Showing posts with label Oberhausen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oberhausen. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi Sites in Westphalia (3)

Jülich
On November 16, 1944, 97% of Jülich was destroyed during Allied bombing, since it was considered one of the main obstacles to the occupation of the Rhineland, although the city fortifications, the bridge head and the citadel had long fallen into disuse. According to Giles MacDonogh in his book After the Reich (365),"[t]he bombing of the western Prussian town of Jülich had been the worst in Germany: 93 per cent of it had been flattened." The ruined city was subject to heavy fighting for several months until the Allies eventually managed to cross the Ruhr on February 23, 1945. Here a victorious Prime Minister Winston Churchill shares a drink with American General William H. Simpson, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke and Major General Alvin Gillian of the American 13th Corps within the entrance to the citadel in Jülich whilst Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, a teetotaller, sits outside taking notes on March 6, 1945. Göbbels refers to this visit in his diary entry the next day: 
For the first time Churchill has actually seen the results of his air war. He was in Jülich and, according to Reuters, surveyed the expanse of ruins stretching from Jülich to Aachen with an air of satisfaction – a replica of Nero who sat high above the Eternal City and strummed his lyre while Rome burned. A better symbol of chaos and ruin into which Anglo-American policy has plunged Europe is hardly conceivable.
During his drive through the occupied areas Churchill addressed the troops. His speech was larded with the old monotonous tirades of hatred of the Huns. This gentleman, who can truly be called the grave-digger of Europe, had nothing new to say on the war situation. He would do better to bother more about the fresh strikes now flaring up all over the British Isles. 
Jülich became part of the new state of North Rhine-Westphalia after the war.

Aachen (North Rhine-Westphalia)
After the Great War, Aachen was occupied by the Allies until 1930. Aachen was one of the locations involved in the ill-fated Rhenish Republic and was the site of its proclamation in October 1923 during the occupation of the Ruhr by troops from France and Belgium (January 1923 – 1925). It comprised three territories, named North, South and Ruhr. Their regional capitals were, respectively, Aachen, Koblenz and Essen and was initiated when, on October 21 1923, an armed band took over city hall. Similar actions took place in Munchen-Gladbach, Duisburg, and Krefeld. This Republic lasted only about a year.
Dreiländerpunkt 
Dreiländerpunkt- The highest point in the Netherlands on the Dutch border with Germany and Belgium with American GIs and today.
The hauptbahnhof. Hitler passed here many times, the first of which was on October 21, 1914 as he was on his way to Lille at the start of the Great War. He refers to this in a postcard to his landlord back in Munich:
[We] crossed into Belgium at 10 p.m. As we left Aachen, we were given an enthusiastic send off by thousands of people, and much the same thing happened throughout our journey. At 9 a.m., we arrived at Liège. The railway station was badly damaged. The traffic was tremendous. Army transport only, of course. At midnight, we arrived at Louvain. The whole town is a heap of rubble.
American soldiers clearing up Adalbertsteinweg and Jülicher Straße in 1944 and the same site today.  
Joseph von Görres Straße in 1944 and today. Aachen was heavily damaged during the war. The city and its fortified surroundings were laid siege to from 12 September–21 October 1944 by the US 1st Infantry Division with the 3rd Armoured Division assisting from the south. Around  October 13 the US 2nd Armoured Division played their part, coming from the north and getting as close as Wuerselen, whilst the 30th Infantry Division played a crucial role in completing the encirclement of Aachen on 16 October 1944. With reinforcements from the US 28th Infantry Division the Battle of Aachen then continued involving direct assaults through the heavily defended city, which finally forced the German garrison to surrender on 21 October 1944. Aachen was the first German city to be captured by the Allies, and its residents welcomed the soldiers as liberators. The city was destroyed partially – and in some parts completely – during the fighting, mostly by American artillery fire and demolitions carried out by the Waffen-SS defenders. Damaged buildings included the medieval churches of St. Foillan, St. Paul and St. Nicholas, and the Rathaus, although Aachen Cathedral was largely unscathed. Only 4,000 inhabitants remained in the city; the rest had followed evacuation orders. Its first Allied-appointed mayor, Franz Oppenhoff, was assassinated by an SS commando unit. 
The Rhineland was the first part of Germany to be liberated from the west, and the first city was Aachen. The place of Charlemagne’s coronation had been pitilessly pummelled by Anglo-American bombers so that there was little left of it. Of the 15,000 homes in the city only a fifth were vaguely intact. The American-installed administration estimated that they could make the damaged properties habitable within a year, but to rebuild the city would take twenty.
Giles MacDonogh, (50-60) After the Reich
 
