Showing posts with label Braunau am Inn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Braunau am Inn. Show all posts


After the end of the Great War in 1918 and the collapse of the multi-ethnic state of Austro-Hungary, the new Republic of German Austria established “Upper Austria” as the region's official name. A year after Austria's annexation to the German Reich on March 13, 1938, the Reichsgau Oberdonau was formed on May 1, 1939 in the Upper Austria area, which also included the German-settled South Bohemian areas in accordance with the Munich Agreement, as well as Ausseer, which was separated from Styria. After the war, these areas were reorganised in 1945 with Upper Austria south of the Danube, including the Ausseer, becoming part of the American occupation zone until 1955, and north of the Danube occupied by the Soviets until 1955.
Even before the Anschluß, cities in Austria had attempted to capitalise on their ties to the Führer. Hitler’s plans for Linz are well known. He wanted to transform the city on the Danube into a cultural metropolis, with theatres, museums, art galleries and an enormous stadium. Tourism officials there saw a way to cash in on Hitler’s affection for his boyhood town. Linz styled itself first as the ‘City of the Führer’s Youth’, then as the ‘Hometown of the Führer’, and finally as the ‘City of the Foundation of the Greater German Reich’ (Gründungsstadt des Großdeutschen Reichs). When Hitler announced in March 1938 that he was personally adopting the city, it quickly became the ‘Adopted City of the Führer’. While the entire region of Upper Austria called itself the ‘Führer’s Home District’, individual Austrian towns highlighted their early support for Nazism. Graz was especially gratified when Hitler bestowed the honorary title ‘City of the People’s Uprising (Volkserhebung)’. It used this designation often in its own publicity. A Shell roadmap also referred to Graz as the ‘City of the People’s Uprising’, noting that the town had received this appellation from Hitler in recognition for its ‘self-sacrificing, tenacious perseverance in the fight for Greater Germany’.
Semmens (68)
Braunau am Inn
Braunau am Inn Hitler haus The house in which Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 shown before the anschluss and as it currently appears today. It was here in a room on the first floor of that Hitler’s mother Klara gave birth to him on April 20, 1889. Waite (140) records how
"[a]t half-past six on Easter Eve, 20 April 1889, an overcast day with the temperature 67 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity 89 per­ cent, Klara gave birth to the future Führer of the Germans in the crowded quarters of the Gasthof zum Pommern, an inn in Braunau." According to Franz Martin, in his Braunauer Hauschronik of 1943, it originally consisted of two buildings, the owners of which were can be identified from the 17th century. From 1826 it had the address Vorstadt 219, being renamed Salzburger Vorstadt 15 in 1890. The street name was changed to "Adolf-Hitler-Straße" after the anschluß. The house itself had been half-owned by Franz Xaver and Helene Dafner from 1888, who turned it into a guest house. On October 17 1890, Franz Dafner died and his widow remarried in 1891 to Jacob Bachleitner. The name of the guest house remained "Zum Hirschen" until December 18, 1912 when the property was sold to Josef Pommer from Laab near Braunau for the price of 58,000 crowns and renamed the inn "Zum braune Hirschen." This name proved problematic given the location of another guest house called "Zum Goldenen Hirschen" and so until 1938 it was renamed the “Gasthaus Pommer.”
The year after the anschluß shown on the left, still displaying the name Gasthof des Josef Pommer under the swastika. In the course of the anschluss Martin Bormann bought the building on behalf of the Nazi Party on May 25, 1938 at four times the market value. His initials remain over the door as shown below on the right. According to UPI, the initials "MB" on the wrought iron front door are for Hitler's private secretary Martin Bormann and provide the only evidence, other than the reputation, of the building's history. Bormann bought the house in 1938 from the Pommer family for an astonishing 150,000 Reichmarks for the purpose, according to Der Spiegel, "in the hopes of eventually turning it into a monument on par with the birthplaces of Stalin and Mussolini." The building was renovated and transformed into a cultural centre with a Volksbücherei- the original sign remains on the façade. The house was opened to the public on April 18, 1943 as a library on the ground floor and as a gallery on the 1st and 2nd floors. From spring 1943 to late summer 1944 exhibitions took place in the "Braunau Gallery in the Führer-Geburtshaus", where pictures and sculptures were shown by artists from Braunau and the surrounding area. As early as July 20, 1938, just four months after the annexation, it was commissioned by the “Central Office for Monument Protection” of the “Ministry for Internal and Cultural Affairs” in Vienna by State Secretary Kajetan Mühlmann as a listed monument and was renovated and used as a cultural centre with a gallery and a public library. From 1943 to 1944, pictures and sculptures by artists from the region were exhibited in the Braunau Gallery in the Führer Birthplace, including those of Anton Filzmoser, Hermann Mayrhofer from Passau, Josef Karl Nerud from Simbach directly across on the Inn, Hugo von Preen, Martin Stachl and Franz Xaver Weidinger from Ried im Innkreis. 
Immediately after the occupation of Braunau by American troops on May 2, 1945, a German battalion attempted to blow up Hitler's birthplace, but American soldiers thwarted this attack. On November 1, 1945, at the instigation of District Captain Plasser and Mayor Fageth, a memorial and memorial exhibition was opened “at the site from which Hitler once entered the world”. In Hitler's birth room, photos showed the horrors of the concentration camps and the decline of culture during the Nazi regime. In 1952 the house was returned to its former owners by the Republic of Austria as part of a restitution settlement and at the same time rented by the Republic, whereby it was used as a city library owned by Gerlinde Pommer until 2016. From 1977 to September 2011, the house was used as a day care centre and workshop for people with disabilities by the Lebenshilfe Oberösterreich. Since no criminal plots were planned or organised in the building during the Nazi era, the building has not classified as Place of Perpetrators.
Two couples from Bavaria were arrested for marking Hitler’s birthday at his house  in 2024. Police in Upper Austria province said the four were laying white roses at the location in violation of the Nazi ban law. The group, aged between 24 and 31, came from the Plattling area in the Deggendorf district. According to police, the two sisters and their partners drove to Braunau on April 20 to lay white roses at the birthplace of the future dictator. A police patrol observed one of the women giving the Hitler salute, allegedly for fun. During her interrogation, the 26-year-old stated that she had only made the forbidden gesture for fun. However, according to the police, messages between the four participants were found on her mobile phone in which, among other things, photos with references to National Socialism were sent.  Every year around Hitler's birthday, officers patrol the house where he was born more intensively. Remodeling of the building began in October that year with the intention of preventing neo-Nazis from visiting the area on the border with Bavaria as a place of pilgrimage.
The room in which Hitler was born, shown on the right in a 1938 postcard.
The 160 cm by 115 cm stone memorial in front was erected under Mayor Gerhard Skiba a fortnight before the centenary of Hitler's birth from a quarry on the grounds of the former Mauthausen Concentration Camp, near Linz. The inscription reads: “For peace, freedom and democracy – never again fascism – warn millions of dead." On January 2nd, 2021, in an incident reported internationally, a rally by the group Österreich ist frei took place next to the memorial stone. The anti-Semitism reporting centre of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien reported the next day about a “ghostly scene in front of the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, where activists against the [corona measures] ... posing at the memorial stone erected there in an obviously humorous manner." Alerted by the anti-Semitism reporting office, the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution began to investigate the fight against terrorism in Upper Austria. Harald Grünn, chairman of the Upper Austrian regional association of anti-fascists, resistance fighters and victims of fascism, KZ Association/VdA OÖ, claimed that there were direct connections between the Corona denier scene and organised right-wing extremism. 
The rear of the house as it appears in Hoffmann's Wie die Ostmark ihre Befreiung erlebte - Adolf Hitler und sein Weg zu Grossdeutschland (1940) and today. On the right is the view from the balcony in 1938. The shape of the roof at the back shows that there were originally two houses. The arcade wing facing the courtyard was probably built in the second half of the 16th century. In 1758 the joint ownership and the structural connection of the two houses came into being with the unifying facade design and interior renovations taking place in the second quarter of the 19th century. In the first half of the 20th century, the farm building on the courtyard side was demolished and in 1940, renovations were carried out on the ground floor. The main front has a sloped ground floor with an arched gate on the left side. The Biedermeier facade is from the second quarter of the 19th century, the windows on the first floor have a round-arched frame with shell decoration, the windows on the top floor are round-arched windows. At the rear, the former individual buildings can be seen through the double-gable facade as seen in the period photo on the right. The north-eastern, three-story, single-axis corridor wing adjoins the neighbouring building, the upper floors have arcades with squat segmental arches on polygonal or chamfered pillars, and the corridors are vaulted with stitch cap barrels from the second half of the 16th century. 
The interior of the building has barrel-vaulted corridors on all floors; the spiral staircase was widened in the second half of the 19th century. The rooms on the ground floor have barrel or stitch cap barrel vaults, the rooms on the upper floors have numerous flat ceilings with coves and stucco moulding profiles from the second quarter of the 19th century. The extensive cellars from the 16th century have longitudinal barrel vaults of tuff and brick masonry and river stone floors.
