Showing posts with label Braunschweig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Braunschweig. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi Sites in Lower Saxony

Die deutsche Siedlungsstadt (German Settlement City)
Hitler in Braunschweig
At the end of the Great War, on November 8, 1918, a socialist Workers' council forced Duke Ernest Augustus to abdicate his throne. On November 10 the council proclaimed the Socialist Republic of Brunswick under a one party government of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD). However, the subsequent elections on December 22, 1918 were won by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (MSPD), and USPD and MSPD formed a coalition government. In 1919 an uprising in Braunschweig, led by the communist Spartacus League, was defeated when Freikorps troops under Georg Ludwig Rudolf Maercker, by order of German Minister of Defence Gustav Noske, took over the city. Subsequently, a SPD-led government was established, and in December 1921 the new constitution of the Free State of Brunswick, now a parliamentary republic within the Weimar Republic, again with Braunschweig as its capital, was approved. 
In the state election of  September 14, 1930, the Nazis received 22.2% of the vote (an increase of 3.7% from the election on November 27, 1927). Nazi Ernst Zörner was elected President of the Landtag by 20 to 17 votes on September 30, and the same majority elected a new right-wing government the following day. The DVP rejected the formation of a grand coalition; on October 1, 1930, the state legislature (with the votes of the Civil Unity List ) elected a coalition government of DNVP and NSDAP. This government ("Ministry Küchenthal" under Werner Küchenthal ) officiated until May 7, 1933 during which time teachers were dismissed, professors retired, leaflets and posters directed against the Nazis were prohibited. In September 1931, the controversial Minister of the Interior Franzen had to resign due to a perjury affair. Successor was on September 15, 1931, the Nazi Dietrich Klagges. Under his leadership in the state of Braunschweig administration, police and education were directly influenced by Nazi ideology. After dismissals of teachers, there were strikes at public schools which led to the SPD newspaper Volksfreund to be banned for three weeks. On October 11, 1931 the Nazis along with the DNVP and Stahlhelm created the short-lived Harzburg front. On October 17-18, 100,000 SA men marched into Braunschweig leading to street fights in which two died and 61 were injured.
Braunschweig unter dem hakenkreuz
Hitler reviewing the SA in front of the palace in 1931 with the statue of Friedrich Wilhelm then and now. It was here that Hitler became a German citizen when, on February 25, Hitler’s naturalisation was effected in Brunswick. The official notice read as follows:
Brunswick, February 26 The Führer of the NSDAP, Adolf Hitler, has been appointed Regierungsrat in the Brunswick legation in Berlin with immediate effect. Adolf Hitler has thus become a German citizen. His certificate of appointment was signed in the afternoon of Thursday by the Brunswick Minister-President Küchenthal and Minister Klagges.
The somewhat dubious means by which Hitler had become a German citizen were not regarded by the Nazis themselves as improper in the least. Indeed, they were pleased at having “put one over” on the Reich Government and that, by means of this incident, the public had been made aware of a loophole through which citizenship could be procured—and probably had been even before Hitler conceived of the plan. The purpose of the Nazi Party leadership was to ensure that Hitler received a German nationality in time for the presidential elections on March 13, 1932, so that a quick and, above all, discrete solution had to be brought about. Hitler's legal adviser Hans Frank arrived in Braunschweig from Nazi headquarters in Berlin on February 17, 1932, at 22.00 to the "Café Lück" with the Brunswick politicians Ernst Zörner, (President of the Brunswick Landtag and friend of Hitler), Carl Heimbs, board member of the DVP, and probably also Friedrich Alpers, Brunswick Minister and members of the SA and ϟϟ to discuss how Hitler could be naturalised. Together, they agreed that Hitler would be procured a position in the Brunswick embassy at the Reichsrat in Berlin. At the time, both in parliament and in public, there was considerable debate about whether Hitler would ever fulfill his obligations if he was a civil servant. Nazis in BraunschweigFor the purpose of a legal license, Hitler was given a place of residence in Braunschweig from February 26, 1932 to September 16, 1933. Hitler was then employed as a government councillor at the Landeskultur- und Vermessungsamt with duty of duty as clerk at the Brunswick Embassy on the Lützowplatz in Berlin. Whether Hitler ever engaged in any work however is an open question still. Hitler himself commented on his service in retrospect in a briefing on January 27, 1945 by remarking that "I have been a governing councillor in Brunswick for a while" to which Göring replied "[b]ut not practicing," to which Hitler replied: "Do not say that. I have brought great benefits to the country." In fact, however, any efforts to induce Hitler to perform his official duties were unsuccessful as Hitler never worked in the Brunswick Embassy in Berlin.
Only two days after his swearing-in on February 28, 1932, Hitler applied for leave to take part in the election campaign. This was granted to him on March 5 (as well as the retention of his residence in Munich). Just under seven months later, in October 1932, Hitler applied for indefinite leave of absence from his official duties, as "the ongoing political struggles" would not allow him to fulfill his service mandate in the near future. Since it was not clear to the public, as well as to the opposition politicians in the Brunswick State Parliament, what services the "government council" Hitler had provided for the country, the opposition repeatedly requested the submission of work results. On February 16, 1933, less than a year after the naturalisation, the now incumbent Reich Chancellor Hitler in a short telegram to the government of the Free State of Braunschweig asked for dismissal from the civil service, which he was granted by him "with immediate effect."
On June 13, 1933, the last session of the Brunswick Landtag took place. On October 14, 1933, the Diet was automatically dissolved by the dissolution of the Reichstag; a new formation did not come about.
Under the Nazis, in April 1937 Brunswick joined with Anhalt under Reichsstatthalter Rudolf Jordan. In 1941 there were border corrections with the Prussian environs. After the war, the British military government set up a provisional government in Brunswick and on November 1, 1946 Brunswick and Oldenburg became part of the state of Lower Saxony.
Braunschweig schloß mit hakenkreuz
Nazi flags flying over the schloß when it served as an ϟϟ Führerschule and after its 1944 bombing
Hitler Braunschweig hauptbahnhof Hitler at the hauptfriedhof, Germany's largest cemetery, on October 18, 1930 where he spoke at the funeral of German officer and Nazi official Karl Dincklage. As early as 1924 until 1929 Dincklage headed the Nazis' "Gaugeschaeftstelle on Braunschweiger Straße 2. In March 1925, Dincklage was appointed deputy Gauleiter as well as Gau-SA leader of the newly formed NSDAP-Gaues Hannover-Nord. In 1928, he was appointed Deputy of the Supreme SA Leader North by the Supreme SA leader, Franz Pfeffer von Salomon through which he also took an active part in the Nuremberg rallies from August 1-4, 1929. Dincklage had died in Davos. The urn with its ashes was buried here in the presence of Hitler. After his death the Nazis named Dincklage an "hero of the movement." In 1935, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Gaues Süd-Hannover-Braunschweig, Steingrube was renamed Karl-Dincklage-Platz and from 1933-1945 Kurze Straße was changed to Dincklagestraße.
Braunschweig Adolf-Hitler-Haus
Adolf-Hitler-Haus, seat of the district administration of the Nazi Party. Now Villa Rimpau on Wolfenbütteler Straße 2 is named after its first owner, the landowner and businessman Arnold Rimpau. The villa was built in 1881-82 by the architect Constantin Uhde in a neo-classical style. In 1932 it was bought by the Braunschweigische Lebensversicherungsbank and sold a year later to the Nazi Party. On the 24th September 1933 it was consecrated to the office of the Nazi district leader of the City of Brunswick. The first district leader was Wilhelm Hesse, followed by Arnold Krebs, Kurt Beier and Berthold Heilig. The building was renamed "Adolf Hitler house"and dubbed the "Brown House ". In addition to the NSDAP district leadership the German Labour Front and the Gauinspektion Brunswick were also headquartered in the villa. During the war the bombing of October 15, 1944 severely damaged the building forcing the district leadership on November 1, 1944 to withdraw to the Veltheimsche house on Burgplatz until April 12, 1945.
Andreaskirche NS-zeit
The Andreaskirche and Alten Waage in August 1941 and today

