Showing posts with label Linz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Linz. Show all posts


After the end of the Great War in 1918 and the collapse of the multi-ethnic state of Austro-Hungary, the new Republic of German Austria established “Upper Austria” as the region's official name. A year after Austria's annexation to the German Reich on March 13, 1938, the Reichsgau Oberdonau was formed on May 1, 1939 in the Upper Austria area, which also included the German-settled South Bohemian areas in accordance with the Munich Agreement, as well as Ausseer, which was separated from Styria. After the war, these areas were reorganised in 1945 with Upper Austria south of the Danube, including the Ausseer, becoming part of the American occupation zone until 1955, and north of the Danube occupied by the Soviets until 1955.
Even before the Anschluß, cities in Austria had attempted to capitalise on their ties to the Führer. Hitler’s plans for Linz are well known. He wanted to transform the city on the Danube into a cultural metropolis, with theatres, museums, art galleries and an enormous stadium. Tourism officials there saw a way to cash in on Hitler’s affection for his boyhood town. Linz styled itself first as the ‘City of the Führer’s Youth’, then as the ‘Hometown of the Führer’, and finally as the ‘City of the Foundation of the Greater German Reich’ (Gründungsstadt des Großdeutschen Reichs). When Hitler announced in March 1938 that he was personally adopting the city, it quickly became the ‘Adopted City of the Führer’. While the entire region of Upper Austria called itself the ‘Führer’s Home District’, individual Austrian towns highlighted their early support for Nazism. Graz was especially gratified when Hitler bestowed the honorary title ‘City of the People’s Uprising (Volkserhebung)’. It used this designation often in its own publicity. A Shell roadmap also referred to Graz as the ‘City of the People’s Uprising’, noting that the town had received this appellation from Hitler in recognition for its ‘self-sacrificing, tenacious perseverance in the fight for Greater Germany’.
Semmens (68)
Braunau am Inn
Braunau am Inn Hitler haus The house in which Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889. Waite (140) records how
"[a]t half-past six on Easter Eve, 20 April 1889, an overcast day with the temperature 67 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity 89 per­ cent, Klara gave birth to the future Führer of the Germans in the crowded quarters of the Gasthof zum Pommern, an inn in Braunau." According to Franz Martin, in his Braunauer Hauschronik (Salzburg 1943), it originally consisted of two buildings, the owners of which were can be identified from the 17th century. From 1826 it had the address Vorstadt 219, being renamed Salzburger Vorstadt 15 in 1890. The street name was changed to "Adolf-Hitler-Straße" after the anschluß. The house itself had been half-owned by Franz Xaver and Helene Dafner from 1888, who turned it into a guest house. On October 17 1890, Franz Dafner died and his widow remarried in 1891 to Jacob Bachleitner. The name of the guest house remained "Zum Hirschen" until December 18, 1912 when the property was sold to Josef Pommer from Laab near Braunau for the price of 58,000 crowns and renamed the inn "Zum braune Hirschen." This name proved problematic given the location of another guest house called "Zum Goldenen Hirschen". Immediately after the occupation of Braunau by American troops on May 2, 1945, a German battalion attempted to blow up Hitler's birthplace, but American soldiers thwarted this attack. On November 1, 1945, "at the place from which Hitler came into the world" an exhibition was opened, showing the horror of concentration camps to the visitors.
 Braunau am Inn Hitler's birthplace
Hitler's birthplace before the anschluss on the left and after, and as it currently appears today. It was here in a room on the first floor of that Hitler’s mother Klara gave birth to him on April 20, 1889.
The room in which Hitler was born, shown on the right in a 1938 postcard.
GIF: Braunau am Inn Hitler's birthplace
  The year after the anschluß, still displaying the name Gasthof des Josef Pomme under the swastika
According to UPI, the initials "MB" on the wrought iron front door are for Hitler's private secretary Martin Bormann and provide the only evidence, other than the reputation, of the building's history.  Bormann bought the house in 1938 from the Pommer family for an astonishing 150,000 Reichmarks (four times its actual value) for the purpose, according to Der Spiegel, "in the hopes of eventually turning it into a monument on par with the birthplaces of Stalin and Mussolini." The building was renovated and transformed into a cultural centre with a Volksbücherei- the original sign remains on the façade. The house was opened to the public on April 18 1943 as a library on the ground floor and as a gallery on the 1st and 2nd floors. From spring 1943 to late summer 1944 exhibitions took place in the "Braunau Gallery in the Führer-Geburtshaus", where pictures and sculptures were shown by artists from Braunau and the surrounding area.   
The stone memorial in front was erected a fortnight before the centenary of Hitler's birth from a quarry on the grounds of the former Mauthausen Concentration Camp, near Linz. The inscription reads: "For Peace, Freedom and Democracy. Never Again Fascism. Millions of Dead Remind [us]".
The rear of the house as it appears in Hoffmann's Wie die Ostmark ihre Befreiung erlebte - Adolf Hitler und sein Weg zu Grossdeutschland (1940) and today. On the right is the view from the balcony in 1938. 
His birthplace was returned in the early 1950s to the former owners, who had bought the house during the annexation of Austria, as part of a reserve comparison from the Republic of Austria. In 2012, a Russian Duma deputy wanted to buy the house and demolish it. After unsuccessful negotiations, the Ministry of Interior in 2016 considered expropriation of the owner to gain control over the use of the building. In an interview in October 2016, the Austrian Minister of the Interior, Wolfgang Sobotka, declared that the house was to be demolished and a new building built. Sobotka referred to an alleged recommendation by a historian commission. Hannes Waidbacher, the mayor of Braunau who was sitting in the Historian Commission, contradicted the fact that in the Commission's recommendation "nothing was a demolition", but a "profound architectural transformation" was recommended which would be the "recognition and symbolic power of the building permanently." Cornelia Sulzbacher, head of the Upper Austrian Provincial Archives, also surprised herself with the statements of the minister and also said that there was only the recommendation to change the appearance so that the house could no longer be used as a symbol.
Adolf-Hitler-Straße in 1938 and today.
The Stadttorturm, Salzburger Tor, adorned with the swastika before the war. The mural on the building beside the gate commemorates the execution of Johann Philipp Palm by the French on August 26, 1806 in Braunau. The image on the right shows his arrest beside a photo of an alley today.
The year before the Bavarian Elector was made King of Bavaria by Napoleon and ordered to support Napoleon in all his wars with a force of 30,000 men, making Bavaria a vassal of the French. This was 'The Time of Germany's Deepest Humiliation,' a term used continually by Hitler throughout his career inspired by an event that occurred in Braunau. After the pamphlet Deutschland in seiner tiefen Erniedrigung was published earlier that year which strongly attacked Napoleon and the brutality of his troops in Bavaria Palm, then a Nürnberg bookseller who helped to circulate the pamphlet, was denounced to the French by a Bavarian police agent. Napoleon had Palm arrested and handed over to a military commission at Braunau, denying him any right of defence. After a mock trial he was shot the following day without having betrayed the pamphlet's author. It has been stated that this statue erected to him in 1866 on the site of his execution was one of the first public objects that made an impression on Hitler as child. As he himself wrote on the first page of Mein Kampf,
this little frontier town appeared to me as the symbol of a great task. But in another regard also it points to a lesson that is applicable to our day. Over a hundred years ago this sequestered spot was the scene of a tragic calamity which affected the whole German nation and will be remembered for ever, at least in the annals of German history. At the time of our Fatherland's deepest humiliation a bookseller, Johannes Palm, uncompromising nationalist and enemy of the French, was put to death here because he had the misfortune to have loved Germany well. He obstinately refused to disclose the names of his associates, or rather the principals who were chiefly responsible for the affair. Just as it happened with Leo Schlageter. The former, like the latter, was denounced to the French by a Government agent. It was a director of police from Augsburg who won an ignoble renown on that occasion and set the example which was to be copied at a later date by the neo-German officials of the REICH under Herr Severing's regime.
