Showing posts with label Öschelbronn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Öschelbronn. Show all posts

Nazi Sites in Baden-Württemberg (1)

 SA marching over the alte brücke past Heidelberg schloss from the cigarette card album Kampf um's Dritte Reich (28), and when cycling over the same spot July, 2022. 
 Heidelberg was a stronghold of the Nazis, the strongest party in the elections even before 1933 (the Nazis obtained 30% at the communal elections of 1930). The Nazis received 45.9% of the votes in the German federal election of March 1933 (the national average was 43.9%) after enjoying a mass rally in their support in front of the rathaus. The day after the vote the swastika flag was hoisted atop the same Heidelberg town hall; its last freely-elected city council would meet for the last time on March 8. Non-Aryan university staff were immediately discriminated against as  SA and ϟϟ thugs raised swastika flags at various public and university buildings such as the Institute for Social and Political Sciences (InSoSta) at Palais Weimar on Hauptstraße 235 on March 11 to celebrate the appointment of Baden Reich Commissioner Wagner. Alfred Weber, director of the institute since 1923, had the flag lowered again only to have armed guards protect the flag the next day resulting in Weber closing the InSoSta in protest.
Hitler at the Europaeischer Hof
Hitler leaving the Europäischer Hof where he spent the night March 31, 1935 before driving along the Bergstrasse to Wiesbaden and ultimately Stuttgart, and the hotel today. The building was severely damaged during the bombing raid in 1944, but was partially used again as early as 1948 as its restaurant and hotel operations were resumed and the Baden state parliament even meeting here. By the 1960s however it went into decline leading to the Europäische Hof being sold and in 1975 the Dresdner-Bank high-rise was built in its place, one of the better buildings on Bismarckallee but lacking the charm of the old Europäische Hof. 
Hitler first spoke in the town on August 6, 1927, giving the speech "Was ist Nationalsozialismus?" at the Stadthalle from 20.30 to 22.00 which, according to the subsequent police report, was attended by around 2,500 people and was was led by Gauleiter Robert Wagner. He returned March 5 the following year to deliver "Die Weltwirtschaft und das deutsche Schicksal" to approximately 670 invited guests from the business and science fields. Before the start of the meeting, participants were asked to join the "National Socialist Society for German Culture" with handouts signed by Heidelberg University Professor Dr. Philipp Lenard.
SA group photo in the inner courtyard of the schloss on the right and two Arbeitsmaiden from the Reichsarbeitsdienst posing in front below left, and the site today.
Heidelberg was the location for the so-called Heidelberger Spargelessen Affair, a series of public statements by Heidelberg corps students directed against Hitler on May 21, 1935 which accelerated the process of dissolving student fraternities throughout Germany. Members of the Corps Saxo-Borussia entered the Heidelberg hangout of the Corps, the Seppl, whilst Hitler's Peace Speech being delivered in the Reichstag on May 17 was broadcast on the radio. They disrupted the transmission by bawling loudly, told each other jokes about Hitler in an excessively loud tone and blew melodies on an empty champagne bottle, to which they sang satirical songs about the Nazis.
The following day voices were raised that they had behaved improperly and disturbed the guests in the "Seppl" whilst listening to the speech. The Corps Saxo-Borussia then apologised to the NSDStB in Heidelberg and the student body it dominated and its leader Gustav Adolf Scheel of the Association of German Students in Tübingen, and to the Rector of the Wilhelm Groh
University. The apology was accepted and no further action taken. However, on May 26 members of the same corps talked over an asparagus meal in the Hirschgasse restaurant about whether "the Fuhrer ate asparagus with a knife, fork or paws." The Führer knows everything," said one, "let's ask him." Finally, the corps students agreed that Hitler had "so big a mouth that he could eat the asparagus sideways". Eventually a call was put through to the Chancellery in Berlin to confirm, which was answered by an adjutant. Hitler was informed who took, according to Giles MacDonogh, "a predictably dim view of this levity. His draconian response was to ban the elite brotherhoods for the duration of the Third Reich."  Immediately after the events, the Corps Saxo-Borussia was banned, the corps students involved were expelled from the university and Senior Henning v . Quast was temporarily arrested.
The Neue Universität and Schurmann Building with Nazi Reichsdienst flags on the left and today. Already by April 7, 1933 the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service stipulated that members of the public service "who, based on their previous political activities, cannot guarantee that they will always stand up unreservedly for the national state" as well as those "not of Aryan descent ” were to be dismissed from public service. Any person who had a Jewish parent or grandparent was considered now “non-Aryan” although, owing in large part to Hindenburg's now waning influence, these provisions did not apply to war veterans- this would change in February the next year after Reichswehr Minister Blomberg decreed that the "Aryan Paragraph" would also be applied to members of the Reichswehr. As a result, 76 members of the city administration and 26 Heidelberg university teachers were dismissed. Licenses were also withdrawn from "non-Aryan" doctors and lawyers, and shortly after the "Aryan paragraph" was also used against pharmacists, scientists, journalists and artists.  Regardless, by the end of 1933 over half the students at Heidelberg university had enrolled as stormtroopers. Richard J. Evans goes on to write how Heidelberg University's Social and Economic Sciences Faculty focused its research on population, agricultural economics and the vaguely named ‘spatial research’ which in fact was focused on accumulating knowledge relevant to the proposed future expansion of the Reich in the pursuit of lebensraum. The American eugenicist Harry Laughlin, who in 1931 put forward a programme to sterilise roughly 15 million Americans of inferior racial stock over the next fifty years, received an honorary doctorate from Heidelberg in 1936 as Nobel Prize-winner Philipp Lenard on the 550-year jubilee of Heidelberg University proclaimed support for ‘Aryan physics’. Hitler himself sent his congratulations
on the 550th anniversary of its foundation. Today, the oldest university of the German Reich celebrates in the circle of its German and foreign friends and representatives of numerous nations its day of honour.
At the same time I thank you, Herr Rektor, the senate, and the student body for your loyal greetings extended to me on this occasion. I return these with all my heart and with the wish that this ancient and dignified university, in keeping with its traditions, shall remain the germinator of the most noble of German intellectual life and the time-tested conveyer of real German cultural goods for a long time to come.
In 1942 Hitler would also send a congratulatory telegram to Professor Lenard in appreciation of his “services to science and National Socialism.”
 By 1939, one-third of the university's teaching staff had been forced out for racial and political reasons. The non-Aryan professors were ejected in 1933, within one month of Hitler's rise to power. The lists of those to be deported were prepared beforehand.
On March 1934 there had been a Saar rally in the town hall. The memorial, designed by Friedrich Haller and inaugurated on January 6, 1935 by Lord Mayor Carl Neinhaus. This was a week before the referendum was held in which 90.7% of the population of the Saar region voted for union with Germany after  having been placed under the League of Nations for fifteen years and the coal mines assigned to France in the aftermath of the Great War..
In 1934 and 1935, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (State Labour Service) and Heidelberg University students built the huge Thingstätte amphitheatre on the Heiligenberg north of the town (see below), for Nazi Party and ϟϟ events. A few months later, the inauguration of the huge Ehrenfriedhof memorial cemetery completed the second and last Nazi project in Heidelberg. This cemetery is on the southern side of the old part of town, a little south of the Königstuhl hilltop where Wehrmacht soldiers were buried. 
At the Ehrenfriedhof Heidelberg, laid out from 1933 to 1935 as a military cemetery to accommodate more than 500 reburied soldiers who died in the First World War covering an area of ​​over seventeen hectares. In 1913 in Neuenheimer field a new central cemetery for Heidelberg was planned and its development started, and when the Great War broke out the following year, this cemetery was initially only used to bury soldiers who had died in Heidelberg military hospitals and war dead who had been transported to Heidelberg. After the war there were a few more burials of men who later died from their war injuries. There were a total of 599 soldiers' graves in the Neuenheimer Feld cemetery, including 73 French, 24 Russians, three English and two Italians. With the exception of the Russians, the dead of other nationalities were later reburied in their home countries. On May 22, 1933, the city council and the citizens' committee decided to erect an honorary cemetery on the so-called Ameisenbuckel (anthill) to which the Nazis assigned various early historical meanings as a place of worship and historically significant place. The desire to create a memorial was linked to the erection of the honorary cemetery. The actual cemetery was laid out in 1934. 423 workers and countless members of the Reich Labour Service were employed on the construction site in which a total of 23,000 cubic metres of earth were moved, 1,600 cubic metres of foundations and masonry were built, several hundred square metres of floor slabs and around 7,000 square metres of sections were manufactured and laid, and 8,500 square metres of lawn and several hundred trees were planted. 544 stone crosses were hewn for tombs and memorials and 28 plaques of honour were made from huge blocks of stone. A roughly 5.50 metre long and twenty tonne block of stone forms the mortuary altar on a semi-circular terrace facing the valley at the end of the rectangular cour d'honneur formed by the plaques of honour, on the sides of which lie the cemeteries as seen in my GIF above. On October 28, 1934, 498 dead were ceremoniously transferred from Neuenheimer Feld to the cemetery of honour, where the Mayor of Heidelberg, Carl Neinhaus, and Gauleiter Robert Wagner held commemorative speeches. The names of 2,132 Heidelberg soldiers who died in the First World War were also engraved on the 28 plaques. The stonemasonry work on grave crosses and plaques of honour was only completed in the autumn of 1935. Soldiers who died in the Second World War were later buried on the grounds of the Cemetery of Honour.
