Nazi Sites in the Rhineland

 The rathaus in 1933 bedecked with the old Wilhelmine and Nazi flags and today with the red ensign from my bike. In the early summer of 1919, there had been attempted a coup in Speyer for an autonomous Palatinate which ended up failing miserably, mainly due to the resistance of the Deputy District President Friedrich von Chlingensperg auf Berg. In 1930 the French occupation forces withdrew. When the Nazis too power Speyer had initially belonged to the "Gau Rheinpfalz", which was merged with the Saarland to form the Gau Saar-Pfalz in 1935. The administrative seat of the district was in Neustadt, which thus outstripped the Bavarian state seat of government Speyer in importance during the Nazi era. 
The Speyer synagogue on Heydenreichstrasse was burned down in the November pogroms on November 9, 1938 and demolished shortly afterwards.  Over an hundred Jews from Speyer and the surrounding area who were no longer able to escape were killed
Resistance to the Nazis was attempted by the Speyer Comradeship group around the Speyer Social Democrat Jakob Schultheis and his wife Emma. 
Apart from the area around the railway station, Speyer suffered no major damage from air raids during the war.
Einst und jetzt...
During the war, Speyer was the site of one of the first encounters between pilots and UFOs, or Foo Fighters as they were called at the time:
In an encounter on November 27, 1944 over Speyer, pilots Henry Giblin and Walter Cleary reported a large orange light flying at 250 mph about 1,500 feet above their fighter. The radar station in the sector replied that there was nothing else there. Nevertheless, a subsequent malfunction in the plane's radar system forced it to return to base. An official report was made - the first of its kind - which resulted in many jokes at the pilots' expense. After the 27 November encounter, pilots who saw the Foo Fighters decided not to include them in their flight reports. 
Alan Baker Invisible Eagle -The History of Nazi Occultism
At the end of March 1945, Speyer was captured by American troops during Operation Undertone after withdrawing German troops blew up the Rhine bridge . A Wehrmacht unit in Speyer fought tenaciously. After the war the city was humiliated by being part of the French occupation zone and the seat of a French garrison. The establishment of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate was ordered on August 30, 1946 as the last state in the western occupation zones by decree No. 57 of the French military government under General Marie-Pierre Kœnig. The occupation regime ended on May 6, 1955
Standing in front of the Altpörtel, and as it appeared in 1939- the postwar changes are evident in this comparison.