His birthplace was returned in the early 1950s to the former owners, who had bought the house during the annexation of Austria, as part of a reserve comparison from the Republic of Austria. In 2012, a Russian Duma deputy, Franz Adamowitsch Klinzewitsch, wanted to collect around two million Euros to buy and demolish the house. Possibly as a result, in September that year, the long-standing discussion about the use of the house became more public with its use as a residential building or the establishment of a “House of Peace” for social projects and exhibitions was debated. Since 2000 there have been efforts by the local Association for Contemporary History, which, among other things, supports the Braunauer Contemporary History Days, organised to have the building purchased by the public sector and used for Holocaust commemoration. In April 2016, the Ministry of the Interior declared that the house, which had now been empty for five years, would be examined for expropriation with the possible creation of a law permanently preventing any use of the site for Neo-Nazis. In 2015, the constitutional lawyer Heinz Mayer pointed out the need for a law which would see the owner, who had been renting the house to the Ministry of the Interior since 1972 for around 5,000 euros per month, receiving compensation. During this time she had rejected the proposed barrier-free conversion, which is why in 2011 the social association Lebenshilfe moved out as a subtenant. Eventually on December 14, 2016, the Austrian Parliament passed a law on expropriation making the building the property of the Republic of Austria. A working discussion between the Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka, the Upper Austrian Governor Josef Pühringer and the Braunau Mayor Johannes Waidbacher the following day revealed that the building had been renovated and the Lebenshilfe Upper Austria would be offered for use. The expropriated owner fought the expropriation with a lawsuit against the specially created law before the Constitutional Court, which ruled the expropriation lawful on June 30, 2017. The plaintiff then filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights and at the same time sued the Ried regional court for higher compensation than the 310,000 euros awarded. Two appraisers were appointed in January 2018, one of whom put the value at between 800,000 and 1.5 million euros. After the regional court had set the higher of the two values, the Linz Higher Regional Court overturned this decision in April 2019 and set the compensation at 812,000 euros. 
Throughout this time a ministerial commission ended up making  a number of suggestions including the conversion or even demolition of the site. Indeed, on October 17, 2016, Wolfgang Sobotka confirmed that the house would be demolished, citing a recommendation from the commission. A new building to be used by a social institution or authorities would be built in its place. Braunau's mayor and commission member Hannes Waidbacher, however, contradicted this and instead recommended a profound architectural change that should "permanently eliminate the recognition value and symbolic power of the building." 
Cornelia Sulzbacher, head of the Upper Austrian Provincial Archives, also expressed surprise with the statements of the minister and also said that there was only the recommendation to change the appearance so that the house could no longer be used as a symbol.
The Braunau-born editor of the Salzburger Nachrichten, Peter Gnaiger expressed his wish for a coffee house there, named after the cabaret artist Fritz Grünbaum who died in Dachau in 1941. 
In November 2019, the Ministry of the Interior announced that, after renovation, the building would become the headquarters of the district police command and the Braunau police station and on June 2, 2020 it was announced that the Vorarlberg architectural firm Marte. would redesign the facade in a way, according to the wording of the competition, that “the external redesign of the existing building is intended to eliminate the memory of the National Socialist era." whilst excluding “reflective thinking about the place” and so that “questions of dealing with Nazi history are simplified.” That's where things stand at the moment, whilst citizens from Braunau continue to argue that not only is a memorial place being taken away from them, but that “the government wants to take away its history from the place.” Nevertheless, there are still plans for the establishment of a so-called House of Responsibility (HRB) under the conceptual leadership of Andreas Maislinger, which envisages transforming the symbol of the birth of the Holocaust into a symbol of responsibility, of learning , peace and creativity and at the same time transform the city of Braunau am Inn, stigmatised by the birth of Hitler, into a city that represents the same values. The House of Responsibility thus proposes to turn  Hitler's birthplace into an international meeting place where people from different backgrounds come together to learn about responsibility where the focus would be on young people coming to Braunau for three months each and deal with their responsibility in relation to Austrian history in order to reflect on mistakes in their own country's past. They would participate in and contribute to various educational activities, such as literary clubs, discussion groups, debates, study tours and meetings with notable personalities. 
Adolf-Hitler-Straße in 1938 and today.

The Stadttorturm, or Salzburger Tor, shown adorned with the swastika before the war. The mural on the building beside the gate commemorates the execution of Johann Philipp Palm by the French on August 26, 1806 in Braunau. Born on December 18, 1766 in Schorndorf, he was a bookseller in Nuremberg who published the pamphlet Germany in its Deep Humiliation (Deutschland in seiner tiefen Erniedrigung) which had strongly attacked Napoleon and the brutality of his troops in Bavaria and was sentenced to death for it, leading him to be lauded a “martyr for freedom of the press”.  The year before the Bavarian Elector was made King of Bavaria by Napoleon and ordered to support Napoleon in all his wars with a force of 30,000 men, making Bavaria a vassal of the French. This was the Time of Germany's Deepest Humiliation,' a term used continually by Hitler throughout his career inspired by this local event. After the pamphlet  was published earlier that year After the occupation of Nuremberg by French troops in March 1806, his 144-page work was published in July by Palms Buchhandlung, which called for resistance against the French and their Bavarian allies. In Augsburg it fell into the hands of French officers who reported the whole thing. As a result, house searches took place at the Palms house in Nuremberg on July 28 and August 4 although Palm was on a business trip and first went to his uncle in the Prussian and therefore safe Erlangen. Despite warnings, he secretly returned to Nuremberg, where a beggar to whom he had recently paid a few thalers in alms denounced him. The image on the right shows his arrest beside a photo of an alley today. Napoleon had Palm arrested and handed over to a military commission at Braunau, denying him any right of defence. He was brought August 22 here to the French-occupied fortress town of Braunau where it was explained to him that his arrest had taken place on the basis of a decree issued by Napoleon on August 5. After a mock trial the following day a French military court sentenced him to death on August 25 despite his protestations of innocence. During the shooting the following day, Palm was only wounded twice by shots, so that he was only killed with a mercy shot on the third attempt. 
Whether the Bavarian King Max I Joseph advocated for a pardon for Palm, as is often rumored, is still controversial today. This could be supported by the fact that Palm's co-defendant, Karl Friedrich von Jenisch, was pardoned due to the king's intercession.
It has been stated that this statue erected to him in 1866 on the site of his execution was one of the first public objects that made an impression on Hitler as child. Frontline newspapers during the First World War also picked up on it. In February 1917, Die Somme-Wacht, the field newspaper of the 1st Army, to which Hitler's regiment also belonged, implored its readers: "We will never give back the German Alsace-Lorraine, which we lost in the times of Germany's deepest humiliation."
 Hitler mentions him on the first page of the first chapter of Mein Kampf:
And so this little frontier town appeared to me as the symbol of a great task. But in another regard also it points to a lesson that is applicable to our day. Over a hundred years ago this sequestered spot was the scene of a tragic calamity which affected the whole German nation and will be remembered for ever, at least in the annals of German history. At the time of our Fatherland's deepest humiliation a bookseller, Johannes Palm, uncompromising nationalist and enemy of the French, was put to death here because he had the misfortune to have loved Germany well. He obstinately refused to disclose the names of his associates, or rather the principals who were chiefly responsible for the affair. Just as it happened with Leo Schlageter. The former, like the latter, was denounced to the French by a Government agent. It was a director of police from Augsburg who won an ignoble renown on that occasion and set the example which was to be copied at a later date by the neo-German officials of the REICH under Herr Severing's regime.
 Hitler returning on March 12, 1938 during the invasion of Austria at 15.50, crossing the Austro-German border at Braunau. The following members of his staff accompanied him: the Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht, General Keitel; the Reich Press Chief, Dietrich; Reichsleiters Bormann and Bouhler, and finally Gauleiter Bürckel. As Hitler passed through the streets of his native town, all its church bells chimed, and he was greeted with thunderous applause of a gathering numbering in the tens of thousands.
 Kershaw writes how
[s]hortly before 4p.m. that afternoon, Hitler crossed the Austrian border over the narrow bridge at his birthplace, Braunau am Inn. The church‑bells were ringing. Tens of thousands of people (most of them from outside Braunau), in ecstasies of joy, lined the streets of the small town. But Hitler did not linger. Propaganda value, not sentiment, had dictated his visit. Braunau played its brief symbolic part. That sufficed. The cavalcade passed on its triumphal progression to Linz.

Hitler's visit inspired this stamp commemorating his 50th birthday which was issued on April 13, 1939. It can be seen that the stamp and photograph were taken at slightly different times along the route.

The German invasion of Austria into Braunau which preceded Hitler's arrival was led by the VII Army Corps as part of the massive thrust of the German 8th Army, whilst the remaining operations of the VII Army Corps (via Salzburg to the east) served primarily to secure the flank. In the Simbach area opposite Braunau, the first transports of the 7th Infantry Division arrived on the afternoon of March 11. The 1st Battalion of the 19th Infantry Regiment was unloaded at 14.00 at Simbach train station which was within sight and field of fire from the Austrian bank of the Inn. Since Simbach was a border train station, there were also two Austrian customs officers in the station area who watched the unloading with interest and the German soldiers even warned against walking over the tracks in order not to be run over by passing trains. In any case, the arrival of the non-motorised parts of the 7th Division in the Simbach staging area was "only possible... under the eyes of the Austrians," as in the war diary of the 7th Division stated.

