Showing posts with label Erwitte. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Erwitte. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi Sites in Westphalia (1)


Bad Godesberg (North Rhine-Westphalia)


The Rheinhotel Dreesen on the Rhine River at Bad Godesberg in Bonn hosted meetings between Hitler and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on 21-23 September 1938, regarding Hitler's proposed annexation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia; before he flew to Bad Godesberg, Chamberlain aptly remarked that he was setting out "to do battle with an evil beast."
At a convention of SA and ϟϟ leaders here on August 19 1933, Hitler delivered a two-and-a-half-hour address, commenting, among other things, on the relationship between the SA and the Reichswehr. Eventually the hotel would be the site of Hitler's planning for the purge of the SA and its leader Ernst Röhm in June 1934.
It was from this hotel, run by Herr Dreesen, an early Nazi crony of Hitler, that the Fuehrer had set out on the night of June 29-30, 1934, to kill Roehm and carry out the Blood Purge. The Nazi leader had often sought out the hotel as a place of refuge where he could collect his thoughts and resolve his hesitations.
Shirer (nb.349) Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich
Another gasthaus- the Zur Lindenwirtin- with the Godesburg tower in the background
 
The tower then and now with a different flag
Bonn
 
Bonner Münster on June 6, 1941 and today
 
Solemn hoisting of the swastika flag at Bonner Universität in February, 1933 and the site today

Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Reichsadler found on the Autobahnbrücke Rodenkirchen

Rodenkirchen is a southern borough of Cologne.
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On the night of 30/31 May 1942 the inner city of Cologne was almost totally destroyed by a 1000-bomber raid. After that it was regularly bombarded until 1945. On the right is an image from a series of stamps, showing Sir Arthur Harris, with a Lancaster bomber from his command. It was his plan that brought about the indiscriminate area bombing of German cities, destroying houses and civilian morale as much as factories and military targets. As he stated,

The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.

Hitler inspecting a model of the cathedral in 1936 when, on March 28, Hitler arrived in Cologne and had himself celebrated as the “liberator of the Rhineland” at an official reception in the Giirzenich banquet hall. He received the laudation of various “liberated” districts and declared

That Providence has chosen me to perform this act [restoring German military sovereignty in the Rhineland) is something I feel is the greatest blessing of my life.

Cologne after the war with its cathedral seemingly the only intact building

Cologne, Germany from aerial photos taken by the Nazis to assist in rebuilding plans once Germany won the war. The photos were recently discovered in an attic by the daughter of an employee of Speer's building inspection department.
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Nazi leaders in the bombed Cologne Cathedral with footage of the city ruins immediately after the war
 
Troops entering the Rhineland via the Hohenzollernbrücke in March 1936 in contravention of the treaties of Versailles and Locarno.


Inside, under a choir-stall seat, a judensau is still allowed to remain. On the left a Jew holds up a pig by the front leg whilst a second Jew feeds it whilst a third kneels down in order to drink from its teats. In the right quatrefoil a pig with three piglets is knocked out of a trough. From the right a Jew leads a boy who is distinguished by a nimbus with a cross which continues to trot out the mediaeval lie about Jewish ritual murder of Christian children.
 
  Attempts to protect the interior from further collapse
The altar in 1943 and 2013, when lunatic  Josephine Witt disrupted Christmas service by jumping topless onto the altar with the words "I am God" scrawled on her chest.
Adolf-Hitler-Platz, now Ebertplatz.
An SA man walking through the Heumarkt, and today
 The Nazis celebrating the Machtübernahme in 1933 in front of the rathaus, and how it appeared after their war
 Now extensively rebuilt
 
1935 Gau parade in front of the opera, and the current opera today 

The Dom Hotel, rebuilt after the war
Prinzenhof in 1939 and today
The Hahnentor sporting the swastika and today
  
What remains of the Stapelhaus from the south
Gestapo Headquarters
The Gestapo took over this prestigious building in the heart of the city in 1935. It proved an excellent location as it was close to the police headquarters in Krebsgasse, the courthouse and the Central Prison- Klingelpütz . The Gestapo had the building rebuilt for their purposes- offices had been set up and ten prison cells established within the upper two basements . This was Gestapo HQ from 1 December 1935 until 2 March 1945 , a mere few days before the invasion of American troops in the city on 6 March 1945. It seems like a special irony of history that it is precisely this house has survived the war , while most of the buildings were destroyed around .
Standing in front of the former EL-DE Haus, now officially known as the National Socialist Documentation Centre, the former headquarters of the Gestapo and now a museum documenting the Third Reich . The building was at first the business premises of the jeweller Leonard Dahlen - hence the name. In 1934, the Nazis seized the building from him and turned it into the headquarters of the secret police, Gestapo. Ironically, the building survived the Allied bombing of Cologne, while 90% of the city was destroyed (see first picture above). After the bombings, the basements of the building, which had been used as torture rooms, were used to store wartime files and paperwork.

In 2006, the National Socialist Documentation Centre was awarded the Best in Heritage award, which is given to select museums. The only other German museum to have won the prize is the Buddenbrook Museum in Lübeck.