The Hermannsdenkmal and Katharinenkirche, 1941 and now, and the church at the end of a now-lost Hagenbrücke

The Brunswick Lion then and now with the Braunschweig Dom behind
Hitler at the grave of Henry the LionHitler at the grave of Henry the Lion inside the cathedral. When the Nazis took power, the church was told that "the government is interested in dignifying the tomb of Henry the Lion" and thus the cathedral was involved in an overall makeover to serve the Third Reich. In 1935, the cathedral's priest was removed from office and church service was first banished to the high choir and then completely banished from the cathedral altogether.  It was then that Hitler visited the excavations within the cathedral and charged the Kruger brothers, who had already built the Tannenberg monument, to install a crypt. The purpose of this was to prepare the cathedral as a "national shrine" in the sense of Nazi ideology. From then on Nazi flags, the Nazi eagle, a new speaker's pulpit and iron flaming bowls characterised the "state cathedral". National holy hours take place. Even after the gravest destruction of Braunschweig in October 1944, a "hero's memory" took place in the cathedral. The bombs had damaged the cathedral, but the vault survived. For this reason, the cathedral was able to offer asylum to the St. Andreas community immediately after the end of the war.  The Braunschweig cathedral as it appeared during the Nazi era and today.  During the Second World War thousands of forced Eastern workers were brought to the city. From 1943–1945 at least 360 children taken away from these workers died in the Entbindungsheim für Ostarbeiterinnen. During the war, Braunschweig was a Sub-area Headquarters (Untergebiet Hauptquartier) of Military District (Wehrkreis) XI. It was also the garrison city of the 31st Infanterie Division, which took part in the invasions of Poland, Belgium, France, and Russia, and was largely destroyed during the German withdrawal from Russia. The city was severely damaged by Anglo-American aerial attacks. The air raid on October 15, 1944 destroyed most of the Altstadt (old town), which had been the largest ensemble of half-timbered houses in Germany, as well as most of the churches. The cathedral, which had been converted to a national shrine (the Nationale Weihestätte) by the Nazi government, still stood.    
The Bernhard-Rust-Hochschule (now the Naturhistorischen Museums), named after Dr. Bernhard Rust who had served as Minister of Science, Education and National Culture (Reichserziehungsminister) in Nazi Germany. A combination of school administrator and zealous Nazi, he issued decrees, often bizarre, at every level of the German educational system to immerse German youth within Nazi philosophy. Considered by many to be mentally unstable, Rust would spuriously create new regulations and then repeal them just as quickly. One noted example was in 1935, when he changed the traditional six-day school week to five days, with Saturday to be "Reich's Youth Day" when children in the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls would be out of school for study and testing. He then ordered the creation of a "rolling week", with six days for study, followed by the "youth day" and a rest day, in eight-day periods. Thus, a rolling week starting on Monday would end with rest on the following Monday; the next rolling week would start on Tuesday and end eight days later on the next Tuesday. When the eight-day week proved unworkable, Rust went back to the former system. In 1933 he issued a rule that students and teachers should greet each other with the Nazi salute "as a symbol of the new Germany". He added his opinion that it was "expected of every German" regardless of membership in the party. 
Rust was instrumental in purging German universities of Jews and others regarded as enemies of the State, most notably at the University of Göttingen. Nazi Germany's future leaders received their instruction elsewhere, in an NPEA or "Napola" (NAtionalPOLitische erziehungsAnstalten), of which there were 30 in the nation, where they would receive training to become administrators of conquered provinces.  He bluntly informed teachers that their aim was to educate ethnically aware Germans. Rust also believed that non-Aryan science (such as Einstein's "Jewish physics") was flawed, and had what he felt to be a rational explanation for this view. Addressing scientists, he said, "[t]he problems of science do not present themselves in the same way to all men. The Negro or the Jew will view the same world in a different light from the German investigator." Rust committed suicide on May 8, 1945 when Germany surrendered to Allied forces.
On April 30, 1934, Bernhard Rust, an Obergruppenfuehrer in the S.A., one- time Gauleiter of Hanover, a Nazi Party member and friend of Hitler since the early Twenties, was named Reich Minister of Science, Education and Popular Culture. In the bizarre, topsy-turvy world of National Socialism, Rust was eminently fitted for his task. Since 1930 he had been an unemployed provincial schoolmaster, having been dismissed in that year by the local republican authorities at Hanover for certain manifestations of instability of mind, though his fanatical Nazism may have been partly responsible for his ouster. For Dr. Rust preached the Nazi gospel with the zeal of a Goebbels and the fuzziness of a Rosenberg. Named Prussian Minister of Science, Art and Education in February 1933, he boasted that he had succeeded overnight in ”liquidating the school as an institution of intellectual acrobatics.”
To such a mindless man was now entrusted dictatorial control over German science, the public schools, the institutions of higher learning and the youth organisations.

 The RAF exacting justice on Braunschweig's city centre during the night October 15, 1944. Today reminders of the war can still be seen, such as what's left of the Hotel Handelshof. Between August 17, 1940 and April 10, 1945, a total of forty air strikes took place, during which more than 2,900 air war deaths resulted. These relatively low losses compared to other cities can be attributed to a large number of public air-raid shelters (nine public air-raid shelters and 24 public bunkers), which, however, were usually reserved for the residents of Braunschweig. Access was prohibited to the forced laborers employed in almost every industrial company at the time. They had to stay in the factories or in the community camps, where they were exposed to the air raids without protection. The destruction of Braunschweig by the numerous bombings was enormous. At the end of the war, 35% of residential buildings, 50% of industrial facilities and 60% of cultural sites (including administration buildings) were in ruins. 90% of the city centre was destroyed. With the signing of the surrender certificate by the attorney Erich Bockler, appointed as mayor on April 11, 1945 - the then mayor, Hans-Joachim Mertens, who had shot himself on the morning of the same day - and the deputy police chief Karl Stahl ended the war for Braunschweig on April 12, 1945.
Reichsakademie für Jugendführung 
The former "Reichsakademie für Jugendführung", a Nazi Hitlerjugend college. The Akademie für Jugendführung Braunschweig was responsible for instructing and training the most high-ranking leaders within the Hitler Youth. Today it serves as the Braunschweig Kolleg.

