Showing posts with label Ansbach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ansbach. Show all posts

More Remaining Nazi Sites in Mittelfranken

Outside the town where, every summer, Dinkelsbühl celebrates its surrender to Swedish Troops in 1632 during the Thirty Years' War through a townwide reenactment played out by many of the town's residents. It features an array of Swedish troops attacking the city gate and children dressed in traditional garb coming to witness the event. Paper cones full of chocolate and candy are given as gifts to children. This historical event is called the "Kinderzeche" and can in some aspects be compared with the "Meistertrunk" in Rothenburg. The name is derived from the two German words for "child" and "the bill for food and drink in an inn", and is called such because of the legend that a child saved the town from massacre by the Swedish Troops during the surrender. The legend tells that when the Swedish army besieged the town, a teenage girl took the children to the Swedish general to beg for mercy. The Swedish general had recently lost his young son to illness, and a boy who approached him so closely resembled his own son that he decided to spare the town.
 Hitler's supposed painting of Dr.-Martin-Luther-Straße (signed bottom right). On the right is the Mühlgraben from a Nazi-era postcard and today.
Dr.-Martin-Luther-Straße by Ludwig  Mößler from the book Fränkische Städtebilder. Nürnberg/ Rothenburg/ Dinkelsbühl published in 1940 and today on the left, and from a Nazi-era postcard on the right. The Rothenburg Gate shown in the background has held since 2006 a permanent exhibition on the history of the five witch trials in Dinkelsbühl that took place between 1613 and 1661. In the "Drudengewölbe" located above the gate, the names of the victims are engraved on glass stones embedded in the floor of the torture room. In 1611, three women were accused of witchcraft. Two years later two death sentences were enacted on two Catholic sisters from Ellwangen who were accused of witchcraft in an Ellwanger witch trial . A sister who was pregnant confessed to all allegations iand subsequently burned alive. The other sister confessed after the torture by being "pulled up " and was beheaded with the sword and then burned. 
 In 1645 a Protestant midwife was executed after forced to become a Catholic. She was sentenced by a Catholic Inner Council and executed with the sword and then burned. 

 In 1655 and 1656 a major series of trials involving eight accused women took place during which a woman was burned alive, seven women were beheaded and then burned, a woman was beheaded, and a man was beheaded and burned. It began after a woman was accused and arrested by her husband of attempted poisoning. Under torture, she accused her mother, her sister and other women of witchcraft. Of the women arrested, five were executed by the sword and Margaretha Buckel died during her imprisonment. Susanna Stadtmüller and Walburga Mangoldt were banned from the city, and their relatives had to pay the court costs and a fine.In 1658 Sebastian Zierer  was accused by a neighbour and his son-in-law of causing paralysis and pain. Under torture, he confessed to poisoning many people with powder. He was sentenced to death by beheading and subsequently burned for witchcraft. In 1660 Barbara Huckler was accused of causing the suicide of her daughter-in-law. She was arrested and interrogated for witchcraft. Under torture, she admitted she had poisoned people with "Drudenpulver". She was also beheaded and burned. In fact, between 1649 and 1709 forty other cases of witch trials were held, none of which ended up leading to any executions. Many were punished with banishment, imprisonment, the so-called fool's house (Narrenhaus) or the throat violin (Halsgeige) and forced to apologise.
Looking the other way from the marktplatz towards the Hotel Goldene Rose and Protestant Church, wife and son taking a tour from the back of a horse-drawn carriage from an earlier visit.
Looking down Dr. Martin-Luther-Straße.
The Jewish community in Dinkelsbühl dates from the 13th century, often suffering expulsion or persecution. The most recent Jewish community existed here from 1853 to the November pogroms in 1938, after which the nineteen remaining men and women fled. More than 25 Jews were victims of the Holocaust. The town's stolperstein were set up in 2009 in front of their former houses as well as a memorial plaque at Haus Klostergasse 5 where the prayer room synagogue had been located. In December 2013, Barack Obama presided at the White House over the Hanukka Reception of the Dinkelsbühler Jews. The occasion was the use of a special Hanukkah chandelier created by Manfred Ansbacher, born in 1922 in the town. Ansbacher, who renamed himself Anson after moving to the United States, had produced a candlestick, in which the candles stand on pure freedom statues. At the White House Hanukka Reception, the American President was told that as a teenager, Anson had experienced "the horror of Kristallnacht" and lost a brother (Heinz) in the Holocaust. Anson sought "a place where he could live his life free of fear and practice his religion. For Manfred and for millions of others, America became such a place."
The tower of St. George's Church shown in the background.