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Video from inside the museum

Inside the basement to the Gestapo cells:

Some poignant examples of messages prisoners left behind on the cell walls:

Fascism today in a UN Security Council member's Capital:
Photo taken here in Peking of the entrance to the Juyuan Hotel near the Beijing South Station which contains in its storerooms one of communist China's "black gaols"- unlike the Nazis, the Chinese Gestapo keeps its victims hidden away in secret. One such prisoner in a cell which holds "people who have committed no crime and have simply come to the capital to exercise their legal right to petition the central government."

The Kölner Zeughaus in the 1930s and today. The armoury was built by the Imperial Town of Cologne as the weapons arsenal around 1600 in Dutch Renaissance style. Today, it serves as the Kölnisches Stadtmuseum, focussing on every day life in Cologne from the Middle Ages until today.  

 The neue Universitäts Hauptgebäude in 1935 and today with the Nazi eagle removed

The Heumarkt in 1938 and today
The façade of the church of  St. Maria in der Schnurgasse in the 1930s and today

From Adolf-Hitler-Platz to Ebertplatz 
 
Swastikas above the Kölner Eis-und Schwimmstadion and its current incarnation
 
The hauptbahnhof in the 1930s, 1960 and today

Dortmund (North Rhine-Westphalia)

Book burning in front of the Amtshaus

Hansaplatz in 1933 and during the 2006 World Cup

The Market operating in Hansaplatz with the swastika adorning the maypole during the Nazi era and today 

Hansaplatz in 1938 awash with swastikas with the Reinoldikirche serving as a point of reference then and now

Nazis hoisting the hakenkreuz over the rathaus March 3, 1933

The Dortberghaus was completed in 1938 after the plans of Cologne architect Emil Rudolf Mewes as an administrative building of the Gelsenkirchen Mining-AG and displays classic Nazi architechture. By the beginning of the Second World War it was planned as a U-shaped building but not fully completed.
It sported a bust of Hitler inside
The former Gestapo headquarters (and way station for those being sent to concentration camps) today serves as the site for the exhibition Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Steinwache.
 
Inside is a reminder that from 1933 to 1945, over 66,000 people were imprisoned, some 30,000 of them for "political reasons".
 The nazi eagle remains above the entrance
Another reichsadler, this one of the luftwaffe, remains in situ on the façade of the police academy 

The hauptbahnhof in 1944 and today

 
The Hohensyburgdenkmal

Essen (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz in 1933 and serving as the main site for Nazi demonstrations in Essen, it reverted back to Burgplatz after the war.
Burgplatz in 1941 with the Johanneskirche and Münsterkirche and today
The Lichtburg on Adolf-Hitler-Strasse and Platz
 The Lichtburg was built as a result of the city general plan of 1924. The exterior was designed by municipal planner Ernst Bode in a stark New Objectivist style without surface adornment; the building had a 20-metre dome, at the time the largest in a German theatre. It had 2,000 upholstered seats with an electrical system which sent a message to the cashier when the seat was occupied, and a 150,000 Reichsmark Wurlitzer organ, at the time the largest in any European cinema, with sound effects including traffic noise and thunder. The 30-person orchestra was drawn in part from the Cologne Philharmonic. Under the Third Reich, the Lichtburg's operator, Karl Wolffsohn, a Berlin publisher and entrepreneur, was forced as a Jew to sell it in 1933/34 for a tenth of its value to Universum Film AG (UfA). He and his family fled to Palestine in 1939 and he did not live to see the end of his lawsuit for recompense. In 2006 a memorial plaque was placed on the building; Wolffsohn's nephew, the historian Michael Wolffsohn, was present at the unveiling and heads the Berlin Lichtburg-Stiftung, among whose projects is a German-Turkish-Jewish cultural centre.  During World War II, the building was almost completely destroyed by Allied bombing in 1943. The auditorium was completely destroyed by fire, but the walls remained standing.
 
 The Hauptpost on Hachestraße 2, completed in 1933. After the right-wing Kapp Putsch in Berlin had failed in the spring of 1920, the Rote Ruhrarmee rose up against the SPD-led national government with street fighting in Barmen , Duisburg, Elberfeld , Esseb, Remscheid and Velbert. On 19 March 1920 armed " Bolshevik " groups in Essen marched up to the site where civil defence units of the police and Home Guards waited; forty were killed. It was the largest resistance movement that has taken place in Germany since the peasant wars of the 16th century.
 The reichsadler still adorns its façade.

The Reichsgartenschau in 1938 with the swastika flying atop the Grugaturm today. The Botanischer Garten Grugapark was established in 1927 for recreation, teaching, and research. Parts of the garden were destroyed in World War II but gradually rebuilt and re-designed for the Essen Bundesgartenschau of 1965. 
 
The Hotel Vereinshaus, from where Hitler spoke on June 16 and 20, 1926. The postcard in the centre dates from a decade after.
 
