Remaining Nazi Sites in Saxony

Adolf-Hitler-Strasse in 1942, now Grosse Kirchgasse and, below, from the other direction.
At the beginning of the Nazi regime, an early concentration camp was established in the Schützenhaus, the later Gaststätte Erzgebirgischer Hof, in which hundreds of members of workers' organisations and other opponents of the Nazi regime were interned and abused. In the context of the November pogrom in 1938, the remaining sixteen Jews of the city, who until 1936 used the prayer room at 17 Buchholzer Straße, were expelled or deported to the extermination camps. The Jewish cemetery was destroyed and buried in 1940.
Annaberg is noteworthy as the site where the Nazis recruited and trained nearly thirty Annabergofficers and ten thousand enlisted men consisting of Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindu components, each wearing the symbol of a springing tiger on the tricolour shield of India on his uniform sleeve. The initial recruits in 1941 were volunteers from the Indian students resident in Germany at the time, and a handful of the Indian prisoners of war who had been captured during the North Africa Campaign captured at El Mekili during the battles for Tobruk. The number of PoWs transferred to Germany grew to about ten thousand who were eventually housed at Annaburg camp, where Bose first met with them.Ironically, these former British Imperial Army men took the oath of allegiance on Aug. 26, 1942 to Hitler, Bose, and India---in that order---as Brandenburg Commandos. They were later incorporated into the German Army as the 950th Infantry Regiment with 2,593 men in three battalions. Most wore tropical style, Afrika Korps-like uniforms with peaked forage cap with the standard Nazi eagle and swastika on their breasts. Their helmets featured both the Indian and German national colours .Intended to serve as a liberation force for British-ruled India, it was made up of Indian prisoners of war and expatriates in Europe. Because of its origins in the Indian independence movement, it was known also as the "Tiger Legion", and the "Azad Hind Fauj". Initially raised as part of the German Army, it was officially assigned to the Waffen-ϟϟ from August 1944. Indian independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose initiated the legion's formation, as part of his efforts to win India's independence by waging war against Britain, when he came to Berlin in 1941 seeking German aid.  The majority of the troops of the Indian Legion were only ever stationed in Europe in non-combat duties, in the Netherlands and in France until the Allied invasion. They saw action in the retreat from the Allied advance across France, fighting mostly against the French Resistance.
Kreisführerschule Rauschenbachmühle
Kreisführerschule Rauschenbachmühle and now, a nature centre
One company was sent to Italy in 1944, where it saw action against British and Polish troops and undertook anti-partisan operations. At the time of the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, the remaining men of the Indian Legion made efforts to march to neutral Switzerland over the Alps, but these efforts proved futile as they were captured by American and French troops and eventually shipped back to India to face charges of treason. Because of the uproar the trials of Indians who served with the Axis caused among civilians and the military of British India, the legion members' trials were not completed.
In Annaberg the wartime destruction was limited. Buchholz, on the other hand, was heavily hit during a Valentine's Day bomb attack on February 14, 1945. Instead of a planned attack on nearby Chemnitz, several bombers waved to the south because of too high clouds, the towns of Annaberg and Buchholz were illuminated. It is assumed that during the overflight over the Pöhlberg the bombs were released too late, so that the city Annaberg was spared this night by demolitions. In Buchholz, on the other hand, numerous houses were destroyed or severely damaged. The church of St. Catherine was also struck, vaults and pillars collapsed, only the enclosing walls were preserved and not rebuilt until 1975.

Adolf-Hitler-Platz in 1939 and the market today in front of the rathaus and looking the other way, still with the Schwarzer Adler.
As the numbers of PoWs based in Annaberg joining the Indian legion swelled, the legion was moved here to Königsbrück for further training. It was at Königsbrück that their uniforms were first issued, in German feldgrau with the badge of the leaping tiger of Azad Hind. The formation of the Indian National Army was announced by the German Propaganda Ministry in January 1942 but didn't take the oath until August 26, 1942, as the Legion Freies Indien of the German Army. By mid-1942, the Indian Legion, now officially the "(Indian) Infantry Regiment 950",  had grown to such an extent that its original camp in Frankenberg, where the Indians received pioneer training and participated in parachutist classes, was too small and the troupe was relocated on July 15, 1942 on the military training
Infanterieregiment 950 (Ind.) at Königsbrück 
area here in Königsbrück, one of the largest military training centres in all of Germany and largely unused at the start of the war. The Legion, which gradually grew to the strength of a regiment, found sufficient space here. It hosted a cultural group of Indians who performed plays. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs had rooms for religious worship and the meals and the timing of the roster took into account the religious obligations of the various confessions. Contacts with the civilian population of the location were also possible, with relationships between Indians and local women took place both here and at Annaburg. Gradually many Indians made an effort to learn German as the interpreters adjusted to the foreign mentality, and the interpreters were getting along better and better in their proficiency of various Indian languages and dialects. When the relocation of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Legion to the North Sea coast was imminent in April 1943, a large number of Indians of the 3rd Company refused, given their frustration that they should be used for coastal protection and not directly in support of actions against the British Raj. On April 19, 1943, six legionaries spoke at the Central Free India and members of the headquarters came to Königsbrück to speak with the Indian NCO, but could not dispel the misgivings about the transfer. Riots took place, spreading to other companies. They even spread to other companies. The commander then submitted a report for military uprising which felt that summary executions as was the case with military mutinies, was called for, believing that linguistic misunderstandings were the cause of the conflict.  

Schloss Struppen, formerly used as an SA FührerschuleSchloss Struppen, formerly used as an SA Führerschule. The town itself has a number of memorials referencing the Nazi era- one dating from 1948 on the main street commemorates victims of fascism. Another in the cemetery serves as a memorial to five concentration camp prisoners and PoWs from different countries. The memorial plaques at Hauptstraße 32 as well as on the Rittergut honour the communist Martin Hering (murdered in 1933 in the Hohnstein concentration camp) and Artur Tiermann (shot in a forest near Altenberg in 1935). Hering had been the political leader of the local communist group in Struppen and one of the 72 Communists, Social Democrats and anti-fascists arrested on March 9, 1933 by SA commanders of the SA leadership stationed here. He escaped in the end of May, forming an illegal resistance group in Struppen from still-active remaining communists and partisans. Hering was re-arrested on November 4, 1933 and brought to Hohnstein, dying on November 22 through torture after refusing to reveal the whereabouts of his comrades and lure his own son across the border to the police.
Villa Wach, 'aryanised' in 1939 and appropriated from the Wach family, became the following year a national leader school as DRK Landesführerschule IV with the reichsadler affixed onto its pediment as shown in the period photograph. It also served during the war as an hospital used by the German Red Cross. After the war until 1957 it was used by the Soviet army as a gaol; today it serves as a children's and youth services centre. During the war there was hardly any destruction in the town itself. Thirty-one  inhabitants on Ahornstraße were killed after their houses were destroyed by explosive bombs; a bronze plaque commemorates this at Ahornstraße 2/4. On May 7 and 8, 1945, Radebeul was occupied by the Soviet army almost without fighting, but the Niederwartha bridge was still blown up by German troops on May 8th. The Soviet military administration confiscated numerous large buildings and villas for their purposes in the following weeks, and even until 1947; the inhabitants were partly forced to settle elsewhere until January 1950.

