Showing posts with label Kiel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kiel. Show all posts

Sites in Northern Germany

Bremen 

  Bremen from the bank of the river Weser in the 1930s and today. 
On 2 December 1922, the first Bremer local chapter of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) was founded. Its membership from 1925 to 1927 was between 80 and 100. In 1928 the Nazi Party obtained only 1.1 percent of the vote. The local group was divided, and their chairs often changed. Its director Carl Röver Bremer disbanded the local group and they started again. It formed three party districts in the city: Old Town, East and West.  
On 14 September 1930 before the general election Adolf Hitler visited the city for the first time and on 30 July he gave a campaign speech at the Weser Stadium . In the election in Bremen about twelve percent of the electorate voted for the NSDAP compared to 18.2% in the rest of the country. By the next election on 28 November following another visit by Hitler, the Nazi Party had 1000 members and received 25.4% of the vote with 32 seats in the Bremen State Parliament.
   
After the war
Stephanibrücke after the war and its current incarnation.
    
The cathedral then and now 

 
The statue of Roland in the market square

The swastika flying over the Rotesandleuchtturm lighthouse

The Baumwollbörse from a vintage postcard and today
Robinson-Crusoe-Haus and Haus Atlantis on Martinistraße July 6, 1941 and today


Entrance to Böttcherstraße in the 1930s and today, with Bernhard Hoetger’s Lichtbringer dating from 1936.
 
The Faulenquartier after the war and today
 
Am Wall in 1936 given the Olympic flags and today
 
Obernstraße  in 1938 and today, looking towards the Cathedral

Sögestraße in 1938 and today
 
Hillmannplatz was named after the former Hillmann hotel shown in this nazi-era postcard, built by Johann Heinrich Hillmann in 1847 and which was destroyed during the war. 

In 1988 this monument by Ulrich Rückriem, christened Der Böse, was established from the granite ruins
 
Nazi eagle remaining on the façade of Allianz-Haus at Sögestraße 59.
 
Mühle am Wall May 18 1941 and today
 Weserstadion, since extensively rebuilt after the war. On July 20, 1932 Hitler spoke here, declaring that "For me it will be easier to answer before history for the destruction of thirty parties than for those who founded them."
Shortly before Hitler had landed in Bremen, he had given the crowds gathered in the Weser Stadium an effective demonstration of his Promethean qualities. He had instructed the pilot to circle over the stadium in the dark night sky with the cabin illuminated. The result was an eerie, otherworldly scene, and many in the audience were left with the impression that Hitler had actually descended to earth as a sort of god. What had been conceived as mere fantasy by Benson in his book, The Lord of the World, seemed to become reality.
Domarus (146) The Complete Hitler
Bremerhaven
Gauleiter Telschow Platz, named after Otto Telschow, a Nazi Party official who had joined the Nazi Party in 1925, and was the founder of the regional Nazi newspaper, the Niedersachsen-Stürmer. In October 1928, Telschow was appointed Gauleiter (regional party leader) of the Nazi party's regional subsection Gau Eastern Hanover, a post he retained until the end of World War II. Telschow gained more influence after 1935, when the Nazi-party Gaue usurped the functions of the streamlined German states. In 1930 he was elected to the Reichstag for the Ost-Hannover electoral district, and remained a member until 1945. He was taken prisoner by the British Army at Lüneburg and committed suicide in prison by slashing his wrists.
 
Shown immediately after the war and today, now renamed Theodor-Heuss-Platz. The statue of City founder Johann Smidt remains in situ. It was here in May 1934 that the first KdF cruise departed from Bremerhaven en route to Heligoland. On December 14 that year, Hitler made a surprising appearance at the launching of the East Asia steamer Scharnhorst in Bremen accompanied by Blomberg, Raeder, von Eltz-Rübenach (Reich Minister of Transportation), and Economics supremo Schacht. He then proceeded to Bremerhaven to tour the Lloyd express liner Europa and the armoured ship Admiral Scheer.
The following year on May 4, Hitler toured the new East Asia steamer Scharnhorst in Bremerhaven and commented in a short speech on the inauguration of “this most modern and fastest ship in the East Asia line” of the Norddeutsche Lloyd.

