Showing posts with label Königssee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Königssee. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi sites around Berchtesgaden

Click here for Berchtesgaden:

The area around Berchtesgaden and the Obersalzberg was lavished with building projects including the 'Regierungsflughafen Reichenhall-Berchtesgaden' government airport in Ainring, which opened in 1934; the construction of a new office for the Reich Chancellery in Bischofswiesen; the conversion of the Hotel Berchtesgadener Hof into the 'Gästehaus der Partei'; the construction of a new train station in Berchtesgaden and a mountain infantry barracks in Strub and - after a conversion for 35 million Reichsmarks in 1942 - the baroque castle Klessheim in Salzburg with its own train station and its own access to the Reichsautobahn. Hitler used it as the Obersalzberg's guest house for meetings with foreign state guests, whom he did not want to receive in the intimate atmosphere of the Berghof. Plenty of funds were available to finance the construction.

Originally the Adolf Hitler Kaserne, the Jägerkaserne is a barracks of the Bundeswehr in built in September 1937 according to the plans of Munich architect Bruno Biehler. It was described at the time as "the most beautiful barracks in the most beautiful part of the Reich" as an example of harmonious military architecture blending into the surroundings once the necessary land for the barracks area was expropriated. On November 11, 1938, they moved into the barracks. After the war on May 4, 1945 allied troops occupied the barracks which were then used to accommodate displaced persons. A recent report from the Bundeswehr classified building number 6a of the Jäger barracks as "poor" in construction stage "C". There was water ingress in the basement of the building. Leaking pipes running through the wall caused water and mould damage in several accommodation rooms. After regular and persistent demands from the company, only building maintenance measures were carried out.
reichsadler eidelweiss
The Nazi eagle remains above the entrance, its swastika replaced with an edelweiss whilst the Lion Monument in front shown in the GIF below commemorates the Mountain Troops killed in the war. The stationed mountain troops have since recently been involved in numerous foreign operations such as in Somalia, the Balkans and Afghanistan, as well as in regional and national disaster operations such as the rescue operation in the Riesending shaft cave in June 2014 when the camp for the emergency services and the helipad were set up on the barracks site. The majority of the most successful German winter athletes are or were stationed in the barracks and are trained there by the sports promotion group.
Adolf Hitler Kaserne
Today however, regardless of its preoccupation on promoting images of female soldiers sporting long non-military hair and Woke ideology on its website and continues to elicit disbelief amongst its American and British Commonwealth allies as its refusal to spend anything on its own defence leaves the Bundeswehr painting broomsticks black whilst mounting them on armoured vehicles to resemble machine guns, the question of the extent of right-wing extremists operating within in the Bundeswehr has become more pronounced given the number of reports of “suspected extremist cases” continues to increase dramatically with 229 cases reported in 2020 compared to the previous year's 197 cases. Indeed, for 2020 alone, the military counter-intelligence service reported 477 new suspected cases in the area of right-wing extremism, not including Islamic terrorist groups. In the years 2017 to 2019, 167, 150 and 178 reports of possible right-wing extremist behaviour were recorded- in the previous three years the numbers were 63, 57 and 63. In 2020 there were eighteen suspected cases relating to the terms “discrimination” and “bullying”, in which an extremist background could not be ruled out. These included performing the Hitler salute, derogatory remarks about the Holocaust and Jews, and sending right-wing extremist content via WhatsApp. In 2017 there was a scandal involving the farewell party of a company commander of the 2nd commando forces company attended by sixty particants, at which, in addition to throwing a pig's head as part of a course the officer was to complete after which the grand prize was sex with a prostitute whilst music from the right-wing band "Sturmwehr"was played, the Hitler salute was said to have been made by several people.
Adolf Hitler KaserneIn another case a non-commissioned officer published a picture of Hitler in a crowd on his WhatsApp status, from which numerous people around him raised their hands in the Hitler salute with Hitler's face being replaced by the sergeant's head. Another enlisted soldier sent various pictures with Hitler's likeness in a private WhatsApp group regarding a birthday resulting in charges before the criminal court. An inebriated enlisted soldier was discovered to have shouted "Heil Hitler" and "Sieg Heil" several times at night in public, clearly audible for the residents of the surrounding houses. In addition to being released from the Bundeswehr early, the soldier had to face criminal charges. The police discovered in May 2020 on the private property of a member of the special forces commando veritable ammunition and weapons depot as well as Nazi propaganda postcards and an ϟϟ song book. The working group set up by the Minister of Defence under the direction of the Inspector General of the German Armed Forces found that the Special Forces Command had become independent in some areas resulting in what it described as a misguided management culture, extremist tendencies and careless handling of material and ammunition.
Adolf Hitler Jugendherberge 
Just further down the road is what was the Adolf Hitler Jugendherberge which is still used as a youth hostel; my Geography students stayed here during our 2019 fieldtrip.
It was designed by architect Georg Zimmermann from 1935-1938; on Hitler's 46th birthday on April 20, 1935, Reich Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach solemnly laid the foundation stone for the "educational institution for National Socialism" in front of 2,300 Hitler Youth at today's Haus Untersberg. A few years later, the hostel was expanded to accommodate up to a thousand guests, making it the largest youth hostel in the world with 1,000 beds. Schirach was sentenced in the Nuremberg Trials for crimes against humanity; the youth hostel remained.
The GIF on the left shows Hitler making a personal visit from the pages of the Illustrierter Beobachter of October 29, 1936. Through the process of Gleichschaltung the Hitler Youth took over the running of the network of Jugendherbergen, enabling them to determine who could or could not spend the night in one.