  Hitler returning on March 12, 1938 during the invasion of Austria at 15:50, crossing the Austro-German border at Braunau. The following members of his staff accompanied him: the Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht, General Keitel; the Reich Press Chief, Dietrich; Reichsleiters Bormann and Bouhler, and finally Gauleiter Bürckel. As Hitler passed through the streets of his native town, all its church bells chimed, and he was greeted with thunderous applause of a gathering numbering in the tens of thousands.  Kershaw writes how
[s]hortly before 4p.m. that afternoon, Hitler crossed the Austrian border over the narrow bridge at his birthplace, Braunau am Inn. The church‑bells were ringing. Tens of thousands of people (most of them from outside Braunau), in ecstasies of joy, lined the streets of the small town. But Hitler did not linger. Propaganda value, not sentiment, had dictated his visit. Braunau played its brief symbolic part. That sufficed. The cavalcade passed on its triumphal progression to Linz.
Hitler's visit inspired the stamp commemorating his 50th birthday which was issued on April 13, 1939. It can be seen that the stamp and photograph were taken at slightly different times along the route.

Hitler depicted from the balcony of the town hall in Linz with the Dreifaltigkeitssäule column behind. Hitler repeatedly called his years in Linz the happiest time of his life, “a lovely dream.” Hitler, who had attended school in Linz, intended to retire here one day.
The Hitlers had moved house several times within Braunau, and had subsequently been uprooted on a number of occasions. In November 1898, a final move for Alois took place when he bought a house with a small plot of attached land in Leonding, a village on the outskirts of Linz. From now on, the family settled in the Linz area, and Adolf – down to his days in the bunker in 1945 – looked upon Linz as his home town. Linz reminded him of the happy, carefree days of his youth. It held associations with his mother. And it was the most ‘German’ town of the Austrian Empire. It evidently symbolised for him the provincial small-town Germanic idyll – the image he would throughout his life set against the city he would soon come to know, and detest: Vienna.
Kershaw (7)
Hitler’s triumphant ride from Braunau to Linz took nearly four hours, since the Mercedes could barely work its way through the jubilant crowds. Fifteen kilometres out of Linz, Seyss-Inquart, Glaise- Horstenau and Himmler, together with other Nazis, awaited the Führer. Here Hitler is shown being driven through the hauptplatz where an enormous crowd had gathered at the market place to await Hitler’s arrival and the site today with my bike. Tremendous enthusiasm was evident in Ward Price’s impressive live radio report. Speaking in German on the Austrian broadcast services, the British journalist congratulated the Austrian people on the advent of this day.
With the invasion of the German troops on March 12, 1938, Adolf Hitler embarked on a “triumphal journey” from his hometown of Braunau to Vienna and spoke for the first time in Linz as Chancellor on Austrian soil. Only here, in view of the cheers in the population and the reluctant reactions from abroad, did he decide to immediately and completely complete Austria's annexation to the German Reich. Because of his emotional connection to Linz, Hitler took over the "sponsorship" of Linz that day (which also became one of the five führer cities ) and promised investments by the Reich. On March 13, 1938, Hitler signed the Act of union in the town's Hotel Weinzinger. Therefore, after the anschluß Hitler intended to develop his ‘home town’, Führerstadt Linz, into the cultural metropolis of the Danube region, which was to receive a university and become a centre at which the ‘three cosmologies of Ptolemy, Copernicus and Hörbiger (glacial theory)’ would be taught according to Fest (27). The expansion plans included a boulevard with magnificent buildings such as Opera, theatres and galleries, but especially the "Führer Museum", which was to house the world's largest art and art gallery. 
Linz was to surpass Vienna’s splendour, being expanded in size three or four times over. Trevor- Roper relates (421–3) his extravagant ideas for locating houses along the banks of the Danube and for a major new observatory built in classical style. There would be a new hotel (built in the Renaissance style) for exclusive use of the ‘Strength through Joy’ movement, new municipal buildings, a Party House, a new army headquarters, an Olympic Stadium and (fulfilling the teenage vision) a massive suspension bridge. At the heart of the city would be a central avenue running between two great squares. Along it would be new theatres, concert halls, restaurants, museums and libraries, not to mention a railway station, post office and an air-raid shelter. Linz was even to house Hitler’s tomb within a crypt beneath a tower (Taylor, 50–1). In addition, Linz would become an industrial and administrative centre with oversized Nazi Party administrative buildings. This would have meant extensive sweeping of the historical building stock on both Linz and Urfahrer. Apart from a few exceptions such as the Nibelungen Bridge , the bridgehead buildings and today's Heinrich Gleissner House , the plans pushed by Albert Speer were not put into practice. "Hermann Göring" Linz was built in 1938 as was the nitrogen works Ostmark. The residents of the village of St. Peter-Zizlau were relocated and the buildings were demolished for the construction of the factory site and for the construction of the port provided there.
The former office of the Hitler family doctor, Dr. Eduard Bloch. In fact, the first member of the Hitler family Bloch was to see was Adolf Hitler. In 1904, Hitler had become seriously ill and was bedridden due to a serious lung ailment which enabled him to abandon his school career and return home. However, Walter C. Langer writes in  The Mind of Adolf Hitler (127-128) that after checking Hitler's files, Bloch later maintained that he had treated the youth for only minor ailments, cold or tonsilitis and that Hitler had been neither robust nor sickly. He also stated that Hitler did not have any illness whatsoever, let alone a lung disease. However, in 1907, Hitler's mother Klara was diagnosed with breast cancer dying on December 21 after intense suffering involving daily medication with iodoform, a foul-smelling and painful corrosive treatment typically used at the time and administered by Bloch. Because of the poor economic situation of the Hitler family, Bloch charged reduced prices, sometimes taking no fee at all. Hitler, then 18 years old, granted him his "everlasting gratitude" ("Ich werde Ihnen ewig dankbar sein") for this which was shown in 1908 when Hitler wrote Bloch a postcard assuring him of his gratitude and reverence which he expressed with handmade gifts, as for example, a large wall painting. Even in 1937, Hitler inquired about Bloch's well-being and called him an "Edeljude" ("noble Jew").
It was also shown after the anschluß when the 66-year-old Bloch wrote a letter to Hitler asking for help after his medical practice was closed on October 1, 1938 and was as a consequence put under special protection by the Gestapo. He was the only Jew in Linz with this status. Without any interference from the authorities, he and his wife were able to sell their family home at market value, highly unusual with the distress sales of emigrating Jews at the time. Moreover, they were allowed to take the equivalent of 16 Reichsmarks out of the country; the usual amount allowed to Jews was a mere 10 Reichsmark. In 1940, Bloch emigrated to the United States, settling in New York City but was no longer able to practice medicine because his medical degree from Austria-Hungary was not recognised, eventually dying of stomach cancer in 1945 at age 73, barely a month after Hitler's death.
 In the execreble TV mini-series Hitler: Rise of Evil Bloch is depicted as noticeably Hasidic even though he, like most Austrian Jews of the turn of the century, were among the most assimilated in Europe.
Immediately after the main square became renamed Adolf-Hitler-platz as shown in these period postcards.
In addition to prisoners of war and foreign workers, prisoners from the Mauthausen concentration camp were also deployed in the industrial plants mentioned. The existing shortage of living space was exacerbated by the expansion of industry, the associated relocations and the influx of workers. As a remedy, entire districts such as the Bindermichl or the “New Home” with large residential complexes that still shape the appearance of these districts were built. The necessary infrastructure (schools, kindergartens) was not expanded. With the simultaneous incorporations, the urban area was almost doubled and reached the expansion that still exists today. Linz would become a centre of persecution as more than 100,000 people from all over Europe died in the nearby Mauthausen concentration camp and its subcamps. There were a total of three satellite camps of the Mauthausen concentration camp and 77 camps for forced labourers in the city of Linz. The 600 Jews had to leave Linz - 150 of them were murdered by the Nazis. Hundreds of victims of Nazi euthanasia were found in the Niedernhart medical and nursing home in Linz, which is now the State Psychiatric Clinic Wagner-Jauregg , and from there were taken to the Hartheim NS euthanasia centre relocated to Linz. Ultimately, those who had served the regime out of enthusiasm or out of loyalty had to suffer from the consequences of Nazi polities. In Linz, the construction of air-raid shelters for the population was not forced until the end of 1943 for propaganda reasons. In November 1944, entire neighbourhoods were still uncovered in air raids. Over 1,600 people died in the 22 bombing raids on Linz between July 1944 and April 1945, thousands of Linzers lost their lives as members of the German Wehrmacht. In Linz, tanks were built in the Goering factories and submarines were built in the area of the port.