Hamburg
Hauptstadt der deutschen Schiffahrt (Capital of German Shipping)
The Hamburger rathaus at Adolf-Hitler-Platz as named in a 1935 postcard and today at the renamed rathausplatz.
 The Grossen Festsaal inside has changed little from the time Hitler spoke within
Hitler speaking from the rathaus balcony 14 February 1939 and how it appears today

[item image]  Johann von Leers's Bomben auf Hamburg is available online
Former Gestapo Headquarters at Stadthausbrücke 8
 
The Nazi war memorial on the Dammtordamm, still with its exhortation that "Deutschland muss leben und wenn wir sterben müssen" (Germany must live if we must die)
After the allied air strike from Operation Gomorrah of July 1943 making the complex to a large extent useless for the use by the police. Today the former city hall is to be the site for a documentation centre by 2013
 Prien-Haus then and now- a classic example of Nazi architecture built 1935
 
Chille Haus and Ballin Haus then and now
 
The main railway station sporting the swastika and today
 
The  U-Bahn station Rödingsmarkt then and now
In the 1930s, after Hitler came to power, Hamburg's opera house was renamed Hamburgische Staatsoper.  On the night of 2 August 1943, both the auditorium and its neighbouring buildings were destroyed during air raids by fire-bombing; a low-flying airplane dropped several petrol and phosphorus containers on to the middle of the roof of the auditorium, turning it into a conflagration. 
 
Hitler in attendance in 1935, and the interior today   
The  Reeperbahn before the Beatles and today
 
Opened in 1909, Hitler spoke here at the Hotel Atlantik a number of times. Kershaw relates the first such time:
Hopes of gaining financial support and of winning influential backing for his party had made him keen to accept the invitation of the prestigious Hamburger Nationalklub to address its members in the elegant Hotel Atlantic on 28 February 1926. It was not his usual audience. Here, he faced a socially exclusive club whose 400– 450 members were drawn from Hamburg’s upper bourgeoisie – many of them high-ranking officers, civil servants, lawyers, and businessmen. His tone was different from that he used in the Munich beerhalls. In his two-hour speech, he made not a single mention of the Jews. He was well aware that the primitive antisemitic rantings that roused the masses in the Zircus Krone would be counter-productive in this audience. Instead, the emphasis was placed entirely on the need to eliminate Marxism as the prerequisite of Germany’s recovery... to his well-heeled bourgeois audience in Hamburg, anti-Marxist to the core, his verbal assault on the Left was music to the ears... The more Hitler preached intolerance, force, and hatred, as the solution to Germany’s problems, the more his audience liked it. He was interrupted on numerous occasions during these passages with cheers and shouts of ‘bravo’. At the end there was a lengthy ovation, and cries of ‘Heil’.
Kershaw also relates the following revealing anecdote:  
Albert Krebs, the one-time Gauleiter of Hamburg, related a scene from early 1932 that reminded him of a French comedy. From the corridor of the elegant Hotel Atlantik in Hamburg he could hear Hitler plaintively shouting: ‘My soup, [I want] my soup.’ Krebs found him minutes later hunched over a round table in his room, slurping his vegetable soup, looking anything other than a hero of the people. He appeared tired and depressed. He ignored the copy of his speech the previous night that Krebs had brought him, and to the Gauleiter’s astonishment, asked him instead what he thought of a vegetarian diet. Fully in character, Hitler launched, not waiting for an answer, into a lengthy diatribe on vegetarianism. It struck Krebs as a cranky outburst, aimed at overpowering, not persuading, the listener. But what imprinted the scene on Krebs’s memory was how Hitler revealed himself as an acute hypochondriac to one to whom he had presented himself up to then ‘only as the political leader, never as a human being’. Krebs did not presume that Hitler was suddenly regarding him as a confidant. He took it rather as a sign of the party leader’s ‘inner instability’. It was an unexpected show of human weakness which, Krebs plausibly speculated, was over-compensated by an unquenchable thirst for power and resort to violence. According to Krebs, Hitler explained that a variety of worrying symptoms – outbreaks of sweating, nervous tension, trembling of muscles, and stomach cramps – had persuaded him to become a vegetarian. He took the stomach cramps to be the beginnings of cancer, leaving him only a few years to complete ‘the gigantic tasks’ he had set himself. ‘I must come to power before long ... I must, I must,’ Krebs has him shouting. But with this, he gained control of himself again. His body-language showed he was over his temporary depression. His attendants were suddenly called, orders were given out, telephone calls booked, meetings arranged. ‘The human being Hitler had been transformed back into the “Leader”.’ The mask was in place again.
  Hitler spent the night here at the Hotel Phönix on October 6, 1927. The lower section has remained intact.
This former Hafenbunker on Landungsbrücken 7 now houses a Portuguese restaurant

 The Flakbunker in Hamburg, Wilhelmsburg now being converted to an Energiebunker
A gravestone at Ohlsdorf cemetery in Hamburg from the Nazi era.


