Showing posts with label Schweigen-Rechtenbach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Schweigen-Rechtenbach. Show all posts

Sites in the Rhineland-Palatinate

 The rathaus in 1933 and today. During the war, Speyer was the site of one of the first encounters between pilots and UFOs, or Foo Fighters as they were called at the time:
In an encounter of 27 November 1944 over Speyer, pilots Henry Giblin and Walter Cleary reported a large orange light flying at 250 mph about 1,500 feet above their fighter. The radar station in the sector replied that there was nothing else there. Nevertheless, a subsequent malfunction in the plane's radar system forced it to return to base. An official report was made - the first of its kind - which resulted in many jokes at the pilots' expense. After the 27 November encounter, pilots who saw the Foo Fighters decided not to include them in their flight reports. 
Alan Baker Invisible Eagle -The History of Nazi Occultism
Standing in front of the Altpörtel, and as it appeared in 1939

The postwar changes are evident in this comparison

Trier (Rhineland-Palatinate)
 Hitler being driven down Kölner Straße in May, 1939

The Hauptmarkt,  scene of street battles between Nazis and Communists, in 1935 and today.
 On the Hauptmarkt is the Hauptwache, shown July 1941, and which served as Gestapo headquarters from 1933 to 1935.
In 1935 the Gestapo moved its offices here at the former Reichsbahngebäude at Christophstraße 1.

 Simeonstraße in 1939 and today
 Hitler's portrait on the Porta Nigra
Porta-Nigra-Platz became Adolf-Hitler-Platz in 1933
Nazi propaganda at the cathedral on the Domfreihof reading "Deutsche Jungens und Mädels meidet die konfessionellen Jugendverbände"("German boys and girls- avoid confessional youth organisations." By 1937 all Catholic youth organisations would be banned.
In Sichelstraße the former Bishop-Korum-house served as a gaol for collecting Jewish women and children beginning April 1942.
A mounted plaque on the site commemorates this doleful event. At this point was 1929-1931 at the initiative of the "Marian Jünglingscongregation" (MJC), a Catholic youth organisation, established the so-called Bishop-Korum-house, which was demolished in the 1960s and replaced with the current building. From 1942 it served as a rallying point of the female Jewish prisoners prior to their deportation to concentration camps Lublin, Theresienstadt or Auschwitz. Of the more than 400 Trier Jews who were deported to concentration camps between 1933 and 1945, only a few survived- some sources suggest 14, others 20 - and would return to their home town.
  The Karl Marx House museum is where Karl Marx was born in 1818; it is now a museum. The significance of the house went unnoticed until 1904, at which point the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) worked hard to buy it, succeeding in 1928. After the Nazis came to power the building was confiscated and turned into a printing house. Here the corpse of the first victim of the Nazis, Social Democrat Hermann Möschel, was laid out in 1932. On March 8 1933 over an hundred SA and SS men stormed the building, tore down the imperial flag replacing it with the swastika flag drove out the Socialists. The Karl Marx House was first occupied by the police then confiscated by the Nazi Party, and finally, on May 4 1933 became the headquarters of their party newspaper "Der Stürmer." 
 ...some buildings still physically in existence after 1933 also disappeared from tourist literature. The Reich Committee for Tourism chastised the Trier Tourism Office for distributing a brochure that alluded to the house in which the ‘famous German Socialist Karl Marx was born’. The Committee therefore ordered the immediate destruction of material making such references to the ‘Marxist-liberalist pas.t’
Semmens (60) Seeing Hitler's Germany
On May 5, 1947 the building was opened as a museum of the life and works of Karl Marx. On March 14, 1983, on the 100th anniversary of Marx's death, the museum was re-opened after a year-long renovation that expanded it to three floors where it now includes the history of communism in the Soviet Union, China, Central and Eastern Europe.
 The Kaufhaus Haas. It  had belonged to the Jewish owners of the fashion house Sinn Leffers and was a main target of Trier Nazis. On May 13, 1933 Albert and Max Haas and his wife were taken into "protective custody." The wife would hang herself and the men later taken to the town gaol. By November 1938, all Jewish businesses were to be 'aryanised'.
 The gaol on Windstraße.  From May 1940 it became the way station for at least 25 000 prisoners and resistance fighters from neighbouring occupied countries Luxembourg, Belgium and France. According to conservative estimates at least 200 were likely sentenced to death here. Across the road is the Episcopal seminary where Klaus Barbie, the so-called 'Butcher of Lyons' lived.

The synagogue in 1944 and today. On the morning of November 10, 1938 it was plundered and the interior destroyed. Twenty-three of the twenty-four Torah scrolls were burned, and over an hundred Jewish men were arrested that day and gaoled. The synagogue and an adjacent residential house where the family of Chief Rabbi Dr. Altmann lived, were sold in 1939 and by 1944 were completely destroyed by bombing .

The Gasthaus "Zur Glocke" on Glockenstraße.  It had been owned by a Nazi activist and was a meeting place for them where they instigated attacks on political opponents. 
Grabenstraße after the war and today
The Römerbrücke, Germany's oldest standing bridge, on August 27, 1941 and today
  Hitlerstraße is now Bahnhofstraße
Memorial for the ubiquitous "victims of National Socialism", so vague that it could refer to practically to anyone and everyone. 

