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 overlooking Adolf-Hitler-Brücke towards Propsteikirche St. Johann 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, with the bridge's current incarnation renamed the Stephanibrücke
 
The entrance to the Bremer Dom 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

The Haus des Reichs on Rudolf-Hilferding-Platz. Built 1928-1931 by the largest European wool processing company with more than 20,000 employees at the start of construction. In 1934 it became the office of the Reich Finance Administration where it changed its name from the Kontorhaus, and later housed the Gauleiter of Bremen. It survived the war intact and became the seat of the Military Government for Bremen and Bremerhaven in the American occupation zone. From 1947, the Bremen fiscal authorities took over the building.
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. On the right is the interior showing two Nazi flags, one of which is that of the RKB- the Reichskolonialbund, an organisation devoted to the recovery of Germany's African colonies lost through the Treaty of Versailles. It lost favour during the war until finally in 1943 the Reichsleiter Martin Bormann pressed for its dissolution on the grounds of "kriegsunwichtiger Tätigkeit" ("activity irrelevant to the war"). Hence the Reichskolonialbund was swiftly disbanded by a decree of the Führer in 1943. 

 Böttcherstraße after the war
 
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 and, right,looking towards the cathedral from the northern end of Wachtstraße in 1939 and now

Sögestraße in 1938 and today

Also on Sögestraße 59 on the façade of Allianz-Haus this Nazi eagle remains, not far from where the monument by Ulrich Rückriem, christened Der Böse, was inaugurated in 1988 from the granite ruins
 
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.
 
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)  
Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now. In the Third Reich, Hamburg was a Gau from 1934 until 1945. During World War II, Hamburg suffered a series of Allied air raids which devastated much of the city and the harbour. On 23 July 1943, RAF firebombing created a firestorm which spread from the Hauptbahnhof (central train station) and quickly moved south-east, completely destroying entire boroughs such as Hammerbrook, Billbrook and Hamm-south. Thousands of people perished in these densely populated working-class boroughs. Whilst some of the boroughs destroyed were rebuilt as residential districts after the war, others such as Hammerbrook are nowadays purely commercial districts with almost no residential population. The raids, codenamed Operation Gomorrah by the RAF, killed at least 42,600 civilians; the precise number is not known. About one million civilians were evacuated in the aftermath of the raids.  The Hamburg Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery is in the greater Ohlsdorf Cemetery in the north of Hamburg.  At least 42,900 people are thought to have perished in the Neuengamme concentration camp about 16 miles outside the city in the marshlands), mostly from epidemics and in the bombing of Kriegsmarine evacuation vessels by the Royal Air Force at the end of the war.  Hamburg had the greatest concentration of Jews in Germany. Systematic deportations of Jewish Germans and Gentile Germans of Jewish descent started on 18 October 1941. These were all directed to Ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe or to concentration camps. Most deported persons perished in The Holocaust. By the end of 1942 the Jüdischer Religionsverband in Hamburg was dissolved as an independent legal entity and its remaining assets and staff were assumed by the Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland (District Northwest). On 10 June 1943 the Reichssicherheitshauptamt dissolved the Reichsvereinigung by a decree. The few remaining employees not somewhat protected by a mixed marriage were deported from Hamburg on  June 23 to Theresienstadt, where most of them perished.
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
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
 
Der Alsterpavillon and its current incarnation
 
The main railway station sporting the swastika and today
U-Bahn station Rödingsmarkt
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.
 
The entrance to the Graf Goltz Kaserne with and without the Nazi eagle and swastika
 
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 city survived World War II without much destruction, even though it housed a large army garrison. During the war it was a site of camp for prisoners of Nazi Germany called Stalag II-C. In April 1945, Oberst Rudolf Petershagen surrendered the city to the Red Army without a fight.
 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
Kiel was the site of the sailors' mutiny which sparked the German Revolution in late 1918. Just before the end of World War I, the German fleet stationed at Kiel was ordered to be sent out on a last great battle with the Royal Navy. The sailors, who thought of this as a suicide mission which would have no effect on the outcome of the war, decided they had nothing to lose and refused to leave the safety of the port. The sailors' actions and the lack of response of the government to them, fuelled by an increasingly critical view of the Kaiser, sparked a revolution which caused the abolition of the monarchy and the creation of the Weimar Republic.