The town hall on Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today. Located in the south-east of the city is the former Rittergut Altscherbitz which, from 1876, was used as the provincial Altscherbitz mental institution. During the Nazi era it served as the "Zwischenanstalt" for the killing institution Bernburg under the Nazis' "Euthanasia Programme", later referred to after the war as Action T4. Here the disabled were murdered from November 21, 1940 to July 30, 1943 in a separate wing of the State Sanatorium and Mental Hospital in Bernburg. In toto 9,384 sick and handicapped people from 33 welfare institutions and nursing homes as well as roughly five thousand prisoners from six concentration camps were killed here in a gas chamber using carbon monoxide gas. Today there is a memorial in Bernburg commemorating the victims of the Bernburg Euthanasia Centre.
On April 18, 1945, American troops entered the city before being replaced by the Red Army on July 2nd. After the end of the war, about 4,500 refugees came to the city.

 The town as shown in a Nazi postcard and today. At the beginning of the Nazi era about 120 anti-Nazis were arrested here and interned within the surrounding "protective custody camps" in the summer of 1933 and forced to perform labour. A plaque commemorates this event as well as a memorial in Erdmannsdorf for all victims of fascism. From May 1933, an ϟϟ guard has been employed to guard these prisoners. This guard was subordinate to ϟϟ leader Ehrhardt Müller, who was born on July 28, 1907 in Grünhainichen. Organisationally, Augustusburg by then had belonged to the Sachsenburg concentration camp as a satellite camp. In the summer of 1933, the satellite camp comprised of 120 prisoners who were used, among other things, for renovation work within the castle itself. The Augustusburg satellite camp was closed in December 1935. In June 1933 a so-called "NS-Gauführerschule Sachsen" started operating in Augustusburg Castle. From July 7th to August 3rd, 1933 the 2nd ϟϟ course of ϟϟ section II took place here. The course participants included Rudolf Saalbach from Grossenhain, who was also a member of the ϟϟ Sonderkommando "Sachsen" and was employed as a department commander in the Waffen-ϟϟ at the end of the war. The 1st ϟϟ course was launched in spring 1933 carried out in Hammerleubsdorf. After the ϟϟ Sonderkommando "Sachsen" was set up in Dresden in autumn 1933, the second expansion of this barracked, armed ϟϟ unit took place in mid-January 1934 with the formation of a second cohort. Until then, the formation had only been accommodated in the " Wollner-Villa " in Dresden-Wachwitz. Presumably for reasons of space, an estimated group of fifty ϟϟ members remained under the leadership of Karl Otto Koch in Dresden. A new group led by ϟϟ leader Adolf Ellenberger, with an approximate strength of fifty ϟϟ members, was moved to Augustusburg Castle. At this point in time, Augustusburg Castle took on three specific tasks: a place of detention, a driving school, and as ϟϟ accommodation. On February 22, 1934, 9.30, a sports accident occurred in the castle courtyard of Ausgustusburg involving ϟϟ medical orderly Fritz Seidler and others.
 Within the cemetery of Erdmannsdorf are buried four unknown concentration camp inmates who were murdered during a death march from Flossenburg camp in April 1945 by ϟϟ men. It is claimed that the furniture from the Reichschancellery was sent here before the end of the war, later to be confiscated by the Soviets. 

 The Lehngericht Augustusburg sporting the Nazi flag during the war and being renovated today

Birthplace of  Bruno Hauptmann, convicted kidnapper of the son of Charles Lindbergh.
Bautzener Straße 
Bautzener Straße. During the war from October 1944 to April 1945, an extermination camp of the Groß-Rosen concentration camp was built in the building of the derelict cloth factory Gebr. Noßke & Co. at Herrental 9. It held 150 Jews, whom Daimler-Benz AG had used to manufacture aircraft engine parts. 

Husarenkaserne during the war and today. During the Nazi era many political opponents, socialists and communists, and also Jehovah's Witnesses, were imprisoned in the city. In March 1933 the copper and aluminum, rolled, wire and hammer works C.G.Tietzens Eidamm (Kupferhammer) served in the valley road as a protective camp for 500 German and Sorbian opponents of Hitler. The Trade Union House served the same purposes on today's Dr. Maria-Grollmuß-Strasse 1 and the Haus Outer Lauenstrasse 33 as it does today. Ernst Thälmann was imprisoned in Bautzen I until his transport to Buchenwald concentration camp in 1943 and 1944. Many political prisoners were also interned in the Bautzen II detention centre, such as the well-known Czech journalist Julius Fučík. In the south of the city, directly on the river Spree, there was also an external camp of the Groß-Rosen concentration camp, where 1,000 to 1500 prisoners, mainly Jews, were involved in the armament production of the wagon building and machinery factory. Busch (Wumag) of the Flick Group. In the interwar period, Bautzen was also the seat of the so-called Wend Department, which was established for the state surveillance of the Sorbian people, and was used for this purpose both in the Weimar Republic and among the national socialists.
Castle Ortenburg from a Nazi-era postcard, located in the old town of Bautzen on a rocky plateau above the Spree. For centuries it was the tribal stronghold of the Milzeners and the main province of Upper Lusatia and was owned by the respective sovereigns. The most striking building of the castle complex is the late Gothic Matthias tower. During the Nazi era, the Gestapo established a seat in this building. During the war the city was particularly badly damaged between April 19-26, 1945 . The domes of the Lauenturm and the Michaeliskirche were destroyed, nearly all bridges were blown up, but the railway viaduct was not till after the 4th of May. On April 26, 1945, in the Battle of Bautzen, the last major German Panzer-attack of the Second World War took place; the city was recaptured and remained in German hands until the surrender.