Gunzenhausen's Blasturm on Brunnengässchen between the wars and today. In 1933 Gunzenhausen had a total population of 5,686 of whom 184 were Jewish. The area around had been an economically weak agricultural region comprised mostly of small farms, a predominantly Protestant population and a relatively high proportion of Jews in many places. Hitler himself had delivered a campaign speech in Gunzenhausen on October 13, 1932. The Nazis had achieved above-average results in elections, so that by 1930 they had already won  a remarkable 35% of the vote (compared to just under 19 percent in the country); in 1932 66%, nearly double the national average; and on March 6, 1933 the Nazis received 67.5% compared to the Reich average of 43.9% of the votes. As Loomis and Beegle (727) wrote a year after the end of the war in the American Sociological Review,

Relatively low land values, middle-sized family farms, and marginal agriculture characterize the one rural area in Bavaria wherean exceptionally large proportion of the vote was cast for the Nazi party in July, 1932. This area, a Protestant section including Franconia to the west of Nuernberg, contains the Kreise Uffenheim (81 per cent Nazi), Rothenburg (83 per cent Nazi), Neustadt (79 per cent Nazi), Ansbach (76 per cent Nazi), Dinkelsbuhl (71 per cent Nazi), and Gunzenhausen (72 per cent Nazi). The Nazis received no such large votes in the Catholic areas of Bavaria in 1932.

It was for this reason that the Völkische Beobachter described Gunzenhausen as the "best district".

At the Bismarck memorial on the Burgstall not far from the market square, erected in 1901. Nearby at the site the first memorial honouring Hitler was erected in April 1933. At the same time several SA flags were consecrated in the Protestant town church as the dean delivered the sermon. A huge crowd also gathered in the market square to watch the christening of two gliders that were to be rechristened "Adolf Hitler" and "Dr. Münch". The monument was destroyed by the Americans in 1946. Hitler himself did not want any public monuments with his own person. The corresponding decree of December 1933, which had been published in several German newspapers, read: “The Reich Chancellor has ordered that no Hitler memorials, memorial halls or the like may be erected or attached to his memory during his lifetime.  Although popularly known as the “Hitler Monument”, the monument was dedicated to the “national uprising”. It too had the shape of an obelisk with a swastika and inscription and made an explicit parallel between the "national uprising" of 1933 and the throwing back of the Romans over the Danube 1,700 years earlier, hence its situation alongside the Roman limes. In fact, this site marked the northernmost point on the Rhaetian Limes where a Roman military camp was established. East of this camp the Roman border wall rises over the ridge of the "Vorderen Schloßbuck", at the highest point of which the Bismarck monument was erected for which stones from the Rhaetian Wall were also used. Next to the monument is this Roman watchtower with how it would have appeared at the time:

The christening of two aircraft in the names of Adolf Hitler and Dr. Münch on the market square in Altmühlstadt, by then renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz. Gunzenhausen and its surroundings stood out in the discrimination of its Jewish population. Anti-Semitic incidents have increased since the local Nazi group was founded in 1922. The Jewish cemetery was desecrated and the synagogue windows smashed. In 1928 and 1929 there was a wave of anti-Semitic agitation, which also led to attacks on Jewish merchants. The Jewish community tried - with little success - to take action against the attacks. In 1932 Heinrich Münch, who was elected mayor for ten years, joined the Nazi Party and the SA and was a radical anti-Semite. When Hitler came to power in late January 1933, the Jews were exposed to Nazi violence. One of the persecutors of the Jews was the tax officer Johann Appler, who had joined the Nazis in 1928. In 1929 he became local chairman and in 1930 district leader of the Nazi Party. In 1931 Appler founded a local group of the ϟϟ. Appler was appointed deputy mayor on April 27, 1933 at the suggestion of the powerful city council and highest SA leader in Gunzenhausen, SA-Sturmbannführer Karl Bär, the third most important Nazi in Gunzenhausen. Bär was an old fighter and worked as a tax secretary in the financial administration. From 1929 he sat on the city council of Gunzenhausen; before that in 1926 he had joined the ϟϟ and was the main director of SA terror. Before 1933, several criminal proceedings had been pending against Bär in connection with his SA activities but a "local action committee to ward off Jewish lies and atrocity propaganda" under the leadership of Appler took over the anti-Semitic agitation. Arbitrary arrests, boycott of Jewish shops, public denunciation, medical treatment bans were only part of the measures.