Trier (Rhineland-Palatinate) 
Hitler being driven down Kölner Straße in May, 1939. The Kemmelkarne on the Petrisberg, set up by the Nazis in 1938, became a notorious prison camp during the war- STALAG XII- in which mainly French prisoners of war were accommodated. The synagogue was desecrated by the Nazis in the Reichspogromnacht in 1938 and completely destroyed by a bomb attack in 1944. On June 16, 1936 the city of Trier signed a contract with the German Reichsministerium für Wissenschaft, Bildung und Volksbildung to build a teacher training centre. Trier thus became again a university town after 138 years. The Teacher Training Centre was opened in the summer of 1936 with the presence of Reich Minister of Education, Bernhard Rust, with a large, two-day celebration and a strong Nazi celebration. The buildings erected for the Teacher Training Centre on the Schneidershof are largely preserved and today the buildings J, K, L, O, T (Gymnasium) and today's nursery of the Trier University of Applied Sciences remain.  
The Hauptmarkt, scene of street battles between Nazis and Communists, in 1935 and today with St. Gangolf church in the background.  From September 1944 onwards, the city was not far from the front line, and was shot almost daily by American artillery. In December 1944, there were three heavy air raids on the Trier allies. On December 19, thirty British Lancaster bombers dropped 136 tons of explosive bombs across the city. Two days later on December 21, 1944, around 14:35, 94 of Lancaster bombers and 47 American bombers were dropped 427 tons of bombs (explosive, fire and napalm bombs). Two days later, on December 23, 700 tonnes of bombshell were dropped to the city. According to research by the local researcher Adolf Welter, at least 420 people died during these December attacks in Trier. Numerous buildings were damaged. On December 24, 1944 American B-26 attacked the Pfalzel Bridge. During the war, 1600 houses were completely destroyed.  On the evening of March 1, 1945, the task force Richardson started towards Trier. A clear full moon night offered favourable visibility. Before midnight they reached the city. A surprised company with four armoured gunmen capitulated without a shot. Richardson divided his troops into two halves and sent them both to a Mosel bridge. The northern team found 'its' bridge blown up; The Kaiserbrücke team reported that the bridge (Roman bridge) - it had stood for almost 2000 years - was intact. Colonel Richardson drove himself in a tank to the bridge; where his men were fired with light weapons from the other bank. He directed machine-gun fire from his tank to the other end of the bridge and ordered an infantry and an armoured group to advance across the bridge. When the infantrymen did so, a German major and five soldiers with burning detonators and an igniter ran toward the bridge but they were not able to explode. On March 2, 1945, the city fell into the hands of the Allies without heavy fighting.
 On the Hauptmarkt is the Hauptwache, shown July 1941, and which served as Gestapo headquarters from 1933 to 1935.
In 1935 the Gestapo moved its offices here at the former Reichsbahngebäude at Christophstraße 1.
 Simeonstraße in 1939 and today
Hitler's portrait on the Porta Nigra. Porta-Nigra-Platz became Adolf-Hitler-Platz in 1933
Nazi propaganda at the cathedral on the Domfreihof reading "Deutsche Jungens und Mädels meidet die konfessionellen Jugendverbände"("German boys and girls- avoid confessional youth organisations." By 1937 all Catholic youth organisations would be banned.
The usurpation by force of the leadership of the Reich Committee of the German Youth Associations (Reichsausschluß deutscher Jugendverbände) on April 5, 1933, the umbrella organization for all youth organisations in Germany, with a total membership of between 5 and 6 million young people, marked the beginning of Gleichschaltung of the political, religious, and youth movement–oriented youth organizations, their disbanding or forced transfer into the Hitler Youth. This led to a signicant increase in the Hitler Youth membership ranks and at the same time augmented the ranks of the league. The Hitler Youth continued to expand its sphere of power. For example, an agreement signed with the Reich sports leader (Reichssportführer) made it possible by 1936 to construct an organizational nexus, making any individual activity in sports dependent for all practical purposes on concomitant membership in the Hitler Youth. Similar agreements existed with the Reich Ministry for Nutrition (Reichsnährstand), the organization of National Socialist female students (Arbeitsgemeinschaft nationalsozialistischer Studentinnen, or ANSt), the National Socialist Welfare Organization (NSV), and the National Socialist Labour Organization (DAF). By binding more and more activities and interests to compulsory membership in the Hitler Youth, the net of inclusion became ever tighter and more closely meshed. 
Dagmar Reese (32-33) Growing Up Female in Nazi Germany
In Sichelstraße the former Bishop-Korum-house served as a gaol for collecting Jewish women and children beginning April 1942.
A mounted plaque on the site commemorates this doleful event. At this point was 1929-1931 at the initiative of the "Marian Jünglingscongregation" (MJC), a Catholic youth organisation, established the so-called Bishop-Korum-house, which was demolished in the 1960s and replaced with the current building. From 1942 it served as a rallying point of the female Jewish prisoners prior to their deportation to concentration camps Lublin, Theresienstadt or Auschwitz. Of the more than 400 Trier Jews who were deported to concentration camps between 1933 and 1945, only a few survived- some sources suggest 14, others 20 - and would return to their home town.
 The Karl Marx House museum is where Karl Marx was born in 1818; it is now a museum. The significance of the house went unnoticed until 1904, at which point the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) worked hard to buy it, succeeding in 1928. After the Nazis came to power the building was confiscated and turned into a printing house. Here the corpse of the first victim of the Nazis, Social Democrat Hermann Möschel, was laid out in 1932. On March 8, 1933 over an hundred SA and SS men stormed the building, tore down the imperial flag replacing it with the swastika flag drove out the Socialists. The Karl Marx House was first occupied by the police then confiscated by the Nazis, and finally, on May 4, 1933 became the headquarters of their party newspaper "Der Stürmer." 
 ...some buildings still physically in existence after 1933 also disappeared from tourist literature. The Reich Committee for Tourism chastised the Trier Tourism Office for distributing a brochure that alluded to the house in which the ‘famous German Socialist Karl Marx was born’. The Committee therefore ordered the immediate destruction of material making such references to the ‘Marxist-liberalist past’
Semmens (60) Seeing Hitler's Germany
On May 5, 1947 the building was opened as a museum of the life and works of Karl Marx. On March 14, 1983, on the 100th anniversary of Marx's death, the museum was re-opened after a year-long renovation that expanded it to three floors where it now includes the history of communism in the Soviet Union, China, Central and Eastern Europe.
 The Kaufhaus Haas. It  had belonged to the Jewish owners of the fashion house Sinn Leffers and was a main target of Trier Nazis. On May 13, 1933 Albert and Max Haas and his wife were taken into "protective custody." The wife would hang herself and the men later taken to the town gaol. By November 1938, all Jewish businesses were to be 'aryanised'.
The Nazis' local group in Trier was founded in November 1925. In May 1930 there were only 150 members which rose to 800 in 1932. There had been increased interest from small and medium-sized businessmen. In 1931 about 35% of Nazi members belonged to the middle class. The Trier retailers had already founded a "trade and trade union" around 1900, in which the small and medium-sized shopkeepers opposed the supposed "growing pressure of the department stores" - which were mostly Jewish - under the motto "Our greatest enemy is the Department store ". The "National Socialist Handicrafts, Trade and Trade Organisation" (NS-Hago)  ordered on the 8th and 10th of March, 1933 that individual Jewish shops be boycotted. On April 1, 1933, within the framework of the Reichsbundes Generalboykotts, two large Jewish department stores were occupied by Nazi brownshirts including the Kaufhaus Haas. Already one evening before, on March 31, leading Jewish personalities had been taken into so-called "protection" including lawyer Dr. Voremberg as well as Max and Albert Haas. The importance of Haas, founded in 1869, is reflected in the fact that the Reichsregierung allowed her in emergency years after the Great War to make emergency money. In 1929, more than 400 employees worked in the largest department store in the government district of Trier. After the Nazis had made a further step of escalation in April 1935, many "new" firms claimed that they were now "German shops": Schuhhaus Hans Klodt, formerly a Jewish business haul in Brotstrasse 44; The "Geschwister Schiefelbusch" took over the handicraft business A. Schapira in Grabenstraße 16; Simon Reilinger's Jewish women's confectionery shop in Brotstraße 8/9 took over the "Geschwisterskanz"; the Wollgeschäft Ernst Ermann in Fleischstraße 2 to 4 became "Geschwister Nees". 
 The gaol on Windstraße.  From May 1940 it became the way station for at least 25 000 prisoners and resistance fighters from neighbouring occupied countries Luxembourg, Belgium and France. According to conservative estimates at least 200 were likely sentenced to death here. Across the road is the Episcopal seminary where Klaus Barbie, the so-called 'Butcher of Lyons' lived.
The synagogue in 1944 and today. On the morning of November 10, 1938 it was plundered and the interior destroyed. Twenty-three of the twenty-four Torah scrolls were burned, and over an hundred Jewish men were arrested that day and gaoled. The synagogue and an adjacent residential house where the family of Chief Rabbi Dr. Altmann lived, were sold in 1939 and by 1944 were completely destroyed by bombing.
Gasthaus "Zur Glocke" 
The Gasthaus "Zur Glocke" on Glockenstraße.  It had been owned by a Nazi activist and was a meeting place for them where they instigated attacks on political opponents. 
The Speyerer Tor from the south side at the turn of the century and today with lions added. The gate had been erected in in 1773 according to the plans of the Mannheim architect Nicolas de Pigage. Today it remains the last of its kind which is preserved in Rhineland-Palatinate. The damage shown in both images dates from 1794 when, on January 3, during the first coalition war, a battle between the French revolutionary troops attacking from the south and the Prussian army defending the city took place in front of the Speyer gate. The French were firing at Frankenthal with cannons of eight and a half pounds, and they also met the Speyer Gate, which still bears the necessary damage. Likewise, a shot from muskets has left damage still existing on the gate facade and in the inner passage. The city grew rapidly in the following century, so that the walls were largely removed until 1870 making the gates superfluous. During the war both gates were damaged, but they were preserved and restored later. A graphic representation of the Speyer Gate is the logo of the city of Frankenthal. 
American troops crossing the Amis Bridge in 1945
Then and now; only the buildings at the far right provide historical continuity
The Römerbrücke, Germany's oldest standing bridge, on August 27, 1941 and todayHitlerstraße
  Hitlerstraße is now Bahnhofstraße
Grabenstraße after the war and today and a memorial for the ubiquitous "victims of National Socialism", so vague that it could refer to practically to anyone and everyone. 