Mauerstraße
Hotel Quellenhof 
Hotel Quellenhof after the war and today 

German POWs being marched down Thomashofstraße and Rolandstraße into Belgium in 1944

Bahnhof Rothe Erde. During the war the station was badly damaged and the bridge over Trierer Straße was blown up. The Aachen–Cologne line was not reopened until 1946. As a result the handling of steel, coke and limestone was abandoned and the station became less important for the transfer of freight. Only the connections to Aachen Nord station and the neighbouring Waggonfabrik Talbot rolling stock factory and the Aachen Philips factories on the Venn Railway remained in operation. In contrast, Rothe Erde station continued to serve passengers on the Aachen–Cologne line. In 2004, the freight shed were finally demolished and the now disused railway land was mostly levelled for the construction of the Aachen Arkaden shopping centre.
 
Bahnhof West
Kongreßstraße 
American soldiers on Kongreßstraße.  Aachen was described as a ‘fantastic, stinking heap of ruins’.
Oppenhoffallee
The south side of the rathaus, showing how extensively it has been reconstructed and the Sternwarte observatory after the war and today.
Aachen Stadttheater.

The Stadttheater
 Its construction began in 1822 and it opened on 15 May 1825. A bomb attack on 14 July 1943 destroyed the first theatre, and the current structure was inaugurated on 3 December 1951 with a performance of Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
 
The Theodor-Körner-Kaserne, one of three army barracks in Aachen
Die Theodor-Körner-Kaserne ist eine von drei Kasernen in Aachen (Nordrhein-Westfalen) und beherbergt mehrere kleinere Dienststellen der Bundeswehr, die im weiteren Sinne zur TSL/FSHT (Technische Schule Landsysteme und Fachschule des Heeres für Technik) gehören. Sie liegt in der Lintertstraße 71 in Aachen-Forst.  Sie entstand im Zuge der Remilitarisierung des Rheinlandes im Jahre 1937 [1]. Von 1947 bis 1954 wurde sie vom belgischen Militär genutzt, die den Komplex in 2 Kasernen aufteilten. (Kaserne Namen und Kaserne Steetstraete). Ab 1952 bis 1954 war hier das 71° Artilleriebataljon (C155 mm) stationiert.[2][3] Namensgeber  Die Kaserne ist benannt nach dem deutschen Dichter Theodor Körner (1791–1813), der durch seine patriotischen Gedichte und Lieder bekannt wurde. Durch seine Teilnahme als Kriegsfreiwilliger an den Befreiungskriegen 1813/14 im Lützowschen Freikorps wurde sein Wirken wie seine Dichtung zum Vorbild der patriotischen Kräfte in Deutschland.

Horn Bad Meinberg i. Lippe (North Rhine-Westphalia)
 
Nordstraße bedecked in swastikas and today

Wesel (North Rhine-Westphalia) 
Birthplace in 1893 of notorious Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, sentenced to death at the Nuremberg trials.
Berliner Tor 
Two different flags flying over the Berliner Tor. During the war, as a strategic depot, Wesel became a target of Allied bombing. On the 16th, 17th and 19th of February 1945, the town was attacked with impact and air-burst bombs, which destroyed 97% of the city. The Wehrmacht blew up bridges along the Rhine and Lippe to prevent Allied forces from advancing. The Wehrmacht also destroyed the 1,950m-long railway bridge, the last Rhine bridge remaining in German hands, on 10 March. On 23 March, Wesel came under the fire of over 3,000 guns when it was bombarded anew, in preparation for Operation Plunder. The shelling was assisted by a raid of RAF bombers and a larger raid that night. At 2100 hours on the 23rd, ten individual bombers each dropped a 10,000 kg bomb on Wesel, the heaviest bombs dropped in World War II. Before the town was finally taken by Allied troops, 97% of its structures were destroyed. In the ensuing attacks by Allied forces, the town was taken for minimal casualties. Operation Varsity – the largest airborne landings of the war – dropped 18,000 troops into the area to take the hills behind Wesel. The British 1st Commando Brigade was already attacking Wesel carried into action by LVT Buffalos. The remainder of the Allied force crossed the Rhine in more amphibious vehicles.  From almost 25,000 in 1939, the population was reduced to 1,900 by May 1945 .