Hitlerplatz then and now

On April 1, 1933, the nationwide boycott of Jewish shops in Germany and Gunzenhausen took place. The non-Jewish population was put under pressure not to buy in Jewish shops, not to be treated by a Jewish doctor and, for example, not to go to the restaurant of “Simon Strauss”. The innkeeper and his son were mistreated by the SA as early as 1933. On June 6 1933, around an hundred Nazis gathered in front of Jewish houses and shops and demanded that Jews living in the village be taken into protective custody. The police dispersed the crowd, but put three Jewish residents in jail. In 1934, Mayor Münch wrote to Goebbels that "[a] large part of economic life ... is in Jewish hands ... Politically, Jews have always been democrats."
Gauleiter Julius Streicher visiting the Diakonissenhaus Hensoltshöhe, a Protestant charity and a spiritual centre founded in 1909, on October 14, 1934. The Hensoltshöhe Deaconess Motherhouse sought a close relationship to the regime , and particularly with Julius Streicher, who determined many things in Gunzenhausen's politics. Below are images of the centre during this time and today.
In March 1934, SA men beat a Jewish citizen to hospital who had complained to Mayor Münch about attacks by the SA on life and property. On Palm Sunday, March 25, 1934, the 22-year-old SA Obersturmführer Kurt Bähr, the nephew of the SA-Sturmbannführer and SA boss of Gunzenhausen Karl Bähr, in the morning wanted a dispute with the owner of the clothing store Sigmund Rosenfelder, so that he feared worse. In the late afternoon, Kurt Bähr and his SA men attacked Simon Strauss's inn. First they beat the German national mayor of Gundelsheim, Leopold Baumgärtner, from Simon Strauss's inn, because "he drank his beer at the Jew's". Then they attacked the innkeeper Simon Strauss and his son Julius, seriously injuring the son. Thereupon Bär gave an anti-Jewish inflammatory speech in front of the inn where a crowd of around 15–20 SA men had gathered. Initially the innkeeper family was brought to the city prison "for protection." The unconscious Julius Strauss was carried and dropped several times by the SA men and kicked. His mother was slapped several times in the face by Kurt Bär leading the crowd to exclaim “hit it!” In larger and smaller groups of mostly fifty to several hundred people, the crowd, led by Bär and his people, marched through the old town in front of the Jewish property until 23.00 shouting “Jews must get out” as they forcibly entered houses and apartments. 29 Jewish men and six women were accompanied to prison under abuse, some in nightgowns. The number of those involved in the acts of violence is given as 750 to 1500 people. The secret organiser of the pogrom, Obersturmbannführer Karl Bär, eventually arrived at the gaol, releasing the women but detaining the men until the next evening. The attacks were reported in the press around the world such as The New York Times, Manchester Guardian and the Neue Wiener Journal with the number of those involved in the acts of violence is given as 750 to 1500 people.
Two men were killed in the acts of violence which David Irving in Goebbels (328) unsurprisingly disputes:
Operating primarily from the safety of Prague, the emigrés around Bernhard (‘Isidor’) Weiss orchestrated a raucous outcry about alleged Nazi atrocities: they claimed that two Jews had died in a pogrom at Gunzenhausen, and that the former social democrat deputy Heilmann was being maltreated in concentration camp. The stories were fictional, but fact would inevitably follow fiction.
As always with Irving, the reality is easily uncovered; the two Jewish residents who died were 65-year-old Max Rosenau who had stabbed himself out of fear of the mob breaking into his house, and 30-year-old businessman Jakob Rosenfelder, a Social Democrat who was found hanged in a shed. In fact, this prompted the Nazis to open court proceedings in Ansbach. In the following two trials, the judges spoke of the pogrom as a "cleansing thunderstorm". The trial of 24 SA members who were involved in the incident were sentenced to low prison terms but remained at large. A few weeks later, Obersturmführer Bär shot dead Julius Strauss and seriously injured his father. Both had testified against him before the district court in Ansbach. Bär was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released after three years.
One day before the Reichspogromnacht in 1938, the city bought the synagogue from the Jewish community, so it was spared from pillage as a municipal property due to the intervention of the district fire inspector Wilhelm Braun. A week later, the domes were symbolically torn down. The Jewish cemetery on Leonhardsruhstrasse was desecrated and largely destroyed. At the beginning of November 1938, 64 Jews are said to have lived in Gunzenhausen. In January 1939 Gunzenhausen declared itself “Jew-free city”.  Gunzenhausen waited until 1981 to finally destroy the former synagogue completely.
Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today, renamed marktplatz. Birthplace of Gustav Ritter von Kahr who, as commisar of Bavaria helped turn post World War I Bavaria into Germany's centre of radical-nationalism, was then instrumental in the collapse and suppression of Adolf Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. In revenge for the latter, he was murdered later in the 1934 Night of the Long Knives. On Sunday July 19 1931 the Nazis held a large rally here in this beautiful medæival town, at which Hitler spoke in three mass meetings. It was initially planned that Hitler would speak following an open-air performance of Schiller's Wilhelm Tell in Weißenburger's Bergwaldtheater. However, in a letter dated July 15 the mayor, Hermann Fitz, informed Hitler that such an address would not be allowed and attached a copy of a note from City Commissioner Baer which would only approved the planned rallies could be held in the hall of the Evangelical Club House, in the Wildbad Hall and in the Goppel hall, whilst with reference to the order of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior from July 1 all other planned outdoor events were banned. Hitler, contrary to his stated promise, did not arrive until 15.00 and spoke in all three fully occupied halls, initially for ninety minutes, and then 45 minutes each. The Völkische Beobachter claimed that an audience of over 2,500 people had attended. In addition to Hitler, other prominent Nazis spoke including Gauleiters Julius Streicher and Adolf Wagner.
In his speeches Hitler compared the Young Plan with the so-called Hoover Plan and declared that in world history political debts would only be erased by one's own efforts. So far according to Hitler, no people had eliminated their political enslavement through work. To fathom the causes of the extraordinarily difficult situation would go beyond the horizon of party politicians. The current economic crisis was a world crisis in which almost all white peoples were gripped by the same plague of internal decomposition, and he declared that the question of the day was whether, given the continuation of the present development fifty years from now, the German people would still exist. The Nazis had set themselves the goal of eliminating the internal disintegration of the people that the bourgeois parties and Marxism intended. As he declared, "[w]e would have to become one people again, then the indestructible life force of our people will ultimately prevail." 
Two years earlier at the city council election on December 8, 1929, the Weißenburg city council received its first Nazi councilors. Whilst little is known of any political unrest or street battles in Weißenburg up until then, this would change by 1932 when, on the afternoon of July 7, violent clashes between Social Democrats and Nazis took place in the town council as the communist "Iron Front" held a rally on the market square. Shortly before the end of the speech there were "fights and stabbing;"  a police report recorded in the Weißenburger Zeitung the next day described a number of injured, with one seriously so. On March 11, 1933, eleven communist functionaries and seven Reichsbannerführer were taken into protective custody. According to the Gleichschaltungsgesetz of March 31, 1933, the city council in Weissenburg was reformed following the result of the Reichstag election of March 5, 1933 leading to the Nazis being given ten seats, the Black-White-Red battle front one seat, the Bavarian People's Party one seat and the SPD three seats. These latter three councilors- Max Müller, Wilhelm Böhner and Fritz Berger- declared their resignation on July 10, 1933 in a document stamped from the "Dachau Political Department" in the concentration camp. The elected representative Friedrich Traber resigned his office in July 1933 with his seat taken over by a Nazi "according to popular opinion". 
