Showing posts with label Kempten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kempten. Show all posts

The Allgäu

Standing alongside Drake Winston in front of the Generaloberst-Dietl-Kaserne now renamed the Allgäu Kaserne and currently used by the Gebirgsartilleriebataillon 225. Named after Eduard Wohlrath Christian Dietl who served as a Generaloberst during the war, commanding the 20th Mountain Army and ending up a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. The barracks were named in his honour in May 1964 and the following year his military rank "Generaloberst" was added to the name. In January 1982, on the occasion of the renaming of a street in Dietl's birthplace of Bad Aibling, the public battle began over the use of his name. In July 1987, a citizens' initiative in Kempten called for the renaming of "General Dietl-Straße" followed in February 1988 with Pax Christi calling for the renaming of the "Generaloberst-Dietl-Kaserne" in Füssen. Furious reactions followed wherein anyone who took a public position for its renaming came upon resistance in the form of anonymous calls, letters and even murders. The Petitionsausschuss of the Bundestage, on the other hand, recommended raising awareness of the renaming of the barracks by informing the troops that it would serve as a contribution to the "reworking of the recent German past". On the other hand, the local CSU deputy, Kurt Rossmanith, declared how "Generaloberst Dietl was and still is a model for me in humanity and soldiery." On November 9, 1995 the then-Federal Minister of Defence, Volker Rühe, finally decided to recruit the Generaloberst-Dietl-Kaserne in Füssen and the General-Kübler -Barracks in Mittenwald which met with bitter criticism from the comrades' circle of the mountain group. The building still displays the Second World War soldier on its façade belonging to the German mountain corps, part of the German armed forces specially trained and equipped for the battle in difficult terrain and under extreme climatic conditions.  The German alpenkorps was the first large association of the German mountain group set up according to the Austro-Hungarian model in 1915, used primarily in the Alpine area and the Balkans in the First World War. The Reichswehr, Wehrmacht, and the Waffen-ϟϟ set up their own mountain groups and their successes were used by the Nazi regime as propaganda and sometimes overestimated or exaggerated so that Generaloberst Dietdu (a Nazi member since 1921) was hailed by Propagandaminister Goebbels as "the hero of Narvik." In the war they would be involved in a series of war crimes such as the massacre on Kefalonia and, in this context, the tradition of the mountain group is accused of ignoring its own role in the Third Reich explaining the disquiet over such remaining artwork.
During the war, a subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp was located in the town.
Füssen of course provided the main location for the film The Great Escape. What follows are sites from the town and as they appeared in the film, from the most part as identified in the site Reelstreets through the sleuthing of Patrick Friedrich. Here the town is first shown in the background behind the Lechhalde bridge as
Flight Lieutenants William Dickes (John Leyton) and Danny Velinski (Charles Bronson), having escaped from Stalag Luft III, attempt to row down the Rhine. For the filmmakers, Füssen and the surrounding area offered ideal filming locations: a small airfield that was important as a prerequisite for escaping by plane, an almost medieval-looking old town without war damage with narrow streets and roof landscapes, a varied nature in the Allgäu with the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, which was also known in America to be in Germany. The diverse landscape types near Füssen enabled the director to do numerous tricks: the village of Pfronten becomes the border town in front of Switzerland, in the swampy Schwansee Park two refugees cross the border to Spain, at the Theresienbrücke members of the Resistance work in a replica French café, et cet. Two of the fleeing allies escape on the Lech reach a ship in the port of Hamburg with their rowing boat. Hendley and the forger Blythe fly over Lake Constance to Switzerland with a stolen plane, in fact actually flying over Weißensee, past Neuschwanstein Castle and along the Hohen Straussberg. Because they don't understand the German air control system, they crash in the Miesbach district near Frauenried am Irschenberg near the Mariä-Geburt-Kirche. 
Meanwhile Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick (James Coburn), having escaped after making off with a bicycle in a scene shot at Markt Schwaben, has arrived in what is supposed to be a French town but which St. Mang unmistakably identifies as Füssen. Based loosely on a true story based on Paul Brickhill's 1950 book about the real-life mass escape by British Commonwealth PoWs from Stalag Luft III in Sagan (now Żagań, Poland). John Sturges wrote the screenplay and worked with Bavaria Film in Geiselgasteig, where 15,000 square metres of forest had to be cleared next to the studio premises in Perlacher Forst, so that a prison camp true to the original like in Sagan, Poland could be set up as a backdrop. In the fall of 1962, outdoor recordings took place in Füssen and the surrounding area The first part of the film focuses on the escape efforts within the camp and the process of secretly digging an escape tunnel. The second half of the film deals with the massive effort by the German Gestapo to track down the over seventy escaped prisoners individually attempting to make their way to England. 
St. Mang serving as the backdrop when Coburn is seen at Café Suzette (built for the film) before the assassination of these German officers. The cafe as seen here was in the area now holding flagpoles, and Coburn was sitting against the stone wall, now a metal railing. The bridge too has been replaced but otherwise the 1963 film location is easily recognisable on the south bank of the Lech. The black car above is actually a 1947 Citroën 11 Légère 'Traction' in a movie set in 1944.  Steve McQueen's motorcycle stunts and many other scenes in The Great Escape were filmed in and around the town. During six weeks of filming, Hollywood stars Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and James Coburn stayed in hotels in Füssen, Hohenschwangau, Hopfen and Speiden as Füssen was transformed back to the time of the war with the train station, the narrow streets in the old town and the roof landscapes providing ideal backdrops for car chases. Many citizens acted as extras or watched the filming from the roofs of Spitalgasse. This ended up causing a sensation due to the props involving Nazi flags, weapons and uniforms.
 The German officers arriving with Coburn sitting behind.
The officers order from the waiter a Pernod, an anise-flavoured pastis apéritif. In fact the production of pastis was prohibited by the Vichy regime under the August 23, 1940
Loi Contre L'Alcoolisme which prohibited the manufacture and sale of aperitifs based upon alcohol distilled from anything other than grapes. This was followed by a subsequent enactment in September 1941 that completely banned such alcohol being advertised. Even after the war the French banned the advertising of aniseed drinks in 1951.
What follows is a scene in which the officrs are then massacred that defies belief, immediately before the attack on the officers the waiter who is part of the plot lures Coburn away by claiming he has a phone call. Coburn is confused and knows nothing about what's going on- for all the waiter knows he could be a German agent or informant who is now going to be able to implicate the assassins. In fact, immediately after the three officers are machine-gunned to death in broad daylight in the centre of town, the cafe owners openly celebrate with cognac amidst the carnage.
