Showing posts with label Bad Wildungen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bad Wildungen. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi Sites in Hesse

After the 1918 revolution Hesse-Darmstadt was transformed from a monarchy to a republic, which officially renamed itself "Volksstaat Hessen" (People's State of Hesse). The parts of Hesse-Darmstadt on the western banks of the Rhine (Rheinhessen) were occupied by French troops until 1930 under the terms of the Versailles peace treaty that officially ended the Great War in 1919.  After the Second World War the Hessian territory west of the Rhine was again occupied by France, whereas the rest of the region was part of the US occupation zone. The French separated their part of Hesse from the rest of the region and incorporated it into the newly founded state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz). The United States, proclaimed the state of Greater Hesse (Groß-Hessen) on September 19, 1945 out of Hesse-Darmstadt and most of the former Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. On December 4, 1946 Groß-Hessen was officially renamed Hessen.
 

Wiesbaden
Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now. With the end of the First World War, Wiesbaden's time ended as a popular spa town. In 1918 it was occupied by the French and in 1921 the Wiesbaden agreement on the German reparation payments to France was concluded. In 1925, Wiesbaden became the headquarters of the British army of the Rhine and remained so until the withdrawal of occupying powers from the Rhineland in 1930. After taking power in 1933 several offices of the Nazi regime were established in the city, including the General Command of the XII Arms corps in October 1936. The Lebensborn organisation maintained the Kinderheim Taunus here from 1939 to 1945. On the morning of November 10, 1938 during the so-called Reichskristallnacht pogrom the great Synagogue at Michelsberg, built in 1869 by Philipp Hoffmann in the Moorish style. was destroyed. During the Third Reich about 1200 Wiesbaden Jews were deported and murdered. Some residential buildings in the inner city were used as so-called "Jewish houses", in which Jews were forced to be quartered before they were transported to the site of the then slaughterhouse. This, in close proximity to Wiesbaden's main station, was the last stop before the deportation.
The Wiesbadener Ludwig August Theodor Beck was involved in Hitler's assassination attempt on July 20, 1944 and paid for this with his life. In honour of this, the city annually awards the Ludwig Beck prize for civil courage. Martin Niemoller, a resistance fighter, co-founder of the parish priesthood and the honorary citizen of Wiesbaden, held the last sermon before his arrest in the market church.
 
The former Hotel Rose, shown in the period postcard with the swastika flying above, is now the seat of the government of the State of Hesse. From March 20, 1935 Hitler spent three days recuperating here at the Rose Hotel health resort, attending a concert at the spa centre and a performance of Aida at the State Theatre.


The Hotel Nassauer Hof flying the Nazi flag and today, noticeably reduced


Both hotels feature in this period postcard as the Nassauer Hof was the venue of the Waffenstillstandskommission initiated June 27, 1940. Presided over by General von Stülpnagel, the joint Franco-German commission on details of the Cease-Fire Agreement convened in the Nassauer Hof Hotel in Wiesbaden for many months. The photo on the bottom-right shows the entrance to the Hotel Rose where the French delegation stayed. Stülpnagel
took charge of the Franco-German Armistice Commission in Wiesbaden, but he did not remain at his post for long. In early 1941 he assumed command of the 17th Army and began to prepare for the invasion of the Soviet Union as part of Army Group South. He briefly opposed ‘security measures’ that included the ‘relocation’ of Jews and other potential subversives from the rear area of his command but abandoned his complaints after seeing Hitler’s Commissar Order and talking with State Secretary Josef Bühler, a leading official in Poland’s Generalgouvernment. By the time Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Stülpnagel’s misgivings had fallen by the wayside. His 17th Army earned praise from an SS execution squad (Sonderkommando) for its attitude towards Jews, but SS accolades could not deflect Hitler’s ire when Stülpnagel’s command lagged behind neighbouring units. Unable or unwilling to endure censure from OKW, Carl-Heinrich once again reported sick and gave up his post on 4 October 1941. 
Laub (171) After The Fall
 
The rathaus in 1933 also with swastika flag and today 
 
As is the kurhaus
The final resting site of Baron Manfred von Richthofen, aka 'The Red Baron', the most feared and celebrated pilot of the German air force in World War I, within the south cemetery in Wiesbaden. Killed on April 21 1918 in aerial combat, he was buried with military honours by the British. Later his remains were transferred first to Fricourt, then to the Invalidenfriedhof Cemetery in Berlin where the Nazi regime held a further grandiose memorial ceremony over this grave, erecting a massive new tombstone with the single word: "Richthofen", and finally to a family plot here in Wiesbaden.
 