On March 23, 1933, by order of the deputy Gauleiter Karl Holz, a general meeting of the Weissenburg local Nazi party took place in Nuremberg which demanded the immediate leave of absence of Mayor Dr. Fitz and his replacement to be the Nazi district leader, Michael Gerstner. Dr. Fitz, informed by a confidante of his imminent arrest, had to leave town at night. A year earlier, on April 14, 1932, the Nazi party leader in the city council, Max Hetzner, had responded to Dr. Fitz after having asked for a vote of confidence that his group is "still ready to work in a factual and completely independent manner for the good of our city."
 In so in much the same way the communists would later employ their 'salami tactics' the strategy of the Nazis can be summed up in the quick occupation of local positions of power. At a point in time when the Nazis only had two seats in the Weißenburg city council, Gerstner- who had never been elected, bypassed the elected 2nd mayor of the district government "in agreement with the supreme SA leadership as acting deputy of the 1. Mayor of the city of Weißenburg i. Bay." On March 27, 1933, the 2nd Mayor Michel handed over all official business to him. In addition to the office of mayor as head of the city administration, the Nazis occupied the office of head of the city police in order to get the police force under their control. With this in mind, the previous police commissioner Andreas Fischer was relieved of his functions by a resolution of the Personnel Committee on June 21, 1933. The City Council (under the subject "Gleichschalt der Stadt Police") followed a week later. After the retirement of the head of the city police Elias Hohenberger, Franz Ohnesorg took over his position on January 1, 1934 after he had been assessed by Mayor Gerstner as having "always represented the interests of the NSDAP." Five years afer the war on September 14th, 1950, the Nuremberg Chamber of Justice discontinued the denazification proceedings against Ohnesorg. 
On March 27, 1933 Bahnhofstrasse was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Strasse.
The war itself ended in Weissenburg with the invasion of American troops on the morning of April 23, 1945. They entered a deserted town- party officials, mayor Hetzner and district leader Gerstner had already fled and so Weißenburg was handed over by city treasurer Georg Schuster. The war had left 589 people dead and missing among its residents. The American military government initially removed anyone even marginally suspected of Nazi ties and put new people in their place - often regardless of their qualifications and suitability. The Weißenburg military governor Bailey convened a meeting of Weißenburg citizens in the "Wittelsbacher Hof" on May 6, 1945 in order to have them propose a provisional mayor and a district administrator by election. Drug store owner Friedrich Traber was elected and duly appointed by Bailey as mayor of the city. An "advisory committee" to provide support (without further powers) was also appointed by the military government at the suggestion of the mayor on July 12, 1945; the first joint meeting took place on August 3, 1945. Tremendous tasks awaited the new administration. First there was the repair of the war damage in the city. During an air raid on February 23, 1945, which was mainly aimed at Ellingen, a US Air Force bomber dropped several cluster bombs over Weißenburg. The area between the Am Hof square and the hospital complex was hit, and 21 people died in the rubble. When the last German soldiers withdrew, just minutes before the Americans arrived, they blew up the station bridge to Gunzenhausener Strasse. First, a wooden bridge was provisionally built, which was later replaced by a steel structure. 
In the Weißenburg pogrom trial held after the war, the largest pogrom process in the American zone of occupation to date, those responsible for the Kristallnacht violence against the Jewish population in the town of Treuchtlingen took place from 1946 to 1947. During it a total of 57 people were put on trial, including eight women and several children. Eleven defendants were acquitted and 46 people were sentenced to four years in prison. Michael Gerstner had protested his innocence, but was incriminated by the standard leader of the SA Georg Sauber and the SS-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Dorner and found to be one of the main people responsible.
Recently in 2014 a Weißenburg headteacher in who shouted "Sieg Heil” to pupils at the start of her school's annual mini car race caused a scandal and became the centre of an investigation by Bavarian authorities given that  such an utterance with or without the right arm salute, is illegal in Germany.
 A couple of miles away is Fortress Wülzburg, a Renaissance-era fortress east of Weißenburg situated on an hill 660 feet above the town. Originally a Benedictine monastery dating from the 11th century, it is one of the best-preserved Renaissance fortresses in Germany. It was converted into a fortress from 1588 to 1605 by George Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach. In the 19th century it was an garrison of the Bavarian Army. During the Great War Charles DeGaulle was imprisoned here. The Nazis also used it as a prison camp during the war; it was here that the Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff was held for over a year before he died of TB. After the war it was a refugee camp when masses of refugees and displaced persons arrived at Weißenburg, some in an organised manner via the Wülzburg refugee camp. Within a few years Weißenburg's population rose from just under 9,000 in 1939 to over 14,000 by 1950. Quickly assembled wooden barracks, which still existed in the 1960s, served as emergency shelters. The municipal housing office tracked down every little space and occupied it with people looking for accommodation. Within a few months, the city council got most of the problems under control, the relationship with the military government improved, and more powers were transferred back to the German authorities. 
Hitler driving through the town towards the Pleinfelder Tor whilkst campaigning.
The town hall, then and now.
The year 1933 witnessed an explosion of physical attacks against Jews, particularly in rural areas. Of course, National Socialist policy itself was essentially violent. The young dictatorship established its power through open violence in the streets. Jews were no longer safe from physical attacks either outside or in their homes. For example, in Rothenburg, the SA occupied the house of the cattle-dealing Mann family for more than four weeks in March 1933. While the men were taken into ‘protective custody’ (Schutzhaft), the wife and his daughter remained in the house under an SA guard. After three weeks living in this way, the wife, Klara Mann, committed suicide. The men got out of ‘protective custody’ after a while, but, once released, Josef Mann had a nervous breakdown. Neither he nor his business ever recovered from the attack. The case was not unique. In the Bavarian provincial town of Ellingen, local Nazis rioted in front of the house of a cattle-dealer. The open violence against Jews continued for weeks. It had become a part of public life. 
Stefanie Fischer (10) Economic Trust in the ‘Racial State’
Ellingen during the war roughly had about  1,500 inhabitants, most of whom were farmers. The town itself had nothing of military value to attack and was thus left totally unprepared when, on February 23, 1945, 25 USAAF bombers dropped 285 high explosive bombs on the hamlet in a surprise attack which left 120 bomb craters and killed the town’s farm animals along with 98 villagers.
 The schloss from a 1944 postcard and the Schlosskirche after the war with an American GI surveying the looted art recovered from the Nazis, and today.

