Showing posts with label Neuwallmoden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Neuwallmoden. Show all posts

More Sites in Lower Saxony

Wilhelmshaven  
Hitler on the platform at the main railway station 
After the Nazis assumed power in January 1933, they began to systematically rearm the Reichsmarine and Reichsmarine. The Anglo-German naval agreement of 1935 allowed the navy, renamed the Kriegsmarine, to expand its fleet significantly. As a result, the town experienced a considerable  economic upswing, as the introduced fleet policy required the further expansion of the harbour and shipyard facilities in Wilhelmshaven. The planning of an extension of the harbour, which had already been drawn up in 1917, was resumed; by 1936 the construction of the new entrance resumed with the creation of two lock chambers, which however were built at a greater distance from each other, intended to reduce the risk of simultaneous disengagement by damage to the middle wall during airborne attacks. The dimensions of the new lock chambers (390 metres long, 60 metres wide) far exceeded the size of the Bismarck class battleships. On the 7th of November 1942, the 4th entrance was put into operation with the smuggling of the light cruiser Emden through the eastern chamber and was named "Raeder-Schleuse". Due to the war, the entrance was only partially finished; up until the end of the war, only the eastern chamber could be used. 
 
Hitler in front of the rathaus in 1939 and the platz today. It was here on April 1, 1939 the day after Chamberlain had announced in Parliament that Britain offered an unconditional guarantee to Poland, followed within a fortnight by similar guarantees to Rumania and Greece, that Hitler declared that Germany would not submit to intimidation or encirclement:
When folk in other countries say that now they are arming and that they will continuously increase their armaments, then to these statesmen I have only one thing to say:  'Me you will never tire.' I am determined to continue to march on this path, I am convinced that we shall advance faster than the others... If anyone should really wish to pit his strength against ours with violence, then the German people is in the position to accept the challenge at anytime: it is ready, too, and resolved... (Bullock)
Hitler leaving the Garnisonkirche from Heinrich Hoffmann's Hitler wie ihn keiner kennt (Berlin: "Zeitgeschichte" Verlag, 1932). The caption reads: "A photograph accidentally becomes a symbol. Adolf Hitler, the supposed 'heretic,' leaves the Marine Church in Wilhelmshaven.
Hitler was scheduled to deliver a speech at Wilhelmshaven on April 1, 1939, on the occasion of the launching of the German battleship Tirpitz. The Polish acceptance of the British guarantee prompted him to devote extra attention to this major address. He hoped to convey two principal themes to his audience and to the world. He wished everyone to know that Great Britain could not intimidate Germany, but he also wished to make it clear that Germany continued to favour a peaceful solution of European problems. Hitler was remarkably successful in conveying these two ideas without creating the impression that they were mutually exclusive. He denounced the pre-1914 British encirclement policy, and he made the point that the German Government of that time had been mistaken in allowing British encirclement plans to ripen without taking effective counter-measures. He congratulated the community of Wilhelmshaven on its recovery from the misery and poverty of the economic depression during Weimar Republic days. He blamed lies and propaganda for the demoralization of Germany in 1918 and the following years. It seemed hypocritical of the British leaders to take exception to the German program of peaceful territorial revision, and Hitler reminded his listeners that the British had seized vast stretches of territory by force less than twenty years earlier. He recalled that Germany did not have the power to prevent them from changing the map in 1919. Hitler repeated his desire for peace in Europe, and he announced his decision to call the September 1939 National Socialist Party Day the Party Day of Peace.
Hoggan (241) The Forced War
 
The  Strandhalle, completed in 1938 and since rebuilt twice, although the characteristic rotunda remains in its original form. During the war the city was extensively destroyed by more than 100 air raids, including 16 major attacks. The first air attack on Wilhelmshaven took place on September 4 1939, the last on March 30 1945. On January 27 1943, the USAAF directed their first day attack on a goal in the German Reich against Wilhelmshaven. Of the 55 four-engine bombers, eight were shot down. Probably the most severe air attack was on 15 October 1944 and eventually 60% of the living space was in ruins. The comparatively small number of fatalities (435) was due to the many air raid shelters, which were installed everywhere in the city area, among other things, by the immediate pilot program. Most of the victims were buried in row graves at the municipal cemetery in Aldenburg. There, since 1978, a memorial reminds of the civilian bomb victims of the city.
Memorial on the grounds of the former Wilhelmshaven concentration camp During the Nazi period of , persecution, coercion and oppression took place in Wilhelmshaven. From September 1944 the Neuengamme Concentration Camp maintained an outpost at the Alter Banter Weg. The inmates, predominantly French, had to do forced labour and were used, for example, on the Kriegsmarinewerft as well as during the bomb clearing in the city. In four barracks 1125 men were crowded under adverse conditions; at least 234 of them did not survive internment. Today a part of the camp site is a concentration camp memorial. In April 1945, the ϟϟ dissolved the camp as the prisoners were to be taken by rail to the main camp in Hamburg-Neuengamme. At an intermediate station in the railway station in Lüneburg, 256 men were killed when the train was also struck by an allied air attack. The head of the transport, the then 36-year-old Danish ϟϟ man Gustav Alfred Jepsen, was condemned to death for the crimes he had committed in the Wilhelmshaven concentration camp in 1947 and was executed in Hameln prison. About 1,000 Dutchmen were interned in the camp in Schwarzer Weg in 1945.

