Remaining Nazi Sites in Swabia

Augsburg

Looking down Augsburg's Maximiliansstraße in 1938 and today
Hitler first visited Augsburg in March 1920 through contact with his patron Gottfried Grandel who, on March 13, 1920, also organised his flight from Augsburg to Berlin. In Augsburg, the Nazis commemorated October 27, 1922 as the founding date of their local party and celebrated the site of its founding at the Cafe Pelikan in the Jakobervorstadt. On January 12, 1921, Adolf Hitler gave a speech in Augsburg on the subject of "The Worker in the Germany of the Future" at the Café Mamimilian. A second speech by Hitler in the same café followed on May 10, 1921. Adolf Hitler also spoke at the Sängerhalle on May 29, 1923 and July 6, 1923. The Sängerhalle was located near the area in front of the Congress Hall today. The creation of a local SA group in Augsburg dated to November 1922 after the party had requested protection at a meeting which resulted in nearly fifty men from Munich being sent, who arrived at the station with flags and singing. It was claimed that the local SA group passed its baptism of fire in the Ludwigsbau on March 2, 1923. The Ludwigsbau at the time stood where the congress hall is today; demolished in 1965 due to the perceived danger of collapse of its dome. It was in 1923 that communists prevented the Nazi speaker from talking, leading to beer steins being thrown before a general brawl arose. The police cleared the hall and the melee continued outside spreading to Königsplatz.
After being banned as a result of the failed Beer Hall putsch, the local Augsburg Nazi party was reformed in March 1926 under the leadership of Karl Wahl. That year Hitler appeared in front of an Augsburg court because of a traffic accident and, on July 31, he returned to Augsburg accompanied by Rudolf Hess and Joseph Goebbels, the latter speaking in front of about 3,000 people. On December 19, Hitler gave a speech in Saalbau Herrle. On March 12, 1927 Hitler spoke at the Sängerhalle and on December 17, in Saalbau Herrle. On May 17, 1928, he returned to the Sängerhalle and on October 23, 1928, he attended a Nazi rally at the Ludwigsbau, organised by Karl Wahl. At the start of that month Gallus Schneider was appointed leader of the Augsburg NSDAP  who would remain Nazi Kreisleiter until 1945 and until his death in 1975 remained a convinced National Socialist. The result of the Reichstag election of 1928 shows that the NSDAP was still a predominantly Bavarian phenomenon until the end of the twenties. 2.6% of the votes in the Reich were a marginal result, compared to 7% in Augsburg. In the local elections in 1929, the Nazis moved for the first time were represented in the Augsburg city council: out of fifty seats, they won three- Schneider, Hans Rehm (a butcher and later chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and the administrative official Josef Mayr, later mayor of Augsburg. From 1930 until the end of 1932, the number of Nazi representatives tripled to around 1,800 to become the second largest party after the SPD. Their strongest areas of support in Augsburg was the Südend (Bismarckviertel, Hochfeld), their weakest support in Lechhausen. 
From 1929 an ϟϟ group was established in Augsburg under the orders of Himmler during a stay in the town. At first it consisted of ten men but by the beginning of 1933 there were almost 500. In 1931 the notorious Hans Loritz took over the ϟϟ leadership.
On September 8, 1930 Hitler spoke again at the Sängerhalle. This was during a time of increased violence. Between 1930 to 1932 there were 440 public meetings and demonstrations in Augsburg. One Nazi march was disrupted when Christmas tree balls filled with gasoline were thrown into the torchlight procession leading to SA, ϟϟ and Mounted Police beating up bystanders. As flower pots flew a chant sounded: "Workers: let flowers speak." Augsburger police director Dr. Ernst Eichner on January 23 1933- exactly a week before Hitler was appointed Chancellor- declared that it was  impossible for the police to protect Nazi marches, because they allegedly did not disturb public safety. Eichner did refer to the Nazi tactic during street fights in which the police had to stand and salute immediately when the national anthem was played. The report was fatal to Eichner- despite joining the Nazis in March 33 to go so far as joining the Ministry of the Interior, Hitler was informed of this report and declared how upset he was that "this honourless characterless lumpen was still in government service." Eichner was sent to Dachau in so-called protective custody, but was released after a few days.