Standing at the former Adolf-Hitler-Platz, its Nazi eagle-topped war memorial torn down. The war saw 75% of Allersberg destroyed by the time the Americans arrived on April 23, 1945 as units of the Waffen-ϟϟ including the  the 17th ϟϟ Panzergrenadier continued to fiercely defend the town. The 501st Armoured Field Artillery Battalion had initially fired on Allersberg and nearby enemy positions during the night of April 20, Hitler's birthday. This action initiated a three-day battle. During the night of April 22, the American XV Corps and 14th Armoured Division artillery bombarded the German forces in Allersberg in preparation for the impending attack led by the black American CCR Rifle Company. Moving from Göggelsbuch through a wooded area toward Allersberg, the black infantrymen were confronted at close range by two Tiger tanks that had been concealed among the buildings at the edge of town. The black soldiers held their ground, firing on the advancing tanks with their rifles and submachine guns, whilst their bazooka teams took up positions and opened fire. Several bazooka rounds found their targets but did not penetrate the thick armor of the German tanks. As the enemy tanks closed to within fifteen yards of the infantry positions, Pfc. Percy Smith of the 1st Platoon fired his bazooka and succeeded in disabling one of the Tigers. Private Smith was killed by return fire from the same tank, and other soldiers were wounded. 
At a time when the Germans were collapsing all across the front, the three-day battle at Allersberg had been particularly fierce, impressing even the veterans of the 62d Armoured Infantry Battalion whose unit history reported that the battalion’s “A Company made the attack with CCR Rifle Company (Coloured). They will long remember the fighting there and the Krauts ‘Tiger’ tanks.” Eventually the fighting claimed 200 deaths, 47 houses totally destroyed, and 150 families made homeless.

