Showing posts with label Darmstadt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darmstadt. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi Sites in Hessen


 Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now 
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.
The Hotel Nassauer Hof flying the Nazi flag and today, noticeably reduced

The rathaus in 1933 also with swastika flag and today
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.
 Marburg's marktplatz has changed considerably since the war, not least its name during the Third Reich

Marburg was the site of Vice-Chancellor Papen's speech at the University of Marburg in June 1934, 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 organization 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 30 June 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 2 August 1934, giving Hitler the opportunity to become head of state as well as government.

Hessian State Archives

The Eagle remains sans swastika, 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.

Frankfurt am Main 
Hitler being driven down Braubachstrasse March 31, 1938.

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!
His last speech here was March 31, 1938 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!
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 swastika 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.
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.
The Römer

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. Hitler at this time had declared
I am happy that today I am able to enter this city as the man who has realized 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.
Inside the Kaisersaal within
What was left after the war.
The Synagogue
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.
I.G.Farben Building

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.
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
Hitler speaking 4 June 1939 at Friedrichsplatz with the old Staatstheater in the background, and its current incarnation since 1959.
Hitler on Königstraße, three months before the invasion of Poland, and today.

Königsstraße from Königsplatz then and now

Königsplatz during the Third Reich and today
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 then and now

Looking directly at the Elisabethhospital through the Zwehrenturm archway

The 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.
The rathaus has been extensively rebuilt
It was not until 1960 that the Zwehrener Turm was finally rebuilt after the war
The hauptbahnhof then and now

Untere Königsstrasse after the war and today

The Orangerieschloß in 1943 and today, largely rebuilt by 1981

Friedrichsplatz then and now. The White Palace was blown up November 1948; today's facades 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.

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

The main railway station at the end of Adolf-Hitler-Straße, now bahnhofstraße

The  Rolandsbrunnen at the turn of the century and today

Swastikas along Hochschulstraße during the Third Reich and today
The Ludwigsmonument at Adolf-Hitler-Platz and now
Adolf-Hitler-Platz in a 1940 postcard, extensively bombed in 1944, and today, Luisenplatz
The Technische Universität Darmstadt einst und jetzt
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.
 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. 

The Volkshalle then and now
 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.

Bad Wildungen
Adolf-Hitler-Strasse then and now with the Fachwerkhäuser in the background

Offenbach am Main 
Reichsadler remaining over the entrance of the former bunker on Friedhofstrasse

The rathaus in 1935 and today
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 during a Nazi-sponsored festival and today

 St. Wenzel church after the 1945 bombing and today

 View from the Marktplatz towards Kirchgassse  in 1938 on the town's 650th anniversary 
The Amtshaus: "Das Lämmchen
The Rathaus
The Burgtor

The church from Spitalgasse (left) and Gutegasse (right)
The Alte Fachwerkhäuser on Friedrich Ebert Straße.
 By the East Gate in Schloßgasse
View from Schloßberg towards the clock tower

Fliegerdenkmal, Wasserkuppe
1923 memorial to the fallen airmen of the First World War