Before the war and the wife at the same spot eighty years later. A rumour had spread that Standartenführer Julius Uhl had planned to shoot Hitler on July 1, 1934 here at a concert of the singer Heinrich Schlusnus. Hitler himself referred to this in his July 13, 1934 speech to the Reichstag justifying his slaughter of his own men during the so-called Night of the Long Knives when he spoke of how
the man had already been hired in the meantime who was to carry out my elimination at a later date: Standartenführer Uhl, who confessed only a few hours before his death that he had been willing to carry out such an order.
Uhl in fact had been in Bad Wiessee when he was arrested on June 30 and taken to Stadelheim Prison. Apparently, "Uhl was chosen to play the leading role in Hitler’s concocted assassination plot due to his well-known prowess as a brilliant marksman" (Domarus, 496). 

The wife again at Stahleck Castle overlooking the Rhine and as it appeared at the start of Nazi rule when this 12th-century fortified castle was completely rebuilt, providing 260 beds to the hostel using the site. The ceremonial laying of its foundation stone took place on November 18, 1934. The work, which took only eleven months, cost 25,000 reichsmarks and included addition of a kitchen, another Fachwerk building, on the south side. On October 25, 1935, the rebuilt building was officially dedicated. In the presence of members of the Hitler Jugend, the Deutsches Jungvolk, the Bund Deutscher Mädel, and both the SA and the SS, Gauleiter Gustav Simon gave the dedicatory address. Stahleck became one of 27 Jugendburgen to be used for indoctrination of teenagers and young adults. By early 1938 the turrets on the shield wall were built and its chemin de ronde roofed over. A visit by Rudolf Hess in June 1938 prompted the start of work to complete the rebuilding of the keep, which was still a ruined stump. The plan was to reconstruct it to a height of 36 metres and, seven storeys, and name it the Rudolf Hess Tower. However, the existing foundations would not have been able to bear the weight, so the ruin was pulled down, and in November 1938, work began on a completely new tower. Work on this was interrupted by the outbreak of the war.  From 1940 to 1942, the castle served as a military hospital. In addition, in November 1940, students from now occupied Luxembourg who had been studying at German and Austrian universities when the war began were forced to attend re-education classes there, and eventually a youth re-education camp was set up. Male schoolchildren and students from Esch-sur-Alzette and Echternach were interned at the castle for four months as punishment for protesting against the announcement in 1942 of the introduction of required military service in Luxembourg and the forced conscription associated with it, as well as for participating in the general strike which followed. (Girls were sent to a youth hostel at Adenau.) Those of military age were then sent to the front; a memorial plaque at the castle commemorates this. Beginning in January 1943, the castle was used as an internment camp for German youth who had shown insufficient loyalty to the Party, such as the founders of the Catholic youth resistance group the Michael Troop; some were taken from Stahleck to concentration camps. From June 1943 to summer 1944, it was a work and military training camp for Germans between 14 and 18 years of age. 
Nazis in Bacharach 
Nazis in the courtyard and the site today. On the right is a tin badge showing the castle at the top over the words “Jugendburg Stahleck” and “25 Jahre 1911 1936 Rhineland”. The central triangle reads “DJH”. 

Landau in der Pfalz
The former Herbert Norkus Platz from a Nazi-era postcard and today, renamed rathausplatz. Norkus was an Hitler Youth member who was murdered by communists on January 24, 1932 in Berlin whilst he and other Hitler Youth members were distributing leaflets advertising an upcoming Nazi rally. The group was confronted by communists. Norkus fought them off and ran to a nearby house for help. A man answered and slammed the door in his face, presumably because he saw the other boys. Norkus was then stabbed six times by the pursuing Communists. He banged on another door, which was answered by a woman who tried to get him to a hospital but died on arrival. He became a martyr for the Hitler Youth and was widely used in Nazi propaganda, most prominently as the subject of novel and film Hitler Youth Quex. His comrades nicknamed him “Quex” because ”he carried out orders faster than quicksilver”.
The post office on the former Adolf-Hitler-Straße. Landau traditionally relied on the  military for its development; extensive barracks were built for the 5th and 12th field artillery regiments and the 18th and 23rd infantry regiments. During the war Landau was targeted no less than 35 times by Allied, particularly American, air raids. The heaviest took place on "Black Friday", March 16, 1945. A total of 1,045 tonnes of bombs were dropped on Landau leading to 40% of the town being destroyed and 586 people killed. Following the end of the war, Landau was an important barracks town for the French occupiers whose control, as usual, came under attack for its incompetence which led to significant loss of life.
No German accounting of the foreign exports was permitted by the French, who took the goods, at prices they set themselves, and paid not in the precious dollars received, but in marks, thus depriving the Germans of the one way they had to buy foreign food. For all these reasons, 'population losses were significant', according to the American writer F. Roy Willis. The death rate for the town of Landau in the Rheinland-Pfalz was 39.5% in 1946, which was more than triple the pre-war rate. In 1947, it was 27%, more than double the pre-war rate.
Bacque (36) Crimes and Mercies 
Rheinbrohl Ehrenmal
The flag poles at the 29er Ehrenmal, a memorial to the 29th Infanterie-Regiments „von Horn“ (3. Rheinisches), are there, but the flags have since changed. Rheinbrohl achieved a bitter fame at the end of the war. After Linz had been taken by the American troops without a fight, Rheinbrohl fell only after a ten-day continuous bombardment in March 1945. A small German unit of 27 men, led by a first lieutenant, had managed to make the Americans believe that they were facing serious resistance with larger units by changing the position of a single anti-aircraft gun in the evening. It was not until a massive air raid on March 19, 1945 that the fighting ended. The sad result of this senseless resistance was forty deaths among the civilian population, with 66 completely destroyed houses and another 177 heavily destroyed and left uninhabitable houses. The shelling and capture of Rheinbrohl was filmed by a cameraman from the American Army; these impressive original recordings were published by SPIEGEL TV in 2005 under the title “Als der Krieg nach Deutschland kam”.

