Showing posts with label Glauchau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glauchau. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi Sites in Saxony

Adolf-Hitler-Strasse in 1942, now Grosse Kirchgasse and, below, from the other direction.
At the beginning of the Nazi regime, an early concentration camp was established in the Schützenhaus, the later Gaststätte Erzgebirgischer Hof, in which hundreds of members of workers' organisations and other opponents of the Nazi regime were interned and abused. In the context of the November pogrom in 1938, the remaining sixteen Jews of the city, who until 1936 used the prayer room at 17 Buchholzer Straße, were expelled or deported to the extermination camps. The Jewish cemetery was destroyed and buried in 1940.
Annaberg is noteworthy as the site where the Nazis recruited and trained nearly thirty Annabergofficers and ten thousand enlisted men consisting of Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindu components, each wearing the symbol of a springing tiger on the tricolour shield of India on his uniform sleeve. The initial recruits in 1941 were volunteers from the Indian students resident in Germany at the time, and a handful of the Indian prisoners of war who had been captured during the North Africa Campaign captured at El Mekili during the battles for Tobruk. The number of PoWs transferred to Germany grew to about ten thousand who were eventually housed at Annaburg camp, where Bose first met with them.Ironically, these former British Imperial Army men took the oath of allegiance on Aug. 26, 1942 to Hitler, Bose, and India---in that order---as Brandenburg Commandos. They were later incorporated into the German Army as the 950th Infantry Regiment with 2,593 men in three battalions. Most wore tropical style, Afrika Korps-like uniforms with peaked forage cap with the standard Nazi eagle and swastika on their breasts. Their helmets featured both the Indian and German national colours .Intended to serve as a liberation force for British-ruled India, it was made up of Indian prisoners of war and expatriates in Europe. Because of its origins in the Indian independence movement, it was known also as the "Tiger Legion", and the "Azad Hind Fauj". Initially raised as part of the German Army, it was officially assigned to the Waffen-ϟϟ from August 1944. Indian independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose initiated the legion's formation, as part of his efforts to win India's independence by waging war against Britain, when he came to Berlin in 1941 seeking German aid.  The majority of the troops of the Indian Legion were only ever stationed in Europe in non-combat duties, in the Netherlands and in France until the Allied invasion. They saw action in the retreat from the Allied advance across France, fighting mostly against the French Resistance.
Kreisführerschule Rauschenbachmühle
Kreisführerschule Rauschenbachmühle and now, a nature centre
One company was sent to Italy in 1944, where it saw action against British and Polish troops and undertook anti-partisan operations. At the time of the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, the remaining men of the Indian Legion made efforts to march to neutral Switzerland over the Alps, but these efforts proved futile as they were captured by American and French troops and eventually shipped back to India to face charges of treason. Because of the uproar the trials of Indians who served with the Axis caused among civilians and the military of British India, the legion members' trials were not completed.
In Annaberg the wartime destruction was limited. Buchholz, on the other hand, was heavily hit during a Valentine's Day bomb attack on February 14, 1945. Instead of a planned attack on nearby Chemnitz, several bombers waved to the south because of too high clouds, the towns of Annaberg and Buchholz were illuminated. It is assumed that during the overflight over the Pöhlberg the bombs were released too late, so that the city Annaberg was spared this night by demolitions. In Buchholz, on the other hand, numerous houses were destroyed or severely damaged. The church of St. Catherine was also struck, vaults and pillars collapsed, only the enclosing walls were preserved and not rebuilt until 1975.

Adolf-Hitler-Platz in 1939 and the market today in front of the rathaus and looking the other way, still with the Schwarzer Adler.
As the numbers of PoWs based in Annaberg joining the Indian legion swelled, the legion was moved here to Königsbrück for further training. It was at Königsbrück that their uniforms were first issued, in German feldgrau with the badge of the leaping tiger of Azad Hind. The formation of the Indian National Army was announced by the German Propaganda Ministry in January 1942 but didn't take the oath until August 26, 1942, as the Legion Freies Indien of the German Army. By mid-1942, the Indian Legion, now officially the "(Indian) Infantry Regiment 950",  had grown to such an extent that its original camp in Frankenberg, where the Indians received pioneer training and participated in parachutist classes, was too small and the troupe was relocated on July 15, 1942 on the military training
Infanterieregiment 950 (Ind.) at Königsbrück 
area here in Königsbrück, one of the largest military training centres in all of Germany and largely unused at the start of the war. The Legion, which gradually grew to the strength of a regiment, found sufficient space here. It hosted a cultural group of Indians who performed plays. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs had rooms for religious worship and the meals and the timing of the roster took into account the religious obligations of the various confessions. Contacts with the civilian population of the location were also possible, with relationships between Indians and local women took place both here and at Annaburg. Gradually many Indians made an effort to learn German as the interpreters adjusted to the foreign mentality, and the interpreters were getting along better and better in their proficiency of various Indian languages and dialects. When the relocation of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Legion to the North Sea coast was imminent in April 1943, a large number of Indians of the 3rd Company refused, given their frustration that they should be used for coastal protection and not directly in support of actions against the British Raj. On April 19, 1943, six legionaries spoke at the Central Free India and members of the headquarters came to Königsbrück to speak with the Indian NCO, but could not dispel the misgivings about the transfer. Riots took place, spreading to other companies. The commander then submitted a report for military uprising which felt that summary executions as was the case with military mutinies, was called for, believing that linguistic misunderstandings were the cause of the conflict.  

Schloss Struppen, formerly used as an SA FührerschuleSchloss Struppen, formerly used as an SA Führerschule. The town itself has a number of memorials referencing the Nazi era- one dating from 1948 on the main street commemorates victims of fascism. Another in the cemetery serves as a memorial to five concentration camp prisoners and PoWs from different countries. The memorial plaques at Hauptstraße 32 as well as on the Rittergut honour the communist Martin Hering (murdered in 1933 in the Hohnstein concentration camp) and Artur Tiermann (shot in a forest near Altenberg in 1935). Hering had been the political leader of the local communist group in Struppen and one of the 72 Communists, Social Democrats and anti-fascists arrested on March 9, 1933 by SA commanders of the SA leadership stationed here. He escaped in the end of May, forming an illegal resistance group in Struppen from still-active remaining communists and partisans. Hering was re-arrested on November 4, 1933 and brought to Hohnstein, dying on November 22 through torture after refusing to reveal the whereabouts of his comrades and lure his own son across the border to the police.
The town hall on Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today. Located in the south-east of the city is the former Rittergut Altscherbitz which, from 1876, was used as the provincial Altscherbitz mental institution. During the Nazi era it served as the "Zwischenanstalt" for the killing institution Bernburg under the Nazis' "Euthanasia Programme", later referred to after the war as Action T4. Here the disabled were murdered from November 21, 1940 to July 30, 1943 in a separate wing of the State Sanatorium and Mental Hospital in Bernburg. In toto 9,384 sick and handicapped people from 33 welfare institutions and nursing homes as well as roughly five thousand prisoners from six concentration camps were killed here in a gas chamber using carbon monoxide gas. Today there is a memorial in Bernburg commemorating the victims of the Bernburg Euthanasia Centre.
On April 18, 1945, American troops entered the city before being replaced by the Red Army on July 2nd. After the end of the war, about 4,500 refugees came to the city.

