Showing posts with label Sonneberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sonneberg. Show all posts


Excluding Weimar and Buchenwald

Hitler had spoken at the Stadthalle in March 5, 1932 during his presidential campaign, shown here in 1937 and today.
In the early days of Nazi era, those who opposed the Nazi regime were persecuted and murdered, most notably during the notorious campaign by Brunswick SS commander, Jeckeln, in September 1933, when 140 communists and social democrats were herded together in the inn, Zur Erholung. Here and in the Blankenburger Hof they were severely beaten, some dying as a result. During the Second World War the Blankenburg-Oesig subcamp of Buchenwald concentration camp was set up in the Dr. Dasch (Harzer Werke) Monastery Works and, shortly thereafter, subordinated to Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp. Here some 500 prisoners had to carry out forced labour in the monastery factory and Oda Works. In addition, there was a work camp run by the Gestapo for "half-Jews" who were forced to do hard labour. Another camp was occupied in February 1945 by inmates of the Auschwitz subcamp of Fürstengrube and managed as Blankenburg Regenstein subcamp.  As part of the division of Germany into occupation zones in 1945, Blankenburg district was actually assigned to the British zone in accordance with the Potsdam Conference and London Protocol. But because the larger eastern part of the district was linked to the rest of the British zone only by a road and a railway, the boundary was adjusted and Blankenburg incorporated into the Soviet zone. The largest part of the district thus ended up later in East Germany and became part of the state of Saxony-Anhalt. The main part of the former Free State of Brunswick went to the British zone and thus became part of Lower Saxony.
General Karl Litzmann speaking to a gathering of Nazi officials at the Stadthalle in 1932, and the Cavern Beatles performing inside recently.
The former barracks is now classified as a schlosshotel.
Important for being the site where, on 14 October 1806, Napoleon fought and defeated the Prussian army in the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, near the district of Vierzehnheiligen.
Striking workers in front of the Volkshaus at Carl-Zeiss-Platz in January 1918 (left), during the Third Reich and today. Hitler spoke at this site on November 19, 1925 and December 2, 1932. 
During the Nazi period, conflicts deepened in Jena between the influential left-wing (communist and social democrat) and right-wing Nazi milieus. On the one hand, the university suffered from new restrictions against its independence, but on the other hand, it consolidated the Nazi ideology, for example with a professorship of social anthropology (which sought to scientifically legitimize the Racial policy of Nazi Germany). Kristallnacht in 1938 led to more discrimination against Jews in Jena, many of whom either emigrated or were arrested and murdered by the German government. This weakened the academic milieu, because many academics were Jews (especially in medicine).
The Volkshaus from around the time Hitler first spoke there and today, extensively rebuilt
The Fuchsturm (Fox Tower), Jena's oldest landmark, during the Third Reich and the Johannistor then and now
The Planetarium, the oldest continuously operating planetarium in the world opened on July 18, 1926.
The so-called Schillerkirche, where  Friedrich Schiller married in 1790.
The Stadtkirche then, flying the swastika flag, and now 
After the war. In 1945, towards the end of World War II, Jena was heavily bombed by the American and British Allies. 709 people were killed, 2,000 injured and most of the medieval town centre was destroyed, but in parts restored after the end of the war. Nevertheless, Jena was the Thuringian city whose level of destruction was exceeded only by Nordhausen, which was completely destroyed. It was occupied by American troops in 13 April 1945 and was left to Red Army in 1 July 1945.  

The former Bauernschule (with flag of the Hitlerjugend in front) and today, now a seniors' home. During the Second World War, the National Socialist armaments company REIMAHG established a hospital for its forced labourers in the form of six barracks built in the castle grounds, each with 89 beds. Under catastrophic hygienic conditions and constantly overstated, the death rate among the 1,088 patients, including 980 foreigners, was correspondingly high. In this hospital a total of 175 forced labourers died, most of whom came from Italy. The dead were buried in a field east of the cemetery.

Schützenplatz has been renamed from both sides of the political spectrum, from Adolf-Hitler-Platz to Karl Marx Platz. 

 Looking at the church along the Straße der SA and today.

Platz der S.A. then and no

Hermsdorfer Kreuz

The Nazi-era Hermsdorfer Kreuz resthouse built 1936-38 south of the Dresden - Weimar  autobahn. Here the federal motorways A 4 (Aachen - Eisenach) and A 9 (Berlin - Leipzig - Munich) cross Görlitz.

Bad Salzungen
 The Kurhaus from a 1942 postcard and today

The fountain at what was once Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today, the Hauptmarkt. Under the Nazis the town became a centre of the arms industry with nearly 7,000 forced labourers working in the city's factories, where more than 200 died. Furthermore, the Gotha barracks in the southern periphery were enlarged and the synagogue was destroyed during the Kristallnacht in 1938. Bombings in 1944/45 damaged some buildings in the city, in particular the theatre (whose ruins were demolished in 1958) and the main station (which remains only "half-a-building" until today) and the main church (rebuilt after the war). Nevertheless, some 95% of the city's buildings survived the war unscathed.  The American Army reached the city in April 1945 but was replaced by the Soviets in July 1945 and in 1949 Gotha became part of the DDR.  

The High Street bedecked with swastikas and today. During the war, Friedrichroda was the site of manufacture of the mock-up production of the double-seat, all-weather fighter version of the Horten Ho 229 V4 and V5 (Versions 4 & 5) jet aircraft. Over one hundred men and women from the countries occupied by Germany had to work in hotels, pensions, hospitals and the Eka furniture factory. From the "Judenhaus" in Alexandrinenstraße the Jewish inhabitants were deported between 1942 and 1943 to the concentration camps Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. In the city park reminds since 1949 a memorial to the victims of fascism. The Communist Käte Duncker lived for some time in Friedrichroda; a memorial stone was dedicated to her in the park.  On February 6, 1945, Friedrichroda suffered an American air attack with the dropping of "120,500 pound bombs and 10 leaflets". 135 died (including 29 children), with 74 totally destroyed and 350 damaged houses were the result. The victims were buried in a community cemetery in the cemetery, which was given a monument by Günter Reichert in 1989. When occupied by the US Army on the 7th / In April 1945, the town was attacked by artillery, especially the dominant Kurhaus (Kurhaus Friedrichroda) was destroyed on a high altitude. 40 deaths were reported on the German side during the occupation.

Adolf-Hitler-Haus on what is today Baltzerstraße 7. In many German cities there were representative public buildings used as "Adolf Hitler houses" or " Brown Houses " serving as the local Nazi party headquarters. The Nordhäuser party leadership had its headquarters in the former Kaiser Wilhelm club house here on Baltzerstraße, renamed in 1933 in honour of Hitler. Here was also the NSDAP district headquarters and the offices of the Hitler Youth and the German Women's Federation.
Inauguration of the "Wehrfreiheits-Denkmals" in front of the Theater Nordhausen March 15, 1936 during the crisis in the Rhineland. 
The Nazi rule led to the destruction of the synagogue during the Kristallnacht in 1938. The Jews emigrated or were deported to the death camps. The Mittelbau-Dora Nazi concentration camp, established in 1943 after the destruction of Peenemünde, was located on the outskirts of Nordhausen during World War II to provide labor for the Mittelwerk V-2 rocket factory in the Kohnstein. Over its period of operation, around 60,000 inmates passed through Dora and its system of subcamps, of whom around 20,000 died from bad working conditions, starvation and diseases or were murdered. Around 10,000 forced labourers were deployed in several factories within the city, up to 6,000 of them were interned at Boelcke Kaserne, working for a Junkers factory.

