Showing posts with label Lingen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lingen. Show all posts

More Nazi Sites in Lower Saxony

Hitler on the platform at the main railway station 
After the Nazis assumed power in January 1933, they began to systematically rearm the Reichsmarine and Reichsmarine. The Anglo-German naval agreement of 1935 allowed the navy, renamed the Kriegsmarine, to expand its fleet significantly. As a result, the town experienced a considerable  economic upswing, as the introduced fleet policy required the further expansion of the harbour and shipyard facilities in Wilhelmshaven. The planning of an extension of the harbour, which had already been drawn up in 1917, was resumed; by 1936 the construction of the new entrance resumed with the creation of two lock chambers, which however were built at a greater distance from each other, intended to reduce the risk of simultaneous disengagement by damage to the middle wall during airborne attacks. The dimensions of the new lock chambers (390 metres long, 60 metres wide) far exceeded the size of the Bismarck class battleships. On the 7th of November 1942, the 4th entrance was put into operation with the smuggling of the light cruiser Emden through the eastern chamber and was named "Raeder-Schleuse". Due to the war, the entrance was only partially finished; up until the end of the war, only the eastern chamber could be used. 
Hitler in front of the rathaus in 1939 and the platz today. It was here on April 1, 1939 the day after Chamberlain had announced in Parliament that Britain offered an unconditional guarantee to Poland, followed within a fortnight by similar guarantees to Rumania and Greece, that Hitler declared that Germany would not submit to intimidation or encirclement:
When folk in other countries say that now they are arming and that they will continuously increase their armaments, then to these statesmen I have only one thing to say:  'Me you will never tire.' I am determined to continue to march on this path, I am convinced that we shall advance faster than the others... If anyone should really wish to pit his strength against ours with violence, then the German people is in the position to accept the challenge at anytime: it is ready, too, and resolved... (Bullock)
Hitler leaving the Garnisonkirche from Heinrich Hoffmann's Hitler wie ihn keiner kennt (Berlin: "Zeitgeschichte" Verlag, 1932). The caption reads: "A photograph accidentally becomes a symbol. Adolf Hitler, the supposed 'heretic,' leaves the Marine Church in Wilhelmshaven.
Hitler was scheduled to deliver a speech at Wilhelmshaven on April 1, 1939, on the occasion of the launching of the German battleship Tirpitz. The Polish acceptance of the British guarantee prompted him to devote extra attention to this major address. He hoped to convey two principal themes to his audience and to the world. He wished everyone to know that Great Britain could not intimidate Germany, but he also wished to make it clear that Germany continued to favour a peaceful solution of European problems. Hitler was remarkably successful in conveying these two ideas without creating the impression that they were mutually exclusive. He denounced the pre-1914 British encirclement policy, and he made the point that the German Government of that time had been mistaken in allowing British encirclement plans to ripen without taking effective counter-measures. He congratulated the community of Wilhelmshaven on its recovery from the misery and poverty of the economic depression during Weimar Republic days. He blamed lies and propaganda for the demoralization of Germany in 1918 and the following years. It seemed hypocritical of the British leaders to take exception to the German program of peaceful territorial revision, and Hitler reminded his listeners that the British had seized vast stretches of territory by force less than twenty years earlier. He recalled that Germany did not have the power to prevent them from changing the map in 1919. Hitler repeated his desire for peace in Europe, and he announced his decision to call the September 1939 National Socialist Party Day the Party Day of Peace.
Hoggan (241) The Forced War
The  Strandhalle, completed in 1938 and since rebuilt twice, although the characteristic rotunda remains in its original form. During the war the city was extensively destroyed by more than 100 air raids, including 16 major attacks. The first air attack on Wilhelmshaven took place on September 4, 1939, the last on March 30 1945. On January 27 1943, the USAAF directed their first day attack on a goal in the German Reich against Wilhelmshaven. Of the 55 four-engine bombers, eight were shot down. Probably the most severe air attack was on 15 October 1944 and eventually 60% of the living space was in ruins. The comparatively small number of fatalities (435) was due to the many air raid shelters, which were installed everywhere in the city area, among other things, by the immediate pilot program. Most of the victims were buried in row graves at the municipal cemetery in Aldenburg. There, since 1978, a memorial reminds of the civilian bomb victims of the city.
Memorial on the grounds of the former Wilhelmshaven concentration camp During the Nazi period of , persecution, coercion and oppression took place in Wilhelmshaven. From September 1944 the Neuengamme Concentration Camp maintained an outpost at the Alter Banter Weg. The inmates, predominantly French, had to do forced labour and were used, for example, on the Kriegsmarinewerft as well as during the bomb clearing in the city. In four barracks 1125 men were crowded under adverse conditions; at least 234 of them did not survive internment. Today a part of the camp site is a concentration camp memorial. In April 1945, the ϟϟ dissolved the camp as the prisoners were to be taken by rail to the main camp in Hamburg-Neuengamme. At an intermediate station in the railway station in Lüneburg, 256 men were killed when the train was also struck by an allied air attack. The head of the transport, the then 36-year-old Danish ϟϟ man Gustav Alfred Jepsen, was condemned to death for the crimes he had committed in the Wilhelmshaven concentration camp in 1947 and was executed in Hameln prison. About a thousand Dutchmen were interned in the camp in Schwarzer Weg in 1945.