On May 4 and 5, 1945, the city was under American artillery fire and Gauleiter August Eigruber settled in southern Upper Austria. The original plan to defend the city in house-to-house combat was abandoned. On May 5, at 11.07, the first American tanks arrived in the main square.
Standing in front of the town hall in Linz. According to Kubizek (86), "[t]he Town Hall, which stood on the square, he thought unworthy of a rising town like Linz. He visualised a new, stately town hall, to be built in a modern style, far removed from the neo-Gothic style which at that time was the vogue for town halls, in Vienna and Munich, for instance."
As can be seen in the original photo, when Hitler's car finally reached Linz, it was dark. He stepped out upon the small balcony of the City Hall in Linz and listened to the welcoming address by Seyss-Inquart. Thereupon, Hitler gave a speech that was frequently disrupted by thunders of applause from the audience below:
Germans! German Volksgenossen! Herr Bundeskanzler!
I thank you for your words of greeting. But above all I thank you who have assembled here and testified to the fact that it is not the will and desire of only a few to establish this great Reich of the German race, but the wish and the will of the German Volk!
May there be those among you this evening, our reputed international truth-seekers, who will not only perceive for themselves this reality, but admit it afterwards, too. When I first set forth from this city, I carried within me exactly the same devout pledge that fills me today. Try to fathom my inner emotion at having finally made this faithful pledge come true after so many long years.
The fact that Providence once summoned me forth from this city to the leadership of the Reich, must have meant it was giving me a special assignment, and it can only have been the assignment of restoring my cherished home to the German Reich! I have believed in this assignment, I have lived and fought for it, and I believe I have now fulfilled it! May you all witness and vouch for this!
I do not know when you yourselves will be summoned. I hope the time is not far off. Then you shall be asked to stand up to your own pledge, and it is my belief that I will then be able to point to my homeland with pride before the entire German Volk.
The outcome must then prove to the world that any further attempt to tear this Volk asunder will be in vain. Just as you will then be under an obligation to make your contribution to this German future, the whole of Germany is likewise willing to make its contribution. And this it is already doing today!
May you see in the German soldiers who are marching here this very hour from all the Gaus of the Reich fighters willing and prepared to make sacrifices for the unity of the great German Volk as a whole, and for the power and the glory and the splendour of the Reich, now and forever! Deutschland, Sieg Heil!
Fest (526) wrote how Hitler had dreamed of this bridge rising 270 feet above the Danube – making it unrivalled in the world. Sketches that have been received show that Hitler had concrete ideas of a new bridge as early as 1925. Eventually it was constructed according to plans by Karl Schaechterle and Friedrich Tamms between 1938 and 1940, spanning 250 metres in length and thirty metres in width beside the site where the first and for a long time only Linz bridge built in 1497. The old one was torn down after the new one was completed. After the war the statues at the end were thrown into the Danube. The actual origin of the name "Nibelungen Bridge" given it by Hitler is unclear although according to the myth of the “ Nibelungenweg, ” the Germanic mythical characters Kriemhild and their brothers are said to have grazed the area of today's Linz on the way to the Hun king Etzel. Further reference to the Nibelung legend was seen in the four equestrian statues from the sculptor Bernhard Graf Plettenberg six and a half meters in height of Siegfried, Kriemhild, Gunter and Brunhild). Two other statues, "Hagen" and "Volker", were supposed to decorate the stairs leading up to the bridge but prevented from being executed due to the war.
With the construction of the Nibelungen Bridge, some buildings on both banks of the Danube were demolished to make room for the wider and higher bridge resulting in several historic buildings being torn down on the Linz main square directly adjacent to the Nibelungen Bridge in order to be replaced by the Brückenkopfgebäude (bridgehead buildings) that still exist today, built according to plans by Roderich Fick between 1940 and 1943. The two structurally identical buildings housed parts of the Linz Art University and the Linz tax office until May 2008.
A couple of miles west of Linz overlooking the Danube is the Burschenschafterturm (also known as the Anschlussturm) which had orginally formed part of the Maximilian tower line built in the early 19th century fortifying the Danube. Today it serves as a memorial and museum of the German fraternity. By 1917 the dilapidated structure was acquired by Karl Beurle in 1917 in order to be designed as a memorial for the fallen of the First World War. In 1932 the inscription "One people, one empire" was affixed to the facade as shown on the left. After Austria's annexation to Germany, on Hitler's fiftieth birthday in 1939 the inscription was expanded to "One people, one empire, one leader" as shown in the postcard on the right. After 1945 it was removed. The large red logo of the "Deutsche Burschenschaft"was added by the current owner in 2006 without official approval whih led to questions raised in Parliament in June 2018 and the Federal Monuments Office being instructed to initiate proceedings. 
Nevertheless, in August 2018 the office suddenly subsequently approved the attached logo on the grounds that there was originally “plastic lettering at the appropriate place, which was expanded during the time of the Nazi regime. After the war, the lettering was knocked off and a 'circle' (logo of the owners) was attached. ” However, none of these words and symbols previously attached to the tower were approved by the preservation law. Today the tower serves as "a memorial to those who died in both world wars, a museum of fraternity history and fraternity ideas and a place of remembrance that there is a spiritual bond that spans borders and nationality, which encompasses the entire German people and cultural space. " The Documentation Archive of the Austrian Resistance protests that the tower is instead serving as 'Greater German' propaganda and is thus as a "permanent violation of the state treaty", which Austria is obliged by law to stop, allowing "the ethnic (German national to extreme right) milieu to this day a place of pilgrimage and place of Great German propaganda". 

 Hitler revisiting Leonding, where from 1898 at the age of nine to 1905 he lived whilst attending the local primary school and later a grammar school in nearby Linz, during the anschluß at noon on March 13, 1938 with St. Michael's church in the background. Hitler had been a choirboy at the church. 
He proceeded to pay his respects at his parents' grave; his brother Edmund, who died of measles, was buried there too.  
Even after he came to power and was a man of wealth and influ­ence, the graves of his parents went neglected and unmarked until local Party functionaries intervened. A Party archivist wrote with pained sur­prise, after visiting the Leonding cemetery in 1938: “The parents’ grave of the Führer would be no longer maintained today if, at the last mo­ment, it had not been for the Linz NSDAP. For many years their mem­ bership, apparently, have been paying the costs. I have the relevant document.” During a hurried visit to Leonding in 1938, Hitler did go to the cemetery to see the graves and the new marble tablet which contains a picture of Alois and the inscription :
Here rests in God
Herr Alois Hitler
Royal and Imperial Senior Customs Inspector, Retired
and Householder
Died 3 January 1903, in his 65th year and his wife
Frau Klara Hitler
Died 21 December 1907 in her 47th year
The Führer glanced perfunctorily at the gravestone, turned quickly with­ out comment, and left the cemetery. He never returned.
The grave was recently destroyed by the municipal authorities in 2012, when a relative of Alois Hitler's first wife, Anna, did not renew the lease leaving the grave to be dissolved. Robert Eiter, with the Upper Austrian Network Against Racism and Right-Extremism, said the latest incident was on All Saints day, on November 1, last year, when an urn was left with the inscription "Unvergesslich" – German for "unforgettable" and alluding to the ϟϟ, given both 's's had been highlighted in partiular. Eiter described how "[a] lot of flowers and wreaths were deposited there from people who clearly were admirers. It had to do with the son and not the parents." Brunner, the mayor, said he was happy with the decision to remove the tombstone and Eiter said most Leonding residents also supported it.