Two hotels flying Nazi flags. Here on the left in front of the famous Hotel Zum Ritter Sankt Georg, built in 1592 and one of the few buildings to survive the War of Succession from a postcard.
Below right is the former Hotel Grünes Laub flying the Nazi flag on Brückenstraße and today, now the Italian restaurant Da Claudia
Heidelberg was involved in the nationwide economic boycott against Jews held April 1, 1933. The shops of Jewish businessmen, the practices of Jewish doctors and the offices of Jewish lawyers were actively boycotted under the direction of the SA which launched a propaganda column through Heidelberg's shopping streets to the market square where a Nazi event was held in the town hall. Its main  speaker was district propaganda leader Dr. Alfred Reuter from Mannheim who proclaimed that "a Jew will be hanged for every Christian businessman who perishes". That day Hans-Walter Bettmann, son of dermatologist Siegfried Bettmann, commited suicide after being told that he would be dismissed as a court clerk on "racial" grounds. In November 1940 the property of those deported on October 22, 1940 was publicly auctioned in Heidelberg
Days later on the 6th a Hitler Youth rally was held at the town hall. The following day mayor Dr. Carl Neinhaus ordered that all books and periodicals in the holdings of the Heidelberg People's Library" which have decidedly Bolshevik, Marxist, pacifist or atheist tendencies ... are to be blocked for public lending" .
During Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938, Nazis burned down synagogues at two locations in the city. The next day, they started the systematic deportation of Jews, sending 150 to Dachau concentration camp. On October 22, 1940, during the "Wagner Buerckel event", the Nazis deported 6000 local Jews, including 281 from Heidelberg, to Camp Gurs concentration camp in France. Some of those affected were given only a quarter of an hour to pack up the most important things from their belongings and were limited to fifty kilogrammes of luggage and 100 RM in cash per person. The only exceptions were the acutely ill, some of the nursing staff, close relatives of the seriously ill and the Jewish partners in “mixed marriages”. The train left Heidelberg's main station at 18.15 with the journey taking four days. Within a few months, as many as a thousand of them (201 from Heidelberg) died of hunger and disease. 55 Heidelbergers ended up dying in Gurs, 31 in France, and 109 murdered in the extermination camps of the East. Sixteen Heidelberg men and women ended up killing themselves to avoid deportation. 91 of those deported from Heidelberg endeed up surviving with fifteen of the deportees return to Heidelberg after 1945; the fate of thirteen people remains unknown. Amongst the deportees from Heidelberg, the poet Alfred Mombert left the camp in April 1941 thanks to the Swiss poet Hans Reinhart.
At the Thingstätte in Heidelberg and the same view in 1936 with a group of Hitler Youth Pimpfen. The site was started in 1934 and finished the following year. Situated on the Heiligenberg (Holy Mountain), the amphitheatre covers 25 metres of sloping land and overlooks the city. The mountain is littered with ancient burial grounds and once hosted a Roman temple at the summit dedicated to the god Mercury. Designed by the architect H. Alker, who worked for the Reich Labour Service, the Heidelberg Thingstatte features two hexagonal towers constructed to hold flags, lighting, and sound. On the opening day, 20,000 people turned out to hear Goebbels himself who had
received his doctorate at Heidelberg University in 1922 from the literary historian Max Freiherr von Waldberg, later forced out of office.
Heidelberg was enthusiastically celebrated as a "cosmopolitan city of the mind", as a "living breath of the German soul" or as "the focal point of the idea of ​​the Reich" and the city of the Reichsfestspiele, which when staged for the first time in 1934 in the inner courtyard of Heidelberg Castle, was intended to initiate a "revolution of German theatre" and be "representative witnesses to the new concept of art". As part of Nazi cultural propaganda, the 'Thing' movement was intended "to form and create the new German people according to the will of the Führer based on the community experience". In connection with "ancient ancestral heritage", the construction of over 400 meeting places was planned in all parts of the Reich , whose architectural design was based on the Germanic "Thing", an open-air meeting place. In this context, the legendary Heiligenberg with the "Heidenloch" and its numerous prehistoric settlements from the beginning was seen as an ideal location for such a site. Two hexagonal flag towers for lighting and sound were erected and wide marching paths for choir, players and spectators. The main difference from the Greek amphitheatre is that the stage and auditorium were not separated in order to particularly emphasise the community between performers and people. After a twelve-month construction period, nine months longer than originally estimated, Goebbels praised the Thing site as the "true church of the Reich" and site of "National Socialism in stone" at its inauguration on June 22, 1935, during a midsummer celebration. Goebbels's appearance, together with a forest of flags, uniforms, music and a giant choir, allegedly attracted more than 20,000 people to the inauguration, a number that could never be reached at later solstice celebrations and Thing games. In terms of its mass impact, the Thing movement fell far short of expectations. On the one hand, the thing games, which were specially created as a new genre, consisted of a long-winded and monotonous mixture of choral and passion play. The unpredictable weather too repeatedly thwarted the Nazi organisers' planning, so that they repeatedly felt compelled to publicly admonish the participants to maintain order and discipline. One such appeal by the district leadership in the Heidelberger Tageblatt read: "It was very instructive to note how, despite the previous instruction in the newspaper [...] many people made their little existence the focus again, when the first raindrops came fell and dark clouds darkened the sky." As early as 1936, the term "Thingstätte" was replaced by "Feierstätte Heiligenberg" by decree. The ritual unification of folk comrades in the open air in places with a powerfully felt Germanic past did not fit into the concept of a dawning new age that was presented as progressive. Nazi propaganda had also lost interest in the pseudo-Germanic Thing movement and instead recognised film and radio (so-called people's receivers) as more effective propaganda instruments.  
Looking towards the schlossberg with the wife eight decades later showing little change. Heidelberg, which was filled with hospitals, was one of the few major German cities to survive the war virtually unscathed. The Allies carried out their first air raid in the night from September 19 to 20, 1940, when the Pfaffengrund district was hit by bombs. On September 23, 1940, a German air raid on Cambridge followed in retaliation for this attack on Heidelberg. Smaller air strikes in 1944 and 1945 did little damage. Of Heidelberg's 9,129 residential buildings, a total of 13 were totally destroyed (0.14%), 32 were severely damaged (0.35%), 80 were moderately damaged (0.87%) and 200 were slightly damaged (2.19%). Of 25,933 apartments, 45 were totally destroyed (0.17%) and 1,420 damaged (5.47%). The total loss of living space due to air raids was 0.8%. Freight station and zoo were badly damaged by bombs and artillery shelling. Air raids killed a total of 241 people in Heidelberg.
The American 289th Engineer Combat Battalion ferrying troops and vehicles over the Neckar River at Heidelberg until pontoon bridges were complete and damaged bridges repaired by the engineers on March 31, 1945 shown on the left and from the same site today- the Alten Brücke is in the background. On March 29, 1945, German troops left the city after destroying three arches of the old bridge, Heidelberg's treasured river crossing. They also destroyed the more modern bridge downstream. The American 63rd Infantry, 7th Army entered the town on March 30, 1945. The civilian population surrendered without resistance. Two days earlier German troops had left the city after destroying the main bridges beginning with the Hindenburg Bridge and later that night the Friedrichsbrücke and the Ziegelhäuser Neckarbrücke; the weir bridge at the Karlstor was also blown up in the area of ​​the lock, but remained usable for pedestrians. The philosopher Karl Jaspers, forcibly retired for refusing to divorce his Jewish wife Trudlein whilst constantly fearing her deportation to the East, recorded the event in his diary:
No electricity, no water, no gas. We are trying to equip ourselves. A spirit stove will do for a short time. Water can be fetched from the spring at the Klingentor. The young people are in the best mood. It is magnificent fun for them to live like Indians 
. . .this morning the Americans arrived on the Neuenheimerlandstrasse, they found all the bridges destroyed and stood in front of them with tanks. They discovered the boathouse near the new bridge, took the paddleboats and paddled across the river, landing at the grammar school where they are stationed. They must have arrived upstream by the Neckar.
Frau von Jaffe came to congratulate us that at last our Trudlein is free: a moment without words. It is a miracle that we are still alive.
Returning to the Alten Brücke on the left, showing it after the war and today.