The former Luftflottenkommando or headquarters for Luftwaffe Gruppe II, later the Yorkshire Barracks used by the British Forces

Nazi Housing estates in Braunschweig
Already after the Great War in the 1920s there were considerations to create new apartments for people living in unworthy quarters of the Braunschweig town centre, especially on the Radeklint. In 1921 the Braunschweig architecture professor Herman Flesche submitted plans for settlements in Lehndorf, Mascherode, for the so-called Nibelungensiedlung and the Gartenstadt. However, these plans could not be realised because the Reich Settlement Act prohibited expropriation from agricultural property. Immediately after the takeover in 1933, the Nazi idea of creating a visible volksgemeinshaft was carried out in Brunswick. The previous legal situation was changed and the settlement plans were then quickly implemented. The "Lehndorf Community Estate" was started on March 21, 1934, because apartments were urgently needed for the employees of MIAG Mühlenbau und Industrie AG and the German Aerospace Research Center (DFL, which later was renamed LFA- The Aviation Research Institute Hermann Göring). Today, its northwest properties are used by the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (vTI) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB).
Personal visit by Hitler in July 1935 to the Lehndorf estate. As part of this visit, he had the plans to have a church formed the center of the settlement. The "development house" on Saarplatz is still the dominant centre of the settlement. It contained an elementary school and all the authorities necessary for the settlement; today it houses the Lehndorf primary school, a kindergarten, the “Turm” youth club and a police department. The church, which was designed by the Munich architect Gustav Gsaenger, was pushed into a side street; Sulzbacher Straße 41. It was not allowed to carry a tower and could only be inaugurated on October 6, 1940. The settlement was probably essentially complete by this time. By 1936, 2,600 residential units had been built. The often socially weaker buyers of the property parcels, among them Great War veterans, had the opportunity under the Reichsheimstättengesetz to keep construction costs low through self-help.  
Brunswick happened to be the geographical centre of the new industrial area of the city between the "KdF car" (Wolfsburg) and the "City of Hermann Goering Works" (Salzgitter). Through industry growth and the increasing number of industrial workers, the population and thus the need for housing increased. In 1934 the first major pilot project was the communal settlement Braunschweig-Lehndorf. The second model settlement was from 1936 to 1939, the German Labour Front-settlement Mascheroder Holz was realised. From 1938, a third project, the SA-settlement in Rühme began. 
On March 21, 1934 the groundbreaking for the Gemeinschaftssiedlung Lehndorf was made. Here about 2,600 housing units in the form of small settlements with gable roofed single or double houses were created. Upon completion of the first phase in 1936 funding was limited because of the high infrastructure costs and the money needed for the weapons programme. After his visit, Hitler ordered Lehndorf, a symbol of the new order and the centre of the party in the volksgemeinshaft symbolising the idea of unity of party and state. In front of the tower, which housed the living quarters of the youth organisation, a memorial hall was built. The area in front of the building served as a playground as well as having a branch of the State Bank, and a health centre. 

 On the one hand, these settlements were intended to create new living space for those workers and employees who were crowding into the city due to industrial and military settlements or large transport projects ranging from Volkswagen, Lower Saxony Motor Works, Querum air traffic barracks, the marshalling yard, and on the other hand for the reception of residents from the city centre who had to be relocated due to the renovation of the old town that started in 1933. In the course of this renovation, which had been planned for a long time and had become necessary due to the now intolerable hygienic conditions and the prevailing spatial confinement, 25% of the existing living space was lost. The affected residents had to give up their houses and moved mostly to the new settlement areas on the outskirts or to the districts which included, besides Lehndorf, Veltenhof, Gliesmarode, Melverode, Ölper, Querum, Riddagshausen and Rühme, which were incorporated between 1931 and 1934. 
The Besenmännchen in the Neustadt in 1939 and today, erected on the newly created Weberstrasse/Lange Strasse playground as a symbol of the renovation of the old town. Sculpted in 1938 by Jacob Hofmann, it represents the ideology behind the national socialist community through the "racial cleansing" of the "inferior" and politically "unreliable." Between 1935 and 1943 Hofmann had been involved in exhibitions by the Brunswick Artists' Association and in 1938 that of the Aid Agency for German Visual Art (NSV). In 1943 and 1944 he took part in the Gaukunstausstellung in Braunschweig. On December 12, 1943, Hofmann was the last artist to receive the city of Braunschweig's art prize, which had only been launched in 1941. In the laudation it was emphasised that Hofmann had never been influenced by current trends, that his Besenmännchen was a household name and that his œuvre had "high artistic creativity". He continued his work after war; on December 23, 1951, a bust he had sculpted of the SPD politician and Braunschweig Prime Minister Heinrich Jasper was unveiled. It is currently located on the west side of the Braunschweig district government building, at Ruhfäutchenplatz. In honour of Hofmann, the city of Braunschweig named a path in the northern ring area near Löbbeckes Insel after him.
The Gemeinschaftshaus with Nazi eagle removed whilst the interior has been extensively remodelled in a much more delicate manner.