Oberhausen 
 
Adolf-Hitler-Platz, now re-named Friedensplatz, with the Amtsgericht in the background. The town's Ruhrchemie AG synthetic oil plant ("Oberhausen-Holten" or "Sterkrade/Holten") was a bombing target of the Oil Campaign of World War II, and American Forces had reached the plant by April 4, 1945.      
The Hauptbahnhof is a remaining example of Nazi-era architecture, completed in 1934
Things have definitely changed since the Nazi era as "a Protestant church in Oberhausen, is set to remove Christian crosses, altars and pulpits in order to accomodate [sic] 50 Muslim migrants who were invited to stay in the building" whilst "Germans living in government housing receive eviction notices." The result was that later in the year on August 28 a crazed knifemen shouting "Allahu Akbar"attacked a 66-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man at a music festival in the town, leaving the woman fighting for her life. Authorities are apparently clueless as to what may have motivated this latest atrocity.
 
Hagen  
On the night of 1 October 1943, 243 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos from the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command attacked the city. According to the Bomber Command Campaign Diary, "This raid was a complete success achieved on a completely cloud-covered target of small size, with only a moderate bomber effort and at trifling cost." Severe damage was caused.  After World War II the town became part of the new state of North Rhine-Westphalia. 

The main railway station is another dating from the Third Reich and today, at the end of what had been Kölner Straße, Ebertstraße, Adolf-Hitler-Straße.
Haus Busch where Hitler would stay with its owner, Franz Pfeffer von Salomon, Gauleiter of Westphalia, a former army officer who had subsequently joined the Freikorps, participated in the Kapp Putsch, and been active in opposition to the French in the Ruhr before becoming was appointed head of the SA until his dismissal in 1930. 
Together they developed the principles of an organization which was to be freed both from the character of the defence corps and from its limited and fragmentary role as the bodyguard of local party leaders. Instead, it was to become a rigidly controlled, powerful instrument of mass terror in the hands of the political party leadership. ‘The training of the SA’, Hitler wrote in a letter to Pfeffer, ‘must be carried out, not according to military principles, but according to the needs of the party. In so far as the members are to be made physically fit, the chief stress should be placed not upon military drill but upon athletic activities. Boxing and ju-jitsu have always appeared to me more important than any ineffective, because incomplete, rifle practice.’ ‘In order also to divert the SA’, the letter continues, ‘from any temptation to satisfy their activism by petty conspiracies, they must from the very beginning be completely initiated into the great idea of the movement and so fully trained in the task of representing this idea that the individual does not see his mission as eliminating some great or petty rogue, but as committing himself to the establishment of a new National Socialist people’s state. Thereby the struggle against the present state will be raised out of the atmosphere of petty acts of revenge and conspiracy to the grandeur of a philosophical war of annihilation against Marxism, its constructions and its wirepullers. We shall not work in secret conventicles but in huge mass marches; the way for the movement cannot be opened up by dagger or poison or pistol, but by conquest of the street.'
Joachim C. Fest The Face of the Third Reich 
For Franz Pfeffer von Salomon, the head of the SA until his dismissal in August 1930, Hitler combined the qualities of common soldier and artist. ‘A trooper with gypsy blood’ was, given Nazi racial thinking, Pfeffer’s reported extraordinary characterization. He thought Hitler had something like a sixth sense in politics, ‘a supernatural talent’. But he wondered whether he was at bottom only a type of Freikorps leader, a revolutionary who might have difficulty in becoming a statesman after the movement had taken power. Pfeffer took Hitler to be a genius, something the world might experience only once in a thousand years. But the human side of Hitler, in his view, was deficient. Pfeffer, torn between adulation and criticism, saw him as a split personality, full of personal inhibitions in conflict with the ‘genius’ inside him, arising from his upbringing and education, and consuming him. 
Kershaw Hitler
 
Cafe Tigges after the war and today  
The Stadttheater with its 2.50 metre-high sculptures of ancient Muses from the sculptress Milly Steger, bombed by the USAAF March 15, 1945 and reopened 1949.