Schweigen-Rechtenbach (Rhineland-Palatinate)
The Weintor, built in the autumn of 1936, marks the start of the Weinstrasse in the south of the Palatinate, less than a mile from the French border. It had been created as part of an economic initiative by the National Socialist government in the 1930s. at a time when the wine industry in the Palatinate wine region was in crisis. A wine harvest more than twice as large as usual had caused prices to crash by 1934. Government policy had compounded the industry's difficulties by forbidding the business activities of Jewish wine traders, who had hitherto provided a vital commercial link for the wineries. Party leaders came up with the idea of the German Wine Route, with the imposing "Weintor" at its southern end, as a way to increase general awareness of the region's wineries and to boost employment in the tourism sector locally.  The regional Gauleiter, Josef Bürckel, produced an appropriately bombastic speech entitled "Kampf und Volk – Wein und Wahrheit" on October 19, 1935 as part of the official opening of the German Wine Route.
The "Weintor" was clearly visible from across the frontier, and the Gauleiter's speech contrasted the activist policy of the national government with the economic turmoil in nearby France, then experiencing, nationally, a particularly savage and destructive bout of industrial unrest and economic gloom. Press reports of the opening ceremony wrote of it as a form of "Weihe" (consecration). At this time the Weintor in Schweigen was a provisional timber structure. At Grünstadt, near the northern end of the "Wine Route" a second "Weintor", this one of Papier-mâché, had been erected. As part of the ceremony a column of 300 vehicles drove the length of the German Wine Route in convoy, from south to north, but not before a single engined airplane had flown its entire length. The stone-clad "Weintor" was finally built in 1936 after an architectural competition for its design was won by August Josef Peter and Karl Mittel from Landau. The foundation stone was laid on August 27, 1936, and less than two months later, on October 18, it was formally inaugurated. Citizens of Wissembourg, which since 1919 had been part of France, enjoyed the fine view on the north side of their town, of a large two-headed imperial eagle carved on one side of the "Weintor", clutching a huge swastika in its talons. In France this was seen as provocative. After the war ended, in 1945, the huge stone swastika was cut away. 


Swastikas flying at the Kalmithaus (left) and Aussichtsturm (background) on the Southern Weinstraße 

 Unemployed in front of the municipal welfare office in the Horn's house on the market square, today's Erkenbert Museum. On July 1, 1929, the number of unemployed and their dependents in Frankenthal amounted to 1,726. 743 people were supported by the municipal welfare system. After the outbreak of the global economic crisis in October 1929, the situation intensified dramatically. On October 1, 1930, the number of unemployed and their dependents was already 4,688; In total, Frankenthal had 26,439 inhabitants in 1930. More than 26 percent of them were dependent on unemployment or welfare support. 
 In 1938 the Jewish synagogue, built in 1884, was burnt to the ground during the Reichskristallnacht.

During the war the prisoner of war prisoners XII B (short Stalag XII B) of the German military power consisted in Frankenthal. In 1940, a forced labour camp was operated for several months as an outside camp of the SS special camp Hinzert (concentration camp) in Mörsch, the prisoners of which were employed in the highway construction (today's A 6). On September 23, 1943, Frankenthal was heavily destroyed by bombs and lost a large part of its older buildings. In 1945, at the end of the war, its industries in ruins, it was occupied first by the Americans and then by the French by way of ultimate humiliation. The city was rebuilt in the post-war period, like many others, in functional, but unadorned architecture. This is all the more melancholy when considering the description by the poet August von Platen in 1815 that Frankenthal is a "beautifully built town, one of the most beautiful in the whole of the Palatinate."
The Frankenthaler Brauhauskeller, where Hitler stayed in April, 1931. On February 21, 1933 the Nazis organised a public meeting here, attended by 200 people, half of whom were women. Women participated in such a large number, because Tuesday evenings at the Brauhauskeller was always when the "knitting and Flickstunde" of the Nazi female members took place. That same evening supporters of the Christian Social Service (CSVD), a strongly Christian-Protestant-conservative party, gathered in the restaurant "Ax" on Speyerer Straße. According to the speaker, Professor Risch from Speyer, the cause of the economic crisis is the "removal of God from the acquisition and public life and the worship of mammon". The leader of the CSVD in Frankenthal was the well-known saddler and presbyter Jakob Schatz.
  Wormser Straße on May 1, 1933 and today, the Wormser Tor in the background

Despite being banned in all uses by the German government, the town still uses the Wolfsangel, symbol of the forbidden Jungen Front, in its Nazi-era arms which were approved by the Oldenburg Ministry of State for the Interior and have been used since  July 10, 1934. 
At the Oldenburg Landtag elections in 1931, the Nazis received more than 37% of the votes cast, but could not form the government. In the ensuing new elections on May 20, the Nazis won 48.38% of the popular vote, taking 24 of the 46 seats in the Landtag, which gave them an absolute majority. In Idar, which was then still a self-governing town, the Nazis received more than 70% of the votes cast. They could thereby already govern, at least in Oldenburg, with endorsement by the German National People's Party, which had two seats at its disposal, even before Hitler’s official seizure of power in 1933. One of the new government’s first initiatives was administrative reform for Oldenburg, which was followed on April 27, 1933 by the similar Gesetz zur Vereinfachung und Verbilligung der Verwaltung through which eighteen formerly self-administering municipalities were amalgamated including the self-administering towns of Idar and Oberstein, which were amalgamated with each other to form the new town of Idar-Oberstein. Applied within a few weeks, without further discussion or participation, to the exclusion of the public and against the will of municipalities who had not even been asked whether they wanted it, the law foreshadowed what was to come: an opportunity to get rid of “undesirables”. Under Kreisleiter Wild from Idar, all significant public positions were held by the Nazis until Hitler’s downfall.
Another reichsadler in the Palatinate is this one, still allowed to grace the entrance of the Finanzamt. Hitler spoke in the town on June 14, 1932 during his presidential campaign. On Reichskristallnacht, the Alzey synagogue was destroyed and the fittings were burnt in front of the building. The ruin was torn down in the 1950s. A rescued Torah scroll can nowadays be found in the museum. On January 8, 1945 the town narrowly missed being destroyed when 36 Boeing B-17 bombers had been sent to take out a railway bridge in Alzey. Owing to bad weather and a landmark misinterpretation – the crew mistook the top of the old watchtower for the church steeple – the bombers ended up dropping their load on the Wartberg, a nearby hill, giving rise to the legend of the Wartbergturm – the old tower – as Alzey's saviour.