On March 29 at 22.02 it was blown up by Pioneer Sergeant Walter Schlicksupp from Mannheim-Neckarau from the basement of the house at Steingasse 9. Two pillars and three arches are shown here destroyed leaving the districts north of the Neckar and Ziegelhausen cut off from the municipal power supply. The district heating supply was interrupted until April 19th. A popular belief is that Heidelberg escaped bombing during the war because the Americans wanted to use the city as a garrison after the war. As Heidelberg was neither an industrial centre nor a transport hub, it did not present a target of opportunity. Other notable university towns, such as Tübingen and Göttingen, were spared bombing as well. Allied air raids focused extensively on the nearby industrial cities of Mannheim and Ludwigshafen.  The Americans may have chosen Heidelberg as a garrison base because of its excellent infrastructure, including the Heidelberg-Mannheim Autobahn which connected to the Mannheim-Darmstadt-Frankfurt Autobahn, and the American army installations in Mannheim and Frankfurt. The intact rail infrastructure was more important in the late 1940s and early 1950s when most heavy loads were still carried by train, not by lorry. The war for Heidelberg ended forty days before the national capitulation. Under City Commander Captain Eldon H. Haskell all weapons and ammunition had to be handed in and curfew imposed from 19.00 to 6.00. There was no gas, electricity, water, milk but otherwise the city was undestroyed apart from the railway facilities, the zoo, the bridges and a few bombed houses.  In total Heidelberg had seen 2314 killed in the war. Although the war in Heidelbeg ended relatively bloodlessly, 300 people died in the final days of the war; Captain Haskell reported 300 unburied bodies found by the Americans in the city area alone.
At the former parade ground of the Großdeutschlandkaserne. 
When the 110th Infantry Regiment was formed as part of the newly formed 33rd Infantry Division in Heidelberg in 1936, there wasn't enough space in the existing grenadier barracks to accommodate the new unit resulting in 1937 the building of a new barracks complex in the south of Heidelberg under the direction of
Dr. Ing. Dietrich Lang. The topping-out ceremony for the barracks on Galgenweg took place
June 17, 1937. In March 1938, after the anschluß, it was given the name Großdeutschlandkaserne. After its completion, the barracks housed the regimental headquarters, the 1st Battalion including the battalion staff and two support companies of the 110th Infantry Regiment. The II. Battalion of the regiment was stationed in the Loretto barracks, now known as "Hammonds Barracks" and the III. Battalion in the existing old grenadier barracks. There are still numerous reminders of its Nazi past in the surrounding stonework such as the Wehrmacht soldiers who flank the entrance or the two Nazi eagles still perched above the gate on the main road, albeit with excised swastikas.
After Heidelberg was taken by the Americans various American units were housed in the barracks. In 1947, the headquarters of USFET (US Forces, European Theatre) moved in, until it was reorganised into USEUCOM (United States European Command ) in 1952 . The barracks was renamed Campbell Barracks on August 23, 1948 in honour of Staff Sergeant Charles L. Campbell. With the end of the Cold War the importance of the units stationed in Campbell Barracks also dwindled, resulting in a reduction and relocation of troops. In March 2013, NATO personnel were deployed to Izmir , Turkey, the American flag was lowered for the last time that September, and forces were deployed to Wiesbaden Army Airfield. The area was then handed over to the German Government.

Once, in the Black Forest city of Freiburg, when his car was pelted with stones, he jumped down from the vehicle waving his whip, forcing his  astonished attackers to scatter.
Adolf-Hitler-Straße and the Martin Gate in Freiburg in the thirties, now Kaiser-Josef-Straße. Of Freiburg, Hitler described it as one "from which all joy is lacking" whose
women have addressed me in so ignoble a fashion that I cannot make up my mind to repeat their words. It's on such occasions that I become aware of the depth of human baseness. Clearly, one must not forget that these areas are still feeling the weight of several centuries of religious oppression.
The attempt to set up a Nazi branch in Freiburg in 1923 was prevented by the police, which didn't stop the party in retrospect from considering this the year of their local foundation, celebrating its tenth anniversary in 1933. In the Reichstag election in 1928, the Nazis only managed a mere 1.3% of the votes in Freiburg. In the Baden state election on October 27, 1929 in which the Nazis won a nationwide 7%, the Nazis managed only 3.5%. 13.8% of the voters in Freiburg chose the Nazis in 1930, the first election after the Wall Street Crash. At the local council election on November 16, 1930, the Nazis won seats for the first time in the two councils of Freiburg. It was now the third-strongest faction behind the Zentrum Party and SPD. Whilst the Nazis failed to reach their goal of becoming the strongest party in Freiburg in the elections of July and November 1932, with 29.6% and 22.4%, respectively, well below the national average, it managed to win the parliamentary elections on March 5, 1933 with 35.8% of the vote to become the largest party in Freiburg through its mobilisation of previously non-voters and through the expense of DVP and DNVP. Nevertheless, the Freiburg election result for the Nazis was still about 10% below the overall results for all of Baden.
"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer": The Siegesdenkmal and Münsterturm in April, 1938; the memorial has since been moved as shown on the right.
The local Nazi party newspaper Der Alemanne, founded in autumn 1931 had about  25,000 subscribers, reporting for the Freiburg and southern Baden region and was edited by Nazi mayor Kerber before he took office.

The Nazis raising their flag from the town hall on March 6, 1933 without the consent of the Lord Mayor, Karl Bender as Kreisleiter Dr. Franz Kerber and SA-Oberführer Hanns Ludin spoke from the balcony. The larger flags of Freiburg and Baden would soon have only symbolic significance, because the Reich government enforces the Gleichschaltung of countries and municipalities at the end of March under the so-called Enabling Act.
After Gauleiter Robert Wagner had become Baden State Commissioner on March 7 and ordered a ban on assembly for the SPD and KPD as well as "protective custody" for "Marxist leaders", and mayor Hölzl and city councillor Franz Geiler (SPD / trade union secretary) were arrested in this town hall.  
When, on March 17, 1933, during a search of his Freiburg apartment as part of the action against KPD and SPD leaders ordered in Karlsruhe, the SPD city councilor Christian Daniel Nussbaum panicked due to previous threats to his life and shot down two police officers, the Nazis used this "terrible Marxist crime" to engage in total terror against communists, social democrats and trade unionists. Reich Commissioner Wagner ordered Baden to arrest all SPD and KPD MPs in the Landtag and Reichstag (including Freiburg's Stefan Meier and Philipp Martzloff) and banned left-wing publications (which particularly affected the Volkswacht party newspaper in Freiburg) and organisations. In Freiburg, the local organisations of the SPD and KPD were dissolved. All SPD members on the city council and on the citizens' committee were arrested, including Robert Grumbach, Reinhold Zumtobel, Peter Mayer and Max Mayer. The five KPD members were held in the Ankenbuck concentration camp near Donaueschingen.

Hitler's portrait has been removed from the walls of the dining room at the Hotel Oberkirch which had opened on May 27, Corpus Christi Day, in 1937, by Karl and Elise Oberkirch after they had acquired the property "Haus Münsterplatz 22 - Hummels Weinstube" - in 1936 from a bankruptcy estate. By 1938 it was expanded into a hotel where guests enjoyed a direct view of the Minster.
 The Schwabentor before and soon after the war. During the Great War on December 14, 1914, French aeroplanes bombed the open city of Freiburg, an event that shocked the inhabitants. When another air attack in April 1915 killed an adult and seven children, this resulted in a wave of indignity from the city. The return of Alsace to France after the war had hit Freiburg particularly hard. Two Chancellors during the Weimar Republic had come from Freiburg; Constantin Fehrenbach and Joseph Wirth. As elsewhere in Germany, the Nazis in Freiburg took over the power in 1933. In 1938, the synagogue in Freiburg broke out in flames in the Reichspogromnacht. In 1940 the Jews still remaining in Freiburg were deported to the Gurs, a French internment camp, in the framework of the so-called Wagner-Bürckel action. Freiburg's geographical location near the French border rendered it strategically significant during World War II. The city was a site for military activities, including the production of armaments and supplies for the German war effort. Freiburg hosted several military barracks and served as a crucial location for the Wehrmacht
The Luftwaffe erroneously carried out a bomb attack on Freiburg, on May 10, 1940, in which 57 people were killed. Under the cover of Operation Tigerfish, the Royal Air Force bombed the city on the evening of November 27, 1944, killing some 2,800 citizens. After the attack, only the relatively undamaged Freiburg cathedral rose from the ruins of the old part of the city, which had been completely destroyed in the northern part, but the strong detonation waves had covered the church ship. With new bricks donated from Basel, the cathedral was almost completely recovered by January 1946. Freiburg itself suffered the humiliation of being occupied by the French in April 1945.