Another former Adolf-Hitler-Platz, with the Nazi eagle removed from one of the building's façades. Leutershausen was the third German city, which Adolf Hitler 1932 honorary citizen appointed. In 1948, the honorary citizenship was revoked by the city council. 
 In his book Henry Kissinger and the American Century, Jeremi Suri writes how
[t]he anti-Semitic frenzy in Leutershausen reached such a height that local Nazis did not wait for the national party's call for what became the Kristallnacht pogrom against Jews. On Sunday evening, 16 October 1938—three weeks before Kristallnacht local residents vandalized the village's synagogue and broke the windows of homes belonging to Jews, including Falk and Fanny Stern. A young visitor to the Stern household at the time recounts the shock and anguish felt by Kissinger's grandfather. He reacted to the attacks with a determination to abandon his house and business in Leutershausen immediately. This prosperous German cattle merchant fled to Fürth, where he became an internal exile from his home, and died seven months later, at least in part from the personal stress of recent events. The Nazis deported Fanny Stern to Izbica, Poland, a holding location for the nearby Belzec extermination camp. She never returned.
 Living his first ten years in Weimar Germany, Henry Kissinger had witnessed the weakness of democracy. His five teenage years under Nazi rule revealed the potential for popular and extreme violence within civilized society. The pogroms in Gunzenhausen and Leutershausen, as well as the "Hitler Youth kids" on the streets of Fürth, displayed the dangerous dynamics of mass action. The crowds that rampaged against Jews did not follow direct orders from the Nazi leadership. Instead they took politics and social change into their own hands, acting in the spirit of what they perceived as a larger Nazi program. This kind of popular, grassroots politics was a particular Nazi talent, and it frightened Kissinger when he experienced it in the 1930s and throughout his later career.
A monument on the side wall of the town cemetery commemorates the two Wehrmacht soldiers, Friedrich Döppel and Richard Köhler, who were shot dead by an ϟϟ commando in April 1945 due to desertion.
[A]rmy officers and ϟϟ units were determined to obey Hitler's orders to the last, the latter out of fanaticism and the former often because they feared the consequences of disobeying orders, although there were also fanatics in the officer corps. Sometimes an army unit was already installed in a town or village, and sometimes there was one nearby and available to be summoned by diehards who wanted them to prevent a surrender by citizens. Sometimes a village received a flying visit from an ϟϟ troop and had to reverse any measures already taken to dismantle defenses such as antitank barriers. This was the case in Leutershausen, in Bavaria, where an ϟϟ unit arrived shortly after a group of women had dismantled anti-tank barriers and forced the villagers to reassemble the barriers and prepare a bridge for demolition. The result of ϟϟ attempts to defend the village was that American forces used their superior firepower to destroy half of it. 
Stoltzfus, Maier-Katkin (31) Protest in Hitler's “National Community”: Popular Unrest and the Nazi Response