The poster used in the foreground is rather anachronistic as it dated from the very start of the German occupation with the legend "Abandoned populations, trust the German soldier !”
The plot of "The Great Escape" is rooted in a factual occurrence - the mass escape of Allied prisoners from Stalag Luft III in 1944. However, its depiction of characters and individual narratives showcases a level of creative licence. A notable disparity is evident in the nationalities represented among the characters. Sturges' film primarily portrays American and British officers, with characters such as Hilts (Steve McQueen) and Bartlett (Richard Attenborough) leading the narrative. Yet, the historical record shows that a substantial proportion of the escapees were non-English speakers, with a large contingent from captured by the Axis powers. For example, Eric Williams, a British pilot, has asserted that the film "glosses over the very international nature of the camp," thereby misrepresenting the diverse coalition against the Axis powers. This simplification of the nationalities involved, however, can be seen from two perspectives. From one viewpoint, it could be seen as an oversight, detracting from the film's historical accuracy. Yet, as Enoch Brater suggests, this decision may have been a product of its time, aligning with the audience's cultural expectations and increasing relatability for predominantly American and British viewers. While such a deviation might be criticised from a historical standpoint, one must consider the socio-cultural factors influencing the film's production.
 The portrayal of events within the movie also reflects a combination of historical fact and cinematic dramatisation. The movie truthfully encapsulates the audacious spirit of the prisoners, their ingenious planning, and the construction of tunnels, which are in agreement with Paul Brickhill's "The Great Escape", the book upon which the movie is based. Nevertheless, some episodes were added for dramatic effect and are historically unsupported. The most evident discrepancy is the infamous motorcycle chase featuring Steve McQueen's character, Hilts. It makes for a thrilling cinematic climax, but it's entirely fictional. Historically, there is no record of such an event taking place. Instead, the majority of the escapees endeavoured to blend into civilian populations or relied on European underground resistance networks. There are also deviations in the film's depiction of the aftermath of the escape. While the film ends on an uplifting note, the historical reality was far more tragic. Following Hitler's orders, fifty of the seventy-three recaptured escapees were executed, an event not fully depicted in the film. The film's finale can be seen as an attempt to maintain a semblance of Hollywood optimism, steering away from the grimness of the actual consequences. 
 The broader context of the war depicted in the film offers a relatively accurate backdrop. The film successfully embodies the tensions, fear, and constant anticipation of danger that characterised the wartime period. Yet, it simplifies complex geopolitical situations to fit its narrative. Historically, the escape took place in a rapidly changing war setting, with Allied forces gaining momentum against the Axis powers. However, the film, as Leger Grindon points out, represents a more static version of the war, focusing solely on the microcosm of the PoW camp.
Furthermore, the film tends to romanticise the 'war prisoner' experience. The prisoners are depicted as undeterred and high-spirited, engaged in constant banter and camaraderie, while the real-life accounts of wartime prison camps often portray them as places of severe physical and psychological hardship. Eric Lomax, a former British prisoner of war, remarked that his experience was not about "sticking it to the enemy at every opportunity, but about survival." Thus, Sturges' interpretation, while entertaining, tends to downplay the harsher aspects of life in Stalag Luft III. Yet, the romanticisation of the PoW experience is not an unforgivable historical sin. Guy Walters posits that "The Great Escape," whilst taking liberties with individual narratives, manages to capture the resilience, resourcefulness, and indomitable spirit of the Allied PoWs. Despite the film's embellishments, its essence resonates with the war's overarching theme: the undying spirit of resistance against oppressive forces.
 The assassins' car drives down Lechhade bridge, turning on Tirolerstraße.

Bartlett and MacDonald attempting to board a bus at Brotmarkt whilst being checked by Gestapo agents. Do look out for the studio lamp on a scissor-lift in plain sight at the left side of the screen.

  MacDonald and Bartlett fleeing the Gestapo down Hintere Gasse upon being identified.
The same scene, looking from the very end of Hintere Gasse 
MacDonald getting hit by a cyclist as he's chased down Drehergasse which follows the old city wall, with my own bike as reference
As MacDonald is pursued on the left Bartlett seen below on the right- somehow seeing all this from Franziskanergasse- makes his own attempt at escape. The character of Bartlett had been based on Squadron Leader Roger Joyce Bushell, a South African-born British military aviator who had been the one responsible for masterminding the actual "Great Escape" from Stalag Luft III in 1944, but was one of the fifty escapees to be recaptured and subsequently murdered by the Gestapo. In the spring of 1943 whilst being held in the north compound where British airmen were housed, Bushell masterminded a plot for a major escape from the camp. The most radical aspect of his plan wasn't merely the scale of the construction, but the sheer number of men whom Bushell intended to pass through these tunnels. Whilst all other attempts had involved the escape of anything up to a dozen or twenty men, Bushell proposed to get over 200 out, each of whom would be wearing civilian clothes and possessing a complete range of forged papers and escape equipment. It was an unprecedented undertaking which would require unparalleled organisation. As the mastermind, Bushell inherited the codename of "Big X". More than 600 prisoners were involved in their construction. On the evening of March 24, after months of preparation, 200 officers prepared to escape. Given a hitch in the actual plan, in the end only 76 officers managing to get clear of the camp. Bushell and his partner Bernard Scheidhauer, among the first few to leave the tunnel, successfully boarded a train at Sagan railway station, only to be caught the next day at Saarbrücken railway station, waiting for a train to Alsace. On March 29, under the pretext of being driven back to a prison camp, the car carrying Bushell and Scheidhauer stopped for a rest break at the side of the autobahn just outside today's Ramstein Air Base. It was during this stop that they were murdered by members of the Gestapo, including Emil Schulz, helped by others. This was a breach of the Geneva Convention and thus constituted a war crime. The perpetrators were later tried and executed by the Allies. Fifty of the 76 escapees were killed in the Stalag Luft III murders on the personal orders of Hitler.
Bartlett meanwhile trying to escape via Füssen's rooftops as he arrives at an der Stadtmauer...

... only to somehow manage to return to Drehergasse [!] before ending up at Brunnengasse...
