Showing posts with label Buchloe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buchloe. Show all posts

More Remaining Nazi Sites in Upper Bavaria

Landsberg am Lech
Forty miles west of Munich, this is the town noted for its prison where Adolf Hitler was incarcerated in 1924 for 264 days after being convicted of treason after the failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch the previous year. Hitler had taken the cell that had held Anton Graf von Arco-Valley who had murdered Bavarian prime minister Kurt Eisner in February 1919. During this incarceration Hitler wrote/dictated his book Mein Kampf together with assistance from his deputy, Rudolf Hess. His cell, number 7, became part of the Nazi cult and many followers came to visit it during the Nazi-period. Landsberg am Lech was also known as the town of the Hitler Youth. After the war it was the location for one of the largest Displaced Person camps for Jewish refugees and the place of execution for more than 150 war criminals after 1945. The Landsberg camp began as a Nazi concentration camp. By October 1944, there were more than 5,000 prisoners in the camp.  The camp was liberated on April 27, 1945 by the 12th Armoured Division of the United States Army; among the liberators was JD Salinger. Upon orders from General Taylor, the American forces allowed news media to record the atrocities, and ordered local German civilians and guards to reflect upon the dead and bury them bare-handed. After the liberation of the camp it became a displaced person camp. Consisting primarily of Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union and the Baltic states, it developed into one of the most influential DP camps in the Sh'erit ha-Pletah. It housed a Yiddish newspaper (the Yiddishe Zeitung), religious schools, and organisations to promote Jewish religious observance. Tony Bennett was another one of the soldiers who liberated the camp. A dramatisation of the discovery and liberation of the camp was presented in Episode 9: Why We Fight of the Band of Brothers mini-series.  A number of prominent leaders emerged from the camp, including Samuel Gringauz, who also became the chairman of the Council of the Central Committee of Liberated Jews in the American zone. The camp also served as the headquarters for the Jewish education and training organisation ORT. The camp closed on October 15, 1950.
Shown  in 1938 with a banner with a large swastika hanging from the roof when the structure served as a memorial to Hitler's incarceration, after the war when holding Nazi prisoners and today.
Hitler in Landsberg
Posed propaganda shot by Heinrich Hoffmann and Hitler's return in 1934 after taking power.
Conditions were not actually so bad in this ‘cross between a spa hotel and a barracks’. Wooden partitions were erected to give the prisoners privacy. They were allowed to mix to such an extent that Hitler dictated Mein Kampf while there, and received visitors freely. Party insignia were hung from the walls and other Nazis stood to attention before dinner when Hitler entered the hall and took his seat. Perhaps helped by the singularly mild rules of the institution, Hitler was regarded by the warders as a model prisoner. Upon Hitler’s release in December 1924, the prison governor said that if anyone could save Germany, it would be this man.
Martyn Housden (57) Hitler: Study of a Revolutionary?
Hitler's Chief Warder Franz Hemmrich posing outside the entrance to the prison.
For a thumb-nail sketch of Herr Hemmrich – he is a man perhaps at the end of the thirties. The face and especially the eyes are full of alert activity and energy. One gets the impression of an officer who has put in a good many years of responsible and exacting service. He wears a blue uniform with epaulettes, and an official cap.  “Before I start the story of Adolf Hitler’s detention here,” he tells me, as we prepare to make the tour of Landsberg, “you ought to know something of the place itself. It is, as you can see, fairly modern. It was built in 1909, and originally intended for none but ordinary convicts. It was planned to accommodate five hundred. Only since 1920 have we had political prisoners here – quite a different class. They don’t, of course, rank with criminals at all. We had no special accommodation to allot to them, so a wing was set apart for the purpose and called the ‘Festung.’ In 1920 Count Arco-Valley was sent here. He had been condemned to death for shooting the Bavarian Minister President Kurt Eisner, but his sentence was commuted to penal servitude for life. For a long time he was the only man we had in the ‘Festung.’... “Then, on November 11th, 1923, I remember, there was a regular storm raging. The wind howled and shrieked round the place and tore at the barred windows. Rain dashed against the panes as if it would break them. At that time I had a room within the prison. It was night, and I’d gone to bed. All was still save for the muffled tread of an officer going the rounds, or for the ticking when he clocked in.  “All of a sudden a bell rang through the corridor, and a moment or two later came a knocking on my door. ‘The Governor wants you. You’re to come at once,’ cried a voice without. I jumped into my clothes with all the speed I could, and hurried to the office. Herr Oberregierungsrat Leybold was chief at the time.  “‘See here,’ he said, and his face was as serious as his voice, ‘Hitler’s coming here tonight. He has been arrested at last, and he’ll certainly be sent along to us. L:andsberg December 30, 1924 after the release of the putschists and as it appears with me today. From the left are Gerhard Hoff, Walter Hebel, Hans Eduard Krüger, Julius Schaub and Rudolf Heß. Thelandsberg December 30, 1924 after the release of the putschists and as it appears with me today. From the left are Gerhard Hoff, Walter Hebel, Hans Eduard Krüger, Julius Schaub and Rudolf Heß.We’ll have to be prepared for anything. His followers may make an attempt at rescue ––’ 
Heinz A. Heinz (169) Germany's Hitler

Standing in front of the gaol on the left and as it appeared on December 30, 1924 after the release of the putschists and as it appears with me today. From the left are Gerhard Hoff, Walter Hebel, Hans Eduard Krüger, Julius Schaub and Rudolf Heß. The original caption recorded how the car came courtesy from Landsberger alderman and landowner Franz Strobl who met them upon their release.  
After his release, Hitler posed outside the town's Bayertor, built in 1425. In his September 13, 1924 petition to Jakob Werlin, a Munich car dealer, one of the directors of Mercedes and a friend, Hitler wrote of his hope to purchase a model 11/40 Mercedes from Benz & Cie on credit with the hoped-for earnings from his soon-to-be published Mein Kampf serving as a promissory; the year before the larger Benz 16/50 PS was put to the side as a smaller model. He further asked for it to be in grey and with wire wheels, complaining that “[t]he hardest thing for me at the moment lies in the fact that the biggest payment for my work is not expected until the middle of December, and so I am compelled to ask for a loan or an advance. Of course, a few thousand marks would play a very big role in this.” As shown in Hoffman's photograph of December 20, 1924 upon his release, Hitler got his car from Nazi Party funds. In Daimler-Benz and its Nazi History, Bernard P. Bellon claims that Hitler had been picked up by Werlin. Other accounts state however that he had been picked up from Landsberg by Hoffmann and Adolf Müller, with the former recounting how
With a terse greeting, [Hitler] stepped swiftly into the car, and we drove off  . . . . It seemed to me essential that a photograph to mark the occasion should be taken in Landsberg itself; and if that were not possible in front of the fortress, then I must take one elsewhere. I suggested that we stop by the old city gates, where we would still retain something of the fortress atmosphere. To this Hitler agreed, and I took several pictures.
The same day, I sent the photographs to all the various home and foreign newspapers, with the caption "Adolf Hitler leaves Landsberg Fortress." As I anticipated, the picture was published all over the world. But when I received my copies, I could not help laughing. Not a single newspaper had used my caption. Instead: "The first step to freedom" — "The Fortress Gate has opened" — "On to new deeds" — "Thoughtfully, Hitler stands in front of his prison — what will he do now?"  What Hitler actually did was to say to me: "Get a move on, Hoffmann, or we'll have a crowd collecting; and anyway, it's bloody cold!"  We returned to the car, and I asked him what he intended to do next. "I shall start again from the beginning," he said decisively. "The first thing I want is office space. Do you know of anything in that line, Hoffmann?"  I told him that at 50 Schellingstrasse there were thirteen empty rooms to let. "That's fine!" he answered gleefully. "I'll take twelve of them." Hitler, among other things, was very superstitious.
Flood (599-600)  Hitler: The Path to Power
Hitler's prison cell at Landsberg am Lech
The 'Hitler-Zelle'
Photos and postcards featuring Hitler's cellroom. In 1945, the American occupying forces completely removed the cell's furnishings so that it could no longer serve as a place of pilgrimage for Hitler supporters, so only the façade remained. The empty room now serves as a common room in the Landsberg correctional facility and tourists are not allowed any entry. From 1937 to 1945 the prison cell at Landsberg am Lech became the third central site of pilgrimage next to Munich, the "City of the Movement", and Nuremberg, the "City of the Party Rallies." Its slogan during the Third Reich was 'Landsberg - Town of youth' and became known additionally as the meeting place of the Hitler Youth. Following the party rallies of 1937 and 1938 delegations of the Hitler Youth marched across the German Reich as part of the "confessional march of the Hitler Youth" to Landsberg . It would culminate with swastika flags, banners and Hitler Jugend torchlight rallies at the Landsberger main square and in the atrium of the fortress prison. In the words of Reich Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach, Landsberg was a "pilgrimage of German youth" and the "station of National Socialist education." The gaol with its "Hitler cell" was to be converted into the largest youth hostel largest of the Reich. The plan also saw the creation of a gigantic parade stadium, which would have had greater dimensions than the entire historic old town. As German troops invaded Poland September 1 1939, the "Adolf Hitler march" was cancelled following the "Party Rally of Peace". As early as 1933 the town marketed with all its available resources itself as the "Hitlerstadt" or "Stadt des Führers"and "Birthplace of the ideas of National Socialism." This "Hitler tourism" brought what was described as "a real economic miracle"- it had been reported that in 1935 37,700 visited the 'Hitler cell.' Eight months later, on November 28, 1936, it was publicly announced that in the year before " 60,000 people were happy to visit the leader's cell and 7,108 participants visited the Landsberg Town Hall ." The following year on August 17, 1937 the Landsberger Zeitung local paper reported how "[o]n average, every Sunday 600 to 800 people visit the room the Leader was and in which the great work "Mein Kampf" arose." By May 27, 1939, the local press reported how "100,000 Volksgenossen," made the pilgrimage to the Hitlerstube. 
On the left is the prison in 1935 and today. The institution itself was built according to plans by Hugo Höfl in a restrained baroque reform style in 1908. Eventually by 1959 the facility has been operated as a correctional facility after the institution was returned to the Bavarian justice system by the Americans. In 2002, Lutz Hachmeister created a documentary about the historical significance of the prison. More recently the running of the prison has caused controversy; in February 2011, two suicides by prisoners occurred within just three days. The relatives subsequently made serious allegations against the prison management and criticised the prison conditions in Landsberg, claiming that the suicides weren't as surprising as the prison director, Monika Groß, made it seem a few days after the incidents. One of the prisoners had been housed in a cell in the basement of the main building with three other inmates, with only a small window high up providing a little sunlight; apparently the outdated cell block has since been closed for fire safety reasons.
Der Marsch zum FührerFrom the film "Der Marsch zum Führer" showing Hitlerjugend marching to commemorate Hitler's imprisonment in Landsberg am Lech, the final rally in the main square of the city and the address of the Reich Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach. Unlike the earlier Riefenstahl Nuremberg documentaries, it doesn't focus on the Party congress itself, or even on Nazi leaders, who are not shown until the very end of the film. Instead, it follows HJ boys from various parts of Nazi Germany beginning their journey, camping along the route, being taken in by helpful families on the way and marching through cities in formation, saluting and carrying the swastika banner.
From 1933 onwards, the city marketed itself using various sobriquets: Hitler City, City of the Führer, National Socialist Site of Pilgrimage and Birthplace of the Ideas of National Socialism. In 1938, 100,000 visitors came to Landsberg, most incorporating a glimpse of Hitler’s former prison cell into their tour. Eventually, the town received the official honorific City of Youth, because it welcomed thousands of Hitler Youth members in 1937 and 1938 for massive Adolf Hitler marches. The delegates also visited the prison – which had plans to become the biggest youth hostel in the Reich – and received a copy of Mein Kampf as a souvenir.
Landsberg Hauptplatz on September 19 1937 during a rally of Hitlerjugend The Hauptplatz on September 19, 1937 during a rally of Hitlerjugend and today. As early as 1933, the Lechstadt marketed itself with all the means at its disposal as a "Hitler city" or "City of the Führer;" a "National Socialist place of pilgrimage" and as the "birthplace of the ideas of National Socialism". From 1937 to 1945 Landsberg am Lech, next to Munich -the "City of the Movement"- and Nuremberg, -the "City of the Nazi Party Rallies,"- served as the third central site of National Socialism.  Landsberg was known during the Third Reich under the slogan "Landsberg - City of Youth" as a meeting place of the Hitler Youth; following the Nazi Party rallies in 1937 and 1938 delegations of Hitler Youth from across the Reich marched in the "confession march of the Hitler Youth" to Landsberg. Against a ghostly backdrop of swastika flags , HJ banners and torch lighting, the final rallies of the so-called "Adolf Hitler marches" took place on the main square of Landsberg and in the forecourt of the fortress detention centre. In the Hitler cell the Hitler Youth received copies of Mein Kampf. Landsberg had become the "place of pilgrimage of the German youth" and the "station of National Socialist education," as Reich Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach called it. The prison with its "Hitler cell" was to be converted into the largest youth hostel in the Reich.  Also planned was a gigantic Aufmarschstadion, which would have possessed larger dimensions than the entire historic old town core.