Adolf Hitler Jugendherberge Hitler Youth at the back of the building and the front then and now. There is evidence that even before their ascendancy the new elite had visualised the hostel's utility for fascistic indoctrination, both of Germany's youth and of foreign hostellers visiting the country. Steadily and progressively the movement was drained of cosmopolitanism, suffused with National Socialism. In April of 1933 Baldur von Schirach, newly appointed Reich leader of the youth, stressed the importance of incorporating the hostel organisation within the framework of the Nazi programme. That year the Nazis began disbanding the network of hostels that housed young travellers and functioned as cultural centres, describing them as “Jewish and Marxist contaminated.” Bavarian International SchoolIn 1936, the Reich’s surveillance department was instructed to conduct random searches on the remaining hostels; if officials discovered any people with unkempt hair or disorderly behaviour, they were considered hikers and reported to the police. Finally, in 1937, any hostel guest without a Hitler Youth uniform and membership was to be reported. Nazi youth leaders even banned the use of the word Wandern. Lloydl, the German head of their international youth hostel service, briefly summarised the fascist aims in regard to youth hostels:
 Before National Socialism came to power hostels were only overnight places; today they are cultural centres .... The present movement is part and parcel of the rest of the German regime. . we have only one party, and it is of course natural that its interests, which are the interests of the German folk, should be furthered. As part of the wider regime, the hostels have their objectives. The result was a hybrid part to contribute. This, in particular, involves allowing the young people to wander throughout their homeland, acquiring a wider love for it, a deeper desire to further its interests, a friendship with those met on the ways and those with whom they travel which binds all Germany together.
The official hostel magazine, Jugend und Heimat (Youth and Native Land), was even more outspoken in showing the relationship between the youth hostels and Nazi aims:
The youth hostel itself... must be the home of the Hitler youth. Every day, every evening, boys and girls must assemble for earnest work and joyful play under its roof. Here must also the poorest, the one alone, feel at home. The picture of our leader should look down on the children, as they take pains time and again, through lectures and discussions, to enter into the ideals of our movement.... There is a tremendous importance in having the proper leaders. Wander leaders must be reliable in their loyalty to Adolf Hitler. They must lead their young people into the ways and wishes of the national revolution... Our youth must be ready to serve the Fatherland, which they have seen and wandered through, every hour and every day of their lives... and to follow our leader, Adolf Hitler, on every path he indicates. He who builds youth hostels sees to it that the political education of the German youth towards an indissoluble unity of the German community is furthered, and thereby contributes to the immortalisation of the Third Reich.  Hitler youth go on outings in order to see their home. Impressively, a trip takes place to the eastern boundary of our Fatherland. Right on that very spot it becomes clear to the young German that he must stake his best against robber enemies in order to preserve blood and soil. He who returns from this border will take back a piece of Germany with him.

In addition to accommodating Hitler Youth groups and school classes, the youth hostels were used as training and conference facilities, for accommodating Sudeten German refugees or as accommodation for Reich Labour Service camps. Although individual guests were tolerated, they were increasingly pushed into the background; Jews were forbidden to use it. During the war, the hostels served as military hospitals, prisoner of war or resettlement camps, for the Wehrmacht or as accommodation for forced labourers. Above all, however, youth hostels- most particularly this one- were used from 1940 as accommodation for the extended "Kinderlandverschickung" (KLV), in the context of which children from the air warwere evacuated from vulnerable cities to safe rural areas.. 

Standing in the reception area

This old folks' home in Strub at Insulaweg 1 once served as a sports academy for the Bund deutscher Mädel (BDM - League of German Girls). Today the Diakonie Insula, a retirement home and care centre, the site and the buildings of the insula served as a BdM school established in 1938 for which purpose a raised bog was drained and a mountain, the Schusterbichlberg, and a small baroque palace were removed. It was only partially completed by the end of the war. The BdM had been a sub-organisation of the Hitler Youth since 1930. All girls and young women between the ages of ten and 21 had to join the BdM. The primary goal was education in line with Nazi ideology and preparation for the future tasks of women in the National Socialist community. Obedience, fulfillment of duty, discipline, a willingness to make sacrifices and physical training were part of the curriculum at a BDM school. Important courses at that time were "racial studies", "folk songs", "dances", "housekeeping" and "physical exercises". Without the use of the HJ and BDM, the war would probably have ended much earlier for various labour services up to the auxiliary war service. In the 1940s the Wehrmacht took over the site and, after further expansion, used it as barracks. In early May 1945, the American 36th Infantry Division set up a camp for German PoWs. One of the inmates was the former Governor General of Poland Hans Frank, who was sentenced to death and executed at the Nuremberg Trials. After the war, the buildings were used by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration as a DP camp. Numerous former forced labourers and concentration camp prisoners from Eastern Europe stayed here. Erich Gindler was also one of the refugees who found a place to stay in the insula; he's the one who created the murals in the former sports hall which is now the Insula Church. He'd been a soldier in the war during which time his studio and with it a large part of his work were destroyed in the summer of 1944 during the air raids on Königsberg. In April 1945 he was severely wounded and taken as a prisoner of war, from which he was released in 1946 to Murnau am Staffelsee. Behind the complex original sculptures remain beside which Drake Winston stands. There is also a bunker nearby, the only air raid shelter built above ground in Berchtesgaden. It is now on private property however and is not accessible. The bunker system at the sports school was filled with liquid concrete after the war. On May 6, 1951, the "Evangelical Lutheran Home for the Elderly" inaugurated in the Strub. From 1947 under the sponsorship of the International Refugee Organisation and in cooperation with the Lutheran World Federation, they provided accommodation in particular for Latvian refugees who had not been repatriated until then and served a Latvian school. In 1949 the sponsorship changed to the Munich Inner Mission. On May 6, 1951, after appropriate conversions, the building was handed over to its new use as an Evangelical Lutheran home for the elderly and inaugurated. 