The town hall flying the Nazi flags and today. On April 1, 1937, Rüstringen and Wilhelmshaven merged under the name Wilhelmshaven. 
In 1925 the Jewish population in Wilhelmshaven and Rüstringen peaked at 239 people; eight years later it numbered 191 people. The approximately hundred Jewish families lived mainly from retail and were hit hard by the boycott measures against Jewish businesses. As a result, many families moved to larger cities or emigrated. Further anti-Jewish actions followed in the summer of 1935. The Nazis nailed the head, tail and genitals of a pig to the doors of the synagogue. Jewish shops were smeared with anti-Semitic slogans; in front of the Wallheimer department store SA men stood outside with signs reading "Germans, don't buy from Jews". The city set up a separate area for Jewish traders. Since the children in public schools were increasingly exposed to abuse and harassment, the regional rabbi set up a central Jewish elementary school for the state of Oldenburg in 1937. 
On Kristallnacht the synagogue was set on fire with gasoline. The fire department secured the adjacent buildings but because the fire did not have the desired effect, the building was lit again on the morning of November 10th and completely destroyed. Four Jewish shops were looted that night. Brownshirts took Jewish citizens out of their apartments and drove them to the “Jahnhalle”, accompanied by insults and stone throwing by spectators. Some were forced to carry cardboard signs with the words "I am a Jewish pig". Whilst women, children and older men were allowed to go home the following day, 34 men were led to the train station on November 11th and taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The main individual responsible for the pogrom measures were the SA standard leader Hinz, the Nazi district leader Meyer, Gestapo officer Kirschner and the leader of the local NSKK, Gunkel.  In 1939, 79 mostly older Jews still lived in Wilhelmshaven. Most were removed from Oldenburg / East Frisia in 1940 as part of the "evacuation" of the Jewish population. Two Jewish women married to “Aryans” were finally deported to Theresienstadt in February 1945.  Some of the perpetrators were brought to justice after the war because of the riots related to the pogrom; the Nazi district leader Ernst Meyer was sentenced to two years, the NSKK storm leader Gunkel to 16½ months in prison. The proceedings against the other responsible parties were terminated. The location of the synagogue in Wilhelmshaven (today “Synagogenplatz”), which was demolished in the spring of 1939, was provided with a memorial in the 1970s. A memorial, shown above, was inaugurated in 1980 on the initiative of the Protestant parish. In 2008 the memorial was supplemented by two stelae with the names of 116 murdered Jews from Wilhelmshaven. An information board provides details on the history of the Jews in Wilhelmshaven and the synagogue. A memorial plaque for the men deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp is attached to the “Jahnhalle”
Bad Pyrmont
The Kinderheim Sonnenhof then, with swastika, and today- serving the German Red Cross.  In the Second World War Bad Pyrmont was a hospital town, so it was not affected by the war.


The swastika flying from the Rattenfängerhaus and today. Known for its pied-piper, during the war Hamelin's prison was used for the detention of Social Democrats, Communists, and other political prisoners. Around 200 died here; more died in April 1945, when the Nazis sent the prisoners on long marches, fearing the Allied advance. In the Hamelin prison from 1933 so-called political, mainly communists and social democrats were interned (but also homosexuals and Jews). Later came political prisoners from France and Denmark. In 1935, the penitentiary was converted into a breeding house. During the Second World War there were about 300 deaths as a result of the inhumane conditions of detention. At the end of the war in April 1945, the prison was partially cleared and death marched. Just after the war, Hamelin prison was used by British Occupation Forces for the detention of Germans accused of war crimes. Following conviction, around 200 of them were hanged there, including Irma Grese, Josef Kramer, and over a dozen of the perpetrators of the Stalag Luft III murders. The prison has since been turned into an hotel.
The synagogue was burnt down during the November pogrom in 1938. The city was the target of a heavy Allied bombing attack towards the end of the Second World War on 14 March 1945. The station and houses in Kreuzstrasse, Hastenbecker Weg and Stüveststrasse were hit leaving 177 people killed, 93 injured and over 700 homeless.On April 5, 1945, upon the approach of the 2nd American Panzer Division in Gross-Berkel, and with the advance of a battalion to Hamelin, German soldiers dashed across the Weserbrücke. There were up to 500 soldiers in Hamelin under the combat commander Generalmajor Klockenbrink for the defence. The artillery fire destroyed the Marktkirche, the Werdermühle, the town hall and several houses, also in the Osterstraße. The 17th American pioneer battalion and parts of the 30th American infantry division under Generalmajor Leland Hobbs prepared the transition with storm bombs near the village of Ohr, erected a pontoon bridge and put the tanks in the direction of Tündern. A unit flagpunker from the Sennelager could stop the Americans in the south of the city and shoot two tanks. The 1st Lieutenant Raymond O. Beaudoin of the 119th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division, was shot dead on his mission to eliminate a German machine gun on April 6, and received the highest honorary medal of Honour.
On June 4, 1945, the military government appointed Walter Harm, SPD, as Lord Mayor of Hamelin, who had served as deputy mayor before 1933 and was dismissed by the National Socialists.
In the post-war period, the prison served as an execution site for the British occupying forces until 1949, starting on December 13, 1945. During this period, 156 persons were executed as war criminals, including the ones convicted as part of the Bergen-Belsen trial. Among them were the concentration camp supervisors Irma Grese, Elisabeth Volkenrath and Johanna Bormann, the camp commander Josef Kramer, the concentration camp doctor Fritz Klein. Further executions on the basis of Allied trials involved concentration camp doctors, KZ-Kapos, ϟϟ superintendents and commanders of ϟϟ units (2nd ϟϟ Totenkopfregiment, ϟϟ Division Totenkopf). The last execution in Hamelin took place on December 6, 1949 involving a displaced person due to a lethal incident involving a shotgun. In 1947, 120 houses and 1014 rooms were occupied by British occupying forces.