The Schöner Brunnen shows the difficulties with taking such then-and-now images with fountains which invariably shift position over time. In 1934 Schwabach became a garrison town with the Auf der Reit barracks. One of the co-founders of the NSDAP-Ortsgruppe in Schwabach was brownshirt Fritz Schöller who had been trained as a teacher. During the war Schwabach was first bombed on October 13, 1941 from 0.45 to 2.00 resulting in eleven fatalities. The last bombs fell on April 18, 1945 whilst the battle for Nuremberg was already raging. By the time of its capitulation on April 19, Schwabach

managed to escape destruction. The former Nazi barracks were used by the American Army after the war and renamed the O'Brien Barracks until its closure in 1992. Until recently, this converted military building contained the Stadtmuseum Schwabach.
In 1969, a national party convention of the extreme right NPD took place in the Schwabach Markgrafensaal. More recently the otwn's mayor, Matthias Thuerauf, sought to convince local legislators to posthumously strip the town's honorary citizenship from Nazi officials such as Hitler, Julius Streicher and Gauleiter Adolf Wagner. Among the towns that have revoked Hitler's citizenship in recent years is Bad Doberan, which did so shortly before the 2007 G-8 meeting in Heiligendamm. That same year, members of the Social Democratic Party in Lower Saxony tried to revoke Hitler's German nationality, a suggestion which drew criticism from the state's minister of the interior, Uwe Schunemann of the Christian Democratic Union party, who suggested that such a move could be seen abroad as an attempt to deny German history. Hitler was stateless when he was granted German citizenship on Feb. 26, 1932 after becoming a civil servant in Braunschweig, in the region now encompassed by Lower Saxony. His status enabled him to run for president that year.