The Niederwalddenkmal
The Niederwalddenkmal is 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 feeling as though my chest would burst.
 As early as the Paleolithic period, the Central Hessian region was inhabited. Due to the favorable climate of the location, people lived there about 50,000 years ago during the last glacial period, as burial sites show from this era. Finds of paleolitical tools in southern Hesse in Rüsselsheim suggest Pleistocene hunters about 13,000 years ago. The Züschen tomb (German: Steinkammergrab von Züschen, sometimes also Lohne-Züschen) is a prehistoric burial monument, located between Lohne and Züschen, near Fritzlar, Hesse, Germany. Classified as a gallery grave or a Hessian-Westphalian stone cist (hessisch-westfälische Steinkiste), it is one of the most important megalithic monuments in Central Europe. Dating to the late 4th millennium BC (and possibly remaining in use until the early 3rd), it belongs to the Late Neolithic Wartberg culture.  An early Celtic presence in what is now Hesse is indicated by a mid 5th century BC La Tène style burial uncovered at Glauberg. The region was later settled by the Germanic Chatti tribe in ca. the 1st century BC, and the name Hesse is a continuation of that tribal name.  The Ancient Romans had a military camp in Dorlar, and in Waldgirmes directly on the eastern outskirts of Wetzlar was a civil settlement under construction. Presumably, the provincial government for the occupied territories of the right bank of Germania was planned at this location. It is likely that the governor of Germania, at least temporarily, had resided here. The settlement appears to have been abandoned by the Romans after the devastating Battle of the Teutoburg Forest failed in the year 9 AD. The Chatti were also involved in the Revolt of the Batavi in the year 69 AD.  In the early Middle Ages, a Frankish gau comprising an area around Fritzlar and Kassel and a Saxon one further north were known as Hessengau. In the 9th century the Saxon Hessengau also came under the rule of the Franconians. In the 12th century it was passed to Thuringia.  In the War of the Thuringian Succession (1247–64), Hesse gained its independence and became a Landgraviate within the Holy Roman Empire. It shortly rose to primary importance under Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous, who was one of the leaders of German Protestantism. After Philip's death in 1567, the territory was divided up among his four sons from his first marriage (Philip was a bigamist) into four lines: Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), Hesse-Darmstadt, Hesse-Rheinfels and the also previously existing Hesse-Marburg. As the latter two lines died out quite soon (1583 and 1605, respectively), Hesse-Kassel and Hesse-Darmstadt were the two core states within the Hessian lands. Several collateral lines split off during the centuries, such as in 1622, when Hesse-Homburg split off from Hesse-Darmstadt. In the late 16th century, Kassel adopted Calvinism, while Darmstadt remained Lutheran and subsequently the two lines often found themselves on different sides of a conflict, most notably in the disputes over Hesse-Marburg and in the Thirty Years' War, when Darmstadt fought on the side of the Emperor, while Kassel sided with Sweden and France.  The Landgrave Frederick II (1720–1785) ruled as a benevolent despot, 1760-1785. He combined Enlightenment ideas with Christian values, cameralist plans for central control of the economy, and a militaristic approach toward diplomacy.[4] He funded the depleted treasury of the poor nation by renting out 19,000 soldiers in complete military formations to Great Britain to fight in North America during the American Revolutionary War, 1776-1783. These soldiers, commonly known as Hessians, fought under the British flag. The British used the Hessians in several conflicts, including in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. For further revenue the soldiers were rented out elsewhere as well. Most were conscripted, with their pay going to the Landgrave. Arms of Hesse-Kassel (1815–1866) 19th century  Hesse-Kassel was elevated to the status of an Electorate in 1803, but this remained without effect as the Holy Roman Empire was disbanded in 1806. The territory was annexed by the Kingdom of Westphalia in 1806, but restored to the Elector in 1813. While other Electors had gained other titles, becoming either Kings or Grand Dukes, the Elector of Hesse-Kassel alone retained the anachronistic title. The name survived in the term Kurhessen, denoting the region around Kassel. In 1866, it was annexed by Prussia, together with the Free City of Frankfurt, Hesse-Homburg and the duchy of Nassau, which established the province of Hesse-Nassau. Arms of Grand Duchy of Hesse  Hesse-Darmstadt was elevated to the status of a Grand Duchy in 1806, becoming the Grand Duchy of Hesse. In the War of 1866, it fought on the side of Austria against Prussia, but retained its autonomy in defeat. This is because a greater part of the country was situated south of the Main river and Prussia did not dare to expand beyond the Main line, as this might have provoked France. However, the parts of Hesse-Darmstadt