Rüstringen
The town hall flying the Nazi flags and today
Bad Pyrmont
 
The Kinderheim Sonnenhof then, with swastika, and today- serving the German Red Cross


Hamelin
 
The swastika flying from the Rattenfängerhaus and today. Known for its pied-piper, during the Second World War Hamelin's prison was used for the detention of Social Democrats, Communists, and other political prisoners. Around 200 died here; more died in April 1945, when the Nazis sent the prisoners on long marches, fearing the Allied advance. In the Hamelin prison from 1933 so-called political, mainly communists and social democrats were interned (but also homosexuals and Jews). Later came political prisoners from France and Denmark. In 1935, the penitentiary was converted into a breeding house. During the Second World War there were about 300 deaths as a result of the inhumane conditions of detention. At the end of the war in April 1945, the prison was partially cleared and death marched. Just after the war, Hamelin prison was used by British Occupation Forces for the detention of Germans accused of war crimes. Following conviction, around 200 of them were hanged there, including Irma Grese, Josef Kramer, and over a dozen of the perpetrators of the Stalag Luft III murders. The prison has since been turned into an hotel.
The synagogue was burnt down during the November pogrom in 1938. The city was the target of a heavy Allied bombing attack towards the end of the Second World War on 14 March 1945. The station and houses in Kreuzstrasse, Hastenbecker Weg and Stüveststrasse were hit leaving 177 people killed, 93 injured and over 700 homeless.On April 5, 1945, upon the approach of the 2nd US Panzer Division in Gross-Berkel, and with the advance of a battalion to Hameln, German soldiers dashed across the Weserbrücke. There were up to 500 soldiers in Hameln under the combat commander Generalmajor Klockenbrink for the defence. The artillery fire destroyed the Marktkirche, the Werdermühle, the town hall and several houses, also in the Osterstraße. The 17th US pioneer battalion and parts of the 30th US infantry division under Generalmajor Leland Hobbs prepared the transition with storm bombs near the village of Ohr, erected a pontoon bridge and put the tanks in the direction of Tündern. A unit flagpunker from the Sennelager could stop the US troops in the south of the city and shoot two tanks. The 1st Lieutenant Raymond O. Beaudoin of the 119th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division, was shot dead on his mission to eliminate a German machine gun on April 6, and received the highest honorary medal of Honour.
On June 4, 1945, the military government appointed Walter Harm, SPD, as Lord Mayor of Hameln, who had served as deputy mayor before 1933 and was dismissed by the National Socialists.
In the post-war period, the prison served as an execution site for the British occupying forces until 1949, starting on 13 December 1945. During this period, 156 persons were executed as war criminals, including the ones convicted as part of the Bergen-Belsen trial. Among them were the concentration camp supervisors Irma Grese, Elisabeth Volkenrath and Johanna Bormann, the camp commander Josef Kramer, the concentration camp doctor Fritz Klein. Further executions on the basis of Allied trials involved concentration camp doctors, KZ-Kapos, ϟϟ superintendents and commanders of SS units (2nd ϟϟ Totenkopfregiment, ϟϟ Division Totenkopf). The last execution in Hameln took place on 6 December 1949 involving a displaced person due to a lethal incident involving a shotgun. In 1947, 120 houses and 1014 rooms were occupied by British occupying forces.