...where he's finally caught on the corner of Hutergasse and Brunnengasse by Untersturmführer Steinach, played by Karl Otto Alberty. There is a continuity error in this scene as Attenborough's character Bartlett tries to walk nonchalantly along the pavement. When the German yells at Bartlett from his car to stop Bartlett does so, still on the pavement. However when cut to a different angle it appears that Bartlett has in fact stopped in the middle of the street. Such individual incidents in the film were mostly based on fact, but rearranged both chronologically and regarding the people involved as noted at the start of the film. In reality, of the 76 who escaped, three had managed to succeed whilst fifty were murdered in reprisal, but in small groups and not all at once. As one sadly expects from American films, the nationality of most of the prisoners were changed to emphasise the role of Americans at the expense of British Imperial heroes. Indeed, the real escape was by British and other allied personnel, none by Americans. Whilst Americans in the PoW camp did initially help to build the tunnels and work on the early escape plans, they were moved to their own compound seven months before the tunnels were completed. A large part had been played by Canadians, especially in the construction of the tunnels and in the escape itself. Of the 1,800 or so PoWs in the compound of whom 600 were involved in preparations for the escape, 150 of these were from the Dominion of Canada; Wally Floody, an RCAF pilot and mining engineer who was the real-life “tunnel king”, was engaged as a technical advisor for the film. Fourteen Germans were executed after the war for their roles, which ended up being among the charges at the Nuremberg War Crimes trial. Another actor, Donald Pleasence, had actually been an RAF pilot who had been shot down, held prisoner and tortured by the Germans. After offering advice to the film's director John Sturges, he was politely told to mind his own business. 
Later, when another star informed Sturges that Pleasence had actually been a RAF Officer in a Stalag camp, Sturges requested his technical advice and input on historical accuracy from that point forward. Other actors had been PoWs- Hannes Messemer in a Russian camp and Til Kiwe (playing the German guard "Frick" who discovers the escape) and Hans Reiser were prisoners of the Americans during the war. Kiwe had been a German paratrooper officer who was captured and held prisoner at a PoW camp in Colorado and himself had made several escape attempts, being captured in the St. Louis railway station during one such attempt. He won the Knight's Cross before his capture and was the cast member who had actually done many of the exploits shown in the film. Former PoWs in fact requested that the filmmakers exclude certain details about help they received to prevent the film jeopardising future escapes, a request which was honoured.
The train station that appears in the film when David McCallum is killed on the tracks, enabling Attenborough to escape, was demolished recently in 2015 after having been purchased by the company "Hubert Schmid Bauunternehmen GmbH" for roughly 300,000 euros with the intention of replacing it with a modern convenience centre. It was in the station restaurant where the local group of the Nazi Party met on February 4, 1933 to celebrate Hitler's appointment as chancellor.
Captain Virgil Hilts (Steve McQueen) stringing a wire across what is actually the road between Füssen and Hopfen am See, the town clearly seen in the background; in fact, McQueen himself played the German motorcyclist who crashed into the wire. If one looks closely at the scene one can clearly see two shadows on the ground caused by the camera lights. In addition,  the motorcycle he makes off with is obviously a postwar British-made Triumph rather than the BMW or Zundapp which the Wehremacht would have used.
Serving in large part as a Steve McQueen vanity project, his character Hilts was based on an amalgamation of several real-life individuals including Major Dave Jones, a flight commander during Doolittle's Raid shot down and captured and Colonel Jerry Sage, who was an OSS agent in the North African desert when he was captured. Sage managed to don a flight jacket and pass as a flier otherwise he would have been executed as a spy. Another inspiration was probably Squadron Leader Eric Foster who escaped no less than seven times from German prisoner-of-war camps. In fact, during the filming the town's police had set up a speed trap near the set in which several members of the cast and crew were caught, including McQueen. Apparently the Chief of Police told McQueen "Herr McQueen, we have caught several of your comrades today, but you have won the prize [for the highest speeding]." McQueen was arrested and briefly gaoled. 
As seen in The Great Escape when Hendley (James Garner) and Blythe (Donald Pleasance) try to reach Switzerland escape by stealing a light aircraft, with Hohenschwangau castle on the lower right. In fact, the photo of Neuschwanstein indicates that they're actually flying straight in the wrong direction as I took it facing south with the plane travelling from right to left; this would mean that they are actually heading east away from the Swiss border which is about forty miles west of the castle.
Due to its secluded and strategically unimportant location, the palace survived both world wars. Until 1944, it served as a depot for Nazi plunder that was taken from France by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg für die besetzten Gebiete, a suborganisation of the Nazi Party. The castle was used to catalogue the works of arts, and after the war 39 photo albums were found in the palace documenting the scale of the art seizures. By April 1945, the ϟϟ considered blowing up the palace to prevent the building itself and the artwork it contained from falling to the enemy but was rejected by the ϟϟ-Gruppenführer who had been assigned the task. Instead the castle was surrendered undamaged to representatives of the Anglo-American forces which eventually returned the palace to the reconstituted Bavarian state government under whose auspices some of the rooms were employed as a provisional store for salvaged archival material, as the premises in Munich had been bombed.
Two paintings of Neuschwanstein castle by Hitler himself. That on the left dating from 1907 is the largest extant watercolor painting by Hitler, measuring 20.8 inches by 15.7 inches. In a 2015 auction organised by Weidler Auctioneers of Nuremberg, that on the right was sold to a Chinese buyer for £71,000.
Hitler himself with Hitlerjugend during a visit on August 12, 1933 when he spoke at a Richard Wagner memorial service at Neuschwanstein Castle at which he was given the freedom of Hohenschwangau. Expressing his gratitude in an address, Hitler described himself, as he did in regard to all great Germans, as having consummated the plans of Ludwig II. He expressed his conviction that despite all criticism of these structures built by Ludwig II, the fertilisation of the arts and the stimulation of tourism had nonetheless given rise to much good, which meant that the work of the King deserved recognition: “It was the protest of a genius against wretched parliamentarian mediocrity. Today we have translated this protest into action and finally eliminated this regime.” Petropoulos writes of how the Nazis leveraged Ludwig's iconic castles, particularly Neuschwanstein, as tools of propaganda. These castles, with their dramatic design and richly decorated interiors, became symbols of a bygone era of Germanic grandeur. Neuschwanstein was even featured in Nazi propaganda films and postcards. The castle's fairy-tale aesthetics, combined with its connection to Ludwig, presented an image of time-honoured Teutonic glory that the Nazis sought to revive.
In fact, Ludwig II had apparently admired Jews and forced Wagner to allow Hermann Levi to conduct the premiere of ''Parsifal.'' Wagner had fought until the last moment but was forced to relent as he had been patronised by the King who in addition was paying for the premiere. Wagner ended up treating Levi sadistically, ordering him to convert which Levi refused. 
In the end, Ludwig never lived to see the castle's completion; although the gate building and the Palas were largely completed on the outside, the square tower was still scaffolded at the time of his death in 1886. The bower, which hadn't even been started by then was built by 1892, but only executed in a simplified way. In 2008, reports that the Bavarian Palace Administration was aiming to complete the palace according to the original plans by 2011 turned out to be an April Fool's joke.