Directly across the street from the cemetery is Hitler's house on Michaelsbergstraße 16. It remains as it was with Hitler in front March 1938 on the left and as it appeared, decorated during the Nazi era, below on the right. Apparently the house is now owned by the cemetery which uses it as an office. According to Waite (242), Hitler's mother had a reputation in Leonding for having had “the cleanest house in town” and keeping her children "absolutely spotless.” It was in this house on February 2, 1900 that Hitler’s younger brother Edmund, born in 1894, died. It has been claimed that young Adolf was obseerved sitting on the fence at night, staring up at the stars, after attending his brother's funeral.  
Neighbours of the Hitlers still alive in the village of Leonding in the 1950s shook their heads in incredulity when they recalled that when little Edmund Hitler died of complications following measles in March 1900 and was buried in the church graveyard, neither his mother nor father attended the funeral. They spent the day in Linz. Not even old Josef Mayrhofer, the usually outspoken village mayor and friend of Alois Hitler, could explain the curious behaviour of the parents.
Kubizek recalled in The Young Hitler I Knew (49-50) that "[w]hilst, naturally, Adolf had no recollection of the first three children born in Braunau and never spoke of them, he could clearly remember his brother Edmund, at the time of whose death he was already eleven years old. He told me once that Edmund had died of diphtheria." Welch (8) writes that "it should be noted that as an adolescent he was disturbed by the deaths of his younger brother Edmund (1900), his father (1903) and his beloved mother (1908). Without delving too deeply into psychological speculation about Hitler’s state of mind, some biographers have suggested that these deaths (and his own survival) convinced Hitler that he was marked out by destiny for a special future."
The former pub further down Michaelsbergstraße at number 1 where Hitler's father died. Formerly the Gasthaus Stiefler, his favourite tavern in Leonding, it is now an Italian restaurant. According to Fest,
 in January, 1903, he took a first sip from a glass of wine in the Wiesinger tavern in Leonding and fell over to one side. He was carried into an adjoining room, where he died immediately, before a doctor and a priest could be sent for. The liberal Linz Tagespost  gave him a lengthy obituary, referring to his progressive ideas, his sturdy cheerfulness, and his energetic civic sense. It praised him as a “friend of song,” an authority on beekeeping, and a temperate family man. By the time his son gave up school out of disgust and capriciousness, Alois Hitler had already been dead for two and a half years. Nor could Adolf’s sickly mother have tried to force the boy into a civil servant’s career. 
In Mein Kampf Hitler described the number of times he had to retrieve his drunken father from here and trudge back with him home.
 In my thirteenth year I suddenly lost my father. A stroke of apoplexy felled the old gentleman who was otherwise so hale, thus painlessly ending his earthly pilgrimage, plunging us all into the depths of grief. His most ardent desire had been to help his son forge his career, thus preserving him from his own bitter experience. In this, to all appearances, he had not succeeded. But, though unwittingly, he had sown the seed for a future which at that time neither he nor I would have comprehended. For the moment there was no outward change.
 G.M. Gilbert in his 1950 book The Psychology of Dictatorship (19) wrote how
[h]is father suffered from an uncontrollable addiction to alcohol which often led to the most painful family experiences for the boy, Adolf Hitler. How often did this boy have to fetch his father late at night out of the tavern, after the latter had been guzzling alcohol for hours on end. Hitler himself related to me in 1930 – when we were speaking about his family relationships (in connection with a blackmail threat), ‘Even as a 10 or 12-year-old kid I always had to go late at night to this stinking, smoky dive. Without being spared any of the details, I would have to go to the table and shake him as he looked with a blank stare. Then I would say, “Father, you must come home! Come now, we’ve got to go!” And I often had to wait a quarter of an hour, begging, cursing, until I could get him to budge. Then I would support him and finally get him home. That was the most terrible shame I have ever experienced. Oh, Frank, I know what a devil Alcohol is! Through my father it became my greatest enemy in my youth!’
Nevertheless, Helmut Heiber in his 1961 biography maintains that Alois was no drunkard, but a respected and generally upstanding man (10). Hitler's childhood friend, August Kubizek, said Adolf genuinely respected his father in his 1955 memoirs (38). That there was anything at all wrong in the Hitler family home is doubted by Werner Maser who in his 1974 book described Hitler’s childhood as ‘exceedingly happy’ (5). But even if Adolf did contend with a violent father and an over-protective mother (a situation which lan Kershaw accepts), the effects need not have been so decisive as the psychologists imply.

FischlhamThis building is notable for being the location of Adolf Hitler's first two years of formal schooling, from 1895-1897, although it no longer serves as one.
The year his father retired from the customs service at the age of fifty-eight, the six-year-old Adolf entered the public school in the village of Fischlham, a short distance southwest of Linz. This was in 1895.
Shirer (9-10)
Karl Mittermaier, his teacher in the little elementary school in Fischlam which he attended from the ages of six to eight, remem­bered him as the star of his school: “Full marks in every subject. . . . Mentally very much alert, obedient but lively.” Similar reports have come down from the school at Lambach (ages 8-9). Here he was an ex­cellent student and an asset to the boys’ choir of the local monastery. Young Adolf also did very well in the Volksschule in Leonding, which he attended for half a year in 1899.  
Waite (156)
Located twelve miles from Linz, Mauthausen concentration camp is sited on a hill above the market town of Mauthausen, serving as the main camp of nearly an hundred further subcamps located throughout Austria and southern Germany. Mauthausen was one of the first massive concentration camp complexes in Nazi Germany, and the last to be liberated by the Allies.  The Mauthausen main camp operated from the time of the Anschluss from August 8, 1938  using prisoners from Dachau concentration camp to begin its construction of a new slave labour camp chosen because of the nearby granite quarry, and its proximity to Linz. The granite mined in the quarries had previously been used to pave the streets of Vienna, but the Nazis envisioned a complete reconstruction of major German towns in accordance with plans of Albert Speer and other Nazi architects, for which large quantities of granite were needed. Mauthausen initially served as a strictly-run prison camp for common criminals, prostitutes and other categories of "Incorrigible Law Offenders".  On May 8, 1939 it was converted to a labour camp which was mainly used for the incarceration of political prisoners. Unlike many other concentration camps, which were intended for all categories of prisoners, Mauthausen was mostly used for extermination through labour of the intelligentsia – educated people and members of the higher social classes in countries subjugated by the Nazi regime during the war. The two largest camps, Mauthausen and Gusen I, were classed as "Grade III" (Stufe III) concentration camps, which meant that they were intended to be the toughest camps for the "incorrigible political enemies of the Reich". Mauthausen never lost this Stufe III classification, and in the offices of the Reich Main Security Office it was referred to by the nickname Knochenmühle – the bone-grinder.
Standing in front of the entrance. According to Wolfgang Sofsky in The Order of Terror (60), "[i]n a normal complex, the gatehouse would hardly have attracted any attention; in the camp, however, it towered over all other structures." Whilst the typical gatehouse type was realised in a pure form in Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Gusen, and Niederhagen, "[t]he gate in Mauthausen was an exception; it resembled a fortress. The gate was flanked by two mighty towers whose roofs extended outward. This fortress gate doubled the effect of security and control." This gate was used by the ϟϟ as a public site for torment where
the new arrivals who had been set apart as unfit for work were lined up, half-naked, after disinfection and a shower, in front of the “wailing wall” next to the gatehouse. During the summer, the guards would wait until the exhausted prisoners collapsed in the searing heat; in the winter, they poured cold water over them several times until they had finally frozen into pillars of ice. In many camps, those who committed minor transgressions were punished by having to stand at the gate. While the Kommandos filed out, the offenders were brought to the gate in the early morning and forced to stand there, rigid and motionless, the entire day—a Stehkommando. Soon, some began to sway like drunks, and leaned their heads against the wall; others were forced to squat, their hands clasped behind their necks in a “Saxon salute.” If a guard came by, these prisoners summoned up the last bit of strength in an effort to stand at attention. Otherwise they would be kicked, or prisoners’ heads might be pounded against the stone wall until their noses were broken. Standing at the gate was a static mode of torture without technical aids, a torment of silence; the prisoners formed a public statuary in stasis, at a site dominated by the flow of people coming and going.
