Showing posts with label Vilsbiburg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vilsbiburg. Show all posts

Nazi Remains in Lower Bavaria

Landshut
During World War II, a subcamp of Dachau concentration camp was located in the city to provide slave labour for local industry.  The U.S. Army maintained facilities in Landshut, including Pinder Kaserne and a dependent housing area, until 1968.

Landshut from a postcard dated 21viii39 with a town map from the same year provided by HPL2008 at warrelics.eu who was also responsible for the subsequent information.
 Landshut: the town where Himmler spent much of his youth. Himmler’s house is shown prominently at centre right in the period photograph with Burg Trausnitz in the background.
 Drake in the schloßhof and with his mother at the Wittelsbacher Turm

This is the town where Himmler was raised and went to school at what was then Humanistisches Gymnasium). Behind me at Dreifaltigkeitsplatz 1 1/2 is where he lived according to Die Geschichte des Hans-Carossa-Gymnasiums in Landshut 1629-2004 by Werner Ebermeier. (thanks to Heimatschuss for the information). Dr Karl Gebhardt, a friend of Himmler’s youth and head of Hohenlychen sanatorium, explained at the Nuremberg doctors’ trial (Report S.3991): "Himmler came from Landshut, the same town as myself... If my parents’ house was an extraordinarily liberal, free, quiet one, then the Himmler house was that of a strong orthodox Catholic schoolmaster whose son was brought up very strictly and kept very short of money."
Dreifaltigkeitsplatz had been renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz during the Third Reich as shown on the period postcard on the left. On the right is the same view with the Americans marching down the square May 1, 1945. Behind the wife and kid is St. Martin's church which has a stained-glass window featuring Hitler, Goering and Goebbels created after the war by the artist Max Lacher to replace the original window destroyed late in the war. 
Their faces were given to the torturers in a scene depicting the persecution of St. Castalus. (thanks to HPL2008 for this information). His relics reside in the church after having originally stayed in Moosburg. In his 2008 book Hitler, The Germans and the Final Solution, Sir Ian Kershaw records how courageous and noteworthy were the remarks of the Catholic priest Josef Atzinger in Landshut in November 1940, in which he condemned the racial legislation of the Third Reich as ‘godless, unjustified, and harmful.’
From the other side, looking from the hauptstrasse and the Landtor during the Nazi era and today
Located at no.6 on the map, this had been the Städtisches Krankenhaus (Municipal Hospital) where ϟϟ physician Dr. Karl Gebhardt had worked for a while from the autumn of 1922 onwards. He had known Heinrich Himmler from school and stated at the Nuremberg doctors’ trial that "Himmler came from Landshut, the same town as myself... If my parents’ house was an extraordinarily liberal, free, quiet one, then the Himmler house was that of a strong orthodox Catholic schoolmaster whose son was brought up very strictly and kept very short of money."
Looking the other direction towards Trausnitz castle directly across the former hospital was the local Deutsches Arbeit Front headquarters, no.3.
On the left is the former local NSDAP headquarters at no.2 on the map. It was here on December 8, 1935 that Hitler addressed the Ortsgruppe of the NSDAP at the celebration of its fifteenth anniversary,declaring that “He who has the courage to conquer the state with seven men also has the courage and the power and the confidence to maintain that state.”
The main task for Himmler in the Party offices at Landshut, where a portrait of Hitler frowned down on his activities, was to increase the Party’s supporters. His initial salary was 120 marks a month, and the local S.S. were sent out to collect subscriptions and canvas advertisements for the Party newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter.  In 1926 he was made Deputy Reich Propaganda Chief, and this gradual accretion of subordinate offices led to a modest increase in his salary. Yet he seems to have made little impression at this stage other than by being a willing and dutiful administrator. There are glimpses of him in Goebbels’s excited diary during the period of Party expansion before he went to Berlin – on 13 April 1926, for example, during a speaking tour, he writes: ‘with Himmler in Landshut; Himmler a good fellow and very intelligent; I like him’  
Manvell and Fraenkel Heinrich Himmler- The SS, Gestapo, His Life and Career 

 According to the ϟϟ 1937 address list, the site shown on the right was the headquarters of the 31st ϟϟ-Standarte at Nahensteig 182.  HPL2008 points out that, according to Landshut's local address book, in mediaeval times this street was located in the Jewish quarter of town, which is why its name is name is actually derived from the Hebrew word nahar (= brook). One wonders how many Standarte members were aware of that particular bit of trivia...
 