Bückeberg

From 1933 to 1937 the Nazi Party arranged an annual Harvest Festival at Bückeberg, the „Reichserntedankfeste,“ close to the city of Hamelin.  More than one million people are supposed to have gathered there in order to celebrate the German peasant, to listen to speech delivered by Adolf Hitler, and to watch a large military show. To manage this number of participants a special arena designed by Albert Speer was built. The site was intended to be one of the three largest mass celebrations of the National Socialists. The festival enjoyed a firm place in the Nazi festive calendar. Its importance lay in its contribution to the propagation of the leader cult, the formation of national community and of preparing people for the war. The idea, planning and organisation of the festival was that of the propaganda minister Goebbels rather than Agriculture Minister and Reich Farm Leader Darré.
Model of the Reichsthingplatzes Bückeberg designed by Albert Speer showing the "Führerweg" connecting upper and lower grandstands. The participants of the festival would enter the square via stairs located at the far side of the fairground. On the right is an aerial view of the site in 1933 showing 500,000 participants with the VIP box in the upper right corner.
After the war the arena was demolished and the site was turned into a meadow. There remain the ruins of the foundations of the tribune, shown above.

Bad Nenndorf
The Bad Nenndorf interrogation centre was a British Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre located at the Winckler-Bath in the town of Bad Nenndorf which operated from June 1945 to July 1947. Allegations of mistreatment of detainees by British troops resulted in a police investigation, a public controversy in both Britain and Germany and the camp's eventual closure. Four of the camp's officers were brought before courts-martial in 1948 and one of the four was convicted on charges of neglect.
At Bad Nenndorf near Hanover, CSDIC 74 also possessed an interrogation centre where men were tortured. The centre of the town was sealed off with barbed wire. The torture-chamber was the old pumproom. Here they were beaten, deprived of sleep, threatened with execution or unnecessary surgery. As many as 372 men and 44 women passed through Bad Nenndorf before it closed in July 1947. Initially they were SS men and Pgs, as well as industrialists and ‘plutocrats’ who had done well in the Third Reich. The British were also frightened of Werewolves, and brought in several Hitler Youth leaders for interrogation. Later many of them were Germans who had been ‘turned’ by the Soviets, and were spying on the British Zone. The camp commander was Colonel Robin Stephens, an MI5 officer. His staff consisted of twelve British – including civilian linguists – a Pole, a Dutchman and six German Jews. They were helped by young soldiers. Some of these had been present at the liberation of Belsen and felt no goodwill towards the Germans. Others had committed minor offences of discipline, assault or desertion and were being punished.
The activities in Bad Nenndorf eventually reached the ears of the prime minister, and Sir Sholto Douglas launched an investigation into the abuse of POWs. A court martial opened in Hamburg on 8 June 1948 at which Stephens was tried together with a German-born Jew, Lieutenant Richard Langham. It was transferred to London and heard in camera. The officers were acquitted. There was alarm in government circles that the public should learn that the British were running a number of branches of CSDIC in Germany, and that ‘Bad Nenndorf’ should become a rallying cry. Lord Pakenham expressed his concern about the accusation that the British were treating prisoners in a manner ‘reminiscent of the German concentration camps’. Following the court martial Bad Nenndorf was closed down, but interrogations went on in the British base in Gütersloh.  
MacDonogh (414-415) After the Reich
Norderney
The island features in The Riddle of the Sands, the 1903 novel by British novelist (and traitor) Erskine Childers.

 
Strandstraße bedecked with swastikas and today
 
Looking the other direction
[B]y late 1933, even Norderney, a resort that had once been popular with German and foreign Jews, used marketing slogans like ‘The North Sea Resort of Norderney is free of Jews’. Visitors could even purchase a postcard entitled ‘At one time and now’, which depicted a group of young, dark-haired, allegedly Jewish vacationers above and a group of tall, blond, bathing-suited ‘Aryans’ below. 
Semmens (69) Seeing Hitler’s Germany
 
Bülowallee

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial, its eagle now removed
  
The Kurhaus and Kurhotel flying the Nazi flag
 The Postamt and Marienhöhe
  
The Port
Varel am Jadebusen
Adolf-Hitler-Strasse, now Obernstrasse. The Lichtspielhaus is still there, no longer sporting the swastika. After the Nazi seizure of power in the spring of 1933, the Nazi state government forced Mayor Oltmanns to retire and be succeeded in office by National Socialist Gustav Menke (until 1940). Both City Council and municipal council were politically brought into line with the introduction of the German Gemeindeordnung before finally being eliminated in 1935. The deputy mayors during the Nazi period were William Gerstenberg (1941-42) and Otto Ahlers (1943-1945). The KPD, SPD and ancillary organisations were banned and suspended with their officials and members persecuted by the Nazi regime.  With Oldenburgische administrative reform in May 1933, the Official Association Varel itself lost its status as an independent "city of the 1st order", and was now called the "City 2nd order."
 