Stanggass Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden
Stanggass Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden
The Reich Chancellery Dienststelle Berchtesgaden (or Kleine Reichskanzlei) is an ensemble of buildings erected from 1936 to 1937 according to plans by Alois Degano as a branch of the Reich Chancellery in the Stanggaß district of Bischofswiesen. The office functioned as the second seat of government of the Nazi regime during Hitler's presence in the Obersalzberg restricted area . No documented explanation has yet been found for the “Berchtesgaden” in the designation of this office – it is probably derived from the district office of Berchtesgaden or the district of Berchtesgaden, which at the time was responsible for the municipality of Bischofswiesen administrative authority. The Reich Chancellery office in Berchtesgaden served as Hitler's second seat of government next to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. Construction began in mid-September 1936 under the architect Alois Degano who had immediately encountered difficulties as the groundwater level was very high which led to a foundation built upon 620 concrete piles. Degano had chosen a main building with a side wing as well as a garage built to provide staff accommodation. The opening ceremony took place on January 18, 1937 with the completion of all buildings by July that year. Between 1943 and 1945, the 500 metre long air-raid shelter system was built. The bunkers, which are directly connected to the buildings of the Reich Chancellery, have an access southwest of the facility directly on the Bad Reichenhall–Berchtesgaden railway line .
Hitler at Stanggass Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden 
Hitler visiting the site. Alongside his stays in the nearby Berghof on the Obersalzberg, Hitler used the working spaces of this so-called 'Little Reich Chancellery' to establish a total of about 125 laws and regulations. In addition to housing the High Command of the Wehrmacht, political guests were received in this building and later further buildings were added for use when needed.
Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden
The chief of the Reichskanzlei, Hans Lammers, welcoming Field Marshall Keitel at the entrance. On January 18, 1937 during the roofing ceremony at the site of the Chancellery’s new office building, State Secretary Lammers expounded upon the indispensability of such a structure to house a branch of the Reich Government by stating, “the Führer is always on duty, no matter whether it is during the week, on the weekend or while he is on vacation.” 
Lammers’ choice of the word “vacation” in this context was most unfortunate. It was Hitler’s personal conviction that since he was always on duty, he could never be “on vacation.” He liked to claim for himself that he had never had more than “three days of leave” in his entire life. In the course of the festivities, Hitler delivered a ‘secret speech’ to the construction workers, describing himself as “one to have emerged from amongst their ranks.”
Doramus (860)
Hitler at Stanggass Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden
From 1937 Lammers, the department head of "Department A" Willy Meerwald and other officials in the summer months performed their duties in the office Berchtesgaden. In correspondence as well as in public usage was spoken not by the Reich Chancellery Berchtesgaden, but by the Department of the Reich Chancellery in Berchtesgaden. This was to avoid the impression that the Reich Chancellery was completely relocated to Berchtesgaden.
Over time Lammers would lose power and influence given both the increasing irrelevancy of his position due to the war and as a consequence of Martin Bormann's growing influence with Hitler. During
the final days of the Third Reich, Lammers was arrested by ϟϟ troops in connection with the upheaval surrounding Hermann Göring. Lammers would ironically be rescued when he was captured by American forces, but his wife Elfriede ended up committing suicide near Obersalzberg in early May 1945, as did his younger daughter, Ilse, two days later. In April 1949 Lammers was tried in the so-called Ministries Trial and sentenced to twenty years in prison which was later reduced to ten years. On December 16, 1951, he was released from the Landsberg prison with his sentence declared as served. He died on January 4, 1962 in Düsseldorf, and was buried in Berchtesgaden in the same plot as his wife and daughter.
Stanggass Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden
Stanggass Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden 
Seen from the front and rear during the Nazi era and today.
Nazi eagle at Stanggass Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden Reichsadler Stanggass Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden 
The Reichsadler is still present, sans swastika, after 75 years. Julius Streicher had been held here for a time after the war.American General Omar Bradley was chauffeured in one of the vehicles from Hitler's fleet on the grounds to accept a tribute call of American soldiers on site and awards. After the war until 1995 the building was used by the American Army. In 2004 the building controversially came under the temporary use of family therapist Bert Hellinger who wrote of Hitler: “Some consider you unhuman, as if ever someone existed on earth who might be called like that. I just look at you as a human being like myself... When I confess you were a human being like I am, I look onto Something disposing of both of us in the same vein”.
In 1996 the state was allowed to dispose of the property and sold it to a group of private investors.The interior of the Little Chancellery is still largely available in its original form. The owner attaches importance to maintain this state.
Keitel's actual house is nearby. Keitel is seen in the centre at Karlhorst in Berlin during the surrender ceremony.