The apartment in Amalienstrasse on the left where Himmler lived from 1904 to 1913. The recent photos I took show the flat where he lived on Seligenthaler Str. 11 on his own for two years. 
Himmler as a senior schoolboy at Landshut (front row, second from right) and the Gymnasium he attended in 1910 where he studied classic literature. Himmler was generally an above-average student. In religious education and history he was always graded ‘very good’ and in languages he was judged ‘very good’ to ‘good’; his weakest subject was physics, for which one year he was given only ‘satisfactory’. A school report from 1913/14 reads: ‘An apparently very able student who by tireless hard work, burning ambition and very lively participation achieved the best results in the class. His conduct was exemplary.'
 
The rathaus then and now
 
The Schochkaserne in 1940 and today
Whilst no reference to the NSDAP era is found anywhere in the town, this memorial recognises the mass deportation of the night of June 18, 1951, the third-largest mass deportation in modern Romanian history took place, surpassed only by the World War II deportation of Jews to Transnistria (considered collectively, and ended with massive extermination), and the January 1945 deportation of ethnic Germans from Romania. Some 45,000 people were taken from their homes and deported to the Bărăgan. These included Romanians, Germans (mostly Banat Swabians), Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanian and some Ukrainian refugees from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, and Aromanians.
Meanwhile more considerable changes are occuring to Landshut now as its district head Peter Dreier was forced to call German Chancellor Angela Merkel to tell her personally that if Germany continues its 'policy' of welcoming a million migrants, his town of Landshut will only take in around 1,800. Any extra will be put on buses and sent to her Chancellery in Berlin. As Hansjoerg Mueller of Alternative für Deutschland notes, "the town of Landshut has more or less 50,000 inhabitants and having nearly 2,000 refugees to meddle with the original population – this is quite a big burden. So Bavaria can take more, but not towns like Landshut."
18 km southeast of Landshut, in the district of Landshut is Vilsbiburg (Lower Bavaria)
 The photo on the left is from Geoff Walden's Third Reich Ruins (the ultimate site devoted to Nazi remains then and now) showing Himmler leading a parade through the high street on March 6, 1927 in preparation for the first speech in Bavaria by Hitler after his release from Landsberg after the failed putsch attempt in which he denounced his continued ban on public speaking in Munich. Reporting the next day, the Vilsbiburger Anzeiger stated
It happened as in a large city… Mr. Adolf Hitler spoke forwards about 1000 persons about of Germany future or fall. One must leave it to Mr. Hitler: he spoke essentially, sometimes however for our public somewhat with difficulty.
The same event, with Hitler himself shown fourth from the left. Little appears to have changed since.


Straubing

Between 1933 and 1945 most of the members of the then small Jewish community of Straubing were murdered or forced to emigrate; today its Jewish community numbers just under a thousand.  During a rally in June 1940, when Straubing and Bogen held its Kriegskreistag, some 20,000 people gathered at the Großdeutschlandplatz. Among the speakers were Gauleiter Wächtler and Gauamtsleiter Erbersdobler. In July 1940, the Donau-Zeitung reported that the Straubing Kreisleiter, Anton Putz, had flown toward France and not returned.  In 1944 and 1945, Straubing suffered from several American air raids during which time the local military hospital was destroyed to the extent of 80 percent with a loss of 45 patients.
 
The town before the war and after looking from the east towards the old town showing the church of St. Peter, St. Peter school and the Schlachthof, now serving as an art gallery.
 
On the main street during the Nazizeit and with wife and baby Drake Winston and looking the other way down Ludwigplatz towards the stadturm and tibertiusbrunnen 
 
1935 and today
 
The publishing house at Ludwigsplatz 32 where the anti-Nazi Straubinger Tagblatt was eventually closed down by the Nazi regime. On 29 May 1935 its publisher Georg Huber Sr., who had been denounced for anti-Nazi statements, was taken into 'protective custody.' That same day the Nazis had organised a rally against the Straubinger Tagblatt which was then banned for two days. On 2 September 1935 it finally closed for "political unreliability."
 