 The town as shown in a Nazi postcard and today. At the beginning of the Nazi era about 120 anti-Nazis were arrested here and interned within the surrounding "protective custody camps" in the summer of 1933 and forced to perform labour. A plaque commemorates this event as well as a memorial in Erdmannsdorf for all victims of fascism. From May 1933, an ϟϟ guard has been employed to guard these prisoners. This guard was subordinate to ϟϟ leader Ehrhardt Müller, who was born on July 28, 1907 in Grünhainichen. Organisationally, Augustusburg by then had belonged to the Sachsenburg concentration camp as a satellite camp. In the summer of 1933, the satellite camp comprised of 120 prisoners who were used, among other things, for renovation work within the castle itself. The Augustusburg satellite camp was closed in December 1935. In June 1933 a so-called "NS-Gauführerschule Sachsen" started operating in Augustusburg Castle. From July 7th to August 3rd, 1933 the 2nd ϟϟ course of ϟϟ section II took place here. The course participants included Rudolf Saalbach from Grossenhain, who was also a member of the ϟϟ Sonderkommando "Sachsen" and was employed as a department commander in the Waffen-ϟϟ at the end of the war. The first ϟϟ
course was launched in spring 1933 carried out in Hammerleubsdorf. After the ϟϟ Sonderkommando "Sachsen" was set up in Dresden in autumn 1933, the second expansion of this barracked, armed ϟϟ unit took place in mid-January 1934 with the formation of a second cohort. Until then, the formation had only been accommodated in the " Wollner-Villa " in Dresden-Wachwitz. Presumably for reasons of space, an estimated group of fifty ϟϟ members remained under the leadership of Karl Otto Koch in Dresden. A new group led by ϟϟ leader Adolf Ellenberger, with an approximate strength of fifty ϟϟ members, was moved to Augustusburg Castle. At this point in time, Augustusburg Castle took on three specific tasks: a place of detention, a driving school, and as ϟϟ accommodation. On February 22, 1934, 9.30, a sports accident occurred in the castle courtyard of Ausgustusburg involving ϟϟ medical orderly Fritz Seidler and others.
 Within the cemetery of Erdmannsdorf are buried four unknown concentration camp inmates who were murdered during a death march from Flossenburg camp in April 1945 by ϟϟ men. It is claimed that the furniture from the Reichschancellery was sent here before the end of the war, later to be confiscated by the Soviets. 

Husarenkaserne during the war and today. During the Nazi era many political opponents, socialists and communists, and also Jehovah's Witnesses, were imprisoned in the city. In March 1933 the copper and aluminum, rolled, wire and hammer works C.G.Tietzens Eidamm (Kupferhammer) served in the valley road as a protective camp for 500 German and Sorbian opponents of Hitler. The Trade Union House served the same purposes on today's Dr. Maria-Grollmuß-Strasse 1 and the Haus Ober Lauenstrasse 33 as it does today. Ernst Thälmann was imprisoned in Bautzen I until his transport to Buchenwald concentration camp in 1943 and 1944. Many political prisoners were also interned in the Bautzen II detention centre, such as the well-known Czech journalist Julius Fučík. In the south of the city, directly on the river Spree, there was also an external camp of the Groß-Rosen concentration camp, where 1,000 to 1,500 prisoners, mainly Jews, were involved in the armament production of the wagon building and machinery factory. During the interwar period, Bautzen was also the seat of the so-called Wend Department, which was established for the state surveillance of the Sorbian people, and was used for this purpose both in the Weimar Republic and amongst the Nazis.
Castle Ortenburg from a Nazi-era postcard, located in the old town of Bautzen on a rocky plateau above the Spree. For centuries it was the tribal stronghold of the Milzeners and the main province of Upper Lusatia and was owned by the respective sovereigns. The most striking building of the castle complex is the late Gothic Matthias tower. During the Nazi era, the Gestapo established a seat in this building. During the war the city was particularly badly damaged between April 19-26, 1945. The domes of the Lauenturm and the Michaeliskirche were destroyed, nearly all bridges were blown up, but the railway viaduct was not till after the 4th of May. On April 26, 1945, in the Battle of Bautzen, the last major German Panzer-attack of the Second World War took place; the city was recaptured and remained in German hands until the surrender.

Crimmitschau The railway station during the war sporting a swastika and today, practically unchanged. During the summer of 1935, the baptised Jew Dr. Boas, a dermatologist and reserve officer, had his windows broken and his professional sign destroyed at the instigation of his 'aryan' colleagues. Although the action was obviously illegal and the courts would have had to back Boas, the SA interceded and took the "prosecution" into its own hands resulting in Boas's home being ransacked and the doctor marched off to "protective custody."
In 1944, some Crimmitschau property was bombed by Allied Forces. On July 7, 1944 for example, bombs destroyed several houses on the Leitelshainer/Freund- und Hohlstraße. It was not, however, a systematic air target for the Allies. On April 13 and 14, 1945 American tanks appeared on the motorway from Meerane and had taken the city on April 15. Because of the statements of Yalta and Teheran, the Americans left Westsachsen and on July 1, 1945, the Red Army entered Crimmitschau.

Nicolaikirche under the Hakenkreuzfahne and standing in front today. On May 1, 1933 Freiberg churches held a "Patriotic Celebration." Reverend Paul Gotthelf Schwen wrote in the community newsletter of St. James that "God sent Adolf Hitler as the saviour to us."
Nine days later the special court for the Free State of Saxony dealt with seven criminal cases involving those suspected of  belonging to the KPD and the SPD. Barber Franz Maier had to answer for violating the March 8 decree banning communist printed matter when he had displayed an illustrated communist newspaper from his shop attacking the Nazi Party. The Special Court sentenced him to a month in prison. An unemployed metal worker named Alfred Max Lehmann, was accused of "spreading vulgar lies about the SA" when at the end of March, he was seen standing in front of a newspaper kiosk on Dürerplatz in Dresden making derogatory remarks against the SA to those around him stating how he had seen workers beaten by the SA on the Schützenplatz. Biochemist Stein from Sebnitz was found guilty of distributing the communist leaflet "Die Rote Sturmflagge" calling for a mass strike and was sentenced to six weeks in prison. Another named Werner called out in a field near Gablenz "[w]ho actually burned the Reichstag? It was only the Nazi thugs!" Werner received two months in prison. 
The 1843 Schwedendenkmal on the former Platz der SA looking down Peterstraße.
In 1944 a subcamp of Flossenbürg concentration camp was built outside the town of Freiberg, housing over 500 female survivors of other camps, including Auschwitz Birkenau. Altogether fifty or so ϟϟ women worked in this camp until its evacuation in April 1945. The female survivors eventually reached Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. 
Throughout the town there are numerous memorials commemorating events from the war including a plaque at the Saxon Porcelain Factory GmbH where, in the spring of 1933, political opponents of the regime were detained and tortured by the Nazi authorities but which for unknown reasons was removed after 1990. Another plaque commemorates the thousand Jewish female prisoners at the subcamp of Flossenburg and Polish forced labourers who were kidnapped and victims of forced labour. Another plaque at the same site can be seen for the Jewish director of the porcelain factory, Dr. Werner Hofmann, who killed himself in 1939. One final plaque commemorates Dr. Werner Hartenstein, the mayor of the city from 1924 to 1945 who managed to save the town from unnecessary losses. He was then arrested by the NKVD in June 1945, and died February 11, 1947 at the Jamlitz Special Camp.
Swastikas flying at the Obermarkt in a Nazi-era postcard and me cycling through in July 2023. During the war on October 7, 1944 Freiberg was attacked by 24 American B-17 "Flying Fortress" l bombers carrying 60.5 tonnes of high-explosive bombs. 82 buildings were destroyed or badly damaged with 263 others moderately or slightly damaged. 172 people died, including 133 women and children with another 115 wounded having to be cared for and over 1,500 Freibergers left homeless. If the hundred high-explosive bombs of the second squadron of the 91st Bombardment Group) that fell in the open field had also hit the city area, the destruction would have been much heavier.

Görlitz rathaus
 The rathaus in 1940 and today. Görlitz is the eastern-most town in the country, located on the Lusatian Neisse River in Saxony opposite the Polish town of Zgorzelec, which was a part of Görlitz until 1945. Görlitz was almost completely spared from destruction during the war. A special feature of the city is that all important phases of the development of Central European settlements have been preserved and readable without major structural changes. With over 4,000 largely restored cultural and architectural features, Görlitz is often referred to as the largest connected monumental monument in Germany. The inner city image is characterised by late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque burgher houses in the Old Town as well as an extended period of the Gründerzeit district around the old town. Because of this particular cityscape, Görlitz is also a coveted film turning site, which gave the city the nickname "Görliwood". 
Near the end of the war German troops destroyed all bridges crossing the Lusatian Neisse. The redrawing of boundaries in 1945—in particular the relocation of the German-Polish border to the present Oder-Neisse line—divided the town. The right bank became part of Poland and was renamed Zgorzelec by the Polish communist government in 1948, whilst the main portion on the left bank remained part of Germany, now within the state of Saxony. When the East German states were dissolved in 1952, Görlitz became part of the Dresden District, but the states were restored upon German reunification in 1990.