On the left the statue in front of the town hall is shown covered by Hitler Youth banners. In the city council meeting of May 4, 1937, the Nazi city council declared that "on the order of the Reichsführer ... in future every year - from September 19, 1937 - about 1,000 HJ flags and thus about 3,000 Hitler Youth will come to Landsberg, where in front of the Hitler cell and on the main square a mass rally of the Hitler Youth take place and in which the Reich Youth Leader will speak. The cost of the rally, whose decorative equipment alone requires considerable resources, must, in the opinion of the councillors and the mayor, be supported by the Reich leadership of the Hitler Youth."
Thus in 1937 the decision was made that, following the Nazi party rallies, Hitler Youth delegations from all over Germany would march to Landsberg. The big final rallies take place in the prison and on the main square in Landsberg, at which the Reich Youth Leader Baldur von Schiach would speak to the boys. If the previous "Adolf Hitler marches" culminated in Nuremberg, by 1937 Landsberg would become the final destination of the Hitler Youth marches in order to "always be aware of its great task at that place and will be worthy of the tradition of National Socialism."
The "Schöner Turm" bedecked with swastikas in 1937 and today as 200 Nazi flags were placed along the route through the city and girls of the BdM lined up on Augsburger Strasse over the railway bridge. When they arrived at the main square, the flags were placed on the stepped substructure erected in the middle of the square as a fire was lit in a sacrificial bowl that rested on a column covered in fir green that rose above. The flags remained in place for the whole of the weekend. Landsberg didn't get its eminent position during the Nazi era - as it is often claimed in official representations of the city - "imposed from outside". In fact, the "Hitler tourism" brought economic recovery; in 1938, 100,000 "Volksgenossen" visited Landsberg and the Hitler cell. Just for the 1937 rally the town adminsistrators estimated that “[f]rom Saturday afternoon to Monday we need: 1,185 litres of milk, 63 kilos of butter, 1,580 portions of cheese, the portion of 125 grammes each, 9 kilos of tea, 256 kilos of sugar, 48 kilos of chocolate powder, fifty kilos of pea powder with bacon, 1,580 portions of spreadable sausage, 1,580 portions of 'Bauernseufzer' of 120 grammes each, 1,480 portions of Regensburger, each 100 grammes and 1,975 pieces of bread. The food is all bought from local business people.”
Hitler Youth marching through the hauptplatz in front of the town hall on the extreme left in 1937 with honorary formations of the Wehrmacht lined alongside.  Roughly 4,000 spectators attended the rally on the main square which marked the end of the Adolf Hitler March which was broadcast on the radio by the Reichssender München. About seventeen spotlights cast their light onto the main square whilst a total of 52 illumination devices were set up throughout the town to illuminate prominent landmarks such as churches, towers, gates et cet..
Landsberg einst und jetztAlte Bergstraße hasn't changed much. Despite the central importance of the city at the time and the military facilities that were located nearby (including the Penzing Air Base from 1935) or within the city area such as the Saarburg barracks, Landsberg am Lech remained one of the few district towns Germany spared from Allied air raids. According to contemporary witnesses, in April 1944, only a fighter plane that was on its way to attack Munich lost a small explosive device that hit and destroyed a mediæval house on what is now Georg-Hellmair-Platz. This house number 169, which now houses a café, was only rebuilt in the 1980s under monument protection criteria. In 1945, many of the Jewish concentration camp survivors from the concentration camps around Landsberg am Lech were uprooted and homeless. Often they had lost their relatives or did not know where they were. Thousands of these displaced persons were accommodated and cared for by the Allies in Landsberg. The Jewish survivors referred to themselves as “ She'erit Hapletah ” – the rest of the rescued. On May 9, 1945, the Americans set up a DP camp in the Saarburg barracks . At the end of 1945, around 7,000 displaced persons lived there. More were added when around 300,000 Jews fled Eastern Europe into the care of the Anglo-Americans in 1946-1947 following anti-Semitic excesses. During its existence, around 23,000 Jewish DPs passed through it. From 1947 to 1948, the German film about the fate of Holocaust survivors, “Lang ist der Weg” starring Israel Beker, was made on the grounds of the Landsberg am Lech DP camp, among other things; a street was named after him in the same place. A symbolic event was a concert that Leonard Bernstein conducted and played with the DP orchestra made up of Jewish Holocaust survivors in the DP camp in Landsberg am Lech on May 10, 1948, four days before the founding of the State of Israel. Many of the former concentration camp prisoners were preparing for their reintegration and emigration to Israel, the USA and United Kingdom, or other countries of their choice. In the Landsberg DP camp there were, among other things, schools, workshops, nine kibbutzim and also a camp newspaper, the “Yiddische Landsberger Cajtung”. By April 1950 the occupancy number had fallen to 1,500 people. The Landsberg DP camp became a retreat for residents of other dissolved DP camps and was finally also dissolved on November 1, 1950.
Spöttingen friedhof Landsberg
Spöttingen cemetery in 1958, just before the final four prisoners were released from Landsberg prison and the running of the facility transferred from American control to West Germany, and today; the prison can be seen behind. During the occupation of Germany by the Allies, the American Army designated the prison as War Criminal Prison No. 1 to hold convicted Nazi war criminals, run and guarded by personnel from the American Military Police. Following the occupation of Landsberg by American troops on April 27 and 28, 1945, and the subsequent release of most of the previous detainees, the detention centre gradually developed into the central "War Criminal Prison" (WCP).  Most prisoners held had been convicted in the so-called Dachau trials, the military courts have carried out since the end of 1945 against numerous Nazi and war criminals. The main groups of prisoners included concentration camp guards and those responsible for the killing of crashed pilots. The proximity of Landsberg to the former Dachau concentration camp, where most of the proceedings took place, was probably the decisive reason for choosing the location in addition to the size of the facility and its structural integrity. Among some prominent convicts were perpetrators such as Oswald Pohl; as head of the ϟϟ Economic and Administrative Main Office, he had been a leading figure in the organisation of the forced labour camp system and in the plundering of Jews murdered in the Holocaust.
ss graves landsberg
 Between 1945 and 1946, the prison housed a total of 110 prisoners convicted at the Nuremberg trials, a further 1,416 war criminals from the Dachau trials and eighteen prisoners convicted in the Shanghai trials. In five and an half years, Landsberg prison was the place of execution of nearly 300 condemned war criminals. 259 death sentences were conducted by hanging and 29 by firing squad. Executions were carried out expeditiously. In May 1946 twenty eight former ϟϟ guards from Dachau were hanged within a four-day period. Bodies that were not claimed were buried in unmarked graves here in the cemetery next to the Spöttingen chapel. Of the death sentences from the Dachau trials and the Nuremberg successor trials, a total of 252 were executed on the gallows in the WCP in the years 1945 to 1949 and again for one day in 1951. Among the last seven executed - the West German abolition of the death penalty by the Basic Law did not apply to the American judiciary - was Oswald Pohl, Head of the ϟϟ-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt, in 1951. In addition, over 33 people were executed in the late 1940s by firing squad. Altogether about 175 executed and deceased from the time of WCP are buried in this cemetery including Otto Ohlendorf, commander of Einsatzgruppe D and Paul Blobel, the so-called butcher of Babi Yar.
Of the 255 they executed at Landsberg-am-Lech, 102 were skilled workers, thirty-seven civil servants, with a few academic titles here and there, twenty-three were academics, twenty-two workers, eleven soldiers, and the rest were made up of the professions, Nazi func- tionaries and schoolboys. The oldest was Dr Schilling at seventy-four. (Twenty more died from naural causes.) All the lifers were eventually released, with one exception – Hess. German courts reopened in the summer of 1945, and they too passed judgment on former Nazis. Between 1945 and 1950 the courts sentenced only 5,228 defendants for Nazi crimes. Sentences were either short or the criminals were swiftly pardoned. In the years from 1951 to 1955 there were only 638 convictions. It is now clear that many of the worst culprits, the operatives who sent thousands to their deaths, were not punished at all. 
Giles MacDonogh (467) After the Reich

On January 22, 2003, the Bavarian Ministry of Justice had this plaque attached to the chapel providing information about the history of the place which informs the visitor that there are around 140 victims of National Socialism in the cemetery, along with the same number of Nazi war criminals. At the meeting on January 29, 2003, the Landsberg city council voted to leave the cemetery in its current form as a monument to contemporary history which came after plans since autumn 2002 by the Bavarian Ministry of Justice to remove of the crosses of the executed Nazi entirely and to abolish individual commemoration of the dead in the cemetery. In fact, the cemetery has long served as a place of pilgrimage for neo-Nazis who left wreaths and candles on the graves of the war criminals and the idea that the maintenance of the graves was financed with state money was impalatable. Incredibly (to me, at least), this came as a sudden moral volte face given that it was only on June 7, 2001- the 50th anniversary of the last executions- that the crosses were renovated and each given a protective copper covering! By the time I first visited the site in August 2018 however, it seems that a compromise of sorts was made and the names on the crosses of executed Nazis were all removed, to considerable controversy.
January 7, 1951 in Landsberg hauptplatz
Roughly three thousand people protesting on January 7, 1951 in Landsberg's main square against further executions. In 2003 the name boards were removed from each cross despite considerable protests given many were victims of the Nazis; 300 people are buried here of whom less than half- 140- were executed by the Americans after the war. Of these, it has been estimated that at least one fifth of the German soldiers sentenced to death after the war were innocent. Of the Nazi victims who share their anonymous resting places with Nazi war criminals include those who served prison sentences for political offences such as "treachery", "destruction of military forces" or "concealment of the Jews". In the last years of the war, more and more prisoners from other areas under Nazi control were transferred to Landsberg, as the institutions close to the front were evacuated because of the withdrawal of the German troops. Thus, these numbers include many Poles and Italians. As the war progressed conditions within the prison. Deaths increased as a result of the exhausting prisoner transports and the pressure of increasing occupancy, hard forced labour, especially in local armaments factories, inadequate food supply, as well as inadequate hygienic and medical conditions. Altogether according to the records of the official registers from the beginning of 1944 over 210 people died including ten inmates who were executed after attempted escape. 
Landsberg/Kaufering denkmal
 In 1994, this memorial for the victims of the death march was erected on Neuen Bergstrasse ouside the town walls. Under the usual seemingly-hastily bronze casting by Otto Strehle is the inscription “At the end of April 1945, the trail of suffering of Jewish prisoners of the Landsberg/Kaufering concentration camp command passed this spot on the way to Dachau.” Every year on January 27th, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of National Socialism, a wreath is lain and ceremony takes place. In 2021 Mayor Doris Baumgartl spoke of Samuel Pisar, prisoner number 127,177, who was barely sixteen years old at the time of his liberation after having survived several concentration camps and, amongst other things, was narrowly selected by the infamous Dr. Mengele at Auschwitz before finally finally being deported to Kaufering. He managed to escape near Penzing during the death march and rescued by American soldiers. He would go on to study at Harvard (long before it became a bastion of anti-Semitism), became a successful lawyer and even at one point serving on Kennedy's advisory staff. As Baumgartl noted, the very day before his stepson, Antony Blinken, was named Secretary of State of the United States of America.
Schwabhausen  KZ friedhof
Just outside Landsberg in the town of Schwabhausen is this sign pointing to what is described as a concentration camp cemetery leading into the woods at the site where, on April 27, 1945, American strafers bombed what they had mistakenly believed to be a German military transport train. In fact, the train cars were packed with trapped Jewish prisoners from the Kaufering concentration camps who were being transferred to Dachau. About 150 prisoners were killed in the attack, and were buried in three mass graves in early May. Today the train still runs right beside them. The first grave contains the remains of about sixty of the dead, and graves two and three contain up to eighty remains in toto. Apparently only one of the dead is known by name today- Joschua ben Mosche Chaim Herzel from Hungary. The three gravestones were erected in the summer of 1946 and are nearly identical, differing only in height in order to symbolise the varying number of victims buried in each grave. They had been made by stonemason Franz Xaver Sepp from Landsberg. They all bear the same inscription in Hebrew, cast in metal letters:
Schwabhausen  KZ friedhof

לאות זכרון
כל עין עובר תדמה וכל לב
נמס ושאול ישאל מה הציון
הלו אשר אתה רואה זו היא
עצמות קדושים וטהורים אשר
אחרי עינוים קשים הומתו ביום
השחרור י’ד אייר שנת תש’ה

Jewisih memorial Schwabhausen  KZ friedhof
Dr. Grinberg’s first order was to "[c]ollect and bury all the dead!” With a group of healthier Jews, he himself began to dig three mass graves. They were aided by farmers from the vicinity and German army soldiers. About 150 Jews were buried there. For generations of Jews, burial has been a sign of a self-determined life… Israel Kaplan, Fun letstn Churbn, no. 5, May 1947
Dr. Zalman Grinberg was a Lithuanian medical doctor with a specialty in radiology who was imprisoned in Dachau. He later served as the chairman for the Central Committee of Liberated Jews in the American sector of Germany and Austria after the war, dying August 8, 1983. 