The Bertoldsbrunnen in 1937. The fountain at Zähringerplatz had been completely destroyed on November 27, 1944 during the Operation Tigerfish British air raid. The offer of the Freiburg sculptor Hugo Knittel to create a free replica of the old figure based partly on prewar pictures made by the spouse of the company Annemarie Brenzinger was rejected in favour of a cheap, ugly fountain designed by Nikolaus Röslmeir supposedly inspired by gothic pointed arches, which is supposed to establish a connection to the Freiburg Minster. Its pedestal bears the inscription "For the Dukes of Zähringen, founders and men of Freiburg im Breisgau" whilst it wasn't bothered to add the arms of the Zähringer cities. Overall, it cost 120,000 Deutsche Marks and when the Lord Major Eugen Keidel presented the fountain to the public on November 27, 1965, the anniversary of the bomb attack of 1944, it was a given that the citizens weren't particularly pleased. Eventually in 1972, Kaiser-Joseph-Straße was pedestrianised which resulted in the fountain being moved from the tram station north of the crossroads to its present locating in its middle, resulting in the fountain basin being removed and the monument simply placed in a water basin embedded in the ground. Seven years later the fountain had to be moved from the tram junction point north of the intersection to its present-day location right in the middle of the intersection.
Süddeutsche Disconto-Gesellschaft. On the right is the Gasthaus zum Bären at the centre of the Oberlindenbrunnen, branching off to Herrenstraße on the right. Freiburg's strategic location near the French border made it a significant site during the war. The city was involved in various military activities, including the production of armaments and supplies for the German war effort. Freiburg housed several military barracks and was a key site for the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.  The city's university also played a role in supporting the war effort. Many academics and students were co-opted into the Nazi cause, contributing to military research and propaganda. The university's involvement in the war effort is a reflection of the broader trend in German academia, where intellectual resources were harnessed to support the Nazi regime's goals. Kershaw discusses the mobilisation of German society for war, noting that cities like Freiburg were integrated into the war economy, with their industries and institutions contributing to the Nazi war machine. This integration was part of the regime's total war strategy, which sought to utilize all aspects of society for the war effort.
Möslestadion; hard to believe that as many as fifty thousand came to this site to attend a speech by Hitler at 18.30 on July 29, 1932. According to the regional press, around 50,000 people attended the meeting opened by SA Oberfuhrer Hanns Ludin. Before Hitler's appearance, the radio speech by Gregor Strasser, was broadcast into the stadium, followed by Gauleiter Robert Wagner. It had only been on June 7 that Nazi party propaganda was allowed to be broadcast on the radio for the election with Strasser speaking on June 14- albeit not broadcast in Bavaria, Württemberg and Austria- and  Goebbels on July 18. Tickets cost between one to five Reichsmarks. Regardless, after anti-Nazi protest rallies were held in the stadium, he is said to have always avoided the city since then. A year later, however, on the occasion of the Reichstag elections on March 5, 1933, the Nazis advanced to become the strongest party in Freiburg and Baden as well – at the Reich level it gained a clear majority in almost all constituencies.
Freiburger FC gave him permission to speak at the Möslestadion leading its local rivals SC Freiburg to instruct its players not to attend the speech and even reported the FFC to the DFB for gross unsportsmanlike conduct. Today the grounds are limited to women's football after the club left in 2021 to the newly built Europa Park Stadium.
The Synagogue on Freiburger Werthmannplatz was destroyed like so many others on the Riechskristallnacht, November 8-9 1938. The leader of the 65th ϟϟ-Stand Schwarzwald in Freiburg, Walter Gunst, and the SA Brigadeführer Joachim Weist were identified as the arsonists. The next evening 137 Jews from Freiburg and the surrounding area were brought by train from Freiburg to the Dachau concentration camp where two of them were murdered and others' lives shortened through the injuries they suffered. All of those released after at least a month were forced  to sacrifice their remaining businesses and property and to leave Germany immediately. After their return from the Dachau concentration camp, Jews in Freiburg could still be recognised for a long time by their shaved hair, further humiliating them.
The memorial on the left is beside the new synagogue whilst the 'stumbling blocks' remind passers-by of those killed by national socialism. The Jewish community in Freiburg, once integral to the city's cultural and economic life, was systematically decimated. By 1940, the majority of Jews had either fled, been deported to ghettos and camps, or killed. The deportations from Freiburg were part of the broader Nazi policy of the Final Solution, which aimed at the extermination of the Jewish people. The first deportation from Freiburg occurred in October 1940, when Jews were sent to the Gurs internment camp in France. During the war on October 22, 1940, the Nazi Gauleiter of Baden ordered the deportation of all of Baden's Jews, and 350 Jewish citizens of Freiburg were deported to the southern French internment camp of Camp Gurs in the Basses-Pyrénées. They remained there under poor conditions until July 18, 1942, when the majority of the survivors were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz. On the left is the synagogue in 1900 and looking at the same site today. The cemetery for German Jews who died at Camp Gurs is maintained by the town of Freiburg and other cities of Baden. A memorial stands outside the modern synagogue in the town centre. The pavements of Freiburg carry memorials to individual victims in the form of brass plates outside their former residences, including that of Edith Stein, a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Catholicism, became a nun, and was canonised as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross in 1998. Subsequent deportations saw Jews from Freiburg being sent to Auschwitz and other extermination camps. Evans, in his comprehensive study of the Third Reich, provides a detailed account of the broader context of these events. He highlights how cities like Freiburg were integral to the Nazi regime's goal of creating a racially pure German society. The experiences of Freiburg's Jewish community exemplify the tragic consequences of this policy.
Bertoldstrasse 8 and Haus Löwenstraße then and now, only slightly damaged in the war
Höhere Töchterschule, now the Goethegymnasium and the Bürgerhaus on the corner of Adelhauserstraße and Marienstraße
Kollegiengebäude I, erected in 1913 as the main building of the university, then and now. During the Nazi period, there were reprisals against Jewish university members. Rectors in this period were Wilhelm von Möllendorff (April 15 to April 20), Martin Heidegger (April 21, 1933 to April 27, 1934), Eduard Kern in 1934, Friedrich Metz in 1936, Otto Mangold in 1938, and Wilhelm Süss in 1940. Doubtful celebrity attained the Rector's speech of the then-rector Heidegger on the subject of the self-assertion of the German University on May 27 1933, which was understood by many as a public affirmation of the Nazi regime. After a fire of the main university building (today Kollegiengebäude I) on July 10, 1934, the university leadership had attached on the façade above the entrance, the inscription "The eternal Germandom" now gone. After its wartime closure, the university was reopened a few months after the end of the war under Sigurd Janssen. The university, which was hit hard by the wartime bombing, initially had to work under provisional conditions. In the post-war period, there were numerous extensions and new buildings; Especially in the so-called institute district, buildings of the natural sciences faculties were built.
The reichsadler has been scrubbed away completely from the main campus although the original legend above the entrance, Dem ewigen Deutschtum, is still legible. The city's university also played a role in supporting the war effort. Many academics and students were co-opted into the Nazi cause, contributing to military research and propaganda. The university's involvement in the war effort is a reflection of the broader trend in German academia, where intellectual resources were harnessed to support the Nazi regime's goals
The rector of the University of Freiburg, professor of medicine von Möllendorff, was forced out of office in 1933 through Nazi terror. Succeeding him, the philosopher Martin Heidegger took over the rectorate, who openly welcomed the Nazi upheaval as the spiritual leader of the new movement. In his inaugural speech, Heidegger admonished the student body to follow it, summoning the bloodthirsty forces as the sole keepers of German culture, going on to declare that
The essence of the German university comes first in clarity, rank and power, when the leaders themselves are guided by the relentlessness of that spiritual task that compels the fate of the German people into the stamp of its history... The leader himself and alone is today's and the future's German reality and its law. Get to know deeper and deeper from now on through everyone's decisions and all doing according to their responsibility. Heil Hitler!
 Erich Kästner commented on Heidegger's speech with sarcasm: "May he be and remain the greatest philosopher of our glorious century! I believe and hope that one day in the Pantheon, Socrates and Seneca, Spinoza and Kant will not shake hands." 
The rathaus originally housed the entire University of Freiburg. Following the move of the humanities in the former Jesuit College, the building was used only by the natural sciences and medicine before the city acquired the building and converted it in 1892 to the Town Hall. On the right is the Alte Universität in Bertoldstraße
The swastika remains on the grave of Wilhelm Pleickart Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, as well as the Nazi motto referring to the failed Beer Hall putsch of which he personally took part: "And You Have Won in the End."Von Bieberstein was a German aviator and Nazi functionary who had  served in Fliegerabteilung 68 during the Great War in the so-called carrier pigeon department Ostend and in bomb squadron 1 of the Supreme Army Command, completing over 300 enemy flights under the nom de guerre Emir before becaming a squadron leader in 1917. He joined the Nazi Party as early as 1923 and took part in the Hitler putsch and became standard leader of the SA in 1924. He became better known as an aviator and participant in Sven Hedin's Sino-Swedish expedition from 1928 to 1929 to Sinkiang before returning to become leader of the Baden SA and from 1930 to 1933 a Nazi member  member of the Baden state parliament. He died in an airplane accident in Stettin in 1935 and was buried with a state funeral, being posthumously honoured by having a Junkers Ju 52 named after him; this plane eventualy crashed near Hanover in 1936 due to icing.