Mainz then and now
In 1929 and today.  After the Great War the French occupied Mainz between 1919 and 1930 according to the Treaty of Versailles which went into effect June 28, 1919. The Rhineland (in which Mainz is located) was to be a demilitarized zone until 1935 and the French garrison, representing the Triple Entente, was to stay until reparations were paid.  In 1923 Mainz participated in the Rhineland separatist movement that proclaimed a republic in the Rhineland. It collapsed in 1924. The French withdrew on June 30, 1930. Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in January, 1933 and his political opponents, especially those of the Social Democratic Party, were either incarcerated or murdered. Some were able to move away from Mainz in time. One was the political organizer for the SPD, Friedrich Kellner, who went to Laubach, where as the chief justice inspector of the district court he continued his opposition against the Nazis by recording their misdeeds in a 900-page diary.  
Schusterstrasse then and now
In March, 1933, a detachment of Nazis in Worms brought the party to Mainz. They hoisted the swastika on all public buildings and began to denounce the Jewish population in the newspapers. In 1936 the forces of the Third Reich re-entered the Rhineland with a great fanfare, the first move of the Third Reich's meteoric expansion. The former Triple Entente took no action.  During World War II the citadel at Mainz hosted the Oflag XII-B prisoner of war camp.  The Bishop of Mainz, Albert Stohr, formed an organisation to help Jews escape from Germany.  
During the war, more than thirty air raids destroyed about 80 percent of the city's centre, including most of the historic buildings. Mainz was captured on March 22, 1945 against uneven German resistance (staunch in some sectors and weak in other parts of the city) by the 90th Infantry Division under William A. McNulty, a formation of the XII Corps under Third Army commanded by General George S. Patton, Jr.Patton used the ancient strategic gateway through Germania Superior to cross the Rhine south of Mainz, drive down the Danube towards Czechoslovakia and end the possibility of a Bavarian redoubt crossing the Alps in Austria when the war ended. With regard to the Roman road over which Patton attacked Trier, he said:
one could almost smell the coppery sweat and see the low dust clouds where those stark fighters moved forward into battle.  
The main railway station
From 1945 to 1949, the city was part of the French zone of occupation. When the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate was founded on August 30, 1946 by the commander of the French army on the French occupation zone Marie Pierre Kœnig, Mainz became capital of the new state. In 1962, the diarist, Friedrich Kellner, returned to spend his last years in Mainz. His life in Mainz, and the impact of his writings, is the subject of the Canadian documentary My Opposition: The Diaries of Friedrich Kellner.  Following the withdrawal of French forces from Mainz, the United States Army Europe occupied the military bases in Mainz. Today USAREUR only occupies McCulley Barracks in Wackernheim and the Mainz Sand Dunes for training area. Mainz is home to the headquarters of the Bundeswehr's Wehrbereichskommando II and other units.
 The Eisenbahnbrücke 1942 and today
The famous Weimar novelist Alfred Döblin reappeared in Germany in French uniform and became a literary censor in Baden-Baden. By his own testimony, towering piles of books were placed before him, written either during the war or just after. Suppression had not done wonders for German letters, he thought. With no pun intended (Günter Grass’s first successful novel, The Tin Drum, was not published until 1959), he wrote, ‘At first the only thing that grew on the ground was grass and weeds.’ He founded a literary journal, and formed part of the delegation that inaugurated the new University of Mainz. The journey to the inauguration ceremony was an adventure in itself. As they approached the cathedral city they saw the wrecks of factories ‘as if brought down by an earthquake’ and then the city centre: ‘But where was Mainz? All that one could see were ruins, faceless people, twisted beams, empty façades: that was Mainz.’ In the old barracks that was now the university Döblin watched civilians and military figures leafing through the translated transcripts of the speeches that morning. There were British and American uniforms scattered along the rows. An orchestra struck up the overture from The Magic Flute. Men came in wearing black gowns and mortar boards. Döblin was reminded of a high-school graduation in the United States. The president of the region gave a speech in which he described the new university as the key to the material and cultural revival of the region. 
MacDonogh (276-277) After the Reich- The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation

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

Annweiler am Trifels

  Down the hauptstrasse then and now. On the Sonnenberg behind the town lie the ruins of the castle of Trifels, in which Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned after he was captured by Duke Leopold V of Austria near Vienna in December 1192 on his return from the Third Crusade. Handed over to Emperor Henry VI of Hohenstaufen, he spent a period of three weeks of captivity at Trifels from March 31 to April 19, 1193. According to one legend, Richard was found by the troubador Blondel de Nesle, who reported the king's location to his friends; in fact, Richard's location was not a secret. 
The Nazi era reconstruction in 1938-1942 utilised in part the preserved walls from the Middle Ages or those found by archaeological investigations in 1935-1937, but also in many cases rigorously ignored the original medieval findings and created essentially an architectural reinterpretation of the 20th century. Therefore the  present-day castle is in large parts not true to the medieæval original, being characterised by a large well tower outside the ring wall, linked to the castle by a bridge.


The Pegelturm and boathouse during the Nazi era and today. During the Nazi era, several of the town's Jews were deported and murdered whilst supporters of the traditionally strong free churches in Neuwied were persecuted. Roughly eighteen percent of the town was destroyed by bombs during the war. The most striking building is probably the Neuwied Dike, which the locals call the dyke wall which stretches a total length of just under five miles from the mouth of the Wied to the Engers-Urmitz railway bridge. The dike is designed to protect the city from flooding up to nine metres above normal water level; after the war American troops blew up the top of the dike and built a wooden makeshift bridge over the Rhine. This collapsed on February 24, 1947 as a result of heavy ice drift. On December 22 of that same year the Neuwied railway accident occurred, which was one of the worst train accidents in German post-war history. When two D-trains collided near Neuwied-Irlich, 41 people were killed and numerous others injured. Eventually Neuwied would regain its importance as a medium-sized industrial location.
Linking Weißenthurm and Neuwied over the Rhine, what is now known as the Raiffeisenbrücke replaces the destroyed Hermann-Göring-Brücke. 

Linz am Rhein 

In kreis Neuwied, the Rheintor at Burgplatz then and now, with a different flag flying. Paul Freiherr Eltz von Rübenach,  who had served as Reich Minister of Postal Services and Transportation from 1932 to 1937, died in the town in 1943. After the war Linz became a part of Rhineland-Palatinate in 1946.