Apparently the memorial site has been the repeated target of vandalism and desecration. On a sign board beside the first grave is the following In Memoriam: “Each eye of a passerby may cry and each heart may sorrow and ask what kind of memorial is it I am seeing here? These are the bones of the Holies and Pure who after cruel pain were killed on the day of redemption 14th of Adar 5705” (April 27, 1945).
In 1944, the largest concentration camp complex in Germany was built around Landsberg and Kaufering with twelve subcamps of the Kaufering subcamp complex . Other large camps had been built in the occupied territories. All concentration camp subcamps were called “ Kaufering .” Eleven camps had the status of subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp although on June 18, 1944, the first transport with 1,000 prisoners from Auschwitz arrived. As part of the “Ringeltaube” armaments project, they were supposed to build three gigantic semi-underground bunkers for the production of the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter . These large bunkers, along with other numerous buildings such as workers' accommodation, officers' villas and storage cellars, were located in the Landsberger Frauenwald, now known as the Frauenwald industrial park . For this armaments project, thousands of prisoners from the Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps, who were brought directly to the cordoned off area via the Munich-Kaufering railway line via a siding (today the Klausner Holz Bayern supply track), would lose their lives in the most inhumane manner whilst the bunkers themselves continued to be used by the Americans after the war. The Luxembourg concentration camp priest Jules Jost registered a total of 28,838 Jewish concentration camp prisoners in the concentration camp subcamps by March 9, 1945. Because of the inhumane accommodation, hunger, cold and illnesses such as typhus, and the exploitation of labour to the point of extermination, the prisoners referred to the twelve concentration camps of the Kaufering-Landsberg subcamp complex as “cold crematoria”. By the end of October 1944, anyone who could no longer work was sent back to Auschwitz to the gas chambers. From November 1944, prisoners who were unable to work were no longer deported from the Kaufering-Landsberg subcamp complex , but instead died in the camp because the gas chambers in Auschwitz had already been blown up before the approaching Soviet troops and their bodies buried in mass graves in the area. Shortly before the end of the war, the 
ϟϟ administration tried to “eliminate” witnesses to the concentration camp machinery through the so-called death marches and mass killings. Only around 15,000 prisoners survived the final phase of the extermination of Jews in these camps and were liberated by the American army on April 27, 1945.
At the site of the Kaufering VII concentration camp, set up by the Organisation Todt and taken over by the ϟϟ in September 1944. This was one of a network of subsidiary camps of the Dachau concentration camp at Landsberg-Kaufering. At times, up to 2,000 men and 272 women were housed separately in 55 earthen huts and six clay tube barracks. These latter were 13.5 metres long, 6.1 metres wide and up to 2.8 metres high with the the hut floor one metre below ground level. They were covered with earth for camouflage and constructed as a barrel vault made of many individual arches of clay tubes inserted into one another - "clay bottles" due to their shape - made of terracotta, based on a patent by Frenchman Jaques Couelle.
On the right are examples of the earth huts (here seen in 1945 at Kaufering IV)
in which the male  prisoners had to sleep. The prisoners of this camp were survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp, various ghettos in Lithuania and the Warsaw Ghetto. Regardless of age and gender, the prisoners were used to build the bunkers. They had to do construction work such as building the Held & Francke concrete parts factory and on the Einsen railway line. After the Allied air offensive in February 1944, the German armaments industry was hit hard forcing aircraft production to be relocated underground. With the massive deployment of around 30,000 concentration camp prisoners, most of whom were rented out to construction companies, in the Kaufering subcamp complex, three large bunkers were intended for production, among other things of the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet aircraft at “Weingut II”, “ Diana II ” and “Walnuss II”. The camp was built for a total capacity of 3,100 prisoners. and located close to Held & Francke (code name “Erich II”), used to produce prefabricated concrete parts for the Diana II bunker. The prisoners probably also had to work directly on the construction sites of the Diana II and Weingut II bunkers. Camp leaders included ϟϟ-Obersturmführer Arno Lippmann and Johann Baptist Eichelsdörfer.
From autumn 1944 it was used as a sick camp and for quarantine because of the typhus epidemic, and from the winter of 1944-1945 as a death camp, similar to the Kaufering IV - Hurlach and Saulgau concentration camp subcamps. Those unable to work from Kaufering, as well as other Dachau concentration camp subcamps, were brought here. In contrast to the other death camp in Hurlach, this subcamp was intended for prisoners who were “physically deteriorated” but had a chance of regaining “partial ability to work.” Local eyewitnesses reported that up to fifteen bodies were buried in shallow pits measuring 1.3 by 1.5 metres. In the entire Kaufering subcamp complex, around half of the prisoners died in the ten months of operation. Here a new dimension of brutalisation of the concentration camp system was reached which were less typical subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp, but rather a continuation of the line of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the Lublin-Majdanek concentration and extermination camp and others. “To a certain extent, the camps at Kaufering and Mühldorf can also be regarded as satellites of Auschwitz: their prisoners did not come from Dachau, but in large part from Auschwitz, and also returned there again if they fell ill or became unfit for work” (Raim 1992, 237). There are practically no surviving contemporary witnesses known to this subcamp; one of the few exceptions is Jack Bresler, who, after selection in the Auschwitz concentration camp in the late summer of 1944, was initially transported with his brother Joseph to this subcamp of the Kaufering camp complex. 
Tony Bennett was another one of the soldiers who liberated the camp, and dramatisation of the discovery and liberation of the camp was presented in Episode 9: Why We Fight of the Band of Brothers mini-series shown here on the left. The camp depicted is Kaufering IV which was actually liberated by the "Screaming Eagle"unit of the 12th Armoured Division on April 27, 1945 and not Easy Company which had arrived two days later with the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion and 36th Infantry Division arriving on April 30, with some units of the 101st Airborne Division arriving on April 28. There were only about seven prisoners found alive along with about 500 bodies. I had the honour of having dinner with Bill Glied whom I introduced to my school on January 28, 2013 when he came to talk about his life and experiences which included being one of those liberated from here. After spending time in various Hungarian temporary camps, Glied's family arrived in Auschwitz on May 28, 1944; he saw his mother and his then eight-year-old sister for the last time on the platform. He and his father Sandor were classified as “fit for work” and, three weeks later, were transported to the Kaufering subcamp complex. There they had to do forced labour in the construction of large bunkers for the planned underground production of aircraft. Both fell ill with typhus with his father dying just before liberation. Bill survived and emigrated to Canada at the age of 17. I had dinner with him at a friend's home outside Dachau as he returned after testifying at the trial of Oskar Gröning, one of the last surviving members of the ϟϟ, who went on trial as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people at Auschwitz. Bill was featured in the documentary about the case, The Accountant of Auschwitz.
When I asked him if he had seen the episode and then what he made of it given what I thought were rather minor inaccuracies, he shook his head and questioned why they had to take liberties from the truth.
Around 2,000 dead people from Kaufering VII were buried in nearby mass graves, some of which appear on this page when I visited in 2023. At the end of April, the ϟϟ cleared the camp before the advancing American troops. Using brute force, the ϟϟ drove the concentration camp prisoners to Dachau, Allach and then south on the death march. After the war, German expellees and refugees from the East were quartered in the ϟϟ barracks and in some clay tube buildings. They lived here until the mid-1960s.
Today the site has become the European Holocaust Memorial in Landsberg am Lech and is looked after on a voluntary basis which means its enclosed within a fence and one can only visit the site through prior arrangement and accompaniment with a guide; fortunately there are places where the fence is easily navigated. The memorial contains remains of the Kaufering VII – Landsberg-Erpfting subcamp, the seventh of the eleven assigned camps of the Kaufering subcamp complex and the largest complex of the 169 subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp. It today includes six ruins of clay tube barracks and the last traces of concentration camp earth huts. Such preservation is thanks to the civic initiative of the Landsberg Citizens' Association founded in 1983 which pushed for the structural remains of Camp VII to be protected by the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation and itself acquired the third of the former camp area with a donation from the Jewish Holocaust survivor Alexander Moksel, on which the most important buildings - the clay tube accommodation - were located. In 1991 there were still six clay tube barracks standing but a generation only four remained after two had collapsed as seen on the right.
About a mile from the Kaufering VII site is the Jewish concentration camp cemetery in Erpfting. Around 2,000 people who died from the inhuman Kaufering system of camps are buried in this cemetery which measures 2,624 square metres. Around 2,000 unknown victims of concentration camp subcamp VII are buried in this cemetery. Five victims are known by name as well as another five victims from the post-war period. A low, solid stone wall surrounds the cemetery; the wrought iron entrance gate bears two Stars of David. A central path leads to the monument; on both sides are areas of mass graves. The monument bears a glass mosaic featuring the Star of David. The inscription on a high memorial stone with a Star of David reads: "Command your ways to the Lord! He will bring forth your righteousness like the light and your judgment like the noonday. 37th Psalm David.  Erected in memory of the victims of the Erpfting concentration camp  in 1950."
American soldiers viewing the bodies of victims of Kaufering
on April 30, 1945. This site of the Kaufering XI-Landsberg-Stadtwaldhof subcamp was the last of the eleven camps of the Kaufering subcamp complex, the largest complex of the 169 subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp. The concentration camp subcamp was located on Mühlweg near the Landsberger Stadtwaldhof west of Landsberg. This subcamp was set up in October 1944 and its almost exclusively Jewish prisoners were exposed to extermination through work with completely inadequate nutrition. Also in Landsberg were the two subcamps Kaufering I - Landsberg with the commandant's office and Kaufering VII - Erpfting, which were part of the Kaufering subcamp complex. As seen here, the area of ​​the concentration camp subcamp became agricultural land with all traces of the camp removed. Relics of the subcamp can only be glimpsed under the plant cover, these are the concrete foundations of the former functional barracks such as the kitchen, clothing room and washrooms. The site was finally recognised as a concentration camp subcamp site in 1994 and 1995 by the voluntary working group of school class 9b/10b of the Ignaz-Kögler-Gymnasium, under the guidance and moderation of Barbara Fenner, their history teacher. Horst Köhler recalled this student project in his Berlin speech in 2009 on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of National Socialism. In July 1994, a student in the class wrote to the mayor of Landsberg on his own initiative asking him to erect a memorial stone. The city council found the class proposal too expensive, so an old stone cross was ground down as a memorial stone and erected in April 1995 on the camp's former roll call area. 
Today, fourteen concentration camp cemeteries exist in the Landsberg am Lech region, where the Jewish victims of the concentration camp sub-camp complex are buried. This one is the Concentration Camp Cemetery Hurlach consisting of victims of
Kaufering Lager IV which was liberated on April  27, 1945 by the 134th Ordnance Maintenance Battalion of the 12th Armoured Division commanded by Captain John P. Jones. Just previously, the ϟϟ had begun marching the inmates of the Kaufering camps to Dachau, but at Kaufering IV they set fire to the barrack huts, killing hundreds of prisoners. Colonel Edward F. Seiller took control and brought 250 civilians from Landsberg to bury the dead prisoners. These 360 prisoners now lie in a cemetery on the site of the camp's roll-call area, about a mile south of the village of Hurlach. The Kaufering IV subcamp was leveled after liberation. The cemetery was built over a mass grave with victims from Camp IV of the Landsberg/Kaufering subcamp complex. They suffered an absolutely horrific death, burnt alive within the huts on the orders of ϟϟ camp doctor Max Blancke The camp was run as a “sick camp” from December 1944. Other victims include the prisoners left behind during the evacuation in April 1945 and subsequently died. In 1948, the Bavarian Office for compensation of material damage for victims of Nazi violence started to build a cemetery which was ceremonially inaugurated in 1950 located on the two mass graves with the 360 dead bodies discovered by American soldiers in and around the camp, which were buried in the cemetery with the forced help of the local population. Lieutenant Colonel Seiller told German civilians that they shared the blame for Nazi atrocities: “You may say that you weren’t personally responsible for all this, but remember you stood for the government which perpetrated atrocities like these.”