The memorial was removed on the orders of the Bürgermeister on May 27 1945.
During this ceremony the theatre staged a show dramatising the destruction of the "chains of Versailles" using imagery corresponding to the usual repulsive anti-Semitic stereotypes. The theatre, formerly on Straße der S.A., is now at Käthe-Kollwitz-Straße.
The rathaus flying the swastika and today. In Nordhausen the Nazi party immediately set out to realise its consolidation of the local administration. Just one week after the Reichstag elections of 5 March 1933, when the Nazi Party won over 46 percent of the vote in Nordhausen,  the left-liberal  Oberbürgermeister Dr. Curt Baller and the Social Democratic councillor Albert Pabst were , like other local politicians who did not belong to the Nazi party, were deposed as was more than half of the city council. This led to a wave of arrests of its members, the seizure of party ownership and expropriation of property.  The new Nordhäuser rulers seized even bicycles and radios, in order to prevent "communist aspirations."
Nazi-led anti-Semitic boycott of April 1, 1933 of Modehauses Schönbeck, owned by the Weinbaum family.
After the Reichskristallnacht of November 1938, the fashion house was 'aryanised' and taken over by the Muehlhaeuser department store and renamed the Modehaus Kramer. After this forced sale of the family business some of the Weinbaum family managed to emigrate to the Netherlands, surviving the German occupation and the war whilst others stayed in Nordhausen and sent to the camps from where they never returned.
Lutherplatz then and now. The Martini Festival on Luther Day in 1933 was used by the NSDAP as a propaganda event. Superintendent Hammer, Mayor Sting and the Thuringian Gauleiter Sauckel gave speeches at Adolf-Hitler-Platz and later that same evening a public book burning took place, organised by the Hitler Youth.  
Children in the uniform of the Hitlerjugend at Neumarkt (now August-Bebel-Platz) putting on gas masks in 1943 and today.

The Siechenhof was the meeting place for Communists and Social Democrats in Salza, a small village near Nordhausen. It was on July 10 1932 that 250 Nordhäusen Nazis, including SA-men, marched under the leadership of the later mayor Heinz Sting. This led to the so-called Siechenhof riots. The Nazis tore down election posters of the SPD and the KPD and smashed the windows of the inn. With sticks and stones they attacked the villagers and fought with their opponents; as the local SPD newspaper wrote on the following day, a "brawl such as Salza has not yet seen." Due to the strong opposition of the Social Democrats and Communists, they finally had to retreat. The so-called "Battle of Salza" went down in the collective memory of the inhabitants. The event is an example not only for the growing pressure on the population, which was exercised in the months before the seizure of power by the Nazis on political opponents, but also for the possibility of active resistance.
On April 3 and 4, 1945 three-quarters of the town were destroyed by bombing raids of the Royal Air Force, in which around 8,800 people died, including 1,300-1,500 sick prisoners at the Boelcke Kaserne barracks within Nordhausen. Earlier on August 24, 1944, 11 B-17 Flying Fortresses of Mission 568 bombed the airfield at Nordhausen as a target of opportunity. On 11 April 1945, the Americans occupied the town, and on 2 July the Red Army took over. A Special Mission V-2: US operation, by Maj. William Bromley, meant to recover V-2 rocket parts and equipment. Maj. James P. Hamill co-ordinated the rail transport of said equipment with the 144th Motor Vehicle Assembly Company, from Nordhausen to Erfurt (Operation Paperclip). On 18 July the Soviet administration created the Institute Rabe to develop Soviet rocket technology on the basis of the substantially more sophisticated V-2 rockets. In May 1946 the Institute was subsumed into the new Institute Nordhausen, under an expanded programme of research across the Soviet occupation zone, including a new Institute Berlin. On 22 October 1946, under Operation Osoaviakhim, 10-15,000 German scientists, engineers and their families were deported to the Soviet Union, including around 300 from Nordhausen. Transplanted along with their equipment, many remained there until the early 1950s.
The Horst Wessel memorial has been destroyed and old war memorial replaced since the war. 


1933 parade attended by Attorney-General Frick, Gauleiter Sauckel, Hitler and Hungary's  Minister-President Gömbös (the first Head of State to visit Hitler, setting off a continuous series of state visits from Hungary all the way up to 1945) in front of the cathedral at the Domplatz.  

In 1938, the new synagogue was destroyed during the Kristallnacht. Jews lost their property and emigrated or were deported to Nazi concentration camps (together with many communists). In 1914, the company Topf and Sons began the manufacture of crematoria later becoming the market leader in this industry. Under the Nazis, JA Topf & Sons supplied specially developed crematoria, ovens and associated plant to the death camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau and Mauthausen. On 27 January 2011 a memorial and museum dedicated to the Holocaust victims killed using Topf ovens was opened at the former company premises in Erfurt.

Hitler signing the goldene Buch der Stadt Erfurt June 18, 1933 (and footballer Clemens Fritz shown doing so in 2009). It was on this occasion that Hitler declared
Just as we have taken possession of this city today, we have also overcome the Social Democratic movement as it manifested itself in Erfurt, I am particularly pleased to accept the freedom of the city with very special thanks.
SA march down the eastern part of the Schlösserstraße in 1933
The rathaus in 1936 and today. 
 Bombed as a target of the Oil Campaign of World War II, Erfurt suffered only limited damage and was captured on 12 April 1945, by the US 80th Infantry Division. On 3 July, American troops left the city, which then became part of the Soviet Zone of Occupation and eventually of the German Democratic Republic. In 1948, Erfurt became the capital of Thuringia, replacing Weimar.
Nazi demonstration June 23, 1933 at the  Steigerwaldstadion, built 1933; the entrance has not changed.

Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today with the schloss and rathaus unchanged.
Eisenach once had one of the largest Jewish communities in Thuringia with nearly 500 members at the beginning of the 20th century. Many Jews migrated from the Rhön area around Stadtlengsfeld to Eisenach after their emancipation in the early 19th century. The new synagogue was built in 1885 and destroyed by the Nazis during Reichskristallnacht in November 1938. Most Jews emigrated at that time, others were deported to concentration camps and murdered there.
St. George church at Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today
The now dilapidated Fürstenhof from where Hitler spoke on October 23, 1932.