Supposed painting by Hitler of the town hall.  Through the neighbouring town of Sarstedt, which already had a local Nazi group, workers brought National Socialist ideas with them to Hildesheim, where the first Nazi assembly took place in the spring of 1923. According to a party member, all those present joined the Nazi Party. After the Nazi Party had been banned following the Beer Hall Putsch, other such groups appeared such as the Völkisch-social bloc and the National Socialist Freedom Party (which joined the Nazi Party in March 1925) which took part in the 1924 elections; one party member even moved into the Hildesheim town hall. However,  Nazi statistics indicate that by June 1932 there were only 38 local groups in the 117 municipalities of the Hildesheim and Marienburg districts. From October 1, 1932, only local groups remained that had more than fifty members; eleven local groups accounted for the 76 municipalities in the Marienburg district and eight for the 41 municipalities in the Hildesheim district.
Nazis in front of the rathaus in 1939
The Nazis found it very difficult to gain any foothold in the Hildesheim area. Development started promisingly in 1925, but from 1926 it stalled as people lost interest in the party due to the increasing economic and political security - the party was not successful again until 1930. In the period up to around 1929, the development of the party was not promoted by the high proportion of medium-sized groups in the Hildesheim area. Only when the consequences of the global economic crisis became noticeable did the middle class open to the Nazi slogans, as it was particularly hard hit by the crisis. The Nazis did not achieve outstanding successes in the Hildesheim area because the economic situation did not change too much - it only won an election in July 1932 - but it developed into a serious party.  The Catholic district of Hildesheim was an exception to the development. In terms of its sociological structure it resembled the rest of Hildesheim, but the Catholic Central party and the clergy influenced the population in such a way that the Nazis never reached the amount of votes in Hildesheim and the district of Marienburg.  The elections showed that the Nazis had many supporters, especially among young people, but its membership was still very small. 
The Stadttheater during the Nazi era and today, unchanged. On February 9, 1933, Bertolt Brecht's "Threepenny Opera" premiered here at the Stadttheater. The Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung (HAZ) spoke of "saloon Bolshevik swamp bubbles" and a "lack of art and taste, with which everything is brewed" was. The strong criticism in the press led to the director William Büller defended the piece on the day of the next performance in the HAZ - the editors, however, expressly pointed out that this does not correspond to the opinion of the HAZ.  At this second performance it came to a scandal: National Socialist visitors, including Nazi Kreisleiter Bähre, disturbed the performance with whistles, cries, lazy eggs and other projectiles. Although Büller, with the approval of most of the visitors, announced that the performance would definitely be over and that he would have to remove more disturbers, the scenes were repeated at the beginning. The police then removed the disturbers. Now in the HAZ the disturbances were strongly condemned and positive aspects of the play were emphasised. It was canceled anyway. How can be explained only with the special political situation in Hildesheim: The Nazis had not seized power yet - this only happened after the March election - and acted as in the Weimar Republic with thugs and Radau.
The Knochenhaueramtshaus (Butchers' Guild Hall), built in 1529 and destroyed 1945. It was eventually reconstructed between 1987-1989 and is regarded as perhaps the finest fachwerk domestic house in Germany prior to the Second World War. Of Hildesheim's 1500 half-timbered medieval houses only 200 survived the destructive Allied bombing raid of 22nd March 1945. After 1945 the remains of the original Knochenhaueramtshaus were cleared away and a modern hotel was built on the site. In 1987 the hotel was demolished and a replica of the Amtshaus was constructed on its original site using the original plans. Hildesheim itself  was heavily damaged by air raids in 1945, especially on March 22. Although it had little military significance, two months before the end of the war in Europe the historic city was bombed as part of the Area Bombing Directive in order to undermine the morale of the German people. 28.5% of the houses were completely destroyed and 44.7% damaged. 26.8% of the houses remained undamaged. The centre, which had retained its medieval character until then, was almost levelled. Giles MacDonogh writes of how Hildesheim's "wooden houses burned for a fortnight before the flames could be extinguished, and where the two largest Carolingian churches went up in smoke." As in many cities, priority was given to rapid building of badly needed housing, and concrete structures took the place of the destroyed buildings. Fortunately, most of the major churches, two of them now UNESCO World Heritage Sites, were rebuilt in the original style soon after the war. During the war, valuable world heritage materials had been hidden in the basement of the city wall. In the 1980s a reconstruction of the historic centre began. Some of the unattractive concrete buildings around the market place were torn down and replaced by replicas of the original buildings.
In his book Ordinary Germans in Extraordinary Times, Andrew Stuart Bergerson uses Hildesheim,  a mid-sized provincial town, as a case study  to understand how townspeople went about their lives and reacted to events during the Nazi era. He argues that ordinary Germans did in fact make Germany and Europe more fascist, more racist, and more modern during the 1930s, but they disguised their involvement behind a pre-existing veil of normalcy.  Bergerson details a way of being, believing, and behaving by which "ordinary Germans" imagined their powerlessness and absence of responsibility even as they collaborated in the Nazi revolution. He builds his story on research that includes anecdotes of everyday life collected systematically from newspapers, literature, photography, personal documents, public records, and especially extensive interviews with a representative sample of residents born between 1900 and 1930.  The book considers the actual customs and experiences of friendship and neighborliness in a German town before, during, and after the Third Reich. By analysing the customs of conviviality in interwar Hildesheim, and the culture of normalcy these customs invoked, Bergerson aims to help us better understand how ordinary Germans transformed "neighbours" into "Jews" or "Aryans."


Adolf Hitler Strasse then and now. In the 1920s an airfield was built in the southwest of the town on about 250 hectares of mostly uninhabited, damp pasture land called Merschland. During the war an aircraft yard was operated on it. In 1932 Quakenbrück had fallen into an economically catastrophic situation; in the Reichstag elections of November 6, 1932, the Nazis received 650 votes, which rose to 1,019 in the elections of March 5, 1933, which corresponded to 36.4 percent of the vote. This was significantly less than their national result of 43.9%, but the Nazis were still by far the strongest party in Quakenbrück. In the same year, Lange Strasse, the city's central shopping street, was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Strasse. In June 1933, 46 Jewish residents were registered in Quakenbrück; if you add those who were born or moved in the following years, the number of Jews who lived in Quakenbrück during the Nazi era was around sixty. In August 1935, a sign with the words "Jews unwanted" was set up at the municipal swimming pool. At the beginning of 1936, the officials and employees of the Quakenbrück authorities, chaired by Teacher Meyer, undertook to stop buying from Jews. On November 10, 1938, the SA Standartenführer von Cloppenburg gave the Sturmbannführer in Quakenbrück the order to burn down the synagogue and to arrest all Jewish men. They were transported to Buchenwald on November 12, 1938 with the other three men. The religious teacher Ernst Beer died there one day after his admission from a "heart attack". The other three men were released in December and January, respectively, on the condition that they "attempt to emigrate soon". At the census of May 17, 1939, ten Jewish residents were still registered in the town, all of whom had to move to 6 Hasestrasse in the course of the year. On March 12, 1941, the city announced that Quakenbrück was " free of Jews."  After the war, six of the people involved in the November pogrom in Quakenbrück were brought to justice. One of the accused was acquitted whilst five were sentenced to between six months and two years in prison. In 1945 the site was conquered by British troops, who that year selflessly handed it over to Polish forces. 