Around 1000 BC, early fortifications were erected on the Festung Ehrenbreitstein hill on the opposite side of the Moselle. In 55 BC, Roman troops commanded by Julius Caesar reached the Rhine and built a bridge between Koblenz and Andernach. About 9 BC, the "Castellum apud Confluentes", was one of the military posts established by Drusus.  Remains of a large bridge built in 49 AD by the Romans are still visible. The Romans built two castles as protection for the bridge, one in 9 AD and another in the 2nd century, the latter being destroyed by the Franks in 259. North of Koblenz was a temple of Mercury and Rosmerta (a Gallo-Roman deity), which remained in use up to the 5th century. Palace of the prince electors of Trier. Map of the Koblenz region. Middle Ages  With the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city was conquered by the Franks and became a royal seat. After the division of Charlemagne's empire, it was included in the lands of his son Louis the Pious (814). In 837, it was assigned to Charles the Bald, and a few years later it was here that Carolingian heirs discussed what was to become the Treaty of Verdun (843), by which the city became part of Lotharingia under Lothair I. In 860 and 922, Koblenz was the scene of ecclesiastical synods. At the first synod, held in the Liebfrauenkirche, the reconciliation of Louis the German with his half-brother Charles the Bald took place. The city was sacked and destroyed by the Normans in 882. In 925, it became part of the eastern German Kingdom, later the Holy Roman Empire. Fortress (Festung) Ehrenbreitstein in the background.  In 1018, the city was given by the emperor Henry II to the archbishop and prince elector of Trier after receiving a charter. It remained in the possession of his successors until the end of the 18th century, having been their main residence since the 17th century. Emperor Conrad II was elected here in 1138. In 1198, the battle between Philip of Swabia and Otto IV took place nearby. In 1216, prince-bishop Theoderich von Wied donated part of the lands of the basilica and the hospital to the Teutonic Knights, which later became the Deutsches Eck.  In 1249–1254, Koblenz was given new walls by Archbishop Arnold II of Isenburg; and it was partly to overawe the turbulent citizens that successive archbishops built and strengthened the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein that still dominates the city. Modern era  The city was a member of the league of the Rhenish cities which rose in the 13th century. The Teutonic Knights founded the Bailiwick of Koblenz in or around 1231. Koblenz attained great prosperity and it continued to advance until the disaster of the Thirty Years' War brought about a rapid decline. After Philip Christopher, elector of Trier, surrendered Ehrenbreitstein to the French, the city received an imperial garrison in 1632. However, this force was soon expelled by the Swedes, who in their turn handed the city over again to the French. Imperial forces finally succeeded in retaking it by storm in 1636.  In 1688, Koblenz was besieged by the French under Marshal de Boufflers, but they only succeeded in bombing the Old City (Altstadt) into ruins, destroying among other buildings the Old Merchants' Hall (Kaufhaus), which was restored in its present form in 1725. The city was the residence of the archbishop-electors of Trier from 1690 to 1801. Since 2010 the Koblenz Cable Car has been Germany's biggest aerial tramway  In 1786, the last archbishop-elector of Trier, Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony, greatly assisted the extension and improvement of the city, turning the Ehrenbreitstein into a magnificent baroque palace. After the fall of the Bastille in 1789, the city became, through the invitation of the archbishop-elector's chief minister, Ferdinand Freiherr von Duminique, one of the principal rendezvous points for French émigrés. The archbishop-elector approved of this because he was the uncle of the persecuted king of France, Louis XVI. Among the many royalist French refugees who flooded into the city were Louis XVI's two younger brothers, the Comte de Provence and the Comte d'Artois. In addition, Louis XVI's cousin, the Prince de Condé, arrived and formed an army of young aristocrats willing to fight the French Revolution and restore the Ancien Régime. The Army of Condé joined with an allied army of Prussian and Austrian soldiers led by Duke of Brunswick in an unsuccessful invasion of France in 1792. This drew down the wrath of the First French Republic on the archbishop-elector; in 1794, Coblenz was taken by the French Revolutionary army under Marceau (who was killed during the siege), and, after the signing of the Treaty of Lunéville (1801) it was made the capital of the new French départment of Rhin-et-Moselle. In 1814, it was occupied by the Russians. The Congress of Vienna assigned the city to Prussia, and in 1822, it was made the seat of government for the Prussian Rhine Province.  After World War I, France occupied the area once again. In defiance of the French, the German populace of the city has insisted on using the more German spelling of Koblenz since 1926. During World War II it was the location of the command of German Army Group B and like many other German cities, it was heavily bombed and rebuilt afterwards. Between 1947 and 1950, it served as the seat of government of Rhineland-Palatinate.  The Rhine Gorge was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002, with Koblenz marking the northern end.
The Kaiser Wilhelm memorial with and without swastika. 
The 46 foot high equestrian statue of Emperor William I in his parade uniform, followed by the female allegory of the Empire carrying the imperial crown of Germany on a velvet cushion, was unveiled in the presence of William II on August 31, 1897. The semi-circular pediment with its 33 foot high hall of columns survived the last world war.  
 After the First World War , the Rhineland was occupied by Allied troops. Koblenz was initially the American, then the French military administration. The last French soldiers left the city at the end of November 1929. Immediately tens of thousands of people gathered at the Deutsches Eck to watch the hoisting of the Reichsflagge at Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.  On July 22, 1930, the monument was once again the scene of celebrations after the end of the Allied occupation of the Rhineland . In preparation for this, a total of 28 mushroom lights were permanently installed on the bank and the monument. On this day, President Paul von Hindenburg visited the Deutsches Eck at the end of his journey through the free Rhineland. After a firework display on the Ehrenbreitstein at the conclusion of the celebrations, a catastrophe occurred near the memorial, when a narrow pontoon bridge overloaded with crowds broke in and tore 38 people to their deaths.
During the air raids on Koblenz the city centre was devastated. The Kastorkirche and the Deutschherrenhaus were victims of the flames, while the Deutsches Eck remained largely undamaged.  Shortly before the end of the war American troops of the 3rd American Army approached the city from the Eifel and began artillery fire . On March 16, 1945, the equestrian statue was hit by an American artillery shell. Whether this was intentional remains unanswered. In connection with the blank claim that Dwight D. Eisenhower had demanded the destruction, said Mario Kramp, more likely was "the fear of the Americans that German soldiers were entrenched in the monument area." The statue now hung down to the Rhine from the pedestal. Parts of the rare copper disappeared until finally the remaining statue was dismantled and melted down. Parts of the group of figures reappeared later, including the head of the emperor, who is now in the Koblenzer Middle Rhine Museum. The French military government planned to dismantle the pedestal and replace it with a new monument for peace and international understanding. Due to lack of funds, this plan was not realised. On May 18, 1953, the remaining pedestal was converted into a "memorial to German unity". To demonstrate this unit, the coats of arms of all German lands as well as those of the former eastern territories such as Pomerania , Silesia and East Prussia were placed on the pedestal. Four years later, the Saarland was added. With the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, the coat of arms series was supplemented by the names of the five new federal states.
In 1953 the monument was declared the Memorial to German unity by German president Theodor Heuss. The Germans remember the date since they sung their national anthem here for the first time on that occasion after the defeat in the Second World War. But the people of Coblenz wanted their ‘old Emperor William’ back. The former publisher of the Rhein-Zeitung , Werner Theisen , together with his wife Anneliese, on November 14, 1987, undertook to finance the reconstruction of the destroyed equestrian statue and to donate it to the city of Koblenz. For this he founded the citizens' initiative Deutsches Eck e. V. The Land Rhineland-Palatinate, as the owner of the German Corner, rejected the present on January 29, 1988, pointing out that it still had to remain a "memorial to German unity." A survey commissioned by Theisen in March 1988 among the citizens of Koblenz revealed that 80% agreed to a reconstruction of the monument.  The citizens' initiative and Theisen commissioned the reconstruction of the group of figures on February 28, 1989 at the Düsseldorf metal sculptor Raimund Kittl , without having previously agreed with the regional government of Rhineland-Palatinate.
The hauptbahnhof August 27, 1941 and today, with the fortress behind
Due to the reunification of Germany in 1990, the memorial lost its meaningful meaning. As a result, the CDU-led state government changed its mind and accepted the gift in September 1990. The new SPD-led state government under Rudolf Scharping came under public pressure from 1991 and tried to reverse the pledge. The project was discussed controversially in Koblenz and beyond. While the advocates brought positive effects on the cityscape of Koblenz and the local tourism in the meeting and also pointed out that the empty pedestal alone no longer have any meaning, the critics criticised the outmoded imperial cult and the role of William as Anheizer (the "Kartätschen prinz") during the bloody course of the Märzerhebungen in Prussia in 1848 and as commander-in-chief in the suppression of the successful revolution in Baden and in the Palatinate. The inauguration of the restored monument took place on September 25, 1993 although donor Werner Theisen could not live to see that, as he had already died on May 5, 1993.
Deutschen Arbeitsfront (DAF) meeting March 1935 in front of the Kurfürstlichen Schloss  (Electoral Palace). 
 After the Great War, France occupied the area once again. In defiance of the French, the German populace of the city has insisted on using the more German spelling of Coblenz since 1926. During the war it was the location of the command of German Army Group B and like many other German cities, it was heavily bombed and rebuilt afterwards. Between 1947 and 1950, it served as the seat of government of Rhineland-Palatinate.  After the war it was filled in with debris from the bombing of the city. During the war, the palace complex was reduced to a shell by bombs in 1944. It was rebuilt in 1950–51, the exterior being accurately reconstructed using the original plans and the interior finished in 1950s style, except for a few spaces in the centre section whose interiors were reconstructed in the classical style of the palace's original construction.