Schlettau im Erzgebirge 
Schlettau im Erzgebirge
The rathaus as seen in a Nazi-era postcard and today. A Reichswehr camp was set up in the Schlettau Lindenhof gym. In the last days of the war the town's mayor, Strubelt, wanted to defend the city of Schlettau against the advancing Red Army by having the townfolk build anti-tank barriers from spruce wood above the level crossing on today's B101. In the end, such a pointless exercise was made irrelevant as the Russian tanks didn't advance from the west, but came from the opposite direction. One of the last instructions from the soldiers on duty to the people of Schlettau was to call for civilian clothes and handcarts to be handed in in order to allow them to flee in civilian clothes, disguised as refugees, in the direction of Finkenburg after having wanted to shoot the gym attendant Kurt Graupner for "degrading military strength" because he persistently asked the soldiers to remove the weapons they had left behind from the gym. Several leading Nazis ended up hiding in the Ore Mountains or attempted to break away to the west via the unoccupied corridor in Schwarzenberg. Saxon Gauleiter Martin Mutzschmann and Schlettauer Werner Vogelsang were among those captured, shown to the population and then transported into captivity. During all this, a steadily growing stream of refugees from the former eastern regions arrived in the Ore Mountains.

The rathaus sporting a swastikas above the entrance during the Nazi era and today, flag-free. From 1914 to 1991 Löbau was a garrison town, starting in 1914 as a Jägerkaserne up to its role as an in 1963 officer college of the "Ernst Thälmann" land forces. During the First World War, Löbau was the location of a reserve hospital and was involved in war production. At the end of the war, the city was not affected by direct acts of war, but almost all road and railway bridges that were important for traffic were blown up. In 1945, associations of the Red Army moved in; the Soviet zone of occupation emerged.  
Hitler arrived at the town on October 6, 1938, chauffeured through the city in an open Mercedes. Hitler was passing through to the Sudetenland, which was then incorporated into the German Reich. The First Mayor, Dr. Wilhelm Ungethüm, ordered that "[t]he Führer was to be offered a sight that nothing had equaled before," the local paper"Saxon Postillon" reported. The local Nazi Party quickly mobilised its members in a short time as citizens decorated their houses with swastika flags the night before. The ϟϟ marched from Adolf-Hitler-Platz (today Wettiner Platz) to the train station.At 9.00 the special train with two locomotives and twelve wagons rolled into Löbau station from the direction of Görlitz as the ringing of bells filled the waiting city for minutes.
Adolf-Hitler-Platz, today Wettiner Platz
Adolf-Hitler-Platz, today's Wettiner Platz
Hitler went to the front carriage to be greeted by Saxony's Gauleiter Mutschmann, then alighted from the train and was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Frau Mutschmann. SA Obergruppenfuhrer Schepmann and the leaders of the ϟϟ, Reichskommissar Konrad Henlein, the Kreisleiter of the NSDAP Reiter and the Amtshauptmann Dr. Böhme, the site senior Major Rockau and the first mayor of the city of Löbau Dr. Ungethüm.In the meantime at 9.17, the second special train with escort details from the Fiihrer's headquarters and the ϟϟ had also arrived. Hitler passed in front of the officers at the station and went straight to his car, in which Generaloberst v. Bock and ϟϟ Group Leader Schaub took their seats. The motorcade started moving as people crowded together at Adolf-Hitler-Platz.
Looking at Adolf-Hitler-Platz from the other direction, now the altmarkt
Hitler-Platz from the other direction, now the altmarkt
The formations of the HJ and the BDM had also taken up positions there. The vehicles disappeared into the flower-strewn Bahnhofstrasse, from where they turned into Hermann-Göring-Strasse (today Promenadenring). Since it was market day, even more crowds flocked to the street.Hitler's car slowly pulled up to the side here and a bouquet of flowers was handed to him. The journey continued at an ever faster pace, along Neusalzaer Straße in the direction of Oppach and the Sudetenland. For Löbau, the Hitler's visit ended as quickly and surprisingly as it came.
The Kasernenwache in 1941 and today, renamed the Jägerkaserne

The Grenzlandtheater in 1942 and today, the Gerhart Hauptmann theatre. It replaced the previous building that had burned down, based on designs by Hermann Alker and Alfred Hoppam. It opened on September 27, 1936 as Grenzlandtheater with Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz. After the war it was renamed the Zittau City Theater.
As with the rest of Germany, Jewish residents were persecuted, expelled, and murdered in Zittau during the Nazi period. The synagogue was blown up during the November pogrom in 1938. At least forty Jews from Zittau and Löbau were murdered during the Holocaust. Towards the end of the war, external camps of the Groß-Rosen concentration camp and the Auschwitz concentration camp were set up for male and female concentration camp prisoners, who had to carry out forced labour in the quarries, a part of Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke AG. the Inhuman conditions led to at least 158 ​​deaths.
Nazi flags in the marketplace and today.
In the last days of the war, the city was fiercely defended as roughly eighty people were killed in low-flying attacks whilst numerous buildings were either damaged or destroyed. On May 7, 1945, residents were asked to leave the city temporarily. The next day, the last of the war, the city surrendered, allowing the Red Army to march into Zittau largely without a fight on the ninth.
During the Nazi era a large part of the Czech minority was expelled from the city and its surroundings. In retaliation after the war the German population was expelled from Bohemian territory and from then on, under Polish administration, east of the Neisse. After the end of the war, there was a strong Czech minority in the city, which had a population of 4,000, and undertook efforts to annex the city of Czechoslovakia. In 1948 these efforts were rejected in the course of the Warsaw Convention.

Hans Schemm Schule
Hans Schemm Schule, named after the founder of the National Socialist Teachers' Federation. In 1928, Schemm became a member of the Bavarian Landtag.  Systematically, Schemm prepared the local Nazi Party for the election campaigns, first for the City Council in 1929. The Nazis won nine seats, and Schemm became the council chairman. The arrival of the Nazi faction led to frequent stormy sessions and one brawl, which were caused by the Nazi members', and in particular Schemm's, aggressive attitude. In 1928 and 1929 Schemm took over the leadership of several Nazi newspapers (Streiter, Weckruf and Nationale Zeitung), which he however gave up after a short time. In April 1929, Schemm founded his own newspaper, and in August of the same year appeared in the Nationalsozialistische Lehrerzeitung ("National Socialist Teachers' Newspaper"), the National Socialist Teachers League's (NSLB) journalistic organ.   On March 5, 1935, Schemm died in an aircraft crash. Hitler personally ordered Berlin Professor Ferdinand Sauerbruch to fly to Bayreuth. Schemm, however, succumbed to his injuries before the professor's arrival. His successor as Gauleiter was Fritz Wächtler. Schemm's life had been glorified by the Nazis, and somewhat even later after the Nazis were gone. In the time of the Nazi regime nevertheless various schools, streets, and halls in Germany were named after him.

 Bad Düben 

Schützenhaus The Schützenhaus, now an hotel, flying the swastika and today. Four Einsatzgruppen were set up in the Dübener Heide in 1941; members of Einsatzgruppe D had killed around 91,000 people by the end of 1942 by shooting, hanging and finally with gas vans. It was in the local school on Kirchplatz that lectures were given by "Eastern experts of the SD" such as Dr. Heinz Gräfe, or members of the civil administration, such as the mayor of Tilsit, Dr. Hans Schindowski who had held a lecture on the "Russian mentality" to improve the level of knowledge about the Soviet Union. Members of the Wehrmacht gave lectures on the partisan struggle, the Red Army, the climatic conditions and diseases that are allegedly specific to the Soviet Union. In his classic book Ordinary Men, Christopher Browning describes a meeting of all leadership cadres of the Einsatzgruppen took place in Berlin under Heydrich's leadership, and before they left the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) gave a speech at the farewell ceremony in Pretzsch castle on June 17, 1941. Browning goes on to describe how the members from Einsatzgruppe D were brought together in Düben for a few days so that they could develop a sense of community before they left for the front.
Today's Paradeplatz in Düben and from a Nazi-era postcard when, from 1933 to 1945, it was called “Adolf-Hitler-Platz”. The local newspaper "Dübener Nachrichten" reported how more than 3000 ϟϟ men had lined up on the Muldewiesen near Düben when they took their leave in June 1941 as a special event, given that 600 had been present in Düben since November 1940. With Adolf-Hitler-Platz specifically chosen as the site for the final parade. The troops marched to the ϟϟ houses now used as apartment blocks in the Feldherrensiedlung.
Düben townsfolk were also murdered, including a 15-year-old boy and forcibly sterilised because they were disabled and allegedly “hereditary”. Still, after the war refugees from the East were not welcomed in Düben in any friendly manner as it had been felt that the war had only broken out because of "the people from the East".