Schweigen-Rechtenbach (Rhineland-Palatinate)
The Weintor, built in the autumn of 1936, marks the start of the Weinstrasse in the south of the Palatinate, less than a mile from the French border. The swastika in the eagle's talons shown in the 1940s postcards has been defaced but can still be made out.


 The  Frankenthaler Brauhauskeller, where Hitler stayed in April, 1931
  Wormser Straße on May 1, 1933 and today, the Wormser Tor in the background
 Marktplatz then and now
Despite being banned in all uses by the German government, the town still uses the Wolfsangel, symbol of the forbidden Jungen Front, in its Nazi-era arms which were approved by the Oldenburg Ministry of State for the Interior and have been used since 10 July 1934. 


Another reichsadler in the Palatinate is this one, still allowed to grace the entrance of the Finanzamt. Hitler spoke in the town on June 14, 1932 during his presidential campaign.

In 1929 and today. 

The famous Weimar novelist Alfred Döblin reappeared in Germany in French uniform and became a literary censor in Baden-Baden. By his own testimony, towering piles of books were placed before him, written either during the war or just after. Suppression had not done wonders for German letters, he thought. With no pun intended (Günter Grass’s first successful novel, The Tin Drum, was not published until 1959), he wrote, ‘At first the only thing that grew on the ground was grass and weeds.’ He founded a literary journal, and formed part of the delegation that inaugurated the new University of Mainz. The journey to the inauguration
ceremony was an adventure in itself. As they approached the cathedral city they saw the wrecks of factories ‘as if brought down by an earthquake’ and then the city centre: ‘But where was Mainz? All that one could see were ruins, faceless people, twisted beams, empty façades: that was Mainz.’ In the old barracks that was now the university Döblin watched civilians and military figures leafing through the translated transcripts of the speeches that morning. There were British and American uniforms scattered along the rows. An orchestra struck up the overture from The Magic Flute. Men came in wearing black gowns and mortar boards. Döblin was reminded of a high-school graduation in the United States. The president of the region gave a speech in which he described the new university as the key to the material and cultural revival of the region. 
MacDonogh (276-277) After the Reich- The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation
The main railway station 

 Schusterstrasse then and now
 President Hindenberg in July 1930 at a swastika-bedecked Schillerplatz, the Befreiungsdenkmal now replaced with the Fastnachtsbrunnen. The statue itself, Benno Elkan's "Rhenania"  (representing a Rhineland freed from French brutality) was destroyed by the Nazis because of the Jewish background of the artist in late March 1933. Elkan then fled Germany and emigrated to England, where he lived until his death in 1960. In gratitude to the British, Elkan created a large Menorah featuring scenes from the Passion of the Jewish people . As a gift of the British Parliament, it is now before the Knesset in Jerusalem.
When they took power, the Nazis destroyed the huge memorial to Gustav Stresemann at Fischtrplatz.
Hitler speaking at the fussballplatz June 13, 1932
 The marktplatz before the war, September 1942, and today
 The Eisenbahnbrücke 1942 and today 
"Faschismus vor der Haustür" (Fascism on the Doorstep)

Neuwied (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Linking Weißenthurm and Neuwied over the Rhine, what is now known as the Raiffeisenbrücke replaces the destroyed Hermann-Göring-Brücke. 

Linz am Rhein 
 In kreis Neuwied, the Rheintor at Burgplatz then and now

The hauptbahnhof August 27, 1941 and today, with the fortress behind

 Deutschen Arbeitsfront (DAF) meeting  March 1935  in front of the Kurfürstlichen Schloss  (Electoral Palace)

 Binger Straße in 1939 and today, under renovation. After the war, Ingelheim emerged as the only unscathed town between Mainz and Koblenz.
Demonstration outside the Burgkirche 

Remagen (Rhineland-Palatinate)
 The Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen—the last standing on the Rhine—was captured by soldiers of the U.S. 9th Armoured Division on March 7, 1945 during Operation Lumberjack.
In his book Crimes and Mercies regarding allied brutality towards Germans after the war, James Bacque writes that
 Much concerning these atrocities has been deliberately suppressed, some has been forgotten, some falsified, but perhaps the most poignant anecdote was given by an ex-prisoner, Johannes Heising, who in the 1990s published a book about his experiences in the US camp at Remagen. After the book was published, Heising was talking in 1991 with another former Remagen prisoner, Franz-Josef Plemper, who reminded him of something Heising had not described in the book: one night, the Americans had bulldozed living men under the earth in their foxholes. Plemper described the scene to him: 'One night in April 1945, I was startled out of my stupor in the rain and the mud by piercing screams and loud groans. I jumped up and saw in the distance (about 30-50 meters) the searchlight of a bulldozer. Then I saw this bulldozer moving forwards through the crowd of prisoners who lay there. In the front it had a blade making a pathway. How many of the prisoners were buried alive in their earthholes I do not know. It was no longer possible to ascertain. I heard clearly cries of "you murderer".' And then Heising remembered.

The Zehnthaus during the Third Reich and today

Two American GIs take cover on the bridge on the Nibelungenbrücke on March 28, 1945, as snipers on the other bank of the Rhine take aim. In the foreground lies one of their victims.

The town swimming pool then and now, relatively unchanged.