In the Simbach area, the intention was to force the crossing over the road and railway bridge in a flash. At the same time downstream from Braunau, pioneers with artillery support were supposed to cross the river and create the conditions for the rapid construction of a war bridge. For this purpose, the equipment for a 180 metre long, 8-tonne bridge over the Inn was prepared in the evening and during the night in case the "Braunau Bridge should blow up" . The afternoon of March 11 was filled with reconnaissance and preparation activities. It wasn't until 22.00 that the battalion "gradually came to rest except for laying out the raft bags along the bank . " The writer of the 7th Division's war diary noted a generally serious mood: "It is probably a bitter thought for everyone to possibly have to face the blood-related Austrians, allies from countless battles in the World War, with weapon in hand." Since only half of the 7th Infantry Division had arrived in the staging area by the evening hours of March 11th (and the Mountain Division was not yet complete), the corps command considered at around 20.00 not crossing the border until midday on the 12th March to begin. At the same time, however, news of the government reshuffle arrived in Vienna, which was confirmed shortly afterwards. From the west bank of the Inn, soldiers observed a large torchlight procession in Braunau that moved to the state border in the middle of the road bridge. Various rumors said that the Austrian troops had already evacuated Braunau. "This news, albeit unconfirmed, lifted spirits. One could hope that there was no fight at all." High Command 8 even considered occupying the border bridge at midnight, but decided to wait as it did not seem certain "whether the radio announcement not to offer any resistance had already penetrated to the individual posts on the border This could cause disaster." Even on the morning of March 12th, Lieutenant Colonel Günther Blumentritt of the 19th Infantry Regiment was not yet sure whether his soldiers would not be greeted by enemy fire. In any case, shortly after 4 a.m. the German artillery moved into the firing positions on the Kirchberg near Simbach that had been reconnoitered the evening before, and by daylight the 7th Artillery Regiment and the heavy artillery division II/46, which had been mistakenly assigned to the 7th Division, were there. ready to fire. By 5.30 two platoons of the 1st Company of the 19th Infantry Regiment crossed the two bridges. The roadblock on the Austrian side had already been cleared by Austrian customs officials. Lieutenant Colonel Blumentritt later recalled in his War diary of the 7th Pioneer Battalion, "[t]he windows opened, lights were turned on everywhere and entire squads of residents rushed at the troops with their arms outstretched. For the first time, people were given flowers and the horses were fed with bread and apples. One for everyone "Unforgettable impression! The coming 'Flower War' is already looming. Only at the railway bridge in the darkness was a shout of 'Hands up!' But there was nothing further. Not a shot was fired." 
In order to secure Braunau as a bridgehead, the 1st company immediately advanced further east: at 6.05 they crossed Dietfurt and at 6.30 they reached St. Peter, a little over three miles east of Braunau, where the regimental command post was also set up. However, the written divisional order for the advance to St. Peter didn't arrive until a quarter of an hour later. The 3rd Company had meanwhile followed the 1st Company and had taken over securing the bridgehead on the southern outskirts of Braunau. At the same time, German soldiers also crossed the Inn near Burghausen. At 6.30 some officers entered Hitler's birthplace and started a new page in the guest book with the heading "On the day of the entry of German troops into Austria." 
For considerably more extensive information about various sites of relevance to Hitler not only in Linz in particular but throughout Austria beyond the means of this website, refer to Sjoerd J. De Boer's The Hitlerpages.
Linz's links with Hitler's childhood warranted an allusion in by W.H. Auden's September 1, 1939:  
Accurate scholarship can/  Unearth the whole offence/ From Luther until now/  That has driven a culture mad,/  Find what occurred at Linz, /What huge imago made/ A psychopathic god
Hitler depicted from the balcony of the town hall in Linz with the Dreifaltigkeitssäule column behind. ince Hitler attributed particular importance to his schooling in the state capital Linz for his later political career due to the influence of Georg von Schönerer and the music of Richard Wagner. In order to be able to meet the demands of a Führer city and Hitler's favourite city, Linz, as the Patenstadt des Führers (Sponsor City of the Führer), should not only serve as an industrial and commercial city, but also become a city of art, a university city, a place of ideological education, a tourist centre and an administrative city. 
Hitler repeatedly called his years in Linz the happiest time of his life, “a lovely dream.” Hitler, who had attended school in Linz, intended to retire here one day.
The Hitlers had moved house several times within Braunau, and had subsequently been uprooted on a number of occasions. In November 1898, a final move for Alois took place when he bought a house with a small plot of attached land in Leonding, a village on the outskirts of Linz. From now on, the family settled in the Linz area, and Adolf – down to his days in the bunker in 1945 – looked upon Linz as his home town. Linz reminded him of the happy, carefree days of his youth. It held associations with his mother. And it was the most ‘German’ town of the Austrian Empire. It evidently symbolised for him the provincial small-town Germanic idyll – the image he would throughout his life set against the city he would soon come to know, and detest: Vienna.
Kershaw (7)
Hitler’s triumphant ride from Braunau to Linz took nearly four hours, since the Mercedes could barely work its way through the jubilant crowds. Fifteen kilometres out of Linz, Seyss-Inquart, Glaise- Horstenau and Himmler, together with other Nazis, awaited the Führer. Here Hitler is shown being driven through the hauptplatz where an enormous crowd had gathered at the market place to await Hitler’s arrival and the site today with my bike. Tremendous enthusiasm was evident in Ward Price’s impressive live radio report. Speaking in German on the Austrian broadcast services, the British journalist congratulated the Austrian people on the advent of this day.
With the invasion of the German troops on March 12, 1938, Hitler embarked on a “triumphal journey” from his hometown of Braunau to Vienna and spoke for the first time in Linz as Chancellor on Austrian soil. Only here, in view of the cheers in the population and the reluctant reactions from abroad, did he decide to immediately and completely complete Austria's annexation to the German Reich. Because of his emotional connection to Linz, Hitler took over the "sponsorship" of Linz that day (which also became one of the five Führer cities) and promised investments by the Reich. On March 13, 1938, Hitler signed the Act of union in the town's Hotel Weinzinger. Therefore, after the anschluss Hitler intended to develop his ‘home town’, Führerstadt Linz, into the cultural metropolis of the Danube region, which was to receive a university and become a centre at which the ‘three cosmologies of Ptolemy, Copernicus and Hörbiger (glacial theory)’ would be taught according to Fest (27). The expansion plans included a boulevard with magnificent buildings such as Opera, theatres and galleries, but especially the "Führer Museum", which was to house the world's largest art and art gallery. 
Linz was to surpass Vienna’s splendour, being expanded in size three or four times over. Trevor- Roper relates (421–3) his extravagant ideas for locating houses along the banks of the Danube and for a major new observatory built in classical style. There would be a new hotel (built in the Renaissance style) for exclusive use of the ‘Strength through Joy’ movement, new municipal buildings, a Party House, a new army headquarters, an Olympic Stadium and (fulfilling the teenage vision) a massive suspension bridge. At the heart of the city would be a central avenue running between two great squares. Along it would be new theatres, concert halls, restaurants, museums and libraries, not to mention a railway station, post office and an air-raid shelter. Linz was even to house Hitler’s tomb within a crypt beneath a tower (Taylor, 50–1). In addition, Linz would become an industrial and administrative centre with oversized Nazi Party administrative buildings. This would have meant extensive sweeping of the historical building stock on both Linz and Urfahrer. Apart from a few exceptions such as the Nibelungen Bridge , the bridgehead buildings and today's Heinrich Gleissner House , the plans pushed by Albert Speer were not put into practice. "Hermann Göring" Linz was built in 1938 as was the nitrogen works Ostmark. The residents of the village of St. Peter-Zizlau were relocated and the buildings were demolished for the construction of the factory site and for the construction of the port provided there.
The Linz 1 vocational school, the oldest vocational school in Upper Austria, where
Hitler attended secondary school in 1900-01. The original location of the school is at Steingasse 6 in downtown Linz, built in 1837 by master builder Johann Metz and first used as a school building in 1861. From 1909 the school was used as a further education school and secondary school before being relocated to Fadingerstrassein 1909 which often leads to the mistaken assumption that Hitler would have attended today's Fadinger School. The building in Steingasse was placed under monument protection because it is is associated with Hitler. 
The class photo below shows the young Hitler (back row, far right) when he attended this school as well as, according to Prof. Frank McDonough (whose Conflict, Communism and Fascism has for two decades been a staple textbook in my classroom) fellow pupil and future philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Whilst only six days separated him from Hitler, it has been asserted that they in fact had attended different classes.
 In reality Adolf Hitler was a wide‑awake, lively, and obviously able pupil whose gifts were undermined by an incapacity for regular work. This pattern appeared quite early. He had a distinct tendency to laziness, coupled with an obstinate nature, and was thus more and more inclined to follow his own bent. Aesthetic matters gave him extraordinary pleasure. However, the reports of the various grammar schools he attended show him to have been a good student. On the basis of this, evidently, his parents sent him to the Realschule,  the secondary school specializing in modern as opposed to classical subjects, in Linz. Here, surprisingly, he proved a total failure. Twice he had to repeat a grade, and a third time he was promoted only after passing a special examination. In diligence his report cards regularly gave him the mark Four (“unsatisfactory”); only in conduct, drawing, and gymnastics did he receive marks of satisfactory or better; in all other subjects he scarcely ever received marks higher than “inadequate” or “adequate.” His report card of September, 1905, noted “unsatisfactory” in German, mathematics, and stenography. Even in geography and history, which he himself called his favorite subjects and maintained that he “led the class,” he received only failing grades. On the whole, his record was so poor that he left the school.