Wilhelmstraße then and now; not only the flags have changed. During the war, Wiesbaden was largely spared by allied bombing raids. The heaviest bomb attack in the night from February 2 to February 1945 was flown by the Royal Air Force and missed the planned target area due to the bad weather and thus the full effect was lost. However, 570 people died and 28,000 were homeless. But between August 1940 and March 1945, Wiesbaden was attacked by allied bombers for 66 days. In the attacks, about 18% of the city's homes were destroyed. During the war, more than 25% of the city's buildings were damaged or worse and 1,700 people were killed. Wiesbaden was captured by U.S. Army forces on March 28, 1945. The 317th Infantry Regiment attacked in assault boats across the Rhine from Mainz while the 319th Infantry attacked across the Main River near Hochheim am Main. The attack started at 0100 and by early afternoon the two forces of the 80th U.S.Infantry Division had linked up with the loss of only three dead and three missing. The Americans captured 900 German soldiers and a warehouse full of 4,000 cases of champagne.  The suburb of Amstetten, Kastel and Kostheim, was subdivided into the administrative district of Wiesbaden by order of the military government, which became a cause of today's rivalry between Mainz and Wiesbaden.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower founded the state of Gross-Hesse and Wiesbaden became the capital of the military government of Groß-Hesse on October 12, 1945 by the Order of Order No. 1. After the founding of the state of Hesse on December 1, 1946, the day of popular vote on the constitution of the state of Hesse, no capital was defined in the constitution.
From 1948, the US Air Base at Wiesbaden-Erbenheim belonged to the eight supply airports, which supplied food via an air bridge to West Berlin during the Soviet blockade from June 24, 1948 to May 12, 1949.

Marburg
In the Reichstag election on March 5, 1933, the first after Hitler was made chancellor, the NSDAP gained 57.6% compared to 43.9% nationally. Immediately, the national socialists rigorously assimilated all the associations and associations in the city, as did the demonstrative burning of books at the Kämpfrasen. Nevertheless, on 17 June 1934, Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen at the University held the last public speech, which had become known as the Marburger speech, against the comprehensive claim to power of national socialism. 
The speech is said to be the last speech made publicly, and on a high level, in Germany against Nazism. The man who had been so instrumental in the destruction of the Weimar Republic expressed the frustrations and disappointments of many conservatives about developments since Hitler’s rise to power. The Nazi storm-troopers (SA) had grown into an organisation with several million members. Many of the SA rank and file called for a “second revolution,” a euphemism for the distribution of offices and spoils to Nazi Party members. Radicals in the SA, conditioned by the years of struggle for power to oppose the “establishment,” had long been critical of Hitler’s policy of cooperation with the elites. In Papen’s Marburg speech conservatives struck back. Papen’s speech represents an attack on the socially radical aspects of National Socialism, not on Hitler or the idea of National Socialism. Papen was critical of excessive thought-control, anti-religious forces in the Nazi Party, the lack of deference for established law and traditional hierarchies, and the subordination of the state to the party. Once the left had been suppressed and an authoritarian system restored, conservatives saw no further need for mass mobilization or social change. The dynamic that the conservative elites had helped to unleash by bringing Hitler to power now threatened to engulf them as well. On the other hand, they certainly appreciated and supported the goals and accomplishments of the Nazi regime, especially the re-establishment of a unified national community. It was this unity and stability that seemed threatened by the radicalism and lawlessness embodied in the SA.
Papen’s Marburg speech probably helped convince Hitler to move against the SA in the so-called “night of long knives” on June 30, 1934. Hitler had no sympathy for cautious conservatism but was pragmatic enough to realize that he had to retain conservative support for his regime. Many conservatives, possibly including Papen, still viewed the Nazi government as a transitional stage to the restoration of the monarchy. Hitler was particularly anxious to maintain the goodwill of the military leadership, who distrusted the ambitions of SA leader Ernst Roehm. Although there is no evidence that Roehm had any immediate plans to launch a putsch, he was known to covet the position of Minister of War for himself. By purging Roehm and about 100 of his closest associates, Hitler assured himself of continued military and conservative support. This would prove particularly useful when President Hindenburg died on August 2, 1934, giving Hitler the opportunity to become head of state as well as government.

The Eagle remains sans swastika within the Hessian State Archives, but the ceiling maintains them
Above the door the small bust replaces the one of Hitler's during the Third Reich whilst outside one can find another eagle defaced on the Hausecke der ehemaligen Jägerkaserne in Marburg.
During the night of 9 November to 10 November 1938, the synagogue in the university street was destroyed by members of the Marburger SA. That same night 31 Jews were arrested, ill-treated and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp by the SA. It was only after months that 30 of them were released. In December 1941, as well as May and September 1942, the last 267 Jews from Marburg and the surrounding area were deported to concentration camps.  Marburg survived the war with relatively little destruction. Allied bombs destroyed about 4% of the city, including 281 dwellings. The main railway station was attacked as an important railway junction point and was seriously damaged during a bomb attack on February 22, 1945, so there are relatively many houses from the post-war period in the station quarter. A few days before US reconnaissance flyers had dropped flyers with the following imprint: We want to spare Marburg and Bad Nauheim, we want to live with you later. There are still numerous bomb craters in the city today whilst the University's Chemical Institute and several clinic buildings, including the Ophthalmic Clinic and the Surgical Clinic, as well as the Reithalle am Ortenberg have been destroyed.   On March 28, 1945 at around 11:00 the Major General Maurice Rose of the 1st US Army reached the town which was surrendered by the provisional mayor without a fight. The division had advanced from the Brückenkopf Remagen / Rhine over the Westerwald (following in the main direction of today's B 255) and had already reached the Dill on the 27th of March. The city was occupied by the Combat Command B of the 1st US Army.  As an aside, in order to protect the mortal remains of Paul von Hindenburg and his wife Gertrud, as well as the Prussian king Frederick II (The Great) and Frederick William I (the Soldier King) from the advancing Red Army, the coffins had been stored by the Wehrmacht in a Thuringian salt mine. The Americans, who conquered large parts of Thuringia, brought the famous dead to Marburg, where Hindenburg and his wife were finally buried in the northern tower chapel of the Elisabethkirche. The coffin of Frederick William I is now in the Kaiser Friedrich mausoleum in Potsdam; Frederick II has been buried in a tomb at Sanssouci Castle since 1991. 