Now the Elisabeth-Gymnasium, it was opened August 13 1939 as the Hans Schemm School after the late Gauleiter of Bavarian Ostmark Hans Schemm. In the Second World War , the school was among other things used as a hospital and officers' mess. During the bombing of Eisenach, the building was badly damaged but today still sports its Nazi imagery.
More Nazi iconography on this gate on Jakobsplan which still has its hakenkreuz from when it served the SA 
Before the Second World War, BMW had produced motorcycles in the town. In preparation for World War II, new barracks were established in Eisenach and the car industry started the production of military equipment. After 1940, around 4,000 forced labourers (most of them from the Soviet Union) were pressed to work in the city's factories, where some of them died due to the bad working conditions. Postwar, the managing director of the BMW aircraft engine works, Dr Schaaf, told the Fedden Mission there were as many as 11,000 working in the town, 4,500 in a plant inside a hillside turning out BMW 132 engines and parts for the 801, the rest in town.

The Geschäftshaus at Lauchergasse 6-8 is another hold-out from the NS-zeit. The Nazi-inspired iconography dates from the opening year of the war.
The bombings during the war destroyed about 2,000 housing units and big parts of the car factories, as well as some historic buildings in the city centre, which were rebuilt soon after the war. The US Army arrived in Eisenach on 6 April 1945, but the Soviets took over control of the city on 1 July 1945.


The Landestheater & Philharmonie on Adolf Hitler Platz
A couple of swastikas hanging from windows of the schloss with one flying from the top.
Now a dilapidated shell of what it once was, the Preußischen Hof had been the site of a speech by Hitler given on April 11, 1926.
May Day 1933 and the site today 

By the end of the war, the situation had changed completely. This 31 year old Altenburg woman is forced to support a sign reading "I am cast out of the people's community."Altenburg was a working-class city during the Weimar Republic, ruled by SPD and KPD, which led to heavy conflicts between left- and right-wing forces after 1933. The Jewish community was destroyed during Reichskristallnacht in 1938 when many Jews emigrated or were killed in the concentration camps. Furthermore, communists and invalids from Altenburg were murdered.  During the war several subcamps of the Buchenwald concentration camp were located here. They provided 13,000 forced labourers for HASAG, the third largest German company to use concentration camp labour. The US Army reached Altenburg on 15 April 1945 and was replaced by the Soviet Army on 1 July 1945.

The Gasthaus Sächsischer Reiter where Goethe stayed July 10-12 in 1813, flying swastika flags then and now


The Hans Breuer Haus Youth Hostel. It was in  Schwarzburg that on August 11, 1919, whilst on holiday, Friedrich Ebert — the first Reichspräsident of Germany — signed the Weimar constitution, the first democratic constitution of Germany.
It was in Schwarzburg on August 11, 1919, whilst on holiday, that Friedrich Ebert — the first Reichspräsident of Germany — signed the Weimar constitution, the first democratic constitution of Germany.

Blankenburger Straße sporting swastikas and today, Saalfeld of course is best known as the ancestral seat of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha branch of the Saxon House of Wettin, which was renamed the House of Windsor in 1917 during the Great War.  Because it served as a railway junction and garrison town of the Wehrmacht armed forces from 1936, it was strongly affected by strategic bombing during the Second World War. In the time of National Socialism, people were subjected to persecution for racist, political and religious reasons, which began in 1933 with the imprisonment in the Amtsgerichtsgefängnis. People were also persecuted for eugenic reasons, such as the 571 persons who were made by the genetic health court to victims of forced sterilisation. The Jewish citizens of Saalfeld were forced into the emigration and from 1941 were put to death in ghettoes or extermination camps.  As early as 1939, Jews were employed in the construction of the Hohenwarte dam in the course of the Closed Work and placed in a camp near Saalfeld. During the war 1,491 prisoners of war, as well as women and men from the countries occupied by Germany, mainly from the Soviet Union, had to carry out forced labour: at the optical station 99, at the SAG 99, at the Mecano works, at Mitteldeutsche Elektro, at the The company Max Schaede, at Auerbach & Scheibe, at the working group of the Saaletalsperre in Hohenwarte, at the company Paschold, Döger & Co., the chocolate factory Mauxion, Adolf Knoch, Paul Eberlein Söhne, Gustav Bodenstein and the company Railroad In the cemetery, a Soviet memorial was built in 1947 with 68 gravestones and three memorial plaques. In memory of the victims of the death march of Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945, a stele was erected at the Schloßstraße / Auf dem Graben junction in 1985. In 2008 ten Stolpersteine ​​for Jewish victims of National Socialism in Saalfeld wereset up. From 1936 to 1945, Saalfeld was the garrison town of the Wehrmacht. 819 Saalfelder citizens were killed as soldiers. The city had been severely damaged by bombardments towards the end of the Second World War, the main focus being on the extensive railway installations. In an American air attack on Monday, April 9, 1945, the bombshell of the six attacks of six to seven airplanes, or of their guns, of at least 208 people, which had begun shortly before 9:00 pm and continued until 19:00. Victims were mostly women and children, military personnel, wounded in a hospital train station and railway staff. In addition there were countless injured people. According to surveys by the town administration, this attack destroyed 22 houses, bombing 146 apartments and damaging them. This resulted in a damage of 7.5 million Reichsmark, which caused more than 1,300 bombs with an explosive force of 500 to 1,000 pounds as well as the fires. The railway station, an important transport hub, and the industrial area (Altsaalfeld) near the railway station were severely bombed. An air raid attack at 8:20 clock also brought the production in the Maxhütte to a halt, because the energy supply centre was hit completely. Old-town buildings have also been affected: the Johanneskirche, the Franciscan Monastery (Stadtmuseum), the Saalfeld Palace, the Kitzerstein Castle, the Saaltor and the Town Hall.  On April 12, American troops were on the outskirts of the city; on the 13th of April, in the morning, Saalfeld was handed over to the Americans by the acting mayor. Previously, on the 12th and 13th of April, all the bridges of the town and surrounding area had been blown up by the Wehrmacht.


The little railway station sporting a swastika and today

The Oberere Schloss from Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today
Platz der SA and today, Westernhagenplatz
From an issue of the Illustrierter Beobachter devoted to a Nazi rally from September 5-6, 1931. During the German Revolution of 1918–19, the prince of Reuss had to abdicate and the state became a democracy – the Republic of Reuss, which joined the new founded state of Thuringia in 1920. After the incorporation of some suburbs in the 1910s and 1920s, Gera with its 80,000 inhabitants was the biggest city in what was Thuringia at this time (without Erfurt), nevertheless the more central located Weimar became its capital. After the Nazis' takeover, the Jewish community of Gera was destroyed, the synagogue burnt down in the Kristallnacht in 1938 and the Jews emigrated or were murdered in the concentration camps. Aerial bombing destroyed some parts of the city at 6 April 1945. 300 buildings were hit, including the former residence Osterstein castle and some historic buildings in city centre. Many of them weren't rebuilt after the war. The Americans occupied Gera on 14 April 1945 and were replaced by the Soviets on 1 July 1945.
Hitler in Gera September 1, 1931
The Heinrichsbrücke in 1934 and its current incarnation today. It was here in November 1925 that Hitler and his entourage were briefly prevented from crossing to get to the Gasthaus Heinrichsbrücke to give a speech. 
The Tonhalle on Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today
The Handelshof during the 19th Sängerfest (Festival of Song) in 1935
The Biermann department store during the boycott of Jewish businesses organised April 1, 1933. It would become "aryanised" by the end of 1935. In front of the site today are stolpersteine for the members of the Biermann family who would be murdered in front of the former site of the Biermann department store at Johannisplatz. 
From October 16, 1925 until January 24, 1946, what is now Ernst-Toller-Straße was named Hindenburgstraße.
The hakenkreuz flying above the town from Schloss Osterstein 
Schloss Osterstein before the Great War and today