A wall runs around the cemetery with its iron gate bearing two Stars of David. Opposite the entrance is the memorial stone made of Flossenbürger granite with an engraved Star of David. The memorial stone and the two flanking stones bear the inscription: “Erected in memory of 360 concentration camp victims. You went through a sea of ​​suffering now rest in God and eternity.”  The design was designed in 1950 by the Nuremberg architect Ernst Rücker. The ceremonial inauguration took place on October 1, 1950.
Today, the gravel pit shown on the right is located on the majority of the former camp grounds. Despite skeletal finds, gravel mining continued.
At the Holzhausen concentration camp cemetery in Holzhausen near Buchloe within the Landsberg am Lech district. It's located not far from the Magnusheim, built between 1910 and 1912, which was a reserve hospital looked after by 38 Dillinger Franciscan Sisters from 1942 onwards and, in the post-war period, a concentration camp hospital for survivors of the Kaufering subcamp complex, and also housed a kibbutz until 1947. The cemetery is located at the foot of the former Magnusheim, operated by the Regens-Wagner-Werke, in the fork between Magnusstraße, directly east of Dammoosweg and south of Singold. From April 29 to July 28, 1945, a total of 526 former concentration camp prisoners from the Kaufering subcamp complex were treated in Magnusheim coming from France, Romania, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Africa, Holland, Austria, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Luxembourg, Hungary and Germany. In the three months after the liberation, 114 of them died.
On April 29th, the first trucks with concentration camp prisoners rolled up. They were packed in straw. They looked miserable, half-starved and injured. They weighed 50-60 pounds. It was swarming with lice. We bathed day and night. When everyone was finished, we started again... A spoonful of gruel every hour could help you slowly regain your strength. 23 people arrived dead; we were no longer able to find out their names or origins. In the first few days, up to ten people died every day. We often put 3-4 in a coffin because we couldn't provide that many coffins. She was buried in the newly built cemetery on the Singold, which was designated by the American military authorities.
A total of 94 of these concentration camp victims were buried here in the Holzhausen concentration camp cemetery of whom only 71 are known by name. After that, a few Jewish displaced persons were buried there until 1948. The cemetery itself was designed in 1947 with the participation of the Jewish Committee and was laid out in four rows of ten graves and two rows of seven graves each although the individual graves no longer exist today. In 1954 the cemetery was redesigned and 28 gravestones were laid out along the cemetery wall, of which 26 still exist after two were exhumed and transferred. They mainly refer to displaced persons whose relatives who had these individual gravestones erected.
A couple of miles further east is the Igling–Stoffersberg–Wald concentration camp cemetery shown on the right. As with most, it's hidden way down an unpaved field path without any further signs to help direct potential visitors. This cemetery contains the remains of 490 concentration camp deaths in seven grave fields. The German inscription on the central memorial stone reads: "Through death to life! Concentration camp victims rest here".
 On the right is a postcard of the town Buchloe and how sites such as the former Adolf-Hitler-Platz appear today when I visited November 1, 2023. The first reports about the Nazi Party appeared in the 'Buchloer Anzeigeblatt' on October 1, 1922 which reported that '[t]he National Socialist leader Hitler gave a lecture on 'The policy of destruction of the middle class' in which he tried to demonstrate the purposeful work of certain circles.' From the beginning of the 1930s onwards, the Nazis' aggressive agitation saw speakers from Kaufbeuren appear on in the spring of 1930, warning about 'official disaster policy' in the 'Jägerhaus' in Buchloe, at the 'Wagner' in Jengen or in the 'Adler' in Waal. The Kaufbeuren tax officer Mathias Kellner - the first Nazi city councilor in Kaufbeuren since 1927 and later deputy Gauleiter in Swabia from 1933 to 1935, spoke at the event. From the November 1932 to March 1933 national elections, the Nazis increased their share of the town's vote from 18.8 to 43.9 percent which is broadly in line with the national average.
Ingolstadt Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and nowAdolf-Hitler-Platz then and now.
During the First World War Ingolstadt was temporarily occupied with over 40,000 soldiers, its fortress buildings used as a prisoner of war camp and three military hospitals were established within the city. From 1916 there was a considerable shortage of food and by November 1918 a workers' and soldiers' council was formed. From the balcony of the town hall a Soviet Republic was called out at short notice. The Treaty of Versailles resulted in a sharp reduction of the German army, and the Ingolstadt armaments companies were forced to switch production. The production of spinning machines by Deutsche Spinnereimaschinenbau AG Ingolstadt (Despag) seemed particularly promising. However, due to the Wall Street Crash 60% of the workers were dismissed; only five hundred remained. The seizure of power by the Nazis took place on April 27, 1933, when the newly formed City Council elected two Nazi members as Second and Third Mayors. The Lord Mayor Josef Listl, who had been in office since 1930, remained in office until 1945. By the end of June, the city council members of the SPD and the BVP resigned. Nazi attacks were directed in the first months especially against politicians and members of the KPD, who lived mainly in the workers' settlements in the east of the city. The union headquarters was destroyed and over fifty people were deported to Dachau. During Kristallnacht in 1938 when the SA ravaged the synagogue in the Stegmeier house, 46 Jewish residents still remained in Ingolstadt. Half of the originally around hundred Jews from Ingolstadt had already left the city from the beginning of Nazi rule because of constant reprisals and boycotts. On the morning of November 10, 1938 the last Ingolstadt Jews had to leave the city within an hour's notice. 
Ingolstadt Polizeimuseum
The Bavarian King Ludwig III visiting Fort Prinz Karl (what is now the Polizeimuseum) during the First World War. During the Great War future French president Charles de Gaulle was detained here as a prisoner of war as was future Soviet marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky- described as the Alcatraz of German prisoner camps. Construction of the fort began in March 1877 and completed in August 1882 at a cost of almost 1.7 million reichsmarks. During the First World War, the fortress and others served as prison camps. The reason why it was not demolished like all other fortresses after the Second World War can only be guessed at but, given it stored large amounts of ammunition, the Americans were concerned that in the event of an explosion the neighbouring village of Katharinenberg would have been destroyed. Thus, Prince Karl was the only German fort to be completely preserved.
Theriesenstrasse Ingolstadt
Theriesenstrasse seen from the church.
From 1943-1944, Bavarian towns were increasingly threatened by air raids by the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force. Smaller towns like Ingolstadt were spared at first and it was only at the beginning of 1945 did the air warfare hit this city on the Danube and changed its cityscape. Although the city was the site of a garrison and numerous armaments factories, Ingolstadt remained largely spared from bombing until the end of the war when, from January 1945, Ingolstadt repeatedly became the target of Allied air attacks . In particular, the southern and eastern town centre and the area of the main station were badly affected with well over six hundred killed. Besides residential buildings, the bombs hit the Stadttheater, the Salzstadel, the Sankt-Anton-Kirche and the Gouvernementsgebäude although the most significant cultural historical loss was probably the baroque Augustinian church of Johann Michael Fischer, whose destruction left an hundred dead. The bombing raids on Ingolstadt claimed around 650 deaths. At least twelve Allied airmen were killed, one of them murdered by a Nazi official. 
Ingolstadt church Ingolstadt church
After the landings in Normandy in June 1944 and Operation Dragoon in southern France in August 1944, the Anglo-American armies penetrated across France to near the German border. The summer offensive of the Red Army pushed the German troops back to the Vistula region and to the border of East Prussia. The airspace over the entire territory of Germany was almost completely controlled by the Allies at the beginning of 1945. Because of the ever weaker German defence, they could move from the less precise night attacks increasingly on the previously dangerous day attacks. It was then on September 10, 1944 that the USAAF pilot Major John R. Reynolds was shot down over Ingolstadt. To avoid civilian casualties, he moved his crashing Mustang P-51 away from a residential area and jumped from a mere fifty metres from the ground with his parachute. Upon landing, he injured himself and was captured by police when the Ingolstadt Kreisleiter Georg Sponsel, a fanatical Nazi, shot him dead. This murder later resulted in the condemnation and execution of Sponsel after the war. 
portal of the Liebfrauenkirche Ingolstadt
The portal of the Liebfrauenkirche.    
On January 15, 1945 Ingolstadt experienced the first major air raid on the city. Already in the early morning hours, 640 long-range bombers and 782 fighters were made ready at the bases of the 8th US Air Force (8th Air Force) stationed in the southeast of England. The daily service provided for air raids on shunting yards in southern Germany. For the attack target the 1st Bomber Division 111 bombers of the B-17 "Flying Fortress" chose Ingolstadt.  At 11.55 the Luftwarnstelle sounded the air raid alarm which was largely ignored because of a variety of previous false alarms from the population.  The extremely poor visibility affected the lead bomber scout which, finding dense cloud cover the target marker, released the first wave with  480 explosive bombs and 330 incendiary bombs. The fact that the marking bomb was set too early by only fractions of a second had devastating consequences for the village of Feldkirchen as the bulk of the bomb load fell on the old town centre in the vicinity of Marienplatz, with 70% of the buildings destroyed leaving 22 people dead. The actual goal, the Army Munitionsanstalt Ingolstadt at Desching - about a mile further north at today's location of the Esso refinery, was missed. 
Ingolstadt NS-zeitThe second wave then dropped 1,278 fragment bombs over the southern part of the town between Haunwöhr and the flood dam, as well as on an undeveloped area. After another wave of bombing the final report of the local air defence chief reported 28 dead and 29 wounded, as well as the 22 dead and seven seriously injured in Feldkirchen. On the following Friday, January 19, the funeral service for the first victims of the bombardment took place where, in front of the funeral hall of the municipal cemetery, the coffins were drapped with Nazi flags. The Nazis staged this memorial service with great propaganda effort after representatives of the party, the state, the Wehrmacht, the city and even a chance Hungarian delegation taking part in the square in front of the Aussegnungshalle. Nazi speeches raged against the "Anglo-American murder flyers" and proclaimed allegiance to the "leaders, people and fatherland" accompanied by soft drum rolls the name was read by the Ingolstadt victims. After the numerous wreath-layings the funeral concluded with the singing of Nazi songs.
For Thursday, March 1, 1945, the 8th Air Force had actually planned strategic attacks on airfields of the dangerous new Messerschmitt Me 262 fighters. However, since the meteorologists announced bad weather, the planned targets had to be changed. Thus 253 Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" bombers of the 2nd US Air Division in eastern England were given the main attack target of the Ingolstadt station facilities with the Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk (RAW).  At 12.56, the air-raid warning centre for the Ingolstadt area gave the 183th air-raid alarm. In order to find the planned targets even when the cloud cover was completely closed, the bomber navigators used H2X radar equipment. The tightly closed formation of the four-engined B-24 flew from the west to Ingolstadt Central Station which was undefended as the Ingolstadt Flak forces had been moved from 1944 to such "air raids 1st order" such as Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg. Between 13.31 to 13.35 the bombers from a height of about 5500 metres triggered in three short successive waves 603.3 tonnes of explosive and incendiary bombs as well as leaflets, counterfeit food tickets et cet.. The major attack took place in an extension of about ten miles along the railway line from Reichertshofen to Oberhaunstadt, with the main focus concentrated on the northern part of the old town which ended up in ruins. A total of 32 damaged sites were left buried. In addition to numerous residential buildings, the Kulturbauamt was completely destroyed. Out of the rubble of the severely damaged municipal hospital on Sebastianstraße, more than an hundred people, mostly seriously ill and the wounded, had to be rescued under the most difficult conditions. The air raid bunker on Rechbergstraße suffered a direct hit.  Extinguishing and salvage work continued throughout the night. The security forces had to secure collapsing buildings, recover furniture from damaged houses, clear roads of debris and mark and seal down sites of unexploded ordnance.  In total the attack left 197 dead and 107 wounded. The Chief of Staff of the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing involved in this attack on Ingolstadt was the actor Jimmy Stewart.
Ingolstadt Adolf-Hitler-Platz
Adolf-Hitler-Platz, the effects of the war clearly seen
During the 8th US Air Force's attack on April 5, 1945, a total of 1358 long-range bombers and 662 fighters were employed. The Heereszeugamt in Ingolstadt, one of the largest Wehrmacht magazines in Military District VII (Southern Bavaria), was assigned to the 1st American Bomber Division, which attacked with 211 "B-17 Flying Fortress" bombers and 201 P-51 "Mustang" hunters used as escorts. On this sunny and cloudless day three waves dropped, over the parade ground between Ringler and Ettinger streets, a total of 1,575 bombs with a total load of 621.4 tonnes and numerous leaflets. The northern area of the target area resembled a single crater landscape with about 70% of the buildings of the Heereszeugamt on the Ringlerstraße as well as the adjoining parade ground destroyed. A direct hit completely destroyed one of the three new barracks blocks of the Max Emanuel barracks on Hindenburgstraße. The adjacent residential development was also affected. There were 52 dead, including 39 civilians in the vicinity of the parade ground, and 56 seriously injured and 170 homeless. 