Crimmitschau The railway station during the war sporting a swastika and today, practically unchanged. During the summer of 1935, the baptised Jew Dr. Boas, a dermatologist and reserve officer, had his windows broken and his professional sign destroyed at the instigation of his 'aryan' colleagues. Although the action was obviously illegal and the courts would have had to back Boas, the SA interceded and took the "prosecution" into its own hands resulting in Boas's home being ransacked and the doctor marched off to "protective custody."
In 1944, some Crimmitschau property was bombed by Allied Forces. On July 7, 1944 for example, bombs destroyed several houses on the Leitelshainer / Freund- und Hohlstraße. It was not, however, a systematic air target for the Allies. On April 13 and 14, 1945 American tanks appeared on the motorway from Meerane and had taken the city on April 15. Because of the statements of Yalta and Teheran, the Americans left Westsachsen and on July 1, 1945, the Red Army entered Crimmitschau.

Nicolaikirche under the Hakenkreuzfahne and today. On May 1, 1933 Freiberg churches held a "Patriotic Celebration." Reverend Paul Gotthelf Schwen wrote in the community newsletter of St. James "that God sent Adolf Hitler as the saviour to us."
In 1944 a subcamp of Flossenbürg concentration camp was built outside the town of Freiberg, housing over 500 female survivors of other camps, including Auschwitz Birkenau. Altogether 50 or so ϟϟ women worked in this camp until its evacuation in April 1945. The female survivors eventually reached Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. 
Throughout the town there are numerous memorials commemorating events from the war including a plaque at the Saxon Porcelain Factory GmbH where, in the spring of 1933, political opponents of the regime were detained and tortured by the Nazi authorities but which for unknown reasons was removed after 1990. Another plaque commemorates the 1000 Jewish female prisoners at the subcamp of Flossenburg and Polish forced labourers who were kidnapped and victims of forced labour. Another plaque at the same site can be seen for the Jewish director of the porcelain factory, Dr. Werner Hofmann, who killed himself in 1939. One final plaque commemorates Dr. Werner Hartenstein, the mayor of the city from 1924 to 1945 who managed to save the town from unnecessary losses. He was then arrested by the NKVD in June 1945, and died February 11 1947 at the Jamlitz Special Camp
The 1843 Schwedendenkmal on the former Platz der SA looking down Peterstraße.

Görlitz rathaus
 The rathaus in 1940 and today. Görlitz is the easternmost town in the country, located on the Lusatian Neisse River in Saxony opposite the Polish town of Zgorzelec, which was a part of Görlitz until 1945. Görlitz was almost completely spared from destruction during the war. A special feature of the city is that all important phases of the development of Central European settlements have been preserved and readable without major structural changes. With over 4000 largely restored cultural and architectural features , Görlitz is often referred to as the largest connected monumental monument in Germany. The inner city image is characterised by late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque burgher houses in the Old Town as well as an extended period of the Gründerzeit district around the old town. Because of this particular cityscape, Görlitz is also a coveted film turning site, which gave the city the nickname "Görliwood" . 
Near the end of the war German troops destroyed all bridges crossing the Lusatian Neisse. The redrawing of boundaries in 1945—in particular the relocation of the German-Polish border to the present Oder-Neisse line—divided the town. The right bank became part of Poland and was renamed Zgorzelec by the Polish communist government in 1948, while the main portion on the left bank remained part of Germany, now within the state of Saxony. When the East German states were dissolved in 1952, Görlitz became part of the Dresden District, but the states were restored upon German reunification in 1990.

Schlettau im Erzgebirge 
Schlettau im Erzgebirge
The rathaus as seen in a Nazi-era postcard and today. A Reichswehr camp was set up in the Schlettau Lindenhof gym. In the last days of the war the town's mayor, Strubelt, wanted to defend the city of Schlettau against the advancing Red Army by having the townfolk build anti-tank barriers from spruce wood above the level crossing on today's B101. In the end, such a pointless exercise was made irrelevant as the Russian tanks didn't advance from the west, but came from the opposite direction. One of the last instructions from the soldiers on duty to the people of Schlettau was to call for civilian clothes and handcarts to be handed in in order to allow them to flee in civilian clothes, disguised as refugees, in the direction of Finkenburg after having wanted to shoot the gym attendant Kurt Graupner for "degrading military strength" because he persistently asked the soldiers to remove the weapons they had left behind from the gym. Several leading Nazis ended up hiding in the Ore Mountains or attempted to break away to the west via the unoccupied corridor in Schwarzenberg. Saxon Gauleiter Martin Mutzschmann and Schlettauer Werner Vogelsang were among those captured, shown to the population and then transported into captivity. During all this, a steadily growing stream of refugees from the former eastern regions arrived in the Ore Mountains.

Löbau rathaus 
The rathaus sporting a swastikas above the entrance during the Nazi era and today, flag-free. From 1914 to 1991 Löbau was a garrison town, starting in 1914 as a Jägerkaserne up to its role as an in 1963 officer college of the "Ernst Thälmann" land forces. During the First World War, Löbau was the location of a reserve hospital and was involved in war production. At the end of the Second World War, the city was not affected by direct acts of war, but almost all road and railway bridges that were important for traffic were blown up. In 1945, associations of the Red Army moved in; the Soviet zone of occupation emerged.
The Kasernenwache in 1941 and today, renamed the Jägerkaserne
Adolf-Hitler-Platz, today Wettiner Platz. Hitler was driven through here on October 6, 1938
Looking at Adolf-Hitler-Platz from the other direction, now the altmarkt

The Grenzlandtheater in 1942 and today, the Gerhart Hauptmann theatre. It replaced the previous building that had burned down, based on designs by Hermann Alker and Alfred Hoppam. It opened on September 27, 1936 as Grenzlandtheater with Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz. After the war it was renamed the Zittau City Theater.
As with the rest of Germany, Jewish residents were persecuted, expelled, and murdered in Zittau during the Nazi period. The synagogue was blown up during the November pogrom in 1938. At least forty Jews from Zittau and Löbau were murdered during the Holocaust. Towards the end of the war, external camps of the Groß-Rosen concentration camp and the Auschwitz concentration camp were set up for male and female concentration camp prisoners, who had to carry out forced labour in the quarries, a part of Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke AG. the Inhuman conditions led to at least 158 ​​deaths.
Nazi flags in the marketplace and today.
In the last days of the war, the city was fiercely defended as roughly eighty people were killed in low-flying attacks whilst numerous buildings were either damaged or destroyed. On May 7, 1945, residents were asked to leave the city temporarily. The next day, the last of the war, the city surrendered, allowing the Red Army to march into Zittau largely without a fight on the ninth.
During the Nazi era a large part of the Czech minority was expelled from the city and its surroundings. In retaliation after the war the German population was expelled from Bohemian territory and from then on, under Polish administration, east of the Neisse. After the end of the war, there was a strong Czech minority in the city, which had a population of 4,000, and undertook efforts to annex the city of Czechoslovakia. In 1948 these efforts were rejected in the course of the Warsaw Convention.