Festzug des Volksfestes  along Frauenhoferstraße
 
The schlossplatz
The arms used in the top-left canton on the reverse of the Straubing Deutschland Erwache standard reflects the change made in 1923 by the Nazis to remove the French influence shown in the fleur-de-lis, which were added in the 18th century. The arms have since been restored officially, but the spitaltor dating from 1628 shows the version favoured by the Nazis.
The two pages shown are from Deutschland Erwache - The History and Development of the Nazi Party and the “Germany Awake” Standards.

 
Rosengasse then and now.Embedded in a wall on the right is this inscription in Hebrew, a duplicate of what is now in the town museum. Roughly translated, it reads
The crown of our race fell with the death of our father Rabbi Azariah, the son of Jose, who stepped into another world on the eve of Shabbat, the 26th, the month of Iyar, the 88th 
 
The synagogue at the turn of the century, and standing in front today. It survived Reichskristallnacht out of fear of any conflagration affecting the neighbouring buildings.
 
The period photos show German women forced to clean the synagogue which had been desecrated on Reichskristallnacht before posing in front. In his book Hitler and Nazism, Dick Geary writes specifically how "[i]n Straubing Nazi excesses against local Jews ended in murder."
Leistnerstrasse after the bombing with American soldiers after the war 
 
The Agnes Bernauer chapel 
The  Bernauer Turm in 1941 and today
Auferstanden aus Ruinen
On April 28 1945 the SS blew up the Schloßbrücke Straubing,over the Danube to retard the allies' advance.

Overlooking the Danube and towards the bridge is this reichsadler, created by Munich sculptor Fritz Schmoll.
What is now the Amtsgericht Straubing on Kolbstrasse 11
 
Einst und jetzt
 
The Hans-Schemm-Schule, named after the founder of the National Socialist Teachers' Federation and today, renamed St. Jakobsschule.
The main market street in Straubing during the Nazizeit...
...and on October 14, 2009 when 1,250 garden gnomes with their right arms raised in a Hitler salute were presented by creator Ottmar Hoerl, who had already displayed his provocative gnomes in Belgium, Italy and two German art galleries; the first one in public in Germany despite the law prohibiting the public use of the Hitler gruss.

Passau

From 1892 until 1894, Adolf Hitler and his family lived here in Passau. The city archives mention Hitler being in Passau on four different occasions in the 1920s for speeches.
Hitler mentions it on the first page of Mein Kampf:
my father had to leave that frontier town which I had come to love so much and take up a new post farther down the Inn valley, at Passau, therefore actually in Germany itself.
According to John F. Williams in his book Corporal Hitler and the Great War 1914-1918: The List Regiment, "[f]rom his childhood – much of which was spent in the German border town of Passau – Hitler had been brought up to consider himself Bavarian."

Adolf Hitler nearly drowned when he was four years-old but was saved by a local priest, historians have claimed. Newspaper clippings have emerged detailing how a child – who experts believe was Adolf Hitler – was rescued from a river in Passau, Germany, in January 1894.  The infant is not named in the article, which was uncovered in a German archive, but it matches a story recounted by priest Max Tremmel in 1980. He said his predecessor Johann Kuehberger told him he had rescued Hitler when the Nazi leader was a child. Residents of Passau, where Hitler grew up, also claimed the priest's story was true.  The account of the incident remained uncorroborated until recently when the article emerged.  The Donauzeitung-Danube newspaper described how "a young fellow" was pulled out of the River Passau by a "brave comrade" after he fell through thin ice. The priest is said to have dived into the icy water after spotting the child struggling to stay afloat in the strong current.
 Anna Elisabeth Rosmus, a German author who lived in Passau, said the tale was known by most people in the town in book Out of Passau, Leaving a City Hitler Called Home. "Everyone in Passau knew the story. Some of the other stories told about him were that he never learned to swim and needed glasses," she wrote. "In 1894, while playing tag with a group of other children, the way many children do in Passau to this day, Adolf fell into the river. The current was very strong and the water ice cold, flowing as it did straight from the mountains. Luckily for young Adolf, the son of the owner of the house where he lived was able to pull him out in time and so saved his life."  Hitler told his Nazi generals that he used to play cowboys and Indians on the banks of the river but never admitted to falling in the water.
 