Bückeburg had long been a Nazi Party stronghold when the Nazis took power in 1933. From 1933 to 1937 the Nazi Party arranged an annual Harvest Festival at Bückeberg, the „Reichserntedankfeste,“ close to the city of Hamelin.  More than one million people are supposed to have gathered there in order to celebrate the German peasant, to listen to speech delivered by Adolf Hitler, and to watch a large military show. To manage this number of participants a special arena designed by Albert Speer was built. The site was intended to be one of the three largest mass celebrations of the National Socialists. The festival enjoyed a firm place in the Nazi festive calendar. Its importance lay in its contribution to the propagation of the leader cult, the formation of national community and of preparing people for the war. The idea, planning and organisation of the festival was that of the propaganda minister Goebbels rather than Agriculture Minister and Reich Farm Leader Darré. On October 1, 1936, a "parade ground" at the former military training area was set up in the Röcker field for the Wehrmacht. The courtyards of the villages of Röcke and Nammen located there were forcibly relocated, most of them to the “Kornmasch” in the northwest of the town. Eventually the villages of Knatensen and Selliendorf were incorporated into Bückeburg in 1939.
The town's Nazi  mayor, Albert Friehe, stood out because he had persecuted and harassed Jews more vehemently than anywhere else. On November 9, 1938, Bückeburg's synagogue was set afire without being completely destroyed. From 1939, many Jewish families were forcibly quartered in buildings confiscated from Jewish property - including the synagogue. The building, valued at 22,000 Reichsmarks, was later to become the property of the city for 8300 Reichsmarks, but the transfer did not take place. The Bückeburg Jews, who had not been able to flee in time, were deported from December 1942. Of the 71 displaced, only five survived the Holocaust. A notable exception to the persecution came from the Petz parish pastor Wilhelm Mensching who, from October 1943 to March 1944, hid a Jewish woman from the Nazis in his rectory.
Model of the Reichsthingplatzes Bückeberg designed by Albert Speer showing the "Führerweg" connecting upper and lower grandstands. The participants of the festival would enter the square via stairs located at the far side of the fairground. On the right is an aerial view of the site in 1933 showing 500,000 participants with the VIP box in the upper right corner.
After the war the arena was demolished and the site was turned into a meadow. There remain the ruins of the foundations of the tribune, shown above. In the three Allied bombings on Bückeburg there were 55 deaths. The attack on October 26, 1944 targeted the Jäger-Kaserne. Some outbuildings were hit and 29 people died. On November 5, 1944, the bombers targeted a group of workers on the vineyard; twenty people were killed. On December 31, 1944, a third attack followed, which was probably also targetting the Jäger-Kaserne. However, the air mine went down in Bergdorf instead, destroying several houses and killed six people. 
The end of the war came to Bückeburg on April 7, 1945 when an American troop stood in front of the city and took it under artillery fire for several hours to prepare for the invasion. In the early morning of April 8th, the pharmacy leaseholder Wilhelm Kroseberg, the merchant Herbert Jöns, the innkeeper Albert Schütz and the shoemaker Karl Schütte met the American battle group on the vineyard with a white bed sheet. At the same time, the carpenter Friedrich Steinhof began clearing the armoured barriers, which were set up in sight of the soldiers at the entrance to the city, from the street. The Americans were thus able to take the city without a fight.

Bad Nenndorf
The Bad Nenndorf interrogation centre was a British Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre located at the Winckler-Bath in the town of Bad Nenndorf which operated from June 1945 to July 1947. Allegations of mistreatment of detainees by British troops resulted in a police investigation, a public controversy in both Britain and Germany and the camp's eventual closure. Four of the camp's officers were brought before courts-martial in 1948 and one of the four was convicted on charges of neglect.
At Bad Nenndorf near Hanover, CSDIC 74 also possessed an interrogation centre where men were tortured. The centre of the town was sealed off with barbed wire. The torture-chamber was the old pumproom. Here they were beaten, deprived of sleep, threatened with execution or unnecessary surgery. As many as 372 men and 44 women passed through Bad Nenndorf before it closed in July 1947. Initially they were SS men and Pgs, as well as industrialists and ‘plutocrats’ who had done well in the Third Reich. The British were also frightened of Werewolves, and brought in several Hitler Youth leaders for interrogation. Later many of them were Germans who had been ‘turned’ by the Soviets, and were spying on the British Zone. The camp commander was Colonel Robin Stephens, an MI5 officer. His staff consisted of twelve British – including civilian linguists – a Pole, a Dutchman and six German Jews. They were helped by young soldiers. Some of these had been present at the liberation of Belsen and felt no goodwill towards the Germans. Others had committed minor offences of discipline, assault or desertion and were being punished.
The activities in Bad Nenndorf eventually reached the ears of the prime minister, and Sir Sholto Douglas launched an investigation into the abuse of POWs. A court martial opened in Hamburg on 8 June 1948 at which Stephens was tried together with a German-born Jew, Lieutenant Richard Langham. It was transferred to London and heard in camera. The officers were acquitted. There was alarm in government circles that the public should learn that the British were running a number of branches of CSDIC in Germany, and that ‘Bad Nenndorf’ should become a rallying cry. Lord Pakenham expressed his concern about the accusation that the British were treating prisoners in a manner ‘reminiscent of the German concentration camps’. Following the court martial Bad Nenndorf was closed down, but interrogations went on in the British base in Gütersloh.  
MacDonogh (414-415) After the Reich
The island features in The Riddle of the Sands, the 1903 novel by British novelist (and traitor) Erskine Childers.
Strandstraße bedecked with swastikas and today
[B]y late 1933, even Norderney, a resort that had once been popular with German and foreign Jews, used marketing slogans like ‘The North Sea Resort of Norderney is free of Jews’. Visitors could even purchase a postcard entitled ‘At one time and now’, which depicted a group of young, dark-haired, allegedly Jewish vacationers above and a group of tall, blond, bathing-suited ‘Aryans’ below. 
Semmens (69) Seeing Hitler’s Germany