Fest, Hitler 
In 1905 after the death of her husband, Klara Hitler sold the house in Leonding and moved into this apartment in Linz on Humboldtstraße 31 on the third floor with her two children and her sister Johanna Pölzl. By now her two stepchildren had already moved with Alois Hitler doing odd jobs in Linz and Angela Hitler having married the civil servant Leo Raubal in 1903.
After his father’s death his mother had sold the house in Leonding and moved into an apartment in Linz. Here the sixteen‑year‑old boy sat idly around. Thanks to his mother’s adequate pension, he was in a position to suspend all plans for the future and to assume that appearance of privileged leisure which counted very heavily in his mind. He would take a daily stroll on the promenade. He regularly attended the local theatre, joined the musical club, and became a member of the library run by the Association for Popular Education. An awakening interest in sexual questions impelled him, as he related later, to visit the adult section of a wax museum. And around the same time he saw his first film in a small movie house near the Südbahnhof. According to the descriptions we have, he was lanky, pallid, shy, and always dressed with extreme care. Usually he sported an ivory‑tipped black cane and tried to look like a university student. His father had been driven by social ambition but had achieved what the son regarded as a paltry career. His own goals were pitched far higher. In the dream world that he set up for himself, he cultivated the expectations and the egotism of a genius.
Fest, Hitler
In front of the former office of the Hitler family doctor, Dr. Eduard Bloch. In fact, the first member of the Hitler family Bloch was to see was Adolf Hitler. In 1904, Hitler had become seriously ill and was bedridden due to a serious lung ailment which enabled him to abandon his school career and return home. However, Walter C. Langer writes in The Mind of Adolf Hitler (127-128) that after checking Hitler's files, Bloch later maintained that he had treated the youth for only minor ailments, cold or tonsilitis and that Hitler had been neither robust nor sickly. He also stated that Hitler did not have any illness whatsoever, let alone a lung disease. However, in 1907, Hitler's mother Klara was diagnosed with breast cancer dying on December 21 after intense suffering involving daily medication with iodoform, a foul-smelling and painful corrosive treatment typically used at the time and administered by Bloch. Because of the poor economic situation of the Hitler family, Bloch charged reduced prices, sometimes taking no fee at all. Hitler, then 18 years old, granted him his "everlasting gratitude" ("Ich werde Ihnen ewig dankbar sein") for this which was shown in 1908 when Hitler wrote Bloch a postcard assuring him of his gratitude and reverence which he expressed with handmade gifts, as for example, a large wall painting. Even in 1937, Hitler inquired about Bloch's well-being and called him an Edeljude ("noble Jew").
It was also shown after the anschluß when the 66-year-old Bloch wrote a letter to Hitler asking for help after his medical practice was closed on October 1, 1938 and was as a consequence put under special protection by the Gestapo. He was the only Jew in Linz with this status. Without any interference from the authorities, he and his wife were able to sell their family home at market value, highly unusual with the distress sales of emigrating Jews at the time. Moreover, they were allowed to take the equivalent of sixteen Reichsmarks out of the country; the usual amount allowed to Jews was a mere ten Reichsmarks. In 1940, Bloch emigrated to the United States, settling in New York but was no longer able to practice medicine because his medical degree from Austria-Hungary was not recognised, eventually dying of stomach cancer in 1945 at age 73, barely a month after Hitler's death.
 In the execrable TV mini-series Hitler: Rise of Evil Bloch is depicted as noticeably Hasidic even though he, like most Austrian Jews of the turn of the century, were among the most assimilated in Europe.
Another infamous Nazi raised in Linz was Adolf Eichmann; my bike is parked in front of the entrance to the family home on Bischofstraße 3. Eichmann's father Karl moved from Solingen in 1914 with his wife Maria and their six children, where he worked as an accountant for the Electricity and Tram Company. His wife died in this building on August 24, 1916. Adolf was the only (and eldest) son to leave the Bundesrealgymnasium Linz Fadingerstrasse without a degree whilst all of his siblings successfully completed secondary school. When his father received Austrian citizenship, Adolf was already of age and as a result, unlike his younger siblings, he remained a German citizen. He would of course grow up to become ϟϟ Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, heading the “ Eichmann Department ” in Berlin. This central office of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA, with the abbreviation IV B 4 ) organised the persecution , expulsion and deportation of Jews and was jointly responsible for the murder of an estimated six millions. In May 1960, he was kidnapped from Argentina by Israeli agents and taken to Israel, where he was put on public trial. He was sentenced to death and executed by hanging on the night of May 31 to June 1, 1962.
The Landestheater which Hitler would frequent with his
boyhood friend August Kubizek to watch Wagner. Kubizek, in his postwar book The Young Hitler I Knew, claimed that Hitler had been so influenced by seeing Wagner's Rienzi that it triggered his political career. 
 It was a cold, unpleasant November evening. He waved to me impatiently. I was just cleaning myself up from the workshop and getting ready to go to the theatre. Rienzi was being given that night. We had never seen this Wagner opera and looked forward to it with great excitement. In order to secure the pillars in the Promenade we had to be early. Adolf whistled, to hurry me up.  Now we were in the theatre, burning with enthusiasm, and living breathlessly through Rienzi's rise to be the Tribune of the people of Rome and his subsequent downfall. When at last it was over, it was past midnight. My friend, his hands thrust into his coat pockets, silent and withdrawn, strode through the streets and out of the city. Usually, after an artistic experience that had moved him, he would start talking straight away, sharply criticising the performance, but after Rienzi he remained quiet a long while. This surprised me, and I asked him what he thought of it. He threw me a strange, almost hostile glance. "Shut up!" he said brusquely.  The cold, damp mist lay oppressively over the narrow streets. Our solitary steps resounded on the pavement. Adolf took the road that led up to the Freinberg. Without speaking a word, he strode forward. He looked almost sinister, and paler than ever. His turned-up coat collar increased this impression.  I wanted to ask him, "Where are you going?" But his pallid face looked so forbidding that I suppressed the question.  As if propelled by an invisible force, Adolf climbed up to the top of the Freinberg. And only now did I realise that we were no longer in solitude and darkness, for the stars shone brilliantly above us.  
Adolf stood in front of me; and now he gripped both my hands and held them tight. He had never made such a gesture before. I felt from the grasp of his hands how deeply moved he was. His eyes were feverish with excitement. The words did not come smoothly from his mouth as they usually did, but rather erupted, hoarse and raucous. From his voice I could tell even more how much this experience had shaken him.  Gradually his speech loosened, and the words flowed more freely. Never before and never again have I heard Adolf Hitler speak as he did in that hour, as we stood there alone under the stars, as though we were the only creatures in the world.
In 1939, shortly before war broke out, when I, for the first time visited Bayreuth as the guest of the Reichs Chancellor, I thought I would please my host by reminding him of that nocturnal hour on the Freinberg, so I told Adolf Hitler what I remembered of it, assuming that the enormous multitude of impressions and events which had filled these past decades would have pushed into the background the experience of a seventeen year old youth. But after a few words I sensed that he vividly recalled that hour and had retained all its details in his memory. He was visibly pleased that my account confirmed his own recollections. I was also present when Adolf Hitler retold this sequel to the performance of Rienzi in Linz to Frau Wagner, at whose home we were both guests. Thus my own memory was doubly confirmed. The words with which Hitler concluded his story to Frau Wagner are also unforgettable for me. He said solemnly, "In that hour it began."
Although Kubizek's veracity has been seriously questioned, it is known that Hitler possessed the original manuscript of the opera, which he had requested and been given as a fiftieth birthday present in 1939. The manuscript was with Hitler in his bunker; it was either stolen, lost or destroyed by fire in the destruction of the bunker's contents after Hitler's death.
Albert Speer in Spandau: The Secret Diaries recorded an incident when Robert Ley advocated using a modern composition to open the Party Rallies in Nuremberg which Hitler rejected, telling him "[y]ou know, Ley, it isn't by chance that I have the Party Rallies open with the overture to Rienzi. It's not just a musical question. At the age of twenty-four this man, an innkeeper's son, persuaded the Roman people to drive out the corrupt Senate by reminding them of the magnificent past of the Roman Empire. Listening to this blessed music as a young man in the theater at Linz, I had the vision that I too must someday succeed in uniting the German Empire and making it great once more."
Immediately after the main square became renamed Adolf-Hitler-platz as shown in these period postcards. Hitler wanted to spend his retirement years in Linz which is why he planned a gigantic property here and the largest art and painting gallery in the world- the "Führermuseum". In this way, Linz would become the cultural centre of Europe - a "German Budapest" on the Danube, because it would be "an unforgivable parody if the descendants of Attila and his Huns owned the most beautiful city on the Nibelungen river" according to Hitler. The collection would consist of paintings confiscated and purchased at home and abroad; in the fascinating lecture by Godfrey Barker, Hitler's Art War, "[t]he summit of Hitler’s arrogance was his plan to build on the Danube in his hometown a German answer to the Louvre. It was to be the most important museum in the world, surpassing all others, the greatest in the history of the world. It is outrageously still there. Two ugly flat topped grey buildings in high fascist style. Hitler’s intended palace for the pantheon of European art. The city council has not chosen to demolish this museum of the world’s stolen art; instead it has turned it, something comically, into a University of the Arts." 
