Showing posts with label Obersalzburg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obersalzburg. Show all posts

Obersalzberg

Hitler came to the Obersalzberg for the first time in the spring of 1923, on a clandestine visit to Dietrich Eckart, a fellow National Socialist and important figure in Hitler’s rise to prominence, who was hiding on the Obersalzberg to escape a court order. Hitler immediately fell in love with the scenic area and came back on a regular basis. When he was released from prison after his putsch of 1923, he withdrew to Berchtesgaden to dictate the second volume of Mein Kampf. In the late 1920s, Hitler rented a house on the Obersalzberg that he later bought and expanded into an imposing residence, the so-called Berghof, which served as the de facto seat of government when he was present. For Hitler, the Obersalzberg was a retreat from the demands of the ministerial bureaucracy, a place with- out self-important bureaucrats who constantly disturbed his bohemian lifestyle. In addition to Hitler’s residence, numerous buildings were built to provide for the Fuehrer’s comfort and security,whereas the local population was forced to leave, often without proper compensation. Hermann Goering, Albert Speer, and Martin Bormann also built personal homes in close proximity to the dictator. Martin Bormann was the driving force behind construction on the Obersalzberg, and his fervour soon moved far beyond mere necessities. As a trained farmer, Bormann set up a farm on the Obersalzberg that was intended as a model for the prospective colonization of Eastern Europe. However, the enterprise was a blatant failure, and the farm ran up a huge deficit because of the harsh environmental conditions. The most costly project was the construction of a lodge on the Kehlstein Mountain above the Obersalzberg at an altitude of 6,100 feet, a spectacular house that Bormann envisioned as the Nazi party’s gift for Hitler’s fiftieth birthday on April 20, 1939. It turned out to be an exemplary case of the Nazis’ wastefulness: Hitler rarely visited the Kehlsteinhaus because of his vertigo, and the building served no military purposes, in spite of Allied suspicion to the contrary; to this day, English-language publications are available in the Berchtesgaden region which promise an account of “Hitler’s alleged mountain fortress.”
Major political acts took place on the Obersalzberg: in February 1938, Austrian chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg arrived at the Berghof in a vain attempt to fend off the annexation of his country; half a year later, prime minister Neville Chamberlain visited Hitler’s mountain resort for negotiations that led to the Munich agreement of September 1938, the culmination of Chamberlain’s ill-fated appeasement policy. It was on the Obersalzberg that Hitler drafted instructions to the German Wehrmacht for the invasion of Poland; on June 6, 1944, Hitler slept on the Obersalzberg whilst Allied forces were landing in Normandy. Hitler left the Berghof for the last time on July 14, 1944.
Panorama by Hoffmann of the Obersalzberg in 1941 and its ruins post-bellum

Berchtesgaden
video
The reichsadler still looks over the town. On the right is a tour of Berchtesgaden showing all the main sites described below. Berchtesgaden is a town in southern Bavaria on the border with Austria. Although Berchtesgaden itself is nestled in a deep valley, it lent its name to Adolf Hitler’s retreat, officially known as the Berghof, on the Obersalzberg, 1,640 feet above the town. Also perched on the Obersalzberg were chalets occupied by Hermann Göring and Martin Bormann, among other top-ranking Nazis. To all appearances a large holiday retreat, the Berghof was often used by Hitler for important conferences, including that with Austrian chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg in February 1938, compelling him to accept Anschluss, and the meeting with prime minister Neville Chamberlain in September 1938, in which Hitler presented his demands with regard to Czechoslovakia. A network of bunkers and air raid shelters existed under the Berghof, and a private elevator, its shaft cut through solid rock, connected it with Hitler’s sanctum sanctorum, “Eagle’s Nest,” at the very top of the mountain. The Berghof proper was destroyed in an Allied air raid in April 1945, and the building’s ruins were razed in 1952. A stand of trees was planted on the site. The Eagle’s Nest survived the bombing and is now a teahouse, which may be visited by tourists.
The Duke of Windsor, formerly HM King Edward VIII, arriving in 1937 and reviewing a squad of ϟϟ with Robert Ley before meeting Hitler at the Berghof.  To Hitler's mind,
His successor, the weak and ill-prepared King George VI, was wholly in the grip of his "evil and anti-German advisers." When Edward, now Duke of Windsor, visited Berchtesgaden in October 1937 he told Hitler much that confirmed this view. Unfortunately, the record of their meeting would also vanish from the files captured in 1945. Hitler's War (46)
Berchtesgaden Train Station
In front of the station and Hitler's own private entrance, constructed in 1940
Main Square

 

The Post Office
 The swastika from the fresco has been airbrushed away.