There were three large forced-labour camps in Hannover, a large industrial city in northern Germany. All three of the camps were part of the Neuengamme concentration camp system. 
 
The entrance to the Graf Goltz Kaserne with and without the Nazi eagle
 
The Allgemeines Krankenhaus in Hamburg Nord Barmbek,

Neuengamme  
Neuengamme concentration camp, the largest concentration camp in north-west Germany, was established to the south-east of Hamburg in 1938. The camp existed until 1945. Over 100,000 prisoners from throughout Europe were imprisoned in the main camp and its 86 satellite camps. At least 42,900 people died in Neuengamme, its satellite camps and during the camp evacuations at the end of the war.
video
In early April 1945, American forces entered Hannover and freed the surviving prisoners. The American Signal Corps filmed one of the Hannover camps soon after liberation. American forces fed survivors of the camp and required German civilians to help bury the dead. 
 
 
 After the war, the British military authorities used the concentration camp buildings as an internment camp for three years. In 1948, the occupying forces handed the camp over to the city of Hamburg, which set up a prison on the site. At the end of the 1960s, the city established a second prison building on the grounds of the former concentration camp. A monument was set up in 1965 as a memorial, and in 1981, a document building was added. Other parts of the former camp were gradually incorporated into the memorial. When the penal facilities were finally moved, the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial was able to expand into the site of the former prisoners' barracks and open as a centre for exhibitions, international exchanges and historical studies in May 2005. 

Greifswald
The eleven stolperstein in town were apparently targeted by neo-Nazis who removed them on the 74th anniversary of Kristallnacht, November 9 2012. As of today a makeshift sign marks where they were taken.
SA Platz, now renamed Platz der Freiheit
The marketplace then and now
 The rathaus

Schleswig-Holstein

Friedrichsruh
 
Bismark's mausoleum at Friedrichsruh castle May 1, 1924 and today
Hitler visiting the site. On February 13 1939 Hitler left Berlin for Friedrichsruh where he placed a wreath at Bismarck’s grave. This deferential act evidently was to prepare him spiritually for the festivities at that day's launching in Hamburg of The Bismarck. The following communiqué was released regarding Hitler’s visit:
 While journeying to Hamburg, the Führer stopped on Monday at Friedrichsruh, where he placed a laurel wreath at the tomb of Prince Otto von Bismarck, the Chancellor of the Old Reich. Thereafter, the Führer was the guest of Prince von Bismarck and his wife,202 at the Friedrichsruh Castle. On both arrival and departure, the population of Friedrichsruh and the surrounding countryside enthusiastically acclaimed the Führer, whom they had observed in deeply moved silence in the solemn act of placing the wreath at the grave.
How revealing is Baron von Weizsäcker’s private note on the Führer’s fireside remarks after an intimate meal at the Bismarck shrine at Friedrichsruh on that day, February 13: For those of us who know that the rest of Czecho-Slovakia will be dealt its death blow in approximately four weeks’ time, it was interesting to hear the Führer declare that he himself used to prefer surprise tactics but has now gone off them as he has exhausted their possibilities. The Führer sketched out the September crisis of last year thus: ‘I owe my triumph to my unflinching stand, which left the other side with a whiff of war if I felt it necessary.’
Irving (156) Hitler's War
 Kiel 
 
The town hall and theatre on Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today, rathausplatz.
 
Laboe Naval Memorial was completed by the Nazis in 1936 after Hitler had observed the naval manoeuvres in Kiel and watched a parade from the light battleship Grille before inspecting the German shipyards. At a ceremony commemorating the dead of the Great War on the twentieth anniversary of the Battle of Skagerrak (May 31, 1916), Hitler attended the dedication of the memorial and laid a wreath honouring the navy’s dead. In fact, Hitler did not like the U-boat monument in Laboe at all; in one conversation he called it “an unrivalled essay in kitsch and bad taste, as it stands there with its inverted bow.” Doramus (1310) The Complete Hitler
The tower itself is 72 metres high with an observation deck near the top. There is also a large, underground memorial room and a museum detailing the history of the German Navy which had been originally dedicated to the German naval war dead of the First World War. In the 1950s it was converted to a memorial for sailors of all nationalities who died in the World Wars and the right photo shows the memorial to those who had served in the Second World War.
Adolf-Hitler-Schanze mit U.-Boots Ehrenmal
 
At the east shore of Kiel Bay is the U-boat Memorial at Möltenort to the memory of submariners who lost their lives. The reichsadler is by Fritz Schmoll, responsible for others seen on this site. The photo on the left shows its inauguration in 1938.
 