On June 21, 1939 Hitler appointed Hans Posse, the director of the Dresden Picture Gallery, as “special representative” for the planned “Führermuseum.” Because the expansion was stalled due to the war, the works of art were stored in the Altaussee salt mine at the end of 1943. Further plans for the expansion of Linz as a “Führer City” called for a boulevard “Zu den Lauben” with picture galleries, museums and a theatre in monumental size, and at the northeastern end a “Hitler Centre” where the gallery would stand with a huge columned front. There would be the equally monumental construction of the two banks of the Danube as a political and administrative centre, the relocation of the Western Railway line to the south, construction of a new passenger station to make room for the boulevard Junction of the Reichsautobahn, new construction of the port, the expansion of the Reichswerk Hermann Göring and the nitrogen works, and the realisation of a large-scale housing construction program for the industrial workforce. The framework planning remained in place until the end of the war, but was rescheduled several times. The reason for this was the diverging concepts of the building authorities and the architects' efforts to make a name for themselves. All buildings were to be completed by the big victory celebration in 1955. In the end, only a few buildings were realised, such as the expansion at the main square entrance on the southern bank of the Danube. One of the last photos of Hitler shows him in the Führerbunker in Berlin in front of a model of Linz.
In addition to prisoners of war and foreign workers, prisoners from the Mauthausen concentration camp were also deployed in the industrial plants mentioned. The existing shortage of living space was exacerbated by the expansion of industry, the associated relocations and the influx of workers. As a remedy, entire districts such as the Bindermichl or the “New Home” with large residential complexes that still shape the appearance of these districts were built. The necessary infrastructure (schools, kindergartens) was not expanded. With the simultaneous incorporations, the urban area was almost doubled and reached the expansion that still exists today. Linz would become a centre of persecution as more than 100,000 people from all over Europe died in the nearby Mauthausen concentration camp and its subcamps. There were a total of three satellite camps of the Mauthausen concentration camp and 77 camps for forced labourers in the city of Linz. The 600 Jews had to leave Linz - 150 of them were murdered by the Nazis. Hundreds of victims of Nazi euthanasia were found in the Niedernhart medical and nursing home in Linz, which is now the State Psychiatric Clinic Wagner-Jauregg , and from there were taken to the Hartheim NS euthanasia centre relocated to Linz. Ultimately, those who had served the regime out of enthusiasm or out of loyalty had to suffer from the consequences of Nazi polities. In Linz, the construction of air-raid shelters for the population was not forced until the end of 1943 for propaganda reasons. In November 1944, entire neighbourhoods were still uncovered in air raids. Over 1,600 people died in the 22 bombing raids on Linz between July 1944 and April 1945, thousands of Linzers lost their lives as members of the German Wehrmacht. In Linz, tanks were built in the Goering factories and submarines were built in the area of the port.
On May 4-5, 1945, the city was under American artillery fire and Gauleiter August Eigruber settled in southern Upper Austria. The original plan to defend the city in house-to-house combat was abandoned. On May 5, at 11.07, the first American tanks arrived in the main square.
Standing in front of the town hall in Linz. According to Kubizek (86), "[t]he Town Hall, which stood on the square, he thought unworthy of a rising town like Linz. He visualised a new, stately town hall, to be built in a modern style, far removed from the neo-Gothic style which at that time was the vogue for town halls, in Vienna and Munich, for instance."
As can be seen in the original photo, when Hitler's car finally reached Linz, it was dark. He stepped out upon the small balcony of the City Hall in Linz and listened to the welcoming address by Seyss-Inquart. Thereupon, Hitler gave a speech that was frequently disrupted by thunders of applause from the audience below:
Germans! German Volksgenossen! Herr Bundeskanzler!
I thank you for your words of greeting. But above all I thank you who have assembled here and testified to the fact that it is not the will and desire of only a few to establish this great Reich of the German race, but the wish and the will of the German Volk!
May there be those among you this evening, our reputed international truth-seekers, who will not only perceive for themselves this reality, but admit it afterwards, too. When I first set forth from this city, I carried within me exactly the same devout pledge that fills me today. Try to fathom my inner emotion at having finally made this faithful pledge come true after so many long years.
The fact that Providence once summoned me forth from this city to the leadership of the Reich, must have meant it was giving me a special assignment, and it can only have been the assignment of restoring my cherished home to the German Reich! I have believed in this assignment, I have lived and fought for it, and I believe I have now fulfilled it! May you all witness and vouch for this!
I do not know when you yourselves will be summoned. I hope the time is not far off. Then you shall be asked to stand up to your own pledge, and it is my belief that I will then be able to point to my homeland with pride before the entire German Volk.
The outcome must then prove to the world that any further attempt to tear this Volk asunder will be in vain. Just as you will then be under an obligation to make your contribution to this German future, the whole of Germany is likewise willing to make its contribution. And this it is already doing today!
May you see in the German soldiers who are marching here this very hour from all the Gaus of the Reich fighters willing and prepared to make sacrifices for the unity of the great German Volk as a whole, and for the power and the glory and the splendour of the Reich, now and forever! Deutschland, Sieg Heil!
Cycling over the Nibelungen Bridge and how it appeared under the Nazis. Fest (526) wrote how Hitler had dreamed of this bridge rising 270 feet above the Danube – making it unrivalled in the world. Sketches that have been received show that Hitler had concrete ideas of a new bridge as early as 1925. Eventually it was constructed according to plans by Karl Schaechterle and Friedrich Tamms between 1938 and 1940, spanning 250 metres in length and thirty metres in width beside the site where the first and for a long time only Linz bridge built in 1497. The old one was torn down after the new one was completed. After the war the statues at the end were thrown into the Danube. The actual origin of the name "Nibelungen Bridge" given it by Hitler is unclear although according to the myth of the Nibelungenweg, the Germanic mythical characters Kriemhild and their brothers are said to have grazed the area of today's Linz on the way to the Hun king Etzel. 
Further reference to the Nibelung legend was seen in the four equestrian statues from the sculptor Bernhard Graf Plettenberg six and a half meters in height of Siegfried, Kriemhild, Gunter and Brunhild). Two other statues, "Hagen" and "Volker", were supposed to decorate the stairs leading up to the bridge but prevented from being executed due to the war.
With the construction of the Nibelungen Bridge, some buildings on both banks of the Danube were demolished to make room for the wider and higher bridge resulting in several historic buildings being torn down on the Linz main square directly adjacent to the Nibelungen Bridge in order to be replaced by the Brückenkopfgebäude (bridgehead buildings) that still exist today, built according to plans by Roderich Fick between 1940 and 1943. The two structurally identical buildings housed parts of the Linz Art University and the Linz tax office until May 2008.
An example of an architectural Nazi legacy in Linz consist of these two stone lions at the main train station which in 1941 were commissioned and created by the sculptor Jakob Adlhart for the Todt Bridge in Salzburg. Ironically, the Nazis had considered Adlhart to be the creator of “degenerate art,” but he still received this commission through patronage. Fritz Todt at the time was general inspector for roads and consequently was responsible for the use of tens of thousands of forced labourers. After the war Todtbrücke was renamed the Staatsbrücke and the lions were transported here to Linz. where they were set up in front of the main train station. The Munich artist Wolfram Kastner sparked off a controversy about the handling of Nazi art in public spaces with an art campaign in the form of the wrapping of the two lions. Demands were made for the lions to be removed as part of the renovation of Linz Central Station and by September 1999 the Linz local council discussed how to deal with the lions. The political party Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ) referred to a “lion hunt” and proposed that the lions be positioned again in a central location at the train station area which was finally realised in 2004.
The regional paper Oberösterreichische Nachrichten reported on the event on September 20 that year
Returned home: Big train station for the lions ... Hundreds of people crowded into the new station forecourt shortly before noon on Saturday. Everyone wanted to take a look at the two returnees, see for themselves their beauty treatment and, last but not least, capture this moment on camera. The two 4.5-tonne lions were hoisted onto their plinths in front of the station building using a crane accompanied by the sounds of the Federal Railway music band. The work was completed around 15.00 the two station lions woke up again. "It's nice to look at", said one of the many visitors that day. Linz's mayor was also satisfied... There was a celebratory mood at the station all day long. This was ensured not only by the lion's homecoming, but also by the programme with morning pints, station tours, the musical ' The Lion King and the After-Lion Party.
A couple of miles west of Linz overlooking the Danube is the Burschenschafterturm (also known as the Anschlussturm) which had originally formed part of the Maximilian tower line built in the early 19th century fortifying the Danube. Today it serves as a memorial and museum of the German fraternity. By 1917 the dilapidated structure was acquired by Karl Beurle in 1917 in order to be designed as a memorial for the fallen of the First World War. In 1932 the inscription "One people, one empire" was affixed to the façade as shown on the left. After Austria's annexation to Germany, on Hitler's fiftieth birthday in 1939 the inscription was expanded to "One people, one empire, one leader" as shown in the postcard on the right. After 1945 it was removed. The large red logo of the "Deutsche Burschenschaft"was added by the current owner in 2006 without official approval whih led to questions raised in Parliament in June 2018 and the Federal Monuments Office being instructed to initiate proceedings. 
