Showing posts with label Coburg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coburg. Show all posts

Upper Franconia

Coburg 
(Erste nationalsozialistische Stadt Deutschlands - First German National Socialist City )
A year before Hitler is appointed chancellor, the spitaltor already sports a swastika
In fact, the rathaus in Coburg was the first official building in Germany to fly the Nazi flag on 18 January 1931.
Coburg fortress from page 28 of the cigarette album Kampf ums Dritte Reich - Eine historische Bilderfolge (1933) and today. Hitler visited the fortress in 1922 during the "German Day" celebration where the SA beat up their opponents. He returned again to Coburg a decade after where, on October 15, he was given the freedom of the city.
The Ortsgruppenfeier Coburg in its column of "Alten Kämpfer" down Adolf-Hitler-Straße (now Bahnhofstraße) towards Sonneberg; the view today is further down.
The Altes Schützenhaus on Schützenstraße where, on 15 October 1937 Hitler arrived from the Obersalzberg for the last time to "dear old Coburg" for the 15th Anniversary of his "train to Coburg"in which
[t]he most high-profile operation for the SA came in October 1922 when Hitler and his most loyal supporters travelled to Coburg to hold a meeting. Upon arrival at the town’s station, the visit developed into a military campaign. It came as close as civilian life could to recapturing the ‘Fronterlebnis’ (the experience of fighting at the Front). 
There was a deputation of the big-wigs in Koburg [sic] awaiting us at the station, all very solemn and proper in frock coats and top hats. But they got the shock of their lives, I can tell you, when they saw what sort of ‘accompaniment’ Herr Hitler had brought along. I was close up to them, there on the platform, and heard what they said to him.
We must earnestly beg you to control your following! The city of Koburg explicitly forbids these men to march through the streets in rank and file with flags flying. It would be highly provocative of disorder. Our Leader was a bit astonished at this and asked for explanations. What sort of trouble, then, did they expect? They said there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding in the City over the organisation of the festival and its promoters had had to give a strict guarantee that nothing would be done in the least likely to provoke the Communists. Hitler received this with undisguised scorn. What kind of ‘patriotic’ day did they suppose could be held if the Communists were to have it all their own way! ‘Good Lord)!’ he said, ‘aren’t we in Bavaria? Haven’t we the right to move about as we like?’ Whereupon he turned sharply round, much to the discomfiture of the deputation, and gave us the word to move off. We of the 3rd Company [of the SA] marched two by two into the town on both sides of the band, and sure enough soon encountered storms of abuse from the crowds on route. Hitler led and we followed. At the fire station they were ready to turn the hoses on to us, but just didn’t – at the critical moment. Stones, however, began to fly around. Then things got hotter. The Reds set upon us with iron rods and cudgels. That was going a bit too far. Hitler swung round, flourished his walking-stick (that was the signal), and we flung ourselves upon our assailants. We were unarmed save for our fists, but we put up so good a fight that within fifteen minutes not a Red was left to be seen. So we arrived finally at the place in the centre of the city where the meeting was to be held. When it was over we formed up to betake ourselves to the Schützenhalle, a big hall on the outskirts of Koburg where we were to spend the night. On the way the former racket got up again. Hitler decided once and for all to lay this Red menace here, and gave us the word of command. We counter-attacked for all we knew. It was jolly hard work, I can tell you! They rained tiles on us from the roof and windows and tore up the cobble stones for missiles. I got a thundering blow on the head which had to be attended to before I could carry on. I only found out afterwards how serious the wound was. We reached the Schützenhalle and dossed down, without undressing, on a thin spreading of straw. Hitler turned in amongst us, on the floor like the rest. But first he set the watches, and arranged for patrols. He came in quite the old soldier over this, anxious to provide against possible surprise. I was detailed, with another man, for patrol work. Our watch began at 2 a.m. We cast around a bit at some distance from the hall and found ourselves creeping through a spinney in its neighbourhood. We caught a glitter – made cautiously in that direction. Detected two of the enemy with their party- masks off. One of them had a revolver in his belt, the other carried hand- grenades.
‘So they’d try that dirty trick’, I thought, and rage seized me at the thought of that whole barnful of sleeping men being suddenly blown sky-high into the night. At a concerted signal my comrade and I flung ourselves upon the pair, and for the next few seconds there was a beserker struggle in the underbush. We got them under, and unarmed them. We tied them up good and tight and went through their pockets. There were a few ‘egg bombs’ to be sequestered in the latter. Then we marched them into quarters. I could hardly stand, myself; the blood was pouring from the wound in my head, and blinding my eyes. I turned the precious pair over to Hitler and showed him the bombs. He looked ugly at that, but made no further sign. Quietly he ordered the captives to be taken to a room at the back, beckoned to a hefty couple of our chaps, furnished them with a stout stick apiece, and signed to them to get busy within. Some time afterwards the two would-be bomb throwers were seen to leave our camp, very much sadder and very much wiser men. It is to be doubted if they’ll forget the whalloping and basting they got that night to the last day of their lives. On the Sunday morning we all took an oath of fidelity to the Cause, and then marched off to have a look at the Castle Koburg. 
Heinz A. Heinz (pp. 151 ff.) Germany’s Hitler
In the marketplace he spoke before 10,000 people, including 1,300 holders of the Golden Party Badge during which he declared "With Coburg I made politics:"
At that time, our recipe was: if you do not want to let [us] talk of your own accord, we will use force to make you do it. [—] That battle of the force of reason versus the democracy of force lasted for two days, and after two days this reason, supported by the will of a thousand German men, came away with the victory! It was thus that the battle for this city became a milestone in the evolution of our Movement. This was the recipe we used throughout the Reich to clear the way for the National Socialist idea and thus to conquer Germany. [—]
Loyalty and obedience, discipline and self-sacrifice: if the German Volk continues to devote itself to these ideals in the future as well, it will solve every problem and master every task!
Back then, millions might still have been able to doubt; yet who can continue today to doubt his Volk, Germany and its future? We old fighters, we know that we have always reached our goal until now! And in the future, Germany will reach its life-goal, too, for our Movement is Germany, and Germany is the National Socialist Movement!
Overall, Hitler visited Coburg fourteen times.
Children giving the Hitler greeting in 1936 in the marktplatz
Adolf-Hitler-Haus on the corner of Viktoriastraße and Ernstplatz in its glory, after being bombed, and the site today- a Sparkasse. The building had been bought by the Nazi Party in October 1933 for 60,000 Reichsmarks and rebuilt according to plans by Reinhard Claassen, named after Hitler the following year and serving as the local Nazi party headquarters. It was modelled on the Brown House of the NSDAP in Munich. During the Battle of Coburg in April 1945 the building was destroyed and eventually demolished in 1955.
 