On the left is the throne room from a Nazi-era postcard and today. Occupying the third and fourth floors, it was modeled on the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche in the Munich Residenz. It's surrounded on three sides by colourful arcades and ends in an apse that was intended to house Ludwig's throne, which was never completed although today a cardboard cutout is used to show a possible appearance of the throne. A mosaic completed after the king's death adorns the floor of the hall, and the chandelier is modeled on a Byzantine crown. Following the king's wish, the sacral-looking throne room combined the location of the Grail Hall from Parzival with a symbol of divine right, an embodiment of unrestricted sovereign power, which Ludwig, as head of state in a constitutional monarchy, no longer had. The floor is adorned with what is probably the most elaborate mosaic work in Germany, consisting of more than 1.5 million pieces of natural stone although given the heavy wear and tear of the surface, the floor is protected by a photo-realistic copy consisting of over 100 billion pixels.
Neuswchwanstein castle was used by the Nazi party as a depository of pillaged artwork from all over Europe, primarily France. The artwork stored at Neuschwanstein was catalogued and evacuated by one of the great museum curators of the 20th century, James Rorimer, functioning as a "monuments man," one of the many British and American art experts appointed to a special wartime military section charged with protecting and then repatriating art stolen by the Nazis. Near the end of the war gold was stored there also. In 1945, the ϟϟ had plans to blow up the castle to prevent the Allies from retrieving the contents. This did not come to pass; eventually Nazi forces surrendered an undamaged castle and contents to the Allies.
At the Oberjochpass, a 1178 metre-high mountain pass roughly 800 metres west of the border with Austria in the Allgäu Alps, as seen from the Bundesstraße 308 with the Breitenberg, Rotspitze, Entschenkopf and Imberger Horn peaks in the background. During the Third Reich, the Oberjochpass was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Pass. During the war and post-war period, the care of the Jochstraße had been neglected leading it to fall into a deplorable state until the spring of October 1952 when it was renewed to a well-maintained road.
Also in the Allgäu is this town where Hitler visited a number of times, speaking here at the Kornhaus on March 24, 1928; I cycled nearly 140 miles to get here only to find the building completely scaffolded. The local paper Allgäuer Tagblatt under the headline "Adolf Hitler in Kempten" two days later reported on his speech, "Ein Kampf um Deutschlands Befreiung" (A Struggle for Germany's Liberation), which lasted from 20.45 until 23.45. saal, from 8:45 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. According to the subsequent police report, roughly a thousand people took part and was led by local group leader Georg Felix Lippert. Numerous members of the Memmingen, Lindenberg, Sonthofen, Immenstadt and Obergünzburg local groups also came to the event. Hitler's speech referenced the Locarno Treaties ratifieed two years earlier as well as the so-called Battle of the Nations of 1813. Hitler returned to speak inside this building on July 30, 1932 which produced the following line used as a Wochenspruch later in the opening weeks of the war: “I do not believe in any right that is not protected by force." According to police, about 15,000 to 18,000 people attended Hitler's thirty minute speech although the Völkische Beobachter made the ridiculous claim that the number was actually double that.
The Prinz-Franz-Kaserne, built in 1936 during the rearmament of the Wehrmacht. Named after Prince Franz of Bavaria, it's located near the town centre on a 5.4 hectare site close to the Basilica of St. Lorenz shown below. In 1937, the newly formed 1st Battalion of the 91st Infantry Regiment was the first unit to move into the barracks. Within the battalion, a cavalry platoon, the 13th mine thrower company and the 14th anti-tank company were set up. The battalion participated in the Anschluss of Austria on March 12, 1938 and the de facto annexation that followed. The Infantry Replacement Battalion 91 was set up for the battalion at the end of 1938 and then moved into the barracks. From August 1, 1956 to 1992 it was used by the Bundeswehr (having been involved in the so-called Iller Disaster of June 3, 1957 in which fifteen soldiers from the battalion died whilst crossing the Iller near Hirschdorf) and today is used by, among other agencies, the State Building Authority, Kempten Water Management Office, Kempten office of the Southern Bavaria Motorway Directorate, and Traffic Police Inspectorate.
St.-Lorenz-Kirche then and now
Between 1943 and 1945 the concentration camp Kottern-Weidach, subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp, was installed in the nearby Weidach for 1000 to 2000 prisoners. Concentration camp prisoners were accommodated, among other things, in the livestock nursery used for livestock. They had to carry out forced labour for the Messerschmitt factory in the production of aircraft. A further outside camp had already existed at Keselstrasse 14, where between 500 and 600 prisoners had to work for U. Sachse KG. The production of warring parts was shifted to Kempten, because the large cities like Munich were more threatened by air raids than the rural Allgäu. Even the few Jews in Kempten were not spared as Jewish shops were boycotted and closed, almost all Jews were deported to concentration camps and murdered there. In Kempten, only two Jewish women and eight so-called half-Jews experienced the end of the war. According to detainees, 200 people would later be imprisoned here, including Yugoslavs, Poles, Russians, Czechoslovaks and Italians, working for the armaments production of "Helmut Sachse KG" fighter planes, in which BMW was involved.
Kempten had been bombed from 1942 to 1945. On October 23, 1942 British and American planes dropped 200 firebombs onto the station Kempten-Hegge. Southwest of Kempten, Allied and German airplanes fought on July 18, 1944, and the Allies attacked Kempten the following day. Bombardments were made, where Messerschmitt's production was housed. 29 people were killed and some houses destroyed. On August 3, 1944 bombers attacked the southern Illerbrücken as well as the nearby spinning and weaving mill. On February 22 and April 12 and 16, 1945, the Allies attacked the railway station, as well as defence and armament systems, among them also the barrack barracks were destroyed. The largest number of bombs were reported in July and August 1944, with 146 dead and 79 seriously injured in these bomb hits. Even today, in the little cultivated south of Kempten, many bomb centres in the district of Adelharz remind of these bombshells. The building fabric of Kempten was destroyed by 1.8 per cent during bomb attacks. By comparison, during the air raids on Munich about 50 percent of the city was destroyed. On April 27, 1945 American troops from the north occupied the city, liberating more than 4,000 foreign workers and political prisoners in Kempten and its surrounding area. 