Nevertheless, in August 2018 the office suddenly subsequently approved the attached logo on the grounds that there was originally “plastic lettering at the appropriate place, which was expanded during the time of the Nazi regime. After the war, the lettering was knocked off and a 'circle' (logo of the owners) was attached. ” However, none of these words and symbols previously attached to the tower were approved by the preservation law. Today the tower serves as "a memorial to those who died in both world wars, a museum of fraternity history and fraternity ideas and a place of remembrance that there is a spiritual bond that spans borders and nationality, which encompasses the entire German people and cultural space. " The Documentation Archive of the Austrian Resistance protests that the tower is instead serving as 'Greater German' propaganda and is thus as a "permanent violation of the state treaty", which Austria is obliged by law to stop, allowing "the ethnic (German national to extreme right) milieu to this day a place of pilgrimage and place of Great German propaganda". 

 Hitler revisiting Leonding, where from 1898 at the age of nine to 1905 he lived whilst attending the local primary school and later a grammar school in nearby Linz, during the anschluss at noon on March 13, 1938 with St. Michael's church in the background. Hitler had been a choirboy at the church. As Kershaw writes,
The transition to secondary school was a hard one for young Adolf. He had to trek every day from his home in Leonding to school in Linz, a journey of over an hour each way, leaving him little or no time for developing out-of-school friendships. While he was still a big fish in a little pond among the village boys in Leonding, his classmates in his new school took no special notice of him. He had no close friends at school; nor did he seek any. And the attention he had received from his village teacher was now replaced by the more impersonal treatment of a number of teachers responsible for individual subjects. The minimum effort with which Adolf had mastered the demands of the primary school now no longer sufficed. His school work, which had been so good in primary school, suffered from the outset. And his behaviour betrayed clear signs of immaturity. Adolf’s school record, down to the time he left in autumn 1905, hovered between poor and mediocre.
He proceeded to pay his respects at his parents' grave; his brother Edmund, who died of measles, was buried there too.  
Even after he came to power and was a man of wealth and influ­ence, the graves of his parents went neglected and unmarked until local Party functionaries intervened. A Party archivist wrote with pained sur­prise, after visiting the Leonding cemetery in 1938: “The parents’ grave of the Führer would be no longer maintained today if, at the last mo­ment, it had not been for the Linz NSDAP. For many years their mem­bership, apparently, have been paying the costs. I have the relevant document.” During a hurried visit to Leonding in 1938, Hitler did go to the cemetery to see the graves and the new marble tablet which contains a picture of Alois and the inscription :
Here rests in God
Herr Alois Hitler
Royal and Imperial Senior Customs Inspector, Retired
and Householder
Died 3 January 1903, in his 65th year and his wife
Frau Klara Hitler
Died 21 December 1907 in her 47th year
The Führer glanced perfunctorily at the gravestone, turned quickly without comment, and left the cemetery. He never returned.
The grave was recently destroyed by the municipal authorities in 2012, when a relative of Alois Hitler's first wife, Anna, did not renew the lease leaving the grave to be dissolved. Robert Eiter, with the Upper Austrian Network Against Racism and Right-Extremism, said the latest neo-Nazi incident was on All Saints day, on November 1, last year, when an urn was left with the inscription "Unvergesslich" – German for "unforgettable" and alluding to the ϟϟ, given both 's's had been highlighted in particular. Eiter described how "[a] lot of flowers and wreaths were deposited there from people who clearly were admirers. It had to do with the son and not the parents." Brunner, the mayor, said he was happy with the decision to remove the tombstone and Eiter said most Leonding residents also supported it.
Directly across the street from the cemetery is Hitler's house on Michaelsbergstraße 16. It remains as it was with Hitler in front March 1938 on the left and as it appeared, decorated during the Nazi era, below on the right. Apparently the house is now owned by the cemetery which uses it as an office. According to Waite (242), Hitler's mother had a reputation in Leonding for having had “the cleanest house in town” and keeping her children "absolutely spotless.” It was in this house on February 2, 1900 that Hitler’s younger brother Edmund, born in 1894, died. It has been claimed that young Adolf was observed sitting on the fence at night, staring up at the stars, after attending his brother's funeral.  
Neighbours of the Hitlers still alive in the village of Leonding in the 1950s shook their heads in incredulity when they recalled that when little Edmund Hitler died of complications following measles in March 1900 and was buried in the church graveyard, neither his mother nor father attended the funeral. They spent the day in Linz. Not even old Josef Mayrhofer, the usually outspoken village mayor and friend of Alois Hitler, could explain the curious behaviour of the parents.
Kubizek recalled in The Young Hitler I Knew (49-50) that "[w]hilst, naturally, Adolf had no recollection of the first three children born in Braunau and never spoke of them, he could clearly remember his brother Edmund, at the time of whose death he was already eleven years old. He told me once that Edmund had died of diphtheria." Welch (8) writes that "it should be noted that as an adolescent he was disturbed by the deaths of his younger brother Edmund (1900), his father (1903) and his beloved mother (1908). Without delving too deeply into psychological speculation about Hitler’s state of mind, some biographers have suggested that these deaths (and his own survival) convinced Hitler that he was marked out by destiny for a special future."
The former pub further down Michaelsbergstraße at number 1 where Hitler's father died. Formerly the Gasthaus Stiefler, his favourite tavern in Leonding, it is now an Italian restaurant. According to Fest,
 in January, 1903, he took a first sip from a glass of wine in the Wiesinger tavern in Leonding and fell over to one side. He was carried into an adjoining room, where he died immediately, before a doctor and a priest could be sent for. The liberal Linz Tagespost  gave him a lengthy obituary, referring to his progressive ideas, his sturdy cheerfulness, and his energetic civic sense. It praised him as a “friend of song,” an authority on beekeeping, and a temperate family man. By the time his son gave up school out of disgust and capriciousness, Alois Hitler had already been dead for two and a half years. Nor could Adolf’s sickly mother have tried to force the boy into a civil servant’s career. 
In Mein Kampf Hitler described the number of times he had to retrieve his drunken father from here and trudge back with him home.
 In my thirteenth year I suddenly lost my father. A stroke of apoplexy felled the old gentleman who was otherwise so hale, thus painlessly ending his earthly pilgrimage, plunging us all into the depths of grief. His most ardent desire had been to help his son forge his career, thus preserving him from his own bitter experience. In this, to all appearances, he had not succeeded. But, though unwittingly, he had sown the seed for a future which at that time neither he nor I would have comprehended. For the moment there was no outward change.
 G.M. Gilbert in his 1950 book The Psychology of Dictatorship (19) wrote how
[h]is father suffered from an uncontrollable addiction to alcohol which often led to the most painful family experiences for the boy, Adolf Hitler. How often did this boy have to fetch his father late at night out of the tavern, after the latter had been guzzling alcohol for hours on end. Hitler himself related to me in 1930 – when we were speaking about his family relationships (in connection with a blackmail threat), ‘Even as a 10 or 12-year-old kid I always had to go late at night to this stinking, smoky dive. Without being spared any of the details, I would have to go to the table and shake him as he looked with a blank stare. Then I would say, “Father, you must come home! Come now, we’ve got to go!” And I often had to wait a quarter of an hour, begging, cursing, until I could get him to budge. Then I would support him and finally get him home. That was the most terrible shame I have ever experienced. Oh, Frank, I know what a devil alcohol is! Through my father it became my greatest enemy in my youth!’
Nevertheless, Helmut Heiber in his 1961 biography maintains that Alois was no drunkard, but a respected and generally upstanding man (10). Hitler's childhood friend, August Kubizek, said Adolf genuinely respected his father in his 1955 memoirs (38). That there was anything at all wrong in the Hitler family home is doubted by Werner Maser who in his 1974 book described Hitler’s childhood as ‘exceedingly happy’ (5). But even if Adolf did contend with a violent father and an over-protective mother (a situation which lan Kershaw accepts), the effects need not have been so decisive as the psychologists imply.

FischlhamThis building is notable for being the location of Adolf Hitler's first two years of formal schooling, from 1895-1897, although it no longer serves as one.
The year his father retired from the customs service at the age of fifty-eight, the six-year-old Adolf entered the public school in the village of Fischlham, a short distance southwest of Linz. This was in 1895.
Shirer (9-10)
Karl Mittermaier, his teacher in the little elementary school in Fischlam which he attended from the ages of six to eight, remem­bered him as the star of his school: “Full marks in every subject. . . . Mentally very much alert, obedient but lively.” Similar reports have come down from the school at Lambach (ages 8-9). Here he was an ex­cellent student and an asset to the boys’ choir of the local monastery. Young Adolf also did very well in the Volksschule in Leonding, which he attended for half a year in 1899.  
Waite (156)
Located twelve miles from Linz, Mauthausen concentration camp is sited on a hill above the market town of Mauthausen, serving as the main camp of nearly an hundred further subcamps located throughout Austria and southern Germany. Mauthausen was one of the first massive concentration camp complexes in Nazi Germany, and the last to be liberated by the Allies.  The Mauthausen main camp operated from the time of the Anschluss from August 8, 1938  using prisoners from Dachau concentration camp to begin its construction of a new slave labour camp chosen because of the nearby granite quarry, and its proximity to Linz. The granite mined in the quarries had previously been used to pave the streets of Vienna, but the Nazis envisioned a complete reconstruction of major German towns in accordance with plans of Albert Speer and other Nazi architects, for which large quantities of granite were needed. Mauthausen initially served as a strictly-run prison camp for common criminals, prostitutes and other categories of "Incorrigible Law Offenders".  On May 8, 1939 it was converted to a labour camp which was mainly used for the incarceration of political prisoners. Unlike many other concentration camps, which were intended for all categories of prisoners, Mauthausen was mostly used for extermination through labour of the intelligentsia – educated people and members of the higher social classes in countries subjugated by the Nazi regime during the war. The two largest camps, Mauthausen and Gusen I, were classed as "Grade III" (Stufe III) concentration camps, which meant that they were intended to be the toughest camps for the "incorrigible political enemies of the Reich". Mauthausen never lost this Stufe III classification, and in the offices of the Reich Main Security Office it was referred to by the nickname Knochenmühle – the bone-grinder.