The Landsmannschaft Denkmal in the Hofgarten then and now
Schloss Callenberg, the former summer residence of the Duke of Coburg, sporting a wooden swastika atop its tower in 1938, now long removed.

Curt Riess, writing in 1944 before the end of the war, described him as follows:
And the head of the German Red Cross, the Duke of Coburg-Gotha, one of the most violent Nazis, has excellent connections abroad—so excellent, in fact, that when he visited Washington in 1940, when the Germans there were already being boycotted, for the rape of Poland had aroused public opinion against them—he cut quite a figure in Washington society. The Nazis are counting on the duke’s international relations to help them after the war. With him at its head the German Red Cross, they believe, will be able to survive in its present form, since the Allies, or so they fondly hope, will look upon him as a Red Cross official rather than as a Nazi. Thus the German Red Cross would form an ideal front for the coming Nazi underground. 
 
The coat of arms was replaced during the Nazi-era, lasting 1934-1945 before reverting back 
 
Another change was when Mohrenstraße was replaced by Straße der SA. The latter made a return briefly for a documentary, as did the Nazi-era arms. The old enamelled street sign was borrowed from the Coburg collection and attached with the approval of the public affairs office for a short time.

Wunsiedel
Rudolf Hess's Grave in Wunsiedel. Both the gravesite at Kath. Kirche u. Friedhof and town have been the focus of attention for fascists and anti-fascists alike. Neo-Nazi groups had organised memorial marches each 17 August, the anniversary of his death in 1987. The number of participants rose from 120 in 1988 to more than 1,100 in 1990 before being banned by the state.
Rudolf Hess exhumed to deter neo-Nazis
The remains of Rudolph Hess, Hitler's former deputy, have now been exhumed. Officials removed the tomb and headstone in order to prevent hoards of neo-Nazi pilgrims descending on the small community. Every year on August 17 hundreds of Nazi sympathisers commemorate the death of Hess. After being exhumed Hess's bones were taken to a crematorium, and his ashes scattered at sea. The action was taken after consultation with his remaining family. Karl-Willi Beck, 56, who has been mayor of Wunsiedel since 2002, said the cemetery administrators removed Hess’s remains and his gravestone early Wednesday. “It was the right thing to do,” Mr. Beck said.
 