Horst-Wessel-Park is now  called Werftpark

Pelzerhaken (Schleswig-Holstein)
This lighthouse on the Baltic was built in 1843 and stands at 19 metres, although the eagle itself has remained since its establishment in 1936


Kappeln/Schlei (Schleswig-Holstein)

Kellenhusen an der Ostsee
 
On the beach during the Third Reich and today

Adolf Hitler Koog
In 1935, the Nazis reclaimed land from the North Sea to obtain Lebensraum for Aryan families. The centerpiece of this new community on Adolf Hitler Koog, now Dieksanderkoog located 62 miles from Hamburg, was a grand hall. Here the concept of Volksgemeinshaft that lived up to Nazi ideals of racial purity and loyal to NSDAP ideology was to be realised. Settlers had to produce documentary evidence that proved their Aryan ancestry dating back to 1800 before being personally examined and hand-picked by senior local officials. Hitler himself was present when the project was completed.
Official groundbreaking to Neulandhalle on the “Adolf Hitler Koog” on 29 August 1935. Hitler, The Gauleiter Hinrich Lohse and other NS-Hoheitsträger lay the foundation-stone during the official inauguration.
The outside of the building sported two monumental figures, one armed with a rifle and the other holding a shovel, staring into the distance. The originals were removed after the war, but replicas will be put back in their original place when the new museum scheduled to take over the site opens.
The frescoes by Otto Thämer remain intact


Mecklenburg 
Rostock 
 
The hauptbahnhof during the Third Reich and today.  The station was first opened in 1886 by the Deutsch-Nordischer Lloyd, operating a combined railway/ferry line to Nykøbing Falster in Denmark. In 1894, the station was renamed to Central-Bahnhof and finally to Rostock Hauptbahnhof at the turn of the 20th century. The station saw further expansion in 1913 and 1922, but was heavily damaged in World War II.


Rügen 
 
The island of Rügen is much mythologised in the German national imagination. Frequented in the late 19th and early 20th century by the country’s good and great, including Bismarck, Thomas Mann and Einstein, its chalk coastline was also immortalised by Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich in 1818. It was here that the sea resort of Prora was created, designed to house 20,000 holidaymakers. Designed by Clemens Klotz, the buildings complex extend over a length of 4.5 km and are roughly 150 m from the long flat sandy beach. All rooms were planned to overlook the sea. Each room of 5 by 2.5 metres (16'5" x 8'3") was to have two beds, an armoire (wardrobe) and a sink. There were communal toilets and showers. 
Hitler's plans for Prora were much more ambitious as seen in this model. He wanted a gigantic sea resort, the "most mighty and large one to ever have existed". At the same time, Hitler wanted it to be convertible into a military hospital in case of war. During the few years that Prora was under construction, all major construction companies of the Reich and nearly 9,000 workers were involved in this project. With the onset of World War II in 1939 construction on Prora stopped, and the construction workers transferred to the V-Weapons plant at Peenemünde. The eight housing blocks, the theatre and cinema stayed as empty shells, and the swimming pools and festival hall never materialised.
The Nazis' touristic policy, 
which prioritized unknown and less busy destinations, was primarily motivated by a desire to keep KdF participants away from places frequented by wealthier private tourists. Even the massive KdF resort complex, Prora, on the island of Rügen, represented another way to steer KdF tourism away from the top German resorts.63 Thus, rather than force upper-class tourists and exclusive resorts to adhere to the oft-proclaimed principles of Nazi egalitarian- ism, the Nazi regime did all it could to avoid damage to the commercial tourism industry and minimize the potential problems that arose when the two groups of tourists came into contact. In sum, then, bourgeois touristic consumption was to continue ‘as normal’, with as few intrusions as possible.
Semmens (112) Seeing Hitler’s Germany 
  During the Allied bombing campaign, many people from Hamburg took refuge in one of the housing blocks, and later refugees from the east of Germany were housed there. By the end of the war, these buildings served to house female auxiliary personnel for the Luftwaffe.
In 1945 the Soviet Army took control of the region, and established a base at Prora. After the formation of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) part of it was used as an army holiday centre. The sturdy but derelict shell of the complex remains as a tourist curiosity. After German reunification, the National People's Army of GDR left the region, and it stood uninhabited until new plans were put in place. The buildings suffered heavy vandalism during this period.
Nowadays, it is still a question what to do with the huge buildings complex, partly hosting some interesting museums. There are plans to turn it into a modern tourist resort but also some skepticism from the locals, who feel that there are already too many tourists in the region, and voices who say that the town's past made it an inappropriate location for tourists.
 