Hans Schemm Schule
Hans Schemm Schule, named after the founder of the National Socialist Teachers' Federation. In 1928, Schemm became a member of the Bavarian Landtag.  Systematically, Schemm prepared the local Nazi Party for the election campaigns, first for the City Council in 1929. The Nazis won nine seats, and Schemm became the council chairman. The arrival of the Nazi faction led to frequent stormy sessions and one brawl, which were caused by the Nazi members', and in particular Schemm's, aggressive attitude. In 1928 and 1929 Schemm took over the leadership of several Nazi newspapers (Streiter, Weckruf and Nationale Zeitung), which he however gave up after a short time. In April 1929, Schemm founded his own newspaper, and in August of the same year appeared in the Nationalsozialistische Lehrerzeitung ("National Socialist Teachers' Newspaper"), the National Socialist Teachers League's (NSLB) journalistic organ.   On March 5, 1935, Schemm died in an aircraft crash. Hitler personally ordered Berlin Professor Ferdinand Sauerbruch to fly to Bayreuth. Schemm, however, succumbed to his injuries before the professor's arrival. His successor as Gauleiter was Fritz Wächtler. Schemm's life had been glorified by the Nazis, and somewhat even later after the Nazis were gone. In the time of the Nazi regime nevertheless various schools, streets, and halls in Germany were named after him.

Riesa an der Elbe
Riesa an der Elbe
Another Hans Schemm Schule doesn't appear to have survived the war, unlike the neighbouring Pestalozzi Schule.

Sayda im Erzgebirge
 The church "Zu unserer lieben Frauen" dating from 1391 on Adolf Hitler Straße seen from Hindenburgplatz.

 Bad Düben 

The Schützenhaus, now an hotel, flying the swastika and today. Four Einsatzgruppen were set up in the Dübener Heide in 1941; members of Einsatzgruppe D had killed around 91,000 people by the end of 1942 by shooting, hanging and finally with gas vans. It was in the local school on Kirchplatz that lectures were given by "Eastern experts of the SD" such as Dr. Heinz Gräfe, or members of the civil administration, such as the mayor of Tilsit, Dr. Hans Schindowski who had held a lecture on the "Russian mentality" to improve the level of knowledge about the Soviet Union. Members of the Wehrmacht gave lectures on the partisan struggle, the Red Army, the climatic conditions and diseases that are allegedly specific to the Soviet Union. In his classic book Ordinary Men, Christopher Browning describes a meeting of all leadership cadres of the Einsatzgruppen took place in Berlin under Heydrich's leadership, and before they left the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) gave a speech at the farewell ceremony in Pretzsch castle on June 17, 1941. Browning goes on to describe how the members from Einsatzgruppe D were brought together in Düben for a few days so that they could develop a sense of community before they left for the front.
Today's Paradeplatz in Düben and from a Nazi-era postcard when, from 1933 to 1945, it was called “Adolf-Hitler-Platz”. The local newspaper "Dübener Nachrichten" reported how more than 3000 ϟϟ men had lined up on the Muldewiesen near Düben when they took their leave in June 1941 as a special event, given that 600 had been present in Düben since November 1940. With Adolf-Hitler-Platz specifically chosen as the site for the final parade. The troops marched to the ϟϟ houses now used as apartment blocks in the Feldherrensiedlung.
Düben townsfolk were also murdered, including a 15-year-old boy and forcibly sterilised because they were disabled and allegedly “hereditary”. Still, after the war refugees from the East were not welcomed in Düben in any friendly manner as it had been felt that the war had only broken out because of "the people from the East".


The Schwartenberghaus with and without Nazi flag. Located on the highest mountain of the Osterzgebirge, it's sited east of Olbernhau between Neuhausen in the north and Seiffen in the southwest. The first plans to build a mountain hut on the summit of the Schwartenberg came up as early as 1893 but it wasn't until the end of the Great War that the Erzgebirgsverein acquired a corresponding plot of land measuring 4,960 m² for a price of 868 marks but the implementation of the plans was delayed because of the inflation in the post-war period. The building was eventually consecrated on July 31, 1927 by pastor and local researcher Friedrich Hermann Löscher from Zwönitz. The building is still used today as a mountain restaurant.

Schwarzenberg thingplatz
In the early 1930s, the idea arose of converting the upper quarry into an arena for large-scale events. This was done in the context of the Nazi Thing movement, and a large part of the dynamiting, transport and construction work was done by the Workers' Labour Service. A total of 1,300 workers were involved in the project, and according to contemporary accounts, professionals were responsible for 20,000 days of work, Labour Service workers for 60,000. The sod-breaking took place on April 7, 1934, but costs greatly exceeded the estimates, and the project was only completed after the Propaganda Ministry and the State of Saxony provided additional funds. The arena was inaugurated on 25–26 June 1938 as a Feierstätte der Volksgemeinschaft (ceremonial site for the folk community), the Grenzlandfeierstätte (Borderlands Ceremonial Site). A copper container containing construction plans, a newspaper and coins was sealed into the masonry to the right of the stage. The theatre was operated in cooperation with those at Borna and Kamenz; in 1938–39, the theatre troupe from the open-air theatre at Ehrenfriedersdorf also played there.   After Germany’s surrender in the Second World War, Schwarzenberg remained, for historically unclear reasons, unoccupied at first. On May 11, 1945, several antifascist Schwarzenberg citizens took the initiative of filling the resulting power vacuum. This episode lasted only until 25 June 1945 when Soviet troops marched in. In 1984, the writer Stefan Heym coined the term “Republic of Schwarzenberg” in his novel Schwarzenberg, which was based on the episode.
Schmilka, Bad Schandau
The Gasthaus zur Mühle with hakenkreuz in front, and today