The central train station before the war and today
On 6 August 1944, the theatre was closed due to the war and eventually bombed on 6 April 1945, the worst Allied bombing of the war on Gera. Already on 15 September 1945 by decision of the Soviet city commander the theatre reopened with Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. By November of 1945, the theatre was forcibly renamed the Reußischen Theaters.  


The rathaus flying Nazi flags. Under the authority of Saxon Minister of Justice Otto Thierack on July 31, 1933, Schmölln citizen Alwin Engelhardt was hired as "Saxon Scharfrichter." The execution of every death sentence was rewarded with 350 Reichsmarks, with several concurrent executions - for the future - allowig each further one with 150 reichsmarks. The Schmöllner address book of 1910 named Engelhardt as managing director of a shop at the Kemnitzgrund. The Communist resistance fighter Alfred Nitzsche from Schmölln died October 1944 in the Zuchthaus Ludwigsburg after five years of imprisonment. The Alfred-Nitzsche-Strasse is named after him. During the Second World War more than 300 forced labourers were employed in the hotel "Deutscher Kaiser."  On April 13, 1945, the Schmollner citizens handed over the city to the 76th US Infantry Division and the 6th Panzer Division. These were used in Schmölln as occupying troops until July 1, 1945. This is today comemorated with a memorial stone.  The Americans handed over the occupation to Soviet forces in July 1945.

Looking at the Osterburg, a 54-metre-high bergfried which is the third highest and one of the oldest surviving bergfrieds in Germany seen from the Platz der SA

Egendorf (Blankenhain)
The Thüringische Staatsschule für Führertum und Politik flying the swastika and today. It served as an ideological school for the NSDAP when established in 1933 and was open to doctors, lawyers, teachers, military leaders, et cet. 

The town hall during the Nazi era and today. On April 16, 1945 the United States Army took over Zeulenroda without a battle. On July 1 the Red Army occupied the town. In 1949 Zeulenroda and Triebes became a part of the German Democratic Republic. After German reunification in 1990, the Free State of Thuringia was reestablished. Zeulenroda merged with Triebes in 2006 and so the new name of the town is Zeulenroda-Triebes.

Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now 
The Kurhaus overlooking what had been Adolf-Hitler-Park, now completely dilapidated.

The Quittelsberg is a 709 metre high mountain in the Thuringian Slate Mountains in the district Saalfeld-Rudolstadt.  The summit of the wooded hill is a designated nature reserve, where the ruins of a tower built from June 1933 stand on a stone base- a tower named after Hitler with a swastika affixed. The observation deck was a skyward closed hand. The tower was inaugurated on 13 May 1934 in the presence of the then Reich governor of Thuringia and Reichstag member Fritz Sauckel, who in 1946 was executed as a war criminal. The tower was destroyed October 1949 on the orders of the Russian occupying powers; of the wooden tower today only the base remains.

A mass Nazi Party rally in the marktplatz in 1932. Hitler had given a speech in Meiningen on March 19, 1921.
During the war Meiningen was the site of a prisoner of war hospital, and several German military hospitals. The Deutsche Dienststelle was based in the Drachenbergkaserne barracks from 1943 to 1945. A heavy air raid on Meiningen on 23 February 1945, by the USAAF caused 208 deaths, destroyed 251 houses and two bridges in total, and damaged 440 buildings. Meiningen was occupied by American armed forces on 5 April 1945. 

The Gasthof Katzenstein then and now

Built in 1927, within six years of the Nazis' seizure of power, the décor within the town rathaus still incorporates swastikas. In a blatant attempt to offset its uncomfortable history, its façade sported a shield of David over Christmas whilst keeping the hakenkreuzen. 
The so-called Lutherhaus, shown flying the Nazi flag. It has since been ascertained that despite earlier claims, Luther could never have stayed here given the later age of the building.

Bad Klosterlausnitz
The Gasthof Friedrichshof in 1936 and today

In an astonishing online marketing campaign by Kristall Sauna Wellnesspark, a spa in Bad Klosterlausnitz, guests were invited to take part in a “long, romantic Kristallnacht”—on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, a violent pogrom during which Nazis shattered the windows of Jewish businesses, raided homes, and lit synagogues on fire throughout Germany- with candles placed all over the baths. 

In 1944, a construction project was commenced by Nazi Germany to convert the former sand mines at the Walpersberg to a bomb-proof underground factory for the production of the Messerschmitt Me 262. These jet-powered Messerschmitt 262A had two Junkers 004 jets, each making 1,980 pounds of thrust, mounted under the wings. Top speed was 540 miles per hour over a range of 420 miles. Armament was limited to four 30-mm can- non. The aircraft was designed primarily to attack Allied bombers, which it did very effectively. 
To achieve this, the existing tunnel system was extended to 30 km by the use of over 12,000 forced labourers from Italy and Eastern Europe, and a further 3,000 skilled workers. Conversion of the former sand mines into the aircraft factory led to construction of a runway at the top of the Walpersberg, with the first aircraft taking off on 21 February 1945. Had the aircraft been introduced earlier and in much greater numbers, its impact on the air war. However, Eventually only around 20 or 30 completed aircraft left the facility prior to the end of the war.  The first group of forced labourers were housed here in the RAD Arbeitsdienstlager Kahla-Thüringen which had been converted from the Rosengarten guesthouse t which it returned after the war.