A few miles north of Füssen, this was where Nazi diplomat, psychotherapist and Zen master Karlfried Graf Dürckheim grew up, eventually rejecting his inheritance of the family estate at Steingaden to which he had a right as eldest son after his service in the Great War. Dürckheim had received his doctorate in Psychology from the University of Kiel in 1923 and was had signed the November 11, 1933 commitment of the professors at German universities and colleges to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi state. The year of the Nazi seizure of power saw him join the SA and in 1934 he spent half a year in South Africa on behalf of the Reich Minister of Education to contact Germans living there to urge them not to abandon Nazism. There he met secretly with the Afrikaner Broederbond to urge them to follow Nazi ideals, including anti-Semitism. By 1935 he had become chief assistant to Joachim von Ribbentrop and helped broker a meeting between Lord Beaverbrook and Hitler. In October 1936 Dürckheim accompanied newly appointed Ambassador Ribbentrop to England, where he was assigned "to find out what the English think of the new Germany."
The war memorial
He was introduced to King Edward VIII and Churchill. Dürckheim was at this time a fervent supporter of Nazism, writing in the journal of the Nazi Teachers Association:"The basic gift of the Nazi revolution is for all occupations and levels across the experience of our common nature, a common destiny, the common hope of the common leader....which is the living foundation of all movements and aspirations." It was then that it was discovered that he was of Jewish descent: Dürckheim's maternal great-grandmother Eveline Oppenheim was the daughter of the Jewish banker Salomon Oppenheim. In fact Dürckheim was also related to Mayer Amschel Rothschild. Meanwhile his maternal grandmother was Antonie Springer, who was also Jewish. Under Germany's 1935 Nuremberg Laws he was therefore considered a Mischling of the second degree and had therefore become "politically embarrassing". Ribbentrop decided to create a special mission for him to become an envoy for the foreign ministry and write a research paper titled "exploring the intellectual foundations of Japanese education" leading him in June 1938 to be sent to Japan where he met the Buddhist scholar Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki who influenced his thinking profoundly. Dürckheim published an article in the third issue of the journal Berlin - Rome - Tokio in July, 1939 which he refered to the Japanese state cult, the glorified “Samurai spirit” and its relationship with Nazi ideology and anti-Semitism in Japan, claiming that whoever “travels today through Japan experiences at every step the friendship with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to the Japanese people, especially those forces that affect the future more than political power. It is the spirit which connects Japan with us, that spirit which…is related to Japan’s iron will to win the war… In farm houses and businesses hang signs with the words: Everyone must behave as if they were on the field of battle.” By 1944 Dürckheim had become a well-known author and lecturer in Japan on Zen meditation, archery and metaphysics, and was awarded the War Merit Cross, Second Class on Hitler's birthday in 1944. The impending surrender of Germany did not prevent him from reasserting his values, writing to a friend how "[t]he immeasurable suffering of Germany will bring the German people to a higher level and help give birth to a better, less materialistic nation." After the war Dürckheim went into hiding before eventually being arrested on October 30, 1945  being imprisoned for sixteen months in Sugamo Prison. 
 The Nazi Party local group leadership temporarily resided on the first floor of the Hörmann House on Kaiser-Max-Straße (far left), seen in 1936 and today.
 As early as 1927 and increasingly from 1930 onwards, the Nazis had attempted to set up local groups or at least party bases around Kaufbeuren but was only slightly successful because in the town's agricultural surroundings the Catholic-conservative Bavarian People's Party (BVP) and the Bavarian Farmers' and Middle Classes' Association (Farmers' Association) were the favoured parties.
Until 1935, Kaufbeuren was a self-governing city. During the Nazi era, an ammunition factory owned by Dynamit AG , formerly Alfred Nobel & Co., was built in 1939 in a forest area northeast of Kaufbeuren. Forced labourers and concentration camp prisoners from the nearby Riederloh concentration camp subcamp in Steinholz near Mauerstetten, a branch of the Dachau concentration camp, were deployed there. Between May 1944 and April 1945, there was a concentration camp subcamp on the site of a former cotton mill, which also belonged to the Dachau concentration camp or was subordinate to the Allach subcamp. Between 300 and 600 prisoners were housed here and had to use forced labour to produce spare parts for military equipment for the BMW company. 
During this time under the direction of its director Valentin Faltlhauser, around 2,000 mentally ill children, women and men were taken from the so-called sanatorium and nursing home, today's Kaufbeuren district hospital, in the 'euthanasia' T4 killing campaign T4, and deprted to Hadamar, Grafeneck and Hartheim. A memorial stone from 1989 behind the institution's monastery church has commemorated these victims since 1989 . 
On February 25, 1945, Kaufbeuren was bombed by thirteen B-17 bombers. The city survived the war with almost no damage - planned bomber attacks on the ammunition factory fell on foggy days. Only at the railway facilities on Grafensteigle were individual single-family houses damaged by the bombing. On April 27, 1945, the Mazi mayor Karl Deinhardt handed the city over without a fight to the invading Americans, who occupied the city and the airport grounds and blew up the Dynamit Nobel ammunition factory outside the city gates.

The Neptune Fountain in the centre of Kaufbeuren's old town behind billboards for Hitler in the run-up to the Reichstag election on March 29, 1936. This election took place at the same time as the subsequent referendum on the authorisation to occupy the Rhineland that had already taken place a fortnight earlier. As in the election in November 1933, only a uniform Nazi Party list was permitted and thus it was another sham election, the result already certain from the outset. The town hall can be seen in the background showing how changed it now appears. On June 20, 1960, shortly before lunchtime, the building was set alight through an act of arson by Ignaz Heel. Heel's name was published in the press shortly after his crime and is still known in Kaufbeuren today. At 13.30, members of the building authority noticed the fire in the registry and it wasn't until 16.00 that the fire was put under control to the extent that there was no longer any immediate danger to the surrounding buildings.
 Parade on the “Day of German Crafts” in October 1934 on Ganghoferstrasse
The Day of German Crafts was one of the public celebrations that was primarily used to showcase the Nazi party. Around thirty festively decorated floats representing the various crafts paraded through the city. In the years that followed, more festival days were added to support the regime. From 1934 onwards, there was a celebration of the “Day of the Seizure of Power” on January 30th, during which Hitler's speech was broadcast at the town hall in the afternoon, before a propaganda parade by the SA and other groups through the city in the evening. Further dates followed in February with the celebrations for the founding of the party on February 24, 1920 and the “Commemoration of the Fallen Victims of the Movement” every November 9. Participation in these celebrations became increasingly obligatory for the residents; if they stayed away, the risk of denunciation and sanctions increased. Nevertheless, from the middle of 1934 onwards, there was a decline in participation and enthusiasm in the press reports, as the poor attendance at the events by the population was increasingly criticised. Apparently the population of Kaufbeuren soon grew tired of the increasingly frequent marches, holidays and other Nazi events organized by the party and its groups.