Frankfurt am Main 
Hitler being driven down Braubachstrasse March 31, 1938. This was the occasion of his last speech in the city soon after the annexation of Austria in which he continued to describe the history of the development of the concept of a Greater Germany. This idea had first been evident in the parliament of 1848, which had convened in the Frankfurt Paulskirche. Bismarck had expanded upon the idea, and up to the year 1918, the thought had been nurtured. Hitler then continued with the obligatory “party narrative.” At its conclusion, Hitler proclaimed:
I have been in power for five years. And in this time period I have torn page upon page from the book of the disgraceful Treaty of Versailles. I have done so not in defiance of law, but rather as a man who preserves law and order, a man who is not in breach of contract, but rather as a man who refuses to acknowledge a shameful Diktat as a holy contract!
After a detailed rendition of the events in Austria, Hitler ended his speech on the following note:
I have taken great risks for our Volk. In my youth, I knew nothing but the German Volk. In the Great War, I fought for it, and afterwards I went on a pilgrimage throughout Germany, always filled by the only desire to bring about the resurrection of this Volk. The story of my life lies like an open book before every one of my Volksgenossen. I have done my duty! Now German Volk do yours!

Adolf-Hitler-Bridge in 1936 and a view of the bridges over the river Main, from the Main tower.
 
On April 7 1932, Hitler made a campaign speech here in the Festhalle and stressed his financial independence in the following remark: 
It may be that I am the only politician who is not employed by his party. I have placed my salary as senior executive officer in Brunswick at the disposal of the Brunswick State Bank to be distributed among disqualified unemployed.
 Hitler speaking  at the Festhalle March 16, 1936 and the venue today. On this occasion Hitler came to speak of the introduction of the swastika as the national flag of Germany and maintained that he had "abolished these sixteen or seventeen flags of the Länder and placed a single flag in their stead with the aim of giving Germany what all nations of the world call their own" before going on to argue:
All of the rules of law are subject to the natural right to live and the freedom of that right to live God-given to man. The peoples are more eternal than bad treaties can be. The peoples live longer than unreasonable regulations or extortionate measures can possibly survive. Once and for all a line must be drawn between that past, the present and the future. [—]
I would be prepared at any time to reach a settlement with the French Government. We call upon the two peoples. I will submit to the German Volk the question:
“German Volk, do you want the hatchet to finally be buried between ourselves and France, and peace and understanding to be brought about? If this is what you want, say yes.”87 And then one should address this same question to the French people on the other side. And there is no doubt in my mind that it equally desires understanding, and it equally desires reconciliation. I will then further ask the German Volk, “Do you want us to oppress the French people or accord it lesser rights?” And it will reply, “No, that is not what we want!”
Then they should pose the same question to the population over there, whether it wants the German Volk to have fewer rights in its own four walls than any other people. And it is my conviction that the French people will say, “No, that is not what we want!”
I am expecting your decision, and I know it will confirm that I am right! I will accept your decision as the voice of the Volk, which is the voice of God. Enter into this 29th of March with the deep-felt, sacred conviction that you are to submit an historic ballot for which each and every one of us will one day be examined and judged. I have now done my duty for three-and-a-half years. German Volk, now is the time for you to do yours!
Later that year on the night of November 8 to 9, during the November pogroms hundreds of Frankfurt's Jewish citizens were driven across the city centre in the Festhalle and some seriously ill-treated. The noted Frankfurt Opera singer Hans Erl was forced to sing "In Diesen Heilgen Hallen". From here, the first mass transports went into the concentration camps. The Festhalle is thus of considerable importance for the Holocaust. Since 1991, a plaque points in the rotunda of the Festhalle in it. The Frankfurt physician and survivor of Dr. Max Kirschner describes the deportation in his memoirs:
in severe cold, we were taken in trucks to Frankfurt to the Festhalle, where we arrived at eleven at night. A howling mob received us at the entrance to the Festhalle—abusive shouts, stone-throwing, in short the atmosphere of a pogrom. On the double we went into the hall. . .Right opposite the entrance a dead man lay on the floor. He seemed to have succumbed to a heart attack. ..When we arrived the sentry squad was apparently already tired of tormenting people. . . Only now and then did they pull out one or the other who appeared to them suited as object of their sadistic pleasure. . . in groups we were driven in busses to the South Station in Frankfurt and there, all the while on the double, we had to run the gauntlet through a howling, stone-throwing crowd. . .We were put on an unheated special train there. . . and after the train was filled, it started moving into the night toward an unknown goal under the guard of the gendarmerie. On the way the order was given: "Remove your coats!"—so that we would be better exposed to the cold. . . . Soon we realized the direction, when, without stopping, we passed Erfurt and Eisenachat express-trainspeed. We were terrified, and the concentration camp of Weimar-Buchenwald, the most notorious of all,appeared before us...
The Neue Synagoge at Börneplatz before and during Reichskristallnacht, and the site today.
  During the Second World War, the hall was used for the storage of uniforms of the armed forces. On 18 December 1940, inflamed the textiles and the Festhalle has been through the resultant severe fire severely damaged. Whether it is how the Nazis claimed to act of arson, is still unclear. A bomb attack damaged the Frankfurt Festhalle a second time after the Second World War they should be demolished for the most part, but the citizens of Frankfurt and Mayor Walter Kolb could prevent this. It was initially prepared makeshift again.
The Alte Nikolaikirche at the Römerberg bedecked with swastikas in March 1938 and today. 