South of Freiburg's Old Town on the other side of the Dreisamstadion, is the Mütterbrunnen in the Die Wiehre. Representing the "Aryan and genetically healthy mother," the work of the sculptor Helmuth Hopp based on the sketchwork of Freiburg architect Carl Anton Meckel belongs to the racial theory of "blood and soil, will to expand, population policy, the natural destiny of the woman." The statue of the mother has now suffered her nose cut off by extremist antifa members. As Dagmar Reese (42) argues in Growing Up Female in Nazi Germany
National Socialist emphasis on motherhood as the meaning of female existence is quite evident, as are the measures for promoting marriage and the family. But can we assume this exhausts the National Socialist conception of the woman? There are two objections to any such conclusion. First, empirical studies show that women, generally speaking, were not nudged out of the job market and ushered back into the bosom of the reproductive family. Second, within the concept of motherhood, side by side with its being a natural given fact, there is always a secondary substantive interpretation: here anthropological dimensions are necessarily supplemented by historical and cultural aspects. The notion that motherhood should be an essential part of a woman’s life was widespread: National Socialism shared the view not just with other political groups but also with many girls and women themselves.
Wartime damage. Freiburg was heavily bombed during the war. First, in May 1940, aircraft of the Luftwaffe mistakenly dropped approximately sixty bombs on Freiburg near the train station, killing 57 people. Later on, a raid by more than 300 bombers of the RAF Bomber Command on November 27, 1944 (Operation Tigerfish) destroyed a large portion of the city centre, with the notable exception of the Münster, which was only lightly damaged although the surrounding buildings were heavily affected. The Kaufhaus, a Renaissance building known for its elaborate façade, was significantly damaged. The University Library, containing numerous invaluable manuscripts and historical documents, was destroyed, resulting in a severe loss of academic and cultural heritage. Residential areas, particularly those in the city centre, were heavily hit. Streets like Kaiser-Joseph-Straße and Rathausgasse saw numerous buildings either completely destroyed or severely damaged. Bertoldstrasse is shown on the left looking from Fahnenbergplatz before the war and today.The Wiehre district, known for its densely populated areas, also experienced significant destruction. Meanwhile the exact number of casualties is challenging to determine, but it is estimated that several hundred civilians were killed in the November 27 raid whilst the displacement of residents was substantial. Approximately 9,000 homes were destroyed, leaving tens of thousands of Freiburg's residents homeless. Many sought refuge in nearby villages or in the Black Forest region. The city's infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and railway lines, was heavily targeted and suffered extensive damage. This disruption significantly hampered movement within the city and its connections to other regions. The post-war reconstruction efforts in Freiburg focused on balancing the restoration of its historical heritage with modern urban development. Some buildings, like the Historical Kaufhaus, were meticulously restored, while other areas saw modern architectural developments. The Münster is shown on the right from above in 1944 and today. In conclusion, the Allied bombings of Freiburg, particularly the raid on November 27, 1944, had a profound impact on the city. The destruction of historical buildings and landmarks, the loss of civilian life, and the displacement of residents were significant. The city's post-war reconstruction efforts aimed to restore its historical identity while adapting to the needs of a modern city. After the war, the city was rebuilt on its medieval plan. It was graciously allowed by the British and Americans to be occupied by the French Army in 1945. In December 1945 Freiburg became the seat of government for the German state Badenia, which was merged into Baden-Württemberg in 1952.
Münsterplatz then and now
Karlsruhe was the birthplace both of Generalfeldmarschall Walter von Reichenau, born 1884, and of Dr. Hans Frank, born 1900, Reich Minister from 1934 to 1945 and Governor-General of Poland from 1939 to 1945; he was hanged in Nuremberg in 1946. 
Hitler spoke here a number of times, beginning on March 3, 1928. That initial speech, "Tageskampf oder Schicksalskampf," was given at the Karlsruher Festhalle from 20.30 23.00 in front of what the subsequent police report stated amounted to around three thousand people and was chaired by Gauleiter Robert Wagner. Some of the attendants had been brought by truck from all over Baden and the Palatinate.
Hitler next spoke on November 1, 1932 in a tent erected on the square at Daxlander Straße at 20.50. According to the General-Anzeiger für Südwestdeutschland, around 30,000 to 35,000 people took part in the meeting opened by district leader Willi Worch with Gauleiter Wagner again speaking before Hitler. Immediately after Hitler flew from Karlsruhe Airport to Berlin.
Hitler would speak again in the town on March 12, 1936 in front of an estimated 60,000 people in the university stadium; a fortnight later on the 29th 98.7% voted for Hitler in what passed for elections.
Where Hitler gave his two-hour speech on "Daily Struggle and Weltanschauung" at the Festhalle on March 3, 1928. In 1944 the Festhalle was destroyed in an air raid and left as a ruin until it was blown up on November 4, 1952 to make way for a dispiriting new hall.
Adolf-Hitler-Platz Karlsruhe
Adolf-Hitler-Platz during the war and today. The market square was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz in 1933 by the Nazi-dominated Karlsruhe municipal council. This was reversed at the beginning of the occupation in 1945. In the current online city map of the city of Karlsruhe from 1943, the authorities whitewash this and record the site only as "platz".  Gottesauer Platz had also at the same time been renamed Hermann-Göring-Platz and Festplatz became Platz der SA.  After his appointment as Reich Chancellor the Nazi Party celebrated with a torchlight procession through the city. That year on his birthday the festivities took place at great expense with a Hitler lime tree (Hitler-Linde) planted on the Schlossplatz. The next month on May 18 Hitler became an honorary citizen of the city and its market square was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz. On November 11, 1933 during the so-called “Reichstag election and referendum for peace, freedom and honour”, ​​around 90 percent of the people of Karlsruhe vote “Yes” and for Hitler. The following year after the death of President Hindenburg, the referendum on the unification of the offices of the Reich President and the Reich Chancellor in the person of Adolf Hitler took place in Karlsruhe on August 19, 1934 resulting in what was proclaimed as “an overwhelming commitment to the Führer”. During a May 17, 1939 visit to the Siegfried Line, Hitler arrived at Karlsruhe to meet with the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Walter von Brauchitsch, at the Hotel Germania at Ettlinger Tor, staying overnight in his special train near Eggenstein.
During the war Karlsruhe lost its political importance when Alsace, unofficially annexed to the Great German Empire, merged with Baden to the Gau Baden-Alsace, the planned Reichsgau Oberrhein, and its political centre was transferred to Strasbourg. In 1937 the Heimat Guide to Baden listed the locations of the state’s ‘memorial sites of the National Socialist uprising’; a brochure issued by the Karlsruhe Tourism Society, Easter 1934 in Karlsruhe, proudly referred to the fact that, under the new regime, ‘the state, the communities and the police are [now] purified of enemies of the state.’ Five years later in January 1942, the Gestapo in Karlsruhe sent a letter to Baden’s district administrators, police presidents and police directors regarding the ‘fight against abuses in the tourism places’:  "In addition to the congestion in the spa and relaxation places ... the behaviour of the visitors has also given rise to complaints. The unbridled conduct of these persons (gluttony, regular drunken excesses, moral laxity) shows that they do not comprehend ... the seriousness of the time. Moreover, the unity of the home front is endangered through the disadvantageous effect on the mood of the working population if this activity is not brought to a stop. ... The chief of the Security Police and the Security Service has therefore ordered that this danger is to be opposed with all [their] energy."
Former site of the Adolf-Hitler-Haus on Ritterstraße 28/30. During the Third Reich this was the Nazi Party headquarters in Karlsruhe, known by locals as the "brown house". Moreover, in this building, a Gestapo was housed. According to research by Jürgen Schuhladen-Krämer, three members of the resistance organisation BSW died from torture here. The BSW (Fraternal Cooperation) was an organisation of Soviet PoWs and forced labourers, which sought to organise a national armed uprising with other anti-fascist forces.  It was here too on February 5, 1945 that the Gestapo served subpoenas to "shift"the remaining thirty Jews and "half-breeds" who were so far spared because of marriages with "Aryans". They were summoned on February 9, 1945 with a few managing to escape by fleeing or illness, or even suicide. The remaining seventeen persons were deported to Theresienstadt on February 14, 1945.  After 1945, the American military government established their offices here. A plaque on the façade briefly marks this history.
On April 25, 1946, Walter Köhler, Robert Wagner, Dr. Hans Frank and Hermann Göring revoked their honorary citizenship posthumously.
The Staatliche Kunsthalle in March 1941 showing an exhibition on Art from the Front. With the inauguration of the Gauleiter Robert Wagner in March 1933, the hunt was on to hunt so-called "degenerate art". On March 11, 1933 Lilli Fischel was, since 1927, acting head of the Kunsthalle but because of his Jewish descent, initially put on leave and then fired. Wagner prompted its replacement by Hans Adolf Bühler, a student of Hans Thoma. Buhler also held the post of director of the Academy. He was a member of the "Combat League for German Culture", an association that was already active in the 1920s. Upon Buhler's initiative was the exhibition "Government Art 1918-1933" back in 1933. The aim was to uncover the alleged abuse of taxpayers' money and was one of the first of its kind in Germany.  The campaign saw the following artists fall prey: Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth, Max Slevogt, Edvard Munch, Carl Hofer, just to name a few. Buhler himself was replaced after one year. In a second wave another series of purges works were made which were then shown at the 1937 "Degenerate Art" exhibition in Munich and then confiscated.