Müglitz (Altenberg) 
The Gasthof zur Grenzschenkein 1942 sporting swastika flags and today- considerably run-down
A subcamp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp was located here at Aue during the war.
Adolf-Hitler-Brücke, opened June 5, 1937  is now known as Bahnhofsbrücke

No Nazi flag outside the Gasthaus Weißes Roß anymore

Sohland an der Spree
The marktplatz during the Third Reich surrounded by Nazi flags and today. Sohland an der Spree has a has a border crossing to Šluknov (known as Schluckenau during the war), the northernmost town of the Czech Republic. In 1930, Schluckenau was home to 5578 inhabitants who were largely ethnic German. Prior to the Second World War, Schluckenau was a center in Czechoslovakia for the pro-Nazist Sudeten German Party (SdP) led by Konrad Henlein. This was one reason why, in March 1939, Hitler chose the city as the first stop of the Wehrmacht during the German annexation of Sudetenland. The Wehrmacht continued on to occupy Prague and establish the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Following the invasion some Czechs were driven out of Schluckenau into the interior of Bohemia. From 1938 until 1945 Schluckenau was the seat for the district administrator of the County of Schluckenau in the Nazist German Sudetenland, the district of Aussig. After the war, in 1945, the town returned to Czechoslovakia and the German livers were expelled under the terms of Beneš decrees. The city was renamed Šluknov. Only a few Czechs were willing to settle in the remote northern Bohemian town following its liberation and today the town is now only 1/7 of its prewar size with a fifth of the residents being gypsies, most of whom are unemployed.

Schloß Sachsenburg
Schloß Sachsenburg when it served as a Gauführerinnenschule. In 1933 the schloß briefly served as a detention camp when on May 2, 1933 the first prisoners arrived, being used as workmen who were to erect a protective camp. The castle grounds itself, however, served only for about a month. From the mid-1930s it served as the Nazi Party Gauführerinnenschule for Saxony. It was one of the first concentration camps under the Nazis and existed until 1937. Among the best known inmates were the communist writer Bruno Apitz ("Nackt unter Wölfen") as well as the publisher and publicist Walter Janka.  The castle grounds themselves were then used again as training grounds for groups like the BDM. One of the BDM girls is said to have been saved by a prisoner from drowning in Zschopau. Towards the end of the war the castle finally housed a research institute of the Wehrmacht, used as a bacteriological Institute as a branch of the Robert Koch Institute. After the war the Sachsenburg served as residence for evacuees before 1947 Youth Werkhof has been established, which existed until 1967.
Nazi flags displayed in the marketplace in a Nazi-era postcard

Wilkau Haßlau
Wilkau Haßlau rathaus
The rathaus bedecked in swastikas during the war and now


Swastikas flying at the Obermarkt in a Nazi-era postcard. In 1944, a subcamp of Flossenbürg concentration camp, was built outside this town which had housed over 500 female survivors of other camps, including Auschwitz Birkenau. Altogether fifty or so ϟϟ women worked in this camp until its evacuation in April 1945. The female survivors eventually reached Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

 On April 20, 1945, the town’s deputy mayor Rudolf Weber, who wanted to surrender the town to the Americans without a fight, was shot by the Waffen-ϟϟ.
Adolf-Hitler-Platz before the war and now