Tax office built in 1935 with main entrance still enclosed within Nazi iconography.



Part of an air raid shelter built during the Second World War. Frankfurt had been severely bombed during the war. About 5,500 residents were killed during the raids, and the once famous medieval city centre, by that time the largest in Germany, was almost completely destroyed. It became a ground battlefield on 26 March 1945, when the Allied advance into Germany was forced to take the city in contested urban combat that included a river assault. The 5th Infantry Division and the 6th Armoured Division of the United States Army captured Frankfurt after several days of intense fighting, and it was declared largely secure on 29 March 1945.
Left: Commemorating the site of the May 10 book burning in Frankfurt
Right: The Opera House (Alte Oper) inaugurated in 1880 where many important works have premièred including Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in 1937.

Heinz Woelcke's 1933 painting of the book-burning on the Römerberg  
 
The swastika being hoisted in March 1933 from the rathaus

Hitler speaking from the balcony March 31, 1938 after the anschluß with Austria and preparing for a visit by Her Canadian Majesty in June 2015. Hitler at this time had declared
 
I am happy that today I am able to enter this city as the man who has realised a yearning which once found its most profound expression in this location. Above all, I am happy that—for the first time in my life—I am able to stand in this magnificent hall. The cause for which our ancestors struggled and shed their blood ninety years ago may now be regarded as accomplished. I am firmly convinced and confident that this cause—the new Greater German Reich—will remain in existence for all time to come, for it is supported by the German Volk itself and founded upon the eternal yearning of the German Volk to possess one Reich.
Hitler inside the Kaisersaal 
Hitler inside the Kaisersaal within
 
Shown on a Nazi-era stamp and what was left after the war.
The Boerneplatz synagogue in flames during Kristallnacht on November 10, 1938. The Westend synagogue on Freiherr-vom-Stein-Strasse shown right is the only synagogue in the city to have survived the Reichskristallnacht.
The I.G. Farben building (or the Poelzig Complex ) was built from 1928 to 1930 as the corporate headquarters of the conglomerate and upon its completion was Europe's largest office building until the 1950s. The building was the headquarters for production administration of dyes, pharmaceutical drugs, magnesium, lubricating oil, explosives, and methanol, and for research projects relating to the development of synthetic oil and rubber during the war. I.G. Farben thus became an indispensable part of the Nazi industrial base. This building was the headquarters for research projects for the development of wartime synthetic oil and rubber, as well as the production administration of magnesium, lubricating oil, explosives, and methanol. 
I. G. Farben also manufactured nerve gas that was used in poison gas experiments on Auschwitz prisoners. These experiments, conducted in secret laboratories at I. G. Farben factories, were used to determine how fast nerve gas would kill Allied soldiers. The helpless victims of these experiments died instantly. According to British intelligence, Ambros and other I. G. Farben officials "justified the experiments not only on the grounds that the inmates of concentration camps would have been killed anyway by the Nazis, but also . . . that the experiments had a humanitarian aspect in that the lives of countless German workers were saved."
Linda Hunt (76) Secret Agenda
During the Second World War, the surrounding neighbourhood was devastated, but the building itself was left largely intact (and inhabited by the homeless citizens of a bomb-ravaged Frankfurt). In March 1945, Allied troops occupied the area and the IG Farben Building became the American headquarters of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was there that he signed the "Proclamation No. 2", which determined which parts of the country would be within the American zone. Eisenhower vacated the building in December 1945 but his office was still used for special occasions: the constitution of the state of Hesse was signed there, the West German Ministerpräsident received his commission to compile the Grundgesetz (German constitution) and the administration of the Wirtschaftsrat der Bizone (Economic Council of the Bizone) was also located there.
 
Kassel
 Christened the Die Stadt der Reichskriegertage (City of Reich Warrior Days) 
Although the "Reichskriegertag" was held in Kassel in 1933, the city played no special role under the rule of the NSDAP.  
Hitler speaking on Reich Veterans Day June 4 1939 at Friedrichsplatz with the Staatstheater in the background on the occasion of the first Greater German Reich Warriors’ Convention convened in Kassel. This gathering of veterans appeared to Hitler precisely the forum required to deliver yet another intimidating speech against England. Hitler had a new interpretation of the First World War ready, one which he would present to a series of foreign guests throughout the subsequent weeks. He now maintained that Germany itself bore responsibility for its dismal performance in the First World War and its ignominious defeat, as it had “through a criminal neglect of German armament” allowed an “incompetent state leadership” to decide its fate.
Times had changed, so Hitler insisted. Under his leadership, there would be no more such nonsense. And he would not allow himself to be threatened by foreign statesmen pursuing their “policy of encirclement” of the German Reich. Further he declared: “I do not in the least suffer from an inferiority complex.” This fact assured that “threats by whatever party do not intimidate me in the least.” Though the “British policy of encirclement has remained the same as before the war, Germany’s policy of defence has undergone thorough revision!” Hitler then expressed his hopes that this policy of strength “should not only be warmly welcomed by the veterans, but also merit their zealous support.”
Over 300,000 German front-line soldiers had attended the speech in Kassel, according to official reports. To hear Hitler speak, the military attachés of Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Slovakia had assembled along with the Japanese Ambassador, the Spanish general Queipo de Llano, a Finnish military delegation, and the President of the Italian Front-Line Soldiers’ Association.

