Showing posts with label Schweinfurt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Schweinfurt. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi Sites in Lower Franconia

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.

Looking down Domstraße towards the Grafeneckart-Turm of the rathaus and looking towards the other direction towards the cathedral
 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.
Large demonstration of the DAF in July, 1936 at the Residenzplatz
The Weinhaus Kette from a 1938 postcard and today, the flag not being the only change.
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.  
During the Nazi era
 After the war when it was taken over by the American 107th EVAC Hospital and today

'Dr. Goebbels-Haus'- Headquarters of the Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund  which had been founded in 1926 as a division of the Nazi Party with the mission of integrating University-level education and academic life within the framework of the National Socialist worldview. 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. Organised strictly in accord with the Führerprinzip as well as the principle of Machtdistanz (or "power distance"), the NSDStB housed its members in these Kameradschaftshäusern, and (from 1930) had its members decked out in classic brown shirts and its own distinctive Swastika emblems. After Germany's defeat in World War II, the Nazi Party along with its divisions and affiliated organisations were declared "criminal organisations" and banned by the Allied Control Council on September 10, 1945.

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.

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 centre 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.

In 1939 Schweinfurt produced most of Nazi Germany's ball bearings, and factories such as the Schweinfurter Kugellagerwerke became a target of Allied strategic bombing during World War II to cripple tankand aircraft production. Schweinfurt was bombed 22 times during Operation Pointblank by a total of 2285 aircraft.  The Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission caused an immediate 34% loss of production and all plants but the largest were devastated by fire. Efforts to disperse the surviving machinery began immediately and the Luftwaffe deployed large numbers of interceptors along the corridor to Schweinfurt. Bombing also included the Second Raid on Schweinfurt on 14 October 1943 ("called Black Thursday because of the enormous loss of aircraft (60) and lives (600+)") and Big Week in February 1944.  Although losses of production bearings and machinery were high and much of the industrial and residential areas of the city were destroyed, killing more than a thousand civilians, the factories were restored to production and the industry dispersed. Although German planners initially thought it essential to purchase the entire output of the Swedish ball-bearing industry, losses in the production of bearings were actually made up from surpluses found within Germany in the aftermath of the first raid. The decentralized industry was able to restore output to 85% of its pre-bombing level. Hitler made restoration of ball bearing production a high priority and massive efforts were undertaken to repair and rebuild the factories, partly in bomb-proof underground facilities.[citation needed]  The American 42nd Infantry Division entered Schweinfurt on 11 April 1945 and conducted house-to-house fighting.
1938 city map showing Nazi-era street names such as  Adolf-Hitler-Straße and Horst-Wessel-Straße
The rathaus 
Westend Apotheke at Luitpoldstraße 20 in 1933 with Nazi flags and slogans reading "Mit Hitler gegen Rüstungswahnsinn der Welt" (With Hitler against the world's armament mania). 
The same chemist's after the war
In front of the town walls
 The Zeughaus

Comparison views from a 1934 local flyer and today:
Salvatorkirche and Johanniskirche 
The Schrotturm the alte Gymnasium

 Adolf-Hitler-Straße and the same shot today, now on the renamed Spitalstraße. The Zeughaus is at the end of the road.

On October 16 1932 during his campaign for the Presidency, Hitler spoke in a tent on the Schützenplatz
 Marktplatz then and now

The former Hitlerjugend schule still has its Nazi eagle above the door...

... as does the former entrance to the Willy-sachs-Stadions

Keßlergasse 22 with the original Jewish-owned establishment, after its 'aryanisation', and today

The former Schrannengebäude, now used by the Sparkasse bank, after the war and today- its entrance still graced with the eagle dating from 1935

Meanwhile a memorial to the destroyed synagogue is hidden away in the rear.
Maxbrücke, blown up on April 11 1945, before the arrival of the Americans, and the same scene today.
 Clearing up the debris on the Marktplatz April 1945 and today
Keßlergasse now reconstructed
Johanniskirche from an engraving by Johann Herman dating from 1646, after the war, and today.
Johanniskirche from the ruins
The main railway station 
The Fichtel & Sachs factory on Ernst-Sachs-Straße after heavy bombing, and today, now the ZF-Sachs factory.
[P]recision attacks could go wrong precisely because the Germans could work out where to expect them - as the Americans discovered to their cost when they attacked Schweinfurt, a centre of ball-bearing production in northern Bavaria, on August 17 and October 14, 1943. In the first raid, thirty-six B-17S were shot down out of an initial strike force of 230; twenty-four were lost the same day in a similar attack on Regensburg. In the October attack -the 8th Air Force's 'Black Thursday' - sixty out of 291 B-17S were shot down and 138 badly damaged. 
Ferguson (566) War of the World
On the Schweinfurt raids, see Thomas M. Coffey, Decision over Schweinfurt: The U.S. 8th Air Force Battle for Daylight Bombing (New York: McKay, 1977); Friedhelm Golücke, Schweinfurt und der strategische Luftkrieg 1943: der Angriff der U.S. Air Force vom 14. Oktober 1943 gegen die Schweinfurter Kugellagerindustrie (Paderborn: Schöningh, 1988); Martin Middlebrook, The Schweinfurt-RegensburgMission (New York: Scribner, 1983). See also Hinsley, British Intelligence, 3/1: 293-96, 308-16; Murray, Lufiwaffe, pp. 164-68. 
The military barracks during the Third Reich and July 15, 2011, when the US army finally relinquished control
 Nevertheless a Nazi eagle remains on the façade of a barracks building
 On 12 April an internment camp at Goethe-Schule held male civilians aged 16–60.

The swastika-bedecked townhall and today, with the fountain in the background. During World War II, Hammelburg was the site of the POW Camps OFLAG XIII-B and Stalag XIII-C, as well as the attempted rescue of POW's from these camps by Task Force Baum in 1945. The American television sitcom Hogan's Heroes (which ran on CBS from 1965 to 1971), featured a fictional Luft-Stalag 13, said to be near Hammelburg. The German Army's Infantry School (Infanterieschule) is located in this town.

It can be assumed portraits of Hitler no longer grace the walls of the Hotel Fränkischer Hof