Bülowallee then and now.
Norderney had enjoyed its own synagogue for its 33 Jewish pre-war islanders. Almost all were abducted, murdered, killed or emigrated. Norderney had been known as the "Jew's Bath" for its kosher facilities and liberalism, but in the wake of National Socialism it turned the other way around. The islanders were worried about their competitiveness and initiated the campaign "Norderney - Jew Free" resulting in everything that had appeared to be friendly to Jews was now adapted to the new regime. So it was with Joseph Street which today hosts stolperstein to commemorate its persecuted citizens. Jewish merchant Joseph Koppel bought a larger plot of land in the area of ​​Maibach, Frisia and Ellernstraße and built smaller one-family houses on it which were offered favourable terms to young Norderneyer families for sale or for rent. Eventually Böttcherstraße was renamed in recognition of this social achievement with the name Joseph Street. During the Nazi era there were some renamed street- Kurplatz became Adolf Hitler Platz and Josephstraße to Frisiastraße. Whilst Kurplatz regained its old name after the war, Frisiastraße kept this name until recently. Perhaps the stumbling blocks and the planned transformation of Onnen Visser Platz are a welcome occasion to think about renaming other streets. 
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial, its eagle now removed. 

Besides a synagogue, Norderney also had a large Jewish hotel and various shops run by local Jews. In August 12 and 13, 1933 the local newspaper, Norderneyer Badezeitung, reported on a Jewish spa guest who had been taken into "protective custody" by the police because other guests denounced him as a "racial molester" because of an alleged relationship with a "Christian" girl. This prompted the newspaper to support "without further ado concentration camps and the death penalty for men" and declare that "the next Jew, who is to be caught here in the same way, could find himself forced in broad daylight to take an involuntary walk through the busiest streets on the island, adorned with a poster on which the name, address and facts of his actions would be communicated to everyone. "   

The Kurhaus and Kurhotel flying the Nazi flag
 The Postamt and Marienhöhe
The Port
Varel am Jadebusen
Adolf-Hitler-Strasse, now Obernstrasse. The Lichtspielhaus is still there, no longer sporting the swastika. After the Nazi seizure of power in the spring of 1933, the Nazi state government forced Mayor Oltmanns to retire and be succeeded in office by Nazi Gustav Menke (until 1940). Both City Council and municipal council were politically brought into line with the introduction of the German Gemeindeordnung before finally being eliminated in 1935. The deputy mayors during the Nazi period were William Gerstenberg and Otto Ahlers. The KPD, SPD and ancillary organisations were banned and suspended with their officials and members persecuted by the Nazi regime. With the Oldenburgische administrative reform in May 1933, the Official Association Varel itself lost its status as an independent "city of the 1st order", and was now called the "City 2nd order."
SA marching in front of the District Court in 1934.
The last commandant of the women's concentration camp Ravensbrück, the ϟϟ-Sturmbannführer Fritz Suhren , was a native Vareler; Suhren would later be executed in 1950.  The Jewish citizens of the city were - unless emigrated in time after the Nazi seizure of power and able to escape - legally and socially discriminated against. Jewish property was "arisiert" . The last living Jews in Varel were housed in the so-called Jewish retirement home on Schutting street. 29 nursing home residents were led in two deportations in October 1941 (6 persons) and July 1942 (23 people) to the Lodz ghetto / Litzmannstadt (via Emden and Berlin) and Theresienstadt (via Bremen and Hannover), some of them further on to Auschwitz and Chelmno. None of the deportees survived. Today a plaque at the primary school on Osterstraße recalls the former synagogue across the street that had been destroyed during the 1938 November pogrom. During the Second World War there was a large number of foreign civilian workers and prisoners of war in Varel, under pitiful living conditions for forced labour. 
On the right is the railway station then and now. Hitler arrived here twice-  May 25, 1932 and September 28, 1939. Although Varel was in the immediate vicinity of Allied bomber formations which attacked Wilhelmshaven over an hundred times, the Varel was spared from further destruction with only single bomb damage and several casualties in the final stages of the war. After the bloodless occupation on May 6, 1945 by troops of the 2nd Canadian Army, Varel was fortunate enough to be joined to the British zone of occupation and served as the temporary headquarters of the British county military government for the district of Friesland.

The Gasthaus zum Bückeberg with and without the hakenkreuz. On Kristallnacht a Jewish-owned shop on what was Adolf-Hitler-Strasse (Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse 6) saw both its shop window windows smashed and the displays thrown onto the street. The owner and his 15-year-old son were arrested the next morning and together with the other arrested businessmen from Obernkirchen deported to Buchenwald. The arbitrary arrest of the town's Jewish businessmen saw them lose their money as well to pay for the damage to their own property. Today stolperstein have been placed outside the former shop with the following inscription:
Here lived people whose lives were made an absolute hell on earth by the criminal Nastional Socialist regime from 1933-1945. These stolpersteine are laid down to remember them and their destinies. 
Lange Straße, lined with swastikas and today. Seen from the west. Hitler had spoken in Delmenhorst at the Schützenhof on May 26, 1932 during his presidential campaign. On Reichskristallnacht in November 1938 the town's synagogue was burnt down by the Nazis, who had came to power in Germany in 1933. After the Second World War, Delmenhorst was in the British zone of occupation and had to deal with thousands of refugees from Eastern Germany, which now was occupied by the Soviet Union. The British-appointed mayor during the British Occupation was Major Jack Wolfe, an inspector of the British Constabulary. 
 August 2006 saw Nazis return to Delmenhorst with parades of right-wing extremists with anti-immigrant slogans, hosting of party congresses of the far-right NPD and its training for the junior cadres of right-wing camaraderie. At that time right-wing extremist Hamburg lawyer Jürgen Rieger declared that he wanted to buy the empty "Hotel am Stadtpark" in the town centre and also bring along personnel from the right-wing scene. To prevent this the town council bought the hotel for three million euros at the cost of giving in to blackmail and concern that the NPD could make such threats in the future to bankrupt other communities.
A couple of years later tenth grade students at the Willms-Gymnasium in Delmenhorst on Willmsstraße were taught to sing "Vorwärts, vorwärts", also known as "Unsre Fahne flattert uns voran." Its lines, supposedly written by Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach, include: "We march for Hitler through night and through distress; with the flag of youth, for freedom and bread".  The music teacher had his students loudly sing the song whils giving the Hitler salute. When a student refused, the teacher compelled her. Parents ended up filing charges for sedition which the public prosecutor's office has stopped, with prosecutor Rainer du Mesnil de Rochemont claiming that the mere singing of the song is not sedition even though the song itself (and giving the Hitler salute) is banned by the State.