Hitler on Königstraße, three months before the invasion of Poland, and from Königsplatz then and now



Königsplatz during the Third Reich and today. It was here in 1870 after the Battle of Sedan that Napoleon III was sent as a prisoner to the castle of Wilhelmshohe above the city. He was the last Head of State to have been captured on the field of battle. During the Great War the German military headquarters were located in the castle of Wilhelmshohe above the town. . During World War II, Kassel was the Headquarters for Germany's Wehrkreis IX, and a local subcamp of Dachau concentration camp provided forced labour for the Henschel facilities, which included tank production plants.   



The Adolf-Hitler-Haus at Wilhelmshöher Allee 7 now is the site of a music shop. On February 11 1933 Hitler flew to Kassel for a speech celebrating the inauguration of the Adolf Hitler Haus in which he declared "The age of international solidarity is over. The national solidarity of the German Volk will take its place!"

Eckhaus at Königsstraße 2 surrounded by swastikas and today

The corner of Steinweg and Oberste Gasse and the view of the Elisabethhospital through the Zwehrenturm archway then and now
   
The Hercules monument and Louis Spohr memorial then and now

Karlskirche, a Protestant church built by Paul du Ry in 1710 for the local Hugenot community, after the war and its reconstruction

 
St. Martin's church after the war and today

Garnisonkirche then and now. Given the 1 million DM spent towards the reconstruction of Martinskirche, it remains in a ruined state. It was during Reichskristallnacht that by the late 1930s the Nazis destroyed Heinrich Hübsch's Kassel Synagogue.  On the evening of November 7, 1938, members of SA and ϟϟ began to devastate the Kassel synagogue and other Jewish institutions in Kassel. They entered civilian clothes to paint a "Volkszorn", two days before the 9th of November, the pogroms of which were to be incorporated into German history as a novelty. Any resistance was limited to a few antifascist groups. After the pogroms of the Reichskristallnacht, deportations of Jewish fellow citizens from Kassel's main station took place.


The hauptbahnhof then and now.
 
The rathaus has been extensively rebuilt


It was not until 1960 that the Zwehrener Turm, dating from the 14th century and which had originally served as a gaol for the higher classes, was finally rebuilt after the war. The most severe bombing of Kassel during the war destroyed 90% of the downtown area, some 10,000 people were killed, and 150,000 were made homeless. Most of the casualties were civilians or wounded soldiers recuperating in local hospitals, whereas factories survived the attack generally undamaged. Karl Gerland replaced the regional Gauleiter, Karl Weinrich, soon after the raid. The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Kassel at the beginning of April 1945. The US 80th Infantry Division captured Kassel in bitter house-to-house fighting during April 2-4 1945, which included numerous German panzer-grenadier counterattacks, and resulted in further widespread devastation to bombed and unbombed structures alike.  Post-war, most of the ancient buildings were not restored, and large parts of the city area were completely rebuilt in the style of the 1950s.

Untere Königsstrasse after the war and today. In the course of the Second World War several air raids on Kassel destroyed large parts of the old town and further urban development and demanded many human lives. The city experienced the most severe attack on October 22, 1943. Over 10,000 people died that night and 80% of the houses were destroyed. Because Kassel, especially in the old town areas, was a town with many half-timbered houses, it became the perfect destination for fire bombs under the "Area Bombing Directive". Due to the targeted mass shedding of phosphorus and rod bombs a firestorm arose, for example in Dresden, Hamburg, Pforzheim, Wurzburg or Darmstadt.

The Orangerieschloß in 1943 and today, largely rebuilt by 1981. 
Friedrichsplatz then and now. The White Palace was blown up November 1948; today's façades are a modern replica with only the balcony enjoying the original section with the ornate grid.
 
The Staatstheater has been completely rebuilt, offering support to Lonely Planet's assertion that
The term ‘architectural crimes’ could well have been coined to describe the reconstruction of Kassel, nestled on the Fulda River, 11⁄2 hours north of Frankfurt. The label still fits some parts of town, but Kassel has gradually reinvented its cityscape over the past few years, and it also has some wonderful parkland.

The Fuldabrücke before the war and today, rebuilt by 1952.



Bebra

1944 postcard on the left showing Adolf-Hitler-Platz, Hauptman-Göring-Straße and Horst-Wessel-Straße.

 Kirchhain
 
The main railway station at the end of Adolf-Hitler-Straße, now bahnhofstraße. Starting in 2015 the first Stolpersteine in the urban area were placed as a memory of the Jewish population or the victims of the Holocaust, mostly due through the initiative of some pupils and teachers of the Alfred Wegener School in the town.


Fritzlar

Hitlerplatz then and now. Responding to the district chief of the Landrat from February 15, 1934, the Bürgermeister of Fritzlar reported on February 23, 1934 that "[t]he Jews have adjusted to the new situation in the town. They had not engaged in political activity in the past either."
Two years after on September 18, 1936 when new flags were handed over to the troops of the Ninth Army Corps Hitler personally visited. In front of a parade formation of soldiers, Hitler delivered the following short address:
"You shall stand by these banners in good times and bad! Never shall you abandon them, you shall carry them in your fists before a nation grown great once again. It gazes upon you with the greatest of pride and with blind trust. Prove yourselves worthy of this trust and always place your service and your actions before the phrase: ‘Germany, our German Volk and our German Reich.’"
 