SA marching in front of the District Court in 1934.
The last commandant of the women's concentration camp Ravensbrück, the SS-Sturmbannführer Fritz Suhren , was a native Vareler; Suhren would later be executed in 1950.  The Jewish citizens of the city were - unless emigrated in time after the Nazi seizure of power and able to escape - legally and socially discriminated against. Jewish property was "arisiert" . The last living Jews in Varel were housed in the so-called Jewish retirement home on Schutting street. 29 nursing home residents were led in two deportations in October 1941 (6 persons) and July 1942 (23 people) to the Lodz ghetto / Litzmannstadt (via Emden and Berlin) and Theresienstadt (via Bremen and Hannover), some of them further on to Auschwitz and Chelmno. None of the deportees survived. Today a plaque at the primary school on Osterstraße recalls the former synagogue across the street that had been destroyed during the 1938 November pogrom. During the Second World War there was a large number of foreign civilian workers and prisoners of war in Varel, under pitiful living conditions for forced labour.
The railway station then and now. Hitler arrived here twice-  May 25, 1932 and September 28, 1939.   Although Varel was in the immediate vicinity of Allied bomber formations which attacked Wilhelmshaven over an hundred times, the Varel was spared from further destruction with only single bomb damage and several casualties in the final stages of the war. 
After the bloodless occupation on May 6, 1945 by troops of the 2nd Canadian Army, Varel was fortunate enough to be joined to the British zone of occupation and served as the temporary headquarters of the British county military government for the district of Friesland.

 Obernkirchen 
The Gasthaus zum Bückeberg with and without the hakenkreuz

Delmenhorst
Lange Straße, lined with swastikas and today. 
Seen from the west. Hitler had spoken in Delmenhorst at the Schützenhof on May 26, 1932 during his presidential campaign. On Reichskristallnacht in November 1938 the town's synagogue was burnt down by the Nazis, who had came to power in Germany in 1933. After the Second World War, Delmenhorst was in the British zone of occupation and had to deal with thousands of refugees from Eastern Germany, which now was occupied by the Soviet Union. The British-appointed mayor during the British Occupation was Major Jack Wolfe, an inspector of the British Constabulary. 




 Wittingen
Swastikas flying along Adolf-Hitler-Strasse with St. Stephanus-Kirche then and now  

Lingen 
Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now with St. Bonifatius church in the background. During the Reichspogromnacht from 9th to 10th November 1938, the Nazis set fire to the town synagogue. In 1944, two Allied air raids destroyed the railroad and parts of Lingen which had been the site of a major reserve theatre of the Wehrmacht, including hospitals for the prisoners of war in the prisoners of war camps in the Emsland region, with the many associated work commissions. After the end of the Second World War Lingen belonged to the British occupation zone. The British military administration set up a DP camp to accommodate Displaced Persons (DP). Many of them came from Poland, Estonia, Latvia and the former Yugoslavia. They were, on the one hand, liberated forced labourers from the Emsland camps, on the other hand they were political refugees. In February 1946 a flood of the Ems flooded the city centre and caused great destruction.
 
The Paradies guesthouse during the 1930s and now.

Emden 
The rathaus flying the Nazi flag in 1933 and how it appears today. The town centre was almost completely wiped out as a result of Allied bombing raids during the Second World War, destroying nearly all historic buildings. The RAF first bombed Emden on 31 March 1940. The most severe bombing took place on 6 September 1944, when roughly 80 percent of all houses in the town centre were destroyed. In the collective memory of the town, this date still plays an important role. The shipyard area was largely untouched – the British targeted the civilian areas in revenge for the bombing of Coventry by the Luftwaffe. The reconstructed town was opened on 6 September 1962, exactly 18 years after the bombing. After the Nazi victory in the Reichstag election of March 1933, the deportation of Jews and the elimination of political opponents took place as quickly here as elsewhere in the country. On the night of November 9th, 1938, Emden took part in the riots directed against the Jews by the Reichsleitung, which were later referred to as "Reichskristallnacht" or Novemberpogrome 1938. The synagogue was burnt down and all the male Jews were deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp via Oldenburg, from where they could return only after weeks had elapsed. Discrimination continued. At the end of January 1940, an initiative of East Frisian land councils and the city council of the city of Emden led to the instructions of the Gestapo headquarters Wilhelmshaven that Jews should leave Ostfriesland until 1 April 1940. The East Frisian Jews had to look for other apartments within Germany, with the exception of Hamburg and the Left Rhine regions. In October 1941 Emden was one of the first twelve cities in the Reich, from which Jews were deported to the East. Twenty-three Jewish senior citizens were temporarily transferred to the Jewish home of Varel in October 1941, and from there they were deported to Theresienstadt via Bremen and Hanover in July 1942.  Allied soldiers reached the city at the beginning of May 1945, but they could not take it without a fight. Emden had been declared a fortress shortly before the end of the war, and was still defended by the surrounding anti-aircraft batteries for a few days at the order of the commander-in-chief. The last combat operation in the Emden area was on May 4, 1945. In the course of the war, 2404 soldiers fell. In addition, 408 Emden citizens, forced labourers and members of the Wehrmacht were killed in bomb attacks. During the Nazi period, 465 Jewish citizens were murdered. 