The palace bedecked with Nazi flags and an amphitheatrical Thingplatz theatre in the palace forecourt and today. During the Nazi era, the Thingplatz was one of the first of a projected 400 to be built; in March 1934 building materials were brought up from the Rhine by citizens, over an hundred workers began work in two shifts on June 8, a mystical cornerstone-laying ceremony took place on June 16, and the theatre was dedicated by Mayor Otto Wittgen on March 24, 1935. The theatre was oval, 330 feet long by 230 feet wide and approximately sixteen feet deep; it was constructed using 16,000 basalt pillars, seated 20,000 people and could accommodate a further 80,000 standees in the surrounding areas of the forecourt. The layout incorporated a glacial boulder and, under the palace portico, a memorial grotto with an eternal flame. The motto of the theatre was Leuchte, scheine goldene Sonne über dies befreite Land (Gleam, shine golden sun, over this liberated land), and a lur was installed on the palace roof, to be sounded twice daily. It was audible up to 3.1 miles away. The Koblenz Thingplatz was one of the most important in the effort to use the locations for mystical observances, particularly at the summer solstice. However, interest in the Thingspiel movement waned rapidly, and already at the end of 1937 a contest was organised to redesign the forecourt as a simple parade ground, doing away with the amphitheatre; in later years it was mainly used for the annual May Day ceremonies.  
The Weindorf (wine village) of Koblenz was established in 1925 as part of the Reichsausstellung Deutscher Wein (The Reich German Wine Exhibition),  held from August 8 to September 13 1925 as part of the celebrations for the 1000th anniversary of the Rhineland. Koblenz was chosen as the venue because the city is in the centre of the wine trade and tourist area. Above shows the largest exhibition hall, the Fachwerkhaus (also called the Rheinhalle), which was located in the middle of the exhibition area. Originally built only for the duration of the exhibition, the buildings were so popular that they have been retained since as a tourist attraction. Newly-elected President Paul von Hindenburg sent at the opening on August 8, 1925 a congratulatory telegram. The devastating air raid on Koblenz on November 6, 1944, left the site in ruins and it was eventually rebuilt in the 1950s, albeit in simplified form.


Adolf Hitler Straße then and now. The town has a long history- the name itself is a corruption of the Latin term "Rhenanae Tabernae" which literally means "tavern" and "Rhine". Hence Rheinzabern was founded some 1950 years ago as "Rhenanae Tabernae" as a place of rest for travellers on Roman roads and was known for its Samian ware production. Remnants of the production are still visible and there is a local museum dedicated to pottery and Roman culture.
After the war the town became part of the French occupation zone within the then newly formed state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

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

The Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen—the last standing on the Rhine—captured by soldiers of the American 9th Armoured Division on March 7, 1945 during Operation Lumberjack. The Ludendorff Bridge was originally built during the Great War as a means of moving troops and logistics west over the Rhine to reinforce the Western Front. It was 1,066 feet long, had a clearance of 49 feet above the normal water level of the Rhine, and its highest point measured 96 feet. The bridge was designed to be defended by troops with towers on each bank with machine gun slits in the towers. The bridge carried two railway tracks and a pedestrian walkway. The unexpected availability of the first major crossing of the Rhine, Germany's last major natural barrier and line of defence, caused Allied high commander Dwight Eisenhower to alter his plans to end the war and possibly shortened the war in Europe. The ability to quickly establish a bridgehead on the eastern side of the Rhine and to get forces into Germany allowed American forces to envelop the German industrial area of the Ruhr more quickly than planned. The Allies were able to get six divisions across the bridge before it collapsed on March 17, 1945, ten days after it was captured. The collapse killed eighteen American army engineers.
My bike on front of the hotel Salischerhof on Burgstraße where I stayed. A yard away on the road are these stolperstein acknowledging local Jews forced into exile to England and the United States; a couple appears to have had swastikas scratched onto their surface.