Sofsky (62)
Inside the courtyard. Beginning with the main camp at Mauthausen, the number of subcamps expanded over time and by the summer of 1940 Mauthausen and its subcamps had become one of the largest labour camp complexes in the German-controlled part of Europe. Although initially the camps of Gusen and Mauthausen mostly served the local quarries, from 1942 onwards they began to be included in the German war machine. To accommodate the ever-growing number of slave workers, additional subcamps were built.
The camp population did not rise significantly until March 1940, with the transfer of the first Polish prisoners from Buchenwald. About eight thousand Poles were incarcerated in Mauthausen that year, augmented from 1940 to 1942 by some seventy-eight hundred Republican Spanish prisoners. Although the mortality figures the first year resembled those in Sachsenhausen, the annihilatory pressure in subsequent years at Mauthausen far exceeded that in any other main camp. Because of a dysentery epidemic as early as September 1939, a special sick bay was set up and during the two following years, prisoners sick with dysentery were gathered together in a room of Block 20. The only beds were for personnel. Some of the sick lay on the barracks floor; initially, it was covered with a thin layer of straw, and later with paper sacks filled with straw and smeared with pus, blood, and excrement. Between 1939 and March 1945, up to twenty weakened prisoners were weeded out in regular selections once or twice a month and then killed by an injection into the heart. In nearby Gusen, this was done almost on a daily basis.
As at other Nazi concentration camps, the inmates at Mauthausen and its subcamps were forced to work as slave labour, under conditions that caused many deaths. Mauthausen and its subcamps included quarries, munitions factories, mines, arms factories and plants assembling Me 262 fighter aircraft. In January 1945, the camps contained roughly 85,000 inmates. The death toll remains unknown, although most sources place it between 122,766 and 320,000 for the entire complex.
Inmates working at the most appalling sight in Mauthausen below the camp- the deadly quarry, where many where inmates were exploited as cheap labour and many lost their lives. It was called the ‘Wiener Graben’ after the thoroughfare in Vienna, because from here the stone was excavated for the streets of the capital. As soon as the Wiener Graben quarry was opened in December 1939, roughly four hundred prisoners of the main camp were sent to work on the construction of Gusen, forced to walk for miles between Mauthausen and Gusen and perform extremely harsh physical labour when building the camp.
On the left is the so-called Todesstiege (stairs of Death) from which prisoners were forced to carry roughly-hewn blocks of stone – often weighing as much as 110 pounds-  from the quarry which was located at its base up 186 steps to the top of. With one prisoner behind the other, many exhausted prisoners collapsed in front of the other prisoners in the line, and then fell on top of the other prisoners, creating a domino effect; the first prisoner falling onto the next, and so on, all the way down the stairs. Such brutality was not accidental. The
ϟϟ guards would often force prisoners – exhausted from hours of hard labour without sufficient food and water – to race up the stairs carrying blocks of stone. Those who survived the ordeal would often be placed in a line-up at the edge of a cliff known as the Fallschirmspringerwand- "The Parachutists Wall." At gun-point each prisoner would have the option of being shot or pushing the prisoner in front of him off the cliff.
Soviet guarding stairs after the war
In June 1941, 348 Dutch Jews arrived in Mauthausen. Three weeks later, not a single one of them was still alive. Most had fallen victim to a method of killing that was considered a Mauthausen specialty: “parachute jumping.” In the stone quarry called Wiener Graben, boards were placed on the prisoners’ shoulders and loaded down with extremely heavy stones. Then the prisoners were forced to ascend the “death stairway,” a series of 186 stairs fashioned of irregular rocks at the edge of the abyss. After a few steps, the stones fell off the boards, crushing the feet of those climbing up beneath them. Many lost their balance on the rock stairs, plunging down the rock face after being giving a helping shove by a supervisor. Others committed suicide by hurling themselves to their deaths, or were pulled down by their fellow prisoners. In these excesses managed from a distance, the perpetrators needed to do little or nothing. They could calmly watch what was happening. Their triumph was less the act of killing itself than the mortal agony that gripped the victims. The victims toiled to the point of exhaustion; the perpetrators waited. The victims ran for their lives, collapsed, dragged themselves to their feet again, and fell once more. The executioners observed the event, laughing. The end was preprogrammed and unavoidable. All tribulation and torment were ultimately in vain. But the perpetrators acted as though their victims still had a chance. They let the victims wriggle and run—and were always there, watching and waiting. The mortal agony gave them a kick; it was a source of amusement. And the less they had to do themselves, the greater was the triumph of power. Prisoners were harassed to death, without the perpetrators having to expend much physical effort—just a voice, a shout, a command barked from a distance. The word was lethal. Thus, many deeds of excess were carried out less on orders than through orders.
Sofsky (238-239)
Soviet PoWs at the camp. In Mauthausen, only thirty escapes were reported over the four-year span from 1938 to 1942; in 1943, there were 44; in 1944, 226 escapes were documented, followed in early 1945 by 339, though only 31 of these were from the heavily fortified base camp. Of the 639 prisoners who escaped Mauthausen, at least 165 were recaptured.
Hunts took place after attempted escapes and during the death marches that marked the final stage of the concentration camp system. One of the most infamous was given by the
ϟϟ the name of the “Mühlviertel rabbit hunt” when, on the night of February 2, 1945, some 500 Soviet POWs, many of them officers, broke out of the camp by throwing wet blankets and pieces of clothing over the electrified barbed wire fencing, thus shorting out its circuitry. Using fire extinguishers, they managed to capture a guard tower, and were able to put a second out of commission by machine-gun fire. A total of 419 prisoners escaped from the camp area. But many only got a few metres from the camp. They left a trail in the snow and were soon captured and beaten to death or shot. The ϟϟ then ordered a large- scale hunt with instructions “not to bring back prisoners captured to the camp alive.” Along with the camp ϟϟ , units of the Wehrmacht, the SA, and the Nazi party, groups of Hitler Youth, the Volkssturm, local fire departments, and many civilians from the surrounding area took part in the search. A form of mass hysteria had spread throughout the population because the escapees had been labelled “dangerous criminals.” So a general hunt was declared: one and all could join in to track down the Russians. A report prepared by the gendarmerie in Schwertberg a few weeks later gives a graphic account of events:
The slush in the street turned red from the blood of the men who had been shot. Everywhere people encountered them—in homes, car sheds, stables, up in the loft, down in the cellar—if they weren’t dragged out and killed at the next house corner, they were shot right on the spot, no matter who happened to be present. . . . A few had their heads split open with an axe. . . . The bodies remained lying where they fell. . . . Intestines and genitals were exposed to open view. The next morning, the murdering continued. Again, blood was shed, atrocities were committed that one could never have expected the Mühlviertel population capable of. . . . At the Lem villa, there was a certain Mr.———. . . . During the evening, his wife had heard some suspicious sounds in the barn while feeding the goats. She went and got her husband, who dragged an escaped prisoner from his hiding place. . . . The farmer then stabbed the poor man in the neck with his pocket knife, and blood began to gush out. His wife joined in, punching the dying man in the face.
Of the five hundred who originally escaped, only seventeen survived the Mühlviertel massacre.
Mauthausen was the last big camp to be liberated, when the Americans arrived on May 5 as seen on the left. Two days earlier the ϟϟ and other guards started to prepare for evacuation of the camp. The following day, the guards of Mauthausen were replaced with unarmed Volkssturm soldiers and an improvised unit formed of elderly police officers and fire fighters evacuated from Vienna. The police officer in charge of the unit accepted the "inmate self-government" as the camp's highest authority and Martin Gerken, until then the highest-ranking kapo prisoner in the Gusen's administration (in the rank of Lagerälteste, or the Camp's Elder), became the new de facto commander. He attempted to create an International Prisoner Committee that would become a provisional governing body of the camp until it was liberated by one of the approaching armies, but he was openly accused of co-operation with the ϟϟ and the plan failed. By now all work in the subcamps of Mauthausen had stopped and the inmates focused on preparations for their liberation – or defence of the camps against a possible assault by the ϟϟ divisions concentrated in the area which in fact occurred by remnants of several German divisions, only to be repelled by the prisoners who took over the camp.