Hitler lived here at Theresienstrasse 23 until May 1, 1893 before his family moved across to the other side of the Inn.
 
Apparently the red building today at what is now Kapuzinerstrasse 5 (renamed Klara-Hitler-Strasse 5 in honour of Hitler's mother) is the site of another Hitler residence.
Nazis marching down the Rindermarkt June 17, 1923 in front of what is now the Hotel Passauer Wolf  
Tag der Arbeit on May 1, 1933 in Ludwigsplatz

The Passauer Tölpel then and now with baby Drake Winston in 2011
 
Three years later

The Residenzplatz with the Wittelsbacherbrunnen in front of the Dom

The St. Christopher mural on Pfaffengasse in 1941 and today

On the day Hitler finally killed himself, the Kaiserin-Elisabeth-Brücke was blown up, since rebuilt
 
The Hängebrücke in 1938 and its current incarnation

Passau has recently been the scene of demonstrations by and against neo-nazis after the town's police chief Alois Mannichl had been stabbed in front of his home by a neo-nazi.

Deggendorf 

The alte kaserne sporting a swastika during the war and today. Deggendorf was the site of a displaced persons camp for Jewish refugees after the war, housing approximately 2,000 refugees, who created a cultural centre that included two newspapers, the Deggendorf Centre Review and Cum Ojfboj, a theatre group, synagogue, mikvah, kosher kitchen, and more. The camp even issued its own currency known as the Deggendorf Dollar. Many of the camp's residents were survivors of the concentration camp at Theresienstadt.According to Giles MacDonogh (334), "locals accused the Jews who inhabited the old concentration camp in Deggendorf of carrying out armed robberies."
The displaced persons camp closed on June 15, 1949. 
This was ironic given that Deggendorf itself was the site of a notorious mediaeval massacre of Jews, first mentioned in an official document by Duke Heinrich XIV originating from 1338 in which the duke forgave the citizens of Deggendorf for the murder of its Jews and spared them any kind of punishment, going so far as to grant them the right to keep all the possessions they took from the Jews. The inscription in the basilica of Deggendorf dates the events to 1337 in which it is claimed that Jews were purported to have set fire to the town. The body of God was found so that the community of Deggendorf started to build a church.  '
In the year of the Lord 1337, on the day after Michaelmas, the Jews were slain. They had set fire to the town. Then the body of God was found. This was seen by women and men and the building of the house of God was begun.  
The wrong date indicates that this inscription stems from a much later date. The mention of the body of God points to a host desecration.
Easter Day was eventually given as the date and the accusation of well poisoning added even though it had never been mentioned before in this context. Details that could be interpreted as specific to Deggendorf are left out.What happened in Deggendorf in 1338 is probably that the pogrom came about because of the high debts the Christian citizens owed the Jews. The locusts destroying much of the crop tightened the situation. The end of September or the beginning of October 1338 is likely the correct date suggesting the Jews were murdered for economic reasons. Events were reworked later to justify the act so that in the 15th century the stereotypical legend took on its own life. It was not until the 1960s that anti-Jewish depictions showing them in the middle of the alleged host desecration were increasingly attacked. Among these was a cycle of sixteen oil paintings, the hosts themselves and the "Judenstein" (an anvil with Jewish figures around it and floating hosts). Even though the debate quickly became a heated topic in the press -abroad as well as domestic- it took until 1968 for the first four of the sixteen oil paintings to finally be removed, which was the first concession. The debate quickly polarized. While some saw the "Deggendorfer Gnad" as anti-Semitism in its purest form, others thought it just a piece of Bavarian folklore.

Bayerisch Eisenstein

The Gasthof Neuwaldhaus flying the Nazi flag and its current incarnation

The Youth Hostel, also considerably changed including the Hitler Youth flag in front. 

Osterhofen
 
Hindenburgplatz during the Nazi regime and today
 
The war memorial 

Schönberg