Standing in front of the entrance. According to Wolfgang Sofsky in The Order of Terror (60), "[i]n a normal complex, the gatehouse would hardly have attracted any attention; in the camp, however, it towered over all other structures." Whilst the typical gatehouse type was realised in a pure form in Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Gusen, and Niederhagen, "[t]he gate in Mauthausen was an exception; it resembled a fortress. The gate was flanked by two mighty towers whose roofs extended outward. This fortress gate doubled the effect of security and control." This gate was used by the ϟϟ as a public site for torment where
the new arrivals who had been set apart as unfit for work were lined up, half-naked, after disinfection and a shower, in front of the “wailing wall” next to the gatehouse. During the summer, the guards would wait until the exhausted prisoners collapsed in the searing heat; in the winter, they poured cold water over them several times until they had finally frozen into pillars of ice. In many camps, those who committed minor transgressions were punished by having to stand at the gate. While the Kommandos filed out, the offenders were brought to the gate in the early morning and forced to stand there, rigid and motionless, the entire day—a Stehkommando. Soon, some began to sway like drunks, and leaned their heads against the wall; others were forced to squat, their hands clasped behind their necks in a “Saxon salute.” If a guard came by, these prisoners summoned up the last bit of strength in an effort to stand at attention. Otherwise they would be kicked, or prisoners’ heads might be pounded against the stone wall until their noses were broken. Standing at the gate was a static mode of torture without technical aids, a torment of silence; the prisoners formed a public statuary in stasis, at a site dominated by the flow of people coming and going.
Sofsky (62)
Inside the courtyard. Beginning with the main camp at Mauthausen, the number of subcamps expanded over time and by the summer of 1940 Mauthausen and its subcamps had become one of the largest labour camp complexes in the German-controlled part of Europe. Although initially the camps of Gusen and Mauthausen mostly served the local quarries, from 1942 onwards they began to be included in the German war machine. To accommodate the ever-growing number of slave workers, additional subcamps were built.
The camp population did not rise significantly until March 1940, with the transfer of the first Polish prisoners from Buchenwald. About eight thousand Poles were incarcerated in Mauthausen that year, augmented from 1940 to 1942 by some seventy-eight hundred Republican Spanish prisoners. Although the mortality figures the first year resembled those in Sachsenhausen, the annihilatory pressure in subsequent years at Mauthausen far exceeded that in any other main camp. Because of a dysentery epidemic as early as September 1939, a special sick bay was set up and during the two following years, prisoners sick with dysentery were gathered together in a room of Block 20. The only beds were for personnel. Some of the sick lay on the barracks floor; initially, it was covered with a thin layer of straw, and later with paper sacks filled with straw and smeared with pus, blood, and excrement. Between 1939 and March 1945, up to twenty weakened prisoners were weeded out in regular selections once or twice a month and then killed by an injection into the heart. In nearby Gusen, this was done almost on a daily basis.
As at other Nazi concentration camps, the inmates at Mauthausen and its subcamps were forced to work as slave labour, under conditions that caused many deaths. Mauthausen and its subcamps included quarries, munitions factories, mines, arms factories and plants assembling Me 262 fighter aircraft. In January 1945, the camps contained roughly 85,000 inmates. The death toll remains unknown, although most sources place it between 122,766 and 320,000 for the entire complex.
Inmates working at the most appalling sight in Mauthausen below the camp- the deadly quarry, where many where inmates were exploited as cheap labour and many lost their lives. It was called the ‘Wiener Graben’ after the thoroughfare in Vienna, because from here the stone was excavated for the streets of the capital. As soon as the Wiener Graben quarry was opened in December 1939, roughly four hundred prisoners of the main camp were sent to work on the construction of Gusen, forced to walk for miles between Mauthausen and Gusen and perform extremely harsh physical labour when building the camp.
On the left is the so-called Todesstiege (stairs of Death) from which prisoners were forced to carry roughly-hewn blocks of stone – often weighing as much as 110 pounds-  from the quarry which was located at its base up 186 steps to the top of. With one prisoner behind the other, many exhausted prisoners collapsed in front of the other prisoners in the line, and then fell on top of the other prisoners, creating a domino effect; the first prisoner falling onto the next, and so on, all the way down the stairs. Such brutality was not accidental. The
ϟϟ guards would often force prisoners – exhausted from hours of hard labour without sufficient food and water – to race up the stairs carrying blocks of stone. Those who survived the ordeal would often be placed in a line-up at the edge of a cliff known as the Fallschirmspringerwand- "The Parachutists Wall." At gun-point each prisoner would have the option of being shot or pushing the prisoner in front of him off the cliff.
Soviet guarding stairs after the war
In June 1941, 348 Dutch Jews arrived in Mauthausen. Three weeks later, not a single one of them was still alive. Most had fallen victim to a method of killing that was considered a Mauthausen specialty: “parachute jumping.” In the stone quarry called Wiener Graben, boards were placed on the prisoners’ shoulders and loaded down with extremely heavy stones. Then the prisoners were forced to ascend the “death stairway,” a series of 186 stairs fashioned of irregular rocks at the edge of the abyss. After a few steps, the stones fell off the boards, crushing the feet of those climbing up beneath them. Many lost their balance on the rock stairs, plunging down the rock face after being giving a helping shove by a supervisor. Others committed suicide by hurling themselves to their deaths, or were pulled down by their fellow prisoners. In these excesses managed from a distance, the perpetrators needed to do little or nothing. They could calmly watch what was happening. Their triumph was less the act of killing itself than the mortal agony that gripped the victims. The victims toiled to the point of exhaustion; the perpetrators waited. The victims ran for their lives, collapsed, dragged themselves to their feet again, and fell once more. The executioners observed the event, laughing. The end was preprogrammed and unavoidable. All tribulation and torment were ultimately in vain. But the perpetrators acted as though their victims still had a chance. They let the victims wriggle and run—and were always there, watching and waiting. The mortal agony gave them a kick; it was a source of amusement. And the less they had to do themselves, the greater was the triumph of power. Prisoners were harassed to death, without the perpetrators having to expend much physical effort—just a voice, a shout, a command barked from a distance. The word was lethal. Thus, many deeds of excess were carried out less on orders than through orders.
Sofsky (238-239)
Soviet PoWs at the camp. In Mauthausen, only thirty escapes were reported over the four-year span from 1938 to 1942; in 1943, there were 44; in 1944, 226 escapes were documented, followed in early 1945 by 339, though only 31 of these were from the heavily fortified base camp. Of the 639 prisoners who escaped Mauthausen, at least 165 were recaptured.
Hunts took place after attempted escapes and during the death marches that marked the final stage of the concentration camp system. One of the most infamous was given by the
ϟϟ the name of the “Mühlviertel rabbit hunt” when, on the night of February 2, 1945, some 500 Soviet PoWs, many of them officers, broke out of the camp by throwing wet blankets and pieces of clothing over the electrified barbed wire fencing, thus shorting out its circuitry. Using fire extinguishers, they managed to capture a guard tower, and were able to put a second out of commission by machine-gun fire. A total of 419 prisoners escaped from the camp area although many only got a few metres from the camp. They left a trail in the snow and were soon captured and beaten to death or shot. The ϟϟ then ordered a large- scale hunt with instructions “not to bring back prisoners captured to the camp alive.” Along with the camp ϟϟ , units of the Wehrmacht, the SA, and the Nazi party, groups of Hitler Youth, the Volkssturm, local fire departments, and many civilians from the surrounding area took part in the search. A form of mass hysteria had spread throughout the population because the escapees had been labelled “dangerous criminals.” So a general hunt was declared: one and all could join in to track down the Russians. A report prepared by the gendarmerie in Schwertberg a few weeks later gives a graphic account of events:
The slush in the street turned red from the blood of the men who had been shot. Everywhere people encountered them—in homes, car sheds, stables, up in the loft, down in the cellar—if they weren’t dragged out and killed at the next house corner, they were shot right on the spot, no matter who happened to be present. . . . A few had their heads split open with an axe. . . . The bodies remained lying where they fell. . . . Intestines and genitals were exposed to open view. The next morning, the murdering continued. Again, blood was shed, atrocities were committed that one could never have expected the Mühlviertel population capable of. . . . At the Lem villa, there was a certain Mr.———. . . . During the evening, his wife had heard some suspicious sounds in the barn while feeding the goats. She went and got her husband, who dragged an escaped prisoner from his hiding place. . . . The farmer then stabbed the poor man in the neck with his pocket knife, and blood began to gush out. His wife joined in, punching the dying man in the face.
Of the five hundred who originally escaped, only seventeen survived the Mühlviertel massacre.