The Schwartenberghaus with and without Nazi flag. Located on the highest mountain of the Osterzgebirge, it's sited east of Olbernhau between Neuhausen in the north and Seiffen in the southwest. The first plans to build a mountain hut on the summit of the Schwartenberg came up as early as 1893 but it wasn't until the end of the Great War that the Erzgebirgsverein acquired a corresponding plot of land measuring 4,960 m² for a price of 868 marks but the implementation of the plans was delayed because of the inflation in the post-war period. The building was eventually consecrated on July 31, 1927 by pastor and local researcher Friedrich Hermann Löscher from Zwönitz. The building is still used today as a mountain restaurant.

Schwarzenberg thingplatz
In the early 1930s, the idea arose of converting the upper quarry into an arena for large-scale events. This was done in the context of the Nazi Thing movement, and a large part of the dynamiting, transport and construction work was done by the Workers' Labour Service. A total of 1,300 workers were involved in the project, and according to contemporary accounts, professionals were responsible for 20,000 days of work, Labour Service workers for 60,000. The sod-breaking took place on April 7, 1934, but costs greatly exceeded the estimates, and the project was only completed after the Propaganda Ministry and the State of Saxony provided additional funds. The arena was inaugurated on 25–26 June 1938 as a Feierstätte der Volksgemeinschaft (ceremonial site for the folk community), the Grenzlandfeierstätte (Borderlands Ceremonial Site). A copper container containing construction plans, a newspaper and coins was sealed into the masonry to the right of the stage. The theatre was operated in cooperation with those at Borna and Kamenz; in 1938–39, the theatre troupe from the open-air theatre at Ehrenfriedersdorf also played there.   After Germany’s surrender in the Second World War, Schwarzenberg remained, for historically unclear reasons, unoccupied at first. On May 11, 1945, several antifascist Schwarzenberg citizens took the initiative of filling the resulting power vacuum. This episode lasted only until 25 June 1945 when Soviet troops marched in. In 1984, the writer Stefan Heym coined the term “Republic of Schwarzenberg” in his novel Schwarzenberg, which was based on the episode.
Schmilka, Bad Schandau
The Gasthaus zur Mühle with hakenkreuz in front on the right, and today. Bad Schandau is where Hitler and his Saxon governor Martin Mutschmann were honorary citizens until 2007, and in September 2013 was covered with election posters with racist slogans including those calling for "German schools for German children." It was at this time that the town was the subject of notoriety when what was supposed to be a happy class trip to Bad Schandau ended up being subjected to neo-Nazi abuse and threats whilst the school itself, the Hamburg Goethe Gymnasium, downplayed the case. A 15 year old student whose father is Chinese was suddenly attacked by racist thugs inside the youth hostel in town as he woke that morning. Covered in blood, the student's teacher tried to lock the building's door having given out the room keys so the students would barricade themselves. The men outside, now numbering at least a dozen, roared "NSDAP - we'll never forget!" Some of the students even claim to have heard them march.


Nazi flags displayed in the marketplace in a Nazi-era postcard. When Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933 the Frankenberg local group of the Nazi Party paraded through the town on Wednesday, February 1. This involved the SA, the League of German Girls, the Steel Helmet Association and the Hitler Youth who assembled at the Hessischen Hof before marching to the castle under the command of SA leader Willi Born. With the torches they wanted "to take account of the sublime events of the hour through the symbol of the pure flame in a large torchlight procession", as the Frankenberger Zeitung wrote. Unlike in various places in Germany, the paper reported that "no one in Frankenberg dared to disrupt this Nazi demonstration." Between 1913 and 1916, Frankenberg became a garrison town: barracks for the Saxon army were built on a larger area northeast of the town centre and beyond the railway line. In the course of the rearmament carried out by the Nazi regime, further buildings were added in the 1930s and the barracks were now used by Wehrmacht units. After the war until 1956 there was no military use of the complex. After the founding of the NVA, changing units were located in these barracks, most recently the 7th Artillery Regiment and the 7th Projectile Launcher Battalion of the 7th Armoured Division.
Schloß Sachsenburg when it served as a Gauführerinnenschule. 