Swastikas flying along Adolf-Hitler-Strasse with St. Stephanus-Kirche then and now. Hitler had visited the town in 1938 when he personally laid the foundation stone for the new Volkswagen plant. The year before the Nazis had established a new state-owned automobile company, Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Later that year, it was renamed simply Volkswagenwerk, or “The People’s Car Company,” operated by the German Labour Front. Hitler had declared in 1938 that it was “for the broad masses that this car has been built. Its purpose is to answer their transportation needs, and it is intended to give them joy.” On May 26, 1938, Hitler and other Nazi dignitaries gathered near Fallersleben nearby to lay the foundation stone for the Volkswagen Works. The company itself actively sought out forced labour from the concentration camps, with one VW plant engineer travelling to Auschwitz in 1944 to select three hundred  skilled metalworkers from  Hungarian Jews in 1944. In addition, 650 Jewish women were transferred to assemble military munitions. The official relationship between the Nazi concentration camps and Volkswagen was cemented when the Fallersleben facility officially became a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp. Overall, the  Volkswagen plant contained four concentration camps and eight forced-labour camps. The company's link to the Nazis remains today in its Rune-like logo which was initially surrounded by a stylised cogwheel and spinning wings that appeared like a swastika, signifying an ancient Nordic symbol called the ‘Ginfaxi’ that supposedly granted victory in battle before being replaced in 1939 with it appearing within a German Labour Front device. 

Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now with St. Bonifatius church in the background. During the Reichspogromnacht from 9th to 10th November 1938, the Nazis set fire to the town synagogue. In 1944, two Allied air raids destroyed the railroad and parts of Lingen which had been the site of a major reserve theatre of the Wehrmacht, including hospitals for the prisoners of war in the prisoners of war camps in the Emsland region, with the many associated work commissions. After the end of the Second World War Lingen belonged to the British occupation zone. The British military administration set up a DP camp to accommodate Displaced Persons. Many of them came from Poland, Estonia, Latvia and the former Yugoslavia. They were, on the one hand, liberated forced labourers from the Emsland camps, on the other hand they were political refugees. In February 1946 a flood of the Ems river flooded the city centre and caused great destruction.
The Paradies guesthouse during the 1930s and now. Evidence for the Nazi era in the town has been all but erased from today's maps the tourist information centre provides. Besides Adolf Hitler Square, Hindenburgstraße has been renamed simply Große Straße. The buildings however remain- on Gymnasialstraße had lived the Hanauer family which had almost completely fell victim to the Holocaust; only daughter Leonie survived. University Square, where on the site of today's Karolinenstraße / Clubstraße the "Niedersachsenhof" stood which served as the meeting place of Lingener's SA. Entering the town park through the stone gate stood a building that was demolished in 1976: the Lingen police prison where opponents of the Nazi regime were first imprisoned before being presented to the judge, taken to prison on Kaiserstraße or deported to the concentration camp.  On the corner of Burgstraße and Marienstraße what is now Marktapotheke Am Markt 1 was once "white goods shop Geschwister Eisenstein"in which Emma Wolff, the wife of the last Lingen synagogue head Jakob Wolff, worked.  The two lived only a stone's throw away in the Marienstraße 4, later denounced by the Nazis as "Judenhaus". Here in 1941 and 1942 Jewish families were deported. In the immediate vicinity on Marienstraße 10 was the "Brown House", the Nazi party house in Lingen. Other silent reminders of persecution are the  train station, starting point of train journeys without return and the station hotel which because of its large hall next to the restaurant Wilhelmshöhe, was often used for major Nazi events.

The rathaus flying the Nazi flag in 1933 and how it appears today. The town centre was almost completely wiped out as a result of Allied bombing raids during the Second World War, destroying nearly all historic buildings. The RAF first bombed Emden on March 31, 1940. The most severe bombing took place on September 6, 1944, when roughly 80 percent of all houses in the town centre were destroyed. In the collective memory of the town, this date still plays an important role. The shipyard area was largely untouched – the British targeted the civilian areas in revenge for the bombing of Coventry by the Luftwaffe. The reconstructed town was opened on 6 September 1962, exactly 18 years after the bombing. After the Nazi victory in the Reichstag election of March 1933, the deportation of Jews and the elimination of political opponents took place as quickly here as elsewhere in the country. On the night of November 9th, 1938, Emden took part in the riots directed against the Jews by the Reichsleitung, which were later referred to as "Reichskristallnacht" or Novemberpogrome 1938. The synagogue was burnt down and all the male Jews were deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp via Oldenburg, from where they could return only after weeks had elapsed. Discrimination continued. At the end of January 1940, an initiative of East Frisian land councils and the city council of the city of Emden led to the instructions of the Gestapo headquarters Wilhelmshaven that Jews should leave Ostfriesland until 1 April 1940. The East Frisian Jews had to look for other apartments within Germany, with the exception of Hamburg and the Left Rhine regions. In October 1941 Emden was one of the first twelve cities in the Reich, from which Jews were deported to the East. Twenty-three Jewish senior citizens were temporarily transferred to the Jewish home of Varel in October 1941, and from there they were deported to Theresienstadt via Bremen and Hanover in July 1942.  Allied soldiers reached the city at the beginning of May 1945, but they could not take it without a fight. Emden had been declared a fortress shortly before the end of the war, and was still defended by the surrounding anti-aircraft batteries for a few days at the order of the commander-in-chief. The last combat operation in the Emden area was on May 4, 1945. In the course of the war, 2404 soldiers fell. In addition, 408 Emden citizens, forced labourers and members of the Wehrmacht were killed in bomb attacks. During the Nazi period, 465 Jewish citizens were murdered.  