On May 1 the inmates were rushed on a death march towards Sankt Georgen, but were ordered to return to the camp after several hours. The operation was repeated the following day, but called off soon afterwards. The following day, the
ϟϟ guards deserted the camp, leaving the prisoners to their fate. On May 5, 1945 the camp at Mauthausen was approached by a squad of American Army Soldiers of the 41st Reconnaissance Squadron of the American 11th Armoured Division, 3rd American Army. The reconnaissance squad was led by Staff Sergeant Albert J. Kosiek whose soldiers disarmed the policemen and left the camp by which time most of the ϟϟ had already fled; around thirty who remained were killed by the prisoners, and a similar number were killed in Gusen II. By May 6 all the remaining subcamps of Mauthausen, with the exception of the two camps in the Loibl Pass, were also liberated by the Americans. After the war Austrians from the nearby towns were ordered to come to the camp, forced to wear their best clothes to bury the bodies. Graves were then dug by them here on the main camp's sportplatz, used by the ϟϟ as its football pitch. In fact, in Mauthausen and Gusen, there were national soccer teams of Germans, Spaniards, Yugoslavs, and Poles; in 1943 and 1944, they competed almost every Sunday afternoon and the guide I spoke to remarked how locals would regularly visit to watch the games. Roughly 2,600 would be buried here, eventually being exhumed and either repatriated or reburied elsewhere.

  Gusen concentration camp memorial site, used by the ϟϟ as a satellite camp of Mauthausen concentration camp located only a few miles away. The three Gusen concentration camps in and around the village of St Georgen/Gusen held a significant proportion of prisoners within the camp complex, at times exceeding the number of prisoners at the Mauthausen main camp. In the five years of the camp's existence, approximately 60,000 to over 70,000 prisoners from all over Europe had been incarcerated within the Gusen camp system, half of whom, approximately 35,000, were sent to the quarries and due to the horrific living and working conditions, died. The size of the Gusen camp had a special position in the Mauthausen camp system and is comparable with the large main camps in the Nazi regime, particularly with regard to the size and number of prisoners.  Camp construction began in December 1939 beside the leased quarries. Several hundred German, Austrian and later Polish prisoners from the Mauthausen camp were marched several kilometres to Gusen on foot and by May 1940 built the majority of the camp where the prisoners' living barracks were located at Gusen I and ϟϟ accommodations south of the camp. On the day of its establishment on 25 May 1940, the first transport of about 1,000 Polish prisoners arrived in Gusen. As the number of prisoners in Gusen rose steadily, prisoners were constantly busy with the camp expansion. The camp was initially fenced with a barbed wire fence and wooden watchtowers. In the summer of 1940, prisoners had to build a three-metre stone wall and stone watchtowers. Inside the stone wall was a barbed wire fence charged with high current, with patrolled guards in between. The entrance to the camp was the so-called Jourhaus, where the camp management offices and a prison, called a bunker, were located. Production sites for quarries, such as stonemason halls and a stone crusher, were gradually built in the north and east of the camp. These were later partially used from 1943 for use by the armaments industry, the Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG and Messerschmitt AG. From 1941 prisoners had to move a siding from St. Georgen an der Gusen station to the quarry. A clothing magazine of the Waffen ϟϟ was built west of the protective custody camp.
The Gusen camp was officially run as a subcamp of the Mauthausen main camp, but differed in several points from the other subcamps. Until 1944, the camp had some autonomy from the main camp. For example, prisoners in Gusen were numbered separately until early 1944, whereas in other satellite camps there was a common number registration. Gusen’s first camp leader, Karl Chmielewski, had extensive autonomy.  Gusen was by far the largest satellite camp. Of the approximately 95,000 prisoners who died in the Mauthausen camp system, around a third of the prisoners in the Mauthausen main camp, another third, around 35,000, died in Gusen and the rest in the other satellite camps. Due to the high death rates in Gusen, the camp was designated by prisoners as an extermination camp. Conditions were truly horrific- there was an extreme lack of food with heavy physical labour, often no medical care and poor hygienic conditions that caused illnesses such as diarrhoea, typhoid, spotted typhus or tuberculosis. Detained inmates had very little chance of survival and the camp was used until 1942 primarily for the murder of the inmates. Prisoners were also often murdered in the most barbaric manner. From autumn 1941 to January 1942 for example, up to 300 prisoners were "showered" with ice-cold water at the same time. Sick and weak prisoners often died immediately of circulatory failure. Other inmates who survived the action often died of pneumonia over the next few days. Roughly 2000 prisoners were transported in transports in August 1941, December 1941, February 1942 and from April 1944 as part of Action 14f13 to the Hartheim killing centre about 25 kilometres away where they were gassed. In March 1942 a group of Soviet prisoners of war was gassed in barracks using Zyklon B. In April 1945 another 650 disabled prisoners were murdered the same way. In 1942 and 1943 prisoners from Gusen were murdered in so-called gas vans; whilst commuting between Gusen and Mauthausen around thirty prisoners were murdered by the exhaust gases or Zyklon B. 
Beside the double muffle crematorium oven from Topf & Sons, installed at the end of January 1941 to remove the bodies when previously the bodies had been brought more into urban crematoriums Linz and Steyr. Prisoners were also frequently ill-treated or died from vaccine trials that
ϟϟ doctor Hellmuth Vetter tested on prisoners on behalf of IG Farben. In retaliation for the defeat in Stalingrad, more than an hundred Soviet prisoners were murdered in March 1943. By late April 1945 the ϟϟ began to destroy the camp administration documents to remove evidence prior to the arrival of American soldiers. However, prisoners were able to hide some documents, in particular the death books with the names of the murdered prisoners, and thus prevent them from being destroyed. On the morning of May 3, as in the Mauthausen main camp, a special police unit from the Vienna Fire Service came to the camp to guard the prisoners. Members of the Volkssturm had already been brought into the camp as security guards. On May 3, only a few work commands were sent to work, which mainly had to take care of the dismantling of the machines. At noon the guards, air force soldiers and ϟϟ officers left the camp in the direction of Linz leaving the camp to be administered by the prisoners themselves. On May 5 Louis Häfliger, a delegate from the International Red Cross, drove to the front line and met a 23-man spy team of the American Army under the command of Sgt. Albert J. Kosiek near St. Georgen an der Gusen. Häfliger told him about the Mauthausen and Gusen camps and guided them first to Gusen and then on to Mauthausen. 
Memorial to the Americans hidden away in an alcove. In the camps, the Americans disarmed the fire brigade guards and sent them to Gallneukirchen in a prisoner convoy. This officially released the approximately 20,000 prisoners in Gusen. There continues to be much speculation about the days before liberation. There is said to have been an order to murder all prisoners prior to possible Allied liberation although no document of such an order was ever found. There had been a rumour that the prisoners were to be driven into the cellar building gallery and blown up there. Louis Häfliger claimed to have prevented this explosion although historians doubt his claims. According to other reports, the camp commander of Mauthausen, Franz Ziereis, his wife, the Gauleiter of Oberdonau August Eigruber or a prisoner prevented the explosion. The only thing that is certain is that explosives were attached to the tunnel entrance. However, historians suspect that this was intended used to destroy the production facilities to prevent then from falling into the hands of the Allies. 
After the site was handed over to the Republic in 1955, Austria decided to destroy the remains to build housing estates. The location of the crematorium oven was a special case as a visible memorial to the survivors and initially it was planned to relocate this memorial site to Mauthausen along with the crematorium furnace which would have destroyed the last memorial in Gusen. The French and Polish embassies and the International Mauthausen Committee protested; victims themselves were forced to buy the land to finally set up a monument around the crematorium furnace in 1965. It was financed by the survivors' associations and planned by former Gusen prisoners. It's currently in the middle of the residential area of Gusen, and remains little accepted by the local population.