north of the Main river (the region around the town of Gießen, commonly called Oberhessen) were incorporated in the Norddeutscher Bund, a tight federation of German states, established by Prussia in 1867. In 1871, after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, the rest of the Grand Duchy joined the German Empire. Around the turn of the twentieth century, Darmstadt was one of the centres of the Jugendstil. Until 1907, the Grand Duchy of Hesse used the Hessian red and white lion as its coat-of-arms. 20th century  The revolution of 1918 transformed Hesse-Darmstadt 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 (province Rheinhessen) were occupied by French troops until 1930 under the terms of the Versailles peace treaty that officially ended WWI in 1919.  After World War II the Hessian territory left 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, on the other side, proclaimed the state of Greater Hesse (Groß-Hessen) on 19 September 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.[5] Geography See also: List of places in Hesse and List of mountains of Hesse The most important rivers, mountains, and cities of Hesse  Situated in west-central Germany, Hesse state borders the German states of (starting in the north and proceeding clockwise) Lower Saxony, Thuringia, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia.  The principal cities of Hesse include Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, Offenbach, Hanau, Gießen, Wetzlar, and Limburg in the greater Rhine Main Area, Fulda in the east, and Kassel and Marburg an der Lahn in the north.  The most important rivers in Hesse are the Fulda and Eder rivers in the north, the Lahn in the central part of Hesse, and the Main and Rhine in the south. The countryside is hilly and there are numerous mountain ranges, including the Rhön, the Westerwald, the Taunus, the Vogelsberg, the Knüll and the Spessart.  Most of the population of Hesse is in the southern part of Hesse in the Rhine Main Area. The Rhine borders Hesse on the southwest without running through the state, only one old arm – the so-called Alt-Rhein – runs through Hesse. The mountain range between the Main and the Neckar river is called the Odenwald. The plain in between the rivers Main, Rhine and Neckar, and the Odenwald mountains is called the Ried.  Hesse is the greenest state in Germany.[6] Forest covers 42% of the state.[6] Administration of the State of Hesse  The state is divided into three administrative regions (Regierungsbezirke), Kassel in the north and east, Gießen in the centre, and Darmstadt in the south, the latter being the most populous region covering much of the Rhine-Main agglomeration. The administrative regions have no legislature of their own but are executive agencies of the state government.  Map of Hesse with districts (with numbers).svg Wiesbaden Frankfurt am Main Kassel Offenbach am Main  Hesse is divided into 21 districts (Kreise) and 5 independent cities, each with their own local governments. They are, shown with abbreviations as used on vehicle number plates:      Bergstraße (Heppenheim) (HP)     Darmstadt-Dieburg (Darmstadt) (DA, DI)     Groß-Gerau (Groß-Gerau) (GG)     Hochtaunuskreis (Bad Homburg) (HG, USI)     Main-Kinzig-Kreis (Gelnhausen) (MKK, GN, HU, SLÜ)     Main-Taunus-Kreis (Hofheim am Taunus) (MTK)     Odenwaldkreis (Erbach) (ERB)     Offenbach (Dietzenbach) (OF)     Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis (Bad Schwalbach) (RÜD,SWA)     Wetteraukreis (Friedberg) (FB, BÜD)     Gießen (Gießen) (GI)     Lahn-Dill-Kreis (Wetzlar) (LDK)     Limburg-Weilburg (Limburg) (LM, WEL)     Marburg-Biedenkopf (Marburg) (MR, BID)     Vogelsbergkreis (Lauterbach) (VB)     Fulda (Fulda) (FD)     Hersfeld-Rotenburg (Bad Hersfeld) (HEF, ROF)     Kassel (Kassel) (KS, HOG,WOH)     Schwalm-Eder-Kreis (Homberg (Efze)) (HR)     Werra-Meißner-Kreis (Eschwege) (ESW, WIZ)     Waldeck-Frankenberg (Korbach) (KB, FKB, WA)  Independent cities:      Darmstadt (DA)     Frankfurt am Main (F)     Kassel (KS)     Offenbach am Main (OF)     Wiesbaden (WI)  Rhenish Hesse  Rhenish Hesse (German: Rheinhessen) refers to the part of the former Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt located west of the Rhine river and now part of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is a hilly countryside largely devoted to vineyards; therefore, it is also called the "land of the thousand hills." Its larger towns include Mainz, Worms, Bingen, Alzey, Nieder-Olm and Ingelheim. Many inhabitants commute to work in Mainz, Wiesbaden, or Frankfurt. Administration of Rhenish Hesse  Rhenish Hesse contains a number of municipalities and has no specific overall government. It was previously part of the government area of Rheinhessen-Pfalz. However, the state of Rhineland-Palatinate no longer uses this area for administrative purposes. Politics Main article: Politics of Hesse  The Politics of Hesse takes place within a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic, where the Federal Government of Germany exercises sovereign rights with certain powers reserved to the states of Germany including Hesse. The state has a multi-party system where the two main