On April 16, 1932 Hitler spoke twice in Augsburg, at the Ludwigsbau and Sängerhalle, and on November 5 he again attended a Nazi demonstration. On May 1, 1933, the big May Day of the Nazis was to take place at the Sängerhalle. The hall was decorated with countless swastika flags. However, in the early morning hours the hall burned down completely. Raids and arrests in the poor quarters and communist quarters took place. Thus Augsburg had its own local version of the Reichstag fire. To this day no-one knows whether it was accidental or the act either of a single person or of Nazi opponents.  
After being appointed Chancellor, the Nazis celebrated in Augsburg as in the rest of the country with torches and parades. On February 1, the Augsburger Nationalzeitung wrote how "[t]he brown soldiers celebrated the victory of their leader by conquering the streets that were previously closed by the spell. In long rows, the brown crowd marched through Hermanstraße, Hallstraße, Maximilianstraße, Moritzplatz, Bürgermeister-Fischer-Straße, Königsplatz, Fuggerstrasse with music. For the first time the step of Hitler's battalions sounded in these streets." Due to the emergency decree for the protection of the German people, all communist events were banned and their press suppressed. Even the SPD was affected- their paper The Augsburg Swabian People's Daily was banned on the 10th of March. Despite this, the Nazis managed only 44% nationwide support in this last election; it was even worse for the Nazis in Augsburg as they managed only 32% mostly from the brown strongholds of the Südend (Hochfeld, Bismarckviertel, Antons, Thelottsviertel) as well as in the Spickel and Hochzoll where they achieved results over 40%. The democratic parties SPD and BVP together had a clear majority.Propaganda during the Reichstag elections of November 12, 1933. The sign above the clock reads "Wir wollen kein Volk minderen Rechts sein." From Hakenkreuz und Zirbelnuß. Augsburg im Dritten Reich (Filser and Thieme). On March 9, four days after the Reichstag election, Hans Loritz hoisted the swastika flag on the Perlachturm at four o'clock in the morning with four SA and ϟϟ men. In the morning Gauleiter Wahl then occupied the town hall, where he himself was employed as chancellery secretary, and from the balcony also had the party flag, the white-blue and the black-and-white-red raised, symbolising the National Socialist revolution. Mayor Bohl and Council of Elders protested, but they left it at that. No protests made about  trespassing, no informing the police; the flags stayed. Terror began to spread to the city government. On March 9 the SA and ϟϟ were declared auxiliary police- in Augsburg this translated into thirty ϟϟ and seventy SA men, leading to the real start of the harassment of political opponents. Four days later at the Siegesdenkmal in Fronhof they burned the Black-Red-Gold flags of the Republic. Mayor Bohl and other representatives of the governments of Swabia and Neuburg were present as invited guests. As a result of their complicity, the Nazis, as their newspaper rejoiced, received "state sanction" at a time when the majorities in city council and city government were still in favour of democratic parties. 
In May, the SPD, which had previously been excluded from almost all municipal committees, left the city council under pressure from the national socialists, on July 5 the BVP followed. The deputies of the DNVP joined the faction of the NSDAP.  At the council meeting of April 28, the second mayor of the SPD, Friedrich Ackermann, was formally retired and Josef Mayr (NSDAP), who had already taken the office in advance, was elected new mayor. On July 31, the Lord Mayor Otto Bohl (BVP) was finally dismissed and replaced at the city council meeting on 3 August by Edmund Stoeckle (NSDAP), the mayor of Lindenberg in the Allgäu. Stoeckle, however, could not possibly gain the confidence of the party leadership and was replaced by Josef Mayr in December 1934. The takeover of power in the city was thus completed.  As early as March 9, communist officials were held in "protective". Whilst the arrests were initially directed against Communists and Social Democrats, Jews and other disobedient persons, as well as members of the BVP, quickly became targeted. The fire of the Sängerhalle (today's Wittelsbacher Park) on April 30, 1934 was also a cause of a wave of arrest. When Bavaria was divided into six Gaue, Augsburg become the capital of the Gaues Schwaben.     



 The city of Augsburg made Hitler an honorary citizen on April 25, 1935. Up until then such honours were given only at the end of a career. On September 25 that year Hitler visited the Golden Hall of the town hall with Mayor Mayr, Mayor Kellner, Obergruppenfuehrer Brückner, Schaub and Gauleiter Karl Wahl. November 21 and 22, 1937: Adolf Hitler leaves the Hotel Drei Mohren . There he presents himself to his supporters on the balcony. In the presence of Prof. Giesler, Prof. Speer, city councilor Sametschek, mayor Kellner, Kreisleiter Schneider, Mayor Mayr and Gauleiter Karl Wahl, building plans for Augsburg's future as Gau capital are again presented to Hitler. Hitler attends a performance in the converted and expanded Theater Augsburg with the married couple Mayr (Lord Mayor), miner (Lieutenant General) and Karl Wahl (Gauleiter). Hitler also visited the Messerschmitt works accompanied by Messerschmitt, director Henze, Obergruppenführer Brückner, Lieutenant General Bergmann, and Lieutenant-General Udet. At night, Hitler received a "tattoo" from the Wehrmacht in front of the Hotel Drei Mohren.
 