Stentzlers Hof Stentzlers Hof decked with swastikas and today. From the beginning of the Nazi party's seizure of power in 1933 up to the start of the Second World War, Leipzig was an important city to the regime.
Hitler had been determined to rearm the German military lead to foreign crises regarding foreign currency, but his determination harmed the economy. It was only the Leipzig Trade Fair in 1934 that saved the German economy; because of its established reputation and network among other European countries, Germany was able to regulate trade licenses and prioritise importation to ultimately improve their exportation success and prevent further deficit. As the economy worsened, so did tensions for the Jews. Because of activity that was deemed rebellious or against the Nazi regime, 1,600 people were arrested in Leipzig towards the end of 1934. Jewish youth in various youth groups were prohibited from wearing uniforms and displaying pennants like their Aryan peers to help create a distinction between Aryan and non-Aryan. This rampant antisemitism caused Jews to flee the country. Eight hundred Jews emigrated from Leipzig to Palestine between the years of 1933 and 1935 to seek freedom from their religious persecution and escape the Nazi regime. To combat the antisemitic policies and decrees, Jews joined together in an attempt to save their culture. In December, over 575 Jews made up the Cultural Organisation of the German Jews, or Kulturbund Deutscher Juden Ortsgruppe Leipzig as it later became known as, which was an organization dedicated to keeping Jewish culture alive and providing an outlet to Jews whose lifestyles were being stifled. Eventually thousands of Jews were transported to and from this city as Adolf Hitler's plans for the Jewish people evolved. Between the years of 1933 to 1939, Jews suffered from the implementation of over 400 anti-Jewish policies, laws, and regulations. 
 The city's mayor from 1930 to 1937, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler was a noted opponent of the Nazi regime in Germany. He resigned in 1937 when, in his absence, his Nazi deputy ordered the destruction of the city's statue of Felix Mendelssohn. On Kristallnacht in 1938, one of the city's most architecturally significant buildings, the 1855 Moorish Revival Leipzig synagogue was deliberately destroyed.  Several thousand forced labourers were stationed in Leipzig during the war. 
The hauptbahnhof looks remarkably unchanged since the 1938 postcard when swastikas flew in front considering the damage incurred after the bombing of July 7, 1944.
Wermsdorf MüttererholungsheimThe National Socialist National Welfare Service operated a mother's home here in Wermsdorf. The NSV- Müttererholungsheim  was located in the baroque building of the former post office in 1935, intended exclusively as "education for self-help." In a letter dated June 1936, Wermsdorf Mayor Boßdorf reported that 35 people were accommodated in the mothers' home, changing every four weeks. The women with their children, who were accommodated here, were prepared for their task as housewife and mother. The Wermsdorfer women's service was taken over by the NSV to reinforce the staff. It was only allowed to the people who had previously entered the NSV.
The whole nature of the Wermsdorfer complex with its large garden, flowerbeds and children's play area corresponded to the "mother and child" charity which provided a relaxing holiday for four weeks. The mothers were relieved of the care of their infants and toddlers by sisters. The "Aryan" women were accompanied throughout the pregnancy as well as after the birth of the child. The women, who were young women of 20-30 years were preparing the food for the children in the in-house kitchen. These organised festivals, raffles for the Winterhilfswerk, and held compulsory meetings. Training sessions on public health and propaganda were regularly on the agenda. The Nazis also hoped that the birth rate was to be increased to bear sons for the war.
Völkerschlachtdenkmal GIFThe Völkerschlachtdenkmal (Monument to the Battle of the Nations) in 1940 and today. Built to commemorate Napoleon's defeat at the 1813 Battle of Leipzig, a crucial step towards the end of hostilities in the War of the Sixth Coalition, which was seen as a victory for the German people, although Germany did not exist at that time. It was completed in 1913 for the 100th anniversary of the battle, at a cost of 6,000,000 Goldmarks  and stands at 299 feet in height. It contains over 500 steps to a viewing platform at the top, from which there are spectacular views across the city and environs. It is said to stand on the spot of some of the bloodiest fighting, from where Napoleon. During the First World War the served as the backdrop for patriotic rallies before eventually becoming the main commemorative point for the fallen soldiers in the war, a function that remained throughout the Weimar republic, preserving the installation as national monument and kept it connected to military forces. In the 1932 commemoration activities a year before Hitler came to power, SA forces rallied with choirs and student organisations at the monument. Under the Nazis the nationalism became more militarized as they interpreted the monument as symbol of the invincibility of the Germans. Hitler's first speech there took place in May 1933 where he drew a line between the victorious forces of 1813 and the new nationalistic movement. 
Hitler speaking at the Völkerschlachtdenkmal. During the Third Reich, Hitler frequently used the monument as a venue for his meetings in Leipzig. It was here on July 16, 1933 that Hitler announced to 140,000 men of the SA, ϟϟ and the Stahlhelm:
Today we are not leading a mere thirteen or seventeen million, but the entire Volk, and hence the gigantic task accrues to us of training the millions of people who do not yet inwardly belong to us to become soldiers of this Third Reich, to become soldiers of our Weltanschauung.
During the war the current interpretations emphasised German strength and loyalty but after the air raid on Leipzig in December 1943 it was also used as place to commemorate the civilian deaths. 
An American soldier surveying the aftermath and the site today. The monument itself served as the backdrop for an anti-fascist demonstration in 2011. When the US army captured Leipzig on April 18, 1945, the monument was one of the last strongholds in the city to surrender. One hundred and fifty ϟϟ soldiers with ammunition and foodstuffs stored in the structure to last three months dug themselves in, but were blasted with artillery and defeated.  During the period of Communist rule in East Germany, the government of the DDR was unsure whether it should allow the monument to stand, since it was considered to represent the steadfast nationalism of the period of the German Empire. Eventually, it was decided that the monument be allowed to remain, since it represented a battle in which Russian and German soldiers had fought together against a common enemy, and was therefore representative of Deutsch-russische Waffenbrüderschaft (Russo-German brotherhood-in-arms). 
Americans in front of the  Federal Administrative Court building and today. The city was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during the war. Unlike its neighbouring city of Dresden this was largely conventional bombing, with high explosives rather than incendiaries. The resultant pattern of loss was a patchwork, rather than wholesale loss of its centre, but was nevertheless extensive.  The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Leipzig in late April 1945. The U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and U.S. 69th Infantry Division fought into the city on 18 April and completed its capture after fierce urban combat, in which fighting was often house-to-house and block-to-block, on 19 April 1945. 
In April 1945 the Deputy Mayor of Leipzig, Ernest Lisso, his wife, daughter and a Volkssturm Major Walter Dönicke committed suicide in the Leipzig City Hall.  The U.S. turned the city over to the Red Army as it pulled back from the line of contact with Soviet forces in July 1945 to the predesignated occupation zone boundaries. Leipzig became one of the major cities of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).
It was here at the Zoologischer Garten on December 11, 1932 that Hitler announced
I am the one who has fixed the price of the Movement. No one will offer it at less than that. But if anyone should ever be found to do so, he would be lost in the Party within an hour and would have no Movement behind him. We will not allow ourselves to be lured into the den of intrigue where the others are experts at the game [here clearly referring to Gregor Strasser who had been offered the post of Vice-Chancellor in a bid by the authorities to split the party]. 
Time will not wear me down. Certainly we lost thirty seats, but in the meantime our opponents have lost two governments! And the new Cabinet will not last any longer. We will regain those thirty seats. Our supply of recruits is larger than theirs, and I will place this task first and foremost and without any consideration to myself.
On January 2 the Burgfriede will be over, and on the third we will be back in the thick of the fight.
St. Laurentius church at Platz der SA then and now. The town was well known until the Second World War for Markranstädter Pilsener beer. At the beginning of the Nazi era, opponents of the Nazi regime were persecuted and imprisoned. On March 11, 1933, the Communist Oswald Jäckel was assassinated by SA men. In his memory, an old people's home and today's Krakauer Straße bore its name in the DDR era and his urn still sits at the memorial for the victims of fascism in the cemetery. Other memorials to the time set up by the Est German authorities remain- at the grave site for Soviet prisoners of war who fell victim to forced labour during the war, a plaque commemorates seven victims, one unknown. In the cemetery in the Kulkwitz district are the graves and a memorial stone for two unknown people, presumably from the Soviet Union, who were abducted to Germany and died victims of forced labour. The cemetery located in  the Räpitz district contains graves which commemorate two Soviet womenalso deported to Germany and were victims of forced labour. And at two locations so far, stumbling blocks have been set to commemorate local victims of the Nazis.
The town hall in 1933, sporting the Nazi flag. After the Reichstag election in March 1933, the Nazis reached more than 40 percent of the votes in the Pirna municipal office. Mass spectacles, book burnings and persecutions followed. On March 9, 1933, in Pirna, too, street books were burnt in front of the Volksbuchhandlung and a newspaper (the "Volkszeitung") was banned. In 1928, Hermann Paul Nitsche was appointed Director of the Sonnenstein Institute, which had grown to more than 700 patients. With his inception, the systematic exclusion of chronically mentally ill people began. As advocates of "national socialist racial hygiene" and euthanasia, he carried out compulsory sterilisation, questionable forced treatment and food deprivation. In December 1939, the institution was closed and set up as a reservelazarett and resettlement camp.  The plant was notorious for its commitment under the T4 action when 13,720 patients and more than 1,000 concentration camp prisoners were gassed by the doctor Horst Schumann in Pirna from June 1940 to August 1941. Most euthanasia victims came from psychiatric institutions, homes for the mentally handicapped, as well as retirement and nursing homes. In the times of the "Hochbetriebs", more than 200 people were gassed per working day. Despite the strictest secrecy in the killing institute, rumours about the medical murders were circulating in the Pirna population. The fact that the populace was silent about this may have been associated with passive acceptance and diffuse fear of sanctions. During the Nazi era the Hermann-Göring-settlement in the "Heimatschutzstil" was built in the southern suburbs, today's musicians and painters, so named after the current street names.  In Pirna on the night of November 10th, 1938, four Jewish shops were destroyed; a memorial in the Schössergasse corner commemorates it.  Toward the end of the war between January 10 to the middle of April 1945, more than 1000 prisoners were forced to work for Deutsche Gasolin in the area of ​​the "Alte Post" in the Mockenhal / Zatzschke concentration camp of Flossenbürg, and for the HASAG in the Oberterminische Mineralölwerk Herrenleite ("Carnallit"). The number of prisoners cited includes several hundred prisoners evacuated from Dresden, including Polish Jews from the Striesen metal works. In the Second World War there were a total of 3,500 dead in Pirna, 203 of them killed by Anglo-American bombs. 760 dwellings were destroyed during the war. On April 19, 1945, American bomber raids were the last bomb attack on Pirna, in which the Elbe bridge and several buildings, including the monastery church, were destroyed. On May 8 Soviet troops occupied the city.
From early 1940 until end of June 1942, a part of the huge mental asylum within Sonnenstein Castle overlooking Pirna was converted into a euthanasia killing centre: the Sonnenstein Nazi Death Institute. This was the first use of techniques later rolled out and refined for use within the Final Solution. A gas chamber and crematorium were installed in the cellar of the former men's sanitary (building C 16). A high brick-wall on two sides of the complex shielded it from outside while a high hoarding was erected on the other sides. Four buildings were located inside the shielding. They were used for offices, living rooms for the personnel etc. Sleeping quarters for the "burners" (men who burned the bodies) were provided for in the attic of building C 16. It is possible that other sections of the buildings were also used by T4.  From end of June 1940 until September 1942, approximately 15,000 persons were killed in the scope of the euthanasia programme and the Sonderbehandlung 14f13. The staff consisted of about 100 persons. One third of them were ordered to the extermination camps in occupied Poland, because of their experiences in deception, killing, gassing and burning innocent people.  There they were trained by the killing groups who mounted the killing machinery in the later camps like Treblinka from TishBeAv 1942 and the others.  During August and September 1942, the Sonnenstein killing centre was closed and incriminating installations such as gas chamber installations and crematorium ovens dismantled. After October 1942, the buildings were used as a military hospital.  This part of the history of Pirna went largely unrecognised in Germany until 1989, but after that efforts to remember that catastrophe started. In June 2000 a permanent exhibition opened concerning this period.