 In 1933 the schloß briefly served as a detention camp when on May 2, 1933 the first prisoners arrived, being used as workmen who were to erect a protective camp. The castle grounds itself, however, served only for about a month. From the mid-1930s it served as the Nazi Party Gauführerinnenschule for Saxony. It was one of the first concentration camps under the Nazis and existed until 1937. Among the best known inmates were the communist writer Bruno Apitz ("Nackt unter Wölfen") as well as the publisher and publicist Walter Janka.  The castle grounds themselves were then used again as training grounds for groups like the BDM. One of the BDM girls is said to 
have been saved by a prisoner from drowning in Zschopau. Towards the end of the war the castle finally housed a research institute of the Wehrmacht, used as a bacteriological Institute as a branch of the Robert Koch Institute. After the war the Sachsenburg served as residence for evacuees before 1947 Youth Werkhof has been established, which existed until 1967.
Wilkau Haßlau
Wilkau Haßlau rathaus
The town hall bedecked in swastikas during the war and now. On December 11, 1935 the town's local Nazi Party group celebrated its tenth anniversary at which Reich Governor Mutschmann spoke. During the war, hundreds of people from countries occupied by Germany had to do forced labour for which they marched daily to Zwickau armaments factories in clogs. 
When the Americans approached the city in mid-April 1945, members of the Volkssturm under the command of Hptm. Conrad (Landsturm unit) removed two tank barriers at the instigation of a Volkssturm doctor who had been billeted with Conrad and made aware of the situation. After the local group leader had fled, Dr. Kalle convinced the acting mayor, Lehmann, of the need to prevent the Mulden Bridge from being blown up and to stop any combat operations, disband the Volkssturm and throw all weapons either into the river or into a quarry or else hand them in at the town hall. The doctor and the communist Walter Demmler then looked for those Volkssturm and Wehrmacht soldiers who had gone into position to inform them that the city would be handed over without a fight.
Stentzlers Hof decked with swastikas left and below and today. From the beginning of the Nazi party's seizure of power in 1933 up to the start of the war, Leipzig was an important city to the regime.
Hitler had been determined to rearm the German military lead to foreign crises regarding foreign currency, but his determination harmed the economy. It was only the Leipzig Trade Fair in 1934 that saved the German economy; because of its established reputation and network among other European countries, Germany was able to regulate trade licenses and prioritise importation to ultimately improve their exportation success and prevent further deficit. As the economy worsened, so did tensions for the Jews. Because of activity that was deemed rebellious or against the Nazi regime, 1,600 people were arrested in Leipzig towards the end of 1934. Jewish youth in various youth groups were prohibited from wearing uniforms and displaying pennants like their Aryan peers to help create a distinction between Aryan and non-Aryan.
This rampant antisemitism caused Jews to flee the country. Eight hundred Jews emigrated from Leipzig to Palestine between the years of 1933 and 1935 to seek freedom from their religious persecution and escape the Nazi regime. To combat the antisemitic policies and decrees, Jews joined together in an attempt to save their culture. In December, over 575 Jews made up the Cultural Organisation of the German Jews, or Kulturbund Deutscher Juden Ortsgruppe Leipzig as it later became known as, which was an organisation dedicated to keeping Jewish culture alive and providing an outlet to Jews whose lifestyles were being stifled. Eventually t
housands of Jews were transported to and from this city as Hitler's plans for the Jewish people evolved. Between the years of 1933 to 1939, Jews suffered from the implementation of over 400 anti-Jewish policies, laws, and regulations. 
 The city's mayor from 1930 to 1937, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler was a noted opponent of the Nazi regime in Germany. He resigned in 1937 when, in his absence, his Nazi deputy ordered the destruction of the city's statue of Felix Mendelssohn. On Kristallnacht in 1938, one of the city's most architecturally significant buildings, the 1855 Moorish Revival Leipzig synagogue was deliberately destroyed.  Several thousand forced labourers were stationed in Leipzig during the war.
Wermsdorf MüttererholungsheimThe National Socialist National Welfare Service operated a mother's home here in Wermsdorf. The NSV- Müttererholungsheim  was located in the baroque building of the former post office in 1935, intended exclusively as "education for self-help." In a letter dated June 1936, Wermsdorf Mayor Boßdorf reported that 35 people were accommodated in the mothers' home, changing every four weeks. The women with their children, who were accommodated here, were prepared for their task as housewife and mother. The Wermsdorfer women's service was taken over by the NSV to reinforce the staff. It was only allowed to the people who had previously entered the NSV.
The whole nature of the Wermsdorfer complex with its large garden, flowerbeds and children's play area corresponded to the "mother and child" charity which provided a relaxing holiday for four weeks. The mothers were relieved of the care of their infants and toddlers by sisters. The "Aryan" women were accompanied throughout the pregnancy as well as after the birth of the child. The women, who were young women of 20-30 years were preparing the food for the children in the in-house kitchen. These organised festivals, raffles for the Winterhilfswerk, and held compulsory meetings. Training sessions on public health and propaganda were regularly on the agenda. The Nazis also hoped that the birth rate was to be increased to bear sons for the war.
Völkerschlachtdenkmal GIFThe Völkerschlachtdenkmal (Monument to the Battle of the Nations) in 1940 and today. Built to commemorate Napoleon's defeat at the 1813 Battle of Leipzig, a crucial step towards the end of hostilities in the War of the Sixth Coalition, which was seen as a victory for the German people, although Germany did not exist at that time. It was completed in 1913 for the 100th anniversary of the battle, at a cost of 6,000,000 Goldmarks  and stands at 299 feet in height. It contains over 500 steps to a viewing platform at the top, from which there are spectacular views across the city and environs. It is said to stand on the spot of some of the bloodiest fighting, from where Napoleon. During the First World War the served as the backdrop for patriotic rallies before eventually becoming the main commemorative point for the fallen soldiers in the war, a function that remained throughout the Weimar republic, preserving the installation as national monument and kept it connected to military forces. In the 1932 commemoration activities a year before Hitler came to power, SA forces rallied with choirs and student organisations at the monument. Under the Nazis the nationalism became more militarised as they interpreted the monument as symbol of the invincibility of the Germans. Hitler's first speech there took place in May 1933 where he drew a line between the victorious forces of 1813 and the new nationalistic movement. 
Hitler speaking at the Völkerschlachtdenkmal. During the Third Reich, Hitler frequently used the monument as a venue for his meetings in Leipzig. It was here on July 16, 1933 that Hitler announced to 140,000 men of the SA, ϟϟ and the Stahlhelm:
Today we are not leading a mere thirteen or seventeen million, but the entire Volk, and hence the gigantic task accrues to us of training the millions of people who do not yet inwardly belong to us to become soldiers of this Third Reich, to become soldiers of our Weltanschauung.
During the war the current interpretations emphasised German strength and loyalty but after the air raid on Leipzig in December 1943 it was also used as place to commemorate the civilian deaths. 
An American soldier surveying the aftermath and the site today. The monument itself served as the backdrop for an anti-fascist demonstration in 2011. When the US army captured Leipzig on April 18, 1945, the monument was one of the last strongholds in the city to surrender. One hundred and fifty ϟϟ soldiers with ammunition and foodstuffs stored in the structure to last three months dug themselves in, but were blasted with artillery and defeated.  During the period of Communist rule in East Germany, the government of the DDR was unsure whether it should allow the monument to stand, since it was considered to represent the steadfast nationalism of the period of the German Empire. Eventually, it was decided that the monument be allowed to remain, since it represented a battle in which Russian and German soldiers had fought together against a common enemy, and was therefore representative of Deutsch-russische Waffenbrüderschaft (Russo-German brotherhood-in-arms). 
Americans in front of the  Federal Administrative Court building and today. The city was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during the war. Unlike its neighbouring city of Dresden this was largely conventional bombing, with high explosives rather than incendiaries. The resultant pattern of loss was a patchwork, rather than wholesale loss of its centre, but was nevertheless extensive.  The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Leipzig in late April 1945. The American 2nd Infantry Division and U.S. 69th Infantry Division fought into the city on April 18 and completed its capture after fierce urban combat, in which fighting was often house-to-house and block-to-block, on 19 April 1945. 
In April 1945 the Deputy Mayor of Leipzig, Ernest Lisso, his wife, daughter and a Volkssturm Major Walter Dönicke committed suicide in the Leipzig City Hall.  The Americans turned the city over to the Red Army as it pulled back from the line of contact with Soviet forces in July 1945 to the predesignated occupation zone boundaries. Leipzig became one of the major cities of the German Democratic Republic.
It was here at the Zoologischer Garten on December 11, 1932 that Hitler announced
I am the one who has fixed the price of the Movement. No one will offer it at less than that. But if anyone should ever be found to do so, he would be lost in the Party within an hour and would have no Movement behind him. We will not allow ourselves to be lured into the den of intrigue where the others are experts at the game [here clearly referring to Gregor Strasser who had been offered the post of Vice-Chancellor in a bid by the authorities to split the party]. 
Time will not wear me down. Certainly we lost thirty seats, but in the meantime our opponents have lost two governments! And the new Cabinet will not last any longer. We will regain those thirty seats. Our supply of recruits is larger than theirs, and I will place this task first and foremost and without any consideration to myself.
On January 2 the Burgfriede will be over, and on the third we will be back in the thick of the fight.
Huge hole in the facade of the west hall of Leipzig's main station with debris blocking the entrances after the RAF wrought vengeance on December 4, 1943 when, at around four in the morning, 442 British planes dropped more than 300,000 bombs on the city- the heaviest air raid on Leipzig during the war. The inner city and suburbs were hit hardest after a firestorm developed that reduced entire districts to rubble and ashes. The official number of dead was put at 1,815 with more than 5,000 residential buildings destroyed leaving more than 100,000 people in Leipzig rhomeless. Numerous historical monuments that had previously shaped the cityscape were irretrievably lost. With the Graphic Quarter, the centre of the German book trade perished. The destruction was similarly extensive in the south-eastern suburbs with the university institutes and clinics, the western and southern suburbs with their bourgeois residential areas and in the tanners' quarter near the main train station with numerous hotels. The air raids on Leipzig continued until shortly before the city was taken by American units in April 1945, causing further loss of life and buildings.
 Looking down Ritterstrasse towards Grimmaische Strasse showing how much has changed in one street. Even eighty years after the destruction, unused areas are still waiting for urban revitalisation. Only here and there burnt-out buildings were rebuilt and reconstructed. In most cases, modern new buildings were built that never bothered to evoke any reminiscences of the old Leipzig. Below on the right is another Leipzig landmark, although today unrecognisable- the Paulinerkirche and university seen from Augustusplatz. In 1545, Martin Luther consecrated the Pauline Church as a Protestant university church since which time the church has served both as a place of worship and as an auditorium for academic ceremonies. In 1717, Johann Sebastian Bach tested the new organ built by the Saxon organ builder Johann Scheibe. Some works by Bach, for example BWV 226, were premiered in the Paulinerkirche. In 1948 the Eule company rebuilt the main organ. The nave of the Johanniskirche, burned out as a result of the bombing raid on December 4, 1943 , was demolished in 1949 with the presumed mortal remains of Johann Sebastian Bach supposedly recovered. Augustusplatz was renamed Karl-Marx-Platz immediately after the war, and the university was renamed Karl-Marx-Universität in 1953. The theology student Nikolaus Krause was sentenced to 22 months in prison for “internal protest” against the demolition and a group of students from the Leipzig Theological Seminary who also protested on the day of the blast were sentenced to prison terms. From May 5, 1946 until it was blown up in 1968, the Paulinerkirche served as a place of worship for the Catholic provost community, which had lost its church as a result of several air raids carried out from December 4, 1943. On Ascension Day, May 23, 1968, the last mass took place in the crowded church. The police then closed the building. The floor slabs of the church were secretly torn out on the Main nights of 1968, and the 800 or so graves in a three-story crypt under the church were looted. The Paulinerkirche was blown up on Thursday, May 30, 1968 at 9.58. The rubble was then dumped in the Etzoldsche sand pit in Leipzig-Probstheida. Isolated statements of protest led to several arrests and investigations by the Stasi, some of which lasted several years. In 1998, to commemorate the destruction of the Paulinerkirche, the artist Axel Guhlmann installed the “Paulinerkirche installation” on the wall of the main university building, a 34-metre-high steel construction that traces the church gable in its original size. The new buildings at the university's main campus are inspired by the form and shape of the old church. The newly built heart of the university includes a room for common prayer and regular religious services, located exactly at the place of the former church. The first service in the new church was held on December 6, 2009 (the second Sunday in Advent), and included a performance of Bach's cantata Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61.