The  Rolandsbrunnen at the turn of the century and today. During the war the night of the 17th and 18th of May 1943 was of particular importance for the place after the bombing of the Edertalsperre led to a devastating tidal wave spilling through the low-lying districts of Fritzlar. The 1945 Easter holidays were also of significance as American armoured units reached the city outskirts on Good Friday, coming from Bad Wildungen through the Edertal. Around noon the German defenders exploded the 13th century stone bridge fover the Eder. In the next 36 hours about 40 German and 120 American soldiers were killed before the city was occupied by the Americans on Easter Sunday. The German troops had retreated to Werkel, and this village was largely destroyed in the ensuing battles by American artillery fire. After the end of the war, a DP camp for so-called displaced persons (DPs) existed in the Watter barracks from 1946 to 1949, which were no longer used for military purposes. It was initially occupied with former forced labourers followed by Jewish concentration camp survivors and homeless.

Darmstadt

Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now. Darmstadt was the first city in Germany to force Jewish shops to close in early 1933, shortly after the Nazis took power in Germany. The shops were only closed for one day, for "endangering communal order and tranquillity". In 1942, over 3,000 Jews from Darmstadt were first forced into a collection camp located in the Liebigschule, and later deported to concentration camps where most eventually died.  Several prominent members of the German resistance movement against the Nazis were citizens of Darmstadt, including Wilhelm Leuschner and Theodor Haubach, both executed for their opposition to Hitler's regime.  Darmstadt was first bombed on 30 July 1940, and 34 other air raids would follow before the war's end. The old city centre was largely destroyed in a British bombing raid on 11 September 1944. This attack was an early use of the firestorm technique, which was subsequently used against the historic city of Dresden in February 1945. To create a firestorm, a number of incendiary bombs are dropped around the city before the explosive blast bombs are dropped, thus beginning a self-sustaining combustion process in which winds generated by the fire ensure it continues to burn until everything possible has been consumed. Darmstadt was selected as the secondary target for the raid, but was promoted to the primary target after clouds were observed over the primary which would have hindered any reconnaissance of the after-effects. During this fire attack an estimated 11,000 to 12,500 of the inhabitants burned to death, and 66,000 to 70,000 were left homeless. Over three quarters of Darmstadt's inner city was destroyed. Post-war rebuilding was done in a relatively plain architectural style, although a number of the historic buildings were rebuilt to their original appearance following the city's capture on 20 March 1945 by American 4th Armoured Division. After its nearly complete destruction of the inner city, Darmstadt was forced to surrender the title of the capital city of the German state of Hessen to Wiesbaden after the war.
  
The Ludwigsmonument at Adolf-Hitler-Platz and now. On April 7, 1932 Hitler declared at a campaign rally here: "When I prophesied six million unemployed one year ago, I was laughed at and made out to be an irresponsible agitator. I have been proven right in my theory that the loss of liberty leads to loss of work."
 
Adolf-Hitler-Platz in a 1940 postcard, extensively bombed in 1944, and today, Luisenplatz
 
Swastikas along Hochschulstraße during the Third Reich and today
     
The Technische Universität Darmstadt einst und jetzt. On the right the eagle above the rear main entry to the Robert-Piloty building, department of Computer Science, Technical University of Darmstadt. On the night of September 11 September 12, 1944 eighty per cent of the city, including many of the university's buildings were destroyed during a bomb attack. So far to date Darmstadt is the only German city that has given a synagogue to its Jewish community as a gesture of reconciliation. Eugen Kogon, who had suffered persecution and was deported by the Nazis, was appointed to TH Darmstadt's first professorship for political science in 1951. He is "considered one of the masterminds and a moral authority of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as one of the pioneers of the European Union."
 Meeting on the 100-year anniversary of the TH Darmstadt in May 1936 in the Städtischen Festhalle
 
A reichsadler also remains on the façade of the Psychologiegebäude, here shown then and now
This was the site of the headquarters of the Gestapo in Darmstadt at what is now Wilhelm-Glässingstraße 21-23.
 
Gießen 
 
Hitler at the Volkshalle in June 17, 1932. The year before he spoke on the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch to 8,000 in the audience; in 1932 this had increased to 15,000 people.  The photograph on the right shows Gregor Strasser, organisation and propaganda leader of the NSDAP and MdR for the NSDAP, three days earlier.