Hitler in OldenburgOldenburg in 1919 became the state capital of the federal Free State of Oldenburg in the Weimar Republic.  The Nazis won the elections to the Oldenburgischer Landtag 1932 for the first time in the country of the German Reich, with over 48% of the vote. As a result, Carl Röver who had been acting as Nazi Gauleiter Weser-Ems in Oldenburg since the mid-1920s, was appointed prime minister. Shortly after the Nazi's seizure of power, Röver was appointed in early May 1933 as Reich Governor for Bremen and Oldenburg resulting in the Hanseatic city of Bremen losing its political independence.  In 1935, the "Conservation and Care Institute Kloster Blankenburg" was closed and converted into an "auxiliary service camp of the SA - Arbeitsdienst " for the youthful unemployed. In February 1937, the camp was dissolved again and instead relocated the municipal care facility Gertrudenheim to Blankenburg. As part of the 'euthanasia' actions, the residents were relocated again. 
Nazis in front of the Pferdemarkt on the former Platz der SA. On the night of 9 to 10 November 1938, Oldenburg SA troops participated in the Reich-wide anti-Semitic November pogroms . The synagogue and the Jewish school were burnt down, some shops destroyed. The Jewish Oldenburgers were rounded up in the police barracks on the horse market, now Landesbibliothek Oldenburg . On the morning of November 10, the families were separated and 43 Jewish men were driven to the jail in the middle of downtown by the ruins of the still-burning synagogue. One day later, the deportation by train followed. In total, almost 1,000 men from the northwest and Bremen were taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp , from which they only returned broken weeks and months later. To commemorate and reminder initiated Oldenburg citizens in 1981 a re-enactment of this deportation as a hushed-up. Since then, this memorial walk has been celebrated on November 10th by several hundred to several thousand Oldenburgers. Schools and institutions each create an extensive supporting program. At least 74 gypsies from of Oldenburg and the surrounding area were murdered in concentration and extermination camps.  During the war caused Oldenburg only suffered relatively small damage; only 1.4% of Oldenburg had been completely destroyed. In June 1941, an air raid caused damage in the area of ​​traffic jams, Sophienstraße and Würzburger Straße as well as on the railway line to Leer. In September 1943, the State Library on the dam was completely destroyed by bombs, as was the district court in the Elisabethstraße 7, which burned down completely, as well as the Museum am Damm and the Reichsfinanzverwaltung at the dam corner of the moat. In April 1945 there were four major air strikes destroying the Georgenvilla, Ziegelhof and the meat factory of the GEG whilst the barracks at Ofener Strasse and Donnerschweer Straße as well as the infantry barracks at Cloppenburger Strasse were badly damaged. The residential districts east of Cloppenburger Strasse and around Klingenbergplatz also suffered serious damage. On April 17, 1945, British aircraft attacked the Donnerschwee barracks in which thirteen children lost their lives. In an air raid on April 21, 1945 the station forecourt, port and the commercial area were destroyed in the east of the old town. The barracks in Kreyenbrück were destroyed in April and May 1945. During these air raids, many sought protection in the Moslestraße bunker, eventually blown up in 1979. A total of 130 houses were completely destroyed during the war. 
Villa Gartenstraße 5 in Oldenburg. Formerly used by the "Brücke der Nationen" (cultural centre)After the end of the Second World War Oldenburg belonged to the British occupation zone. The British city commander took as his residence the villa on Gartenstraße 5, which had previously been the official residence of the head of the NSDAP Gauss Weser-Ems. The British military administration set up several DP camps in Oldenburg to accommodate up to 5,000 so-called displaced persons . The majority of them were former forced labourers from Poland and the Baltic States , but also non- German refugees from the Red Army- occupied area, many of whom did not want to return to their homeland occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, but on the other hand did not want to emigrate to a country of the western enemies of Germany. With the admission of about 42,000 refugees after the end of the war Oldenburg exceeded the number of 100,000 inhabitants and grew up to the city . 1946, the land was Oldenburg by order of the English occupying power part of the new federal state of Lower Saxony, Oldenburg was the seat of the " administrative district Oldenburg ", one of the then eight administrative districts of the country.