parties were long the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the leftist Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). However, this changed in 2009, when support for the SPD collapsed after a political crisis in 2008. There are now five parties in the Hesse Landtag. Most recent state election  [needs update] Although the government under Minister-President, Roland Koch (CDU), lost their majority in the state diet Landtag of Hesse following the 2008 Landtag election, their rival parties were unable to form a government. A snap election was held in 2009, which enabled the CDU again to form a government with the FDP. In May 2010, Koch announced his resignation from the post of Minister-President as well as his retirement from politics. His successor is Volker Bouffier. Saarland is the result of a regulation of the treaty of Versailles and was created in 1919. Prior to this creation, there never existed a comparable administrative unit or a feeling of togetherness.  The region of the Saarland was settled by the Celtic tribes of Treveri and Mediomatrici. The most impressive relic of their time is the remains of a fortress of refuge at Otzenhausen in the north of the Saarland. In the 1st century BC, the Roman Empire made the region part of its province of Belgica. The Celtic population mixed with the Roman immigrants. The region gained wealth, which can still be seen in the remains of Roman villas and villages.  Roman rule ended in the 5th century, when the Franks conquered the territory. For the next 1,300 years the region shared the history of the Kingdom of the Franks, the Carolingian Empire and of the Holy Roman Empire. The region of the Saarland was divided into several small territories, some of which were ruled by sovereigns of adjoining regions. Most important of the local rulers were the counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken. Within the Holy Roman Empire these territories gained a wide range of independence, threatened, however, by the French kings, who sought, from the 17th century onwards, to incorporate all the territories on the western side of the river Rhine and repeatedly invaded the area in 1635, in 1676, in 1679 and in 1734, extending their realm to the Saar River and establishing the city and stronghold of Saarlouis in 1680.  It was not the king of France but the armies of the French Revolution who terminated the independence of the states in the region of the Saarland. After 1792 they conquered the region and made it part of the French Republic. While a strip in the west belonged to the Département Moselle, the centre in 1798 became part of the Département de Sarre, and the east became part of the Département du Mont-Tonnerre. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the region was divided again. Most of it became part of the Prussian Rhine Province. Another part in the east, corresponding to the present Saarpfalz district, was allocated to the Kingdom of Bavaria. A small part in the northeast was ruled by the Duke of Oldenburg.  On 31 July 1870, the French Emperor Napoleon III ordered an invasion across the River Saar to seize Saarbrücken. The first shots of the Franco-Prussian War 1870/71 were fired on the heights of Spichern, south of Saarbrücken. The Saar region became part of the German Empire which came into existence on 18 January 1871, during the course of this war. Interwar history Main article: Saar (League of Nations)  In 1920 the Saargebiet was occupied by Britain and France under the provision Frankfurter Römer (Rathaus) (4) Location: Römerberg 21-27 Today: Still there When Adolf Hitler visited Frankfurt am Main on March 31, 1938 he spoke at the Festhalle again, but he also visited the town hall, called the Römer. All the pictures above show the Römerberg when Hitler visited itin 1938. The two pictures on top (centre and right) have Hitler on them, on the balcony of the Rathaus. The picture in the centre below shows Hitler leaving the Rathaus. All the pictures below are dated 31.03.1938, exept the two coloured ones in the centre. The Kaisersaal The Kaisersaal still looks the same The Römer today The Bürgersaal Picture of Hitler's motorcade driving through Frankfurt (5) Location: Braubachstrasse (near the Römer) Today: Still there The picture below shows Hitler in his car, driving through the Braubachstrasse in Frankfurt am Main. I.G.-Farben-Haus (6) Location: Grüneburgplatz 1 Today: The building that housed I.G.Farben was turned into the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, but it still looks the same as it did.   In 1931 the I.G. Farben-Haus was opened. It was one of the largest office buildings in the world. The company Degesch was responsable for the gass Zyklon B, that was used to kill jews in Auschwitz. Degesch was a daughter of the Degussa-concern and I.G. Farben. The remarkable building and especialy the dark roll the company played are reason enough to mention this on this website. We haven’t got any information about Hitler visiting the I.G. Farben-Haus. The IG-Farben Haus Reichsautobahn Frankfurt - Darmstadt (1) Location: Exact locations unknown Today: The Reichsautobahn is still there. It is often said that the plans for the highways in Germany were Hitler's, while in fact a lot of plans were already made before he came to power. Adolf Hitler put a spade in the ground at the groundbreaking ceremony of the first section of the autobahn from Frankfurt am Main to Darmstadt on September 23, 1933 in Frankfurt.   