St. Laurentius church at Platz der SA then and now. The town was well known until the Second World War for Markranstädter Pilsener beer. At the beginning of the Nazi era, opponents of the Nazi regime were persecuted and imprisoned. On March 11, 1933, the Communist Oswald Jäckel was assassinated by SA men. In his memory, an old people's home and today's Krakauer Straße bore its name in the DDR era and his urn still sits at the memorial for the victims of fascism in the cemetery. Other memorials to the time set up by the East German authorities remain- at the grave site for Soviet prisoners of war who fell victim to forced labour during the war, a plaque commemorates seven victims, one unknown. In the cemetery in the Kulkwitz district are the graves and a memorial stone for two unknown people, presumably from the Soviet Union, who were abducted to Germany and died victims of forced labour. The cemetery located in  the Räpitz district contains graves which commemorate two Soviet women also deported to Germany and were victims of forced labour. And at two locations so far, stumbling blocks have been set to commemorate local victims of the Nazis.
Period postcard of the central square of Glauchau with the Brown House- the Nazi HQ in town. It was officially named the Dietrich-Eckart-Haus after one of the important early members of the Nazi Party and a participant of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, still taking a prominant place in the town park. His birthplace in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz was officially renamed with the added suffix "Dietrich-Eckart-Stadt". He had returned to his hometown of Neumarkt for eight years after a stay in a mental hospital as a freelance writer and journalist. It was to him that Hitler had dedicated the second volume of Mein Kampf in which he is described as a martyr and is referred to specifically in the last sentence of the book:
And among them I could also reckon that man who as no one else has devoted his life to the awakening of his, of our nation in writing, poetry, thought and finally in the deed. Here at the end of this second volume let me again bring those men to the memory of the adherents and champions of our ideals, as heroes who, in the full consciousness of what they were doing, sacrificed their lives for us all. We must never fail to recall those names in order to encourage the weak and wavering among us when duty calls, that duty which they fulfilled with absolute faith, even to its extreme consequences. Together with those, and as one of the best of all, I should like to mention the name of a man who devoted his life to reawakening his and our people, through his writing and his ideas and finally through positive action. I mean: Dietrich Eckart.
Eckart's 1925 unfinished essay Hitler-Eckart: Der Bolschewismus von Moses bis Lenin: Zwiegespräch zwischen Hitler und mir ( Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin: Dialogues Between Hitler and Me") was published posthumously, although it has been demonstrated that the dialogues were an invention. Eckart had been described by Edgar Ansel Mowrer as "a strange drunken genius" whose anti-Semitism had supposedly arisen from various esoteric schools of mysticism; he had spent hours with Hitler discussing art and the place of the Jews in world history. Cyprian Blamires has described him as the spiritual father of National Socialism. 
Glauchau railway station in 1941 and today with my bike parked in front. In April 1922 a local branch of the Nazi Party was founded in Glauchau; seven years later Hitler spoke at a rally here. The number of Jews living in Glauchau up to 1940 was low. When he took power in 1933 political opponents were interned and beaten in the old police station at the old town hall. The Nazis set up a council estate settlement in Glauchau's Sachsenallee, recently restored. In 1936–1937, Mayor Walter Flemming laid out the 40-hectare Glauchau reservoir in order to be able to provide better quality water for industrial use. The Glauchau bypass, which runs parallel to the flood channel, was also built under Flemming. It was only in 1937 that Flemming reluctantly joined the Nazi Party. Since the Nazis didn't trust him, Herbert Müller, local Nazi group leader, was appointed deputy mayor.
Bahnhofplatz in 1941 shown on the left, surrounded by Nazi flags and today. Forderglauchau Castle was severely damaged by artillery in April 1945 around the time a teacher, Paul Feldmann, serving as combat commander of the local Volkssturm, handed the city over to the Americans largely without a fight, thus preventing major destruction. In the end, 1,030 Glauchau soldiers were killed in the war.
There are a couple of memorials to the Nazi period in the town. The memorial complex in Schillerpark, as expected for a town locted in East Germany after the war, commemorates communist resistance fighters and state-recognised victims of fascism. A grave with a memorial plaque in the cemetery in the Wernsdorf district commemorates six Soviet prisoners of war and forced labourers who were deported to Germany during the war.

Oschatz Hitlerplatz
The Rathaus and St Aegidien church at Adolf Hitler Platz and today. From April to May 1933 a concentration camp was established in the municipal camp of Pappenheim. Two years later, the Oschatzer Fliegerhorst was built and a rebuilding school was formed. During the war from February 1941 to April 1945 the main administration of the prisoner of war Stalag IV G of the German Wehrmacht was located in Oschatzer Lutherstraße. From here, tens of thousands of prisoners of war were distributed to compulsory labour in the near and further surrounding areas. The International Red Cross, following an inspection tour of March 11–16, 1945, reported that there were a total of 5,233 prisoners, of whom 4,457 were British Commonwealth, and 776 were Americans. Of these only twenty PoWs were at the HQ in Oschatz, performing administration tasks, whilst the rest were assigned to 76 separate Arbeitskommando (work details), working in agriculture, forestry, and industry, working between eight and 11 hours a day, six days a week, with only Sundays free. The report noted the generally poor health of the Americans and some British, who were suffering from the effects of being marched from camps further east. 
On April 26, 1945, Oschatz was handed over to the Allies without a fight. On May 5 they were replaced by Soviet troops.