The school during the Nazi-era when the town sported an Adolf-Hitler-Grotto

The former Hitler Tower, inaugurated August 1935, now renamed the Sollingturm. The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Hitler tower took place on March 21, 1934 by the Northeim district administrator in the presence of several party leaders and numerous delegations of clubs and associations, schools and voluntary labour service. The celebration was opened with a shattering fanfare call by two fanfare players. District Administrator von der Schulenburg declared: "In this sense, I grab the spade, and now freshly go to work!" Kreisleiter Steineck concluded with the words: "Grow up, proud construction, you symbol of German unity and the German will to work !" The Horst Wessel song and Deutschlandlied splayed as seven workers dug a two metre deep excavation and built the foundations.  On June 27, the foundation stone was laid. A soldered copper envelope with a certificate, the construction drawing, newspapers and coins were sunk in the foundation stone. The chairman of the Sollingverein delivered an address calling for "care stone by stone, and diligence may be the mortar. Loyalty is the foundation, the other is in the hands of God. "  By now the building had reached a height of 22 metres as, in the spring of 1935, construction continued on. On April 20 (Fuhrer's Day), a large swastika flag was hoisted on the elevator mast.  On May 30, the topping out ceremony was celebrated at a height of 34 metres, with the singing of "Bis hierher hat mich Gott gebracht." SA and HJ had taken over the task of clearing away rocks and sand in front of the tower and on several Sundays marched up to the Strotberg and completed their task. To the right and left of the tower they piled up their cairns, with a heavy unworked stone block as their coronation.
For the inauguration, which took place on August 25, 1935, a plaque had been created which was carried by thousands who made their way to Strotberg around noon as groups of flags marched up and lined up in front of the tower and its memorial stones. Baumeister Guy handed the key over to Rektor Wahl, chairman of the tower construction committee. The builder read the telegram to the Führer: "The Thousands gathered from Solling for the consecration of the Hitler Tower, sending the godfather of the tower awe-inspiring oaths of loyalty." The memorial stone of the SA was consecrated by Brigadefuehrer Soest, the HJ regional youth leader Schimmelpfennig. The Festspiel vom Hackelberg, which was written by a teacher from Neuhaus, concluded the ceremony.  After a large flight of stairs leading in front of the wrought-iron grille of the portal a gilded swastika was placed on top. The hall of honour was covered with light grey sandstone in the middle of which rose a stone cube which carried a bronze sacrificial bowl. In the back of the wall a metal plate is embedded, which bears the inscription: "In the years 1914- 1918, 867 sons from Uslar's 33 communities fell through a sacrificial death for home and homeland." Above the door, the insignia was engraved with the dedication "Adolf Hitler, the Awakening of the German People." On the right and left words of the leader are: "Germans, you are a people, and you are a strong people, if you want to be strong" and "In devotion of the own life for the existence of the community lies the coronation of the sacrificial sense!" One window to the right bore the Hitler Youth symbol with the words:" We are the future soldiers, close to death - Hail to you SA!" A spiral staircase lead to the first floor through a door leading into the back wall. From here, a wooden staircase lead to the platform standing on four pillars, covered by a wooden roof. It . The total cost of construction amounted to 33,000 Reichsmark.  By 1935, a tourist restaurant (now closed as of 1999) was built above Sohlingen, for the innkeeper Walter Filmer from where the shortest path- the so-called steep climb- lead up to Sollingturm. After the war and the associated denazification campaign the inscriptions and swastika symbols were removed from the tower and it was named Sollingturm.
Eighty soldiers from Uslar fell in the Great War. In the November Revolution of 1918, the city was controlled by workers' and soldiers' councils for a few weeks. In 1919, women's suffrage was introduced and in the Weimar Republic the city council was elected democratically for the first time. In 1923, there was a turmoil in the inflation crisis, in which the city issued emergency notes.  After street fighting between nationalsocialists and the workers' movement, the Nazis took over the Nazis from 1933 to the persecution of Jews (of whom 17 died there until 1945) and communists. Uslar was at that time part of the NSDAP-Gaus south-Hannover-Braunschweig. In the Second World War Uslar suffered 165 dead, but was largely spared from the war. It was true that a Bavarian ϟϟ unit with five Tiger tanks, as a rearguard of the German army, came to defence of the American invasion in the West from April 6 to 9, but ultimately failed. Shortly afterwards, the Albert Schweitzer Hospital was founded on the orders of the American district commander (the hospital finally found a home in the former house of the "Reinald von Dassel" barracks of the Reichsarbeitsdienstabteilung II / 185 at St. John's Church. As early as July 1945, Uslar was handed over to the British administration. After the war the number of inhabitants of Uslar grew by more than half from 3706 inhabitants in 1945 to 6207 in 1946 by refugees and displaced people.

Bad Sachsa
  The Hotel Ratskeller and St. Nikolai-Kirche on Straße der SA, now Marktstraße. The  children from the families of the July 20, 1944 conspirators were interned in the Kinderheim in the Born Valley here. Because of the threat of allied bombings, rocket technicians, including Walter Dornberger and Wernher von Braun, were moved to Bad Sachsa and places of the surrounding area. The production of the V1 and V2 rockets was directed by the above staff in the nearby concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora near Nordhausen. On April 12, 1945, Bad Sachsa was occupied by American troops after brief battles. The Americans withdrew from the beginning of July in the occupation zone assigned to them with the London Protocol of September 12 1944. The Soviet troops following them left Bad Sachsa in the Soviet occupation zone unoccupied until July 23, when British troops occupied the city. There was an exchange between the British and Soviet commandos, where the eastern part of the Brunswick county of Blankenburg fell to the Soviet occupation zone for Bad Sachsa and the surrounding area (including the neighbouring town of Tettenborn).