 ALTENBURG APOLDA Bürgerverein/ Bürgervereinssaal (3) Location: Klause 1 Today: Since 1995 a new Stadthalle was built at the same location as the Bürgerverein. In DDR-times the builing was called Volkshaus Hitler came to Apolda on September 9, 1931 for a so called ‘Freihitskundgebung’ at the Bürger verein. About 2000 people came to listen. The Stadthalle in Apolda is located at the same spot as the Bürgerverein was picture: Preußische Hof (1) Location: Teichstrasse 4 Today: The Preußischen Hof has been a hotel and a Konzert- and Ballhaus. On April 11, 1926 Hitler held a speech at the Preußischen Hof in Altenburg. In that year Hitler visited Altenburg for the first time. He had to leave through the backdoor of the place, because of the large crowd that had gathered to see him. The Preußischen Hof today Hitlerv-visit 1940/41 Location: Unknown Somewhere at the end of 1940 or the beginning of 1941 Hitler was in Altenburg with fighter squadron no. 153. Does anyone know more about this event? Fürstenhof Location: Not sure Hitler did a speech at the Fürstenhof on January 13, 1927. Tent Am Anger (2) Location: Am Anger Today: Still there In 1932 Hitler was in Altenburg to speak in a large tent that was built to make enough room for the masses that came to see him. He spoke at a mass rally to 20.000 people. SCHLEIZ Vereinsgarten (28) Location: Not sure Hitler held a speech here on January 18, 1927. SONDERSHAUSEN Sportplatz (29) Location: Am Sportzentrum Today: Still there On July 26, 1932 Hitler spoke (at 3 o’clock in the afternoon) at the Thüringer Landtag for 8.000 - 10.000 people in Sondershausen. THÜRINGER WALD (Small) station (31) Location: A small station in the woods of Thüringen. Exact location unknown. On a small station somewhere in the Thüringer Wald Hitler got the message of the invasion of allied forces in Algiers and Ouahran, on November 7, 1942. This was the first time the American army took part in the war. JENA University of Jena (19) Location: Exact location Hitler-visit unknown Today:The main building of the university is at the Carl-Zeiss-Straße In 1930 Hitler was at the inauguration speach of Hans Günther (also called Rassen-Günther), who wrote the book Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes. In 1941 Hitler gave the university of Jena 100.000 Reichsmark to start an institute that had to analyse the dangers of smoking. The institute tried to prove the connection between smoking and cancer.   Volkshaus (20) Location: Carl-Zeiss-Platz 15 Today: Still there On November 19, 1925 and on December 2, 1932 Hitler held a speech at the Volkshaus in Jena. The Vollkshaus today (outside and inside)  Gaststätte Nollendorfer Hof (21)  Location: Nollendorfer Strasse 26  Today: Still there  On December 2, 1932 Hitler spoke at the Nollendorfer Hof. The Nollendorfer Hof today ( NORDHAUSEN Hitler drives through Nordhausen (23) Location: see below, exact route unsure Hitler never payed an official visit to Nordhausen. He drove through the town several times. In 1931 in Nordhausen the rumour spread that Hitler and other leaders of the NSDAP or SA had had to much to drink (and eat) at the Römischen Kaiser at the Kornmarkt (bombed in 1945), when they came back from the Harzburger Front on the 11th of October, 1931. Von Ep, Röhm and Rosenberg were there, Hitler wasn’t. It seems that the three men that were there didn’t have more than a simple meal. On the first of october 1934 Hitler drove through the village (Kornmarkt-Rautenstrasse-Strasse Vor Den Vogel). On the 17th of July people in Nordhausen were waiting for Hitler to drive through the town on his way to the Denkmal Kyffhäuser. But he didn’t go through Nordhausen. When Hitler had been to the Kyffhäuser again on 8 June 1939 he drove through Nordhausen to get to the airport there. (Halllesche Strasse-Sundhäuser Strasse-Erfurterstrasse-Flugplatz) Of more importance in this region is the KZ-Gedenkstätte Mittelbau-Dora. It’s on the Kohnsteinweg in Nordhausen. Mittelbau-Dora was a concentration camp and a factory for V1 and V2 bombs. Denkmal Kyffhäuser (25) Location: Region Nordhausen. Between the villages of Kelbra and Tilleda. At the end of a street called Rathsfeld. Today: Still there Hitler was at the Kyffhäuser on at least two occasions. On October 1, 1934 and on June 8, 1939 to go to the Hindenburg Denkmal (a statue that was build in 1939). The Hindenburg statue was burried but recently it was discovered by the owner of the Kyffhäuser hotel. What they’re going to do with it is not sure. According to a myth the first German Reich (the Reich of emperor Frederik Barbarossa) was waiting for it’s resurraction underneath the mountain Kyffhäuser. The Kyffhäuser Denkmal today Flugplatz Nordhausen (24) Location: Alte Leipziger Strasse, near Hallesche Strasse/Nordhäuser Strasse Today: Still there When Hitler had visited the Kyffhäuser Denkmal on June 8, 1939 he went to Nordhausen airport to get in his Ju 52. WEIMAR Hotel Haus Elephant (32) Location: Am Markt 19 Today: Still there Hitler spoke in Weimar for the first time in 1925. In Weimar Hitler wasn’t banned on public pronouncements, like in a lot of other places. The region (Thüringen) had the first nazi-gouvernment of Germany. Hitler visited Weimar for  at least 35 times. He always stayed at Haus Elephant. In 1927 Hitler held a speech at the Hotel Elephant. In 1932 he talked to members of the press in this hotel (Januari 31 and November 27). On June 17, 1933 about a thousand old Thüringer NSDAP members were honoured in the presence of the Führer. Holm Kirsten’s book Weimar im Banne des Führers. Die Besuche Adolf Hitlers 1925-1940 (Köln, 2001) tells more about the Hitler visits to  Weimar. Other sites Hitler visited in Weimar: Goethehaus (42), Schillerhaus (43), Theater (36), Kaisercafe (?). Left:A march of the NSDAP  Central:A ‘Wahlkundgebung’ in Weimar in front of Haus Elephant  Right: In front of haus Elephant in Weimar 1926 Haus Elephant today Hotel Kaiserin Augusta Location: Carl-August-Allee 17 Today: Still there On January 10,1930 Hitler held a speech at the Kaiserin Augusta for about 300 people. The Kasierin Augusta in modern times Kolonialheim (46) Location: Prellerstraße 1 Today: There a liquor store now (Getränkefachmarkt Ronald Boch). On March 13,1930 Hitler held two speeches in Weimar: one at the Erholungssaal and one at the Kolonialheim. On October 27, 1931 Hitler spoke at the Kolonialheim again.  An old impression of the Kolonialheim  (picture:    Schießhaus/ Schießhauswiese (44) Location: Am Schießhaus near number 2a. The Schießhauswiese must have been near it. There’s still a parc there. Today: It seems like there were plans to build houses in the area, but in 2013 the building was renovated. On March 22, 1925 Hitler held three speeches in Weimar: one at the Schießhaus, one at Gasthaus Erholung and one at an unknown location. Hitler spoke at a pasture called the Schießhauswiese on April 12, 1931. On the same day he held a speech at the Deutschen Nationaltheater.  