1934 dance festival featuring eight warriors from the Carolingian period who opened the pageant and whose shields were decorated with swastikas. The year before the “Allgäuer Nationalzeitung” reported on the first such dance festival held under Nazi auspices:
Today’s dance festival is and is being celebrated under the sign of the swastika. And Adolf Hitler's flags also fly in the little dance hall, where the stream of people flows over the course of the afternoon. There is a lot of hustle and bustle up there, the tents are filling up, the children are dancing [...] and carrying out their crusader game and the raising of signs of the new empire. At the end, the arms spontaneously rise and the Horst Wessel and Deutschlandlied are heard, a successful conclusion to the festival program.
In this way the new regime tried to appropriate the traditional Kaufbeuren festival for its own purposes, and in 1933, the festival was expanded to include a performance entitled “Raise of the Shield of the New Reich,” which was written by curate Christian Frank. However, apart from the shields shown here, the event in 1934 provided little opportunity for the Nazis to promote their particular ideology given it was focused on events of the 15th and 16th centuries consisting of the blacksmiths' and weavers' guilds, crossbowmen, mercenaries, Swedish soldiers and citizens. This was followed by the 19th century with Biedermeier children, vigilante groups, dancing festival boys' bands and historical military groups, before the “homage wagon” with “Buronia”, the personification of the city, concluded the procession. Still, the “Kaufbeuren National Zeitung” reported under the headline “[t]he storm troop at the head of the dance parade in 1934.”

Parade through Ludwigstraße during the 1935 dance festival.
The annual festival received considerable financial support from the city and high representatives of the city administration were usually there present at the general meetings to assure the festival of their support. State symbolism also appeared regularly during the dance festival with the streets decorated with Nazi flags shown here. The reasons why the dance festival was supported by the Nazis even though it could only be used to a limited extent for their propaganda were varied. For example, the economic importance of the festival for Kaufbeuren was repeatedly emphasised, to which many outside visitors came every year with special trains and buses as part of the “Strength through Joy” organisation. Another factor that probably played a role was that, given the festival's broad roots in the population, both opposition and appropriation of this tradition would have damaged the Nazis' reputation. In the end, the dance festival of 1937 was the last before the war; the decisive factor for this was the development of the “Tanzelhölzchen”, the traditional festival location, with the air base. At the general meeting of the dance festival association in February 1938, the association's board of directors spoke out in favour of a break, initially only for 1938, due to a lack of festival space. One event that was introduced under the Nazis was a carnival parade, which first took place in 1935. In 1938 the procession was made particularly large to compensate for the canceled dancing festival. However, it would take until 1947 before the dance festival itself was resumed.

 Funeral service for Mayor Hans Wildung with Gauleiter Wahl at the lectern in front of the town hall, February 1, 1943. Two years later on May 10, 1945, Wahl was to be captured by American troops in Augsburg to later be examined as a witness in the run-up to the Nuremberg trial against the main war criminals . In December 1948, Wahl was classified as the “main culprit” in the denazification process and sentenced to three and a half years in a labour camp, although 40 months in prison were counted towards the sentence whilst his assets and property were confiscated. After Wahl had spent a few months in the hospital due to physical weakness, he was released on September 23, 1949. Initially working as a textile representative, Wahl was head of the library at Messerschmitt AG in Munich from 1958 to 1968. His autobiography, self- published in 1954, was the first by a former Gauleiter to receive national attention in Germany.
Labour Day p
ageant on Kaiser-Max-Straße. From 1933 the 'Tag der Arbeit' became the “National Holiday of the German People” with no connection to the topic of work, but rather a spring festival to strengthen the national community. As Goebbels wrote in his diary on March 24, 1933, 
The first bill I am introducing is the declaration of May 1st as a national holiday of the German people and was commissioned by the cabinet to implement it. We will do this on a large scale and, for the first time, bring together the entire German people in a single demonstration. From then on the dispute with the unions begins. We will not have peace until they are completely in our hands.
May Day from then on saw maypoles were decorated with symbols of the regime such as the swastika or the DAF symbol. Buildings were decorated and on the holiday itself, parades with groups from the SA,
ϟϟ, Wehrmacht, Hitler Youth and various departments of the DAF marched through the streets. There were also folk festival-like elements such as dancing and children's games. Apparently up to a million people from all parts of Germany took part. As at the first celebration in 1933, Hitler's speech was broadcast on the radio.
Hitler-Jugend marching down Kaiser-Max-Straße in 1935.
Until 1937, the Kaufbeuren HJ was organisationally run as “Stamm III 1 B”, the Jungvolk as “Unterbann III B12”. The Jungvolk and HJ were led by the Nazi Party member Feyerlein from Weinhausen, whilst the BDM was led by Hela Luppe and the Jungmädel by Maria Bühringer. Feyerlein was later replaced by Walter Schrammel as head of the Kaufbeuren section. At the beginning of 1938, an organisational reform of the Hitler Youth took place, as a result of which a new ban was created with its headquarters in Kaufbeuren, which, in addition to the city of Kaufbeuren, included the district offices of Marktoberdorf and Füssen. The new ban was listed as “Bann Wertach 455”.  During this time school principals in the town had to report monthly how many students were in the Hitler Youth and the Jungvolk and how many students were in the BDM. The number of young people organised within denominational youth associations or in gymnastics and sports clubs was also passed on to the school authorities ensuring that schools were specifically involved in the administrative activities of the Nazi youth organisation. From 1935 onwards, Kaufbeuren teachers were also instructed not to advertise for denominational youth groups. The Hitler Youth also had a direct influence on school life. One example is found in the town's archives in a May 22, 1934 letter in which the Kaufbeuren Hitler Youth informed the school management of the Catholic boys' school “that at all schools on ceremonial occasions the H.J. raise the flag. This is intended to ensure the close connection between school and H.J." Since there was no Hitler Youth flag in the Catholic boys' school in 1934, a flag was quickly made from two old Reich flags.
On the right is a parade of the League for German Girls (BDM). The girls in Kaufbeuren organised within the BDM consequently took part in public marches and celebratory parades, as did the Kaufbeuren Hitler Boys, such as for Hitler's birthday on April 20, the "Feiertag der nationalen Arbeit“ on May 1, or the “Reichserntedankfest” (Sunday after September 29), on which all ten year-old boys and girls were ceremoniously accepted into the German Jungvolk or Jungmädelbund. Regardless, the regime was left dissatisfied with the number of people joining. In 1935, a parents' rally was held in the “Stachus” inn, in which an attempt was made to put pressure on those parents who had not yet registered their children in the HJ or BDM. The event apparently wasn't successful because only a few parents attended the event. The HJ Kaufbeuren received its own flag as early as 1934. In 1939, by law, joining the HJ and BDM became compulsory for every young person aged ten and over.