Ingolstadt Adolf-Hitler-Platz
Officially, no Allied air raid on Ingolstadt was scheduled for April 9, 1945, and yet this day was undoubtedly the most fateful day in the city's history of Ingolstadt. That afternoon tightly closed bomber formations flew over the town to operations on the Neuburg air base, the WIFO tank farm near Unterhausen and the airport Munich-Riem which hosted the German Air Force Hunting Association 44 under Lieutenant General Adolf Galland, stationed with Me-262 jet aircraft. On the return flight to their southern English locations, the flight route of these 212 "Flying Fortresses" at an altitude of about 7,000 metres once again led via Ingolstadt. An air-raid alert triggered at 17.09 prompted the few passers-by in the city to flee to the nearest air raid shelter. After the enemy bombers had almost over-flown the city area, suddenly at 17:15 clock ten B-17 bombers flew back in a U-turn. From a height of about 2500 metres, one of these aircraft set a smoke mark above the old city area. The remaining nine bombers arriving from the south-westerly direction promptly unleashed their comparatively low residual load of just 29 tonnes of explosive and incendiary bombs in under a minute, from 17.17 to 17.18. Adolf-Hitler-Platz was reduced into a landscape of rubble. Several direct hits on the Augustinerkirche and adjacent Franciscan monastery on Schutterstraße were particularly serious. In the basement of this rococo church dating from 1763, 73 people seeking protection, mostly refugees from Pomerania, died. Only a young woman who could only be rescued from the shattered monastery cellar after ten hours survived. The destruction of the Holy Ghost Hospital was similarly severe, since hardly any of the residents had visited the shelter, and during the bombardment they mostly stayed in their rooms or in the stairwell. Of the nearly hundred elderly people present, sixteen were killed. Further bombing destroyed the former Gouvernementsgebäude with the historic Salzstadel, the Stadttheater am Rathausplatz, the new municipal administration building on Schäffbräustraße, the newly built Donauhalle on Tränktorstraße, the Roli cinema, as well as numerous residential and commercial buildings in the area of Rathausplatz, Donaustraße, Münzbergstraße and Schäffbräustraße.  More than a thousand were made homeless due to the enormous building damage. The alarm ended on that day at 19.42 clock with the "all clear".  After the planes of the 3rd bomber division landed again on their English airfields, six B-17 bombers were missing and 42 were damaged. In addition, 56 crew members were missing and two men were reported as lost.
Eingang Ingolstadt schloss
The entrance to the new schloss.
Two days later the 3rd American bomber division focused its main target on the Rangierbahnhof Ingolstadt and the Manching air base. In cloudless skies, the bombers found their targets from 6,000 metres above sea level. Coming from Donauwörth, the American bombers flew into the Ingolstadt airspace at a strength of 21 waves, each with ten B-17 Flying Fortresses. Thirteen waves of the 4th Combat Bombardment Wing attacked first from 12.42 to 13.05 on the Manchinger air base in which 369 tonnes of bombs were dropped, destroying large parts of the airborne aerial installations, including the runway and the numerous aircraft of the German Air Force which had been forced to park impotently due to lack of fuel. Immediately after the beginning of the attack, the siren warning signal sounded in Ingolstadt at 12:53. In eight waves, the five groups reduced the station to rubble and ashes with a total of 237 tonnes of bombs. In addition to numerous residential buildings in Ringsee and Münchner Straße this attack, which lasted until 13.41, completely destroyed the St. Anton elementary school, the school barracks on Tillystrasse, and the administrative building of the Bavarian Insurance Chamber. In the renewed attack on the railway facilities, this ammunition train was hit hard again, whereupon hour after hour, one carriage after another began to explode. The damage to the tracks had completely interrupted transit traffic and did not allow the train to leave the danger zone. Because the rumour spread that the charge of the train consisted of "V-2 weapons" broke out, a mass panic took place involving thousands of women, children and elderly under cover of darkness to flee through open fields, gravel pits or the forests outside the town. It was determined that 35 people had been killed and anywhere from three to four hundred left homeless. 

Ingolstadt Hotel Zum Anker
The Hotel Zum Anker where I usually stay in town.
The air raid on April 21, 1945 was the last of its kind and Ingolstadt was left a ruined city. As a result of the burst supply lines, there was no water, gas or electricity. The most important traffic route, the railway, was completely interrupted. The multitude of bombed-out citizens, who went in search of a new home to relatives or acquaintances in the surrounding villages, had to travel this way with their last belongings on foot or at best by bicycle. Even the large siren system, now familiar in wartime life, had been shut down by a blasting bomb.  Nevertheless American fighter-bombers continued to fly with their on-board weapons attacks against Ingolstadt. Hardly anyone ventured out into the streets and whoever did risked paying with his life. In the last four days, no less than 28 fatalities had been reported by low-flying. But even from the other side, this war in the attack area over Ingolstadt took several times its toll. Thus, on April 25, during a low-flying attack on the station area, the railroad aircraft stationed at the station hit a P-47 "Thunderbolt" from the 396th US fighter squadron on the wing. The plane then went into a jolt, lost altitude and finally crashed at the bridgehead at the Reduit Tilly. The 21-year-old pilot was killed.
Ingolstadt bridge over the Danube before the war and today
The bridge over the Danube before the war and today
After the surrender of Nuremberg on April 20, the American offensive continued to roll on through Regensburg and Passau. Other American troops approached Ingolstadt from Württemberg. Since April 17, the 38th ϟϟ Grenadier Division "Nibelungen" advanced to the Danube. That day Heinz Greiner, the commanding general in the military district, declared the river a main battle line and announced that he wanted to hold the city "to the last cartridge".  The Volkssturm and OT men and five hundred Hitler Youth, who had been recruited by the Nazi Gauleitung, were under the command of the local combat commander Major Paul Weinzierl. Weinzierl ended up ordering his troops towards the south in the vicinity of Hohenkammer as the military, Nazi officials and the population questioned if the city would be defended house-by-house. On the morning of April 24, soldiers of the 352nd Volksgrenadier Division, who had previously been involved in heavy defensive fighting west of Eichstätt, arrived in Ingolstadt. At the same time, the American 86th Infantry Division with the American 342nd and 343rd Infantry Regiments had crossed the Altmühl at various points. Since the Ingolstadt siren system had been destroyed in the last air raid on April 21, the bell of the Minster sounded the "Panzeralarm". Most of the population then went to the air raid shelters as, on the orders of the Generalkommando, retreating ϟϟ troops blew up the Danube bridges in Ingolstadt in the early morning of April 26. 
Ingolstadt Donaustraßen Bridge
From 1.00 to 16.58, the motorway bridge, the railway bridge and the Donaustraßen Bridge collapsed. On the morning of the 26th of April, the "Volksgrenadiere" left for the south, whereupon it had become halfway "peaceful" throughout the city.  By noon, the US Army had covered the city from the west and reached the Danube. The German staff observed from the Brückenkopf barracks the deployment of the Americans on the northern bank of the Danube, but fighting no longer took place. Then American fighter-bombers attacked at low altitude along the southern shore several times. On the northern walls of the Reduit Tilly, damage to the façade caused by this low-flying attack is still visible today. At 21.20 pm, artillery grenades finally enabled the unimpeded passage of the river by soldiers of three companies of the 86th US Division in assault boats. At 23.00, another battalion of the 86th US Division hit the river downstream, crossing the blasted road and railway bridge over a spurce bridge over the Danube. Then at night succeeded in translating more troops with heavy equipment.  Only now did the
Ingolstadt  Platz der SA
The former Platz der SA is now inaccessible
Americans realize that there were still many German soldiers in the bridgehead. The Americans attacked and threatened to destroy the entire bridgehead with artillery and bombs before a white flag was seen on the morning of April 27, 1945 when the complete bridgehead crew assembled in front of the pioneer barracks on the bridgehead and moved to a prisoner of war camp the next day.  The 86th "Black Hawk" Infantry Division was able to advance to Manching on the same day. Another Danube crossing in the area between Donauwörth to Vohburg was successful, the way to the foothills of the Alps and to Munich open. On May 8, 1945, the headline of the Army newspaper "Stars and Stripes" announced: "Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally".  The extent of the danger this day to the town is seen in the diaries of the 342nd US Infantry Regiment for April 26 when, at 6.00, an air raid on Ingolstadt was announced, only cancelled at 09.30.
The Americans occupied Ingolstadt after its capitulation by the city commander on April 26, 1945 without a fight. Before this, ϟϟ troops had blown up the Danube bridges. The arrival of about 5,000 refugees and displaced people additionally limited any living space. Fortress buildings were  temporarily used as emergency shelters and, after Würzburg and Regensburg, Ingolstadt had the densest housing occupancy in Bavaria in the post-war period.

Eichstatt with Willibaldsburg in the background with the Hofmühl 
Cycling to Eichstatt with Willibaldsburg in the background with the Hofmühl. It was because Reichsstraße 13 going through Eichstätt had been the shortest road connection between Munich and Nuremberg, and on to Berlin that Hitler himself visited the city several times where he was often found at the Waldschlösschen restaurant. The popular belief had been that Hitler and its owner, Carl Eduard Matheis, had been regimental comrades during the Great War although after a complete review of the 14th Infantry Division's archives, shows Matheis had not been; in fact, very few soldiers from the Ingolstadt region were. Hitler had first visited Eichstätt on February 24, 1923 and spoke in the parade hall which had stood next to the summer residence on the Hofgarten, and was later used as a gymnasium and factory hall before being demolished to build the new university buildings. The Nazis would attack the local paper, the Eichstätter Volkszeitung, for "spitting poison and bile against our movement."   Eichstatt marktplatz
Hitler spent the Sunday, March 13, 1932 presidential election in Eichstätt; of note is the town's election result where Hindenburg received 3,243 votes to Hitler's 1,145. In fact, the Nazis at first found it difficult to establish a place in Eichstätt given that the biggest party in the town had long been held by the Bavarian People's Party. Thus, even after the so-called seizure of power the Nazis only managed in the parliamentary election 1, 558 votes in the March 5, 1933 national election compared to the Bavarian People's Party's 2,493. Nevertheless, on Hitler's birthday a torchlight procession in Mörnsheim was held as well as a significant birthday banner raised with the school square renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz. On Tuesday, July 18, 1933 the Eichstätter Kurier reported that "[a]fter five o'clock yesterday afternoon the news spread in our town that Herr Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his staff had arrived at the Waldschlösschen yesterday morning," being greeted joyfully with a child handing him flowers. The League of German Girls, the auxiliary police and the state police had served as a sort of honour guard as Hitler arrived after a meeting in Leipzig. The next recorded visit was Saturday, August 19, 1933 as Hitler was travelling to Nuremberg, lunching with his staff at the Waldschlösschen. He made a return visit on Wednesday, August 30, 1933, again stopping at the Waldschlösschen.
Eichstatt Pfahlstasse
In December 1933 Hitler was awarded the honorary citizenship of the city. Hitler thanked the town council on December 12 and formally accepted it. On Friday, April 20, 1934, Hitler spent his birthday at the Waldschlösschen; after he drove off his car became stuck in a traffic jam during roadworks near Lohrmannshof where it was reported that  "he was the subject of a warm ovation from the construction workers."  Other visits Hitler made to Eichstätt were Sunday, March 18, 1934; Thursday, June 6 and Monday, June 17, 1935; and Tuesday, July 9, 1935, whilst travelling from Beilngries to Ingolstadt, apparently visiting the construction site of the highway shown above.  In 1935 the Nazis built the Eichstätter Thingstätte on the Geisberg in the then independent municipality of Wintershof, shown below, in which Gauleiter Julius Streicher was present at the inauguration ceremony on July 6, 1935 even though it was only completed in 1937. During the war in the eastern suburb of Eichstätt was located the prisoner of war camp Oflag VII B. In addition, on the Willibaldsburg from October 1944 to January 1945 there was the site of an external subcamp of the concentration camp Flossenbürg which held 22 inmates. Given the PoW camp, the war itself saw Eichstätt suffering no casualties and in contrast to the surrounding communities and towns, no significant war damage from Allied attacks was sustained before being occupied on April 26, 1945 by American troops. 
This Hitler Jugend haus, completed in 1938, is still a Youth Hostel. The inauguration of the extension was held April 16, 1939. Such is the build-up of suburbia around the site that a corresponding photograph couldn't be taken.