An old postcard with a picture of the Schießhaus on it     The Schießhaus before the renovation  (picture:     The Schießhaus on the inside  (picture:     The Schießhaus after the renovation (picture:     Carin from Germany helped finding the locations of the Schießhaus, the Vereinslokal Erholung and the Kolonialheim. Thanks! Gaststätte/ Vereinslokal Erholung/ Erholungssaal (45) Location: Goetheplatz 11 Today: The building is still there. It houses Kulturzentrum Mon Ami. On March 22, 1925 Hitler held three speeches in Weimar: one at the Schiesshaus, one at Gasthaus Erholung and one at an unknown location. Hitler spoke at the Erholung for three times in 1925. On March 13,1930 Hitler held a speech at the Erholungssaal. On the same day he also spoke at the Kolonialheim. The next speech Hitler held at this location was on April 1, 1931.  Vereinslokal Erholung today  (picture:    Hotel/Gasthaus Hohenzollern (35) Location: Brennerstraße 42 Today: It’s the same building, but the hotel is called Hotel Thüringen now. On December 13, 1925 Hitler was in Weimar again. He held a speech at the Gasthaus Hohenzollern. He was there again on November 27, 1927, for another speech. The formerly called Hohenzollern Hotel is called Hotel Thüringen today Deutschen Nationaltheater (36) Location: Theaterplatz 2 Today: Still there On the fourth of July, 1926 Hitler held two speeches at the Deutschen Nationaltheater. One for the SA and one at a Parteitag. On October 12, 1930, February 8, 1931 and April 12, 1931 Hitler also spoke here. On July 4, 1936 Hitler spoke at the Erinnerungsfeier of the first Parteitag (that took place in Weimar, not in Nürnberg). Hitler in front of the Nationaltheater (picture:  The Deutschen Nationaltheater today      Speech at the Marktplatz (33)  Location: Marktplatz  Today: Still there  On March 6, 1932 Hitler held a speech at the Marktplatz in Weimar. On January 15, 1933 Hitler spoke on the Marktplatz to about 10.000 people.  An old picture of the Marktplatz  (picture:  The Marktplatz today  (picture: Weimarhalle (34) Location: Unesco-Platz 1, in the garden of the Bertuch House, behind the city museum Today: The original Weimarhalle was demolished in 1997. The Congress Centrum Neue Weimarhalle is located there now, in a new building that has high, narrow windows that remind of the original Weimarhalle. On March 15, October 23 and November 26, 1932 Hitler spoke at the Weimarhalle. On June 19, 1932 Hitler spoke at the Stadthalle in Weimar and on January 15 and November 1, 1933 Hitler spoke in the Weimarhalle to 3.000 people.  Left: the old Weimarhalle Right: the new hall Nietzsche Archives (37) Location: Humboldstrasse 36 Today: Still there On a trio to the Bayreuth Festival in 1932 Hitler visited the Nietsche Archives in Weimar. Left: Hitler at the Nietzsche Archives Right: The Archives today, the same statue of Nietzsche is in both pictures  Gauleitertagung  Location: Unknown  On January 16, 1933 Hitler spoke in Weimar at a gathering of Gauleiter.  Adolf Hitler somewhere in Thüringen. Exact location unknown. Bürgervereinshaus Location: Unknown Hitler held a speech at the Bürgervereinshaus in Weimar on January 20, 1929.  Gautag NSDAP  Location: Unknown  On November 6, 1938 Hitler was in Weimar for the Gautag of the Thüringischen NSDAP.  Weimarer Schloß (39)  Location: Burgplatz 2  Today: Still there, partly turned into a museum.  Hitler was present at the Erinnerungsfeier of the first Parteitag on July 3, 4 and 5, 1936. On July 3 he held a speech at the Weimarer Schloß.        The Weimarer Schloß  (picture: Thüringische Landeskampfbahn (40) Location: Fuldaer Straße 113 Today: Wimaria-Stadion On July 5, 1936 Hitler spoke at the Landeskampfbahn in Thüringen.  The Wimaria-Stadion today  Goethehaus (42)  Location: Frauenplan 1  Today: Still there as a museum  On one of his visites to Weimar Hitler went to see the Goethehaus.  The Goethehaus in Weimar  (picture: Markv, wikipedia)  Schillerhaus (43)  Location: Schillerstrasse 14  Today: Museum  On one of his visites to Weimar Hitler went to see the Schillerhaus.  The Schillerhaus (picture: wikipedia, Andreas Trepte,  Schloßpark Tiefurt (41)  Location: Park at the end of the Hauptstrasse in Tiefurt, Weimar  Today: Still there  On July 5, 1936 Hitler spoke at the Schloßpark Tiefurt in Weimar for 50.000 people.                 The Schloßpark Tiefurt  (picture: SONNEBERG Gesellschaftshaus (30) Location: Unknown On November 3, 1931 Hitler spoke at the Gesellschaftshaus in Sonnenberg. Gummiwerkes Location: Unknown On December 3, 1932 Hitler spoke at the Hall of the former Gummiwerkes in Sonnenberg. BAD BLANKENBURG Stadthalle (4) Location: Bahnhofstrasse 23 Today: Still there Hitler held a speech at the Stadthalle of Bad Blankenburg on March 5, 1932.  Both pictures: the Stadthalle after  the war. The picture on the right is the most recent one EISENACH Fürstenhof (6) Location: Luisenstrasse 11-13 Today: The building is in a bad shape. Hitler held a speech at the Fürstenhof on October 23, 1932.  The Fürstenhof today EISFELD Industriepalast (7) Location: Unknown Hitler held a speech at the Industriepalast on December 3, 1932. EFFELDER-RAUENSTEIN Effelder Schloß (5) Location: Schloßgasse 20 Today: Not sure Hitler held a speech at the Effelder Schloß on December 3, 1932. HILDBURGHAUSEN Städtischen Kampfbahn (18) Location: Schleusinger Strasse Today: Not sure On July 26, 1932 Hitler held a speech at the Städtischen Kampfbahn. GREIZ Haus der Turnerschaft (17) Location: Vater-Jahn-Strasse 2, near the Beethovenstrasse Today: The Turnhalle is called ‘Turnhalle Kurt Rödel’ now. It seems like it’s been renovated a few times. Hitler held a speech at this location on December 1, 1932. GOTHA Schießhaussaal (16) Location: Goldbacher Strasse 35 Today: Still there, today known as the Stadthalle On January 21, 1927 Hitler held a speech at the Schießhaus. On May 9, 1930 and on December 2, 1932 Hitler spoke here again. The inside of the Schießhaus (picture: The Stadthalle   (picture: GERA Heinrichsbrücke (11) Location: Bridge at the end of the Heinrichstrasse Today: Still there On November 12/13, 1925 Adolf Hitler held a campagne speech in Gera. Because of protests of anti-Hitler groups Hitler had a hard time crossing the bridge to get to the Gasthaus Heinrichbrücke. Kegelbahn and Gasthaus Heinrichsbrücke (12) Location: Heinrichstraße 49 Today: Still there On November 12/13, 1925 Adolf Hitler held a campagne speech in Gera. Because of protests of anti-Hitler groups he had a hard time crossing the bridge to get to the Gasthaus Heinrichsbrücke. The anti-Hitler groups had a protest meeting at the Markt. Hitler held a speech at the Gasthaus. On September 6, 1931 Hitler held another speech at this location.   