Dietrich Eckart Clinic in Stanggaß
 The Dietrich Eckart Clinic in Stanggaß was built in 1938 on Hitler's orders as a district hospital and named after Dietrich Eckart. Hitler, who used the region around Berchtesgaden from 1928 privately and after the seizure of power politically, had arranged on personal request to build an additional, "country-appropriate new hospital" given that the old district hospital had long since become too small and no longer met the modern medical requirements. Architect Edgar Berge built a low-rise building for roughly two hundred patients with balconies. A special feature here was that all rooms were south-facing and the balconies were big enough to push the beds into the sun. The Dietrich Eckart Clinic has the typical features of a Nazi building, starting with its considerable size and swanky entrance hall in the main building, which was built with red Untersberg marble and was also very generously planned. All other stairs under construction were of white marble. The hospital even had its own bunker, which was converted into a theatre after the war.  Private patients had their own two-story compartment, which was accessible from the main building with a sloping elevator and for the time was considered a special feature. In addition, the hospital had a swimming pool and library. 
From the outside, the Dietrich Eckart Clinic is very similar to the typical regional architectural style, decorated with elaborate hand paintings and offering an impressive view of the mountain panorama. On May 6, 1938, the foundation stone was laid in the presence of Erich Hilgenfeldt, head of the National Socialist People's Welfare (NSV). Although the topping-out ceremony was celebrated on December 15, 1939, Adolf Wagner- the Gauleiter of Munich Upper Bavaria and Bavarian Interior Minister- opened the new district hospital Dietrich Eckart only on June 13, 1942. The NSV bore the costs of construction and provided the nursing staff. It was considered one of the country's most modern National Socialist sanatoriums. From the end of 1942, the Dietrich Eckart Clinic was immediately used as a Wehrmacht hospital; only after the end of the war did everyday life move back into the building complex. The planned Nazi nursery school, for which plans already existed, was postponed during the war, but ultimately not realised. In 1996, the hospital closed due to the insolvency of the operator and remains derelict today. The future of the building is uncertain, and the building is currently surrounded by barbed wire fencing to prevent access from the curious and other unwanted visitors.
Further away is Göllhäusl, a cottage used by Dietrich Eckart in the 1920s, shown after being renamed Eckarthaus when it was visited by Hermann Göring, Werner von Blomberg, and Hitler in the 1930s and how it appears today, considerably changed. One of the founders of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, which later evolved into the Nazi Party, Eckart was a participant in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch and is credited with coining the Nazi motto Deutschland Erwache. Hitler dedicated the second volume of Mein Kampf to him.
Dietrich Eckart, twenty-one years older than Hitler, was often called the spiritual founder of National Socialism. A witty journalist, a mediocre poet and dramatist, he had translated Ibsen’s Peer Gynt and written a number of unproduced plays. In Berlin for a time he had led, like Hitler in Vienna, the bohemian vagrant’s life, become a drunkard, taken to morphine and, according to Heiden, been confined to a mental institution, where he was finally able to stage his dramas, using the inmates as actors. He had returned to his native Bavaria at the war’s end and held forth before a circle of admirers at the Brennessel wine cellar in Schwabing, the artists’ quarter in Munich, preaching Aryan superiority and calling for the elimination of the Jews and the downfall of the ”swine” in Berlin. ”We need a fellow at the head,” Heiden, who was a working newspaperman in Munich at the time, quotes Eckart as declaiming to the habitues of the Brennessel wine cellar in 1919, ”who can stand the sound of a machine gun. The rabble need to get fear into their pants. We can’t use an officer, because the people don’t respect them any more. The best would be a worker who knows how to talk ... He doesn’t need much brains . He must be a bachelor, then we’ll get the women.” What more natural than that the hard-drinking poet should find in Adolf Hitler the very man he was looking for? He became a close adviser to the rising young man in the German Workers’ Party, lending him books, helping to improve his German – both written and spoken – and introducing him to his wide circle of friends, which included not only certain wealthy persons who were induced to contribute to the party’s funds and Hitler’s living but such future aides as Rudolf Hess and Alfred Rosenberg. Hitler’s admiration for Eckart never flagged, and the last sentence of Mein Kampf is an expression of gratitude to this erratic mentor: "one of the best, who devoted his life to the awakening of our people, in his writings and his thoughts and finally in his deeds.”
Bad Reichenhall
Nazi Eagle Tutschek KaserneNazi Eagle Tutschek Kaserne
The swastika at the former General Ritter von Tutschek Kaserne has been transformed into an edelweiss. The army barracks, still in use today by the German army, was named after the Great War flying ace Adolf Ritter von Tutschek who was eventually credited with 27 victories. As German air strategy turned towards concentrated air power, he was entrusted with one of the world's first fighter wings. Now renamed the Hochstaufen Barracks, they were built in 1934 as part of the Nazi rearmament policy which led to Bad Reichenhall again becoming a garrison town. It was located in what was then the independent western neighbouring municipality of Karlstein before becoming incorporated into the town of Bad Reichenhall and to this day remains structurally virtually unchanged. In 1939 it served as the headquarters of the III. Btl. des Gebirgsjäger-Regimentes 100 with regimental staff and 16th Panzer-Abwehr-Abteilung. In addition, the 1st Division of the Mountain Artillery Regiment 79 and a medical squadron were housed in the southern part of the barracks. The idea of founding a Gebigsjägerkaserne in Bad Reichenhall went back to the Bad Reichenhall spa doctor Gustav Ortenau, who had already given specific considerations in 1912. By 1937, Bad Reichenhall had been expanded into a complete troop base with an officers 'mess, officers' and NCO's houses with the result that Bad Reichenhall became a garrison town.
General Ritter von Tutschek Kaserne einst jetztDuring the April 25, 1945 bombing raid, the barracks suffered no significant damage with their numerous hospitals there. After the war the Americans set up a camp for displaced persons in the barracks.  On February 22, 1958, the first unit of the mountain artillery moved back into the barracks where it remains in use still by the Bundeswehr. Its name changed again on June 13, 1966 when the barracks was named after the former general of the mountain troops Rudolf Konrad. However, this became problematic due to Konrad's past history in the Wehrmacht during the war which was marked by partisan persecution and anti- Semitism which led to increased calls for another renaming of the barracks. On August 1, 2012, the Federal Minister of Defence Thomas de Maizière announced during a troop visit to Bad Reichenhall that both the General Konrad and the artillery barracks, which are structurally a single unit, would henceforth be renamed the Hochstaufen barracks and so, in a solemn ceremony in the presence of the Minister of Defence on September 17, 2012, the new inscription on the southern barracks gate was attached. The Hochstaufen is the highest peak of the Hausberg of Bad Reichenhall, whose foothills extend to the immediate vicinity of the barracks.
General Ritter von Tutschek Kaserne einst jetztIn the town itself on July 2, 1934 Hitler delivered a speech at a Führertagung of the SA, ϟϟ and Stahlhelm in Bad Reichenhall, after which he declared that
Under the leadership of the Chief of Staff of the SA, a convention of high- ranking SA and ϟϟ leaders took place in Bad Reichenhall from July 1 to July 3, to which the Bundesführer, Seldte, and numerous high-ranking leaders of the Stahlhelm were invited. The convention, which was designed particularly to promote the mutual acquaintance of leaders fighting in a single front, was characterised by a spirit of sincerity and comradeship. The common goal and the personal solidarity of the newly created soldierly front hold the promise of a lasting fighting community. In agreement with Bundesführer Seldte, I thus order as follows:
The entire Stahlhelm will be placed under the command of the Supreme SA Command and reorganized according to its guidelines. At the orders of the Supreme SA Command, the Jungstahlhelm and the sports units will be restructured by the Stahlhelm offices in accordance with the units of the SA. This transformation must be concluded by the date still to be determined by the Supreme SA Command. The Bundesführer shall issue the requisite commands in respect to the remaining sections of the Stahlhelm. As a demonstration of the solidarity of the Stahlhelm with the National Socialist Movement, these sections of the Stahlhelm shall wear a field-grey armband with a black swastika on a white background. I hereby bestow upon the Jungstahlhelm and the sports units which are part of my SA the armband of their organization and the national emblem to be worn on their caps between the cockades. The implementation provisions will be issued by the Chief of Staff. 
Adolf Hitler
GIF: The Saalachsee  at Bad Reichenhall
The Saalachsee at Bad Reichenhall
Repeatedly insulted by Nazi politicians as "Judenbad", Bad Reichenhall did not play a major role in the Nazis' programme, but was rather overshadowed by Hitler's residence on Obersalzberg in nearby Berchtesgaden. In July 1933, the "Reichsführer conference" took place in the Bad Reichenhall Kurhaus, at which Adolf Hitler appeared as a speaker.  During the National Socialist dictatorship, the international guest clientele of the state spa was noticeably pushed back in favour of the state-controlled domestic mass tourism. The so-called "Anschluss" of Austria to the German Reich on March 13, 1938 meant that Bad Reichenhall was now geographically inland and had to compete with the neighbouring tourist destinations of the "Ostmark". Until the nationwide ban on spa stays for people of Jewish faith in 1939, Jewish spa guests were only able to visit Bad Reichenhall, apart from Bad Kissingen, more or less unmolested. The pogrom night from November 9th to 10th 1938 caused the last remaining Jewish citizens to leave Bad Reichenhall. 
Reserve hospitals were set up as a precaution at the beginning of the war. Bad Reichenhall was officially declared as a hospital town, however, because at the end of the war the headquarters of the “High Command of the Army”, several military command posts and soldiers were in the spa town. On November 22, 1944, the district of Staufenbruck was bombed by aircraft of the "United States Army Air Forces" (USAAF).
It was here too on July 29, 1941 that General Jodl visited the O.K.W.'s operations staff and told its head, General Warlimont, that Hitler had made up his mind to prepare for war against Russia.
At a later date [Warlimont testified after the war] I talked with Hitler myself. He had intended to begin the war against the U.S.S.R. as early as the autumn of 1940, but he gave up this idea. The reason was that the strategic position of the troops at that time was not favourable for the purpose. The supplies to Poland were not good enough; railways and bridges were not prepared; the communication lines and aerodromes were not organised. Therefore, the order was given to secure the transport and to prepare for such an attack as would eventually be made.     