Dürnstein from a Nazi-era postcard. One of the most-visited tourist destinations in the Wachau region, Dürnstein was first mentioned in 1192 when, in the castle seen above the town built by the Kuenringer family in the middle of the 12th century, King Richard the Lionheart was held captive by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, after their dispute during the Third Crusade from December 21, 1192 to February 4, 1193. This is the first mention of the place name Dürnstein. It's actually no longer possible to determine whether the king was imprisoned in Dürnstein Castle , in the valley or in a neighboring castle that no longer exists.Richard the Lionheart had offended Leopold the Virtuous by casting down his standard from the walls at the Battle of Acre, and the duke suspected that King Richard ordered the murder of his cousin Conrad of Montferrat in Jerusalem. In consequence Pope Celestine III excommunicated Leopold for capturing a fellow crusader. The duke finally gave custody of the king to Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor, who imprisoned Richard at Trifels Castle. The castle itself was eventually almost completely destroyed by the troops of the Swedish Empire under Field Marshal Lennart Torstenson in 1645.
Supposed painting by Hitler of the town gate, dated 1921, which was to have gone up for auction at the Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire in 2017 and was expected to get £6,000. In the end, the paintings sold collectively for £97,672, which included another scene believed to be of Dürnstein. An Austrian expert issued certificates of authenticity for the pictures, which once belonged to a British soldier who was stationed in Essen in 1945; on the back of this painting is stamped "H.O.A. Horvath, Archiv für NS Zeitgeschichte" (Archive for NS contemporary history). As can be seen today and when compared with images from the Nazi-era below, the scene shown in the painting bears little resemblance to how it currently appears. In any event, as Dutch journalist Bart FM Droog contends, such a claim is rubbish and most of the works attributed to Hitler worldwide are not authentic because the style and materials of the works do not match. According to him, "[t]he majority of 'Hitlers' which surfaced after 1945 can be dismissed at first sight as forgeries.“I don’t want people to be buying this rubbish – almost all alleged Hitler artworks and other Hitler items offered by auction houses are fakes. Between 1910 and 1913 Hitler only produced watercolours depicting Viennese city sights, and only signed these works with 'A. Hitler' or 'A.H’. From his WWI period only one authentic Hitler work is known – a very clumsy watercolour portrait of one of his army comrades, made in 1915. But as far as we can tell, Hitler only ever painted in watercolour, whereas the portraits sold by Mullocks are also in oil and pencil."
Hitler stopping before Melk, with the abbey in the background. The photograph on the right of the same motorcade comes from an album in the private collection of H. Blair Howell. Here in January 1944 a Mauthausen subcamp was established in the abandoned Wehrmacht Freiherr-von-Birago pioneer barracks. Approximately five hundred prisoners arrived at the camp on April 11 as the vanguard for what was to end up being 7,000 prisoners. In fact, according to Hans Maršálek, the camp reached its maximum capacity on January 30, 1945, with 10,352 prisoners from at least 26 countries held in Melk as, from September 1944, prisoners were brought from the Natzweiler main camp and, from January 1945, from Auschwitz. The larger national groups included Poles, Hungarians, French, Soviet citizens, Germans, Italians, Greeks, and Yugo slavs. However, there were also in Melk prisoners from Albania, Egypt, Denmark, Portugal, Turkey, the United States, and other countries. About a third of the prisoners were Jews. The last prisoner transport reached the camp on January 29, 1945: among the 2,000 prisoners from Auschwitz were 119 children between the ages of nine and 15.
The camp was then opened on April 20–21, 1944 and the prisoners were accommodated in 18 blocks to labour for Quarz GmbH, a subsidiary of the armaments company Steyr-Daimler-Puch. Prisoners excavated six underground caverns, each several hundred meters long, near Lossdorf to be used as sites for the production of ball bearings. They also laid rails, poured concrete for the approaches to the cavern, constructed barracks for equipment and machines, laid cables and water pipes, and transported building equipment and machines from the Lossdorf railway station to the construction site. Despite the enormous effort, by the winter of 1944–1945, only a fraction of the planned cavern could commence production. Production eventually ceased on April 1, 1945, as a result of the advance by Soviet troops by which time there were around 7,500 prisoners in the camp. On March 12, 1945, a group of 34 Scandinavian prisoners were transferred by the Red Cross back to their home countries via Mauthausen and Neuengamme as the remaining camp prisoners were then evacuated to Ebensee, Mauthausen, and Gusen. On April 11, a transport to Mauthausen of 1,500 youths and sick prisoners was put together, and thirty to forty seriously ill prisoners were murdered in the infirmary. Two more transports left Melk on April 13, with 1,440 prisoners in total sent to Ebensee travelling by goods train and barge. The last transport of 1,500 prisoners left the camp on April 15 in the direction of Ebensee. The Melk subcamp existed officially until April 19, 1945. After the war a constant stream of German Bohemians and Moravians moved into Austria, and were given a camp in Melk by the Russians. However, as Giles MacDonogh relates in After the Reich (296), "it was grossly overstretched and they ended up becoming a burden to all the Allied zones. The response was to demand the expulsion of ‘Reich’ Germans."

St. Pölten
Adolf Hitlerplatz from a period postcard, so-named from 1938-1946, and today. Today rathausplatz, it had been renamed Marschallplatz after the war until 1955. Neugebäudeplatz too had been renamed at the same time Platz der SA. As early as March 11, 1938, there were pro-Austria rallies in St. Pölten, and the Austrian army began arming itself against the invasion of German troops. Nevertheless, by the evening, thousands of St. Pölten residents celebrated with Nazi flags in the streets. The St. Pölten Nazi branch gathered and appointed Hans Doblhofer as Kreisleiter, Franz Pfister as deputy district leader and Franz Hörhann as mayor, an office he would hold until August 20 of that year before becoming an official of the German Labour Front and district chairman of Kraft durch Freude. He would die on March 16, 1974 in his hometown. Pfister had played a key role in sending former St. Pölten deputy maypor Viktor Müllner to Dachau concentration campt for nearly five years before being released in in 1942. Pfister had also 'aryanised' the Arkaden Kino which had been owned by Olga Sattel until 1938. A letter from the property transfer office to Pfister from December 14, 1938 rewarded him with the 'purchase' of the theatre in recognition of his activities as a Nazi party member since 1922 (number 11,288) when such activities were illegal at the time and he himself had lost his business, "Purgstaller Holzwarenindustrie," in the aftermath of the attempted 1934 coup.
Before midnight, the Nazis occupied the town hall. A day later, the Wehrmacht marching into Austria came to St. Pölten on its way to Vienna, where it was greeted with cheers. Here Hitler is seen arriving at the main train station March 14, 1938, and at what had been the Hotel Pittner where he had lunch with Heinrich Himmler, Wilhelm Keitel and Martin Bormann whilst travelling from Linz to Vienna, March 14, 1938. The Nazis set about after the anschluß to establish a Groß-St. St. Pölten. Although Krems became the Gau capital of Lower Austria, which had been renamed "Niederdonau", Nazi planners intended St. Pölten to become a "Gauwirtschaftsstadt" because it had industry, rail connections and large available areas.  One spoke of “Groß-St. Pölten ”and attached numerous towns to the city. Under Nazi rule, not only the huge air force base in nearby Markersdorf was built, but also the "Spratzern camp" (later the Kopal barracks) and other army facilities. Furthermore, the construction of a Reichsautobahn from Salzburg via St. Pölten to Vienna began and the railway network was expanded. There were residential buildings such as the "Volkswohnhausanlage" built from 1938 to 1940. In 1938, the Jewish community in St. Pölten had numbered at around 1,200, four hundred of whom lived in the town itself. Organisations such as the SD soon began to arrest Jews, organise rallies, initiate bans on professions for Jews practising as doctors, veterinarians, pharmacists and lawyers, and other routine humiliations. During the so-called Reichskristallnacht, about 350 uniformed men and civilians destroyed St. Pölten's synagogue and shops; numerous Jewish citizens were arrested. From May 1940 there were hardly any Jews left in St. Pölten; those who had not been arrested and could not emigrate were prompted to register in Vienna. On October 7, 1941, the mayor announced that St. Pölten was free of Jews and gypsies. Three cases are known in which Jews managed to survive undetected in St. Pölten until 1945. Financially, the expulsion of the Jews benefited both the state, the town and private individuals. Numerous shops, businesses such as the Schüller factory, apartments and other property were expropriated. The synagogue served as a camp for Soviet prisoners of war and base for SA-Standarte 21. Meanwhile one Jewish cemetery was completely destroyed whilst another one that still exists was left in ruins. From 1941 especially the number of mass murders in the concentration camps increased; at least three hundred of the 1,200 Jewish citizens were murdered with almost none returning to St. Pölten after the war.  