Gauparteitag 1930 (13) Location: Markt Today: Still there On the 12th and 13th of July, 1930 the Thüringer Gauparteitag der NSDAP took place in Gera. Auf dem Markt Hitler and Frick watched the parade of 5.000 nazis. The marketplace in Gera Schützenplatz, Gauparteitag 1931 (14) Location: Ausstellungsgelände, East of Gera, West of Ronneburg Today: The area has changed. On 5 and 6 September, 1931 a Gauparteitag took place in the region of Gera. Hitler, Frick and Röhm were there. A rally took place on the Schützenplatz and a march of  10.000 nazis took place in the city of Gera. On June 26, 1932 hitler held another speech at he Schützenplatz.    Hitler in Gera on September 5, 1931  The Ausstellungsgelände Flugplatz Gera-Tinz (15) Location: The North part of the city is called Gera-Tinz. The airport was where Bundesautobahn 4 is today. Where it was exactly I don’t know. Today: The airport had to make place for a highway in 1936. On July 27, 1932 Hitler is in Gera again. When he travelled from the airport to the Schützenplatz a lot of anti-Hitler-minded were protesting against Hitler. Gauparteitag 1934 Location: Unknown On June 17, 1934 Goebbels and Hitler were in Gera attending a Gauparteitag again. They heared about a speech of Von Papen, they disliked. Hitler attacked Papen in his speech that night. Heinrichsbau Location: Corner near the Friedrichsbau (not sure) Today: Ruïned (?) Hitler spoke at the Heinrichsbau on July 12, 1930. Flugplatz Am Roten Berg/Flughafen Erfurt-Nord (8) Location: Stotternheimer Strasse, North of Erfurt Today: Not longer there, the airport South of city centre is not the right one. To join in the manifestation of June 17 and 18, 1933, Hitler landed at the airfield Am Roten Berg. ERFURT Airport Erfurt-Nord in 1927 Domkirche (9) Location: Domstrasse/Domplatz Today: Still there For the nazi manifestation of June 17/18, 1933 about 60.000 SA-members marched through the city to the new stadium. Hitler watched the parade on June 18, standing in front of the Dom church, together with the minister-president of Hungary, Gömbös, minister of the justice department Frick and gauleader Sauckel. This was Hitlers only visit to Erfurt between 1933 and 1945. Hitler in front of the Dom in Erfurt The Dom today  Mitteldeutschen Kampfbahn (also called Dabelstädter Schanze) (10)  Location: Arnstädter Strasse  Today: Modernised. In 1948 the stadium was called the Georgij-Dimitrof-Stadion. In 1991 it was renamed. It’s called the Steigerwaldstadion now. The modern stadium is on the same location as the original one.  On June 26, 1932 Hitler held a speech at the Mitteldeutschen Kampfbahn for about 120.000 people.  The Mitteldeutschen Kampfbahn MEININGEN Schützenhaus Location: Landsberger Strasse 1 Today: Still there. The ‘Neue Schieß-Haussaal was added to the Schützenhaus. After 1947, in the DDR, the building was called the ‘Volkshaus’. The building was closed down in 1996. It’s in a bad shape. Hitler held a speech at the Schützenhaus on January 11, 1927 and on April 19, 1931. The Schützenhaus in 1913 (picture: Speech Location: Location unknown . OHRDRUF Testing area of Hitler’s bomb (26) Location: Near Zwangsarbeitslager Ohrdruf, North and Northeast of Ohrdruf (50.49.955’ N and 10.47.879’ E) Today: Parts of the concentration camp are still there. Did Hitler have an atomic bomb? Rainer Karlsch says in his book ‘Hitler’s Bomb’ that the Germans did nucleair tests on the isle of Rügen and near the concentrationcamp Ohrdruf. There’s been much discussion on this subject and about the question of how close the Germans were to having a nucleair bomb. If they were, it probably wouldn’t have been a very powerfull one. At the end of the war Hitler might have been in Ohrdruf. That must have been at the end of March, 1945. The facts on this matter are hard to find out, but he probably was never here. Left: The Ohrdruf area   Right: The camp in Ohrdruf Salonwagen Compiegne (27) Location: The last station of the 2419 D was left of the road B 88 between Ohrdruf and Crawinkel on a sidetrack Today: Highly speculative: The salonwagon of Compiegne was said to have been set to fire here, at the end of the war, probably by German soldiers. In 1986 the undercarriage of the wagon was destroyed in this area. Parts of the interior of the wagon are said to be owned by people from the region. A teacher called Gerd Kratsch from Ohrdruf, together with his students searched for evidence for the fact that the famous Salonwagen of Compiégne was actually destroyed in April 1945 near Crawinkel. Since 1990 he did his research and he found out a lot, for instance that the last part of the wagon was destroyed four years before he started looking for it. For all I know the wagon was destroyed during a bombing in Berlin. Maybe the undercarriage was transported here. The stories about people owning material from the interior, must be untrue. Look here for more information about Compiègne. A tunnel entrance in the area The Burg (26) Location: Unclear. East of Ohrdruf runs the Jonastal road through the woods. Parts of the tunnelsystem must have been there, dug into a hill forming the north side of the Jonas Valley, between Crawinkel and Arnstadt.The entrances have been bloown up. Where the Burg was, we don’t know. Today: Gone, the Soviets also blasted most of the tunnel entrances after the war. Engineers who worked at Ohrdruf claimed that Hitler was present at a Command Centre of the Test Complex at the end of March 1945. Some bunkers had special facilities and were called the Burg. If Hitler was here, the Burg must have been the place. Someone on Google Earth says it might have been on the Northwest-side of the woods around the Jonastal road. Where that’s based on, I don’t know. Parts of the tunnel area were called: Siegfried, Olga, Burg, Jasmin. The entire project was called SIII. For more information about the area look at  Like in all German states Hitler came to Thüringen a lot to do speeches during his po-litical campaignes. The Denkmal Kyffhäuser was in nazi times a mythical place that Hitler visited at least twice. Speculative is the information about Ohrdruf. The most important place related to Hitler in Thüringen is without a doubt the city of Weimar.        