Plauen im Vogtland
At the marktplatz and as it appeared, festooned with Nazi flags.
In the 1930s, Plauen earned the distinction of hosting the first chapter of the Nazi Party outside of Bavaria leading it to be described as "a stronghold of National Socialism, marching at the head of all major cities." Plauen was one of the first towns outside of Bavaria, and the second in Saxony after Zwickau, in which a local group of the Nazi Party was founded whhich took place on May 31, 1922. The founders were Hitler supporters, some of whom were already members were members of the party and had previously paid their dues in Munich. At the end of November 1922 the local group already had forty registered members, the local SA was formed and at the beginning of January 1923 so too the women's group of the Nazi Party. In 1923, Plauen became the "birthplace of the Hitler Youth" and the Plauen tailor's son Kurt Gruber became its first Reichsfuhrer, albeit on a provisional basis, from 1926.
Swastikas in the square in front of the rathaus
Between 1925 and 1933, the regional and regional leadership of the Saxon Nazi Party wasn't based in Dresden, Leipzig, Chemnitz or Zwickau, but in Plauen. Plauen's Nazis maintained close relations with Upper Franconia, which included "active support" in disputes with political opponents. In 1925, the Plauen lace manufacturer Martin Mutschmann was put in charge of the Nazi Party's Saxony district proving himself to be one of Hitler's most loyal followers. On March 1, 1933, the Nazi-dominated Plauen city council succeeded in making Plauen the first major German city to bestow honorary citizenship on Hitler, along with Hindenburg, and to rename Breite Strasse Adolf-Hitler-Strasse. In 1933, the city had the most recipients of the Nazi Gold Medal of Honour of all Saxon districts for eight or ten-year party membership. From May 1933, Nazis from Plauen held the positions of Economics Minister (Georg Lenk) and Interior Minister (Karl Fritzsch) in the Saxon government. By the beginning of 1930, eleven city councillors and three unpaid council members from the Nazi Party entered city hall. Just three years later, the Plauen Nazi Party was able to more than double its seats in the city parliament and council- in January 1933 just before Hitler assumed power- the Nazis provided 28 of a total of 61 deputies and seven of the fifteen council members. 
The synagogue, inaugurated in 1930 and built in the Bauhaus style, was utterly destroyed during the Kristallnacht of the night of November 9, 1938 and never rebuilt. Most Jews fled the city; the rest were later deported and murdered. Three sub-camps of the Flossenbürg concentration camp were located in Plauen between 1944 and 1945.
Plauen was the hometown of Kurt Erich Ohser, a German illustrator and caricaturist known for his comic strip Vater und Sohn, textless stories about the experiences of a chubby, bald father and his little son, who often find unusual solutions to various everyday problems. He also worked as a caricaturist, for example for the SPD newspaper Vorwärts through whch he attracted the hatred of the Nazis, particularly with his caricatures of Hitler and Goebbels. The Nazi 'seizure of power' meant the end for the political illustrator Ohser; his application to join the Reich Press Chamber was rejected, which amounted to a professional ban. From then on, his wife had to take care of the family. At the end of 1934, Ohser applied to the Berliner Illustrirten Zeitung, which was looking for a comic similar to Mickey Mouse with a design by father and son. Ohser wasn't allowed to publish under his real name and only received the contract after he'd given himself the pseudonym e.o.plauen (his initials and the name of his hometown) and under the condition that he not be politically active. In December 1934, the first picture story by father and son was published, which then appeared weekly for three years in this respected and widely circulated magazine. The publisher also published three book editions, all of which were successful. By 1940 he became an employee of the weekly magazine Das Reich where he became known as a cartoonist, with his Stalin caricatures being considered particularly successful. In the “Deutsche Drawing Film GmbH” founded by Goebbels in 1942, Ohser worked with Manfred Schmidt, the inventor of Nick Knatterton, on the 17-minute cartoon Armir Hansi, which was released in cinemas in 1944.
Ohser couldn't keep his dislike of the Nazi regime to himself and his neighbour Bruno Schultz, a captain in the Wehrmacht propaganda department of the Wehrmacht High Command, handed over a denunciation letter about Ohser to Goebbels on February 22, 1944. Of all people a friend of Ohser, the journalist Gerhart Weise,  who worked in the Schwarz van Berk office set up by Goebbels and responsible for disinformation abroad, was commissioned to check the credibility of the witness Schultz and confirmed in a file note dated March 7, 1944, "that the information contained in his note of February 22, 1944 corresponds to the facts”.  On March 28, 1944, Ohser and his friend Erich Knauf were arrested. The trial before the People's Court was to be opened by the infamous Roland Freisler on April 6, 1944; Ohser hanged himself the night before. Knauf was convicted and executed in May. The urn with Ohser's ashes was buried in Reichenbach an der Fils until 1968 when, according to Ohser's wishes, it was transferred to the family grave in Plauen.
Albertplatz seen from Johannstraße
During the war, Plauen was long spared from air attacks, but was severely damaged towards the end of the war. On September 12, 1944, the USAAF carried out its first major air raid , followed by several bombing raids by the USAAF and the RAF from January to April 1945. The city experienced the most momentous and last of the fourteen air raids on April 10 when, on that night alone, British bombers killed around 900 people using 1,965 tonnes of explosives which destroyed 164 hectares of the city area. After examining British documents that were secret until 2009, earlier data  for the night attack of April 10, 1945 were revealed stating that 304 Lancaster bombers and six Mosquito fast bombers dropped 1,168 tonnes of bomb load on April 10 and 4,925 tons in total dropped on Plauen. Officially the air raids on Plauen claimed at least 2,340 lives although this number is too low- after the main attack on April 10, 1945, only reported Plauen citizens were counted as fatalities. The stated targets of the air raids were the upper station, with the entire station suburb, the infrastructure and the industrial plants of VOMAG being destroyed. However, there were sometimes large discrepancies between the planned targets and the areas actually hit. In the end destruction of cultural sites was 80%, housing 78%, commercial buildings 70%, administrative facilities 55% and the transport network 48%. 91% of the gas network (150 km of pipelines) and around 200 kilometres of the water network were shut down.
Albertplatz looking towards Bahnhofstraße  
The city's supply networks and city traffic were completely disrupted by the attacks. Repair costs of 4.5 million Reichsmarks were incurred. The attacks destroyed about 75% of the city. In the city centre there were 12,600 bomb craters. With a bomb load of 185.4 t/km², Plauen was one of the most heavily damaged cities in Germany- even more than Dresden which was roughly 60% destroyed. By way of comparison
Dresden was hit with 62.2 tonnes of bombs, Leipzig 88.6 tonnes, Chemnitz 108.3 tonnes, and Zwickau 32.1 tonnes.
On April 16, 1945, Plauen was occupied without a fight by the 347th American Infantry Regiment advancing from the west. During the American occupation, dismantling took place, mainly of cutting-edge technology such as the VOMAG fine boring mills and construction documents were confiscated. The most capable skilled workers and engineers were brought to the American occupation zone. The Americans tried to reestablish a functioning civil administration as quickly as possible, using experts who had been dismissed after 1933. In accordance with the agreements of the Yalta Conference, the Americans withdrew from West Saxony on June 30, 1945, and from July 1 the Soviets took possession of the remainder of the occupation zone they had been allotted. Plauen hosted a large Red Army occupation garrison and, in the last years of the DDR, an officer school of the Border Guards ("Grenztruppen der DDR").

 The birthplace of Karl May, Hitler's favourite author. Hitler's engagement withMay's works extended beyond mere literary appreciation. It's evident that Hitler saw himself as a protagonist akin to May's heroes, particularly the noble and selfless Winnetou. According to Albert Speer, Hitler would often compare himself to the Native American character, considering him a paragon of loyalty and courage. This identification with May's protagonists allowed Hitler to create a persona that he believed embodied similar traits, such as resilience, determination, and a staunch adherence to his cause. Moreover, Hitler's fascination with May's depiction of the American West extended to his political vision. May's novels portrayed a world where racial conflict was resolved through the domination and subjugation of the indigenous populations. Hitler, influenced by these narratives, developed a similar worldview where he saw the Aryan race as superior and believed in the necessity of territorial expansion and the subjugation or elimination of perceived racial enemies. In this sense, May's novels provided Hitler with a framework and justification for his aggressive territorial ambitions and genocidal actions. However, it's crucial to note that not all historians agree on the extent of Karl May's importance to Hitler's ideology. Some argue that while May's works certainly appealed to Hitler and may have influenced certain aspects of his thinking, they should not be seen as the sole or decisive factor in shaping his worldview. Historians such as Ian Kershaw emphasise that Hitler's racist beliefs and expansionist aspirations were deeply rooted in his own ideological development and personal experiences, and cannot be attributed solely to the influence of a single author.
Adolf became gripped by the adventure stories of Karl May, whose popular tales of the Wild West and Indian wars (though May had never been to America) enthralled thousands of youngsters. Most of these youngsters graduated from the Karl May adventures and the childhood fantasies they fostered as they grew up. For Adolf, however, the fascination with Karl May never faded. As Reich Chancellor, he still read the May stories, recommending them, too, to his generals, whom he accused of lacking imagination.
 During the war from December 10, 1944 to mid-April 1945, an outside camp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp was set up in the village, in which 444 concentration camp prisoners had to carry out forced labour in the armaments industry in the village and neighbouring Siegmar-Schönau. To this were added prisoners of war and forced labourers from the countries occupied by Germany.

Hammerleubsdorf, Leubsdorf
Hammerleubsdorf Gauschule
The former NSDAP Gauschule on Talstraße 8 shown with the Nazi eagle from a Nazi postcard flying the Nazi flag is now a pale, derelict structure. In its monthly report for March 1932, the State Information Office in Dresden reported the establishment of an SA sports school for the Gau of Saxony in Hammerleubsdorf. The official opening on February 28, 1932 was attended by SA Leader, Ernst Röhm, SA Group Leader Saxony, Manfred von Killinger, Nazi Gauleiter Martin Mutschmann, SA Oberfuhrer Kurt Lasch and the ϟϟ-Oberfuhrer of Central Germany, Friedrich Schlegel . After 1933 it was converted into a so-called "Führervorschule (FVS)". From January 20, 1933 to February 9, 1933, the 1st ϟϟ course of ϟϟ section II took place here. Amongst the participants was Helmut Säuberlich from Bautzen. Around the summer of 1933, the "Führervorschule" became the 'First Nazi Party district school in Germany', as noted in this postcard.