Whilst the boys were concerned with promoting strength, endurance and toughness (in Hitler's words, “Swift as greyhounds, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel”), the girls were primarily intended to develop grace through gymnastic training.Likewise, whilst the boys' uniform emphasised the combative orientation of the Hitler Youth, the girls' clothing had a more sporty, practical character .The BDM's uniform consisted of a white blouse with a black neckerchief, on which the local badge was also sewn, and a dark skirt. 
Here BDM girls are shown greeting Wehrmacht soldiers during a march down Ganghoferstrasse in front of the amtshaus. From the start of the warin September 1939, BDM members were involved in the war effort as hospital, air raid, and terrestrial support and in many other ways outside of military service. Other areas of application of BDM members during the war included first aid measures for the wounded in hospitals and military hospitals, looking after arriving refugees at train stations and supporting those made homeless during the bombing campaign. Around 3,000 girls nationwide were recruited directly into the ϟϟ entourage by the BDM and some became concentration camp guards. When BDM girls were physically separated from their families to live and work with men, there were numerous opportunities for sexual contact. The war-related loosening of sexual morals gave the BDM an increasingly bad reputation: “The vernacular eventually interpreted the abbreviation BDM as Bund Deutscher Matratzen (League of German Mattresses) or Bubi Drück Mich (Come on Boy, Press Me Hard). As a subdivision of the Hitler Youth, the Bund Deutscher Mädel organisation was banned and dissolved after the end of the war in 1945 by the Control Council Act No. 2 , and its assets were confiscated.
The Kaufbeuren District Hospital, currently a specialist psychiatric clinic but during the Nazi era, the predecessor institution, the Kaufbeuren-Irsee Heil- und Pflegeanstalt, was involved in the murder of numerous patients as part of the T4 “euthanasia” program. The director of the Kaufbeuren main institution and its branch at the time, Valentin Faltlhauser, was an active supporter of the killing of mentally and physically impaired people. Its importance for the murder of sick people under National Socialism lay primarily in the fact that the institution with 1,200 beds was already the largest facility of its kind in Swabia in the 1930s. From September 1939, people from all over Bavaria were transferred to the Kaufbeuren-Irsee institution. At the beginning of 1940, Faltlhauser received a list with the names of those patients who were to be transferred to designated Reich institutions as part of Action T4 and killed there with gas. A total of 687 patients were transported to the Grafeneck and Hartheim killing centres between August 26, 1940 and August 8, 1941 and murdered.
With the end of the T4 campaign and with it the end of the transports, the Kaufbeuren-Irsee sanatorium and nursing home carried out the killings of the adults and children themselves. Even before the war began, Valentin Faltlhauser advocated feeding patients according to work performance. The “hunger food” had therefore been used in Irsee since August 1942 and in Kaufbeuren since October 1942. On November 30, 1942, Walter Schultze signed the “ Starvation Food Decree ” on behalf of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior , according to which all “unable to work” patients were malnourished and exhausted due to malnutrition. The majority died from the resulting deficiency symptoms or from corresponding secondary illnesses. The diet given contained no carbohydrates, no fat, no meat and only a little bread. By changing the meals, the mortality rate in the institution rose significantly. Meanwhile, the senior physician at the Mittelberg children's sanatorium, Georg Hensel, carried out medical experiments on physically and mentally impaired children at the Kaufbeuren-Irsee sanatorium and nursing home between 1942 and 1944. In order to find a vaccine against tuberculosis Hensel, in consultation with Faltlhauser, vaccinated at least thirteen children with a self-developed vaccine. The medical experiments were fatal for six of the children. When the Americans arrived, they at first didn't intervene in the institution's operations. It wasn't until July 1, 1945 that rumours about the infanticide reached the military headquarters, whereupon three soldiers and a photographer broke into the institution and stopped the killing.
In the months after the end of the war, the Allied troops described the liberated institutions and the doctors involved in a report:
Almost every resident knew exactly that people there were being used as guinea pigs and systematically slaughtered. The perpetrators or passive participants were in no way aware of their crimes; they were Germans, not Nazis. There were also Catholic sisters among them. The head nurse, who admitted on her own initiative that she had killed 'approximately' 210 children in two years through intramuscular injections, simply asked: 'Will something happen to me?' […] The stinking corpses of men and women who had died twelve hours to three days earlier were found in an unrefrigerated morgue. They weighed between 26 and 33 kilos. Among the children still alive was a ten-year-old boy who weighed less than 10 kilos [!] and whose legs were 6 centimeters in diameter at the ankle […] Dr. Valentin Faltlhauser, 69 years old, senior medical officer since 1919 […], was the head and was arrested. His deputy Dr. Lothar Gärtner, 43 years old, who had been employed there since January 1, 1930, committed suicide by hanging himself with the cable from a bedside lamp. Three other doctors were also arrested [as well as] the housekeeping manager Franziska Vill, secretary to Dr. Faltlhauser.
 The last murdered child was recorded by Faltlhauser at 13.10 a full 33 days after the capture of Kaufbeuren. Victim numbers A total of 1,573 men, women and children were killed in the Kaufbeuren-Irsee sanatorium and nursing home between 1940 and 1945 as part of the Nazis' euthanasia programme.
Ordensburg Sonthofen
Ordensburg Sonthofen was started in 1934; on August 24 of that year Robert Ley , the head of the German Labour Front, visited the construction site. The entire complex was built from autumn 1934 as the NSDAP- Ordensburg Sonthofen according to plans by the architect Hermann Giesler by the German Labour Front for the Nazis until 1942 and served to train the cadets, who would serve as future management personnel. The school was to receive and teach students in their third school year and then afterwards send them to Marienburg in East Prussia for their final year. As early as autumn 1937, the Sonthofen facility also served as the provisional main location of the Adolf Hitler schools, which were moved here from the Ordensburg Krössinsee, where it was founded. Due to the war-related drafting of the Ordensjunker for military or administrative service and the resulting course operation, further Adolf Hitler students were transferred to the Ordensburg Sonthofen, where the teaching operation was maintained on site until the end of the war. A prominent student was the actor Hardy Krüger. The commander of the Ordensburg from 1936 to 1941 was Robert Bauer, a member of the Reichstag,  followed by Theo Hupfauer. As reported by Theo Sommer, who attended the school as a student from August 1942 to May 1945, the school was visited by a delegation from Eton. In 1938 there were 600 students; by 1941 this had grown to 1500. In the last year of the war, the Ordensburg also served as an hospital (Lazarett). 