The rathaus sporting the swastika on April 2, 1936 and now  On March 3, 1935 the Wunstorf Wehrmacht garrison was formed.  The next year the Jagdgeschwader 2 "Boelcke" was stationed at the new Wunstorf airbase, becoming one of the main bases of the Legion Condor. In this position it held particular significance with the infamous bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War; even today, attempts to name a street after Guernica or twin the two towns have been prevented by town leaders.
On January 4, 1943, the locomotive engineer of the 2304 SFR overlooked before Wunstorf in heavy snow at a stop signal at danger and crashed, leaving 25 people dead and 169 others injured.  On April 7, 1945 the Allies invaded and the Royal Air Force took over the airbase.
 The photo on the left shows Otto Telschow (centre) with the Kreisleiter of Celle, Walter Pakebusch (Left), Hans Kerrl (Right). Both contemporary photos are from the Am Markt during the reopening of the Schlosstheater on May 13 1935.
When the Nazis came to power, the Schloßtheater had been closed since 1889 for fire safety reasons. The fact that the theatre was able to reopen in 1935 was presented as a Nazi success with Lord Mayor Meyer declaring that the reopening made the "will of the National Socialist state to revive old German culture visible to the whole world". The revival of the theatre was made possible "through the initiative of the party, state and city, in particular through the support of Ministers Kerrl and Popitz and our Gauleiter Telschow". In particular, the Reich Minister and honorary citizen of Celle, Hanns Kerrl, had campaigned for support from the state of Prussia. The opening on May 13, 1935 was attended by Telschow, Viktor Lutze, Chief President of the Province of Hanover and SA Chief of Staff, and Kerrl. In a council protocol from 1936, it was once again clearly stated whom Celle now owed its theater to; as a sign of gratitude for the fact that the Nazis made the cultural act of restoring the theatre possible, the city of Celle placed a bust of Adolf Hitler by Maria Ley in the stairwell of the theatre. Since the first renovation measures were not sufficient, the theatre had to be closed again in 1937 for thorough repairs. In 1939 it was reopened and, on Meyer's initiative, received support from the Reich Ministry of Propaganda and the Reich Theatre Chamber. Performances took place for almost the entire duration of the war, and on March 9, 1945, the "state actor" Will Quadflieg was a guest in Celle. The "NS-Kulturgemeinde" and "Kraft durch Freude" played a key role in organising the theatre's business.
The entrance to the Otto-Telschow-Haus during the Third Reich; today it serves as the Volkshochschule. Telschow had joined the Nazi Party in 1925, and was the founder of the regional Nazi newspaper, the Niedersachsen-Stürmer. In October 1928, he was appointed Gauleiter of the Nazi party's regional subsection Gau Eastern Hanover, a post he retained until the end of the war. Telschow gained more influence after 1935, when the Nazi-party Gaue usurped the functions of the streamlined German states. In 1930 he was elected to the Reichstag for the Ost-Hannover electoral district, and remained a member until 1945. He was taken prisoner by the British Army at Lüneburg and committed suicide in prison by slashing his wrists.
The "Viktor Lutze-haus" was inaugurated on October 30, 1938 in the name of the President of the Province of Hanover and SA Chief of Staff Viktor Lutze. Of special significance was its soup kitchen, previously located at Hannoversche Strasse 54, and operated as part of the DRK of the Vaterländischen Frauenverein (Patriotic Women's Association). For the new building in the Fundumstraße the city acquired the land and built the building at its own expense. The inauguration itself was celebrated on a grand scale and to a large audience.
Today it houses the German Red Cross.
The "Kraft durch Freude" (Strength through Joy) shop on Bergstrasse 1a which offered day trips and longer vacations, in particular trips to the party rallies in Nuremberg. KdF had its own "sports official", led by sports courses and sports events. Kdf held a "People's Education Centre", which had a wide range of courses, sometimes explicitly Nazi themes such as "racial biology". Musical offerings such as group singing and music lessons as well as tickets to operettas and concerts.
While many German travel agencies saw Strength through Joy as a potential threat or source of unfair competition, others detected an advantage to be gained from its increasing popularity, especially in combination with Nazi propaganda about the value of collective activity in general. KdF, they hoped, would overcome common prejudices against mass tourism. It would thus popularise group travel and ultimately increase profits. Carl Degener, a leading figure in the Reich Group responsible for travel agencies (Reichsverkehrsgruppe Hilfsgewerbe des Verkehrs, or RHV), suggested that the ‘newcomer’ KdF had actually contributed to a modest increase in group travel by the end of 1937. But tourism officials wanted more. Since KdF aimed only to introduce the lower classes to the joys of group travel, Degener explained, the German travel agencies had to win over ‘the remaining comrades of all professions and classes’. To do so, the RHV recommended that its members advertise group travel in terms more in tune with the new communal spirit of the times: ‘The more weight the German travel agencies themselves lay on the promotion of the Volksgemeinschaft- feeling amongst the guests of their group tours, the easier it will be for them to win further customers.’ The idea of the national community, it appears, was perceived as something that could potentially sell holidays. 
 On March 8, 1933 the swastika flag was hoisted atop the Celle Town Hall. SA, ϟϟ and Stahlhelm had provided the honour guard to the sound of the Horst Wessel Song. Four days later, municipal elections were held and, close to the national count, the Nazi Party managed 42.9%. Mayor Ernst Meyer was retained in office by the Nazis, whilst the senator Ernst Harmful (SPD), was forced to resign and senator Wilhelm Mohr escaped a dismissal only through early retirement. In the foreground of the period photo is the Braunes Haus.
The Oberlandesgericht then and now. The Nazis wanted to make justice a compliant instrument of their state. The courts found themselves exposed to a variety of measures whilst the judges themselves largely lost their independence, many responsibilities having been transferred to the Special Courts and the People's Court, police and Gestapo. 
The President of the Celle Higher Regional Court (OLG), Adolf von Garßen (1884-1946), was one of only two presidents in the German Reich, which prior to 1933 conducted a Higher Regional Court until 1945 when they were removed by the British. With the majority of his fellow judges, he joined the Nazi party on 1 May 1933. The President played an important role, because he was involved in enforcement of Nazi policy points. 
In April 1933, the Nazis enacted the so-called Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums which made it possible to remove officials the Nazis objected to. Besides Social Democrats and Communists, it was aimed at mainly Jews, for in this Act, for the first time an "Aryan paragraph" inserted. The Senate President, Dr. Richard Katzenstein was removed from office due to his Jewish ancestry. The memorial book of the Federal Archives for the victims of the Nazi persecution of Jews in Germany (1933-1945) records, in particular, forty Jewish inhabitants of Celle who were deported and largely murdered. The central database of the names of Holocaust victims (Beta) of Yad Vashem is recorded by 26 Jewish citizens Celle of whom at least 21 were murdered.
The schloß then and now
 The Städtische Union, was the "largest and most traditional" venue in Celle. Both cultural and political events took place here, and the Celle National Socialists used it before 1933; in February 1931 a Nazi speaker from Berlin spoke here on "The German woman fighting with the Nazi man for the German soul", in March 1932 the nazis held a campaign rally referring to "racial issues", and ended with the "Horst Wessel Song". Also on July 30, 1932, on the eve of the election, in the "crowded great hall" a major gathering took place with more following during the course of the year. On September 30 the Braunschweig State Minister Klagges spoke in the Union about requirements for Party members, and on October 12 a "25-man strong Nazi banners Chapel 77" during an "army marching evening".
The last elections in 1933 were accompanied by events in the Union. In addition to the many events of the Celle Nazi Party, its various branches, such as DAF and NSA, and other associations and clubs, with a regional focus and more political nature, were also held here: for example, a presentation of the "Ostmark" poet Josef Hiess and lectures on the topic "The East Germany calling" as well as various lectures sponsored by "Strength through Joy" on German literature.
The events of the Nazi Party increased not only in frequency, but were apparently also getting bigger, so the Celle district administration wrote in April 1935 that "the Union can no longer hold so many people and major events should be held in the open air." As a result, the district administration in January 1936 asked the city to create a "large sound system" for such events, which could then be lent to the party.
A Nazi Christmas party in one of the rooms
         The British had their first experience of a Nazi death camp near Celle as they advanced towards the Elbe in the second week of April 1945. The 11th Armoured Division was pushing towards its military objectives when its forward troops were met by a Mercedes staff car containing two Wehrmacht colonels. They had come to offer them Bergen-Belsen camp, where, they said, the inmates were dying of typhus. It was three days before the British entered the camp, and they were naturally horrified by what they saw. 
Belsen was not an extermination camp like Auschwitz, Treblinka or Majdanek. It had been set up as recently as 1943 to house ‘exchange Jews’. These were Jews with non-German passports who Himmler believed could be bartered for money or for German nationals in Allied captivity. The idea of selling Jews to the West went back to the abortive Evian Conference of 1938. Conditions at Belsen had been as good as any until the end of the war, when the ϟϟ began driving the inmates of the camps west, in order to prevent them falling into the hands of the advancing Red Army. As much as possible, evidence of the Final Solution was to be destroyed. Hitler was furious with Himmler when he learned on 13 or 14 April that the Americans had liberated Buchenwald and found 20,000 prisoners the ϟϟ had failed to evacuate or shoot. Hitler had barked into the telephone at the ϟϟ chief: ‘. . . make sure that your people don’t become sentimental!’
Large numbers of former prisoners from eastern camps were shipped into Belsen. They were not only Jews. Estimates for the number of Jews in Belsen at the time of the liberation vary, but at most they were not much more than half. There were prisoners from all over Europe as well as the usual concentration camp inmates: political prisoners, ‘anti-social elements’ and criminals – including homosexuals – who had contravened Article 175 of the Prussian Legal Code. Not only were the food and medical supplies inadequate to deal with them, but they brought typhus. Lack of food had resulted in outbreaks of cannibalism. By the time the British had made up their minds to go in, the plague had reached epidemic proportions. Over the next few weeks a quarter of the 60,000 inhabitants would die. Most of these were deemed to have been beyond medical care, but some died because the British were at a loss to know how to treat and feed them. In hindsight it is easy to accuse them of negligence, but they still had military objectives. There was a war to be won, and a pressing need to prevent the Red Army from absorbing the whole of Germany. Himmler knew that many Britons wanted to push on and fight the Russians, and while he bartered Jews with the Swedish count Bernadotte, he hoped that he himself might be retained in the fight against Bolshevism. The living skeletons of Belsen wrought their revenge on the hated kapos, throwing some 150 of them out of first-floor windows under the eyes of the British soldiers.
This camp was not only the destination of many evacuation marches, but also operated as a reception camp for sick prisoners from other concentration camps. The first transport arrived at the end of March: a thousand prisoners from Dora, most suffering from tuberculosis; only fifty- seven of these survived to the end of the war. In the following months, the men’s camp in Bergen-Belsen developed into the largest Sterbelager, absorbing transports of sick prisoners from the entire concentration camp system. Thousands were freighted there, from Sachsenhausen, Neuengamme, Friedrichshafen, Magdeburg (Brabag), Ohrdruf, Flossenbürg, Leitmeritz, and Leonberg. The Sterbelager had the function of relieving the subcamps by absorbing sick prisoners and lowering the mortality there. The death blocks and Sterbelager had the same function for the camps inside the Reich as the Birkenau gas chambers had for the subcamps of Auschwitz.
Wolfgang Sofsky (250)