Glauchau railway station in 1941 and today. In April 1922 a local branch of the Nazi Party was founded in Glauchau; seven years later Hitler spoke at a rally here. [95] The number of Jews living in Glauchau up to 1940 was low. When he took power in 1933 political opponents were interned and beaten in the old police station at the old town hall. The Nazis set up a council estate settlement in Glauchau's Sachsenallee, recently restored. In 1936–1937, Mayor Walter Flemming laid out the 40-hectare Glauchau reservoir in order to be able to provide better quality water for industrial use. The Glauchau bypass, which runs parallel to the flood channel, was also built under Flemming. It was only in 1937 that Flemming reluctantly joined the Nazi Party. Since the Nazis didn't trust him, Herbert Müller, local Nazi group leader, was appointed deputy mayor. Bahnhofplatz in 1941 shown on the left, surrounded by Nazi flags. Forderglauchau Castle was severely damaged by artillery in April 1945 around the time a teacher, Paul Feldmann, serving as combat commander of the local Volkssturm, handed the city over to the Americans largely without a fight, thus preventing major destruction. In the end, 1,030 Glauchau soldiers were killed in the war.
There are a couple of memorials to the Nazi period in the town. The memorial complex in Schillerpark, as expected for a town locted in East Germany after the war, commemorates communist resistance fighters and state-recognised victims of fascism. A grave with a memorial plaque in the cemetery in the Wernsdorf district commemorates six Soviet prisoners of war and forced labourers who were deported to Germany during the war .

Oschatz Hitlerplatz
The Rathaus and St Aegidien church at Adolf Hitler Platz and today. From April to May 1933 a concentration camp was established in the municipal camp of Pappenheim. On July 1, 1934, the town of Zschollau was incorporated into the town. One year later, the Oschatzer Fliegerhorst was built and a rebuilding school was formed. During the war from February 1941 to April 1945 the main administration of the prisoner of war Stalag IV G of the German Wehrmacht was located in Oschatzer Lutherstraße. From here, tens of thousands of prisoners of war were distributed to compulsory labour in the near and further surrounding areas. On April 26, 1945, Oschatz was handed over to the Allies without a fight. On May 5 they were replaced by Soviet troops.

Plauen im Vogtland
In the 1930s, Plauen earned the distinction of hosting the first chapter of the Nazi Party outside of Bavaria. Plauen's population, however, has shrunk dramatically since the Second World War (1939: 111,000 inhabitants). It was occupied by American troops in 16 April 1945 but was left to Red Army in 1 July 1945 after which time it fell into the Soviet occupation zone of Germany, which later became the German Democratic Republic (1949-1990). Plauen hosted a large Red Army occupation garrison and, in the last years of the DDR, an officer school of the Border Guards ("Grenztruppen der DDR").
Swastikas in the square in front of the rathaus and today

The birthplace of Karl May, Hitler's favourite author.
Adolf became gripped by the adventure stories of Karl May, whose popular tales of the Wild West and Indian wars (though May had never been to America) enthralled thousands of youngsters. Most of these youngsters graduated from the Karl May adventures and the childhood fantasies they fostered as they grew up. For Adolf, however, the fascination with Karl May never faded. As Reich Chancellor, he still read the May stories, recommending them, too, to his generals, whom he accused of lacking imagination.
Kershaw (9) Hitler
During the war from December 10, 1944 to mid-April 1945, an outside camp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp was set up in the village, in which 444 concentration camp prisoners had to carry out forced labour in the armaments industry in the village and neighbouring Siegmar-Schönau. To this were added prisoners of war and forced labourers from the countries occupied by Germany.