 
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 

The ruins of the Nikolaikirche and today
 
The Flandernbunker in 1944 and today
 
The Dietrichsdorfer fire station also in 1944 and its present incarnation
During World War II, Kiel remained one of the major naval bases and shipbuilding centres of the German Reich. There was also a slave labour camp for the local industry. Because of its status as a naval port and as production site for submarines, Kiel was heavily bombed by the Allies during World War II. The bombing destroyed more than 80% of the remaining old town, 72% of the central residential areas, and 83% of the industrial areas. During the RAF bombing of 23/24 July 1944, Luftwaffe fighters tried to intercept the spoof (i.e. decoy) force instead of the main force attacking Kiel, and there was no water for three days; trains and buses did not run for eight days and there was no gas available for cooking for three weeks. There were several bombing raids of the port area during the period 20 February – 20 April 1945 which successfully eliminated many U-Boats, and the few large warships (cruisers Hipper, Scheer, and Koln) still afloat at that time. Although the town was beyond the stop-line set for the western Allies in the German surrender at Lüneburg Heath, it and its port, its scientists, and the canal were seized by a British T-Force led by Major Tony Hibbert on 5 May 1945. This forestalled capture of the town by the Soviets, whom the Allies expected to advance from Germany to Denmark in violation of the Yalta agreement.  Just like other heavily bombed German cities, the city was rebuilt after the war only to now arrive at the stage where a mob of 30 migrants chased three teenage girls, aged 15, 16 and 17, through the Sophienhof mall in Kiel, using their smartphones to film them. They later confronted police officers who they 'insulted' and 'threatened' before being released "due to lack of grounds for detention."    

Flensburg
The Naval Academy Mürwik (Marineschule Mürwik) in 1941 and today- the main training establishment for all German Navy officers which replaced the German Imperial Naval Academy in Kiel.  It is located at Mürwik which is a part of Germany's most northern city, Flensburg. Built on a small hill directly by the coast, it overlooks the Flensburg Fjord. The main building of the academy is known for its beautiful architecture and location, and is often named the "Red Castle". It had been established at this site by the order of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1910. Its unique gothic architecture with the dominating red bricks was meant to imitate the castle Ordensburg Marienburg, founded in 1274.  In 1920 Sherwood Foresters were in Flensburg-Mürwik at the Naval Academy Mürwik to supervise the elections to the Schleswig plebiscites. In the final days of War 1945, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz assumed the office of President (Reichspräsident) of Germany. Adolf Hitler himself had named him his successor before committing suicide at Berlin. Dönitz moved to the Naval Academy at Mürwik. He established on the edge of it, in the sportschool the Flensburg government. Soon after the final surrender to the Allies, they were unseated and arrested by the victorious British troops. This made Flensburg capital of Germany for nearly twenty days.
Three battalions of British troops commanded by Brigadier Churcher surrounded the government’s HQ in the Mürwik Barracks and finally stormed it brandishing sten guns and grenades. The leading minister’s cabinet meeting had just begun. ‘Hände hoch! Ausziehen!’ (Hands up! Strip!) The participants and their secretaries were put against a wall and strip- searched: Dönitz, Jodl and the rest. Schwerin von Krosigk allegedly found a Tommy tugging at his trousers saying, ‘Bitte – please?’, although it is hard to believe that they had any problem communicating with the former Rhodes Scholar. 
MacDonogh (71) After the Reich
Leck
 
The Nordmarkschule in Nordfriesland, now called the Nordsee Akademie


 Neustadt in Holstein

The marktplatz with the Hotel Deutsches Haus bedecked in swastikas and today. During World War II a subcamp, Number 1049 Neustadt in Holstein/Schleswig-Holstein, of the Neuengamme concentration camp was located in the town. 

Heide
 
The water tower sporting a swastika and today

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


Neumünster
Scholtz-Kaserne


Grömitz
 
The Kurpalast Strandhalle flying the swastika and today

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. 

Anklam
The Steintor on Adolf Hitler Platz. Anklam was practically destroyed by several bombing raids of the U.S. Air Force in 1943 and 1944 and in the last days of World War II, when the advancing Soviets burned and levelled most of the town. After Prussia and its Pomeranian province were dissolved and most of Pomerania was allocated to Poland under the terms of the Potsdam Conference, Anklam became part of the East German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. 

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.
 
The  Königsstuhl then and now
 Schwerin
 
Adolf Hitler Kaserne and today. On May 2, 1945, Schwerin was taken by U.S. troops. It was handed over to the British on June 1 1945, and one month later was in turn handed over to the Soviet forces, as the British and American forces pulled back from the line of contact to the predesignated occupation zones.
 
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
By April 1938 the Jewish community numbered 44 members; on Reichskristallnacht of November 1938 fourteen Jews were arrested; on July 10, 1942 more were arrested and deported to Auschwitz. Elderly Jewish women were deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp were they died. Only a few Jews from Güstrow managed to emigrate to Shanghai, Australia, the USA, Chile and British Palestine. The Jewish cemetery was set afire and destroyed in 1938. Fifty years later a wrought-iron fence and memorial stone were set up in remembrance. A sign in the pavement of the sidewalk in front of the former synagogue commemorates the November pogroms of 1938:
"28.09.1829  Güstrow synagogue inaugurated.11/09/1938 Destruction"
The rathaus and Pfarrkirche


 The Altes Haus at Mühlenstraße 48, still holding on




During the war several hundred men and women from the countries occupied by Germany were forced into labour for the armament factories of the city and housed, among other places, here in Güstrower Castle shown then and today. During the Soviet occupation the secret police (NKVD) kept a prison here on the Schlossberg where several Güstrower citizens were interrogated and probably executed. In May 1946, several members of the volunteer fire department from the ages of 15 to 23 were arrested, years after the claim of belonging to the supposed "werewolf" resistance movement. They were later taken to the Soviet Special Camp No.. 7 in Sachsenhausen, where several of them died.