The planned gauforum.  Hitler had planned for Augsburg a monumental axis. After the Sängerhalle had burned down on May 1, 1934, the city issued an architectural competition. The first prize went to the design of the young Augsburg architect Thomas Wechs who would go on to build many Augsburg churches after the war. Wechs's plan provided for a modern construction with nineteen narrow, high windows in Wittelsbacher Park, where the hotel tower stands today. Hitler, who was presented with the draft, expressed his displeasure and drew his ideas in the presence of the architect with red pencil in the draft to produce a far more massive construction. In 1937 Hitler informed Wahl and Mayr that he wanted to equip the Gau capital Augsburg with a completely new large Gauforum. He commissioned his favourite architect Hermann Giesler, recently responsible for the Ordensburg Sonthofen. The planned Gauforum was to be located on a 48-metre-wide boulevard beginning at the Stadttheater and leading arross Königsplatz and today's Konrad Adenauer Allee to the Theodor Heuss platz. The actual centre would consist of a huge meeting hall for 20,000 people, a gigantic parade ground 165 metres by 140 metres surrounded by arcades, and finally a party gau house with two courtyards and four 43 metre-high corner towers. A 116 metre high bell tower was supposed to tower over all other towers of the city- Ulrich, Perlach, cathedral. The monstrous structures were to be built south of the Königsplatz, west of the Konrad Adenauer Allee / Schießgrabenstraße. All of Beethovenviertel would have been demolished, including of course the synagogue. The city had to acquire nearly 100 plots, demolishing 66 buildings in the process. Although the south of Augsburg had areas available that could have been cultivated without cultural vandalism, the idea was to build a boulevard which would overshadow the historic mass and height of the past. The soil level was higher by nature, but would still be artificially raised. Kreisleiter Schneider admitted in his report to the Gauleiter that narrow-minded citizens reject all new things, and the general opinion was that the city needed more housing than monstrous palaces. Nevertheless, in the autumn of 1939 the foundation stone was to have been lain but for the outbreak of the war. Fuggerstrasse had already been cleared of its front gardens and trees along the avenue- they are missing today. It was all estimated to cost 166 million RM. At a time when a house could be built for 10,000 RM, considering the necessary relocation of the station and the district heating plant, 200 millions would not have sufficed. Nevertheless, the plans were under the special protection of Hitler; only Weimar, Hamburg and Munich so sponsored.
The street in 1941, the year that Rudolf Hess flew from an aerodrome near Augsburg to the United Kingdom at 17.45 on Saturday, May 10 alone over the North Sea to Scotland to meet the Duke of Hamilton before crashing in Eaglesham in an attempt to mediate the end of the European front of World War II and join sides for the upcoming Russian Campaign. Augsburg was historically a militarily important city due to its strategic location. During the German re-armament before the Second World War, the Wehrmacht enlarged Augsburg's one original Kaserne (barracks) to three: Somme Kaserne (housing Wehrmacht Artillerie-Regiment 27); Arras Kaserne (housing Wehrmacht Infanterie Regiment 27) and Panzerjäger Kaserne (housing Panzerabwehr-Abteilung 27 (later Panzerjäger-Abteilung 27). Wehrmacht Panzerjäger-Abteilung 27 was later moved to Füssen.  During the war, one subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp was located outside Augsburg, supplying approximately 1,300 forced labourers to local military-related industry, most especially the Messerschmitt AG military aircraft firm headquartered in Augsburg. This is also the hometown of Jakob Grimminger, famous for having been awarded the honour of carrying the blood-stained Blutfahne from the Munich putsch.  In 1941, Rudolf Hess without Adolf Hitler's permission secretly took off from a local airport The Reichswehr Infanterie Regiment 19 was stationed in Augsburg and became the base unit for the Wehrmacht Infanterie Regiment 40, a subsection of the Wehrmacht Infanterie Division 27 (which later became the Wehrmacht Panzerdivision 17). Elements of Wehrmacht II Battalion of Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment 99 (especially Wehrmacht Panzerjäger Kompanie 14) was composed of parts of the Wehrmacht Infanterie Division 27. The Infanterie Regiment 40 remained in Augsburg until the end of the war, finally surrendering to the United States when in 1945, the U.S. Army occupied the heavily bombed and damaged city.  Following the war, the three Kaserne would change hands confusingly between the American and Germans, finally ending up in US hands for the duration of the Cold War. The former Wehrmacht Kaserne became the three main US barracks in Augsburg: Reese, Sheridan and FLAK. US Base FLAK had been an anti-aircraft barracks since 1936 and US Base Sheridan "united" the former infantry barracks with a smaller Kaserne for former Luftwaffe communications units.  The American military presence in the city started with the 11th Airborne Division, followed by the 24th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Seventh Corps Artillery, USASA Field Station Augsburg and finally the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade, which returned the former Kaserne to German hands in 1998. Originally the Heeresverpflegungshauptamt Südbayern and an Officers' caisson existed on or near the location of Reese-Kaserne, but was demolished by the occupying Americans.
 