A British Army bulldozer pushes bodies into a mass grave at Belsen on April 19, 1945 whilst on the right is seen mass grave 3 wherein Dr. Fritz Klein, a German doctor at the camp, can be seen in the foreground standing amongst the corpses.
 ϟϟ camp guards are made to load the bodies of dead prisoners onto a lorry for burial before British flamethrowers set the barracks in Belsen ablaze.
The camp was liberated on April 15, 1945 by the British 11th Armoured Division. 60,000 prisoners were found inside, most of them seriously ill, and another 13,000 corpses lay around the camp unburied. The scenes that greeted British troops were described by the BBC's Richard Dimbleby, who accompanied them:
...Here over an acre of ground lay dead and dying people. You could not see which was which... The living lay with their heads against the corpses and around them moved the awful, ghostly procession of emaciated, aimless people, with nothing to do and with no hope of life, unable to move out of your way, unable to look at the terrible sights around them ... Babies had been born here, tiny wizened things that could not live ... A mother, driven mad, screamed at a British sentry to give her milk for her child, and thrust the tiny mite into his arms, then ran off, crying terribly. He opened the bundle and found the baby had been dead for days.
This day at Belsen was the most horrible of my life.
One of the most notorious DP camps was Bergen-Belsen. Once the British had managed to bring down the death rate it was possible to introduce some degree of comfort into the camp, especially when the inmates were moved out of the old buildings and into the well-appointed ϟϟ barracks. That took a while. At first witnesses were horrified to see how dehumanised the former prisoners had become. Many of the Jews were women, and General Dempsey, commanding the British Second Army, recalled seeing one ‘standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated’.
In theory, at least, the French, Dutch, Russians and Poles in Belsen had homes to go to. The Jews did not want to go back, they wanted to go forward. Once the enormity of their suffering was known, they received special treatment. The British rabbi, Rev. Leslie Hardman, arrived at Belsen soon after its liberation. On Friday 20 April he conducted the first Jewish service there, observing Kiddush in the open air. With foreboding he remained behind to eat some gefilte fisch with the prisoners. The next morning he woke with excruciating pains and was forced to take to his bed for forty-eight hours. Hardman witnessed some old-fashioned anti-semitism among the British officer corps. One officer exclaimed, ‘Bloody Jews! Serves them right!’ In general, however, it was more the dehumanising effect of the war that he observed in the British – they had seen too much horror to be able to respond any more. 
MacDonogh (333) After the Reich
Churchill visited the camp following his trip to Aachen to receive the Charlemagne Prize. Sir Martin Gilbert's Volume VIII ("Never Despair," p. 1197) mentions the visit but gives no details. Anthony Montague Browne's Long Sunset mentions the visit on page 207, specifically the visit to Celle, (below), but is also scarce on details. 
On the 70th anniversary of the British Empire's liberation of Belsen, German President Joachim Gauck paid tribute specifically to the British soldiers who freed the camp and restored “humanity” to the country. "The British soldiers were the ambassadors of a democratic culture that wasn't bent on avenging the crimes of its enemy, and this helped Germany restore its obligation anew to justice and the dignity of the human being," Gauck said, before professing his "deep need" to thank Great Britain for liberating Bergen-Belsen.
 “With their actions and their approach, driven by humanity, a new epoch began. People, the former ‘master race’, would see that human sympathy can indeed be learned. As such, they were the shining counter-example to the advancing Germans who in the years before conquered, subjugated, enslaved and plundered Europe.”
 HM The Queen meets survivors and liberators of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp  Royal couple told of horrors at Nazi death camp during ‘personal and reflective’ visit to site in northern Germany.