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


During the Weimar Republic Demmin was a stronghold of the nationalistic organisations DNVP and the Stahlhelm. Even before 1933 there were boycotts of Jewish businesses, which drove away most of the Jews and the synagogue was sold in June 1938 at a furniture company, which is why it survived as a building today. On 11 November 1938 thousands gathered in the square in anti-Semitic demonstration after the Reichskristallnacht pogrom had already taken place. In the last free national elections to the Reichstag on 5 March 1933 the Nazis won 53.7 percent of votes in Demmin, well above the national average.  During the war, Poles, Russians, as well as POWs from France and Belgium were used as forced labour in the town.  German troops destroyed the bridges over the Peene while retreating from Demmin during World War II. This way, the advance of the Soviet Red Army was slowed down when they arrived in Demmin on 30 April 1945. During that night and the following morning, Demmin was handed over to the Red Army largely without fighting, similar to other cities like Greifswald. Rapes, pillage and executions committed by Red Army soldiers triggered a mass suicide of hundreds of people and nearly all of the Old Town was burned down. 
On May 1, 1945, hundreds of people committed mass suicide during a mass panic that was provoked by atrocities committed by soldiers of the Soviet Red Army, who had sacked the town the day before. Although death toll estimates vary, it is acknowledged to be the largest mass suicide ever recorded in Germany. The suicide was part of a mass suicide wave amongst the population of Nazi Germany.  Nazi officials, the police, the Wehrmacht and a number of citizens had left the town before the arrival of the Red Army, whilst thousands of refugees from the East had also taken refuge in Demmin. Three Soviet negotiators were shot prior to the Soviet advance into Demmin and Hitler Youth, amongst others, fired on Soviet soldiers once inside the town. The retreating Wehrmacht had blown up the bridges over the Peene and Tollense rivers, which enclosed the town to the north, west and south, thus blocking the Red Army's advance and trapping the remaining civilians. The Soviet units looted and burned down the town, and committed rapes and executions.  Numerous inhabitants and refugees then committed suicide, with many families committing suicide together. Methods of suicides included drowning in the rivers, hanging, wrist-cutting, and use of firearms. Most bodies were buried in mass graves, and after the war, discussion of the mass suicide was tabooed by the East German Communist government. 

Neustrelitz (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania)



The town church on Horst Wessel Platz then and now, Buttelplatz. Here Neustrelitz was one of the cities in today's Mecklenburg-Vorpommern witnessed the 1933 book burnings which took place. 
On January 1 1934 Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Mecklenburg-Schwerin were combined to a single Mecklenburg state, resulting in Neustrelitz losing function of the state capital. The tasks of former state authorities were relocated to Schwerin and the main archive of the former state of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was converted to Schwerin. From 1935 Neustrelitz was the garrison town for the former infantry regiment Döberitz (later Infantry Regiment 48). New barracks were built at the end of the road and coupled with a new Penzliner Offizierskasino on the grounds of the castle. The Domjüch Medicinal and nursing home  was involved in the T4 action which saw the murder of "useless eaters." For the victims, there is still no sign of remembrance, nor for any of the forced labourers and prisoners of war based here during the war. In Fürstensee (now a district of Neustrelitz) there was an air ammunition factory which employed both domestic workers and prisoners of the concentration camp Ravensbrück. 



There is this memorial stone commemorating the former Altstrelitzer  synagogue. From the start of the Third Reich there were about 50 Jewish citizens. Soon several shops sported signs declaring "Jews are not permitted" or "Germans- do not buy from Jews". On the weekends marching columns of the SA would shout in chorus "Germany awake, Jews out." In the early hours of November 10, 1938 - during Reichskristallnacht- the Altstrelitzer synagogue was set on fire. According to witness and local historian Klaus Giese, the truth leaked out about the arson. Three youthful Nazi fanatics had admitted their involvement with support from the SA to create the impression of popular indignation '.   In the morning the next day the Gestapo were arrested eleven Jewish women and eight men, taken to the Altstrelitzer prison and put into "protective custody."  By November 12, 1942 the last two dozen Jewish residents - including urban refugees -. were collected and taken via rail transport to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. After further deportation 85.85% died (36,848 deaths). The ruins of Altstrelitzer synagogue were finally demolished with only the Jewish cemetery remaining. The writer Helmut Sakowski described how "[t]hroughout Mecklenburg little more than five Jews survived the Holocaust. They are unable to maintain all the cemeteries."
The SS training camp near Neustrelitz was where remnants of the 'Charlemagne' Division had been based since the Pomeranian disaster. When the Red Army troops of the 2nd Belorussian Front entered the town on April 30 1945, 681 people committed suicide. The schloss, theater, pavilion on the schlossplatz, alte schoss and the college building were all completely destroyed by arson on the night of April 29-30.


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.