Adolf Hitler Platz and Annastraße
   

After the February 1944 bombing and today, showing how much has been reconstructed.
Maximiliansplatz
The wife in front of the Augustus statue at Maximiliansplatz 
Being dismantled in 1940 for safety during the war
 
The turn of St. Michael from the Zeughaus (armoury), shown then and now
The Herkulesbrunnen then and now showing the repositioning of the statue postwar
Margaretenstraße
The Maypole in front of St. Ulrich's and St. Afra's Abbey May 1, 1935 and at the end of Margaretenstraße
The Mercury statue being returned July 31, 1947 and taken away 60 years later for refurbishment
Standing in front of the Weberhaus (Weavers' House) behind the Merkurbrunnen
The St. George fountain
Hitler in Augsburg
Welcoming Hitler on his March 17, 1937 visit
 
Adolf-Hitler-Platz, now renamed Königsplatz

 Annastrasse and Adolf Hitler Platz and the site's proposed redevelopment

Jakoberstraße after the war and now, showing the extent of the reconstruction
Augsburg suffered serious damage in the Second World War due to air raids, as the city was a military target of allied bomber organisations with production sites of important armaments companies (including Messerschmitt AG and MAN). 
Already in October 1939 the air war reached Augsburg for the first time. But it was not until April 1942 that the British bombers managed the first heavy blow against the Augsburg armaments industry. Eight British Lancasters attack the MAN, the main production site for submarine diesel engines. In Augsburg there was amazement and shame that the birthplace of the allegedly best fighter plane in the world in the vicinity of an airfield left the city defenceless against such attacks. That - in conjunction with the first report of a dozen killed - was a psychological shock, which was only partially offset by the announcement a few weeks later that the MAN factory again produced as many engines as before. In all, Augsburg was bombed more than ten times, twice in attacks of greater effect: on April 17, 1942, the goal was MAN's submarine engine production. 
Ludwigstraße before the RAF and today
On Friday, February 25, 1944, 200 American bombers appeared at 14.00 and attacked the Messerschmittwerke. 110 lives were lost, including whole families in the neighbouring settlement houses and about fifty concentration camp inmates. 60% of the plant was destroyed. At 22.00 sirens howled again as 248 British bombers created a 40-minute inferno of aerial mines and incendiary bombs which additionally turned the debris field into a sea of flames. An hour later came the third wave of assault. Another 290 British bombers again created burning chaos for 45 minutes. The inner city (especially Karls-, Ludwigstraße and the area around Wertachbrucker Tor) as well as the Jakobervorstadt, Lechhausen and Haunstetten were the hardest hit. The bombs killed 730 people that night alone, including 285 women and 78 children. Among the victims were 27 people drowned in a buried cellar when the Lech Canal overflowed. 
Adding to the 145 Allied airmen killed and the dead of the afternoon, the totals of the dead rose to nearly a thousand. More than 80,000 Augsburgers became homeless with most fleeing their burning neighborhoods at night or the next day.  Finally on April 28, 1945, units of the 7th US Army arrived in Augsburg without any resistance and established a base with several barracks, which was only completely abandoned by the withdrawal of the last troops in 1998. In order to defuse a 1.8-ton bomb with 1.5 tonnes of explosives found on 20 December 2016 during construction work on Jakoberwallstrasse, the largest evacuation campaign in Germany after the Second World War took place on Christmas day 2016, affecting 54,000 people. A two mile diameter zone evacuated around the site of discovery in the historical centre.
Looking at Jakobskirche from the Jakobertor
The Stadttheater in August, 1934 on the left. My GIF on the right shows a Nazi demonstration outside the Stadttheater on March 23, 1933 and a neo-Nazi demonstration at the same site on December 2, 2006.
Hitler at the Stadttheater
Hitler attending a performance at its re-opening May 24, 1939
Hitler in front of the Stadttheater on March 19, 1937 and the building today, sporting a banner denouncing racism at another recent demonstration. It was in a speech at Augsburg on November 21 that year that Hitler made the demand for colonies when he declared: "What the world shuts its ears to today it will not be able to ignore in a year's time. What it will not listen to now it will have to think about in three years' time, and in five or six it will have to take into practical consideration. We shall voice our demand for living-room in colonies more and more loudly till the world cannot but recognize our claim."
Bürgermeister Kellner speaking in the Goldener Saal of the rathaus in 1934 during the so-called Machtergreifung. On the right is the same room today, showing how much has been reconstructed from so little.
  
Looking down at Rathausplatz from the Perlachturm in 1940 and today; the right shows Metzgplatz looking towards Rathausplatz
The rathaus after the bombing of February 25-26 1944 and today. The right shows the town in 1945 looking down Karlstraße.
 
The cathedral
Just from the train station down Prinzregentstr. is the Landratsamt (District administration office) with the reichsadler still above the door and state-protected by a mesh screen.