Eichstatt cathedral
The cathedral in 1936 and today. During the Nazi era, Bishop Konrad Count von Preysing was the only Catholic bishopric of Germany to turn against the Reichskonkordat, which was agreed by the Holy See and the Reichsregierung in 1933. It was at the cathedral on January 31, 1937 that Father Kraus publicly attacked Nazi anti-church policy, bringing on 
the crisis of April and May when both party and state tried to drive Kraus out of town. When the news spread of Kraus's impending ouster, the cathedral was packed with a reported 5,600 of the faithful, or two-thirds of the town. Bishop Racklwent to the pulpit and noted the unfortunate reason why so many had assembled. "But when he made clear that he had given Kraus an official order not to leave his pastorate, an applause broke loose, such as the cathedral had never heard before". During his 45-minute talk, Rackl had to stop frequently for the applause from the congregation, pleased to hear that someone was going to resist. During that evening, 1,800 persons signed a petition against Kraus's removal. While loyal Catholics were enjoying their defiance inside the cathedral, the police force, plus SA and ϟϟ, was marching about outside to "protect" the worshipers inside from mob violence—odd because the great majority of the town was inside. They did prevent the townspeople from giving the Bishop a street ovation. Party units arrested some of those showing defiance. All through the night and into the next day lines of those praying for the retention of Kraus wound through the cathedral.
Edward Peterson (315-6)  Limits of Hitler's Power
Eichstatt Westenstraße with Saint Walburg church in the background Westenstraße with Saint Walburg church in the background 
The state, better informed, took the view that Kraus had indeed attacked the state. On April 23, in an unusual display of legal nicety, it introduced court charges against Kraus. In the meantime he was forbidden to give the usual religious instruction in the school. Kraus wrote that this was not so serious, because the students came to him anyway. He was amused by the simple-minded efforts of the party to indoctrinate the students, including those of Deputy Kreisleiter Haberl who had gotten a nun's teaching job and who avoided the quick-witted Kraus after an incident at the vocational school. Haberl was asking "tricky questions" about the rise of the NS party, and Kraus lost his temper, saying: "Hitler was also found guilty of high treason in 1923 and the verdict has not yet been reversed". Kraus reported his remark to Foerderreuther who threw his hands together over his head and said: "But Herr Cathedral pastor, you simply can't say things like that" of Kraus's way. He left the room before the priest appeared so that a "Heil Hitler" would not be necessary.
Peterson (317)
Residenzplatz eichstatt einst jetzt
Residenzplatz during the Nazi era and today. Eichstätt's stately and tranquil surroundings have witnessed a dark past. During the Thirty Years' War the city, which was considered the "stronghold of Catholicism", was conquered and looted by the Swedes. As a result, on February 12, 1634 much of the town's centre was almost completely destroyed. It wasn't until the end of the 18th century that the Baroque reconstruction of the city by Graubünden and Italian master builders, especially Gabriel de Gabrieli as seen in these pictures was completed. Although since the Middle Ages the area around Eichstätt was known for its winegrowing- the terraces are partly still visible today- through climate change and the devastation of the Thirty Years' War the wine was finally abandoned. As with Freising, from 1582 to 1723 at least 241 people- 211 women (88%) and thirty men (12%) were charged and arrested on suspicion of so-called witchcraft in Eichstätt. 222 of them (195 women, 27 men) were sentenced to death and executed in these witch trials , including Kunigunde Sterzl, Eva Hohenschildin and Helena Schneckin.
As for the rest, either their death sentences were commuted, they died during detention or were eventually released. The main phase of the witch persecution in Hochstift Eichstätt lasted from 1617 to 1630 and fell into the reign of Prince-Bishop Johann Christoph von Westerstetten. During these fourteen years, at least 185 arrests and trials and 167 executions of 141 women and 26 men for witchcraft had been conducted, of which between four and 25 death sentences were pronounced each year. The last known execution for witchcraft took place in Eichstätt in 1723.  
The consequences of the November Revolution ending Germany's involvement in the Great War also involved Eichstätt which saw a workers 'and soldiers' council form. After his conviction  writer and playwright, politician, and socialist revolutionary Ernst Toller was imprisoned from February 3, 1920 to July 15, 1924 in the provisional fortress prison of Eichstätt. On December 15, 1918, the Magistrate's Council decided to establish a vigilante group although its implementation took several more months. The Freikorps Oberland was founded in April 1919 in Ingolstadt and Eichstätt by Albert von Beckh and was closely associated with the right-wing Thule Society which in turn is seen as one of the main influences on the later Nazi party. The Freikorps was used in May 1919 in the battles against the Munich Soviet Republic. Parts of the Free Corps were then taken over with parts of the Free Corps Epp in the Reichswehr Brigade 21 and 1920 used as a closed association during the Ruhraaufstands.
Eichstatt Residenzstrasse
The Free Corps itself was formally dissolved on October 21, 1919 but many of its members joined a volunteer battalion in the organisation Escherich. In the suppression of the uprisings in Upper Silesia in 1921, the Free Corps was significantly involved in the storming of St. Annaberg in Upper Silesia where they formed a murder and kidnapping squad. The murderers of Matthias Erzberger- leader of the Zentrum Party and who had signed the Treaty of Versailles- Heinrich Tillessen and Heinrich Schulz belonged not only to the Organisation Consul, but also to the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Oberland". They are also believed to have been responsible for the murder of the USPD politician Karl Gareis. In 1923 under its company commander, veterinarian Friedrich Weber, was sentenced alongside Hitler to five years imprisonment for treason after the failed Beer Hall putsch. On February 15, 1934 Weber was appointed "Reichsführer of the German veterinarians," later being appointed Honorary Professor of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Berlin on July 26, 1939. He took the rank of ϟϟ group leader in 1944, bearing the Blood Order and the Golden Party badges.
Willibaldsbrunnen HJ Hitler YouthThe Willibaldsbrunnen shown here and below reveal a remarkably unchanged marktplatz in large part thanks to the town's youth:  "The brave boys instantly got their hoses and connected to the water, and it was a real pleasure to see the Pimpfe and Hitler-Jungen rush to the fire" according to the Eichstätter Heimatzeitung on March 13, 1943. Already in July 1940 the party announced: "7, 000 Hitler Youth are under the fireman's helmet." The average age was 16 years. The training lasted for six months, and the youth learned to operate all fire equipment, "so that they can collaborate with experienced firefighters at each deployment." 
 As early as New Year's Eve 1922, Jews in Eichstätt were targetted by Nazis when the facade of Sallo Guttentag's  department store on Domplatz was stained with swastikas. WillibaldsbrunnenBy 1933 there were still 27 Jewish inhabitants in the town, comprising of 0.6% of a total of 8,029 inhabitants. On July 8, 1935, Egon Guttentag and Paul Freymann, who had meanwhile taken over the business from Sallo Guttentag, were taken into "protective custody". In the spring of 1936 the Guttentag and Freymann families fled the town due to the consequences of the economic boycott and the need to "Aryanise" their department store. In autumn 1938 only the Schimmel family remained in the town. During Kristallnacht on November 10, 1938 the district leader and about a dozen SA men moved into Stake Street to break down the Schimmel brothers' door and arrest them. Their house was sold that same day as two of the three Schimmel brothers fled, followed by the third brother a month later. On December 8, 1938, the government of Middle Franconia announced that Eichstätt was "free of Jews".
From November 1946 to 1949 there was a camp of Jewish displaced persons in Eichstätt housed at various locations such as the army barracks and former agricultural school. The camp had religious institutions (synagogue, religious school, kosher kitchen, yeshiva, mikveh) and cultural institutions (kindergarten, elementary school, vocational school). 21 Displaced Persons who had died during the camp's existence were buried in the Jewish cemetery in Ingolstadt.
eichstatt Altmühl 
Along the canal looking towards the Altmühl
Eichstätt ThingstätteOverlooking Eichstätt from the remains of the Thingstätte, built in 1935 and opened on Saturday, July 6, 1935 that year. Such open-air theatres were built between 1933 and 1936 for the Thingspiele, events attempting to evoke an emotional and ethical emergence of the individual within the national community. For this reason, places of particular importance were selected as their sites; surrounded by forests, in waters embedded in hills or natural rocks, at ruins or other traces of local history. As a result they were exposed to the uncertainties of the weather. Given the lack of enthusiam by the general public they quickly fell out of use or were converted for use for political rallies.
It was declared at its formal opening service: "National Socialists of district Eichstätt! Our splendid Thingstätte on the holy mountain has received its consecration by the Frankenführer Gauleiter Julius Streicher. The day is a landmark in the history of our movement to which 18,077 working hours and 118 days have been donated. The Holy Mountain is to become a work worthy of the glorious location and the lofty aim of the movement. Forward with Hitler. Long live our leader and his glorious movement." 
Eichstätt Thingstätte
The cornerstone was laid on April 6, 1935 by the Nazi district leader, Walter Krauss, mayor from 1934 to 1938. The SA and party members built the stage and the rows of spectators. The completion of the Thingstättenhaus (now Café and Hotel Schönblick) took place on September 5, 1935. For the Nazis the High Cross overlooking the site, which had been erected in 1854 to give thanks for the sparing of the cholera, was an issue. The removal of the Monument Cross, cast in the Obereichstätt smelting works, was prevented by the resistance of Christian-minded citizens from Wintershof and Eichstätt. Thus when the Nazis spoke of the "Holy Mountain", they did not refer to the High Cross.
Although in ruins today, immediately after the war on August 9, 1946, it was used for a choir meeting for the Latvian refugees living in Franconia attended by seven hundred singers who had previously celebrated a service in the Protestant church and then climbed up the mountain. In June 1963 the diocese of Eichstätt hosted the Diocesan Frogschartag iin which at least 1,200 girls between the ages of ten and fourteen from all over the diocese celebrated a church service. Finally in 1988 another attempt was made to revive the Thingstätte open-air stage through Martin Walser's "Eiche und Angora", performed as part of the Summer Games programme. The site was chosen intentionally for a play about a simple man in the last days of the war who never manages to recognise political changes in time. Its organiser, Heinrich Vergho, stated that "[o]f course, at first we had some reservations about acting on this site built by the Nazis. But the topic almost forced us to use the venue and it provided multiple impulses to the production."
A non-descript town I cycled through, taking the opportunity to show how it appears today as opposed to a contemporary postcard. Situated close to Ingolstadt, in the 19th century Fort von der Tann was built in the southern district as part of the Bavarian fortress of Ingolstadt. After the Second World War , the American occupying forces blew up the fort, like most of the buildings of this type in the Ingolstadt fortress ring. At the same time, former mayor Sebastian Schiebel was tasked with settling a large number of displaced persons from the former German eastern territories and the Sudetenland in Gaimersheim. Thus, in the area surrounding the former Fort von der Tann, a settlement was built called the Kraiberg settlement, which has been preserved almost authentically to this day with its small semi-detached houses with pitched roofs, and which, alongside the old town, forms the second nucleus of settlement activity in Gaimersheim. 

Goering Rosenheim
It was at the Marienbad Sanitarium in Rosenheim on Heilig-Geist-Straße 58, used twice for overnight stays by Wilhelm I, that Hermann Wilhelm Göring was born on January 12, 1893. 
During the last days of the First World War at a large rally on November 8, 1918 on the Loretowiese Karl Göpfert was appointed head of the People's Council and Guido Kopp as chairman of the Soldiers' Council. Then moved the People's and Soldiers Council to the town hall where Mayor Josef Wüst had to place police. During the parliamentary and electoral elections of January 1919, a very clear majority of citizens of Rosenheim voted for the Christian-conservative BVP and the moderate majority SPD. However, the situation escalated with the assassination of Prime Minister Kurt Eisner on February 21, 1919 which led the People's and Soldiers Council to order "all unemployed union colleagues and party members under the age of 35" to take up arms. Mayor Josef Wüst was forced to resign; his successor was Karl Göpfert.
Rosenheim einst jetzt
By this time the differences between the People's Council and its chairman Göpfert and the Spartacist movement, represented by Guido Kopp and the Soldiers Council, became ever clearer. On April 5, at a meeting on the Loretowiese the Soviet Republic was proclaimed. Munich communists had these summoned by Göpfert and proclaimed the third revolution. Hostages were threatened with shooting, and farmers threatened with expropriation. At the same time, Göpfert's opponent Guido Kopp, as the representative of the radical-socialist camp, was proclaimed Mayor by a popular assembly. On April 13 the rumour that a bourgeois coup had taken place in Munich and that the "White Guards" of the counterrevolution were on their way to Rosenheimd. Kopp imposed martial law over Rosenheim whose citizens were no longer sympathetic to the radical revolutionary minority. A crowd stormed the building in which Kopp and his followers were entrenched and brought them to gaol. As a result, Rosenheim and the surrounding region were the scene of numerous bloody disputes. Kopp and his colleagues escaped to Kolbermoor on May 1 just as the "white guards" invaded Rosenheim.