The memorial to the fallen during the Third Reich and today, empty 
Ibbenbüren
Adolf-Hitler-Straße, now Große Straße, and looking the other way in 1938 and today
Caritas-Altenwohnhaus 
The Synagogue in 1933, now the site of the Caritas-Altenwohnhaus. On the night of 9 on the 10th November 1938 during the Reichskristallnacht, SS men, supported by SA and HJ, looted and vandalised shops of Jewish owners and set fire to the synagogue as residents watched silently. In front of the new building is a memorial to that night.
Nikestraße  
Wartime bunker on Nikestraße
 
Oberer Markt in 1934 showing the Hotel zum Adler and the same spot today
 
The Preußen-Denkmal at the Oberer Markt has since been replaced
 
The post office and the railway overpass during the Nazi era and the same spot today
 
Looking the other way down  Bahnhofstraße in 1935 and today

Bahnhofstraße in 1934 and today
 
Bahnhofstraße looking towards Oberen Markt
 
Oberen Markt then and now

The church in the 1930s and today, minus the memorial removed 1973 and seen from Münsterstraße
 
Eisen-Feldmann in a wartime postcard and today
 
Along Wilhelmstraße in 1930 and today



The cinema on Brunnenstraße has existed since 1939, two years after the photo on the left was taken and a view of the same street in 1935 and today 
Roggenkampstraße 4 einst und jetzt

The chapel and St. Elisabeth-Hospital in 1935 and today

Viersen am Niederrhein 
 
Bahnhofstraße in a postcard used in 1944, after the war, and today

The Bismarckturm, erected in honour of the former chancellor Otto von Bismarck in hilly woodland to the north west of Viersen called "Hoher Busch" on a hilltop called "Wilhelmshöhe", with a height of 84.94 metres above sea level making it the highest point of Viersen. At the time of its erection the view from the top reached far out over the low-lying areas along the river Niers. Today this view is blocked by tall trees.

An Höhenmarke at a church in the Weserbergland.


Wuppertal-Barmen  (North Rhine-Westphalia)
 Villa Springorum, and as the Reichsfachschule des Eisenwaren und Hausratshandels sporting a Nazi flag. 
Before being amalgamated into Wuppertal in 1929, Barmen had been a former industrial metropolis of the region of Bergisches Land which was the birthplace of Friedrich Engels.
His birthhouse remains, with Alfred Hrdlicka's Friedrich Engels Memorial (Die starke Linke) in front.
His ‘Letters from Wuppertal’, published in the spring of 1839, were a sensational attack on hypocrisy in the valley towns of Elberfeld and Barmen, the Rhineland district in which Friedrich Engels was born on 28 November 1820.
Carver (3) Engels: A Very Short Introduction 
Barmen is also known for a declaration in May 1934 rejecting the doctrines of the “German Christians” and denouncing state control. 
The famous Barmen Declaration was not intended as a political protest, however. The Confessing Church was a religious movement to uphold traditional Lutheran doctrine, not a political movement of resistance to the Nazi state. The “Church Struggle” was primarily an internal contest between nationalists, who rejected the Old Testament and sought to introduce the “Aryan Paragraph” into the Church, and traditionalists, who wished to preserve the separation of religion and politics. While the Confessing Church succeeded in warding off the challenge of the “German Christians,” the vast majority of its membership remained loyal to the Nazi regime.
Stackelberg and Winkle (167-168)  The Nazi Germany Sourcebook: An Anthology of Text
Horst-Wessel-Platz
Horst-Wessel-Platz, now the Alte Markt. The comparison shots clearly support Ian Kershaw's description that 
[s]ince the ‘dam-buster’ raids, the major cities of Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Bochum, Dortmund, and Wuppertal- Barmen had been laid waste in intensive night bombardment. The inadequacy of the air-defences was all too apparent. Hitler continued to vent his bile on Göring and the Luftwaffe. But his own powerlessness to do anything about it was exposed. ... Anger at the regime’s failure to protect them was widespread. The ‘Heil Hitler’ greeting had almost disappeared. Hostile remarks about the regime, and about Hitler personally, were commonplace.
Hitler promised Goebbels towards the end of June that he would pay an extended visit to the devastated area. It was to take place ‘the next week, or the week after that’. Hitler knew only too well that this was out of the question. 
 Rheydt 