 The Zehnthaus during the Third Reich and today. The municipality had been the setting for a number of Nazi-era films such as  Carl Froelich’s 1936 work Wenn wir alle Engel wären (“If We Were All Angels”) starring Heinz Rühmann (described by Hull (104) as "the best comedy of the year which contained a number of racy situations that would have curled the hair of an American censor) and the 1938 film Das Verlegenheitskind starring Ida Wüst and Paul Klinger. Not far from the castle above the town is an old Jewish Cemetery who graves- many dating back two centuries-  are engraved in Hebrew and topped with stones of remembrance. Beilstein's Jewish citizens co-existed peacefully within its business and social community for centuries. At various points in history, Beilstein was able to shield Jews from anti-Semitism and at one time Beilstine's population was nearly a quarter Jewish, but the Jewish population began leaving the area prior to Hitler's rise. Its synagogue was built in 1320 when German Emperor Henry VII allowed ten Jewish families to settle in Beilstein and build a synagogue which included a mikveh and women's gallery as well as the main worship hall.In 1925 the synagogue was sold for use as a barn and stable (which included a pigsty - with pigs slaughtered in the mikveh), and thus is one of the very few to have survived the war relatively intact. In the summer of 1942, Beilstein’s last Jewish family was deported and died in a Nazi concentration camp. In the early 1990s an artist whose father from the town survived the Holocaust bought and restored the building where it now serves as an art gallery; its third floor is maintained as a small museum preserving the memory of the city’s Jews.   

Two American GIs take cover on the bridge on the Nibelungenbrücke on March 28, 1945, as snipers on the other bank of the Rhine take aim and taken from the same spot in July, 2022. In the foreground lies one of their victims. During the war, a total of four anti-aircraft guns were set up atop the tower caps above the stairwells on both bridge towers which had earlier been removed and replaced by concrete platforms in order to defend the bridge. On March 20, 1945, the retreating Wehrmacht blew up the bridge itself. Six days later American engineers of the US 85th Combat Engineers Division built a pontoon bridge within ten hours a few metres downstream of the destroyed bridge whilst also building makeshift bridges over the Rhine in the south of Worms between Bobenheim-Roxheim and Frankenthal and in the north around Hamm am Rhein. Later a towing ferry was used but this provisional remedy could only cover the most urgent needs. It was not until 1948 that a permanent Rhine crossing was available in the Worms area with the makeshift Rhine Bridge in Worms, which at the time served as a railway and road bridge. Finally by the fall of 1950, preparatory work for the new building of a bridge began. The severely damaged eastern gate tower from where I took the photo on the right bank of the Rhine above the roadway was removed, whilst the three-story high base below the roadway was preserved.  Still, the "old" Nibelungen Bridge could not cope with the increase in traffic between 1953 and 2005, which is why it was heavily overloaded at peak times and in the meantime also in need of renovation. It was closed to traffic from September 16, 2008 until September 12, 2013, when the "new" bridge that was being built at the same time was opened for traffic, when rehabilitation work began. On April 3, 2019, the Worms Mobility Agency announced that it would start planning a replacement for the old Nibelungen Bridge, the construction of which is planned from 2025 whilst retaining the older ramps and the Nibelungen Tower. 
The Nazi flags outside the main railway station have now been replaced by gay flags. As can be surmised by such contrasting images taken at the same location, Worms had been largely destroyed by two Allied bombing raids on February 21 and March 18, 1945. The British air raid of February 21, 1945 targetted the main train station on the outskirts of the city centre and the chemical factories southwest of the town centre, but also destroyed large parts of the city centre, including the Trinity Church, built in 1709-1725, which burned out completely except for the outer walls and parts of the tower. Worms Cathedral was also set on fire. 239 residents died. The American attack of March 18, 1945 killed 141 people. The attacks left about 15,000 residents homeless. 35% of the building stock was completely destroyed, another 29% damaged to varying degrees. The inner city was rebuilt after the war in a largely modern (ie: unappealing) style. 
Iron benchmark featuring the Nazi eagle affixed onto Worms's cathedral. As Taff Simon of Dark History Tours tells me, such benchmarks are 'like the "Crows Foot" you see on building in the UK - the Ordnance mark - because the Ordnance Survey mapped the UK. If I recall, the top of the bit which attaches in to the wall will have had a known height above sea level. The surveyor with their theodolite or dumpy level needs to know how high off the ground the instrument is. Their buddy will have a large scale ruler which is placed atop of the bit which goes into the wall. Add that known height which the value you read through the level and that is the height of your level."
As mentioned above, the cathedral had been bombed but, although the roofs burned down, the vaults (renewed after 1698) remained intact. Steel material from the Gernsheim Rhine Bridge, which was blown up in 1945, was reused when the roof structure was rebuilt.  
The town swimming pool then and now, relatively unchanged.

The two memorials for fallen soldiers in the cemetery; the older, smaller monument to the Laubenheimer soldiers fallen during the Franco-Prussian War was originally on the market square but, under the Nazis, was moved here. The larger monument was erected for donations from the population and the local associations for the victims of the First World War and was consecrated on August 31, 1931, according to the log book of the warriors and soldiers comrades in Laubenheim on the Rhine "in a distinguished, worthy manner". The monument was built of limestone and bore on the front a panel with the names of the fallen. Above the table was the representation of a soldier's head with a steel helmet topped by a pyramid-shaped point with the Iron Cross. Under mayor Wilhelm Spies in 1960 it was covered with marble tiles. Instead of the nomenclature, a book with the names of the soldiers who had fallen in the two world wars and the Laubenheimer citizens who had been killed in the bomb attacks were inserted. 

Adolf-Hitler-Strasse (now Pariserstrasse) with the Laurentiuskirche in the background. The Protestant Church in town was split into Confessing Congregation and Reich Christians with the former group forbidden to visit their church.They held their services in an emergency church in the swing hall of the lemonade manufacturer and fruit trader Henrich on Neunröhrenplatz, although the Nazi government supposedly guaranteed free religious practice. The town's swimming pool in Neuborn was built during this period. The town was one of the many in the region occupied by the invading French during the Ruhr crisis of 1923; in response the railway workers in Rheinhessen went on strike during which time, the train ran under French direction and was boycotted by the locals. The French would finally withdraw in 1930.

The ancestral home of the Heinz and Trump families, two prominent business and political families in the United States. Donald Trump's paternal gradfather Frederick was born here on March 14, 1869, training as a barber before emigrating to the United States at the age of 16 where he continued his former trade. Several years later, in 1891, he moved to Seattle and began speculating in real estate. During the Klondike Gold Rush, Trump travelled to the Yukon Territory and made his fortune by operating a restaurant and a brothel for miners in the boomtown of Whitehorse. He eventually returned to Kallstadt and married Elisabeth Christ, the daughter of a former neighbour. Because he had fled Bavaria in order to evade conscription, the Bavarian Government stripped Trump of his citizenship and permanently banished him following an investigation forcing him and his family to return to the United States, becoming an American citizen in 1892. He would die in 1918 of the Spanish 'flu. After the war the town exported coronation wine to Britain in 1953 by which time the Trump dynasty had become embarrassed about its German roots leading to Donald occasionally styling himself as a quasi-Viking from Karlstad, Sweden.