Neuwallmoden
 

The school during the Nazi-era when the town sported an Adolf-Hitler-Grotto

Uslar
The former Hitler Tower, inaugurated August 1935, now renamed the Sollingturm. In the First World War eighty soldiers from Uslar fell. In the November Revolution of 1918, the city was controlled by workers 'and soldiers' councils for a few weeks. In 1919, women's suffrage was introduced and in the Weimar Republic the city council was elected democratically for the first time. In 1923, there was a turmoil in the inflation crisis, in which the city issued emergency notes.  After street fighting between nationalsocialists and the workers' movement, the Nazis took over the Nazis from 1933 to the persecution of Jews (of whom 17 died there until 1945) and communists. Uslar was at that time part of the NSDAP-Gaus south-Hannover-Braunschweig. In the Second World War Uslar suffered 165 dead, but was largely spared from the war. It was true that a Bavarian SS unit with five Tiger tanks, as a rearguard of the German army, came to defence of the US invasion in the West from April 6 to 9, but ultimately failed. Shortly afterwards, the Albert Schweitzer Hospital was founded on the orders of the American district commander (the hospital finally found a home in the former house of the "Reinald von Dassel" barracks of the Reichsarbeitsdienstabteilung II / 185 at St. John's Church. As early as July 1945, Uslar was handed over to the British administration. After the Second World War, the number of inhabitants of Uslar grew by more than half from 3706 inhabitants in 1945 to 6207 in 1946 by refugees and displaced people.

Bad Sachsa
  The Hotel Ratskeller and St. Nikolai-Kirche on Straße der SA, now Marktstraße. The  children from the families of the July 20, 1944 conspirators were interned in the Kinderheim in the Born Valley here. Because of the threat of allied bombings, rocket technicians, including Walter Dornberger and Wernher von Braun, were moved to Bad Sachsa and places of the surrounding area. The production of the V1 and V2 rockets was directed by the above staff in the nearby concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora near Nordhausen. On April 12, 1945, Bad Sachsa was occupied by American troops after brief battles. The Americans withdrew from the beginning of July in the occupation zone assigned to them with the London Protocol of September 12 1944. The Soviet troops following them left Bad Sachsa in the Soviet occupation zone unoccupied until July 23, when British troops occupied the city. There was an exchange between the British and Soviet commandos, where the eastern part of the Brunswick county of Blankenburg fell to the Soviet occupation zone for Bad Sachsa and the surrounding area (including the neighbouring town of Tettenborn).

Bad Gandersheim
Swastika adorning the façade of the town hall during the war. Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht from 1938 to 1945 and hanged in Nuremberg the following year was born 1882 in Helmscherode nearby.During the war from October 1944 to April 1945 the town was the site of a subcamp of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp that produced aeroplane parts. "During the first few weeks, prisoners in Gandersheim were housed in a former church that had later been used as a barn." Sofsky (66) They had to perform forced labour in the aircraft works belonging to the Heinkel works and in a nearby quarry. The French writer Robert Antelme, who was interned there, portrayed the life and death of Gandersheim in his work Das Menschengeschlecht. In addition, the company Gandersheimer Flachsröste GmbH, founded in 1935 as a subsidiary of Deutsche Flachsbau GmbH Berlin, existed in Bad Gandersheim. Soon the branch business developed into the largest flax roasting in the German Reich. With the further processing of raw materials into yarns and fabrics, which were to be used, amongst other things, for parachutes, the establishment in the Nazi war economy was one of the warring factories, which were strongly to be supported during the employment process. The Gandersheimer Fachsröste had its own warehouse for forced labourers in the Karl-Dinklage-Straße in Gandersheim. By the end of May 1940 at least 40 Russian and 15 Ukrainian women had been employed in the flax roasting. They lived in the local dairy since the forced labour camp had not yet been erected at this time, or was occupied by the accommodation of war prisoners. Between 1940 and 1945 at least 51 East European "civilian workers" and "civilian workers", who were employed in the flax roasting process,