On May 19, 1935 Hitler opened this new part of the highway in an open car. Hitler's shoveling ceremony Hitler's car driving on the Autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt at the opening of the highway Frankfurter Festhalle (3) Location: Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1 Today: Damaged during the war but restored afterwards. On August 3, 1930, during a NSDAP-gathering, Hitler spoke to 17.000 people in the Frankfurter Festhalle. On October 4 of the same year Hitler also spoke at the Festhalle. The next time Hitler was in Frankfurt am Main was on March 6, 1932, for the election of the Reichstag in July of that year. The Festhalle was crowded with 35.000 people, but Hitler didn’t speak very long. Hermann Göring was the most important speaker for the evening. For the same elections of the Reichstag Hitler spoke in the Festhalle again on April 7, 1932 and three days before the election on July 28, 1932. For the elections in 1933 Hitler spoke at the Festhalle again on February 23, 1933. On October 29, 1933 Hitler spoke in Frankfurt too, but exactly where, I don’t know. On March 16, 1936 Hitler also spoke at the Festhalle. On March 31, 1938 Hitler spoke at the Festhalle again. Left: The Festhalle in the 1920’s Centre: After the bombing in 1942 Right: The Festhalle today Inside the Festhalle FRANKFURT AM MAIN  Plane and Sonderzug (7)  Location: The Flugplatz is on the Airportring, the railroad runs north of it.  Today: Still there  On June 17, 1940 Hitler flew to Frankfurt from Belgium to go to München. In Frankfurt he got aboard his Sonderzug and he went to München.    Hitler visits his soldiers Location: Unknown On December 23, 1939 Hitler visited an Aufklarungsstaffel, Infanterie Regiment Grossdeutschland, and Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. Festzelt (tent) on the Marktplatz (17) Location: Marktplatz the Kornmarkt between the Bahnhofstrasse and the Böhmergasse Today: Still there On October 31, 1932 Hitler spoke to some 30.000 people in Limburg an der Lahn.   Left: Hitler in Limburg an der Lahn Above: the Kornmarkt (source: LIMBURG AN DER LAHN GIEßEN Volkshalle (9) Location: Grünberger Strasse Today: Miller Hall On November 9 (!), 1931 Hitler held a speech at the Volkshalle. On June 17, 1932 Hitler spoke at the Festhalle in Gießen. It’s probably the same hall. KASSEL Election speech of Adolf Hitler 1933 - Reichskriegertag 1939 Location: Friedrichsplatz (10) Today: The Friedrichsplatz was bombed several times from 1940 until 1943. Some of the historic building are still on the Friedrichsplatz. Some aren’t. The place has been restored. Hitler was in Kassel in 1933. He spoke to a large crowd of people on the Friedrichsplatz. On the same day in the Wilhelmshöher Allee a Adolf-Hitler-Haus was opened. On June 4, 1939 Hitler was in Kassel for the Reichskriegertag. He watched a parade on the Friedrichsplatz. The Staatstheater, that’s on a lot of the pictures that where made of that event, was bombed in the war. After the war the old theatre was broken down and replaced by a new one, that was ready in 1959. The Friedrichplatz  in 1783 The Friedrichsplatz  in 1938 The Friedrichplatz today The Wilhelmshöherplatz A postcard of the old Staatstheater on the Friedrichsplatz The Friedrichsplatz on June 4, 1939 with Adolf Hitler. In the background is the Staatstheater. (picture: LIFE magazine) The new Staatstheater in 1959. (picture: Bundesarchiv) Election speeches in a tent in 1932 Location: Unknown Hitler spoke to 60.000 people in a tent somewhere in Kassel on April 20, 1932 (Hitler's birthday). On the same day he also spoke in Halle (Sachsen-Anhalt) and Marburg. On November 3 he spoke in a tent Kassel again, to about 50.000 people.  Adolf-Hitler-Haus (11)  Location: Wilhelmshöher Allee, exact location unknown.  Today: Unknown  Hitler held a speech at the opening of the Adolf-Hitler-Haus in Kassel on February 11, 1933.              The map shows the airport area in 2004. The runway was located between the two red dots on the right.  Großdeutschen Reichskriegertag (12)  Location: Arrival at the Flugplatz in Waldau; In between the Marie-Curie-Straße and the Fuldaaue lies an industriepark. The runway of the airport was a little east of the Antonius-Raab-Strasse.  Today: Industriepark Waldau, Kassel  On June 4, 1939 Hitler visited Kassel when the Großdeutschen Reichskriegertag took place. About 300.000 people took part of it. Hitler arrived at the airport around 10 o’clock. Keitel and Bormann join Hitler on his way to Kassel. Hitler leaves Kassel by air on 19.00 hours.  Both pictures: Hitler driving through Kassel on the Reichskriegertag  Großdeutschen Reichskriegertag – drive through the city (10, 13, 14, 15, 16)  Location: from the Leipziger Straße (13), to the Fuldabrücke (14) through the Altstadt to the Königsstraße (15) and the Friedrichsplatz (10) and he arrives at the Karlwiese (16) at the Karlsaue.  