Rosenheim then now
Two days later the Red Guardsmen locked up in Kolbermoor surrendered and concluded a truce. Two workers' leaders were murdered by members of the Freikorps Chiemgau and the others arrested. Mayor Göpfert eventually received a relatively lenient sentence- one year and three months imprisonment- whilst Guido Kopp was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment.  The murderers of the two workers' leaders, Schumann and Lahn, were acquitted with the court claiming that they lacked awareness of the illegality of this killing.  The new Mayor of Rosenheim was Bruno Kreuzer, commander of the "white troops". The city then became a centre of nationalist, ethnic and anti-Semitic forces, including the Nazis. Long before the seizure of power by Hitler in 1933, anti-democratic movements had established themselves in Rosenheim. Thus members of the "Bund Chiemgau" threatened and abused Jewish citizens in 1923 after the Hitler coup. And when the SA was officially banned after the beer hall putsch attempt, the Rosenheim group was able to find shelter in the "Bund Chiemgau".  
Rosenheim was the location of the first local Nazi Party group outside of Munich when already on April 18, 1920 the Rosenheim Ortsgruppe was founded by Theodor Lauböck and Anton Drexler; its first public assembly took place May 2, 1920 attended by Hitler- the first of at least four visits he would make to the town. By the end of 1920 the Ortsgruppe would grow to 260 members, although this would grow slowly so that by August 1922 only 320 party members were registered, nevertheless making Rosenheim the second largest local group to Munich. By comparison at around the same time only 83 were registered in Passau, 222 in Landshut and 178 in Mannheim. Its leader until the time of the Beer hall putsch was Anton Dorsch, and it had its own SA group led by Josef Maier and Ignaz Dirschl. The Rosenheim SA ended up participating in numerous hall battles in Munich, and Rosenheim was also a rallying point for the anti-Republican forces of the Upper Bavarian province, who were willing to march for Hitler in the November 1923 putsch attempt; allegedly on that day Rosenheim's Inn and Mangfall bridges were occupied by SA, as well as the station and post office. With the ban on the Nazi party after the coup attempt, some its members were listed as being apolitical and so in this way Dr. Ernst Klein became the first Nazi serving in the Rosenheim city council. Nevertheless, the town's support for the Nazis had noticeably lessened so that in the state election of April 6, 1924, they managed a mere 6.3% of the vote. 
Hitler in Rosenheim On July 5, 1925 Julius Streicher and Hitler himself travelled and to Rosenheim to present a Munich SA formation made up of the Rosenheim population. Hitler used the oportunity to speak of the Nazi Party leaders' conference in the Saubräukeller at around noon. The closed meeting, which according to the police report was attended by around seventy local group leaders from Upper Bavaria, was chaired by Ernst Woltereck. In the afternoon there was a public rally with Julius Streicher, at which Hitler was present at times without speaking. According to the Munich police department's report of July 21, 1925, Hitler emphasised that the first task of the local group leaders was to win over the workers and "should not be a doctor's party." He attached great importance to the formation of new local groups, noting that only the local group leader could be one who had grasped the meaning and aim of the movement most deeply, and that these local group leaders who were true to their convictions would become the most capable. He argued that the party should be divided into districts, districts and local groups, stating his intention to set up the formation of an elected Reich leadership was intended. Hitler said of his followers that he now had more followers in formerly red Saxony and Thuringia than in national Bavaria and that a liberation of Germany by the Nazi movement would no longer come exclusively from Bavaria. For the Völkisch deputies he made the demand that they should see their main task less in the attainment of new conditions than in the eradication of the existing old and harmful ones. The headquarters of the movement would remain in Munich because it was fought over most fiercely there. He also referred to the attacks directed against Esser and Streicher and dismissed them as unfounded given both were convinced National Socialists who had remained loyal to the movement even in difficult times.His speech ended with a declaration of loyalty from the audience to Hitler.
 With this by now the area of ​​responsibility of the local group included Rosenheim, Aibling, Wasserburg and Ebersberg, and the Nazis became increasingly anxious to set up more bases starting on May 15, 1926 with the establishment of a local group in Bad Aibling, joined June 21, 1928 with a base in Flintsbach. In between this time on April 19, 1927 he returned to Rosenheim to deliver a now-lost speech entitled "Must everything perish?," again in the large hall of the Saubräukeller, after 20.00. Regardless, the Nazis managed a mere 553 votes (6.0%) in the parliamentary elections and 455 votes (5.0%) In the state election of 1928. However, with the onset of economic crisis the Nazis were adept at taking advantage. Hitler in RosenheimOn the night of August 31 and September 1, 1929 a rally took place led by Gauleiter Fritz Reinhardt and Reichstag deputy Dr. Frick Stand in  which there was a concert of the SA-Kapelle München, a "German Evening", demonstrations by the Hitler Youth, a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial as well as uniformed marches by SA associations. However, the population showed little overall interest- instead of the predicted deployment of 1,500 uniformed party members, not more than 600, including many North Germans, were actually counted. The Communists, who had papered Münchnerstraße over with "Death to Fascism" signs and had stretched a banner with the inscription "Down with the Hitlerite bandits and workers' murderers" at the entrance to the town, held back in the face of the unequal balance of power. Although a troop of National Socialists penetrated into the Gewerkschaftshaus and tried to provoke a fight there, the troublemakers were removed in time by members of the ϟϟ. The number of visitors who attended Nazi events in Rosenheim from February 22, 1930 to March 1, 1933 seem to have averaged roughly 500 people. But when Hitler showed up on April 17, 1932 the venues in Rosenheim were judged now too small to accommodate the anticipated crowds. A tent with a capacity of 6,000 people was approved by the town council but as fifty brownshirts started to build it, but the Ministry of the Interior ended up rejecting the cost, forcing the half-finished tent to be dismantled again. Instead, the Nazis rented the largest hall in the city- the Donauhalle- inside the hotel Deutscher Kaiser. Gauleiter Karl Wahl spoke before he himself spoke for about half an hour from 22.40 with roughly 8,000 in attendance; there were no seats, and entry cost up to 3 RM. It had been opened by local group leader Josef Riggauer with a short speech with later Governor of Nazi-occupied Poland Frank speaking before Hitler. The banned SA, identified by white armbands, took care of security in the hall.Hitler in Rosenheim A second meeting in the nearby Stephanskirchen-Schloßberg was booked with both venues overcrowded despite the relatively high admission price of 2 RM; Hitler's speech has since been lost. In Rosenheim alone, two thousand visitors listened to Hitler's speeches and the streets in front of the Rosenheim assembly hall were jam-packed as three propaganda planes circled the city. Thousands who could not be admitted crowded in to at least to see Hitler and listen to his speech transmitted outside via loudspeakers. 
Nazi propaganda with its variety of events, requiring full-time party representatives, as well as leaflets, brochures and truck advertising was exceedingly expensive, all the more so given the strained economic situation. For this reason, Hitler's first goal was to make an appearance on April 17, 1932 during which 1150 tickets were sold, in which the revenue of 1075 Reichsmarks offset the expenses of 428 RM; such a profit allowed the Nazis to finance more such rallies. They were further assisted financially through the backing of the Hamberger industrial plant. The Hamberger brothers also provided motor vehicles as the Schloßberger SA equipped them with weapons in 1931, kept hidden on the factory grounds so that the company could also have an armed protection organisation. However, it was usually medium-sized tradesmen who provided vehicles to the Nazis. A local SA group founded in April 1931 by eventual Lord Mayor Georg Zahler, soon grew to 45 men, supported by an SA motor-storm under the direction of carpenter Hans Keller provided the Nazis with a comparatively small but well organised auxiliary force.The Rosenheim ϟϟ was founded at the end of October 1932 and, with about 15-20 men, appeared for the first time during an illegal rally on November 9, 1932.
SA marching during the Party Congress through Rosenheim's Max-Josefs-Platz September 1, 1929
SA marching during the Party Congress through Max-Josefs-Platz September 1, 1929
Nazi RosenheimThe Nazis continued to be favoured by the Bavarian judiciary as weapons offences of the left were considered high treason whilst those of the extreme right regarded as a minor offence. On October 13, 1931, two Rosenheim SA men invaded the fruit storage hall Feilnbach and stolen two machine guns as well as ten infantry rifles. When the defendants had to answer before the Rosenheim jury on January 12, 1932, ringleader Ludwig Kuchler claimed to have acted in the public interest, since they had been anxious to bring the weapons to safety from the Communists. The court upheld this line of argument, acknowledging as mitigating that the crime had been committed on the partisan, not criminal, conviction, and sentenced the two main defendants to parole for three months each. Kuchler's prison sentence was reduced by one month during the appeal hearing at the Traunstein district court, and the two remaining convicts were fined. However, Kuchler was later arrested again in connection with another arms affair involving a machine gun, three rifles and considerable ammunition.
On the night of the election for President in March 1932, the security organs managed to seize a cache of weapons from from the SA. In view of the obvious threat to state authority and a series of violent clashes between Communists, Reichsbanners and Nazis in Rosenheim and surrounding communities, the authorities were now forced to abandon their lenient course against the Nazis. House searches and weapons seizures were now directed against individual associations as the ban on Nazi paramilitary groups from April to June 1932 affected their activities which would finally be ended with Hitler's appointment as chancellor in January 1933. Indeed, in a special meeting of the city council on March 28, 1933 two months later in homage to the appointment of the new honorary citizens of the city of Rosenheim, the obligatory renaming of streets was authorised: Innstrasse was renamed Hitlerstraße, Münchnerstraße was named after Paul von Hindenburg, Hubertustraße renamed for Franz von Epp and Hausstätterstraße was replaced by Göringstraße.
 Rosenheim SA marching during the the April 1, 1933 boycott of Jewish-owned businessesSA marching during the the April 1, 1933 boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. Their signs read: "Germans shop in German stores! The Jew is stirring up hate against Germany! Therefore, do not go to Jewish stores!"
The number of Jews living in Rosenheim was high compared to other Bavarian cities. However, at the start of the 20th century, the Jewish community consisted of about fifty. The request to the city council for establishment of a separate Jewish religious association, with reference to the Bavarian-Jewish legislation, was refused, so the Rosenheim Jews remained attached to the state capital, where their dead also had to be buried. Even the funeral of the First World War fallen son of a Jewish merchant based in Rosenheim at the city cemetery was refused and was "the biggest disappointment and the bitterest pain" for the father.  With the creation of the first local Nazi group outside of Munich in 1920, the Rosenheim Jews saw increasing hostility where the main centre of hate campaigns was the Rosenheim School. A scandal occurred in June 1920, after a reader accused the writer of a letter entitled 'Rosenheimer Jews' who wanted to repeal the provisions of the Versailles Treaty and hold military exercises at the Rosenheim School. Seven members of the high school and a member of the "Chiemgau" then raided a villa inhabited by Jews in the Herbststrasse. Rosenheim's college on July 29, 1920 came to the conclusion that "... it was regrettable that the people's movement to fight exploitative Jews[...], which certainly was justified in its nature, has been discredited." Protests of the Bavarian Jewish Central Association were unsuccessful and only an unmistakable message of the Bavarian Interior Ministry September 1920 was able to maintain peace. 
  At the latest with the founding of the first Nazi locality outside Munich in 1920, the Rosenheim Jews were increasingly exposed to hostility. Thus, in June 1920, a letter to the local newspaper reproached Rosenheim's Jews for betraying the Entente's military exercises against the provisions of the Versailles Treaty at Rosenheim Gymnasium. Seven members of the Gymnasium and a member of the "Chiemgau" fell upon a villa inhabited by Jews in the autumn road, but they could not storm. On July 29, 1920, the Collegium of the City of Rosenheim decided that "... it was unfortunate that the movement to fight a popular Jewry [...], which is certainly justified in its nature, will be discredited by such excesses." Protests from the Bavarian Israeli Central Union remained unsuccessful, and an unmistakable communication from the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior of September 1920 could restore peace. 
Kristallnacht Rosenheim On April 1, 1933, shortly after the Nazi seizure of power, guards were set up in front of Jewish shops, warning against buying in these stores, but to desist assault and criminal damage. A large proportion of the population ignored these calls. The shops were therefore still frequented, much to the annoyance of Nazi activists who acted with the backing of then-Mayor GmelchIn 1933 there were eleven Jewish business owners of the 38 Jews living in Rosenheim. Almost all of them would be expelled due to the consequences of the economic boycott, the increasing deprivation or the violent reprisals against them. Already in March 1933 an elderly Jewish couple killed themselves. Between 1933 and 1939 fourteen of the Jewish inhabitants would flee- five to the United States, three to the Netherlands, three to Czechoslovakia, two to England and one to British Palestine. Another forteen relocated within Germany including eight to Munich and four to Berlin. By 1937, six of the eleven Jewish business owners in the city centre relinquished their businesses. The assassination of German diplomat vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan on November 7, 1938 in Paris, was taken as a final opportunity to strike against the Jews with the last two Jewish shops being completely demolished by SA men. In 1939 there were seven Jewish inhabitants in the city with another three moving to Munich in 1941. On February 28, 1942, two elderly women were taken to the Milbertshofen camp.