The building with an example of a vehicle registration plaque from the Landsrat during the NSDAP era. Also on the façade is what appears to be Nazi relief typical of the time for the German Workers' Front.
The Augsburg tax office on Peutingerstraße laid out the tax laws in paragraph 1, sentence 1 of its Tax Adjustment Act of October 1934: " The tax laws are interpreted by Nazi ideology." Citizens were asked to list the number of "Aryan" children they had whilst those seen as living outside the community- Jehovah's Witnesses, forced labourers , Sinti and Roma, Jews were targeted. In 1933 there were 126 Jewish-owned enterprises in Augsburg, including 20 of the industry and 55 wholesale companies. Their total number went back to 79 by the reprisals until 1938.  In the course of the November pogroms of 1938, on the morning of November 10, 1938, the synagogue built at Halderstraße from 1917 was set on fire. Jewish shops and private apartments were then devastated. The male Jewish fellow citizens were dragged into the concentration camp to force them to emigrate and confiscate their assets (Arisierung).  The confiscation of Jewish property was initiated from the Alltagsgeschäft but later centralised with the start of the deportations in 1941. In 1985 the synagogue was reopened after a long restoration and was partly used as a Jewish museum. At the Jewish cemetery on Haunstetter Strasse, a memorial stone commemorates the approximately 400 murdered Augsburg victims of the Shoah. In addition to many other resistance fighters such as Bebo Wager, the SPD parliamentary deputy Clemens Högg was also killed during the Nazi period.  During the war several external camps of the Dachau concentration camp were erected due to the decentralization of the armament production of the Messerschmitt AG aircraft factory in Augsburg and the surrounding area. In the district of Kriegshaber there existed a women's camp for 500 Hungarian women in the area of today's Ulmerstrasse. In the district of Haunstetten a men's camp for 2700 concentration camp prisoners was built in the area of a former gravel pit. After it was destroyed during bomb attacks, a new men's camp was set up in an air-to-air barracks of Pfersee. Also in Gablingen there was a camp for 1000 prisoners as well as in Horgau. 235 of the prisoners were murdered by ϟϟ men or died of catastrophic conditions of life and were buried at the Westfriedhof, where three memorial plaques recall. In the spring of 1945, prisoners were driven out of the barracks of Pfersee to Klimmach in the spring of 1945, with many of them being killed.
The Fuggerhaus on Maximilanstrasse then and now with the building after the war on the right
 
The  Fuggerei - the world's oldest social housing complex still in use. The Fuggerei was donated on August 23, 1521 by Jakob Fugger as a residential settlement for needy citizens of Augsburg and built between 1516 and 1523 under the supervision of the architect Thomas Krebs. At that time, 52 apartments were built around the first six streets according to largely standardized layouts in the two-storey buildings passing through were generously planned for the conditions of the period of development. The concept of the Fuggerei was a very modern concept for self-help, intended for those who were threatened with poverty and who were day workers who could not manage their own household, for reasons such as disease. They were able to pursue their bread-making businesses and able to leave in the event of economic recovery. Until the twentieth century, Fuggerei was usually home to families with several children. Only "worthy arms" were allowed to enter the social settlement as beggars were not accepted according to the will of the founder. During the Thirty Years' War the Fuggerei was largely destroyed by the Swedes until 1642. From 1681 until his death in 1694 Franz Mozart, the great-grandfather of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, lived in the Fuggerei which a plaque inside commemorates.  Extensions of the Fuggerei took place in the years 1880 and 1938. During the Second World War, the settlement was destroyed by a British air raid attack during the so-called Augsburger Bombennacht  of February 25-26, 1944. Already by March 1 1944, the Fürstlich and Gräflich Fuggersche family senate decided in writing to rebuild the Fuggerei.  From 1945 onwards the social settlement was rebuilt according to the plans of Raimund von Doblhoff by means of the foundation, so that in 1947 the first buildings could be reused. In the 1950s reconstruction was completed. Until 1973, the Fuggerei was extended to a total of 67 houses with 140 apartments on additional adjacent ruins.

Nazi reliefs still adorning façades
 
Haus Theodor Wiedemann Strasse 35 still has two Nazi reliefs- the one on the left shows a relief representing a link between the Roman Empire and the Third Reich whilst the right shows a tank and the warship below a representation of the air force bombing from above and the German army all within the ægis of the Nazi eagle. The tank and lightning are aligned towards the east whilst the eagle directs its gaze towards France. The relief found at Firnhaberstrasse 53 at the bottom-right shows a stylised representation of a Messerschmidt BF 109 - the most important fighter of the Luftwaffe.
Above the doors at Richthofen Strasse are reliefs representing the Deutschen Arbeitsfront, Hitlerjugend and the NS Frauenschaft; only the swastikas have been removed from the devices.

Huge Nazi eagle overlooking Reinöhlstrasse

Recently-repainted

Reliefs celebrating the 1936 Olympic Games at Gentnerstrasse 53-59; note the Hitler hairstyle in the relief on the bottom-right.