The Koppetentor itself is well-preserved

As is the Brunnenbuberl and the memorial to writer Jean Paul (Johann Paul Friedrich Richter)

Hiltpoltstein
From page 15 of Adolf Hitler, Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers and looking at the town from the same angle today with the church and schloss in the background.
Hitler with his adjutants Wilhelm Brückner and Julius Schaub in 1936 from page 10 of Adolf Hitler, Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers in front of the war memorial between Hilpoltstein and Kappel and the site today.

Bayreuth
 
Hitler at the Festspielhaus 
 The Haus der Deutschen Erziehung (House of German Education) and its current incarnation.
 The fresco on the Rotmainhalle, built in 1935, is from the prominent artist during the NS-zeit Oskar Martin-Amorbach.
 
Restaurant Eule, Siegfried Wagner’s favourite restaurant, which Hitler visited during the 1925 Bayreuther Festspiele.

Behringersmühle  
 The Gasthof Zur Behringersmühle where Hitler is shown visiting in 1931, after the war and today.

Bad Berneck 
 13 km northeast of Bayreuth is Bad Berneck im Fichtelgebirge. Here is Adolf Hitlerplatz with the schlossturm then and today
The Hotel Bube in Bad Berneck where Hitler would stay during his pilgrimages to Bayreuth hasn't changed at all.
 After 1933, other long-established festivals, carnivals and fairs in Germany  were similarly transformed into events that openly celebrated the Nazi regime. Their host cities in turn often became loci of Nazi tourist culture. Bayreuth is a good example. Its annual Wagner Festival welcomed Hitler and his entourage every summer; by 1933, the Manchester Guardian was reporting that the event now resembled a ‘Hitler Festival’. During the rest of the year, even when the Festspielhaus sat empty, it attracted Hitler devotees as well as Wagner fans. Tourist material lauded Hitler’s special affection for the town and its operas. Postcards even depicted the Hotel Bube in Bad Berneck, just north of Bayreuth, where he stayed during the festival every year.
Semmens (65) Seeing Hitler’s Germany
Kulmbach
The flags outside the rathaus have all been changed since. It was here in Kulmbach on February 5 1928 that Hitler gave a speech declaring that
The idea of struggle is as old as life itself, for life is only preserved because other living things perish through struggle. ... In this straggle, the stronger, the more able, win, while the less able, the weak, lose. Struggle is the father of all things. ... It is not by the principles of humanity that man lives or is able to preserve himself above the animal world, but solely by means of the most brutal struggle. ... If you do not fight for life, then life will never be won.


 Hitlerjugend in the main square with Plassenburg castle in the background and marching down a road
At Spitalgaße 2 was the "Damen- und  Herrenkonfektions" owned by Franz Weiß  and his son-in-law Georg before being 'aryanised.' 

Hof Saale
 Theresienstein 

Hohenberg an der Eger
From 1936, Castle Hohenberg belonged to the National Socialist Teachers' Association and was a school camp- NSLB Schulungsburg. At the end of World War II in April 1945, some towers, and one-third of the village fell victim to the attack American troops, as SS troops defended the town. 1951 began a gradual reconstruction by the Bavarian state.

Naila 

Adolf Hitler Straße in 1939, now Bergstrasse

Bamberg
 
Bamberg during the Third Reich in 1936 and the wife in front of the altes rathaus today. It was at the party conference held in Bamberg in 1926 that Hitler set about reunifying a party left fragmented by his time in gaol and organising personal meetings with senior party members from around the country.
[Hitler] summoned about sixty party leaders to a meeting on 14 February 1926 at Bamberg, in Upper Franconia. There was no agenda. Hitler, it was stated, simply wanted to discuss some ‘important questions’.