Scenes of the Bergen-Hohne Training Area (Truppenübungsplatz Bergen-Hohne) in the 1930s. It currently covers an area of 284 square kilometres (70,000 acres), making it the largest military training area in Germany. Under British control, the training area was steadily expanded and, since the 1960s, has also been used by the German Armed Forces (the Bundeswehr) and other NATO troops. On the right shows Sir Winston Churchill visiting May 13, 1956.
Hoppenstedter Strasse with reichsadler above the door, still overlooking the entrance
Established by the Wehrmacht in 1935, at the end of war it was taken over by British occupation forces and some of its facilities used as a liberation camp for survivors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, which was located a few miles away.
One of the most notorious DP camps was Bergen-Belsen. Once the British had managed to bring down the death rate it was possible to introduce some degree of comfort into the camp, especially when the inmates were moved out of the old buildings and into the well-appointed ϟϟ barracks. That took a while. At first witnesses were horrified to see how dehumanised the former prisoners had become. Many of the Jews were women, and General Dempsey, commanding the British Second Army, recalled seeing one ‘standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated’
Reichsbauernstadt (Reich Peasant City, City of the Reich Food Corporation)
On January 15, 1934 the Reichsbauernführer and director of the Reichsnährstand Richard Walther Darré declared Goslar the seat of the Reichsnährstandes; two years later the city enjoyed the official designation of Reichsbauernstadt. Goslar was henceforth the place of the Reichsbauerntage, on which the Nazis practised its so-called blood and soil vows.The first Reichsbauerntag was celebrated in Weimar, but the German peasantry did not fit into the image of the city of Goethe and Schiller, so a new place was sought. Goslar seemed more appropriate to the regime- it was more provincial than Weimar, had a historic city center, a traditionally conscious "national" population, it lay in Lower Saxony, the "core of Germanic peasantry", it was an old Kaiserstadt. The large, slightly ascending meadow in front of the imperial palace of Goslar served as a marshaling-place for the rituals hearkening back to the imperial feast days.
The festivals took place at Hameln, but from 1934 a course led from there to Goslar. In Goslar, a parade of the ϟϟ, the SA, and the battalion of the huntsman was held before the imperial palace. In an evening evening, illuminated by countless torches and under the roof of a light dome, which was formed by flight defence lamps, thousands of thousands of religious devotions made their faithful allegiance to the leader. At the end of the Erntedankfest at the end of September/beginning of October and the Reichsbauernagen in November, this ceremony was held before the backdrop of the First German Reich. The Reichsbauerntage took place in Goslar 1934, 1935, 1936 and 1938. In 1937 they disappeared because of the foot-and-mouth disease whilst from 1939 they did not take place because of the Second World War. 
The Haus Kaiserworth and rathaus on the market square
Hitler in front of the Imperial Palace in Goslar on the occasion of the Harvest Festival on September 30, 1934 and the same site today. It was here that Hitler gave a lengthy speech delivered before 700,000 peasants containing Hitler’s standard views on the “peasantry as the antithesis of intellectual urbanisation” and warning adversaries at home and abroad that he would not shy away from the “worst,” by which he was apparently referring to war.   Erwin Rommel became the commander of the so-called Goslarer Jäger on October 1, 1933. When Hitler visited Goslar in September 1934, he met Rommel for the first time. At that time Rommel was still a major, one of many officers for Hitler. Soon after Hitler's takeover of power, the city of Goslar became a showcase for Nazi propaganda. Walther Darré made the decision to raise Goslar to the seat of the Reichsnährstand in 1934 and to become "Reichsbauernstadt" in 1936 as the region increasingly became industrialised with mining being advanced through new  technology. Goslar became a hospital town in 1939 because there were many hotels that could be employed which proved fortunate for Goslar as the town would almost be entirely spared from the bombing. In 1941 Goslar was reclassified from belonging to the Prussian state to the state of Braunschweig.
The train station during the Nazi era and today.  During the Nazi era the city was the seat of armour-based establishments and institutions. The largest employers were the Chemische Fabrik Gebr. Borchers AG / H.C. Starck, the Unterharzer Berg- und Hüttenwerke GmbH and the Fliegerhorst Goslar. During the war, about 5,000 people from the rest of Europe, mostly forced labourers, worked in the city and its surroundings; 61 companies used their working time during this period.  To the north-west of the Fliegerhorst there was an outer camp of Buchenwald concentration camp (camp number 255) from 1940 to 1942, which housed up to 140 prisoners, which were used, among other things, to work on the neighboring Fliegerhorst. A few hundred yards north of the ϟϟ barrack camp Hahndorf existed between 1939 and 1945, in which shortly before the end of the war an outer camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp was lodged.  Goslar survived the war without major destruction. With a timely capitulation, the "Reichsbauernstadt" was handed over to the Americans unharmed.
After the end of the war Goslar belonged to the British occupation zone. The British military administration set up a DP camp which was supervised by the 2913 UNRRA team.  The numerous refugees required an expansion of the city. The British, at great cost forgotten by the Germans post-Brexit,  provided the city with the border support and garrisons of the Federal Border Guard and the Bundeswehr.

Adolf Hitler Straße then and now; the hauptbahnhof remains as a reference point. The city still has many sites associated with the Nazi past including the city library where the Gestapo headquarters used to be, Villa Sternheim in which the parish church today runs the Jugendhaus Viwa in Waldstraße; in 1939, the Nazis set up a Nazi party museum in a house formerly occupied by a Jewish family. Or there is the Ballhofplatz: In the twenties, this had been a popular meeting place of homosexuals who went in and out of the nearby social club "Aada". As part of the renovation of the old town, the square was then rebuilt - and here a Hitler Youth home was established. ironically enough given the Nazis' xenophobia, at the end of the war about 40 percent of the workforce were forced labourers here. 
The Technischen Hochschule and today, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität. From 1937 the Lord Mayor belonged to the Nazi party. In addition to a forced labour camp for Sinti and Roma and so-called "educational camps", there were several camps in Neuengamme, where several thousands of inmates lived in Hanover. During the war, some 60,000 forced labourers were working in Hanover, who were mostly expelled from the USSR, Poland, France, the Netherlands and Belgium and were interned in about 500 camps. They were mainly used in the armaments industry. Four days before the liberation of Hanover, about 150 of them were shot dead at the Seelhorst cemetery. They were transferred shortly after the end of the war, together with another 230 bodies, in a funeral procession to the north bank of the Maschsee, where they were buried in a memorial. During the war, numerous divisions and military administrations had their headquarters in Hanover. These included nine military courts, of which also soldiers were sentenced to death, who had refused obedience. After extensive research, the data were collected from 51 soldiers who had been hunted in Hanover for "Desertion", "Wehrmachtzersetzung" and "Kriegsverrat", or were from Hanover, and were hunted in other places for these reasons. The soldiers were imprisoned at Waterlooplatz, convicted by the neighbouring military court, sentenced to death on the grounds of the Emmich-Cambrai barracks, and buried at the Fichtenfeld cemetery. A deserter monument on the Trammplatz opposite the town hall reminds us of this.