Site of Augsburg's 'Liberation'
I hadn't heard of this 'Augsburg Liberation Movement' which consisted of about a dozen men which helped the American 3rd Infantry Division 'liberate' the town from the Germans (apparently only after it became clear the war was days from being lost) until I came across this plaque. Google-searching the group in English found only one entry for it. When the 7th US Infantry Division approached Wertingen Augsburg from the west, they distributed leaflets telling the people to hoist white flags. "Save your old town and its inhabitants from the rain of steel that threatens Augsburg with destruction." City Commander General Fehn had 800 more men available and refused to surrender, building barricades on bridges and underpasses. Wertach and Lech bridges were to have been blown up but mayor Mayr did not give the order for the prepared blasts. The resistance group around Dr. Rudolf Lang, a senior physician at the main hospital in Augsburg, had prepared the delivery of the city through negotiations with the Gauleiter, Mayr and General Fehn and then made contact with the Americans. Franz Hesse had cycled to Westheim and had agreed to the transfer; by the morning he led a number of tanks and jeeps into the city to the command bunker in Riedingerhaus on the hauptstrasse where the Stadtwerkehaus is. In front of the Riedingerhaus, other members of the Freiheitsaktion were waiting. A small troop of American soldiers entered the bunker, gave Fehn an ultimatum that passed, and arrested him and Mayr thus ending Augsburg's war on the morning of April 28th. The American Combat report of the day honours the initiatives of the Freedom Action, whose role Wahl played down after the war in order to make his more luminous. "Augsburg was largely preserved from the complete destruction that came from Aschaffenburg, Würzburg, Heilbronn, Nuremberg and Ulm thanks to a unique revolutionary movement that greatly facilitated the invasion of American troops."
The Synagogue

The synagogue before and after the war, with the signs reading "Entry Forbidden for the General Public", but also mentioning a Jewish Service on Friday and Sunday. In 1913 the local Jewish community had the architects Lömpel and Landauer build a synagogue in the town centre which was dedicated in 1917. Described as "possibly the most significant art nouveau synagogue in Europe" it was seriously damaged during Kristallnacht but survived before finally reopening in 1985.
Nearby is the main railway station- Hitler at the Augsburger Hauptbahnhof November 21, 1937 and today, remarkably unchanged
Augsburg was also the setting for Göring's surrender to the allies. On the right is colour footage of Göring's first day as a prisoner in the town.
May 11, 1945, he was taken out of the back door of the two-storey suburban house in Augsburg to meet fifty Allied newspapermen. Gripping a pair of matching grey suede gloves, he slumped into an easy chair and mopped at his brow as the shutters clicked. After five minutes they allowed him to move into the thin shade of a willow tree. The questioning resumed. Heaping blame for the first time in public on Martin Bormann, he insisted that it must have been Bormann and not Hitler who had nominated Dönitz as the new Führer. “Hitler,” rasped Göring, “did not leave a thing in writing saying that Dönitz was to take his place!”
He publicly revealed that he had opposed Hitler’s attack on Russia. “I pointed out to him,” said Göring, “his own words in Mein Kampf concerning a two-front war. . . . But Hitler believed that by the year’s end he could bring Russia to her knees.” He revealed to the newspapermen his unhappiest moment of the war. “The greatest surprise of the war to us was the long- range fighter bomber that could take off from England, attack Berlin, and return to its home base. I realized,” he added disarmingly, “that the war was lost shortly after the invasion of France and the subsequent breakthrough.”
Asked inevitably about the Nazi extermination camps, Göring was dismissive. “I was never so close to Hitler as to have him express himself to me on this subject,” he said. He was sure that these atrocity reports were “merely propaganda. Hitler,” he concluded, recalling that trembling right hand signing the documents, “had something wrong with his brain the last time I saw him.”
Irving (691) Göring: A Biography
 
Ulrichsplatz on Maximiliansstraße
  
The Annahof in 1930 
 
The Annakirche einst und jetzt and the interior before and after its bombing   
Stephansplatz with what was left of the church and cloister by October 1947 and today. On the right is the Wertachbrucker Tor as it appeared before the war and after its 1998 restoration.
 
Günzburg
 
Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now. In April 1945, at the end of the Second World War, the city was bombed by Allied air forces. Among other things, the district Denzingen, the castle and an ammunition train, which stood at the station, were severely hit or destroyed.