The Hotel Handelshof in 1941 and today
Berliner Straße then and now
Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today, now Willy-Brandt-Platz

The Haus der Technik in 1941 and today
  The synagogue in 1915, attacked during Reichskristallnacht, and today 
 
Another view in 1941 and today
Gymnasium Essen-Borbeck- the centre photo shows the school celebration for the re-establishment of the compulsory military service on 5 April 1935. The speaker is Head master and Propagandawart Walter PfeilIt.
 „Heldengedenktag" in the auditorium on 11 March 1933, „Day of Potsdam" 21 March 1933, „Ehrung des Lieblingskomponisten des Führers"- (Wagnerfestival as Hitler's favourite composer) 3 April 1933 and „Schlageter-Feier" 27 May 1933
May Day 1933 with portraits of Friedrich the Great, Hindenburg and Hitler, „Saarbefreiungsfeier" 1 March 1935, “Celebration for memory of the seizure of power” on 30 January 1936 and „Heldengedenktag" March 7 1936 with memorial to the dead of the Great War.
From 1933 until the end of the regime, Burgplatz was called Adolf-Hitler-Platz; here the SA is being sworn in March 9, 1933
Burgplatz then and now from the north
The June 21, 1933 book-burning at Gerlingplatz in front of what is now Panoptikum. At the time it was the Eldorado, what would be described today as a gay bar. On May 2nd, 1933, tit was closed down by the Nazis as a plaque outside commemorates.
 The hauptbahnhof before and during the war, and today

  Erwitte  (North Rhine-Westphalia)

Two 1937 postcards showing the Reichsschulungsburg den NSDAP
The Horst-Wessel-Halle, part of a school complex for the DAF designed by Julius Schulte-Frohlinde

Despite being banned in all uses by the German government, the town still uses the Wolfsangel, symbol of the forbidden Jungen Front, in its Nazi-era arms which were approved by the Oldenburg Ministry of State for the Interior and have been used since 10 July 1934.

NS Ordensburg VogelsangOrdensburg Vogelsang is a former national socialist estate placed at the former military training area in the national park Eifel in North Rhine-Westphalia. The landmarked and completely preserved estate was used by the National Socialists between 1936 and 1939 as an educational centre for future leaders. Since 1 January 2006 the area is open to visitors. It is one of the largest architectural relics of National Socialism. The gross area of the landmarked buildings is 50,000 m². It remains an example of the rural version of 1930's Nazi herrschaftsarchitektur. Vogelsang was built by architect Clemens Klotz as a training centre for the young nazi elite. It is situated on a terraced hillside above an artificial lake in the Eiffel nature reserve. Its design was based on the image of the feudal castle or "Ordensburg". In 1950 the British army generously offered Vogelsang to Belgium. In 2006 the military left and the complex was opened to the public. Plans are being made to turn the complex into a conference and exhibition centre, with proper respect for its historical significance.

As might be expected, intellectual standards were very low and attendance to the Ordensburg did little to foster education. Students went to each of the four castles for a year at a time. At the academy at Krössinsee, the first year, the stress was on the study of racial science, athletics, boxing and gliding. Great attention was given to horse riding because that gave the Junkers the feeling of being able to dominate a living creature. The second year, at Sonthofen, the emphasis was on athletics, parachute jumping, mountain climbing and skiing. The third year, at Vogelsang, the students received political and military instruction, and physical training. One of the tests that year was the Tierkampf, combat with bare hands against wild dogs. The fourth year, at the prestigious Teutonic castle Marienburg, the Junkers were expected to obtain their final military formation, and political and racial indoctrination.
Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage, Hitler Youth, 1922-1945: An Illustrated History (97-98)
On the left, the building housed the female service staff whilst that on the right formed part of the complex called Forum East which contained at one time an auditorium and ballroom, dining hall and kitchens.
This is the water tower and high point of the complex, meant to resemble a castle keep. Below the reservoir a cult room was situated for use in Nazi ritual. The photo on the right shows the dormitories called Kameradschaftshauser.
The Burgschanke, left, a restaurant and banquet hall for the senior staff and on the right, so-called Eagle Square

Eagle on a wall above the Assembly Square
Most of the sculptures in Vogelsang - "Fackelträger" (torch bearer), "Der deutsche Mensch" (The German Man), "Adler" (Eagle) and the "Sportlerrelief" (sportsmen-relief) - were created by Willy Meller:
The white area next to "Fackelträger" (torch bearer) covers up references to Hitler which originally read: "Ihr seid die Fackelträger der Nation. Ihr tragt das Licht des Geistes voran im Kampfe für Adolf Hitler." (You are the torch bearers of the nation; You carry on the light of the spirit in the fight for Adolf Hitler.) The architect of the monument was Clemens Klotz (1886–1969), the statue was made by Willy Meller (1887–1974). On top of the monument a fire could be lit.

Sportlerrelief (sportsmen-relief)
Equestrian statue at the main gate and surviving reichsadler
In contrast with the Napolas, the castles were not linked with German military traditions, and the system failed miserably. The Ordensburgen never attracted a full complement of students despite the financial inducement and the prestige of attendance. According to some estimates, half the avail- able places remained vacant. Even in the most fanatical NSDAP circles, the product of the Ordensburgen were occasionally considered too ruthless and arrogant.
 

Übach-Palenberg
 
The rathaus in September 1938 and today
Remaining Nazi Sites in Westphalia (2)