Konzert Platz at Rügen's Ostseebad Binz then and now.
 
 Schwerin  
 
The Aussichtsturm Kaninchenwerder sporting the swastika and today

 Haffkrug   
 
The beach with the swastika overlooking the strand and today


Güstrow
Adolf-Hitler-Strasse, now Eisenbahnstraße. Hitler spoke in the town June 2, 1932 during his presidential campaign.
The Reichsbahnamt

The main square hasn't changed much
The rathaus and Pfarrkirche


 The Altes Haus at Mühlenstraße 48, still holding on

The schloß


Heiligendamm
The ‘white town on the sea’ is Germany’s oldest seaside resort, founded in 1793 by Mecklenburg duke Friedrich Franz I and fashionable throughout the 19th century as the playground of nobility. Since 2003 it was reborn with the opening of the exclusive Kempinski Grand Hotel Heiligendamm which accommodated US President George W Bush on a state visit and hosted a G8 summit in 2007. Perhaps fittingly, it hosted Hitler a few decades earlier.
 
Hitler on the pier, and as it appears today
In Irving describes a number of occasions where Hitler and Goebbels vacationed here, once with Leni Riefenstahl to whom the latter's wife 
told her privately that she had only married Dr Goebbels so as to be near to Hitler. What of Leni’s politics? ‘She is the only one of all the stars,’ wrote Goebbels that summer, ‘who understands us.’Her name often cropped up in the diary, and in mid August she spent the night at Heiligendamm with the Goebbels’ again. (313)
Hitler and Goebbels with the latter's children in 1935. Another instance Irving relates is when
Goebbels and Hitler drove up to Heiligendamm. ‘Putzi’ Hanfstaengl, who had just returned from America, found them there. ‘Hitler,’ he wrote years afterwards, ‘had a flushed, evil look, as though gorged on the blood of his victims.’ It was not a pleasant vacation. The crowds gawped and cheered them wherever they went, and they had to break off their stay. (349)

The resort then and now


Sylt


 The Hotel Stadt Hamburg with swasika flag behind in a 1940s postcard and today, unchanged


 Bad Segeberg (Schleswig-Holstein)

The Kalkberg Stadium (German: Kalkbergstadion) is an open-air theatre built in a former quarry on the Segeberger Kalkberg, a rocky outcropping in the centre of Bad Segeberg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It was built as a Thingplatz under the Third Reich and since 1952 has been the site of the annual Bad Segeberg Karl May Festival.  After the Nazis came to power, the quarry here was converted into an amphitheatre to be used for mass meetings and multimedia theatrical performances as part of the Thingspiel movement. The theatre was designed by Fritz Schaller of Berlin, and was constructed mostly by the Reich Labour Service beginning on 29 May 1934. The work entailed sealing salt-mining shafts and cavities and bringing in 1,200 tonnes of granite from Silesia as building material, since the anhydrite core of the hill itself is water-soluble. The theatre was dedicated on 10 October 1937 by Joseph Goebbels as the Feierstätte der Nordmark or Nordmark-Feierstätte (Northern March Ceremonial Site); in his speech he expressed the wish it would be a "political church of National Socialism". A performance of Henrik Herse's Die Schlacht der weißen Schiffe took place there, probably in 1938, but after that there were no further performances until the end of World War II.

Demmin (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania)


The Luisentor on Adolf Hitler Straße and today


Nordseebad Dangast 
 
At the entrance of Dangast this anti-Semitic sign was erected, reading „Juden sind hier nicht erwünscht“ (Jews are not wanted here)  In the background is the village inn.
 Today the seaside town instead boasts a large penis on the beach.


Alhbeck Heringsdorf 

The promenade with same clock but different set of flags
 
The sea bridge with kurhaus then and now


Bad Arnis (Schleswig-Holstein)
 
The Schifferhaus then and now 

Lübeck (Schleswig Holstein)
The Kanzlergebäude and church adorned with swastikas and today
 
The rathaus and marktplatz during the Third Reich and today

Kühlungsborn (Mecklenburg- Pomerania)
 
Swastikas at the ostseebad Brunshaupten, now merged with Kühlungsborn from  April 1, 1938 with the merger two other municipalities of Fulgen and Arendsee. On the town coat of arms dating from the Nazi era, three flying seagulls on a blue background represent these former municipalities.