Showing posts with label Marburg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marburg. Show all posts

Sites in Hesse and the Saarland

Wiesbaden

 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 rathaus in 1933 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.

Marburg
 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

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

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.

Hitler being driven down Braubachstrasse nearby; period photo from the Hitler Pages.
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
Kassel
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.

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

Darmstadt
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. 

Gießen 
 
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, organization and propaganda leader of the NSDAP and MdR for the NSDAP, three days earlier.

Offenbach am Main 

Reichsadler remaining over the entrance of the former bunker on Friedhofstrasse

Naumburg
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.
 St. Wenzel church after the 1945 bombing and today

Windecken
 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 Saarland

Saarbrücken 
Bishops Franz Rudolf Bornewasser of Trier and Ludwig Sebastian of Speyer giving the Nazi salute along with Reichskommissar for the Reunification of the Saarland to the German Reich Josef Bürkel, Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, and Joseph Goebbels inside the rathaus on March 1, 1935.
 Goebbels provided a weekly illustrated magazine, telling the catholic Saar electorate that the bolsheviks were the sworn enemy of God. In neutral Geneva his ministry’s anti-Comintern unit set up a religious front, Pro Deo, which formally received the anti-bolshevik exhibition that he had prepared in Berlin and sent it on to the Saar camouflaged with Swiss certificates of origin. In the Saar, the catholic clergy publicized the exhibition from their pulpits. ‘ The Saarbrücken clerics never guessed whose errands they were running,’ wrote Eberhard Taubert.
 
Hitler arriving
 
The rathaus on that day and today.
 
Adolf-Hitler-Straße before and after the war, and today as bahnhofstrasse 
 
Nazis marching past the  Johanneskirche

 
The hauptbahnhof itself with Hitler during a march, after the war, and its current replacement.
Saarländisches Staatstheater
The Saarland national theatre was officially opened in 1938 by Adolf Hitler as the Gautheater Saarpfalz. The following year on May 16, Hitler attended a performance of Karl Millöcker’s operetta Gräfin Dubarry here. "Incidentally, the foundations of the theatre building formed part of the West Wall’s substructure along the Saar River (Doramus p.1610)."

  Saarlouis
 
The Ludwigskirche after the war and today

Galgenbergturm
The Galgenbergturm (Gallows Hill Tower), the main symbol of the community Schiffweiler, was built between 1937 and 1939, inaugurated 8 July 1939 in the name and service of Adolf Hitler. After the war it was renamed Galgenberg tower.

Bad Hersfeld 
 
The Verwaltungsgebäude in 1943 and today
 
Auxiliary building of the former barracks (Hohe Luft), the reichsadler still in place of honour

Hanau im Mainz 
 
The promenade at Wilhelmsbad with and without the swastika