 The swastika adorning on April 16, 1933 the Universität, one of the oldest institutions of higher educations in the German-speaking world, founded in 1607. 
  The Stadttheater sporting Nazi flags and today. Gießen was not affected after the First World War by the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles as a military base because it lay just outside the demilitarised zone. In the 1930s and 1940s about 467 hectares of urban land were handed over to the Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe for a small price. Other barracks were created: artillery barracks (Bleidorn barracks, Pendleton barracks) and forest barracks (Verdun barracks, river barracks). A military training place was set up between the former Steubenenkaserne Gießen and the Hohenwarte. Other barracks included the Zeughauskaserne and the Neue Barracks (Berg-Kaserne).
Between 1936 and 1939 a military hospital was built, at the corner of Schubertstraße / Karl-Franz-Straße. It remained undisturbed in the Second World War and was used by the American forces after the war, and by the French forces from 1951 until 1957 when it was returned and put into service as a Bundeswehrlazarett later renamed Bundeswehrkrankenhaus. It was closed in 1997 and is the building is now used as a financial office.
During the war over 1,000 Gießen Jews were deported from the interim camp of Goetheschule at the end of 1942 to Nazi extermination camps.On the present site of the Rivers Automeile, the Wehrmacht entertained the news bunker Gisela, which was used, inter alia, to coordinate the attacks on France. Even today large parts of the facility are available.
By two air raids of the Royal Air Force on the 2nd and (especially) on the night from the 6th to the 7th of December 1944 under the Area Bombing Directive nearly the entire historic city core of Gießen was destroyed by a fire storm. In the second air attack alone, 813 people were killed, and around 30,000 were homeless. On the other hand, railway installations and numerous military installations remained largely intact. In the following months, many more people died as a result of deep-sea attacks. On March 28, 1945, the entry of the US Army ended the war for the destroyed city. The city was destroyed to 67%, the city centre was 90%. Despite this high destruction rate, it would have been even worse for Gießen. A not inconsiderable part of the bomb load of the second air attack was inadvertently dropped over the Bergwerkswald, where the consequences are still visible today.

Bad Wildungen

Adolf-Hitler-Strasse then and now as Brunnenstraße with the rathaus and church in the background. The town synagogue was built in 1914, replacing the hired prayer room. In 1933 150 Jewish persons lived in about 35 families in Bad Wildungen. In the following years some of them withdrew or emigrated because of increasing reprisals and deprivation. During Kristallnacht of November 9th, 1938, the synagogue was plundered and destroyed by fire. The fire brigade was present but only protected the neighbouring buildings. The district council had to hand over the property shortly afterwards to the city of Bad Wildungen, which removed the remains of the synagogue "in return". Today, no remains of the synagogue are visible. In October and November 1939, the last 40 Jewish inhabitants were compelled to gather in Kassel, and from there they were sent to extermination camps in three transports in 1941-42.


Offenbach am Main 

Reichsadler remaining over the entrance of the former bunker on Friedhofstrasse . Hitler spoke on June 16, 1932 in Offenbach at its Sports Grounds. As late as 1936, parts of the Offenbach population were resisting the takeover of power and the equalisation policy of the national socialists. During the November pogroms, the synagogue was desecrated and several apartments and shops were damaged. In 1942 the last incorporation was carried out with Rumpenheim. During the war 36% of Offenbach was destroyed by allied air raids. The damage concentrated in particular on the old town and the Weststadt. The heaviest attack was on March 18 1944 by 750 British and Canadian bombers who dropped 3,600 tonnes of explosives and bombs over the city. On this day there were 176 victims; eventually the bomb attacks on Offenbach would see a total of 467 dead. On March 26 1945 the city was occupied by American forces.


Naumburg




The rathaus in 1935 and today. In the 1930s three new barracks were built in Naumburg- one on the Schönburger Straße and two on the Flemminger Weg (then Adolf-Hitler-Strasse) as part of the re-armament programme of the Wehrmacht. On August 20, 1935, the 53rd Infantry Regiment paraded for the first time on the old market square. This regiment was later deployed in Poland. 
On April 9 and 11, 1945 American aircraft bombed the city. Part of the military installations in the east of the city as well as parts of the old town and adjacent areas were destroyed or severely damaged. More than 400 people died, about 700 houses were damaged. On April 12, American troops occupied the city, and three months later - July 2 - troops of the Red Army entered Naumburg. The influx of refugees and displaced persons resulted in seeing up to 60,000 people in the city.

 
Hitlerjugend marching in front of the Reichskrone topped with the Nazi eagle in 1940 and what's left today

Hitlerjugend in front of the Schützenhaus, renamed the Haus der deutschen Jugend in 1937 and Generalleutnant Peter Weyer swearing in recruits the following year.
The Schlösschen on the Marktplatz with St. Wenzel church in the background during a Nazi-sponsored festival and today and, right, as it appeared in 1945.


Windecken 

 
View from the Marktplatz towards Kirchgassse  in 1938 on the town's 650th anniversary 

 

The Amtshaus: "Das Lämmchen

 
The Rathaus and Burgtor 

The church from Spitalgasse (left) and Gutegasse (right)

 
The Alte Fachwerkhäuser on Friedrich Ebert Straße.



By the East Gate in Schloßgasseand view from Schloßberg towards the clock tower


Fliegerdenkmal, Wasserkuppe

1923 memorial to the fallen airmen of the First World War.  On every second Sunday in August (originally set to August 9) a memorial service for all deceased airmen takes place. The sculpture was made by Prof. August Gaul and was originally designed for the entrance gate of the villa of Albert Ballin, now site of the UNESCO Institute for Education. After the Second World War, the eagle was targeted by the occupation soldiers and eventually repaired in 1954.
Practically every German aeronautical engineer and test pilot of note during the 1920s and 1930s spent time building, testing, and flying aircraft at the Wasserkuppe including the Günter brothers, Wolf Hirth, the Horten brothers, Robert Kronfeld, Hans Jacobs, Heini Dittmar, Alexander Lippisch, Willy Messerschmitt, Hanna Reitsch, Peter Riedel and Alexander Schleicher. In the 1930s the "Ehrenhalle" (Hall of Honour) was constructed in the Lilienthal Haus, with heavy bronze doors opening into a large hall with a stained glass window featuring a larger-than-life bronze figure of Otto Lilienthal lying on an empty tomb as its centrepiece to serve as a memorial to all pilots who have died in aviation accidents. The inscription on the memorial is Lilienthal's famous last words: "Opfer müssen gebracht werden" roughly meaning "Sacrifices must be made."  During the Third Reich, gliding activities became largely controlled by the state, and for Hitler Youth pilots and their instructors, proficiency in gliding was viewed as the first step towards the Luftwaffe.