Today: The streets still have the same names.  On June 4, 1939 Hitler visited Kassel when the Großdeutschen Reichskriegertag took place. About 300.000 people took part of it. When Hitler drove through the city, thousands of people cheared him on.  The Karlsaue today  (picture:  The Orangerie on the Karlsaue  Hitler on the Reichskriegertag  Großdeutschen Reichskriegertag – Karlwiese (16)  Location: An der Karlsaue  Today: Still there  On June 4, 1939 Hitler visited Kassel when the Großdeutschen Reichskriegertag took place. About 300.000 people took part of it. At the Karlwiese a large army demonstration is planned. Hitler gave a speech in which he attacked England. FRITZLAR  Speech for the 9th army-corps (8)  Location: The old Watterkaserne on the Kasseler Straße was the home of Artillerie-Regiment 5 and parts of the Artillerie-Regiment 9, 29, 45 and 65. There also was an army airport in Frizlar. The speech could have taken place at the Watterkaserne, but I don’t know  the exact location.  Today: The airport is still there. Unknown what happened to the Kaserne.  On September 18, 1936 Hitler spoke to the 9th army-corps on the occasion of the so called Fahnenübergabe. Adlerhorst (24) Near Bad Nauheim, Ziegenberg (Wiesental), Schloßstrasse Today: Some buildings still exist. Hitler conducted the Ardennes Offensive here from December 11, 1944  until January 15, 1945. Behind the castle were 7 bunkers  built, looking like normal cottages.The castle and many homes were firebombed by the allied forces. After that German troops were instructed to dynamite the compound. The Wachhaus, the Pressehaus and the garage of the large motor pool building located in the village prop exist today. The castle is rebuilt. There are apartments in it now. More information can be found here: A picture of the Adlerhorst area ZIEGENBERG LORSCH Friedhof  (18) Location: Friedhofstrasse Today: Still there. Excact location of the grave unknown. Hitler came to Lorsch on August 9, 1929 for a speech at the funeral of Erich Jost, a member of the SA. Die Marburger Rede (19) Location: University of Marburg, Lawschool (room 101); Landgrafenhaus, the 1920s neo-rococo class room building of the university, in the main lecture hall, Universitätsstraße Today: The hall is still there today, including the original furniture. Franz von Papen held a speech at the University of Marburg, that is said to have been the last public speech against Nazism. Hitler was furious. Von Papen resigned as vice chancellor, but he was a diplomat for Germany until 1944. MARBURG Bürgerwiese (20) Location: Erlenring 11 Today: There was a Festhalle on the Bürgerwiese once. It burned down. The firedepartment (Hauptfeuerwache) has a building on the location of the Festhalle. If Hitler spoke inside the Festhalle or outside on the Bürgerwiese, I don’t know. Hitler held a speech at the Bürgerwiese of Marburg once. OFFENBACH Sportplatz (21) Location: Unknown Hitler spoke at the Offenbach Sportplatz on June 16, 1932. Niederwalddenkmal (22) Location: Am Niederwald; Rheingauer-Riesling-Route (L3034) Today: Still there Hitler saw the Niederwalddenkmal when he and his fellow soldiers were in a train on their way to the battlefields of the first World War in 1914. Hitler mentions this in Mein Kampf. He was very impressed by the monument and the spontaneous outburst of the soldiers singing ‘Wacht am Rhein’. On August 28, 1933 Hitler spoke at the Saarkundgebung at the Niederwald-Denkmal. RÜDESHEIM The Niederwalddenkmal today  Adolf Hitler at the Niederwalddenkmal. It’s hard to see, but he walks inbetween the crowds in the centre of the picture.  (picture: Heinrich Hoffmann)  A large crowd has gathered to see Hitler.  (picture: Heinrich Hoffmann)  Through a relay greetings from the Saarland were brought to Hitler.  (picture: Heinrich Hoffmann) WIESBADEN Sportplatz (23) Location: Unknown Hitler spoke at a Sportplatz in Wiesbaden on July 28, 1932. There were about 50.000 people present. BUNDESLÄNDER. NORDR.-WESTFALEN. BAD.-WURTEMBERG. RHEINL.-PFALZ - SAARLAND. NIEDERSACHSEN. SCHLESW.-HOLSTEIN - HAMBURG. BAYERN. BRANDENBURG. THURINGEN. SACHSEN. SACHSEN-ANHALT. MECKLB.-VORPOMMERN. HOME - BIBLIOGRAPHY - PICTURES - LINKS - MURDERING HITLER - FHQ’s - NEWS HOME - BIBLIOGRAPHY - PICTURES - LINKS - MURDERING HITLER - FHQ’s - NEWS    Reichsautobahn Frankfurt - Darmstadt (1) Location: Exact locations unknown Today: The Reichsautobahn is still there Adolf Hitler started the building of the first section of the autobahn from Frankfurt am Main to Darmstadt on September 23, 1933 in Frankfurt. On May 19, 1935 Hitler opened the highway. Look here for more. Festhalle (2) Location: Exerzierplatz, near the present Hauptbahnhof, to the southeast of the Rheinstrasse Today: Gone, the Rheinstrasse is called Berliner Allee now. On November 13, 1931 Hitler held a speech at the Festhalle.  An old picture of the Festhalle Radrennbahn Location: Not sure Today: There is a new Radrennbahn on the Heidelbergerstrasse, but if it’s on the original location I don’t know. On June 15, 1932 Hitler held a speech at the Radrennbahn in Darmstadt. DARMSTADT  One of the things Hitler is still credited for is that he was responsible for making the German highway-system. The plans for a highway between Frankfurt and Darmstadt, both in Hessen, were already made before he came to power. Hitler visited Frankfurt several times.  