in Neustift 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

SA marching down my street- Prinz-Ludwig-Strasse
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.

In 1941 its first rector, P. Albert Eise, died in KZ Dachau. This plaque inside commemorates him.
In front of St. George church
 And in behind
On the church is this war memorial in which an addition was made to recognise simply "the victims" of the Second World War. 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.
 Ratzinger in 1935 in a class photograph in his school in Aschau. Shown on the wall are pictures of Hitler, Hindenurg and Christ.
In 1943 when he was 16, Ratzinger was drafted with many of his classmates into the Luftwaffenhelfer (Air Force Auxiliary) programme. After his class was released from the Corps in September 1944, Ratzinger was put to work setting up anti-tank defences in the Hungarian border area of Austria in preparation for the expected Red Army offensive. He was eventually drafted into the German army at Munich to receive basic infantry training in the nearby town of Traunstein. His unit served at various posts around the city and was never sent to the front. Ratzinger was briefly interned in an Allied prisoner-of-war camp near Ulm and was repatriated on June 19, 1945. The family was reunited when his brother, Georg, returned after being repatriated from a prisoner-of-war camp in Italy.
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

From the north

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 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
http://img.zvab.com/member/81247f/38700464.jpgFreising unter dem Hakenkreuz  Sonja Kochendörfer, Toni Schmid

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.
The KISS logo was inspired by the SS; as a nazi symbol it's banned here in Germany. So I was intrigued by the poster in town advertising the tribute band, which used a slightly modified version of the logo with rounded SSs but still clearly inspired by the organisation responsible more than any other for the extermination of Jews and others considered untermenschen. In their concert in Berlin next year on the other hand, compare the SSs they use as their logo as shown on the right.
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 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 Fresing , sporting the Hakenkreuz and today
View of the town during the Third Reich and today

Continue on to Moosburg and Landshut