On April 25, 1945, another Allied bombing raid on the town centre claimed 215 lives. 66 buildings were totally damaged, 221 partially so. because at the end of the war the management staff of the "High Command of the Army", several military command posts and soldiers were in the spa town. On November 22, 1944, the district of Staufenbruck was bombed by aircraft of the "United States Army Air Forces" (USAAF). The town centre with its many hospitals and the train station were nearly totally destroyed whilst the barracks didn't suffer any damage. Under Major Otto Eidt, Bad Reichenhall was handed over to the advancing American units on May 4, 1945 without a fight. The area would remain was under American military governance until 1948 but not before, on May 8, 1945, a dozen French PoWs from the ϟϟ Division Charlemagne were executed without trial on the orders of General Leclerc. They had earlier surrendered without a fight to the American troops. Some, including Ostuf Krotoff, belonged to the Hersche regiment. Others had left hospitals, as evidenced by the evacuation record they wear on their uniform. Lieutenant Briffault, a veteran of the LVF, did not serve in the ϟϟ Waffen and retired with the staff of the PPF on the shores of Lake Constance.  The Americans interned the French with German prisoners in the barracks above. On May 6, 1945, elements of the 2nd Armoured Division of General Leclerc, continuing their advance in Bavaria, occupy the small town. Upon learning that their guards were to be relieved by Gaullists, the French ϟϟ decided to escape. They managed to cross the fence of the barracks and reached a small wood nearby only to be surrounded by two companies of the 2nd DB and placed under arrest. General Leclerc came to talk with them in person as the photographs taken by a war correspondent here testify. Castigating them for wearing the German uniform, the prisoners retort that he too is wearing a foreign uniform- of the Americans. General Leclerc then unilaterally decided to shoot the twelve French ϟϟ without even a military tribunal through three groups of four men.  In the afternoon, the twelve prisoners are driven by truck to Karlstein, or more precisely to a place called Ruglbach or Kugelbach. When it is announced that they were to be shot in in the back, the prisoners protested violently and demanded the right to stand in front. All refused to have their eyes blindfolded and were shot shouting "Long live France!" It was not until December 6, 1948 that an investigation was undertaken at the request of the family of one of the shot which nevertheless provided no details regarding the capture of the victims or to the circumstances of their deaths. Finally, on June 2, 1949, the corpses of the Karlstein clearing were exhumed and placed in the Sankt Zeno communal cemetery in Bad Reichenhall. The common grave is still there today at Group 11, Row 3, Numbers 81 and 82. On the anniversary of the execution of members of the French Waffen-ϟϟ -Division Charlemagne on May 8, 1945, a memorial service was held on May 5 in Bad Reichenhall with around thirty participants from various right-wing extremist organisations and groups. Karl Richter, Munich city councillor and chairman of the right-wing extremist "Citizens' Initiative Foreigners Stop Munich" (BIA Munich), supported rallies by PEGIDA-München e. V.