It was here where Joseph Paul Goebbels
had first opened his eyes and uttered his first scream at No.186 Odenkirchener Strasse in the smoky Lower Rhineland town of Rheydt on October 29, 1897; it was a thousand-year old textiles centre, set in a landscape of traditionally pious Catholics and hardworking country folk. 
David Irving (16-17) Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich
 
The swastika being raised at the marktplatz April 24, 1933 in time for Goebbels's address from the rathaus
 
The changes to the square are clear in this before and after comparison
 
Platz der SA and today, Marktplatz 

Mönchengladbach (formerly München Gladbach)
 
The main railway station at Bahnhofsvorplatz with and without swastika banners

Kempen
 
Nazi flags flying above  Kurkölnische Landesburg 

Xanten (North Rhine-Westphalia)  
Klever Tor during the Nazi era and today. In 1933 at the very start of the Nazi takeover, mayor Heinrich Wagner was locked up in a tower called the Meerturm, accused of alleged nepotism in the loan business. His successor was Friedrich Karl Schöneborn, while the post of deputy mayor was given to Heinrich Prang junior. Prang had already created a local group of the NSDAP in 1925. As the local council of the Deutsche Zentrumspartei was dissolved, three of formerly eight city council members were Nazis. The remaining opposition consisted of communists and liberal politicians lacking a clear political mandate.  The following years saw harassment of the Jewish population of Xanten. This included the destruction of the local prayer room and the devastation of several dwellings of Jewish inhabitants on 9 November 1938 during Reichskristallnacht. After these events, the entire Jewish population fled Xanten. During the Second World War an ammunition factory of the Luftwaffe was established in a small forest close to the city, called Die Hees. While citizens of Xanten worked there at the beginning of the war, women and children, and especially foreigners were forced to perform hard labour at the plant as the war progressed. Incidents in the area of the factory occurred in November 1942 and October 1944, causing the explosion of a portion of the stored ammunition, which cost several workers' lives. In May 1940, the German 256th infantry division was transferred to Xanten to take part in the forthcoming invasion of the Netherlands.  When allied troops reached Xanten in February 1945, mayor Schöneborn left the city. With him fled almost the entire city administration to areas to the east. In the same month the bombardment of the city had begun, killing civilians and destroying parts of Xanten. In addition, the cathedral was hit by bombs and damaged heavily. On March 8, 1945, Xanten was finally taken by Canadian troops. The Canadian military lost, according to their own data, 400 soldiers in the fight against the defending Fallschirmjäger under the command of Eugen Meindl. Thereupon the city, 85% of which had already been destroyed, was occupied by British troops while the population was evacuated to Bedburg-Hau in preparation for the crossing of the Rhine near the city of Wesel. Artillery projectiles fired by German soldiers from the right bank of the Rhine further devastated Xanten at this time. When the crossing of the Rhine on 24 March 1945 finally succeeded, the Second World War was over for Xanten.  The reconstruction of the city and the cathedral was accomplished particularly by the archaeologist and monument conservationist Walter Bader, and lasted until 1966. Expellees from eastern Prussia that were resettled in Xanten caused the population to rise by almost 40%. In the course of the local re-organization in 1969, the localities Birten, Lüttingen, Marienbaum, Obermörmter, Vynen and Wardt were integrated into Xanten, so that around 16,000 inhabitants lived within the city boundaries. The area of the city increased from 8 km² to 72 km².
 
The cathedral August 17, 1941 and today
Xanten cathedral  
The interior after the RAF exacted retribution on the 10th, 13th, 14th, and 21st of February 1945.