Bad Gandersheim
Swastika adorning the façade of the town hall during the war. Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht from 1938 to 1945 and hanged in Nuremberg the following year was born 1882 in Helmscherode nearby.During the war from October 1944 to April 1945 the town was the site of a subcamp of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp that produced aeroplane parts. "During the first few weeks, prisoners in Gandersheim were housed in a former church that had later been used as a barn." Sofsky (66) They had to perform forced labour in the aircraft works belonging to the Heinkel works and in a nearby quarry. The French writer Robert Antelme, who was interned there, portrayed the life and death of Gandersheim in his work Das Menschengeschlecht. In addition, the company Gandersheimer Flachsröste GmbH, founded in 1935 as a subsidiary of Deutsche Flachsbau GmbH Berlin, existed in Bad Gandersheim. Soon the branch business developed into the largest flax roasting in the German Reich. With the further processing of raw materials into yarns and fabrics, which were to be used, amongst other things, for parachutes, the establishment in the Nazi war economy was one of the warring factories, which were strongly to be supported during the employment process. The Gandersheimer Fachsröste had its own warehouse for forced labourers in the Karl-Dinklage-Straße in Gandersheim. By the end of May 1940 at least 40 Russian and 15 Ukrainian women had been employed in the flax roasting. They lived in the local dairy since the forced labour camp had not yet been erected at this time, or was occupied by the accommodation of war prisoners. Between 1940 and 1945 at least 51 East European "civilian workers" and "civilian workers", who were employed in the flax roasting process.

Kurze Straße during the Third Reich and today. The population of Göttingen supported Hitler and Nazism from an early date. As early as 1933 the Theaterplatz was renamed Adolf-Hitlerplatz, and by the end of the war roughly seventy streets had been renamed in reference to the Nazi regime or military topics. The absorption of Nazi culture into the everyday life of the citizens of Göttingen has been documented by historian David Imhoof. The synagogue in Göttingen was destroyed during Kristallnacht on 9 November 1938. Many of the Jews were killed in Nazi German extermination camps. Also, there was a concentration camp for adolescents in Moringen, which was not liberated until 1945.  During the widespread British, Canadian and American air raids on Nazi Germany, Göttingen suffered comparatively little damage. Only about 2.1% of the city was destroyed. Beginning in July 1944, the air raids were sometimes heavier, but these mainly hit the area of the main railway station last on April 7, 1945. The historic old town of Göttingen remained practically undamaged.  The Junkernschänke, a historic half-timbered house was destroyed in a 1945 air-raid and the exterior was not properly reconstructed until the 1980s. Two of the churches (Paulinerkirche and Johanniskirche) in the old town, and several buildings of the university, were heavily damaged. The Institute of Anatomy and 57 residential buildings, especially in Untere Masch Street in the centre of the city, were completely destroyed. Overall, only about 107 deaths were caused by the air raids, a comparatively small number. However, the neighbouring cities of Hanover and Brunswick experienced many impact of the bombing raids. Kassel was destroyed several times. 
Because the city had many hospitals, those hospitals had to take care of up to four thousand wounded Wehrmacht soldiers and airmen during the war. Göttingen was also fortunate in that before troops of the American Army arrived in Göttingen on April 8 1945, all of the Wehrmacht's combat units had departed from this area, hence Göttingen experienced no heavy ground fighting, artillery bombardments or other major combat. During the early Nazi era, Göttingen housed the top maths-physics faculty in the world, led by eight men, almost all Jews, who became known collectively as the Göttingen eight and included Leó Szilárd and Edward Teller. This faculty was not tolerable to the Reich, however, and the University of Göttingen suffered greatly as a result. The Göttingen eight were expelled, and these men were forced to emigrate to the West in 1938. Szilárd and Teller went on to become key members of the Manhattan Project team. Ironically, the Nazi insistence on a "German physics" prevented German scientists from applying Albert Einstein's breakthrough insights to physics, a policy which stifled the further development of physics in Germany. After the end of the war, the famous university had to be reorganised almost from scratch, especially in the physics, mathematics and chemistry departments, a process which has continued into the 21st century.

Bad Grund
Saint Antonius church surrounded by Nazi flags. 
 The mines around Bad Grund, particularly the Wiemannsbucht and the Grube Hilfe Gottes, were used in the filming of outdoor scenes for the film Monuments Men, a 2014 war film directed by George Clooney loosely based on the non-fiction book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter. It follows an Allied group from the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program that is given the task of finding and saving pieces of art and other culturally important items before Nazis destroy or steal them, during the Second World War. Bad Grund is the oldest town in the upper Harz mountains where the Nazis had set up several forced labour camps oserving as subcamps of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Although the Allies couldn’t bomb the bunkers and underground factories they could attack the bridges, roads and tunnel entrances that led to them and thus many Harz communities were destroyed in the process, as well as the deaths of forced labourers in the many work camps.

A group photo entitled "Granny Horn's Last Holiday," which was taken July 31, 1939 in front of the Germani Haus which served the Nationalsozialistische Kriegsopferversorgung (NSKOV), meaning "National Socialist War Victim's Care", a social welfare organisation for seriously wounded veterans as well as frontline fighters of the Great War. The NSKOV was established in 1934 and was affiliated to the Nazi Party. After Germany's defeat the American Military Government issued a special law outlawing the Nazi party and all of its branches. Known as "Law number five", this denazification decree disbanded the NSKOV, as with all organisations linked to the Nazi Party. The organisations taking care of the welfare for Great War veterans had to be established anew during the postwar reconstruction of both West and East Germany. Today the hotel Seeblick is located in this house. Wangerooge is known as the site of an historic Second World War B-17 Flying Fortress crash, or rather a double crash. During a bombing mission on Hamburg on New Year's Eve, 1944, a B-17 squadron was attacked by German fighter planes on its homeward flight. While in tight formation, one plane was shot down and became entangled with the plane below it. One of the pilots managed to take control of the two aircraft and steer them back towards the German coast for an emergency landing. At the time, the two entangled aircraft were described as resembling breeding dragonflies as the ball turrets of each plane were caught in the chassis of the other. Most of the crew bailed out, while two remained and successfully made a crash landing in a field.