The Sparkasse at Brentano-Haus on Hitler-Platz and the square today
 Hitler himself had, on October 11 1932, launched a speechmaking campaign comparable in magnitude to his “Flights over Germany” here where he declared
Herr von Papen was of the conviction that his emergency decree for the stimulation of the economy would bring brilliant results by November 6, and thus he scheduled the date for the Reichstag election sixty days after its dissolution. And I was of the conviction that the nation would see in these sixty days that this effort at “stimulating the economy” was the greatest feat of bungling and patchwork one can imagine. I was of the conviction that one question would be answered before even four weeks had passed, namely the question why I refused to enter this Cabinet on August 13. This will be decided on November.
It was not, however, the opponents in question who reproached me for refusing to join the Cabinet; it was the so-called “friends” in the bourgeois camp. At this point, I might ask with the same justification: how was it that you dared to invite me to join this Government?
Did you really believe that I worked for thirteen years to deliver the result of this work to the mercy of political lunacy? And it would have been lunacy had I staked everything on one horse, long aware that it was unfit for the race. Influence was one thing I would not have had in the Cabinet, but the responsibility was something they would have graciously surrendered.
I have no qualms about assuming the responsibility, and I mean the entire responsibility, but I do have qualms about assuming it in areas where I have no influence. If Fate had chosen those forces which today thirst for power to be Germany’s leadership, it would be a crime to resist. However, I do not believe that Fate could have chosen these men, because otherwise they would have made an appearance earlier. It is not possible for someone who was a silent member of the Centre Party until five months ago to then one day suddenly become the “brightly enlightened leader” to the Third Reich. I did not fight Marxism in order to erect a different class regime in its place. I have stood before millions of German workers in these thirteen years and have struggled for their support. But I did not fight to betray them now in the end.
Above all, my opponents are mistaken about my tremendous resolve. I have chosen my path, and I will adhere to it until the end. Whether or not I gain power is not as important as the fact that I carry out what I have promised. Similarly, the Party is not for sale and cannot be bought from me. Do not make the mistake of believing that I would lend out this Movement even for a second or allow others to use it for their work.
This was the hometown of Nazi politician Franz Xaver Schwarz and the "angel of death" Josef Mengele, ϟϟ officer and Auschwitz physician. The town's memorial to the victims of the concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele, composed of a display board around which single eyes (around 50 created by pupils from Dossenberger-Gymnasium) and pairs of eyes (around 25 by the 6th form art foundation course pupils from Maria-Ward-Gymnasium) are grouped. The single eyes and pairs of eyes were modelled from clay in lessons and baked after air drying. From the “clay eyes”, the foundry finished the final step of making silicon formed wax models, through the manufacturing of moulds. The memorial was unveiled on the 8th March 2005. According to Mengele's son Rolf, his father returned to the Gunzburg area toward the end of 1948 and stayed in the nearby forests until the spring of 1949. Mengele told Irene that he expected her and Rolf to follow once he had established himself in Buenos Aires. But Irene would not agree to go with him. Mengele's flight was arranged and paid for by his family through former SS contacts in the Günzburg area.
This was a town that had driven out its 309 resident Jews after the Nazis came to power. There was a widespread readiness to believe that the allegations against Mengele were false. And broadcasts across Germany by the overseas service of the BBC claiming that the SS had engaged in monstrous acts of carnage, were viewed as Allied victory propaganda.


 From an article by noted plagiarist Gerald L. Posner and John Ware, Chicago Tribune Magazine, May 18, 1986
 The Frauenkirche then and now


  Nördlingen
The town of Nördlingen was unknowingly built inside a meteorite impact crater, and now all of the buildings are composed of tiny diamonds. 
The town hall and Zur Sonne in 1935 and today. 



Stairs of the rathaus as depicted in 1927 by the painter Richard B. Adams (now in the stadtmuseum). 

Hitler spoke in Nördlingen on October 11, 1932 attacking von Papen’s Government:
Either they govern as we wish—then we will bear the responsibility—or they do not govern as we wish—then the others bear the responsibility. I do not believe in any regime which is not anchored in the Volk itself. I do not believe in an economic regime. One cannot build a house from the top, one must begin at the bottom. The foundations of the State are not the Government, but rather the Volk. And my answer to the bourgeois parties and politicians who have been sleeping since November 1918 while National Socialism has been working is this: now your time is up, now it’s our turn. When Herr von Papen says: “Herr Hitler, you are only here because there is a crisis,” my answer is, “Yes, and if good fortune were here, I would not be needed, and I would not be here, either!”
It was not until the first year of the war in 1939 that the town's population reached the level it had been at the start of theThirty Years War in 1618.