Café Kröpke, now sadly renamed the Mövenpick Cafe. Seen in both photographs is the he Kröpcke clock, now a 1977 replica of an 1885 clock that was scrapped after the Second World War. During the war, Hanover was the target of Allied bomb attacks, as a major transport hub and location for war-bearing operations from 1940 onwards. In the case of the total of 88 air raids, large parts of the housing stock were destroyed and almost 6,800 people were killed. The destruction of the inner city was 90 percent. 47.5% of the apartments were uninhabitable.  After the war the Aegidian church and the Nikolaikapelle were not rebuilt; the ruins remained as a memorial to the victims of war.
Consecration of the flag of the NSDAP Ortsgruppe Hanover branch in the Nazarethkirche on July 11, 1933
On top of the eighteen metre high column erected in 1936 by the Hannover town counci is a 4.5-metre statue of the torchbearer by Hermann Scheuernstuhl for the official inauguration of the Nordufer des Maschsee, a man-made lake in the town. Poised on a sphere, the nude figure actually maintains his Hitler salute whilst holding the Olympic flame carried to the Games from Olympia for the first time in 1936. The "Victory Column" glorified the Nazi state on its plinth inscription, from which the swastika was struck off in 1945. On its base with the reichsadler still prominent is inscribed:
Wille zum Aufbau
gab werkfrohen Händen
der Segen der Arbeit
Freude, Gesundheit und Kraft
spende fortan auch der See!
1934 - 1936
Also on Maschsee is Arno Breker's lion sculptures- the Löwenbastion of 1938, shown in 1939 and today.
Breker was simultaneously representative of those who chose to collaborate with the Nazi leaders and exceptional because of his stature within the Third Reich. Breker produced monumental sculptures that have become closely identified with the regime, and indeed, he was one of the most celebrated artists in Nazi Germany. Breker’s Faustian bargain included changing the style of his art. His work shifted from a variant of naturalism, where he was strongly influenced by August Rodin, to a monumental and characteristically fascist idiom.21 Until his death in 1991, he was never able to acknowledge that he had compromised his art or helped sustain the Nazi regime. Like many other figures in this study, Breker’s later years were characterized not only by rehabilitation, but also denial.
 The main synagogue during the time of the Reichskristallnacht, November 9-10 1938 and its subdued and barricaded replacement on Haeckelstraße, with the memorial in frontLike everywhere in Germany, many people were persecuted because of their Jewish faith and other ethnic and other reasons. In the course of the so-called "Poland Action", 484 Hanoverian Jews of Polish origin were expelled to Poland at the end of October 1938, including the Grünspan family. Their second son, Herschel Grünspan, was in Paris. When he heard of the expulsion of his family, he went to the German Embassy, where he killed the legation councillor Ernst Eduard vom Rath. The Nazis took this act as an excuse for the Novemberpogrome, which they staged in Germany. The New Synagogue was burnt down in Hanover on 9 November 1938 in the Calenberger Neustadt. In September 1941, the action "Lauterbacher" initiated by the Nazi Gauleiter South-Hanover-Braunschweig led to a ghettoisation of the remaining Jewish families.  Before the Wannseekonferenz, on December 15, 1941, the first Jews were deported from Hanover to Riga. As a result, at least 2,400 people had to leave the city, of which the few survived. The deportations of the Jews and the "Aryanisation" of art and cultural property of the town councillor Karl Elkart had been organised. Of the approximately 4,800 Jews who lived in Hanover in 1938, there were no more than one hundred left on April 10, 1945, when troops from the American Army invaded Hanover. Today the memory of the Jews in Hanover is reminiscent of a memorial at the Opernplatz, and now 270 Stolpersteine have been laid in front of the former houses of Nazi victims. Ahlem was established in 1987 on the site of the former Jewish garden building school memorial.

The grave of Hermann Löns, a German journalist and writer who was most famous as "The Poet of the Heath" for his novels and poems celebrating the people and landscape of the North German moors, particularly the Lüneburg Heath in Lower Saxony. Löns is well known in Germany for his famous folksongs. He was also a hunter, natural historian and conservationist. Löns was killed in World War I and his purported remains were later used by the Nazi government for propaganda purposes as he was considered by the Nazis as one of "their" writers (despite the fact that Löns's lifestyle didn't match the Nazi ideals). Some parts of his works fit well within the "Blood and soil" ethos endorsed by Nazi ideologues such as Walther Darre and Alfred Rosenberg, which lauded the peasantry and small rural communities as the true lifeblood of the German nation. On January 5, 1933, a French farmer found the boots of a German soldier in one of his fields. With the help of the local sexton, he uncovered a skeleton and identification tag. The sexton buried the body in an individual grave in a German graveyard near Loivre. It took almost 18 months for the tag to reach Berlin via the German embassy in France. This tag has been lost during an Allied bombing raid on Berlin, an extant photograph does not allow a definite conclusion on whether the tag said "F.R." (Füselier-Regiment) or "I.R." (Infanterie-Regiment). However, on May 8, 1934 the Völkische Beobachter announced that the grave of Löns had been discovered. In October 1934, at the behest of Hitler, Löns' body was exhumed and brought to Germany. There was no medical examination to try and verify that these were indeed the remains of the writer.  In 1919, several bodies had been exhumed in the vicinity of the area where Löns was killed and transferred to the war cemetery at Luxembourg. From there they were moved to a mass grave near Loivre, where they remain to this day, according to the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, a charity. It is quite possible that Löns' remains were among them.  The exhumed body the Nazis claimed was Löns was supposed to be buried in the Lüneburg Heath, given his links with the area. However, the exact location of his new grave posed problems. The initial plan to bury him at the Sieben Steinhäuser, a megalithic site, was abandoned since the military at the time had (still secret) plans to establish the military training facility Bergen in the area. An alternative site near Wilseder Berg was rejected due to concerns about the environmental impact of large numbers of visitors to the grave. Finding a suitable burial place became an issue for the top echelons of the regime, including Göring, Heß, Goebbels, Werner von Blomberg and even Hitler. Rumours circulated that Löns had been Jewish, a social democrat or a pacifist. His alcohol abuse and "womanising" also became an issue.  To deal with what was increasingly becoming an embarrassing situation for the regime, on November 30, 1933 members of the SA, apparently on orders from Goebbels, snatched the remains from the graveyard chapel in Fallingbostel where they were awaiting reburial. They buried them near the roadside of what was then Reichsstrasse 3 (today B3) south of Barrl, near the area known today as Reinsehlen Camp on 30 November 1934. However, on August 2, 1935, the anniversary of the start of Word War I, on the initiative of von Blomberg, Minister of War, the Reichswehr exhumed the remains and transferred them to the Tietlinger Wacholderhain near Walsrode, where an earlier 1929 memorial had been erected, for a ceremonial reburial.

The main post office on the former Horst-Wessel-Platz. After the municipal election in 1933 in which the Nazis took power with almost 41% of the vote, SPD officials were arrested, the KPD was banned and the democratic municipal constitution was repealed.  The Nazi racial policy was also implemented in Stade, but the persecution of Jews was limited to the elderly, because the younger ones had fled abroad in time. Jehovah's Witnesses and Sinti were were deported from 1935; at least eighteen of the town's citizens were murdered in concentration camps. Disabled or mentally ill adults were forcibly sterilised in the Rotenburg institutions, and minors killed in the context of child euthanasia in the Lüneburg hospital. At the beginning of the war, Polish and Soviet prisoners were brought here for forced labour. From 1943, the children of forced labourers were housed in "foreign-ethnic children's homes," where 65 of them died from malnutrition and deliberate neglect. The Jewish cemetery, which was occupied in the years from 1824, was also discontinued after 1940. At that time there were still thirteen tombstones in the cemetery. Municipal authorities cleared them that same year.
On December 14, 1934 at around 17.00 whilst returning from Bremen to Berlin, Hitler’s special train collided near Verden an der Aller with a bus transporting a theatre company from Stade which had broken through the crossing gates in the fog. Fourteen people were killed in the accident. At the burial in Stade on December 17, Hitler had his aide Brückner lay down a wreath and hand over donations to the bereaved. During the war Stade remained completely untouched by allied bombings. Air ace Oberstleutnant Helmut Lent took off from Stade on October 5, 1944 . His twin-engine Junkers Ju-88 fighter-bomber crashed during what should have been a routine ninety minute flight.