Roth bei Nuremberg

Adolf-Hitlerstraße with the war memorial on the right and Adolf-Hitler-Platz. Note the 'NSDAP' letters on the Nazi headquarters on the left. 
The site of the former synagogue built in 1737 on Judengaße, now Kugelbuehlstraße 44. Jews were first recorded as having a presence in Roth bei Nuremberg in 1414. At its peak in 1837 there were about two hundred Jews living in Roth. By the time Hitler became chancellor in 1933, there were nineteen Jewish living in the town, which amounted to 0.3% of the total of 5,840 inhabitants. There was apparently a strong anti-Jewish atmosphere in the city. According to an essay by a nine-year-old pupil at the municipal elementary school which was printed in the September 1935 edition of the Nazi publication Der Stürmer,  children stood in front of Jewish shops shouting "Gentlemen, shame on you for buying from the Jews, damn you!" and thus supported the boycott of Jewish businesses. By the end of December 1935 all Jewish residents left the city after being forced to sell their property, leading the town to proclaim itself. After the departure of the last Jewish inhabitants, the city was declared judenfrei and the synagogue’s interior was ransacked. About fifteen  Jews from Roth were killed during the Nazi period according to the lists of Yad Vashem published in the "Memorial Book - Victims of the persecution of the Jews under the National Socialist tyranny in Germany 1933-1945" but, given that there was also a Jewish community in another town named Roth in the state of Hesse, the actual number is problematic. After 1945, some Jewish survivors of concentration camps came to the city temporarily. In May 1946 there were sixteen Jews in the town, but after 1948 they all emigrated, probably mostly to Israel. The synagogue was eventually converted into an office building after the war before being used as a youth centre. 
The charming hotel I stayed in- Zur Goldenen Krone, located on Bahnhofstraße, one of the oldest inns in Roth. It is recorded in the late 14 century as being one of the two inns in town; the "Roter Ochse" which is now the Golden Crown, and the "Rote Roß" which is now the location of the "Schwarzer Adler." The Tavern "Roter Ochse" had the permits for brewing beer, brandy distillation, cellar, water and fishing rights and over the course of later centuries it gained further permits for backing and stall rights. In the "Roten Roß" the Inn was more for the nobility and officers whilst the "Roter Ochsen" was primarily for merchants and their entourage. The merchants gathered together at the Inn to create larger traveling parties to defer and fend off thieves and bandits that hovered along the trade route into Nuremberg which made the Inn one of the most important addresses in the town. Starting from the early beginning of these gatherings at the Inn, where wealthy and prosperous travellers met, played a major role in Roth's economy, and thus giving it part of the industrial background it has today. The friendly owners, Erwin and Heidi Schmilewski, took over the hotel in 1979 and have compiled a remarkable documentary history both of the hotel and of the town itself.
Nazi eagle of the German Red Cross at Karolinenstraße 13 dated 1935. The national Red Cross Society in Germany had chosen to fall in line with the regime during the Gleichschaltung rather than face being shut down. It subsequently became deeply Nazified and obstructed many attempts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help concentration camp inmates, not that the ICRC acted any diifferently than the WHO in lying on behalf of the Chinese regime and actively acting against Taiwan, as Jean-Claude Favez in
The Red Cross and the Holocaust (282) argues that the ICRC " did not take the supreme risk of throwing the full weight of its moral authority into the scales on behalf of these particular victims." As for the German Red Cross which Gerald Steinacher examines in his book Humanitarians at War,  official Walther Georg Hartmann, the most important contact between Geneva and Berlin, was often praised as being one of the few remaining humanitarians in the leadership of his organisation despite having been a member of the Nazi Party since 1933 and described in Nazi Party files as a ‘political leader’ of the Nazi-aligned association of the German Red Cross. After the war in 1950 Hartmann became the secretary general of the refounded Red Cross in West Germany, no doubt given that he was never seen to have been a fanatical Nazi, nor found to be directly responsible for war crimes. His superior,ϟϟ-General Dr Ernst Robert Grawitz, however certainly was. In 1937 he was appointed leader of the German Red Cross. A fanatical Nazi and close follower of Himmler, he was deeply implicated in the euthanasia murders of handicapped people and medical ‘experiments’ in concentration camps. Grawitz ensured that the actions of his Red Cross colleagues were in line with the policies of the Nazi leadership. The German Red Cross was now merely a Nazi medical service unit supporting Hitler’s Wehrmacht.
When the Americans bombed the Ansbach train station district on February 22 and 23, 1945 as part of "Operation Clarion", they destroyed not only the train station but also large parts of the Hofgarten including the orangery and the buildings of the then Oberrealschule Ansbach, including the 18th century Zocha palace. From March 13, 1945 to April 4, 1945, shortly before the end of the war, there was a subcamp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp in the village , whose 700 prisoners had to do forced labour for the Reichsbahn; between three and five prisoners died every day. In all, at least 72 died. 58 concentration camp victims are buried in the forest cemetery, although it is uncertain whether they came from the Ansbach camp. They are remembered there with a memorial stone.
At the end of the war, nineteen-year-old student Robert Limpert actively campaigned for the city to be handed over to Americans troops without a fight. Betrayed by Hitler Youth, he was personally hanged at the gate of the town hall by the town's combat commander, Colonel Ernst Meyer. In the end, the former margravial envoy house on the Promenade, today the seat of the Ansbach administrative court, became an office of the American military government. In January 1946, the military administration set up a DP camp to accommodate Jewish orphans in a former lung sanatorium in what is now the Strüth district. 
More recently Ansbach has seen its share of violence as with the 2009 shooting spree which occurred at the local Carolinum grammar school, in which nine students and one teacher were injured by a shooter further armed with an axe, two knives and three Molotov cocktails. On July 24, 2016 another Syrian refugee the Merkel government simply allowed into the country detonated a bomb in a restaurant, killing himself and injuring others.