On March 9, 1933 Robert Wagner as Reich Commissioner of Baden sent about three thousand men of the SA and ϟϟ units to march in front of the Interior Ministry of Baden at the Karlsruhe Badisches Innenministerium at Schlossplatz 19. SA,cϟϟ and police units forced the seizure of power in the country within a few days.  The Badische home office on Schlossplatz 19 was the authoritative hub for the persecution of the Jews and also a headquarters of the persecution and extermination of the sick, disabled and "asocial".  With the "Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring" of July 14, 1933, the legal basis for forced sterilisation had been created. Dr. Theodor Pakheiser, the Special Commissioner for Health, ensured that the law was applied. Baden in 1934 exceeded all other countries with about three sterilisation applications for every thousand inhabitants; the "Erbgesundheitsgerichte" approved on average 94% of applications. Between 1934 and 1944, 11,412 people were forcibly sterilised in ten districts of Baden with 1.2 million inhabitants. These killings were organised in Baden by Secretary Dr. Ludwig Sprauer, director of the health department in Baden Ministry of Interior. Sprauer launched the 'Mordaktion' in Baden with a secret circular to the heads of hospitals and nursing homes. Enclosed with the letter dated 29.11.1939 reporting forms, the details of the person's nationality, diagnosis, type of employment and so on, including racial details. Based on this information was decided life and death. Today the site serves as the Hector School of Engineering and Management at the University of Karlsruhe.
Swastikas adorning the Hauptpost with the Grenadierdenkmal in front, then and now
The main railway station, from where Jewish citizens were sent to their deaths. In the Wagner-Bürckel action, the Jews who were still living in the area of this Reichsgaus were taken to Camp Camp de Gurs. Likewise, the families of the Sinti and Roma who were mainly based in the "Dörfle" were deported to Auschwitz in May 1940 by the police department at the market square via the Hohenasperg. On October 22, 1940 945 Jews were deported to Gurs. There, about 40 km north of the Spanish border and fifty mils from the Atlantic coast, in marshy areas at the foot of the Pyrenees, was the detention centre, which was only a stopover of suffering on the way to Auschwitz for many. On February 14, 1945 seventeen of the last thirty remaining Jews were deported to Theresienstadt. They had thus been spared from deportation through mixed marriages or as "1st degree half-breeds." Among them were the children of Esther and Heino Hirsch, from the family of former national football player Julius Hirsch. Thanks to Józsa Tensi and Leopold Ransenberg, all survived. It was not until the liberation of the concentration camp that they were able, after an eight-day odyssey, to return to Karlsruhe.
A plaque on the façade reads:  "The banking house of Veit L. Homberger was founded in 1854 and became a well-known company. In 1901 it moved into this building, designed by Robert Curjel and Karl Moser. In 1939 the Nazi boycott led to the liquidation of this Jewish private bank" whilst a stolperstein outside his home reads simply: "Here lived Ferdinand Homberger, born 1860, deported 1940 to Gurs, died January 28, 1941."
Members of the BDM in front of the schloss in 1943 on the left. Below right is as it appeared after September 27, 1944 when over 200 000 incendiary bombs and hundreds of other bombs fell on the city and destroyed the schloss, now extensively reconstructed as seen with my bike in the foreground. Between 1940 and 1945 135 air and artillery attacks of the Allies on Karlsruhe were documented, including thirteen large-scale attacks with more than an hundred bombers. At least 12,000 tonnes of explosives and fire bombs were dropped over the city. 1,754 people died and 3,508 were injured. 38% of Karlsruhe was destroyed depending on estimates.  Among the heaviest air raids, the first took place on the third anniversary of the start of the war on September 3, 1942 when 73 were killed and 711 wounded as, among other sites, the Landesgewerbeamt, Margravial Palace, collection building on Friedrichsplatz , Christ Church, Westendstrasse (today Reinhold-Frank-Strasse), Körnerstrasse and numerous businesses in the Rheinhafen as well as the municipal grain store located there were all seriously damaged. Because of a thunderstorm on the night of April 24/25 1944, the town ​​centre was spared because the Christmas trees marking out the target area had blown away, although the bombs hit the suburbs, especially Rintheim- destroying its old town hall- Hagsfeld , Grötzingen and Berghausen. Castle Gottesau was hit by American bombs July 7 that year and severely damaged. Karlsruhe's town hall was almost completely destroyed the night of October 27 and the outer windows of the Grand Ducal Sepulchral Chapel, which was not hit itself, were destroyed by the pressure waves from the bombing of the area; they wouldn't be repaired until 1949. An incindiary bomb struck the “Drei Linden” inn in Mühlburg and tore apart the two air raid shelters resulting in many people being killed. 
In the autumn of 1944, the "decree for the formation of the Volkssturm" was issued, demanding that all men between sixteen and 60 years of age who were not already conscripted but still capable of carrying weapons and who wasn't working in war-relevant companies were to receive basic military training and defend the city in an emergency. To that end the first Karlsruhe battalion was sworn in on November 12, 1944 on the “Platz der SA”. Weapon exercises were the order of the day at the weekends, mostly only the handling of the bazooka, which were to be used against tanks at short range. Such arming of the units were the responsibility of the army and the various district leaders. The Wehrmacht itself, of course, had better things to do than handing over weapons to an almost untrained troops, so that the Volkssturm were mainly equipped with old Italian rifles, built in 1884. For their part, the Allies publicly denounced the Volkssturm as the “new weapon of retaliation of the German Reich”. This naturally demoralised the soldiers enormously. Leaflets were also dropped over the cities, reporting how little chance Volkssturm units had in combat. And the Karlsruhe Volkssturm also had a “combat value equal to zero”, according to the city's combat commander, Major General Hossfeld.
It wouldn't be until March 31, 1945 on Easter Saturday that the remaining residents of Karlsruhe experienced the last, and longest, raid of the war. From from 6.30 until 19.00 there were a total of 1,032 alarms in the city and about an hundred air strikes in which 1,754 people were killed and 3,508 injured; around 25 percent of all buildings having been completely destroyed, including a great many historic buildings in the city ​​centre.
Finally on April 4, 1945, the French 1st Army occupied the city with little resistance thanks to the initial bravery and generosity of British and American troops, the latter of whom simply took it back and added it to the their occupation zone and to the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Hitler travelling through Durlach, a borough of Karlsruhe with a population today of 30,000 on September 14, 1933. On the right is what had been named Adolf-Hitler-Straße in his honour, looking towards the Turmberg. In Knielingen, Neufeldstrasse was called Adolf-Hitler-Strasse from 1933 until it was cut in 1935. In Hagsfeld, Schwetzinger Strasse was called that from 1933 until it was incorporated in 1938. In the rest of today's urban area of Karlsruhe, Adolf-Hitler-Strasse existed from 1933 until the occupation reversed it in 1945. Welschneureuter Strasse in Palmbach, Talstrasse and Grünwettersbacher Strasse, Steinkreuzstrasse in Wolfartsweier and Eugen-Kleiber-Strasse in Grötzingen all were renamed in Hitler's honour during the Nazi regime.
Adolf-Hitler-Straße, now Pfinztalstraße, looking the other way
Hitler had been travelling through Durlach to arrive at the village of Öschelbronn,where, four days earlier on September 14, 1933, an ammunition factory exploded with catastrophic force destroying 203 homes from a cause unknown to this day. To do this, he traveled from Berlin to Karlsruhe by plane, then continued by car via Durlach and Pforzheim through streets that were lined with partly jubilant, partly just curious people. Arriving in Öschelbronn at around 13.45, he inspected the site of the fire, as did numerous onlookers before him, and traveled on to Böblingen at around 14.30, from where he took the return flight to Berlin. The Nazi state government of Baden ensured that Öschelbronn was rebuilt within a short time with "down-to-earth architecture" as a "model village in half-timbered oak" in the Heimatschutz style. The commission meeting at the district office, which advertised the work to be done and largely awarded it to Baden craftsmen. Craftsmen from the immediate vicinity on the other side of the state border, which ran directly past Öschelbronn, complained about this to the Württemberg government. The disputes that arose from this in October 1933 between the two Nazi-aligned state governments were settled with a compromise that provided for the delivery of 20% of the bricks and bricks required by Württemberg brickworks. The future residents of the new houses were not asked what they wanted during the reconstruction campaign. According to contemporary witnesses, some of the commissioned architects had absolutely no experience with the design and construction of farmhouses. Indeed, after the work was completed, it became apparent that the original cost estimate for the reconstruction of Öschelbronn had been exceeded by around a quarter. The investigations carried out on this revealed that one reason for this was that in many cases the award of the work had been decided on the basis of partisan rather than economic considerations. A year after the fire, the reconstruction of Öschelbronn was essentially complete and can be seen today on Gartenstrasse, Untere Bachstrasse and Brühlstrasse.