The facility is located in the south of Sonthofen above the Iller valley. In the spirit of Nazi gigantomania, the complex was planned with huge buildings and expansion. From the tower, the Palas, on the west side to the east corner of the main building, the entire building is about 160 metres long whilst the length of the side wings is about 85 metres. The dining room in the south of the Ordensburg is 116 metres long. Sixteen bells from the bell foundry Franz Schilling in Apolda were hung in its bell tower for a carillon, allowing the Nazis to assert their claim as a new religion at the time of modern man. The training castle was initially planned for around 400 people. The first topping-out ceremony took place on October 19, 1935. On November 23, 1937, Hitler visited the Ordensburg and gave a speech there, in which he described of the desired character of a National Socialist- persistent, tough, but also, if necessary, ruthless. There, before all the regional and district Nazi Party leaders assembled, Hitler delivered a two-hour “secret speech” on “the structure and organisation of the leadership of the Volk” (Volksführung) in which Hitler presented an overview of his version of German history over the last three hundred to four hundred years. He continuously attempted to substantiate his claims with numbers, carelessly juggling enormous figures (the majority of which were incorrect). Needless to say, he could not resist citing his favourite historical claim that of the 18.5 million Germans at the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War, only 3.6 million survived. Further “historical observations” on his part culminated in a comparison of the relations between the people of Austria and Prussia and the similar bonds that existed between the English and the German people, claiming that
[s]ince in international life there are only natural, sober interests, it should be based neither on gratitude nor on family connections. Family connections were as useless in preserving Prussia and Austria from war as they were for Germany and England. In Europe, we have more difficult obstacles to overcome than those, for instance, that exist for England—which needed only its naval supremacy to occupy large living spaces with relatively little loss of blood. Nonetheless, we had Europe once before. We lost it only because our leadership lacked the initiative that would have been necessary to not only maintain our position on a long- term basis but also to expand it.

At the end of this speech, Hitler expatiated upon the requirement of political leaders in addition to blind obedience, namely bravery.

     Old Germany was overthrown because it did not possess this zealous blind will, did not have this confidence and this serenity. New Germany will be victorious because it integrates these virtues and at present has already integrated them in an extremely difficult struggle. I know quite well that this is independent of the individual. I know quite well that, were anything to happen to me today, the next one would take my place and continue in the same fashion, just as zealously; because that, too, is part of this Movement.  Just as it is not possible to instantly turn a political bourgeois association into a fighting group of heroes, it will be equally impossible to ever turn this Movement, that was built up from the very beginning on courage and initiative, into a bourgeois association. That is also the future task above all of these schools: to conduct this test of courage over and over again, to break with the opinion that only the soldier must be brave. Whoever is a political leader is always a soldier too! And whoever lacks bravery cannot be a soldier. He must be prepared for action at all times. In the beginning, courage had to be the basic prerequisite for someone to find his way to the party—and it really was, otherwise no one came. Today we have to install artificial obstacles, artificial trenches over which the person has to jump. That is where he now has to prove whether he is brave. Because if he is not brave, he is of no use to us.  However, by the beginning of the war, training was downsized and towards the end of the war it was used as a military hospital.

On May 5 and 24 and June 21, 1944, Heinrich Himmler gave speeches to officers of the Chief of Army Armament Office and commanders of the Reserve Army and General Army Office, in which he openly discussed the overall plan for the extermination of the Jews in Europe and justified the murders. Also on June 21, 1944, the Nazi chief ideologist Alfred Rosenberg gave a political speech on the subject of Europe.

Adolf Hitler Straße then and now, renamed Maximilianstrasse. Lindau is located near the meeting point of the Austrian, German and Swiss borders and is nestled on the lake in front of Austria's Pfänder mountain. In 1922 the independent districts of Aeschach, Hoyren and Reutin merged with the Lindau district. Its Oberbürgermeister, Ludwig Siebert, was later appointed the first Nazi mayor within Bavaria and at the beginning of the Nazi regime in 1933 became the Bavarian minister-president. It was whilst mayor of Lindau that in 1931 Siebert left the Bavarian People's Party to join the Nazi Party from the. As Bavarian prime minister Siebert didn't have the power or authority his predecessors had in the Weimar Republic and would find himself constantly engaged in a power struggle with the Reichstatthalter of Bavaria, Franz Ritter von Epp, which he would win. Siebert also held the posts of Minister of Finance and for the Economy, initiating the so-called "Siebert Programme" to fight unemployment in Bavaria. The programme turned out to be insufficient to create new employment due to lack of funds within the Bavarian government and support from the German government. Siebert also had personal orders from Hitler to look after the restoration of all castles in Germany and was especially interested in the restoration of the historical town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber from 1937 to 1941. His brother was a highly decorated officer in the Wehrmacht, Generalmajor Friedrich Siebert.
From a Nazi-era postcard with Adolf-Hitler-Straße stamped out. It would take 72 years for Lindau to symbolicaly strip Hitler of his honorary citizenship. It was here in Lindau that many landing pioneer units of the Wehrmacht were put up, receiving their training on and around Lake Constance. Lindau served as a garrison for military pioneers including divisions of the 19th infantry regiment and the 488th infantry replacement battalion. After the war, Lindau suffered the humiliation of submitting to French troops on April 30, 1945 who occupied Lindau without a fight. The town and the county were separated from the rest of American-occupied Bavaria as part of the French occupation zone and received a state special status. During the next ten years, the area served as a bridge between the French occupation zones in Germany and Austria. It was not until September 1, 1955, that Lindau was re-integrated into the Free State of Bavaria. 
During the Third Reich and today
Located in the Oberallgäu, the Alpenhotel Schönblick, shown flying the Nazi flag and today, is in Germany's southernmost village. From 1943 to 1945, the Waffen-ϟϟ ran the Oberstdorf-Birgsau concentration camp external command for the operation of the Birgsau Waffen-ϟϟ training camp in mountain combat. In July-August 1943, twelve prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp were transported to Oberstdorf to set up this subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp. It was soon expanded to include thirty male prisoners from Germany, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Spain, guarded by two dozen ϟϟ men. They first had to set up and maintain accommodation and infrastructure for a training camp for leaders and sub-leaders of the Waffen-ϟϟ, with sixteen wooden barracks between the customs houses and the chapel, as well as shooting ranges. This served to train the Waffen-ϟϟ in mountain combat. The concentration camp prisoners were housed in the cellars of the three customs houses that had been built in 1936-37 and were no longer needed after the annexation of Austria. The camp administration and the ϟϟ guards were housed directly above. In April 1945, the concentration camp prisoners were relocated to an alpine hut on the other side of the Stillach near the ϟϟ training camp.