Hammerleubsdorf, Leubsdorf
The former Gauschule shown flying the Nazi flag is now a pale, derelict structure

Bad Brambach 
Bad Brambach Kapellenbergturm on the Schönberg 
The Kapellenbergturm on the Schönberg 

Raschwitz Markkleeberg
Publication celebrating the foundation of the town under the Nazis. In the summer of 1933, the districts of Oetzsch Markkleeberg and Gautzsch were united after three decades of attempts by the  architect and Nazi Ortsgruppenleiter Rudolf Brümmer. The naming of the new town was made in the name of National Socialist Germanization efforts, according to which a "Germanisation of foreign place names" was intended as a a cultural and social engineering attempt to practice racist supremacy thinking. Leipzig's Neuesten Nachrichten of September 7, 1936 declared tht "Markkleeberg is a good German name of an old place, whilst Oetzsch and Gautzsch, which also look back on a long history, have Slavic place names." Thus the original districts were also renamed: Gautzsch became Markkleeberg-West and Oetzsch with the incorporated Raschwitz Markkleeberg-Mitte.
Hauptstraße became Straße der SA in January 1937
On January 2, 1934 the ceremony was finally celebrated in today's Markkleeberg town hall presided over by the first mayor of the new city, Leipzig lawyer Martin Braun. The first official acts of the new municipal authority were the awarding of honorary citizenship to Reich President Hindenburg, Chancellor Hitler and Reich Governor Mutschmann; the renaming of several streets and the laying down of the  specially erected border posts between Oetzsch and Gautzsch by the A and Hitler Youth took place on January 14, 1934. 
Raschwitz Markkleeberg ForsthausThe Forsthaus on the left, back when it flew the swastika, and today on Koburgerstraße 33 where it serves as a restaurant and biergarten.  To strengthen the union and sense of home of the new town, the city council decided from September 8 to 10, 1934 to celebrate a 'home and school festival'. The speech by Mayor Braun had him state that "it was above all an event in the National Socialist sense," showing that unity makes one strong and that it is important to take the strong experience of the national community and people's ties into everyday life, making Markkleeberg "the first town founded in the Third Reich to tolerate no other spirit than the spirit of Adolf Hitler ”.
From 1944-1945, a forced labour camp for women was established in the town, initially a subcamp of the Ravensbrück concentration camp and later of Buchenwald. Among the inmates were a thousand Jewish women from Hungary and 250 French resistance fighters. In early April 1945 the surviving inmates were transferred to the Mauthausen-Gusen camp in Austria.

The bahnhof sporting the swastika and today. About two weeks before the end of the war Eilenburg was almost completely destroyed. On April 17, 1945 American troops reached Eilenburg, which German defences were ordered to hold. For three days and nights the town was under heavy artillery fire, which destroyed most of the buildings of the city. Two hundred people were killed and 90 percent of the town centre and 65 percent of the buildings of the whole town were destroyed; the American army had nearly no losses. Eilenburg was one of the most heavily damaged cities in Germany.
The Hitler Youth flag flying atop the Schulkameradentag Pfingsten in 1938, now simply the Mittelschule
Rochlitz rathaus
The rathaus sporting a swastika and today. During the war a subcamp of Flossenbürg concentration camp was located in the town from September 1944 to March 1945. The camp held about 600 Jewish women. 
During the Third Reich the Nazis gained an early foothold in the city council and in 1934 removed nonpartisan mayor Rudolf Herrmann by means of a political intrigue. A year earlier Hitler and Hindenburg were made honorary citizens of the city. The town bridge was built and named after Gauleiter Martin Mutschmann. 1936 saw the town host the "Festival of Landscape- 1000 years German". The cumbersome title suggests that this was a historical construct although the Rochlitzer area was said to have been the site of the death in 936 of King Henry I. From 1938 the arms industry moved into the city, and probably from 19 September 1944 to 28 March 1945, a subcamp of Flossenburg concentration camp with about 600 imprisoned Jewish women was opened. These women had to do forced labour in mechanics. There is no commemoration of this in the town. 
The town was taken on April 14, 1945 by units of the 76th Infantry and 6th Armoured Division of the 3rd American Army. Here formed the line of demarcation between Americans and Russians. The former withdrew from the city on June 30. At the Muldenbrücke in April 2003 a plaque was installed, which commemorates the "liberation" of the city.

Zwickau Planitz
The swimming pool looks practically unchanged since the time swastikas flew from the promenade. Today the historic Johannisbad baths in Zwickau has been forced to ban all migrants from the premises until further notice after a gang of migrant men invited by the hundreds of thousands by Chancellor Merkel sexually assaulted German women and caught "emptying their bowels" in the children's pool and masturbating in a hot tub. In a leaked internal memo it was revealed that "men wanted to forcibly penetrate the female changing room" but after "several asylum seekers were reportedly arrested in connection with the claims", they were simply released. 

  Five miles southwest of Zwickau is Lengenfeld; its town hall sporting a swastika and today
Nazi Geringswalde
Swastika on the town hall and the market square today.

Schildau Bergturm sporting a Nazi flag
The Bergturm sporting a Nazi flag for a period postcard and today.
The town itself is located about eight miles southwest of Torgau, best known as the place where, on April 25 1945, American and Soviet forces first met near the end of the Second World War. Schildau was the birthplace in 1760 of August Neidhardt von Gneisenau, a prominent figure in the reform of the Prussian military and the War of Liberation who later participated in the Prussian reforms after Prussia's defeat against Napoleon Bonaparte, rising to the position of Generalfeldmarschall. Several German navy ships, including the First World War armoured cruiser SMS Gneisenau  and the Second World War battleship Gneisenau were named after him. The latter was armed with a main battery of eleven inch C/34 guns in three triple turrets and, with the Scharnhorst, sank the British auxiliary cruiser HMS Rawalpindi and, during the invasion of  Norway, engaged the battlecruiser HMS Renown and sank the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious during which it  was damaged and later torpedoed by a British submarine, HMS Clyde, off Norway. Finally on the night of February 26, 1942, the British launched an air attack on the ship during which one bomb penetrated her armoured deck and exploded in the forward ammunition magazine, causing serious damage and several casualties. 

The town pool with swastikas and today. The town has a number of memorials commemorating crimes of the past, including one in front of the crematorium in the graveyard for twenty-one Polish and Russian men and women who were transported to Germany during the war and died as slave labourers, another at Wettinplatz for all victims of fascism, and one in front of the Lessing School for all victims of war and dictatorship between the years 1933 and 1989.