Just west of Heidelberg, the castle of Schwetzingen can be seen behind the Wehrmacht marching through the town in 1944. Schloss Schwetzingen had been the summer residence of Prince-Elector Carl Theodor. Jews had settled in the town from the the 18th century and by 1901 they set up a synagogue room in the Schwetzingen chateau. When Hitler became chancellor there were still 79 Jews living in the city; this decreased to 67 at the start of 1936, 47 in 1938 and twelve at the start of 1939.
After the few remaining Jewish citizens emigrated or were deported to the eastern extermination camps; a memorial stone in Zeyherstraße has commemorated this since 1978. Hitler's opponents, such as Social Democrat Fritz Schweiger, who was murdered in the Dachau concentration camp in 1940, were also persecuted; the city has honoured him with a street name. During the war, women and men from numerous countries were deported to Germany and also used in Schwetzingen for forced labour. Eleven victims of forced labour who are buried in the municipal cemetery are commemorated.
Since January 1933 there was in Schwetzingen - according to the self-assessment of the "Stürmer" - perhaps the "most beautiful Stürmer box in the whole Reich", in which Jews as well as "Jewish servants" were denounced. After a visit to Schwetzingen in 1935, the publisher of the "Stürmer", Julius Streicher, received fresh Schwetzingen asparagus and lilacs from the city every spring from 1936 onwards. Streicher gave a speech in Schwetzingen in 1936, to which thousands of members of the Labour Front were brought in special trains. Between 1936 and 1938, 37 previous Jewish residents left the city. During the November pogrom in 1938, the houses of the Jewish families still living in the city were completely demolished. The last five Jewish residents of Schwetzingen (Frieda Bermann with her daughters Therese, Else and Ruth and Flora Vogel) were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940.
Multiple views of the German Jagdtiger 131 of Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 653 knocked out in Schwetzingen on March 30, 1945 by a Sherman tank as American forces of the 254th Infantry and 10th Armoured Division. As the latter began to enter the town, three heavy tank destroyers of the German 653rd Heavy Jagdpanzer regiment began to manoeuver to intercept the oncoming American troops. These tanks had 25 mm to 250 mm of armour, a crew of six, a speed of 38 kilometres per hour and a cruising range of 170 kilometres. In fact, with the Jagdtiger the Germans managed to produce the heaviest and most powerful armoured vehicle of the war. The Jagdtiger had an official weight of no less than 154,324 pounds, but by the time extra combat equipment and a full load of ammunition plus the crew of six had been added the weight rose to 167,551 pounds. Much of this weight was attributable to the armour, which was no less than 9.84 inches thick on the front plate of the superstructure. Thus Jagdtigers were extremely ponderous and, whilst on paper they were the most heavily armed and protected of all the armoured fighting vehicles used during the war and for many years subsequently, they remained considerably underpowered, a fact that rendered them little more than mobile weapon platforms even though Irving in Hitler's War (769) describes Hitler as having "jealously watched over every detail" of "the deployment of the formidable Jagd-Tiger tanks with their 1-millimetre guns." The Jagdtiger tank destroyer shown in these images found itself beginning to move down Dreikonigstrasse towards the intersection with Mannheimerstrasse which was the very street being used by the American forces to enter the town and ended up being spotted by an Artillery observer flying overhead who then notified the forces on the ground of the movement.Elements of the 10th Armoured Division, nicknamed the "Tiger Division," positioned their Sherman tanks here on Mannheimerstrasse and when the Jagdtiger tank destroyer reached the intersection they engage the German tank at 200 yards and hit it in the side disabling the tank and crew. The German tank destroyer continued to roll forward and entered a building on the corner of the intersection with the results shown here. Geoff Walden reveals that the gunner, whom he identifies as Uffz. Klein, was killed by machinegun fire whilst escaping the tank, and the radio operator died later of burns. The driver was thrown out of his hatch as the tank crashed into the building on the corner. Another German tank got stuck on Grenzhoferstrasse when it slipped off the road and, due to its weight of 72 tonnes, could not get out of the ditch back on the road and was subsequently destroyed by its crew. Another The third Jagdtiger Tank destroyer escaped damaged during this engagement but was destroyed by its crew whilst on the road from Eppelheim towards Pfaffengrund. 
By the end of the war the 10th Armoured Division had captured 650 towns and cities along with 56,000 German prisoners; in one week alone, the 10th advanced 100 miles, capturing 8,000 prisoners from 26 different enemy divisions.
The Panzer Kaserne outside the main town, which later became home to the American Army as the Tompkins Barracks. Here at the entrance to the main gate can still be seen Die Gepanzerten, a 1938 mosaic of two armoured knights, shown below. Designed by Dieter Lang and Fritz Schmitt, the barracks served as the headquarters for Panzer units of the German Wehrmacht, initially for the 1st Division/Panzer Regiment 23, established in November 10, 1938 here in Schwetzingen in what was Wehrkreis XII. They had moved into the newly built barracks on Friedrichsfelder Landstraße and from here took part in the 1939 Polish campaign and the 1940 French campaign. However, after the end of the fighting in France in June 1940, this unit did not return here and Schwetzingen was chosen as the location for a tank replacement department. In the spring of 1941, Panzer Replacement Department 100 was set up in Schwetzingen, and after its relocation in spring 1942, Tank Replacement and Training Department 204 was set up. This unit, which was responsible for training tank crews, remained in the Schwetzingen tank barracks until March 1945. 
Apparently there are claims that Rommel commanded here and that he had Red Crosses painted on the barracks roofs to deceive the Allies from bombing this site.
After the war the Americans took over the site before vacating in 2010 and turing over the facility to local authorities for redevelopment. At the moment however it's being used to house (more like conceal given the difficulty in reaching the site) refugees.

Stadt der Auslandsdeutscher (City of the Abroad Germans)
The 15th Deutsches Turnfest in 1933 at the schloßplatz with the Nazi banner in front of the Neues Schloss. Stuttgart, the capital city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, had a unique and varied experience during the Nazi era. In 1933, following Hitler's rise to power, the Nazis quickly took control over Stuttgart. As part of the Nazi policy of Gleichschaltung (coordination), Stuttgart's institutions, including city governance and educational facilities, were brought under the control of the Nazi party. The Mayor of Stuttgart, Karl Strölin, was pressured to join the Nazi party in 1933, illustrating the reach of the Nazi's influence into local governance. Stuttgart, being an industrial hub, saw a substantial economic transformation. It became a crucial part of Hitler's armament production plans, with companies such as Daimler-Benz and Robert Bosch GmbH becoming key suppliers of military vehicles and equipment. In 1935, Daimler-Benz began manufacturing the Mercedes-Benz LG3000, a military truck that would see extensive use in the war. This production, while boosting Stuttgart's economy, also made the city a target for Allied bombing. Stuttgart's Jewish community, which numbered 4,384 in 1933, was subjected to systematic persecution under the Nazi regime. The pogrom known as Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938, was a turning point. Stuttgart's main synagogue, located at Hospitalstraße 36, was set on fire and destroyed. By the end of the war, only 180 Jews from Stuttgart's pre-Nazi community survived, as documented by historian Michael Brenner. The city was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during the war. Between 1940 and 1945, Stuttgart experienced 53 bombing attacks. The most destructive attack, known as "Operation Able", occurred on September 12, 1944, when over 3,000 people were killed and the city centre was almost completely destroyed. According to historian David Stafford, more than 45% of Stuttgart was destroyed by the end of the war.
Hitler visiting Stuttgart on April 1, 1938. Both photos show the end of Königstraße looking at Stuttgart Central Station then and now. On that day Hitler took advantage of the rejoicing due to the anschluss when he arrived at 15.00 on April 1, Hitler arrived in Stuttgart on a special train.
In the City Hall, the Mayor Dr. Stroelin greeted Hitler at a reception held in his honour. Hitler replied to this welcome in a short address, emphasising that the concept of a Greater Germany was nowhere as lively and vibrant as in Stuttgart, “the city of Germans living abroad.” At 9:00 p.m., Hitler delivered another campaign speech at a mass rally in Stuttgart. Following the “party narrative,” he again turned to the events in Austria: “We have all forgotten what it means to be compelled to live outside of the German Volksgemeinschaft!”
Doramus (1079) The Complete Hitler
Around sixty percent of the German Jewish population had fled by the time restrictions on their movement were imposed on October 1, 1941, at which point Jews living in Württemberg were forced to live in 'Jewish apartments' before being 'concentrated' on the former Trade Fair grounds in Killesberg. On December 1, 1941 the first deportation trains were organised to send them to Riga. Only 180 Jews from Württemberg held in concentration camps survived.  During the period of Nazi rule, Stuttgart held the "honorary title" Stadt der Auslandsdeutschen (City of the Germans living outside of the Reich).  