1. Autobahn, Darmstadt 2. Festhalle, Darmstadt 3. Festhalle, Frankfurt  4. Römer, Frankfurt 5. Braubachstrasse, Frankfurt 6. I.G.-Farben-Haus, Frankfurt  7. Plane and Sonderzug, Frankfurt  8. Speech, Frizlar 9. Volkshalle, Gießen  10. Friedrichsplatz, Kassel 11. Adolf-Hitler-Haus, Kassel 12. Flugplatz Waldau, Kassel  13. Leipziger Strasse, Kassel 14. Fuldabrücke, Kassel 15. Königsstraße, Kassel  16. Karlwiese, Kassel 17. Marktplatz, Limburg an der Lahn 18. Friedhof, Lorsch 19. University, Marburg 20. Bürgerwiese, Marburg  21. Sportplatz, Offenbach  22. Niederwalddenkmal, Rüdesheim  23. Sportplatz, Wiesbaden 24. Adlerhorst, Ziegenberg      HESSEN  THE HITLER PAGES  HISTORICAL HITLER SITES  Hessen weergeven op een grotere kaart Possible visit of Hitler in 1926 Location: Unknown Adolf Hitler sent a postcard to Maria Reiter on November 21, 1926 from Bad Homburg. In that period Hitler travelled through Germany. A few days later, for instance, he visited the Hermannsdenkmal in Nordrhein Westfalen. What Hitler was doing in Bad Hamburg and where he stayed, is still a mystery (to me). If you know more about this visit, please send an e-mail. BAD HOMBURG vor der HÖHEs of the Treaty of Versailles. The occupied area included portions of the Prussian Rhine Province and the Bavarian Rhenish Palatinate. In practice the region was administered by France. In 1920 this was formalized by a 15-year League of Nations mandate. A postage stamp from the French occupation of Saarland (Sarre in French)  In 1933, a considerable number of communists and other political opponents of National Socialism fled to the Saar, as it was the only part of Germany that remained outside national administration following the First World War. As a result, anti-Nazi groups agitated for the Saarland to remain under French administration. However, with most of the population being ethnically German, such views were considered suspect or even treasonable, and therefore found little support.  When the original 15 year term was over, a plebiscite was held in the territory on 13 January 1935: 90.8% of those voting favored rejoining Germany.  Following the referendum Josef Bürckel was appointed on 1 March 1935 as the German Reich's commissioner for reintegration (Reichskommissar für die Rückgliederung des Saarlandes). When the reincorporation was considered accomplished, his title was changed (after 17 June 1936) to Reichskommissar für das Saarland. In September 1939, in response to the German Invasion of Poland, French forces invaded the Saarland in a half-hearted offensive, occupying some villages and meeting little resistance, before withdrawing. A further change was made after 8 April 1940 to Reichskommissar für die Saarpfalz; finally, after 11 March 1941, he was made Reichsstatthalter in der "Westmark" (the region's new name, meaning "Western March or Border"). He died on 28 September 1944 and was succeeded by Willi Stöhr, who remained in office until the region fell to advancing American forces in March 1945. History after World War II Further information: Saar (protectorate)  After World War II, the Saarland came under French occupation and administration again, as the Saar Protectorate.  Under the Monnet Plan France attempted to gain economic control of the German industrial areas with large coal and mineral deposits that were not in Soviet hands: the Ruhr area and the Saar area. Attempts to gain control of or internationalize permanently the Ruhr area (see International Authority for the Ruhr) were abandoned in 1951 with the German agreement to pool its coal and steel resources (see European Coal and Steel Community) in return for full political control of the Ruhr. The French attempt to gain economic control over the Saar was more successful at the time, with the final vestiges of French economic influence ending in 1981. In contrast to the actions of Soviet-controlled Poland in Upper Silesia, France did not annex the Saar or expel the local German population.  In his speech "Restatement of Policy on Germany", made in Stuttgart on September 6, 1946, United States Secretary of State James F. Byrnes stated the U.S. motive in detaching the Saar from Germany: "The United States does not feel that it can deny to France, which has been invaded three times by Germany in 70 years,[Note 1] its claim to the Saar territory". (See also Morgenthau plan for U.S. and UK designs for the Saar area.)  From 1945 to 1951, a policy of industrial disarmament was pursued in Germany by the Allies (see the industrial plans for Germany). As part of this policy, limits were placed on production levels, and industries in the Saar were dismantled just as in the Ruhr, although mostly in the period prior to its detachment (see also the 1949 letter from the UK Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin to the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, urging a reconsideration of the dismantling policy).  In 1948, the French government established the Saarland University under the auspices of the University of Nancy. It is the principal university in the Bundesland, the other being HTW.  