Bad Brambach 
The Kapellenbergturm on the Schönberg shown flying the Nazi flag from a postcard from the time and as it currently appears. After the First World War there were plans for a lookout tower here with baroness Magyary-Reitzenstein providing the land. The wooden tower dates from November 29, 1931 when it was formally inaugurated having been built near the Czech border according to the plans of architect Gustav Zimmermann and Ernst Schüller. The tower was closed to visitors in 1968 during the time when the Prague Spring was crushed that year and Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia, with the tower serving as a Soviet radar station. The closure was later justified with the alleged dilapidation of the tower and finally blown up in 1982. The tower was reopened on June 19, 1993. The new lookout tower was designed according to the old plans, but has an enlarged floor plan and is slightly higher. The platform on the first floor was simply removed. Since 2007 there have been an annual average of 4,738 visitors and from its viewing platform one can see as far as the Kaiserwald, the Ore Mountains, the Upper Palatinate Forest and the Fichtelgebirge. There is a legend of the white woman at the watering place related to the site concerning a nun fwho appears as a ghost on the adjacent high moor, said to have drowned her child there before fleeing to her lover.

Raschwitz Markkleeberg
Publication celebrating the foundation of the town under the Nazis. In the summer of 1933, the districts of Oetzsch Markkleeberg and Gautzsch were united after three decades of attempts by the  architect and Nazi Ortsgruppenleiter Rudolf Brümmer. The naming of the new town was made in the name of National Socialist Germanisation efforts, according to which a "Germanisation of foreign place names" was intended as a a cultural and social engineering attempt to practice racist supremacy thinking. Leipzig's Neuesten Nachrichten of September 7, 1936 declared tht "Markkleeberg is a good German name of an old place, whilst Oetzsch and Gautzsch, which also look back on a long history, have Slavic place names." Thus the original districts were also renamed: Gautzsch became Markkleeberg-West and Oetzsch with the incorporated Raschwitz Markkleeberg-Mitte.
Hauptstraße became Straße der SA in January 1937
On January 2, 1934 the ceremony was finally celebrated in today's Markkleeberg town hall presided over by the first mayor of the new city, Leipzig lawyer Martin Braun. The first official acts of the new municipal authority were the awarding of honorary citizenship to Reich President Hindenburg, Chancellor Hitler and Reich Governor Mutschmann; the renaming of several streets and the laying down of the  specially erected border posts between Oetzsch and Gautzsch by the Hitler Youth took place on January 14, 1934. 
Raschwitz Markkleeberg ForsthausThe Forsthaus on the left, back when it flew the swastika, and today on Koburgerstraße 33 where it serves as a restaurant and biergarten.  To strengthen the union and sense of home of the new town, the city council decided from September 8 to 10, 1934 to celebrate a 'home and school festival'. The speech by Mayor Braun had him state that "it was above all an event in the National Socialist sense," showing that unity makes one strong and that it is important to take the strong experience of the national community and people's ties into everyday life, making Markkleeberg "the first town founded in the Third Reich to tolerate no other spirit than the spirit of Adolf Hitler ”.
From 1944-1945, a forced labour camp for women was established in the town, initially a subcamp of the Ravensbrück concentration camp and later of Buchenwald. Among the inmates were a thousand Jewish women from Hungary and 250 French prisoners of war. In early April 1945 the surviving inmates were transferred to the Mauthausen-Gusen camp in Austria.
The Hitler Youth flag flying atop the Schulkameradentag Pfingsten in 1938, now simply the Mittelschule
Rochlitz rathausThe rathaus sporting a swastika and today. During the war a subcamp of Flossenbürg concentration camp was located in the town from September 1944 to March 1945. The camp held about 600 Jewish women. 
During the Third Reich the Nazis gained an early foothold in the city council and in 1934 removed nonpartisan mayor Rudolf Herrmann by means of a political intrigue. A year earlier Hitler and Hindenburg were made honorary citizens of the city. The town bridge was built and named after Gauleiter Martin Mutschmann. 1936 saw the town host the "Festival of Landscape- 1000 years German". The cumbersome title suggests that this was a historical construct although the Rochlitzer area was said to have been the site of the death in 936 of King Henry I. From 1938 the arms industry moved into the city, and probably from 19 September 1944 to 28 March 1945, a subcamp of Flossenburg concentration camp with about 600 imprisoned Jewish women was opened. These women had to do forced labour in mechanics. There is no commemoration of this in the town. 
The town was taken on April 14, 1945 by units of the 76th Infantry and 6th Armoured Division of the 3rd American Army. Here formed the line of demarcation between Americans and Russians. The former withdrew from the city on June 30. At the Muldenbrücke in April 2003 a plaque was installed, which commemorates the "liberation" of the city.

The main railway station in 1937 with the swastika adorning the top of the entrance and the Nazi 'Denkmal der Arbeit' looming in the foreground. The monument by the Dresden sculptor Hermann Alfred Raddatz was created between 1936 and 1938 and was donated by the Zwickau publisher Horst Kausche. The bronze statue was inaugurated on May 27, 1938 and was located on the station forecourt between two roundabouts that still exist today within a squalid green area opposite Zwickau's main station. The terminus of line 1 of the Zwickau tram was located between the memorial and the station. Depicted was a miner advancing with a wing iron in his raised right hand and a miner's lamp in his left, chest-high, standing on an obelisk-like column. The bronze figure on its flat pedestal was seven metres high, the stone stele eleven metres, resulting in a total height of the monument of around eighteen metres. In the direction of the train station, a bronze plaque similar to a coat of arms, suggesting an eagle, was about two metres high on the stele. The reasons for the removal by the Nazis are unknown. The occasional assertion that the sculpture was considered "degenerate" by the Nazis and was therefore melted down in 1943 which contradicts the fact that the campaign against " degenerate art " was already in full swing when the monument was inaugurated in 1938 and given a place in public space. In addition, the monument did not have any stylistic features that corresponded to those of art considered "degenerate". The statue was probably, like numerous bells and monuments at that time, dismantled and melted down for armaments production. Such a fate also befell the Zwickau Bismarck monument, which was probably dismantled and melted down in the same year.
Nazi Geringswalde
The swastika flying over the town hall and the market square today. 
A Nazi Party meeting took place in Geringswalde on August 13, 1930 after an earlier event had been held in Chemnitz the day before. The same speech was given on the subject of "The swindle of the Internationale". The local police would ordered to secure the event with the town mayor's stating that "a few deaths were irrelevant." In the course of the event a battle took place in the hall with Nazis and members of the SPD and KPD in which the SA apparently won after a few minutes.

Schildau Bergturm sporting a Nazi flag
The Bergturm sporting a Nazi flag for a period postcard and today.
The town itself is located about eight miles southwest of Torgau, best known as the place where, on April 25 1945, American and Soviet forces first met near the end of the war. Schildau was the birthplace in 1760 of August Neidhardt von Gneisenau, a prominent figure in the reform of the Prussian military and the War of Liberation who later participated in the Prussian reforms after Prussia's defeat against Napoleon Bonaparte, rising to the position of Generalfeldmarschall. Several German navy ships, including the First World War armoured cruiser SMS Gneisenau  and the Second World War battleship Gneisenau were named after him. The latter was armed with a main battery of eleven inch C/34 guns in three triple turrets and, with the Scharnhorst, sank the British auxiliary cruiser HMS Rawalpindi and, during the invasion of  Norway, engaged the battlecruiser HMS Renown and sank the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious during which it  was damaged and later torpedoed by a British submarine, HMS Clyde, off Norway. Finally on the night of February 26, 1942, the British launched an air attack on the ship during which one bomb penetrated her armoured deck and exploded in the forward ammunition magazine, causing serious damage and several casualties.