Haus Köppeleck
Near Berchtesgaden in Schönau is Haus Köppeleck, still in operation since its time as a Kinderlandverschickung during the war, as shown in Jugend im Reich (34) from 1942. By September 27, 1940, Hitler had decided to create a program called Kinderlandverschickung (KLV- “sending of children to the land”) with the Hitler Youth in charge. Initially the evacuation was to apply only to children of school age from Berlin and Hamburg who lived in suburbs and parts of the cities which did not have sufficient air-raid shelters. The project soon became more extensive as the Allies stepped up their bombing campaign. In April 1942, there were already 850,000 evacuated boys and girls. The KLV was a large program carried out by the Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (NSV—Nazi welfare organisation) and many girls of the BdM became involved in the care of children. Evacuated children were housed in homes, youth hostels, farms, monasteries, holiday camps, pensions, and special camps. These camps, approximately 5,000 of them varying in size, anywhere from 18 children to over 1,200. Each camp was run by Nazi-approved teachers and a Hitler Youth leader. These camps began replacing many urban grammar schools, most of which had been closed due to all the bombings. The KVL policy also served the purpose of removing children from their family environment which made it possible, to some extent, to implement indoctrination and militarisation. The KLV camps prepared German teenage boys for deadly encounters with Allied soldiers in the rubble and ruins of Hitler’s Germany. Parents were reluctant to send their children away to the camps, but those who refused to give their children permission to leave were denounced as unpatriotic. Parents were discouraged from visiting the KVL camps and homes in order not to intensify homesickness and also to avoid a strain on the public transportation system. From 1940 to 1945, over 2.8 million German children were sent to the KLV camps.
The Hotel Schiffmeister behind me in Schönau on the banks of the Königssee during the Nazi era and today. Speer relates how
before we reached our destination, the Schiffmeister restaurant, a band of enthusiasts began excitedly following our group; they had belatedly realized whom they had encountered. Hitler in the lead, almost running, we barely reached the door before we were overtaken by the swelling crowd. We sat over coffee and cake while the big square outside waited. Hitler waited until police reinforcements had been brought up before he entered the open car, which had been driven there to meet us. The front seat was folded back, and he stood beside the driver, left hand resting on the windshield, so that even those standing at a distance could see him. Two men of the escort squad walked in front of the car, three more on either side, while the car moved at a snail's pace through the throng. I sat as usual in the jump seat close behind Hitler and shall never forget that surge of rejoicing, the ecstasy reflected in so many faces. Wherever Hitler went during those first years of his rule, wherever his car stopped for a short time, such scenes were repeated. The mass exultation was not called forth by rhetoric or suggestion, but solely by the effect of Hitler's presence. Whereas individuals in the crowd were subject to this influence only for a few seconds at a time, Hitler himself was eternally exposed to the worship of the masses. At the time. I admired him for nevertheless retaining his informal habits in private.
Speer (48) Inside The Third Reich
Hitler in front of the entrance of the Hotel Schiffmeister and today. 
Bavarian International School
During my 2019 Grade 11 Geography fieldtrip