The Niederwalddenkmal
The Niederwalddenkmal during the Nazi era and today, a monument located in the Niederwald Landscape park, near Rüdesheim am Rhein in Hesse, constructed to commemorate the foundation of the German Empire after the end of Franco-Prussian War. The first stone was laid on September 16, 1871, by Wilhelm I. The sculptor was Johannes Schilling, and the architect was Karl Weisbach. The total cost of the work is estimated at one million gold marks. It was inaugurated on September 28, 1883. The 125 ft tall monument represents the union of all Germans.
Hitler spoke here on August 28, 1933.  Hitler mentions seeing this monument on his way to the front at the start of the Great War in Mein Kampf:
 Finally, the day came when we left Munich in order to  start fulfilling our duty. Now for the first time I saw the  Rhine as we were riding towards the west along its quiet  waters, the German river of all rivers, in order to protect it  against the greed of the old enemy. When through the delicate veil of the dawn's mist the mild rays of the early sun  set the Niederwalddenkmal shimmering before our eyes,  the 'Watch on the Rhine' roared up to the morning sky  from the interminably long transport train and I had a feelng as though my chest would burst.
Rüdesheim  
 
Drosselgasse adorned in swastikas and today; the Hotel Lindenwirt remains. The 25th of November 1944, consecrated to the holy calendar of the Catherine of Alexandria, became a black day for Rüdesheim, when a heavy bomb attack laid the quarters around the Catholic and Protestant parish church in ruins and claimed as many as 200 dead. Even decades after the war, the Katharine Day is devoted to the memory of this event and the dead. Because the oldest buildings in the old town had been spared, and the reconstruction took place rapidly, Rüdesheim soon recovered its tourist attractiveness.
The Jugendherberge auf dem Niederwald remains a youth hostel today although the swastika above the entrance is gone. 

Rotenburg an der Fulda

The Fachwerkhäuser on Straße der SA. During the Second World War, the town was the location of a prisoner of war camp for officers (Oflag). 
The schloss flying Nazi flags and today

Schloß Dehrn
The Hitler Youth flag flying above Castle Dehrn on the river Lahn in Runkel within the Limburg-Weilburg district when it served as a Kindererholungsheim. Shortly after the First World War, the Dungern family lost their fortune, including the Schloss Dehrn. Its value was estimated at 3.5 million reichsmarks, with lands of more than 85 hectares. In 1925, the castle became a "Fürstenhof" for a few months, then came into the possession of the province of Hesse-Nassau, which in 1925 it was still a training centre for male youth. In 1933 the lands belonging to the castle were privatised. The main building served as a BDM warehouse starting in 1934, the economic building as a childcare centre. With the beginning of the Second World War was the castle Reservelazarett and from 19 September 1944 to 26 March 1945 location of the Oberkommandos of the German Luftwaffe west. In 1945, the fleeing military power burst the chapel in the park where equipment was stored. In the 1960s the remains of the ruins were removed and a memorial stone was erected for the tomb of the family of Dungern. From April 1945 to August 20, the American occupation troops used the building. 
Then from August 25 1946 to June 1949 the economic building served as a home for girls who had lost their relatives during the war. From October 1 1946 to July 1 1951, the castle housed a blind place of the Frankfurt Foundation for the Blind and the Visually Impaired. The economic building was converted in July 1949, the castle to October 1951 into a retirement home of the Landeswohlfahrtsverbands Hessen for 240 residents. 1962 ended this phase and the castle was renovated. From 1965 to 1982 it was the seat of a clinic of the Landeswohlfahrtsverein for speech and speech therapy with 84 beds and from 1986 to 1994 an asylum seeker home with up to 800 inhabitants. Later, the state of Hessen became the owner. Since 1999, the castle has been largely empty as several attempts to settle companies there failed leaving the historic site in a neglected state today.

Crumstadt
 
The swimming pool flying Nazi flags and today

Erlensee
Nazi flags hanging from the Grundschule Langendiebach on Friedrich-Ebert-Straße. In 1937 the Luftwaffe built an airfield known as Langendiebach Fliegerhorst in the town. During the war limited plans to expand it into a larger airfield. Glider and nightfighter units of the German Air Force stationed here participated in the 1939 invasion of Poland and the 1944-45 defence of Germany against allied invasion. Multiple bombings by allied forces rendered the airfield unserviceable by the war's end. Under the name Fliegerhorst Kaserne American forces occupied the facilities from 1945 until 2007 with artillery, aviation, ordnance, quartermaster, transportation, meteorological, and military police units. 

Niederissigheim


The evangelical church in 1937 on its 200th anniversary. At the end of the Second World War profound structural changes occurred for Niederissigheim. Many displaced people were placed here changing the nature of a peasant village was finally lost, and Niederissigheim became a place of residence.

Bad Sooden-Allendorf
 


The Nazi flag flying at the Hotel zur Post and the site today.