He spoke for two hours. He addressed in the main the issue of foreign policy and future alliances. His position was wholly opposed to that of the Working Community. Alliances were never ideal, he said, but always ‘purely a matter of political business’. Britain and Italy, both distancing themselves from Germany’s arch-enemy France, offered the best potential. Any thought of an alliance with Russia could be ruled out. It would mean ‘the immediate political bolshevisation of Germany’, and with it ‘national suicide’. Germany’s future could be secured solely by acquiring land, by eastern colonisation as in the Middle Ages, by a colonial policy not overseas but in Europe. On the question of the expropriation of German princes without compensation (a proposal by the Left, but supported by north German Nazi leaders), Hitler again ruled out the position of the Working Community. ‘For us there are today no princes, only Germans,’ he declared. ‘We stand on the basis of the law, and will not give a Jewish system of exploitation a legal pretext for the complete plundering of our people.’ Such a rhetorical slant could not conceal the outright rejection of the views of the northern leaders. Finally, Hitler repeated his insistence that religious problems had no part to play in the National Socialist Movement.

Goebbels was appalled. ‘I feel devastated. What sort of Hitler? A reactionary? Amazingly clumsy and uncertain ... Probably one of the greatest disappointments of my life. I no longer believe fully in Hitler. That’s the terrible thing: my inner support has been taken away.’

Hitler had reasserted his authority. The potential threat from the Working Community had evaporated. Despite some initial signs of defiance, the fate of the Community had been sealed at Bamberg. Gregor Strasser promised Hitler to collect all copies of the draft programme he had distributed, and wrote to members of the Community on 5 March asking for them to be returned. The Community now petered out into non-existence. On 1 July 1926, Hitler signed a directive stating that ‘since the NSDAP represents a large working community, there is no justification for smaller working communities as a combination of individual Gaue’. By that time, Strasser’s Working Community of northern and western Gauleiter was finished. With it went the last obstacle to the complete establishment of Hitler’s supreme mastery over the party.

Hitler was shrewd enough to be generous after his Bamberg triumph. By September, Strasser himself had been called to the Reich Leadership as Propaganda Leader of the party, while Franz Pfeffer von Salomon (Gauleiter of Westphalia, a former army officer who had subsequently joined the Freikorps, participated in the Kapp Putsch, and been active in opposition to the French in the Ruhr) was appointed head of the SA. Most important of all, the impressionable Goebbels was openly courted by Hitler and completely won over....
The Bamberg meeting had been a milestone in the development of the NSDAP. The Working Community had neither wanted nor attempted a rebellion against Hitler’s leadership. But once Strasser had composed his draft programme, a clash was inevitable. Was the party to be subordinated to a programme, or to its leader? The Bamberg meeting decided what National Socialism was to mean. It was not to mean a party torn, as the völkisch movement had been in 1924, over points of dogma. The Twenty-Five-Point Programme of 1920 was therefore regarded as sufficient. ‘It stays as it is,’ Hitler was reported as saying. ‘The New Testament is also full of contradictions, but that hasn’t prevented the spread of Christianity.’ Its symbolic significance, not any practical feasibility was what mattered. Any more precise policy statement would not merely have produced continuing inner dissension. It would have bound Hitler himself to the programme, subordinated him to abstract tenets of doctrine that were open to dispute and alteration. As it was, his position as Leader over the movement was now inviolable.
At Bamberg, too, an important ideological issue – the anti-Russian thrust of foreign policy – had been reaffirmed. The alternative approach of the northern group had been rejected. The ‘idea’ and the Leader were coming to be inseparable. But the ‘idea’ amounted to a set of distant goals, a mission for the future. The only way to it was through the attainment of power. For that, maximum flexibility was needed. No ideological or organisational disputes should in future be allowed to divert from the path. Fanatical willpower, converted into organised mass force, was what was required. That demanded freedom of action for the Leader; and total obedience from the following. What emerged in the aftermath of Bamberg was, therefore, the growth of a new type of political organisation: one subjected to the will of the Leader, who stood over and above the party, the embodiment in his own person of the ‘idea’ of National Socialism.

Kershaw (169-171) Hitler
The wife in front of the Portal des Böttingerhauses and as it appeared during the Third Reich

Lichtenfels
The Altes Volksschulgebäude on Adolf-Hitler-Strasse then and now

Pegnitz 
 Local district assembly of the NSDAP in 1939 in the marketsquare.

Münchberg 
 
This was built in the mid 1930s to honour the war dead of the Great War. The reichsadler has long since been removed.