Schneewinkellehen, Himmler's former residence (shown with daughter Gudrun)
On the left features a propaganda photo of Hitler in May 1933 and later, in uniform on the Obersee
Hitler and Hermann Goering and his wife at the same spot. Goering had a hunting lodge above in the the Röth within the Neuhüttenalm area which is today found in ruins. In 1934 the area had been declared under Goering as a "nature reserve of special order" followed five years later with the Röth and surrounding areas declared a "Wildschutzgebiet." 
According to the “Thüringer Allgemeine”, the party judge for the right wing AfD travelled with other AfD members in October 2015 to places in Hitler’s life, apparently having lit a candle in a window in front of the birthplace in Braunau am Inn and having himself photographed at this spot on the Obersee with an unspecified book by Hitler in his hands.
Of all Göring’s works during that grim period known as the Third Reich, only one has survived to this day: the enlightened Game Laws that he introduced. The animal world remained his own private kingdom. He was an impassioned huntsman  from a fraternity that has always deemed itself a cut above the rest. Hitler actually called the clannish hunting fraternity “that green Freemasonry.” He detested huntsmen, but even he found it useful to indulge Göring’s passion. Göring’s hunting diaries which are preserved portray a cavalcade of foreign diplomats and martial gentlemen accepting his invitations to Prussia’s hunting grounds. There he could meet as equals Czar Boris of Bulgaria, or the regent of Hungary, the kings of Greece and Romania, and the prince regent of Yugoslavia. This was all to the good, but it went beyond that. With Göring, the huntsmen had the inside track. Senior air-force officers who were not good shots found the going difficult. Hunting was as indispensable an asset to promotion in the Luftwaffe as polo was in the British Army. And woe betide those who did not praise Göring’s hunting hospitality or criticized his game.
Bavarian International School 
From the cigarette card album Kampf ums Dritte Reich - Eine historische Bilderfolge and my Bavarian International School students, some of whom were in my History, Geography and ToK classes that year, at the same site in 2017
Bavarian International School Bavarian International School
Making the most of my 2019 Bavarian International School Geography fieldtrip to incorporate some history.
Hitler on a boat in front of Sankt Bartholomä on Königssee
Eva Braun practising gymnastics where the Königsbach river flows into Königssee and the view from atop the waterfall with her sister Gretl in 1940 in one of Braun's home movies. 
These shots come from reel 1 of the private motion pictures of Eva Braun which were assembled into eight reels by the American Army from the original 28 camera rolls, in no chronological or thematic order. The reel also includes other locations such as Am Chiemsee, Schliersee, Wolfgangsee, Aschauer Weiher, Wörthsee and Punktchen am Berg. The American National Archives received this film in 1947, and in 2012 began the digital restoration process, using existing negative copies. This particular reel shows many of the sites around Berchtesgaden, including Braun swimming with her family and others such as Herta Schnider and her husband and child here at Königssee, as well as the Berghof, Hitler entering the teahouse, Braun and others swimming on lake Starnberg, and Chiemsee, as well as Hitler meeting with key personalities including Speer, Ribbentrop, Julius Schaub, Gerhard Engel, Martin Bormann,Heinrich Himmler, and Reinhard Heydrich.