Town Hall (Rathaus)

Standing in front of the Rathaus and when the Yanks arrived, April 1945


The fresco on the right replaced the earlier one that celebrated the killing of Soviet soldiers
Берхтесгаден

Hotel zum Türken
The former base for the Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler and today, the watchtower continuing to serve the entrance to the building.


The Berghof

In the summer of 1935 Hitler had decided to enlarge his modest country house into one more suitable for his public duties, to be known as the Berghof. He paid for the project out of his own money, but that was nothing but a gesture, since Bormann drew upon other sources for the subsidiary buildings, sums disproportionately greater than the amount Hitler himself provided.
Hitler did not just sketch the plans for the Berghof. He borrowed drawing board, T-square, and other implements from me to draw the ground plan, renderings, and cross sections of his building to scale, refusing any help with the matter. There were only two other designs on which Hitler expended the personal care that he applied to his Obersalzberg house: that of the new Reich war flag and his own standard as Chief of State.
Speer (85) Inside the Third Reich
The remains of the Berghof in April 1945 and today

Photos taken July 5, 1945

Berchtesgadener hof
HITLER HAD RETURNED to the Berghof, high above the little Alpine town of Berchtesgaden, early on February 6, 1938. It was here that he always came when he had to ponder the path ahead. Ever since he had first been driven up the rough mountain paths on the pillion seat of a motorbike, he had been in love with this Obersalzberg mountainside – a green ridge straddling lakes and pine forests, velvet pastures and dairy herds. Here in the late 1920s he had purchased a cottage with the royalties earned by Mein Kampf and articles published under a pseudonym by the Hearst Press and the New York Times in America. Around this cottage he had built his Berghof. The air up here was clean and pure. ‘Fresh air is the finest form of nourishment,’ he would say.
David Irving, Hitler's War, p.99
According to Adolf Hitler, Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers (1936)

If at times it seems that the work on the Obersalzberg will never come to an end, The Leader will then take a short, bracing walk to give him new vigour, and it is immaterial to him whether the hot summer sun is beating down, or crisp snow is covering the mountains, or rain is pelting down, or mists are obscuring the visibility. These walks are not always sheer pleasure for his entourage, who, in the cities, have grown out of the habit of mountain climbing. The Leader walks very quickly, and even fit people often find it difficult to keep pace with him. Consequently many Adjutants often have problems keeping up the tempo. While they are already exhausted and out of breath, The Leader continues briskly and effortlessly.
In fact, 
Hitler’s mountain retreat on the Obersalzberg near Berchtesgaden, one of the most scenic parts of Bavaria, did not imply an emotional attachment to nature. For Hitler, the Alpine scenery was little more than a backdrop to show himself against and a refuge from the ministerial bureaucracy in Berlin. “He had no eye for the beauty of nature,” Ernst Hanfstaengl, a close associate of Hitler in the 1920s, wrote in his memoirs, describing Hitler as “a city person who only felt at home on cobblestones.” While Goering, one of only three senior Nazis allowed to own a house on the Obersalzberg, went on hiking and climbing excursions in the nearby Watzmann mountain range, Hitler never sought to explore the Obersalzberg on foot. Because he abhorred physical stress, Hitler’s walks on the Obersalzberg always led gently downhill to a special tea house, where a car was waiting to carry him back up again. In Mein Kampf, Hitler was full of praise for the merits of physical training, but he obviously made an exception for himself.   
                  Uekoetter  (32) The Green and the Brown
A terrific website showing the site today can be found at: http://chrishowells.co.uk/?page_id=22&cpage=1#comment-20482.

Gasthaus der Platterhof. Hotel at Hitler's home with view of Berchtesgaden.

The main windows of his Berghof residence offered a panoramic view of the Untersberg, a mountain right on the border between Germany and Austria. Thus, the mountain symbolized the unification of the countries that Hitler achieved with the Anschluss of 1938, and in one of his wartime monologues, Hitler referred to this view as illustrative of his longing for the Austrian Heimat. But there was a second story that was even more troubling. A local legend had it that the Untersberg was the seat of the dormant Charlemagne, who was waiting, together with his heroic army, for a time of awakening. When the right time had come, Charlemagne would emerge from the Untersberg and reunite the German nation. With fantasies about a German awakening ripe after the defeat in World War I, it is not difficult to imagine the associations that the story evoked in the interwar years, and it is little wonder that Hitler liked the tale. Living across from the Untersberg Mountain, he saw fulfilling Charlemagne’s mystic mission as his personal goal.
But there was a third local legend about the place. If Hitler looked left while standing on his porch, he would see the Watzmann, a mountain range that was even more imposing than the Untersberg. The legend about the Watzmann took place in an age of giants, when king Watzmann, a cruel ruler and enemy of peasants and herdsmen, went hunting with his family. His chase brought him to a family that was peacefully watching its gazing animals. The king’s dogs attacked and killed the family and the herd, while the ruler watched the murderous scene with boisterous pleasure.
But then thunder arose, and the dogs, thirsty for blood, turned against king Watzmann and tore him and his family apart. Their bodies turned into stone and became what is today the Watzmann mountain range.45 The tale clearly mirrored the perpetual conflicts between the nobility and the peasantry over the former’s hunting privileges in the premodern era, but it is also open to a more current interpretation. After all, the story implies a clear-cut indictment of tyranny, along with the promise that a tyrannical ruler would ultimately face a just revenge. It might be a good idea, for the citizens of Berchtesgaden, to tell this story more often.
  Uekoetter  (182-183) The Green and the Brown

The Berghof in 1940 and 1946


Bunker Complex under Berghof
video video
Rarely seen 1945 footage of the first American soldier entering the already partially looted Hitler's private bunker under the Berghof, near Berchtesgaden.
Entrance to the bunker complex under the current hotel area. It led to Hitler's Berghof and homes of other leaders.
 The photo on the left shows the underground hospital ward
Behind the door on the left is the entrance from the bunker to the Berghof itself whilst the photo on the right shows one of the hallways that went to the bunkers under Bormann's house and the ϟϟ barracks. Neither the tunnels nor the buildings exist today.
The Cross of Lorraine indicates French troops came to liberate the wine
Reinforced walls contained the machine-gun defence

Air vents to the bunker complex
On April 25, 1945, an air raid levelled the Nazi installations on the Obersalzberg, and what was left of Hitler’s Berghof was blown up in 1952. The American military opened a hotel, “General Walker,” on the Obersalzberg, Bormann’s farm was transformed into a golf course, and though the goal to provide for the recreation of soldiers was paramount, the American presence on the Obersalzberg gave the German government a convenient excuse for not dealing with the area’s heritage. In fact, the American military did little in the way of exorcising the demons of the place, and even rebaptised the Kehlsteinhaus the “Eagle’s Nest,” a problematic title given the fact that the eagle has traditionally served as a symbol of imperial power. However, facing up to the place’s history became crucial when the American military announced its withdrawal from the Obersalzberg in 1995, and the Bavarian government realized that the place called for sensitivity: simply replacing the military use with a civilian one was out of the question. It asked the renowned Institute of Contemporary History in Munich to set up a museum to provide an account of both the place’s history and Nazi rule in general. Opened in October 1999, the Dokumentation Obersalzberg drew some 110,000 visitors in its first year alone, a testimony to the enduring public interest in the history of Nazi Germany. However, the ghosts of the past continue to haunt the place: when the Intercontinental hotel group opened a mountain resort on the Obersalzberg in 2005, it became one of the most publicized hotel openings in German history and certainly the most controversial: more than 5,000 articles, from London’s Telegraph to the New Strait Times of Singapore, commented on the project. This is all the more remarkable because Inter-continental had conceived the hotel with sensitivity and painstaking diligence. The hotel’s design avoided any allusion to Nazi monumentalism or voelkisch splendour, and the management mandated a two-day training course for its employees so that they could answer the guests’ questions in a decent and proper way. Contracts provide for the instant discharge of employees involved in neo-Nazi activities, and house rules reserve a similar right with respect to guests. Still, the thoughtful preparations did not quell doubts about the project’s wisdom. Few observers offered an outright condemnation of the project, but many wondered whether the Obersalzberg was really the right spot for a cozy hotel.

Stangass Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden




Reichsadler still present after 70 years....
On January 18, 1937 during the roofing ceremony took place at the site of the Chancellery’s new office building, State Secretary Lammers expounded upon the indispensability of such a structure to house a branch of the Reich Government by stating, “The Führer is always on duty, no matter whether it is during the week, on the weekend or while he is on vacation.” 
Lammers’ choice of the word “vacation” in this context was most unfortunate. It was Hitler’s personal conviction that since he was always on duty, he could never be “on vacation.” He liked to claim for himself that he had never had more than “three days of leave” in his entire life. In the course of the festivities, Hitler delivered a ‘secret speech’ to the construction workers, describing himself as “one to have emerged from amongst their ranks.”
Doramus (860)
Landhaus Göring

Then and today, showing steps leading up to the former Landhaus Göring, constructed by Alois Degano- the first house in Berchtesgaden to have a 30 foot by 60 foot swimming pool in the yard.
As the towns and cities crumpled in ruins, Göring vacationed at his mountain villa above Berchtesgaden, inferring that provided he did not bomb Churchill, the latter, being a gentleman, would not bomb him. That spring of 1943 he met only infrequently with his Führer, now recuperating himself from the winter’s ordeals only a few hundred yards up the Obersalzberg hillside and brooding upon Citadel, his coming great tank offensive at Kursk.
Irving (566) Göring: A Biography
Atelier Speer
Unchanged after 70 years


Bormann House
Then and what's left of it today.
In addition to Hitler’s residence, numerous buildings were built to provide for the Fuehrer’s comfort and security, whereas the local population was forced to leave, often without proper compensation. Hermann Goering, Albert Speer, and Martin Bormann also built personal homes in close proximity to the dictator. Martin Bormann was the driving force behind construction on the Obersalzberg, and his fervour soon moved far beyond mere necessities. As a trained farmer, Bormann set up a farm on the Obersalzberg that was intended as a model for the prospective colonization of Eastern Europe. However, the enterprise was a blatant failure, and the farm ran up a huge deficit because of the harsh environmental conditions.
          Uekoetter  (179) The Green and the Brown
An aerial view of Hitler’s retreat, four miles east of the railyards in the town of Berchtesgaden. This photo was taken in February 1945 before the area was bombed. 1: The Wachenfels or Berghof, Hitler’s housing complex; 2: SS Barracks; 3: the Platterhof hotel; 4: Martin Bormann’s house.



The Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)
In the summer of 1937, Martin Bormann had observed how his Chief liked strolling down to the tea pavilion; he decided to construct for the Fuhrer a new teahouse to rival any other in the world. That August Bormann had selected the craggy peak of the 5,500-foot Kehlstein, not far from the Berghof, and personally hammered in the marking pegs together with Fritz Todt. By September 16, 1938, this ‘Eagle’s Nest’ was finished. At four P.M. Hitler, Todt, and Bormann drove up to the new eyrie – Bormann proud, but Hitler sceptical. He had known nothing of Bormann’s surprise plan until it was too late to revoke; according to Julius Schaub, Hitler blamed it on Bormann’s folie des grandeurs, smiled indulgently, and let himself be persuaded that it would serve to impress foreign visitors.
The new road ended some way below the Kehlstein’s peak. A parking area had been blasted out of the rockface, into which were set massive bronze doors, topped with a granite slab reading ‘Built 1938.’ The doors swung open and the car drove on into the mountain along a 170-yard tunnel wide enough for two cars to pass. At the tunnel’s end was a circular vault not unlike a church choir: facing them were bronze sliding doors. Bormann invited Hitler into the windowless room beyond the doors – an elevator with walls of polished brass, mirrors, and upholstered chairs. They were lifted to the very crest of the Kehlstein.
As Hitler stepped out, he found himself looking over a view even more majestic than from the Berghof. Hitler spent an hour up here. He was in fact silently alarmed by the thumping of his heart at this altitude, and he was short of breath (this he told his doctors). On the next day, the seventeenth, he took Dr. Goebbels and his senior henchmen up to this mountaintop retreat and briefed them about the talks with Chamberlain – this ‘ice-cool,’ calculating Englishman. He expressed high praise for their propaganda effort, saying: ‘We’ve half won the war already.’ Goebbels was optimistic that Prague would buckle under the war of nerves, but Hitler disagreed. ‘In 1948,’ he explained, ‘it will be just three hundred years since the Peace of Münster. We’ve got to liquidate that peace treaty by then.’ He visited this lofty eyrie only once more over the next few days, and only seldom afterward. 
David Irving (120-121) Hitler's War
video video
Driving up from Berchtesgaden to the Eagle's Nest along the road made by Italians; a formidable technical feat- passing through five tunnels and offering breathtaking views. It climbs a dramatic 1,300 feet (800 metres) in just 3.9 miles (6.5 km). The Kehlsteinhaus was commissioned by Nazi party official Martin Bormann as a surprise birthday present for Adolf Hitler. From start to finish, the entire construction project – including the road – was completed in just 13 months. It was built under harsh conditions with machinery considered primitive by today’s standards. The project concluded in August 1938, prior to its formal presentation to Hitler on his 50th birthday on April 20, 1939. The right video shows a tour leading to and of the Eagle's Nest shot in 2007. At the end of the video is a couple of shots of the train station at Berchtesgaden, including Hitler's private terminal.
Berchtesgaden’s creepiest – yet impressive – draw is the Eagle’s Nest atop Mt Kehlstein, a sheer-sided peak at Obersalzberg. Martin Bormann, one of Hitler’s leading henchmen, got 3000 workers to carve the steep road in only 13 months and to build this lofty retreat for the Führer’s 50th birthday. Perched at 1834m, the innocent-looking lodge (called Kehlsteinhaus in German) is in an achingly scenic spot with sweeping views across the mountains and down into the valley where the Königssee shimmers like an emerald jewel. Ironically, Hitler is said to have suffered from vertigo and rarely enjoyed the spectacular views himself.
The Kehlsteinhaus opens to visitors from mid-May to October. It’s both a splendid and a disturbing spot, but frankly, even just getting up there is a lot of fun. Drive or take bus 849 from the Berchtesgaden Hauptbahnhof to the Kehlstein stop, where you board a special bus (www.kehlsteinhaus.de; adult/child €13/12) that drives you up the mountain. It runs between 7.20am and 4pm, and takes 35 minutes. The final 124m stretch to the summit is in a luxurious, brass-clad lift. The Kehlsteinhaus now contains a restaurant (%2969; mains €6-13; h8.20am- 5pm) that donates profits to charity. - Lonely Planet (158)

On April 20, 1939, Hitler received an extraordinary fiftieth birthday present from Martin Bormann, the man who would later become his private secretary and one of the most powerful figures in wartime Germany. Perched on top of the Kehlstein mountain, six thousand feet above the Nazi elite's Obersalzberg playground, the Eagle's Nest was a magnificent granite lodge built in the best vôlkisch style. Apart from its fireplace, a gift from Mussolini, and the carpet in the main hall, which had been sent to Hitler by the Emperor Hirohito, every part of it was of impeccably German origin. To get Hitler there, Fritz Todt - the builder of the Autobahnen and the Siegfried Line - had constructed a winding four-mile road up the mountainside, a remark- able feat of engineering in its own right, the more remarkable for having been partly built in the depths of the Alpine winter. A torch-lit pedestrian tunnel, more than 300 yards long, led to a sumptuous brass-panelled elevator, the shaft for which had been blasted out of the mountain's core. By these means the Fiihrer was elevated to the literal pinnacle of his power. From here it seemed as if the whole of Europe lay prostrate beneath his famously piercing gaze. If the Nazi empire was Mordor, then this was Sauron's Tower.
Sadly for Bormann, Hitler hated it. The tunnel to the lift made him claustrophobic and the outlook from the top gave him vertigo. But in one respect the Eagle's Nest provided inspiration, in the form of its magnificent view of the mountain known as the Untersberg. Here, according to legend, lay slumbering the twelfth-century Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick I: Friedrich Barbarossa. It seemed an appropriate name to give to the most ambitious military operation - and the most bloody act of betrayal - of the twentieth century.
Ferguson (428-9) The War of the World

The ruins of it after the war


 In summer and winter 193, under American occupation and today

American GIs at the entrance to the 130 metre-long tunnel leading to the lift with 1938 foundation stone (weighing three tonnes) above and standing in front in 2007

Inside the 126 mile long tunnel, built from marble from Kaelberstein, to the lift, then and now

Furniture in lift waiting room (whose mortarless marble blocks come from Ruhpolding) that remains still whilst the lift itself sports brass walls. The lift is of solid brass and was designed by Professor Roderich Fick.
 
The Scharitzkehlzimmer or so-called Eva Braun Room and standing inside today, stripped of its RM 24,000 Gobelin tapestry



 Large hall during Hitler's time, now serving as a restaurant

Hitler and Eva Braun on the left, and Albert Speer, Gretl Braun and Christa Schroeder centre before the fireplace. Speer recorded in Inside the Third Reich (342) how
I sat in the group at the fireplace as in the past, with him, Eva Braun, and his court. The conversation trickled along dully; Bormann proposed that records be played A Wagner aria was put on, and soon afterward Die Fledermaus.

The site of the June 3, 1944 reception after the wedding of Eva Braun's younger sister Gretl to SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein, later shot in the last days of the bunker On the right is Hitler's own painting of the room...
As well as his initial sketch of the tearoom and kitchen

 
 The dining room
 
video
Hitler on the terrace and a brief tour of the Eagle's Nest 


 The terrace then and now, covered over by windows
From Florian Beierl's History of The Eagle's Nest


The Kehlsteinhouse shown on top, with what had really served as Hitler's teehaus below on the Mooslahnerkopf with the same site from my guesthouse at night, still eerily lit up.The Eagle's Nest's website: http://www.eagles-nest.de/index2_e.htm


Mooslahnerkopf Teehaus
Pictures of this teahouse then and now. The Teehaus on the Mooslahnerkopf, built in 1937 just below the Mooslahnerkopf hill overlooking the Berchtesgaden valley below, was one of Hitler's favourite places on the Obersalzberg which he would visit daily whenever in the area. The building survived the 1945 bombing, but was obliterated soon after the war with the ruins left in the woodland near the 13th hole of the Gutshof golf course until finally removed in September 2006.
The teahouse had been built at one of Hitler's favourite lookout points above the Berchtesgaden valley. The company always marvelled at the panorama in the same phrases. Hitler always agreed in much the same language. The teahouse itself consisted of a round room about twenty- five feet in diameter, pleasing in its proportions, with a row of small-paned windows and a :6replace along the interior wall. The company sat in easy chairs around the round table, with Eva Braun and one of the other ladies again at Hitler's side. Those who did not find seats went into a small adjoining room. According to taste, one had tea, coffee, or chocolate, and various types of cake and cookies, followed by liqueurs. Here, at the coffee table, Hitler was particularly fond of drifting into endless monologues. The subjects were mostly familiar to the company, who therefore listened absently, though pretending attention. Occasionally
Hitler himself fell asleep over one of his monologues. The company then continued chatting in whispers, hoping that he would awaken in time for the evening meal. It was all very familial. 
Speer (89) Inside the Third Reich
 The Gästehaus Hoher Göll, now the Obersalzberg Documentation Centre


The Platterhof, with the Hoher Göll in the background. Of the former, Shirer wrote how
In 1923 Eckart and Esser stumbled upon the Platterhof, an inn near Berchtesgaden, as a summer retreat for Hitler and his friends. Hitler fell in love with the lovely mountain country; it was here that he later built the spacious villa, Berghof, which would be his home and where he would spend much of his time until the war years.   
This would culminate, as Kershaw records, in one of several such speeches he gave between autumn 1943 and summer 1944 to a "sizeable number of generals and other senior officers, who had been participants in ideological training-courses and were ready to return to the front, [who] had been summoned
on 26 May in the Platterhof, the big hotel adjacent to the Berghof on the site of the far more modest Pension Moritz, where Hitler had stayed in the 1920s. A central passage in the speech touched on the ‘Final Solution’. Hitler spoke of the Jews as a ‘foreign body’ in the German people which, though not all had understood why he had to proceed ‘so brutally and ruthlessly’, it had been essential to expel. He came to the key point. ‘In removing the Jews,’ he went on, ‘I eliminated in Germany the possibility of creating some sort of revolutionary core or nucleus. You could naturally say: Yes, but could you not have done it more simply – or not more simply, since everything else would have been more complicated – but more humanely? Gentlemen,’ he continued, ‘we are in a life- or-death struggle. If our opponents are victorious in this struggle, the German people would be eradicated. Bolshevism would slaughter millions and millions and millions of our intellectuals. Anyone not dying through a shot in the neck would be deported. The children of the upper classes would be taken away and eliminated. This entire bestiality has been organized by the Jews.’ He spoke of 40,000 women and children being burnt to death through the incendiaries dropped on Hamburg, adding: ‘Don’t expect anything else from me except the ruthless upholding of the national interest in the way which, in my view, will have the greatest effect and benefit for the German nation.’ At this the officers burst into loud and lasting applause. He continued: ‘Here just as generally, humanity would amount to the greatest cruelty towards one’s own people. If I already incur the Jews’ hatred, I at least don’t want to miss the advantages of such hatred.’ Shouts of ‘quite right’ were heard from his audience. ‘The advantage,’ he went on, ‘is that we possess a cleanly organized entity with which no one can interfere. Look in contrast at other states. We have gained insight into a state which took the opposite route: Hungary. The entire state undermined and corroded, Jews everywhere, even in the highest places Jews and more Jews, and the entire state covered, I have to say, by a seamless web of agents and spies who have desisted from striking only because they feared that a premature strike would draw us in, though they waited for this strike. I have intervened here too, and this problem will now also be solved.’ He cited once again his ‘prophecy’ of 1939, that in the event of another war not the German nation but Jewry itself would be ‘eradicated’. The audience vigorously applauded. Continuing, he underlined ‘one sole principle, the maintenance of our race’. What served this principle, he said, was right; what detracted from it, wrong. He concluded, again to storms of applause, by speaking of the ‘mission’ of the German people in Europe. As always, he posed stark alternatives: defeat in the war would mean ‘the end of our people’, victory ‘the beginning of our domination over Europe’.

 Then and now

Bad Reichenhall

The swastika at the former General Ritter von Tutschek Kaserne has been transformed into an edelweiss.  On July 2, Hitler delivered a speech at a Führertagung of the SA, SS and Stahlhelm in Bad Reichenhall, after which he declared that
Under the leadership of the Chief of Staff of the SA, a convention of high- ranking SA and SS leaders took place in Bad Reichenhall from July 1 to July 3, to which the Bundesführer, Seldte, and numerous high-ranking leaders of the Stahlhelm were invited. The convention, which was designed particularly to promote the mutual acquaintance of leaders fighting in a single front, was characterized by a spirit of sincerity and comradeship. The common goal and the personal solidarity of the newly created soldierly front hold the promise of a lasting fighting community. In agreement with Bundesführer Seldte, I thus order as follows:
The entire Stahlhelm will be placed under the command of the Supreme SA Command and reorganized according to its guidelines. At the orders of the Supreme SA Command, the Jungstahlhelm and the sports units will be restructured by the Stahlhelm offices in accordance with the units of the SA. This transformation must be concluded by the date still to be determined by the Supreme SA Command. The Bundesführer shall issue the requisite commands in respect to the remaining sections of the Stahlhelm. As a demonstration of the solidarity of the Stahlhelm with the National Socialist Movement, these sections of the Stahlhelm shall wear a field-grey armband with a black swastika on a white background. I hereby bestow upon the Jungstahlhelm and the sports units which are part of my SA the armband of their organization and the national emblem to be worn on their caps between the cockades. The implementation provisions will be issued by the Chief of Staff. 
Adolf Hitler
On 25 April 1945, the area was bombed by allied forces, 200 people were killed. The town centre with many hospitals and the train station was nearly totally destroyed, the barracks didn't suffer any damage. On 8 May 1945, a dozen French POWs from the SS Division Charlemagne were executed without trial on the orders of General Leclerc. After World War II the area was under American military governance (1945–1948).
 
The Saalachsee  at Bad Reichenhall