1. Preußische Hof, Altenburg 2. Am Anger, Altenburg 3. Bürgerverein, Apolda 4. Stadt- halle, Bad Blankenburg 5. Schloß, Effelder-Rauenstein 6. Fürstenhof, Eisenach 7. Eisfeld  8. Flugplatz, Erfurt 9. Domkirche, Erfurt  10. Kampfbahn, Erfurt 11. Heinrichsbrücke, Gera 12. Gasthaus Heinrichsbrücke 13. Markt, Gera 14. Schützenplatz, Gera 15. Flugplatz, Gera-Tinz 16. Schießhaussaal, Gotha 17. Haus der Turnerschaft, Greiz 18. Kampfbahn, Hildeburghausen 19. University, Jena  20. Volkshaus, Jena 21. Nollendorfer Hof, Jena 22. Schützenhaus, Meiningen 23. Nordhausen 24. Flugplatz Nordhausen 25. Denkmal Kyffhäuser 26. Hitler’s bomb and the Burg, Ohrdruf 27. Salonwagen Compiegne, Ohrdruf  28. Vereinsgarten, Schleiz  29. Sportplatz, Sondershausen         THüRINGEN  THE HITLER PAGES  HISTORICAL HITLER SITES  30. Sonneberg 31. Station Thüringer Wald 32. Haus Elephant, Weimar 33. Marktplatz, Weimar 34. Weimarhalle, Weimar 35. Gasthaus Hohenzollern, Weimar 36. Nationaltheater, Weimar 37. Nietzsche Archives, Weimar 38. Hotel Kaiserin Augusta, Weimar 39. Schloß, Weimar 40. Landeskampfbahn, Weimar 41. Schloßpark Tiefurt 42. Goethehaus, Weimar 43. Schillerhaus, Weimar  44. Schießhaus, Weimar 45. Vereinslokal Erholung, Weimar 46. Kolonialheim, Weimar  Thüringen weergeven op een grotere kaart BUNDESLÄNDER. NORDR.-WESTFALEN. BAD.-WURTEMBERG. RHEINL.-PFALZ - House of the family Von Schirach Location: Unknown According to the memory of Baldur von Schirach Hitler was in Weimar somewhere in the autumn of 1925. He visited the performance of the Ring des Nibelungen with Dr. Ziegler. Hitler and the father of Baldur von Shirach met each other in the foyer of the theater. On the next morning Hitler came to the house of the family Von Schirach. © Lonely Planet Publications 250 Thuringia Few German regions can match the rolling green hills and bucolic forest trails found in Thur- ingia (Thüringen), once part of the GDR. This picturesque state is quite aptly called the ‘green heart’ of Germany, but Thuringia’s moniker does not account for its fascinating and exciting cities – places like the capital, Erfurt; Weimar, a cultural icon in itself; and Eisenach, remarkable for being both a centre of historic German Lutheranism, and of car manufacturing. Beyond these cities are hundreds of smaller towns that invite exploration. But Thuringia has also felt the cold double-edge of German history. In 1930 it became the first German state to be governed by the Nazis, and it quickly stocked its police and other public services with obedient followers of the NDSAP. The former Buchenwald concentration camp is a grim reminder of the period, standing in bleak contrast to the cultural legacy left by Goethe and Schiller 150 years earlier, and the radical Bauhaus movement which was born in the city in 1919. Today Thuringia is one of the most popular tourist destinations for hiking and cultural tourism; it also offers many opportunities to combine both. Although its roads and trails are well-trodden, and its cities were long ago sketched on the world cultural map, Thuringia brings many unexpected rewards for visitors who put aside the map for a moment and immerse themselves in the gentle momentum of slow travel. CENTRAL THURINGIA •• Erfurt 251 THURINGIA THURINGIA 0 0 A14 A143 A38 50 km 30 miles A14 SAXONY To Dresden (80km) Meerane Zwickau To Hanover (100km) LOWER SAXONY HESSE Herzberg Bad Lauterberg B243 Sondershausen B247 􏰀 B86 To Berlin (140km) Halle THURINGIA A7 Ilfeld Nordhausen B27 Göttingen Leinefelde B80 Heiligenstadt Harzgerode SAXONY-ANHALT A38 Kyffhäuser Bad Mts Frankenhausen Leipzig A9 Zeitz Altenburg A4 Plauen Gera River B7 Bad River Langensalza Werra Sömmerda B249 B4 B85 Freyburg Naumburg Mühlhausen r e v i R Ilm River Saale Rennsteig Hiking Trail HIGHLIGHTS Culture Experience the finest of both classic and cutting-edge culture in Weimar (p258) Escapism Tour Wartburg Castle, Martin Luther’s hideout in Eisenach (p270) Bizarre Beds Sleep in a former police lock- up, or a 13th-century monastery, in Erfurt (p256) Views Take in the Kyffhäuser Monument and Panorama Museum in Bad Frankenhausen (p269) Hiking & Cycling Tackle a leg or two of the Rennsteig (p273), Germany’s oldest and most famous trail, by foot or on your bike from Eisenach Slow Travel Roll across meadows and through forest on a country tram (p268) from Gotha to beautiful Friedrichroda and beyond POPULATION: 2.58 MILLION Eisenach Gotha Erfurt Bad Frankenhausen Weimar Thuringia’s main cities, Erfurt and Weimar, are serviced by daily trains from Berlin, Frankfurt, Dresden and Hanover; contact Deutsche Bahn (%118 61 for reservations, %0800-150 7090 for automated timetable information; for full details. If you’re driving, the area’s main arteries are the east–west A4, which runs just south of Erfurt and Weimar (linking Frankfurt and Dresden), and the north–south B4, which skirts Erfurt before heading into the heart of the Thuringian Forest on its way south to Munich. The Berlin–Munich A9 cuts through the eastern part of Thuringia. Getting Around Trains are supplemented by comprehensive local bus networks and an efficient road sys- tem. There are two good-value DB discount tickets available in Thuringia. The Thüringen- Ticket (€26) gives up to five people (or a family) unlimited travel on regional trains for a day; the Hopper-Ticket (€4.50) is valid for a day return to any town within 50km of your starting point, including places in Saxony-Anhalt. A weekly pass for the ‘Verbundsgebiet’ is also available for all transport covering city zones and the regions between Erfurt, Weimar and Jena (€50). CENTRAL THURINGIA ERFURT %0361 / pop 199,000 The capital of Thuringia is a charming and lively town that lies just 45km south of the geographical centre of reunified Germany. Although WWII bombing took its toll on this university town, its numerous architec- tural gems include a spectacular cathedral and monastery, some lovely winding streets in the restored Altstadt (Old Town) and one of Europe’s most interesting bridges. Erfurt was founded by St Boniface as a bishopric in 742, and was catapulted to promi- nence and prosperity in the Middle Ages when it began producing a precious blue pigment from the woad plant. However, due to a fire that raged through the city in 1472, none of its surviving buildings date from before the 15th AREA: To Frankfurt ode Tambach- A4 B7 B281 Pössneck A9 Bad am Main Salzungen Dietharz 􏰁􏰁 Thuringian Fo A7 To Bamberg (40km); Munich (265km) Coburg A73 Bad Neu stadt Getting There & Away B4 BAVARIA Kronach Hainich National B84 Buchenwald Park Apolda Dornburg Meiningen Beerb Eisenach Gotha Erfurt Taba􏰁rz 􏰁A4 􏰁Jena B7 Weimar (916m) Arnstadt B85 B88 􏰁􏰁􏰀 Rudolstadt 􏰁􏰁rest Ilmenau 􏰁 Gera Waltershausen Grosser Inselsberg Friedrichroda Brotter B4 (130km) Wernshausen Schmalkalden Oberhof A71 Zella-Mehlis B249 Saalfeld B19 Suhl Grosser Neustadt Fulda 􏰁BA􏰁VARIA B89 B281 Hildburghausen erg (982m) Ernstthal B90 A71 Son