Hitler Hintersee
Hitler and his press chief Otto Dietrich on the terrace of the Gasthaus Seeklause, still in business as seen behind me. On August 1, 1932 Hitler appointed the virtually unknown journalist Dr. Otto Dietrich as chief of his new Press Office. According to Welch (241) in The Third Reich: Politics and Propaganda:
Dietrich, six weeks older than Josef Goebbels, had only  been acquainted with Hitler recently whilst working for the Rheinisch- Westfälische Zeitung. As Reich Press Chief and State Secretary in the Propaganda Ministry he became a serious rival to Goebbels. Dietrich was in the anomalous position of being, on the one hand, a member of Hitler’s immediate entourage and in principle autonomous, and, on the other hand, of being theoretically subordinate to Goebbels. In addition, Dietrich, like Goebbels, was a Reichsleiter of the Nazi Party, which gave him the rank of a cabinet member. Dietrich, not Goebbels, issued the ‘Daily Directives of the Reich Press Chief’, which contained Hitler’s detailed directives to the newspaper editors. Dietrich remained a thorn in Goebbels side and the personal rivalry between the two was symptomatic of the chaotic nature of the Nazi political system that Hitler encouraged. Goebbels plotted to have him replaced claiming that he ‘was an inveterate weakling’ and ‘a foreign body in my Ministry’. For most of the war, however, Dietrich sheltered behind Hitler largely ignoring Goebbels’ orders. Finally on 30 March 1945 he was replaced. Goebbels joyfully recorded in his diary: ‘I hear from Reichsleiter Bormann that the Führer had a three minute interview with Dr. Dietrich at which Dietrich and Sündermann [Dietrich’s deputy] were sent packing in short order. I shall take full advantage of the opportunity and create faits accomplis in the press which it will be impossible to countermand later.’ Goebbels would never fulfil this task and this was to be one of the last entries that he ever wrote. 
Hitler at Hintersee
Drake Winston standing near the spot where Hitler posed for a later postcard. In the early 1940s, the Nazi highway official and later Minister of Armaments Fritz Todt acquired the customs house here on Hontersee. The house on Hirschbichl Street was sold by his daughters in 1978. After the Obersalzberg was bombed, some of the Nazi functionaries were transferred to the Hintersee district. Shortly before the end of the war, on May 1, 1945 General August Winter ordered the war diary of the Wehrmacht High Command (OKW) to be destroyed along with all the text and annex volumes. At the behest of the head of the stenographic service at Hitler's headquarters, Kurt Peschel, and Martin Bormann's personal advisor, Hans Müller , the typewritten minutes of all briefings on the situation were also made there from September 1942 to April 1945 as well as the original shorthand. Some of the shorthands were eventually recovered by the American military intelligence service CIC on May 9 consisting of 52 briefings between December 1942 and March 1945, almost five percent of the total material. This was due to two coincidences: on the one hand, the notes, which were illegible for non-stenographers, were the last to be thrown into the fire; on the other hand, it rained heavily again in the evening and then stayed dry the whole time.
GIF: Ramsau with the parish church of St. Sebastian in the background

The wife in nearby Ramsau 
with  St. Sebastian parish
church  in background

In the two months that followed, the minutes were reconstructed from the fragments with the help of the stenographers and their secretaries, who had also fled Berlin. At first, however, it was less about what was written than about the writers who had worked in Hitler's immediate circle for so long. One of the two stenographers, Gerhard Herrgesell, revealed himself to the CIC and reported that he had been on April 23 directly from the Führerbunker under the Berlin Reich Chancellery arrived - in the luggage the minutes of the situation conferences. Herrgesell was also able to report which leading officers were present at Hitler's order, which violated international law, to liquidate all Allied pilots immediately if they were caught after their planes were shot down or after an emergency landing. These and other statements by the stenographers, as well as their reconstructed protocols, were included extensively in the Nuremberg trials - as evidence of Germany's criminal warfare.


 Bavarian International School Blaueis glacierMy Bavarian International School cohort at the Blaueis glacier during our 2019 fieldwork investigation. Our objective was to analyse the extent to which altitude affects the physical conditions on Hochkalter Mountain in the Berchtesgaden region of south-east Bavaria in terms of wind speed, temperature and vegetation cover. The investigation was carried out on the Hochkalter Mountain (47°34'7'' N, 12°51'58'' E) near the Königsee in the Berchtesgarden region of Germany (“Hochkalter”). The trail leading to the Blaueishütte was explored starting at 9 a.m. at approximately 760 metres of elevation due to the proximity of the Seeklaus parking lot. As the tenth highest peak in Germany, Hochkalter is considered an extraordinary example of an extreme environment. Not only is it the Berchtesgarden National Park, where the conditions are relatively pristine, it also features the Blaueisgletscher, the northernmost glacier in the Alps (“Blaueis”). Local guides have described Hochkalter as having a breathtaking panoramic view. With more than 1100 metres of elevation difference from the start to the end of the main trail, the mountain provides accessibility of measuring altitude while being ‘extreme’ enough to have a glacier. Hochkalter is an Alpine and extreme environment, therefore this fieldwork investigation related to the cold extreme environments section of the IBDP syllabus.  Investigations such as this are highly significant when observing today's changing environment. Climate change is an issue that could potentially cause great change in the environment, and especially in nature reserves such as the Berchtesgaden National Park. As global temperatures have been slowly increasing over the past decades, there have already been noticeable changes within the national park, especially concerning the glaciers such as the Blaueis glacier. Measuring the climatic conditions of the Hochkalter now will allow us to compare them as time goes by and global temperatures continue to rise.

Blaueis glacierBlaueishütte
Comparing the glacier in 1924 and 2019 and at the site of the original Blaueishütte, destroyed by an avalanche in 1955.