       
Seeking refuge from the rain at the Deininger Tor and an earlier comparison of the Löpsinger Tor
The Bergertor
  
The Hotel we stayed in then and now- the Wengers Brettl. In front of the building next to it are these stoplerstein- reminders of the Jewish family who lived next door and later murdered in the Holocaust.  Jewish families had resided in Nördlingen since the Middle Ages, burying their dead in the Jewish cemetery on Nähermemminger. The synagogue built in 1885 on Kreuzgasse was destroyed by SA men during the November pogrom of 1938, commemorated by a memorial plaque on today's Protestant parish hall. A memorial stone dating from 1979 in the Jewish cemetery also commemorates the event.
The reichsadler remains in situ on top of the fountain
View from the Holzmarkfrom a Nazi-era painting of 1936 by Friedrich Gabler and then-and-now
     
The Engelapotheke and Brettermarkt in 1918 and today
  In the spring of 1945, a total of 33 people were killed in air raids at the end of the Second World War. The station and several dwellings were destroyed, the St. George church was heavily damaged. The almost complete rest of the historic old town remained spared.
   From 1945 Nördlingen belonged to the American occupation zone. The American military administration set up a DP camp to accommodate so-called Displaced Persons (DP). The camp was run by the UNRRA and housed about five hundred DPs, most of whom coming from Latvia and Lithuania.
   More than 4,500 home-displaced persons settled in Nördlingen after the war.
Donauwörth 
The site of the Battle of Schellenberg (or Battle of Donauwörth) on July 2 1704, during the War of the Spanish SuccessionJohn Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, was marching from Flanders to Bavaria and came to the Danube river. The French decided to make a crossing of the Danube at Donauwörth, where they were surprised by Marlborough's troops and after heavy fighting pulled back. This allowed Marlborough to capture Donauwörth and cross the Danube without any problem. About 5,000 French troops drowned while trying to escape. As for the 22,000 Allied troops engaged, over 5,000 had become casualties, overwhelming the hospitals that Marlborough had set up in Nördlingen.  Amongst their fatalities were six lieutenant-generals, four major-generals, and 28 brigadiers, colonels and lieutenant-colonels, reflecting the exposed positions of senior officers as they led their men forward in the assaults. No other action in the War of the Spanish Succession claimed so many lives of senior officers. The large casualty figures caused some consternation throughout the Grand Alliance and whilst the Dutch cast a victory medal showing Baden on the obverse and a Latin inscription on the other side, there was no mention of the Duke of Marlborough although the Emperor wrote personally to the Duke: "Nothing can be more glorious than the celerity and vigour with which ... you forced the camp of the enemy at Donauwörth".
 
The High Street then and now
  
 View of the High Street from the Rathaus
The view from the Rathausplatz. Donauwörth suffered shortly before the end of the Second World War on 11 and 19 April 1945 from two air raids of the 8th and 9th US airfleet. There were nearly 300 dead to complain. The surroundings of the train station and the city centre were almost flattened. The inner city was destroyed to about three quarters. In 1946 the reconstruction of the historical Reichsstraße began.
    
 The Fuggerhaus on the left
 
The Färbertor
Hof
 
The Christuskirche flying the Nazi banner and today...
... where it has recently courted controversy after one of its paintings was identified as showing Hitler beside Christ. Recent cleaning of the painting - first unveiled when the Christus Church in the northern Bavarian city of Hof was consecrated in 1939 - shows an uncanny likeness to the former Fuehrer.   There is the toothbrush moustache, the hair parted on one side and the staring, maniacal eyes which made him a dark Messiah to so many Germans. Evangelical pastor Martin Goelkel, who recently left after eight years at the church some call the 'Nazi Temple,' believes the likeness is just co-incidental but its discovery so long after it was painted is causing a stir among his flock.  'Some people have called this a Nazi place over the years but I don't think this is true,' he said.  'It was designed and inaugurated in a severe time for Germany, no question, but if I interpret the pictures correctly they are now about the glorification of the powerful during this time.  'On the contrary; the individual is made aware that his life belongs to Christ no matter how powerful he feels personally - there is another power over him, a stronger power. This is no Hitler homage, in my eyes. We find people asking something of Christ, there is someone kneeling before him. God resists the proud, but the humble he gives his grace to. Hitler, however, stands imperiously at the side, alone, wearing boots, his robe somehow militaristic. Haughty and arrogant.  'He looks like a rabbit before slaughter. He is a man on the edge, an outsider.'  He claims that in all the years that the church has been open for worship no-one has objected to the Hitler painting near the altar. But now there are rumblings of discontent with some parishioners calling for him to be erased.  'It is not right under any circumstances that the biggest mass killer in history should be featured in a painting in a house of Christian worship,' one of the flock said in a recent interview on Radio Bavaria.  Pastor Goelkel added that he thought the painting should not be removed. 'This image is a central challenge to Nazism: Christ is in the middle. The powerful can stand idle as much as they want,' he said.

Wending

Adolf-Hitler-Straße and today. The Second World War saw 116 killed and sixty missing. In April 1945 sixteen buildings were destroyed during warfare and a further 70 were damaged. On April 24-25, 1945, American soldiers occupied Wemding and Amerbach. As a result of the admission of more than 2,000 refugees and home-displaced persons in the city, the population rose to almost 5,000 people by 1950. The post-war period was characterised by housing shortages, food shortages and low employment opportunities.

Dillingen
 
Adolf Hitler Straße, now Königstraße, with the Mitteltorturm