Krefeld (North Rhine-Westphalia)
 
Prewar postcard of Krefeld showing Adolf-Hitlerstrasse and Adolf-Hitler-Brücke
 The photo on the left is a remarkable historic document showing crowds waiting for Hitler in June 1934 at the Krefeld main railway station. Due to the Röhm putsch Hitler called off the visit.

Adolf-Hitler-Straße, now Stephanstraße
 
Adolf-Hitler-Straße after bombing in a section now named Rheinstraße
1933 Nazi demonstration in front of police headquarters (now Hansa house).
The war not only created new opportunities for Nazi racial policy abroad. It also permitted a radicalization within Germany. From 1933 until 1939, for example, the Gestapo had harassed the 832 Jews still living in the Rhineland town of Krefeld with increasing zeal. Though they accounted for less than one per cent of the population, they provided the Gestapo with one in ten of their cases before 1936 and one in three thereafter. In over two-fifths of cases, the individuals concerned were taken into 'protective custody' - which put them beyond the reach of what remained of the established legal system - and sent to concentration camps. Nevertheless, it was only after the outbreak of war that Krefeld's Jewish community could systematically be wiped out. By the summer of 1942, nearly all of them had been deported to their deaths, beginning with the first transport to the Lodz ghetto in October 1941. This escalation manifested itself throughout Germany, as anti-Jewish policy was increasingly implemented outside the regular judicial process. In November 1939, for example, a Jew accused of sexual offences against a German girl was simply shot by the police without reference to courts. 
Ferguson (409) The War of the World

The Uerdinger Rhine bridge officially being renamed the Adolf Hitler bridge in 1936. It was reconstructed in its original form after its destruction during the war.
The stadtschloss after the war and today, now rebuilt.
The Jews of Krefeld  Jews were listed as citizens of Krefeld from 1617. In 1764 a synagogue was erected, and by 1812, under French rule, the town included 196 Jewish families, with three Jewish-owned banks. Under Napoleon, the town became the capital for the surrounding Jewish communities including over 5000 Jews, and by 1897 they comprised 1.8% of the population.  In 1846 a Jewish representative was voted onto the town's municipal council, while rising antisemitism was noted during these elections.  A reform synagogue was built in 1876, arousing opposition from the Orthodox community.  A Jewish school existed in the town, with more than 200 students around 1900.  In 1938 during Kristallnacht, the two synagogues were attacked[by whom?] and burnt.  In 1941 following an order from Hitler to deport the German Jews to the east, Jews from the town were sent to the area around Riga and murdered there.  In 1945, the U.S. Army occupied the city and placed later war criminal Henry Kissinger, then an Army private and later Secretary of State of the United States, in charge of the city administration.  In 2008 a new synagogue, library and Jewish cultural centre were erected on the location of one of the demolished synagogues. Around 1100 Jews were reported to live in and around Krefeld at the time.
During World War II, on December 11, 1941, a detailed report on the transport of Jews from Krefeld and its surroundings to the Šķirotava Railway Station near Riga, later to become Jungfernhof concentration camp, listed 1007 Jews from Krefeld and Duisburg, deported in freezing conditions with no drinking-water for more than two days. Almost immediately upon arrival these Jews were shot in the Rumbula forest massacre.  On 21 June 1943 British bombs wreaked vengeance  large parts of east of the city; a firestorm consumed most of the city centre (apart from the central train station, which remained intact apart from minor damage). On 3 March 1945 US troops entered Krefeld. After the war the steelworks were to be dismantled, but this was prevented. The town became part of the new state of North Rhine-Westphalia after World War II.


Lünen 

Straße der SA then and now towards the market square. At 10:00 a.m. on June 29, Hitler toured the district Führerschule of the Labour Service at Buddenberg nearby. There he made a short speech, thanking the Reich leader of the Labour Service, former Colonel Hierl, for his support in building up the Labour Service:
That, dear Hierl, has been your great accomplishment. You have created the National Socialist Arbeitsdienst, and for that I may thank you, and for that the German Volk thanks you.
During Reichskristallnacht of November 1938 three Jewish citizens were killed (another dying later of his injuries). During the war 287 inhabitants were killed, 1083 injured and more than 2600 homes destroyed through incendiary and explosive bombs. Towards the end of the war, the Lippebrücke in the inner town was blown up German pioneers.
Bad Salzuflen
Bad Salzuflen 
On January 14, 1933 Hitler spoke to an audience of roughly 8,000 people here at the Kurhaus. The Sixth Panzer Army was created formally at Bad Salzuflen. The strategic location of Bad Salzuflen was rather insignificant and so was preserved largely during the Second World War from Allied bombing raids, and survived the war relatively unscathed after the war ended.