During Kristallnacht the town's Old Synagogue was burnt down and the cemetery chapel of the Jewish community destroyed. The majority of the Jewish citizens of Stuttgart were arrested immediately afterwards by the Gestapo and transferred to the police prison of Welzheim or the Dachau concentration camp. Until the ban on emigration on October 1, 1941, only about sixty per cent of German Jews fled. The Jews who were still living in Wurttemberg and Hohenzollern were forced to move to so-called Jewish homes or Jewish forced-home homes during the war. 
Königsbau in 1940 and today
Königsbau in 1940 and today
They were then "concentrated" by the Gestapo (Stapoleitstelle Stuttgart) on the exhibition grounds of Killesberg. On December 1, 1941, the first transport train drove to Riga, where they were assassinated. Up to the last weeks of war, there were further trains with about 2,500 Jews from the region. Only 180 of these Würzburg concentration camp survivors survived. Sketch of the destruction in the Stuttgart city center after the air raids  Towards the end of the war large sections of the city were destroyed by the Anglo-American air raids on Stuttgart. The most serious attack took place on September 12, 1944 by the RAF on Stuttgart's old town. 75 heavy airmines, 4300 explosive bombs and 180,000 fire bombs were dropped. More than 1,000 people fell victim to the subsequent fire storm. Altogether Stuttgart was attacked 53 times. 68% of all residential buildings and 75% of industrial facilities were destroyed. A total of 4477 people were killed in Stuttgart and 8908 people were injured.
People marching past the Stuttgarter Polizeipräsidium May 1, 1933. It would later become the Gestapo Headquarters from 1937 to 1945, even after being bombed in September 1944.  As late as April 13, 1945 four prisoners in the cellar were hanged by the Gestapo.
The Neues Schloß before the war and today. The photograph on the right shows it immediately after the war. In the last fifteen months of the war the schloß suffered from several bombing raids to its eventual ruin. A lively discussion was led up until 1954 over the fate of the castle. The plans ranged from its complete demolition to establish a spa hotel or reconstruction as the seat of the Federal Government to possible use as a museum. Finally, in 1957 the decision was made to rebuild it for use for administrative purposes.
The Wilhelmspalais during the Third Reich (now serving as the Stadtmuseum) with its Grosser Saal festooned in swastikas in 1940 
The swastika over the Fruchtsäule in 1935 with Nazi flags all around and in 2022 during volksfest.
Hitler first spoke in Stuttgart on June 14, 1925, giving his speech "Allgemeines, insbesondere Organisation" as titled according to the police report, in the flower hall of the Charlottenhof from 11.30 to 13.00. At the closed general meeting around 140 people attended the meeting, which was scheduled as a preliminary meeting for the extraordinary state assembly. On the initiative of Christian Mergenthaler, who had led the Nazi freedom movement in Württemberg during the Nazi Party ban, the state assembly passed a resolution on March 1, 1925 with a large majority in which Hitler was asked to take a clear position on the question of combating ultramontanism, a clerical political conception within the Catholic Church that places strong emphasis on the prerogatives and powers of the Pope. At the same time, the local group in Stuttgart, which unreservedly supported Hitler, was expelled. It was when during his speech that Hitler declared that "martyrs, such as the Christian church has shown in so many cases, help powerfully to strengthen and spread a movement. Since November 9, 1923, the National Socialists have also had martyrs in their ranks..." that Hitler was interrupted with the hall door thrown open with people demanding to enter the hall. Hitler remarked that anyone who could not identify himself with an admission card had to leave the room. The chairman declared that the room would be cleared for five minutes and that everyone had to go out and show his card when re-entering the room. The chairman's instructions were followed. Hitler then continued his remarks. The state assembly then met, again under the direction of Pastor Karl Steger, at which point Hitler no longer attended. Later that evening Hitler commissioned Eugen Munder, the leader of the Stuttgart local group, with the reorganisation of the Nazi Party in Württemberg. 
Hitler next spoke here on July 8, 1925 with "On the general situation of the movement" in the Bürgermuseum for two hours from 20.30 to 2.30 p.m. The closed general meeting of the Stuttgart local group, which, according to the police report, was attended by around 600 people, including numerous external party members, was chaired by Eugen Munder. This was followed the next month on August 15 with "Nature and goals of National Socialism."
The Tagblatt-Turm under construction in 1928 and then/now

The current Mercedes-Benz Arena was originally built in 1933 after designs by German architect Paul Bonatz and named the "Adolf-Hitler-Kampfbahn". From 1945 to 1949 it was called Century Stadium and later Kampfbahn and was used by American soldiers to play baseball.The name Neckarstadion was used since 1949. It is currently home to VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga (and to the Stuttgarter Kickers when they played in the Bundesliga).  

The Bismarckturm outside the city 
Towards the end of the war large sections of the city were destroyed by the Anglo-American air raids on Stuttgart. The most serious attack took place on September 12, 1944 by the RAF on Stuttgart's old town. 75 heavy airmines, 4300 explosive bombs and 180,000 fire bombs were dropped. More than a thousand people fell victim to the subsequent fire storm. Altogether Stuttgart was attacked 53 times. 68% of all residential buildings and 75% of industrial facilities were destroyed. A total of 4477 people were killed in Stuttgart and 8908 people were injured. The Luftwaffe's records indicate that this raid alone caused the death of approximately 957 civilians and left over 3,000 injured. The Feuersee area, for instance, saw complete devastation, with historical buildings like the Johanneskirche suffering significant damage.  The bombings on March 6, 1944 were another significant event, targeting Stuttgart's industrial facilities. The Daimler-Benz plant in Untertürkheim, a crucial automotive factory, was hit, resulting in substantial damage to its production capabilities. The factory's records show a loss of about 60% of its manufacturing equipment. The city's population was deeply affected. The 1944 raids, in particular, led to a massive displacement of residents. Official city records from that period show that approximately 35,000 people were left homeless in just one night. The population, which had increased to around 640,000 by 1943 due to the influx of forced labour and refugees, faced severe shortages of food and shelter following these attacks. Culturally, Stuttgart's losses were significant. The Württembergische Landesbibliothek, a major library, lost about 200,000 volumes and numerous irreplaceable manuscripts in the raids.
The Neues Schloss then and now
The Altes Schloss and Neues Schloss, both integral parts of Stuttgart's historical landscape, were heavily damaged. The former, for example, lost its entire roof structure and interior fittings in the bombings.   The city's approach, led by planners like Bonatz and Scholer, focused on modernist principles, significantly altering Stuttgart's architectural identity. The rebuilding of the Königstraße and the construction of the new Stuttgart Main Station were part of these efforts. By 1950, the city's population had rebounded to around 500,000, but the social and economic fabric had changed dramatically. Eyewitness accounts provide a personal perspective on the impact. For example, Karl Steinbach, a resident of the Ostheim district, recorded in his diary the immediate aftermath of the 1944 bombings, describing the chaos and the struggle for survival among the ruinsOn April 22, 1945, Stuttgart was occupied by American troops. Although the attack on the city was to be conducted by the American Seventh Army's 100th Infantry Division, General de Gaulle found this to be unacceptable, as he felt the capture of the region by Free French forces would increase French influence in post-war decisions. He treacherously directed General de Lattre to order the French 5th Armoured Division, 2nd Moroccan Infantry Division and 3rd Algerian Infantry Division to begin their drive on Stuttgart on April 18, 1945. Two days later, the French forces coordinated with the American Seventh Army for the employment of the American VI Corps heavy artillery to barrage the city. The French 5th Armoured Division then captured Stuttgart on April 21, 1945, encountering little resistance. The circumstances of what became known as 'The Stuttgart Crisis' provoked political repercussions up to the White House. President Truman was unable to get De Gaulle to withdraw troops from Stuttgart until after the final boundaries of the zones of occupation were established. The French army occupied Stuttgart until they were ignominiously forced to give it back to the American military occupation zone in 1946.
When French troops occupied Stuttgart – which was meant to form part of the American Zone as the capital of Württemberg – the Americans ordered them to leave. De Gaulle refused, saying he would stay put until the zones were finalised. The French were causing problems in the Levant too, and in an act of bravura against the Italians (who had taken back Haute Savoie and Nice during the war) they occupied the French- speaking Val d’Aosta. The American solution was to offer them some bits of Baden and Württemberg while keeping the lion’s share for themselves...French soldiers’ behaviour in Stuttgart, where perhaps 3,000 women and eight men were raped, was thought to have added to American fury at their overstepping their lines. 
MacDonogh After the Reich The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation
The French took a terrible toll in their zone, by forced seizure of food and housing, and by physical violence including mass rapes, in Stuttgart and elsewhere. The famine went on for years. The churches flew black flags. The children were too weak to play. The official ration in the French zone in January 1947 was 450 calories per day, half the ration of the Belsen concentration camp, according to the writer and theologian Prince zu Luwenstein.
James Bacque (94) Crimes and Mercies