The Saar Protectorate was headed by a military governor from 30 August 1945: Gilbert Yves Édmond Grandval (b. 1904 – d. 1981), who remained on 1 January 1948 as High Commissioner, and January 1952 – June 1955 as the first of two French ambassadors, his successor being Eric de Carbonnel (b. 1910 – d. 1965) until 1956. Saarland, however, was allowed a regional administration very soon, consecutively headed by:      a President of the Government:         31 July 1945 – 8 June 1946: Hans Neureuther, Non-party     a Chairman of the (until 15 December 1947, Provisional) Administration Commission:         8 June 1946 – 20 December 1947: Erwin Müller (b. 1906 – d. 1968), Non-party     Minister-presidents (as in any Bundesland):         20 December 1947 – 29 October 1955 Johannes Hoffmann (b. 1890 – d. 1967), CVP         29 October 1955 – 10 January 1956 Heinrich Welsch (b. 1888 – d. 1976), Non-party         10 January 1956 – 4 June 1957 Hubert Ney (b. 1892 – d. 1984), CDU  In 1954, France and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) developed a detailed plan called the Saarstatut to establish an independent Saarland. It was signed as an agreement between the two countries on October 23, 1954 as one of the Paris Pacts, but a plebiscite held on October 23, 1955 rejected it by 67.7%.  On 27 October 1956 the Saar Treaty declared that Saarland should be allowed to join the Federal Republic of Germany, which it did on 1 January 1957. This was the last significant international border change in Europe until the fall of Communism.  The Saarland's reunification with the Federal Republic of Germany was sometimes referred to as the Kleine Wiedervereinigung ("little reunification", in contrast with the post-Cold War absorption of the GDR). Even after reunification, the Saar franc remained as the territory's currency until West Germany's Deutsche Mark replaced it on 7 July 1959. The Saar Treaty established that French, not English as in the rest of West Germany, should remain the first foreign language taught in Saarland schools; this provision was still largely followed after it was no longer binding.  Since 1971, Saarland has been a member of SaarLorLux, a euroregion created from Saarland, Lorraine, Luxembourg, Rhineland Palatinate and Wallonia. Geography "Saarschleife" (Bend in the Saar) near Mettlach  The state borders France (département of Moselle, which forms part of the région of Lorraine) [3] to the south and west, Luxembourg to the west and Rheinland-Pfalz to the north and the east.  It is named after the Saar River, a tributary of the Moselle River (itself a tributary of the Rhine), which runs through the state from the south to the northwest. One third of the land area of the Saarland is covered by forest, one of the highest percentages in Germany. The state is generally hilly; the highest mountain is the Dollberg with a height of 695.4 m (about 2,280 feet).  Most inhabitants live in a city agglomeration on the French border, surrounding the capital of Saarbrücken.  See also List of places in Saarland.      Saar-Warndt coal mining basin  Districts Districts of Saarland (towns dark-coloured, position of number in the capital)  Saarland is divided into six districts ("Landkreise" in German):      Merzig-Wadern     Neunkirchen     Saarbrücken     Saarlouis     Saarpfalz     Sankt Wendel  Religion Religion in Saarland - 31 December 2007[4] religion             percent      Roman Catholics             65.1% Protestants             19.6% Other or none             15.4%  The adherents of the Catholic Church comprise 65.1% of the population, organised in the two dioceses of Trier (comprising the formerly Prussian part of Saarland) and Speyer (for the smaller eastern formerly Palatine part). 19.6% of the Saarlandic population adhere to the Evangelical Church in Germany, organised in the two Landeskirchen named Evangelical Church in the Rhineland and Evangelical Church of the Palatinate, both following the same former territorial partition. 15.4% are not affiliated with one of these churches.[4]  Saarland has the highest concentration of Roman Catholics of any German state, and is one of two states (the other being Bavaria) in which Catholics form an absolute majority (over 50%). Politics Main article: Politics of Saarland  Except for the period between 1985 and 1999 – when the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) held a majority of seats in the Landtag (state diet) – the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has governed the Saarland, either alone or in coalition, continuously since the accession of the state to the Federal of Republic of Germany in 1955.  After the most recent state elections – held in 2012 following the collapse of the "Jamaica coalition" agreement of 2009 between the CDU, the liberal FDP, and the centre-left Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (The Greens) – the CDU and SPD, as the two largest parties in the Landtag, decided upon the formation of a "grand coalition" under the overall leadership of the current minister-president, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU).