Showing posts with label Rothenburg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rothenburg. Show all posts

More Remaining Nazi Sites in Franconia

and Nuremberg old town
and Franconia (2)

Birthplace of Colonel General Alfred Jodl, born 1890; Chief of Operations Staff of the OKW (the High Command of the Armed Forces) during World War II; sentenced to death and hanged in Nuremberg in 1946. Birthplace too of Gottfried Feder, born 1883, author of the pamphlet, Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft, State Secretary in the Reich Ministry of Economics from 1933 to 1934, died 1941 in Munich.
 Inauguration of Adolf-Hitler-Strasse, 1933; today it is Theaterstraße.
It was here in the capital of Lower Franconia on October 16 1932 that Hitler declared:
I do not believe that the struggle will ever really come to an end. Just as the peasant must till his field year after year, so must a statesman till his Volk over and over again. I see nothing burdensome, nothing forced in this struggle, but something very natural and necessary, and I am looking forward to duelling with these gentlemen
When Hitler himself visited the town, the Würzburger Hof was his hotel of choice
The Stadttheater during the Third Reich and today 
The Residenz. Hitler spoke at a mass rally on the square in front of the Würzburg Residenz on June 27 1937. In the course of the “party narrative,” Hitler called the National Socialist Revolution one of the most ingenious and important of all times. According to him, the Revolution had never transgressed the boundaries of legality.
Hence a new Volk was born—painfully, just as everything which is born can only be born in pain. Yet I believe that we can say, as history is our witness, that in no other case in history was this painful process carried out more intelligently, more reasonably, more cautiously, and with more feeling than here.
The future will one day describe this process as one of the most intelligent— and I may say so myself—one of the most brilliant ever to take place. As one of the most tremendous revolutions ever, the course of which did not abandon the premise of unconditional legality for a single second.
Hitler then proceeded to use the incidents in Spain to again vent his anger at international organisations. Toward the end of his address, Hitler spoke of the “resurrection of an entire nation,” which was visible on a reduced scale in the city of Würzburg. It was the third time Hitler had spoken there since 1932, although he had never particularly liked the town. Ignoring the official reception which had been prepared at the City Hall, he abruptly returned to his car and proceeded to the military airport on the outskirts of town.
The Weinhaus Kette from a 1938 postcard and today, the flag not being the only change.
Looking down Domstraße towards the Grafeneckart-Turm of the rathaus
Looking down Domstraße the other way towards the cathedral
Sanderglacisstraße officially renamed Schlageter-Straße on May 26
When a Duisburg bridge was blown up and nine people in a Belgian compartment on a train were killed, seven Germans were tried before a French military court and shot. In an Essen hotel, a young German, Albert Leo Schlageter, was arrested, taken for trial, tried, and executed. Despite the Nazis’ general dislike of the Ruhr resistance as not being aimed at the proper enemy (the Weimar government in Berlin), Schlageter was
adopted by the movement to serve as a martyr for the cause. 

The Gauhaus.The former Hotel "Crown Prince" was purchased in 1934 by the Nazi Party and expanded with an honorary hall and flags. In January 1935 the management of the Gau of Franconia moved here, and on 13 June 1935 the building was officially opened by Reichsleiter Rosenberg. It served as the seat of government of Gauleiter Dr. Hellmuth. 
The so-called Villa des Gauleiters, private villa of Gauleiter Dr. Otto Hellmuth at Rottendorfer- (at the time Ludendorff-) Straße 26. Over most of his term as Gauleiter, Hellmuth was not an impressive
personality with Joseph Goebbels describing him as "a most retiring unassuming Gauleiter in whom one had not too much confidence." However, Hellmuth defended his Gau vigorously in the spring of 1945, as Goebbels noted in his diary on April 2.  In 1947, Hellmuth was accused of complicity in the murders of Allied aircraft pilots. He was tried at Dachau and sentenced to death. This sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. He was released in 1955 and died in Reutlingen in 1968. 

The concrete bunker was located in the immediate vicinity of the Villa des Gauleiters beside the normal air-raid shelter. It served during the war as a command post in the district leadership. The bunker was demolished in June 1988.
In the Hall of Honour, the names of the movement's 'martyrs' from the Gau Franconia were commemorated and the names of the Würzburg Olympic champions recorded. The photo on the left shows Gauleiter Dr. Hellmuth welcoming Dr. Ley in the Hall of Honour on the occasion of the Gauhauses the selection of candidates for the training castle. 22nd March 1936.
The Standortlazarett, a large military hospital complex, was built in 1937,becoming one of the most noted works of this period. After taking power, the Nazis knew how to quickly establish good relations with the former Reichswehr. Würzburg was an old garrison town since the time of Balthasar Neumann and a connection with military traditions gave the system support the national bourgeoisie.
'Dr. Goebbels-Haus'- Headquarters of the Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund. The building had been completed in 1937 as the NSDStB camaraderie house and was dedicated to Goebbels because he had studied for some time before 1922 in Würzburg.
Large demonstration of the DAF in July, 1936 at the Residenzplatz

The Neue Universität, when it served the Association of university professors under the leadership and control of the Nazis, and today. University teachers were controlled by the Nationalsozialistische-Dozentenbund (NSDB—Nazi Lecturers League), a professional association of university lecturers designed to keep them in line with Nazi ideology. 
Site of the NS-Lehrerbund - Lehrerhochschule, completed in 1936.
Teachers were encouraged to join the Nazi Party and all of them had to be members of the Nationalsozialistische Lehrerbund (NSLB—Nazi teacher league). The monolithic NSLB, formed in November 1935, rejected the democratic heritage of the Weimar regime, and subjected all teachers to strict Nazi Party control. It had a newspaper, Der deutsche Erzieher (German Educator) and took charge of services to the teaching profession. After 1938, teachers were indoctrinated at a special, compulsory, one-month training course of drills and lectures where they learned what knowledge to pass on the pupils. By 1939 the forty-one NSLB training camps had prepared 215,000 members for their educational tasks—these being spirit of militarism, paganism, anti–Semitism, and the cult of the perfect “Aryan” racial type—by means of ideological instruction, propaganda courses, conferences, group travel, paramilitary physical training and field sports. There was also the Reichslehrerbund (RLB—Reich Teachers’ League), an organisation of teachers devoted to the ideals of Nazism, carefully watched by high Nazi officials. 
Palais Thüngen, the 'Braunes Haus' of the SA and Kraft durch Freude at Wilhelmstraße 5
Fritz-Schillinger-Haus, headquarters of the NS-Volkswohlfahrt (People's Welfare). Building on it started 3 May 1936 with the topping out ceremony taking place on 10 October 1936.
The former Gauschule der NSF which served to train those who would become leading functionaries.
 Headquarters of the NS-Frauenschaft, the Nazi Women's League. Their appointed tasks were to promote recycling within the Saar Palatinate, community support, business honorary service (replacement of workers on the machine by women and girls), sewing rooms, Harvest Help and patchwork bag action (repairing garments), and supporting the Kindertransport.  During the war their service for the Wehrmacht involved hospital care, soldiers' care, socks and glove supply, army kitchens, assistants for government agencies, facilitation for domestic helpers in Bad Kissingen, and
construction of hospital lights. Nevertheless, as Kater (74) wrote in
Hitler Youth,
As much as women might busy themselves in the service of Hitler’s movement, the popular consensus was that politics was a man’s game and they had better stay out of it. Thus conditioned, they acquiesced when Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess told comrades at the Nuremberg Party rally of 1938: “Talk to your wives only about such matters which are expressly designated for public discussion.”
The hauptbahnhof after being bombed by the RAF in 1945 and its current incarnation.
The attack on Würzburg on March 16, 1945, was far more ferocious—ninety percent of the city lay in ashes on the next morning. Würzburg was destroyed to a disproportionate extent, far greater than any other city in Germany. The outcome was all the more horrendous, as neither of the cities was prepared for such an attack at this late stage in the war. There is no substance to rumours then in circulation relating that the raids had been prompted by the extraordinary concentration of refugees at these sites. Neither do the facts support any of the other speculations current at the time, for instance the claim that the Soviet Union had a particular, though mysterious, interest in the destruction of these two sites and had pressured the Allies to make a last determined offensive there. 
Domarus (3243)
The remains of the Falkenhaus and its remarkable reconstruction 
 The site of Ecke Theatre on Kapuzinerstraße then and now
Hof Seebach then and now
The Bechtolsheimerhof on Hofstraße in 1959 and today 
Birthplace of German rococo sculptor Johann Peter Wagner, Stephanstraße, 1958 and today
Schottenkirche (Scots Church) after the war and the site today
The kriegerdenkmal designed by Fried Heuler then and now.   
The Studentenstein, honouring the so-called kindermord at  Langemarck during the First Battle of Ypres (which Hitler refers to in Mein Kampf), was later altered to sport swastikas and other Nazi iconography during the ns-zeit. Here it is shown with graffiti declaring "Deutsche Täter sind keine Opfer" (Perpetrators are not victims). 
 Americans marching away German POWs in front of the bombed Löwenbrücke with Festung Marienberg behind. 
Identical views of the city from the fortress immediately after the war and today.

This town of 100,000 is located just over ten miles north of Nuremberg. There are two notable examples of reichsadlers still existing:

The Amtsgericht
The reichsadler of the doorway of the Amtsgericht on Sieboltstraße 2


The entrance to Friedrich-Rückert-Schule at the Ohmplatz with a detail of the shield (dated 1936) and one of the carvings adorning the side of the door.
 Around the corner over another doorway is this disturbing reminder... Schoolchildren continuing to support the Nazi eagle, albeit without swastika. The school can be seen behind this monument celebrating the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990
Erlangen Schloss in 1936 and today 
 The headquarters of Siemens in the Himbeerpalast then and now

 The Bayerischer Hof on the site of what had been the Colosseum where Hitler had spoken several times.
 The Wehrmacht.marching down Heuwaagstraße in 1939
 “Juden sind hier nicht erwünscht”- Jews not wanted here on Nürnberger Tor, now gone
The hakenkreuz over the Frauenklinik on the 'Day of Potsdam' on March 21, 1933 nearly two months after Hitler had been "jobbed into office by the old guard" as chancellor of the Reich. This day of Hitler's visit to the aged President Hindenburg, who wore the uniform of the Imperial Field Marshal, was directed by Joseph Goebbels as a solemn act of state. This propaganda event was presented as a "legitimate heir" after the end of 1918, the lost empire. On the "Day of Potsdam" almost all public buildings were decorated with flags in the German empire with the swastika flag.
Until 1945, more than 500 women were sterilised at this Erlanger hospital for alleged hereditary disease. Almost all were of German nationality, most were unmarried, childless, and 26 to 30 years old. But women near menopause had surgery; the ages ranged from 13 (the youngest) to 48.Many of the women were inmates of the Hospital and Nursing Home Erlangen. Most sterilisation sentences were justified by the diagnosis "schizophrenia" (51%). "Congenital idiocy" was given in 29% of cases as a ground for sterilisation. Most sterilisation procedures were performed in the first years after the Act. In 1935, for example, every 16th woman to be included in the gynaecological department underwent forced sterilisation in the hospital. Some women were made barren by X-rays. The operation, however, was the method of choice. The gynaecologist squeezed the fallopian tubes with a clamp and tied them. For the doctors, it was done quickly. For the women, however, the operation meant a fateful intervention in body and life.
Ernst Rudin's Institute for Genealogy and Demography became one of the leading centres for race hygiene in Germany. Riidin, a psychiatrist,co-authored a book with Arthur Giitt and Falk Ruttke, a lawyer, which was a commentary on the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring passed on 14 July 1933—the Sterilization Law. The law stated that an individual could be sterilized if he or she suffered from a "genetic" illness including feeblemindedness, schizophrenia, and epilepsy. What began as legislation in America had finally also been realized in Germany. The
Sterilization Law was just the first step in measures to eliminate a whole group of people considered to be either genetically defective or racially inferior.
Macrakis (127-128) Surviving the Swastika: Scientific Research in Nazi Germany
Wehrmachtunterkunftheim (later the American Monteith Barracks)

Castle Veldenstein
30 km northeast from Nuremberg, this was Göring’s childhood home which, according to David Irving in Göring: A Biography (23) "left its most powerful mark on Göring’s childhood":
A towering jumble of castellated walls, built and rebuilt over nine hundred years on the site of an old fortress fifteen miles from the city, Veldenstein Castle had begun to decay during the nineteenth century. In 1889 stones had crumbled onto four houses beneath, and the then-owner, Nuremberg businessman Johann Stahl, decided to unload it onto some unsuspecting purchaser. “Army physician Dr. Hermann Epenstein” (no von then), “property owner of Berlin,” bought it for twenty thousand marks on November 29, 1897; over the next forty years, until it was formally deeded to Field Marshal Hermann Göring on Christmas Eve, 1938, this philanthropic gentleman would pour one and a half million marks into the renovation and reconstruction of its keep, its roof timbers, its inner and outer fortifications. Veldenstein Castle was the romantic setting for Hermann’s boyhood. Undoubtedly Epenstein had provided it to the Göring family out of a sense of obligation to the elderly former colonial governor, Dr. Göring, whose young wife he had taken quite openly as his mistress.
From page 15 of Adolf Hitler, Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers and looking at the town from the same angle today with the church and schloss in the background.
Hitler with his adjutants Wilhelm Brückner and Julius Schaub in 1936 from page 10 of Adolf Hitler, Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers in front of the war memorial between Hilpoltstein and Kappel and the site today.

The Mühlgraben from a Nazi-era postcard and today
Dr.-Martin-Luther-Straße by Ludwig  Mößler from the book Fränkische Städtebilder. Nürnberg/ Rothenburg/ Dinkelsbühl published in 1940 and today

Hitler at the Festspielhaus 
 The Haus der Deutschen Erziehung (House of German Education) and its current incarnation.
 The fresco on the Rotmainhalle, built in 1935, is from the prominent artist during the NS-zeit Oskar Martin-Amorbach.
Restaurant Eule, Siegfried Wagner’s favourite restaurant, which Hitler visited during the 1925 Bayreuther Festspiele.


The Gasthof Zur Behringersmühle where Hitler is shown visiting in 1931, after the war and today.

Bad Berneck
 13 km northeast of Bayreuth is Bad Berneck im Fichtelgebirge. Here is Adolf Hitlerplatz with the schlossturm then and today
The Hotel Bube in Bad Berneck where Hitler would stay during his pilgrimages to Bayreuth hasn't changed at all.
 After 1933, other long-established festivals, carnivals and fairs in Germany  were similarly transformed into events that openly celebrated the Nazi regime. Their host cities in turn often became loci of Nazi tourist culture. Bayreuth is a good example. Its annual Wagner Festival welcomed Hitler and his entourage every summer; by 1933, the Manchester Guardian was reporting that the event now resembled a ‘Hitler Festival’. During the rest of the year, even when the Festspielhaus sat empty, it attracted Hitler devotees as well as Wagner fans. Tourist material lauded Hitler’s special affection for the town and its operas. Postcards even depicted the Hotel Bube in Bad Berneck, just north of Bayreuth, where he stayed during the festival every year.
Semmens (65) Seeing Hitler’s Germany
The flags outside the rathaus have all been changed since. It was here in Kulmbach on February 5 1928 that Hitler gave a speech declaring that
The idea of struggle is as old as life itself, for life is only preserved because other living things perish through struggle. ... In this straggle, the stronger, the more able, win, while the less able, the weak, lose. Struggle is the father of all things. ... It is not by the principles of humanity that man lives or is able to preserve himself above the animal world, but solely by means of the most brutal struggle. ... If you do not fight for life, then life will never be won.

 Hitlerjugend in the main square with Plassenburg castle in the background and marching down a road
At Spitalgaße 2 was the "Damen- und  Herrenkonfektions" owned by Franz Weiß  and his son-in-law Georg before being 'aryanised.' 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Dedication of the SA-Sturmfahne by the protestant minister and NSDAP member Max Sauerteig from Ansbach in front of the Seelbrunnen on Kapellenplatz in 1933
The main square and rathaus

In 1945 and today
Hitler leaving the Hotel Eisenhut in 1935
The Marktplatz then and now; the Loewen Apotheke is still operating 
Major Kraus presents the Rothenburger Soldatenkmeradschaft in front of the Gasthof Marktplatz in 1935 and today
Oil paintings by Ludwig Mossler from the book Fränkische Städtebilder. Nürnberg/ Rothenburg/ Dinkelsbühl published in 1940 and today
The entrance to the old rathaus
Looking along Markusturm in 1934 and today. According to Kristin Semmens in her book Seeing Hitler's Germany: Tourism in the Third Reich (95),
In Rothenburg ob der Tauber, anti-Semitism became a central component of the tourist experience. In 1937, the town erected four wooden, handcrafted plaques on its medieval gates. They bore stereotypical images of ‘the Jew’ and a number of anti-Semitic texts, which visitors could purchase in the form of postcards. KdF holidaymakers were greeted there with speeches about local anti-Semitic agitation in the Middle Ages.
The Weißer Turm then and now

 The Herterichbrunnen dating from 1608

Another fountain beside the Hotel  Hotel Bären on Hofbronnengasse which was the site of a 1929 battle between the SA and members of the Sozialdemokraten
The Goldenes Fass

American soldiers in front of the Spitalbastei on April 17, 1945.

This was built in the mid 1930s to honour the war dead of the Great War. The reichsadler has long since been removed.


Rudolf Hess's Grave in Wunsiedel. Both the gravesite at Kath. Kirche u. Friedhof and town have been the focus of attention for fascists and anti-fascists alike. Neo-Nazi groups had organised memorial marches each 17 August, the anniversary of his death in 1987. The number of participants rose from 120 in 1988 to more than 1,100 in 1990 before being banned by the state.
Rudolf Hess exhumed to deter neo-Nazis
The remains of Rudolph Hess, Hitler's former deputy, have now been exhumed. Officials removed the tomb and headstone in order to prevent hoards of neo-Nazi pilgrims descending on the small community. Every year on August 17 hundreds of Nazi sympathisers commemorate the death of Hess. After being exhumed Hess's bones were taken to a crematorium, and his ashes scattered at sea. The action was taken after consultation with his remaining family. Karl-Willi Beck, 56, who has been mayor of Wunsiedel since 2002, said the cemetery administrators removed Hess’s remains and his gravestone early Wednesday. “It was the right thing to do,” Mr. Beck said.
The Koppetentor itself is well-preserved

As is the Brunnenbuberl and the memorial to writer Jean Paul (Johann Paul Friedrich Richter)

Bad Kissingen
The swastika flying at the Marktplatzecke with the former Hotel Wittelsbach in the foreground then and now. The site on July 10 1866 of fierce battle between Bavarian and Prussian troops, Kissingen is where Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck narrowly avoided assassination by Eduard Franz Ludwig Kullmann in 1874. Bismarck’s former home in Kissingen is now the Bismarck Museum. 
Shortly prior to World War II Manteuffel Kaserne (Manteuffel Barracks) was established at the eastern edge of the Bad Kissingen town center by the German military as part of Hitler's program to expand the German "Wehrmacht" (Army). In 1945, the American military entered the town peacefully, and took over the Kaserne, which was renamed Daley Barracks in 1953.