Hitler giving a speech to a crowd on the 15th anniversary of the Nazi chapter in Rosenheim
Hitler giving a speech to a crowd on the 15th anniversary of the Nazi chapter in Rosenheim, the first major Nazi Ortsgruppe to have formed outside Munich, at Max Joseph Square on August 11, 1935. Leading up to his visit, both Rosenheim daily newspapers reported in words and pictures on the "old guard" who had founded the first Nazi local group outside Munich on April 18, 1920, at the initiative of the Theodor Lauböck in Rosenheim.  Hitler himself had appeared many times in Rosenheim as a speaker in the founding year, but in the programmes for the anniversary event the main speaker was only listed as the Gauleiter of Munich Upper Bavaria, Adolf Wagner. A heraldic rose from whose flower a swastika grew was given to the citizens of Rosenheim as a holiday pin, for the occasion as they waited on the evening of August 10 in front of the hotel "Deutscher Kaiser" for the 23.00 set-up of the party formations for the big tattoo.  Meanwhile, deputy Gauleiter Otto Nippold spoke in the Hofbräusaal although only party members and "comrades" had access, concluded by a performance by the Reichsarbeitsdienst. However, the actual celebrations did not take place until the next day when the town, flanked by swastika flags, greeted all local Nazi organisations formed after the "Big Wake" by the ϟϟ at 7.00 in the Chiemseestrasse. They marched here to the war memorial on the Loretowiese. At the same time around 11.00 Lord Mayor Georg Zahler and Legal Counsel Erich Holper laid the cornerstone for the construction of the Municipal Gallery. The foundation stone donated by Karl Göpfert contained not only pictures of Hitler and Göring, but also the commemorative coin and the commemorative publication for the local group anniversary. 
Rosenheim's war memorial
After the lunch break, a "propaganda train of the three thousand" marched down Prinzregentenstraße and Küpferlingstraße in rows of six to Max-Josefs-Platz, preceded by the "old fighters" of the 10th Hundreds of the SA. By now, word had spread among the assembled crowd that Hitler himself was expected in Rosenheim. At 15.40 a motorcade approached from Königstrasse. The Rosenheim Tagblatt described Hitler's arrival in the Hofbräusaal:  "All of a sudden the whole hall is transformed, the men in the brown uniforms get up, they climb onto the chairs, and it's difficult to keep an open lane between the waiting people (...) and now, followed by the Gauleiter, the Fiührer himself has not forgotten his faithful Ortsgruppe! The Führer has come to Rosenheim! "  At Max-Josefs-Platz, filled with 10,000 people, the scenes were repeated: enthusiastic crowds with little girls holding bouquets of flowers. Hitler entered the rostrum and gave an enthusiastic speech describing the "Kampfzeit der Bewegung" and his first visit to Rosenheim.  His unannounced appearance in Rosenheim, staged as a sudden appearance, was intended to suggest spontaneity and underscore Hitler's attachment to the old comrades in the inner city. Hitler, astutely, could still remember every one of the "Old Guard", with whom he sat affably at the end of the ceremony in the swastika of Flötzinger Löchl and revived old memories. Days after Hitler's visit to Rosenheim, the local newspapers were full of articles and photos of the "big event".
The celebration of the 15th anniversary of the founding of the second oldest Nazi Ortsgruppe, which took place from August 9-12, 1935 The celebration of the 15th anniversary of the founding of the second oldest Nazi Ortsgruppe, which took place from August 9-12, 1935. The highlight was Hitler's visit and  speech at Max-Josefs-Platz. According to the "Rosenheimer Tagblatt Wendelstein" around ten thousand people gathered there to see and hear him. In addition to this visit a ceremony, a hero's award, a commemoration of the dead, musical performances, a propaganda march and a rally were held. In the Third Reich many festivals were adopted by the regime such as the Autumn Festival, Mother's Day or Summer Solstice. Christmas was also celebrated, but renamed Julfest by the Nazis. In addition to the traditional festivals, new celebrations based on political events were introduced such as Hitler's birthday, the celebration of the day of the takeover, and others. These festivals also included unique festivals, which always had a regional political event, such as the appointment of Hitler, Hindenburg, Goering and the Knight of Epp as honorary citizens of Rosenheim, or the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the local Rosenheim chapter of the Nazi Party. 
 Nazis Rosenheim Erntedankfest 1937The Reich Labour Service choir at the Erntedankfest (harvest thanksgiving festival) in 1937 which served to recognise the achievements of German farmers, whom the Nazis called the Reichsnährstand (the Reich's Food Estate). The harvest festival, was also called "Day of the German farmer" or Day of Bückeberg after the mass spectacle on the Bückeberg hill near Hameln. The festival programme began with a pageant and around noon, as was the case with every public celebration, a rally took place on Max-Josefs-Platz, to which soldiers also participated. The highlight of the day, however, was a broadcast of a speech by Hitler from Bückeberg when, that year, the festival was attended by about 1.2 million people, culminating with Hitler walking through the Führerweg (Führer's way) to the harvest monument, in the form of an altar, to receive the harvest crown from the Farmers' Estate on behalf of the German people. That particular festival was attended by more people than any other Nazi ceremony or ritual activity, including the party rally at Nuremberg. 
Upon the outbreak of the war the first women were used as a substitute for male postmen as the BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel) led Altositammlungen, Erntehilfseinsätze and Air defence courses through.  Voluntary notifications for the Wehrmacht increased to such an extent
POWs Rosenheim Heilig-Geist-Straße krieg
Prisoners of war at work on Heilig-Geist-Straße, 1940
that "timely clearance was not possible and the services could temporarily stop receiving reports". According to the minutes of a meeting on October 24, 1939 in the hotel "King Otto" under the direction of deputy Gauleiter Otto Nippold, the atmosphere in Rosenheim was described as "brilliant" in regards to the war with criticism of the people limited mainly at the lack of support of large families and bottlenecks in food distribution with "most unruly" being the peasants who had yet been "educated for sacrifice". The main complaint against the rural
population was the ban on domestic butchery, the war-related shortage of labour and the delivery of horses for military service. 
Polish and French prisoners of war were housed in the Rosenheim area and forced to work PoW camps as well as being used in the cleanup after the flood of 1940.  The Lord Mayor of Rosenheim even received 150 French prisoners of war from the Moosburg prison camp. 100 men were accommodated in the Schlossbergwirtschaft, which had to be surrounded with barbed rath fence and provided with bars on the windows. The remaining fifty men had to be housed in the prison.  The prisoners of war were also used for road construction and other municipal tasks. In the summer of 1940, the Heilig-Geist-Strasse was repaved by French prisoners of war, a practice that had already been used in the First World War. The population was forbidden to contact prisoners of war although most farmers were accustomed to sitting around the table with their servants and saw no reason for a complicated and uncomfortable separation of mealtimes. In some cases even workmaids, who had to serve a compulsory year in the farm, were rejected because they insisted on eating separately. Contacts between German women and prisoners of war also resulted in drastic punitive measures. For example, two women from Bruckmühl in November 1940 helped two French soldiers escape from the prisoner of war camp in Bad Aibling. Both women had a relationship with the French, which was especially punished.  They hid the refugees in their house in Bruckmühl and one of the two women was suspected of helping their escape and arrested. She finally collapsed under the interrogation and confessed, revealing the hiding place of the prisoners of war who were imprisoned again immediately. In the market square of Bad Aibling, the two women publicly had their heads shaved in front of a large crowd as condemned as "French lovers". Then they were sent to the prison in Rosenheim.
Hitlerjugend during Kriegstag in 1942 rosenheim Hitlerjugend during Kriegstag in 1942.
From the beginning of bombing raids on German cities in the spring of 1942, Rosenheim was not spared. At first, air raid shelters were insufficiently available limited to five air raid shelters as of November 1943. In an emergency, two-thirds of the population was not or only insufficiently protected. Until February 1944, the city had provided for further air raid shelters and cover ditches, so that for about half of the Rosenheim shelters were available. From October 20, 1944 to April 21, 1945, fourteen air raids were flown on Rosenheim. As a major traffic hub in the interface between Munich - Salzburg - Vienna and Munich - Innsbruck - Italy, the station and surrounding buildings were especially targetted. In November 1943 there were shelters for only 650 people for a city population of approximately 22,000. However, by February 1944 shelters had been built for about 6400 people and in conjunction with other shelters a total of 10,525 people could be protected. During fourteen bombing raids, 201 people were killed and 179 injured. The focus of the air attacks was the railway station and the railway tracks, as Rosenheim was an important transportation hub between Munich, Salzburg and Innsbruck. The neighbouring communities of Ziegelberg, Stephanskirchen, Westerndorf St. Peter and Pfaffenhofen am Inn were also hit (thanks to Herr Rudolf Puryear for correcting my confusion with Oberpfaffenhofen). The first air attack on October 20, 1944 at lunch time from 12.47 to 13.17 with over a hundred aircraft, dropped 1,000 bombs, leaving 27 dead and 59 wounded. The heaviest air raid took place on April 18, 1945. From 14.40 to 14.55 around 200 to 1300 aircraft dropped bombs in the area around the station, resulting in 53 dead and 36 injured, in addition, this attack also made eight hundred people homeless. The station building was almost completely destroyed, railway tracks were destroyed over a length of 20 kilometres. The last air attacks were made on April 19 and 21, 1945. During the war the majority of at least 173 duds were recovered. In 1964, the Oberbayerische Volksblatt reported that the approximate location of 38 undiscovered unexploded ordnance was known.
American troops entering the town on May 2, 1945 with an M26 Pershing tank taking the lead into Ludwigsplatz
American troops entering the town on May 2, 1945 with an M26 Pershing tank taking the lead into Ludwigsplatz. On April 30, 1945 Munich was completely in American hands and the American army marched further southeast to Berchtesgaden which allowed the inhabitants of Rosenheim to calculate roughly the approximate time of their "liberation". In its last session on April 29, 1945, the city council decided that the city should not be defended. In contrast, the combat commandant of the city since April 26, 1945, Major Walter Honsalek, was ordered to defend the city, with the support of the ϟϟ and other combat organisations. Committed Rosenheim citizens, among others Josef Golling, engineer Windisch of the Städtische Wasserwerke, the pioneering general Rösinger, brewery owner Franz Steegmüller and the manufacturer Hamberger negotiated with Honsalek that Rosenheim would be handed over peacefully. Shortly before the invasion of the Americans, the city was a mess, with reported looting of the food store on Rathausstraße, the Auerbräu and in the mail cellar.
On the morning of May 2, 1945, the Americans invaded the city at 5.00 encountering no resistance apart from an incident on Innstraße 62 from where a barricaded ϟϟ man fired shots. The Americans then attacked the house for about fifteen minutes, killing the defender. The Americans had expected worse, especially resistance in Rosenheim and Wasserburg. In the event of such resistance, bomber squadrons were in readiness for 10.00 in the morning of May 2, which would have razed Kufstein, Kiefersfelden, Brannenburg, Rosenheim, Wasserburg, Prien, Traunstein, Trostberg, Bad Reichenhall and Berchtesgaden with approximately 1,000 bombs to break any remaining resistance. And so on May 2, 1945, at 6.00 in the morning, Combat Commander Honsalek surrendered. A little later, the Nazi Lord Mayor Hans Gmelch handed over the city to the Americans. As acting mayor, the military government appointed as authorised representative of the United Kunstmühlen Landshut-Rosenheim, Roman Keill. On May 6, a twenty member Resident Committee was formed at the urging of the Americans, which served as a kind of provisional city council. This committee elected lawyer Max Drexel as Lord Mayor. Since many former party members were sitting in the committee, the local commander Major Roland McDonald appointed the former legal councilor Hubert Weinberger as mayor, and the mayor Otto Bucher, who later worked in the economic department, became the second mayor. Both had been active members until 1933 of the Social Democrats.
Flötzinger Bräustüberl, where Hitler spoke on April 21, 1921. 
The Flötzinger Bräustüberl, where Hitler spoke on April 21, 1921. The photo on the left shows owner Franz Xaver Simson in front of the window the year before. He celebrated his birthday here in 1925. Ten years later, after an operation to remove a polyp on May 23, Hitler spoke here for the first time on August 11, 1935. The Nazi chapter in Rosenheim was celebrating its fifteenth anniversary; as mentioned above, it was the first major Nazi Ortsgruppe to have formed outside Munich. Hitler made use of the opportunity to rail against his domestic opponents and to support current action being taken against Stahlhelm members and former Centrists.