Mauthausen was the last big camp to be liberated, when the Americans arrived on May 5 as seen on the left. Two days earlier the ϟϟ and other guards started to prepare for evacuation of the camp. The following day, the guards of Mauthausen were replaced with unarmed Volkssturm soldiers and an improvised unit formed of elderly police officers and fire fighters evacuated from Vienna. The police officer in charge of the unit accepted the "inmate self-government" as the camp's highest authority and Martin Gerken, until then the highest-ranking kapo prisoner in the Gusen's administration (in the rank of Lagerälteste, or the Camp's Elder), became the new de facto commander. He attempted to create an International Prisoner Committee that would become a provisional governing body of the camp until it was liberated by one of the approaching armies, but he was openly accused of co-operation with the ϟϟ and the plan failed. By now all work in the subcamps of Mauthausen had stopped and the inmates focused on preparations for their liberation – or defence of the camps against a possible assault by the ϟϟ divisions concentrated in the area which in fact occurred by remnants of several German divisions, only to be repelled by the prisoners who took over the camp.
On May 1 the inmates were rushed on a death march towards Sankt Georgen, but were ordered to return to the camp after several hours. The operation was repeated the following day, but called off soon afterwards. The following day, the
ϟϟ guards deserted the camp, leaving the prisoners to their fate. On May 5, 1945 the camp at Mauthausen was approached by a squad of American Army Soldiers of the 41st Reconnaissance Squadron of the American 11th Armoured Division, 3rd American Army. The reconnaissance squad was led by Staff Sergeant Albert J. Kosiek whose soldiers disarmed the policemen and left the camp by which time most of the ϟϟ had already fled; around thirty who remained were killed by the prisoners, and a similar number were killed in Gusen II. By May 6 all the remaining subcamps of Mauthausen, with the exception of the two camps in the Loibl Pass, were also liberated by the Americans. After the war Austrians from the nearby towns were ordered to come to the camp, forced to wear their best clothes to bury the bodies. Graves were then dug by them here on the main camp's sportplatz, used by the ϟϟ as its football pitch. In fact, in Mauthausen and Gusen, there were national soccer teams of Germans, Spaniards, Yugoslavs, and Poles; in 1943 and 1944, they competed almost every Sunday afternoon and the guide I spoke to remarked how locals would regularly visit to watch the games. Roughly 2,600 would be buried here, eventually being exhumed and either repatriated or reburied elsewhere.

  Gusen concentration camp memorial site, used by the ϟϟ as a satellite camp of Mauthausen concentration camp located only a few miles away. The three Gusen concentration camps in and around the village of St Georgen/Gusen held a significant proportion of prisoners within the camp complex, at times exceeding the number of prisoners at the Mauthausen main camp. In the five years of the camp's existence, approximately 60,000 to over 70,000 prisoners from all over Europe had been incarcerated within the Gusen camp system, half of whom, approximately 35,000, were sent to the quarries and due to the horrific living and working conditions, died. The size of the Gusen camp had a special position in the Mauthausen camp system and is comparable with the large main camps in the Nazi regime, particularly with regard to the size and number of prisoners. Its construction began in December 1939 beside the leased quarries. Several hundred German, Austrian and later Polish prisoners from Mauthausen were marched several kilometres to Gusen and by May 1940 built the majority of the camp where the prisoners' living barracks were located at Gusen I and ϟϟ accommodations south of the camp. On the day of its establishment on May 25, 1940, the first transport of about 1,000 Polish prisoners arrived in Gusen. As the number of prisoners in Gusen rose steadily, prisoners were constantly busy with the camp expansion. Initially fenced with a barbed wire fence and wooden watchtowers, in the summer of 1940, prisoners had to build a three-metre stone wall and stone watchtowers. Inside the stone wall was a barbed wire fence charged with high current, with patrolled guards in between. The entrance to the camp was the so-called Jourhaus, where the camp management offices and a prison, called a bunker, were located. Production sites for quarries, such as stonemason halls and a stone crusher, were gradually built in the north and east of the camp. These were later partially used from 1943 for use by the armaments industry, the Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG and Messerschmitt AG. From 1941 prisoners had to move a siding from St. Georgen an der Gusen station to the quarry. A clothing magazine of the Waffen ϟϟ was built west of the protective custody camp.
The Gusen camp was officially run as a subcamp of the Mauthausen main camp, but differed in several points from the other subcamps. Until 1944, the camp had some autonomy from the main camp. For example, prisoners in Gusen were numbered separately until early 1944, whereas in other satellite camps there was a common number registration. Gusen’s first camp leader, Karl Chmielewski, had extensive autonomy.  Gusen was by far the largest satellite camp. Of the approximately 95,000 prisoners who died in the Mauthausen camp system, around a third of the prisoners in the Mauthausen main camp, another third, around 35,000, died in Gusen and the rest in the other satellite camps. Due to the high death rates in Gusen, the camp was designated by prisoners as an extermination camp. Conditions were truly horrific- there was an extreme lack of food with heavy physical labour, often no medical care and poor hygienic conditions that caused illnesses such as diarrhoea, typhoid, spotted typhus or tuberculosis. Detained inmates had very little chance of survival and the camp was used until 1942 primarily for the murder of the inmates. Prisoners were also often murdered in the most barbaric manner. From autumn 1941 to January 1942 for example, up to 300 prisoners were "showered" with ice-cold water at the same time. Sick and weak prisoners often died immediately of circulatory failure. Other inmates who survived the action often died of pneumonia over the next few days. Roughly 2000 prisoners were transported in transports in August 1941, December 1941, February 1942 and from April 1944 as part of Action 14f13 to the Hartheim killing centre about 25 kilometres away where they were gassed. In March 1942 a group of Soviet prisoners of war was gassed in barracks using Zyklon B. In April 1945 another 650 disabled prisoners were murdered the same way. In 1942 and 1943 prisoners from Gusen were murdered in so-called gas vans; whilst commuting between Gusen and Mauthausen around thirty prisoners were murdered by the exhaust gases or Zyklon B. 
Beside the double muffle crematorium oven from Topf & Sons, installed at the end of January 1941 to remove the bodies when previously the bodies had been brought more into urban crematoriums Linz and Steyr. Prisoners were also frequently ill-treated or died from vaccine trials that
ϟϟ doctor Hellmuth Vetter tested on prisoners on behalf of IG Farben. In retaliation for the defeat in Stalingrad, more than an hundred Soviet prisoners were murdered in March 1943. By late April 1945 the ϟϟ began to destroy the camp administration documents to remove evidence prior to the arrival of American soldiers. However, prisoners were able to hide some documents, in particular the death books with the names of the murdered prisoners, and thus prevent them from being destroyed. On the morning of May 3, as in the Mauthausen main camp, a special police unit from the Vienna Fire Service came to the camp to guard the prisoners. Members of the Volkssturm had already been brought into the camp as security guards. On May 3, only a few work commands were sent to work, which mainly had to take care of the dismantling of the machines. At noon the guards, air force soldiers and ϟϟ officers left the camp in the direction of Linz leaving the camp to be administered by the prisoners themselves. On May 5 Louis Häfliger, a delegate from the International Red Cross, drove to the front line and met a 23-man spy team of the American Army under the command of Sgt. Albert J. Kosiek near St. Georgen an der Gusen. Häfliger told him about the Mauthausen and Gusen camps and guided them first to Gusen and then on to Mauthausen. 
Memorial to the Americans hidden away in an alcove. In the camps, the Americans disarmed the fire brigade guards and sent them to Gallneukirchen in a prisoner convoy. This officially released the approximately 20,000 prisoners in Gusen. There continues to be much speculation about the days before liberation. There is said to have been an order to murder all prisoners prior to possible Allied liberation although no document of such an order was ever found. There had been a rumour that the prisoners were to be driven into the cellar building gallery and blown up there. Louis Häfliger claimed to have prevented this explosion although historians doubt his claims. According to other reports, the camp commander of Mauthausen, Franz Ziereis, his wife, the Gauleiter of Oberdonau August Eigruber or a prisoner prevented the explosion. The only thing that is certain is that explosives were attached to the tunnel entrance. However, historians suspect that this was intended used to destroy the production facilities to prevent then from falling into the hands of the Allies. 
After the site was handed over to the Republic in 1955, Austria decided to destroy the remains to build housing estates. The location of the crematorium oven was a special case as a visible memorial to the survivors and initially it was planned to relocate this memorial site to Mauthausen along with the crematorium furnace which would have destroyed the last memorial in Gusen. The French and Polish embassies and the International Mauthausen Committee protested; victims themselves were forced to buy the land to finally set up a monument around the crematorium furnace in 1965. It was financed by the survivors' associations and planned by former Gusen prisoners. It's currently in the middle of the residential area of Gusen, and remains little accepted by the local population

Reconstruction of a Roman milestone which had been lost since the Danube was flooded in 1845 northwest of Engelhartszelll. The stone played an important role in the border dispute between Passau monastery and Engelszell monastery in 1590/91. Part of the milestone is said to have been walled in in a farmer's oven which ended up being flooded by the backwater of the Jochenstein power station. The original location cannot be clearly deciphered in the inscription but records the distance from Boiodurum (Passau) with the specification of fifteen miles. It reads:
(Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus the pious and happy Augustus, greatest winner over the Parthians, greatest winner over the Britons, owner of tribunical power for the 15th time, proclaimed emperor three times, designated fourth consul for the fourth time, left a street along the Danube, from Boiodurum to ... 15 miles.)
The emperor named is better known as Caracalla.