Schloss Nordkirchen

During the Third Reich when it served as the Gauschulungsburg der NSDAP and today. It had been largely built between 1703 and 1734 and is known as the "Versailles of Westphalia" since it is the largest of the fully or partly moated Wasserschlösser in that region. It was originally one of the residences of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster.nusinsel Moat, parterres and park  The schloss stands on a rectangular island surrounded by a broad moat-like canal. The island’s four corners are accentuated by four small free-standing pavilions.  The garden front gives onto a landscaped park of some 170 hectares, reached through a formal parterre of scrolling broderie on axis, flanked by expanses of lawn. The gardens and the surrounded woods are peopled with a multitude of lifesize marble statues, of which the first deliveries were made in 1721 by the Munich sculptor Johann Wilhelm Gröninger. Other sculptures were delivered by Panhoff and Charles Manskirch. Further sculptures were added during the restoration in neo-Baroque style, undertaken in 1903-07.
Selm
Haus Botzlar 
Haus Botzlar, dating from 1122, during the Nazi era flying the Nazi flag and now 


Duisburg

District office at Körnerplatz 1. Abovee the entrance is a reichadler with its swastika removed. A major logistical centre in the Ruhr and location of chemical, steel and iron industries, Duisburg was a primary target of Allied bombers. As such, it is considered by some historians to be the single most heavily bombed German city by the Allies during World War II, with industrial areas and residential blocks targeted by Allied incendiary bombs.  On the night of 12–13 June 1941, British bombers dropped a total of 445 tons of bombs in and around Duisburg. As part of the Battle of the Ruhr, another British raid of 577 bombers destroyed the old city between 12–13 May 1943 with 1,599 tons of bombs. During the bombing raids, 96,000 people were made homeless with countless lives lost.  In 1944 the city was again badly damaged as a total of 2,000 tons of bombs were dropped on 22 May. On 14 October, the tonnage was doubled to 2,018 tons when Halifax, Lancaster, and Mosquito bombers appeared over Duisburg as part of Operation Hurricane. This daylight raid was followed by a night attack; over 24 hours about 9,000 tons of HE and incendiaries had been dropped on Duisburg. Numerous similar attacks followed until the end of 1944.  The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Duisburg in April 1945. The US 17th Airborne Division, acting as regular infantry and not in a parachute role, met only scattered resistance in the vicinity and captured the city on 12 April 1945.  On 8 May 1945 the ADSEC Engineer Group A, led by Col. Helmer Swenholt, commanding officer of the 332nd Engineer General Service Regiment, constructed a railway bridge between Duisburg and Rheinhausen across the Rhine. This bridge was 860 meters long, and constructed in six days, fifteen hours and twenty minutes, a record time. This Bridge was named the "Victory Bridge". 
 
The Getreidespeicher der RWSG, completed 1934,  in 1940 and today. It was just south of here on April 21, 1945 that Field-Marshal Model, a long-standing favourite of Hitler, committed suicide in a wooded area.

Hilchenbach
 
The Youth Hostel under the Nazi era flying the swastika and today 

Lippstadt 
The 'Alten Börse' guesthouse established 1667, with a Nazi flag nearby.
Lippstadt is the largest town within the district of Soest. In 1944 a women's subcamp of Buchenwald was founded in Lippstadt. It was also the site of a displaced persons camp in the years following World War II. On 1 April 1945 the American 2nd Armoured Division made contact with the 3rd Armoured Division at Lippstadt, effecting junction of the US Ninth Army with the US First Army, and seized the city against scattered resistance. 

Werl
 
The birthplace of  former Chancellor Franz von Papen, who was born here in 1879 on Siederstraße, now Marktstraße 3. Originally designed as a three-lobe system, the house was built around 1730. The building was extensively renovated in 1980. It was until recently used as a public library but now serves as an office building.