In the course of the war, the conversion of industrial production to armaments also took place to a large extent in St. Pölten. Numerous companies, including the largest, increased their production and number of employees considerably. Since not only the Jews had disappeared from the city, but also large parts of the remaining male population having enlisted into the Wehrmacht, women and forced labourers were also used on a large scale in St. Pölten. This happened in almost all businesses in the city, and - as in the camp for Jews deported from Hungary in the Viehofner Au - there were at least 400 deaths or murders. The resistance against the Nazi regime in St. Pölten increased significantly compared to the rest of Austria, even if it had no concrete political or military success. The Catholic resistance was mainly limited to illegal religious instruction, the Jehovah's Witnesses refused to serve in the army and towards the end of the war, the non-partisan resistance group Kirchl-Trauttmansdorff of approximately 400 conspirators primarily was set up which included members of the upper class; their aim was to hand over the city to the Soviet troops without a fight. However, the group was infiltrated and betrayed and so on April 13, 1945, twelve members were sentenced to death and shot in Hammerpark, where a memorial commemorates them today. The most significant were the resistance groups that emerged from the previously strong labour movement.
In June 1944, the first air raids by Allied bombers took place with the station being the main target. The heaviest bombings took place at Easter 1945 leaving 591 dead and 142 of the 4260 houses were completely destroyed. 3500 people were made homeless and  large parts of the infrastructure (such as gas and water supply) were hit. The early months of 1945 saw St. Pölten's Nazi leaders urging its citizens to fight to the last man, resulting in the murder of prisoners, deserters and resisters. On April 14, 1945 the Red Army finally launched the attack on St. Pölten. After the rapid capture of the city on April 15, the front ran for three weeks to the west of St. Pölten. During the assault, roughly six hundred civilians died, 24,000 escaped and only about 8,000 people remained in the city. Whilst the contact between the St. Pölten and the Soviet soldiers on the one hand should have been friendly given Soviet claims to believe it to be a liberation from the Nazi regime and the end of the war, it ended up suffering from the usual Soviet army behaviour of looting and rape. By the end of the war, 39% of St. Pölten's building stock was destroyed or badly damaged.
At the Soviet cemetery to the north of the town 

  Bad Radkersburg Hitlerplatz
The town hall on the former Adolf-Hitler-Platz. Today this tiny village is infamous as the place where Josef Fritzl imprisoned, raped and kidnapped his daughter Elisabeth for twenty-four years in a fallout shelter, fathering seven children with her. After the horrific story died down eventually, the town returned in the news after it was revealed that Hitler was still listed as an honorary citizen.
On March 14, 1938, as he passed through the town during the anschluss, local authorities took it as an honour and awarded Hitler the honour. A torchlight procession through Amstetten had taken place three days earlier on March 11th. Nazi district leader Wolfgang Mitterdorfer wrote three days later how "[a]ll houses in the district that do not yet have a completely correct swastika flag must get one as quickly as possible." The people of Amstetten were asked to hand over objects from forbidden parties and to remove everything that "reminds of the unfortunate past" from public buildings. Weapons were also to be handed over to the gendarmerie. For the upcoming referendum on April 10 on the anschluss, speakers were arranged and it was declared that there was "no right to vote for the Jews." New offices were also created, such as those of the ϟϟ in the Amstettner town hall. The local paper carried advertisements and notices for "Aryan representatives ... wanted" and "belonging to the possession of every comrade is the book Hitler: Mein Kampf ... " It wasn't until May 2011 that the local Green Party sponsored the move to strike his name from the honours list which was passed by a large majority in the town council. But two members of the far-right Freedom Party, formerly led by Jorg Haider, abstained, arguing simply that Hitler’s suicide in 1945 had de facto made him lose his honorary citizenship.
The Seegrotte in nearby Hinterbrühl bei Mödling has changed besides the flags it flies. Under the Nazi regime, Amstetten served as the setting for the abuse and arrest of political opponents as well as the increasing disenfranchisement and expropriation of Jews and gypsies. At least sixteen of 43 Jews were deported and murdered. In the Amstetten hospital, as in the Mauer-Öhling nursing home, forced sterilisations were carried out on so-called Erbkranken (hereditary patients). Mauer-Öhling also served as a transit station, and from autumn 1944 also as the scene for numerous euthanasia murders. At the same time in parallel to the extermination program, the Nazi officials responsible for Amstetten pursued a comprehensive expansion programme for the city, which included housing estates, schools and impressive Nazi buildings. Only a few of these were realised due to the war, although industrial and rail systems in particular were expanded. From November 1944, Amstetten was the target of bombing raids. The construction of air-raid tunnels, which was pushed ahead in 1944, could only be implemented through the use of forced labourers, who were of great importance for trade and agriculture. In order to be able to repair the strategically important railway facilities in the urban area, a subcamp of the Mauthausen concentration camp was set up in March 1945 with up to three thousand male and 500 female prisoners.

 Supposedly the oldest building in Austria, part of the gate for the Roman auxiliary fort of ‘Augustinianis’ and garrisoned by the Ala Thracum I from about 90 CE onwards. Flanked by two mighty horseshoe towers formed the east gate of the fort, it and the horseshoe-shaped Hunger or Reck Tower also belonged to the fort fortifications. In ancient times, the area was part of the province of Noricum and the site of a Roman cavalry fort, Augustianis. Today's town centre of Traismauer rises directly above the foundations of the former fort. It was an important military base for the auxiliary troops on the Austrian section of the Limes. This gate and the Reck or Hunger Tower are part of the camp fortifications in stone construction from the end of the 3rd to the beginning of the 4th century.
In the old town itself one an still clearly see the street grid of the Roman camp streets. Parts of the fortifications are within the remains of the southeast corner of the mediæval city wall. The auxiliary fort was built in the second half of the 1st century AD initially as a wood-earth fort and housed a cavalry unit of around 500 horsemen, who probably belonged to the Ala I Hispanorum Auriana. After being destroyed by fire, a new wood-earth fort was built at the end of the 1st century. An inscription stone documents the construction of the first which was a large stone fort approximately 3.75 ha in size dating around 140 CE, in which the Ala I Augusta Thracum, a mounted auxiliary unit with around 500 horsemen, was stationed. After the Marcomannic invasions around 170, the fort was reinforced with walls and towers. In the following centuries it was enlarged to approx. 4.1 hectares and the fortifications reinforced. In Late Antiquity, the number of soldiers was greatly reduced and their location shifted to a residual fort (burgus) in the north-west corner, whilst the civilian population settled within the fortified fort area. After the destruction by fire in the late 4th or early 5th century, most of the remaining residents left the fort after the soldiers had themselves left. It wasn't until the 8th century that the place, which was now called Treisma, was resettled again; Traismauer was first mentioned in documents in 799 as Tresma.
Parts of the Roman fort defences were integrated into the mediæval city wall and are still visible today. Remains of the foundations of the principia were found and excavated under today's parish church. In the south-east corner of the camp you can still see the rubble stone foundations of the Roman fan-shaped tower from the 4th century, which also belonged to the city fortifications in the Middle Ages. The brick wall visible today was built just outside the original Roman walls in the 17th century to protect against Turkish incursions. The Traismauer city palace was built on the foundations of Roman Burgus from the 4th to 5th centuries. Roman tombstones and components are exhibited in the inner courtyard of the castle, including the dedicatory inscription for the construction of the fort at the time of Antoninus Pius. 
More recently in the town a 21-year-old accused of being a drug dealer by a roommate led to a house search in September 2018. The investigators noticed a 15x20 cm Hitler picture in a brown frame that was clearly visible on a living room shelf. The black and white print was labeled "Uncle Adi from Purkersdorf" and because the picture was visible not only to the three residents of the flat share, but also to about twenty visitors, it was, according to the indictment, a crime.

A few miles outside the town is this doleful memorial to four brothers killed days after the end of the war. On May 14, 1945 four boys from nearby Radlberg aged between 9 and 14 were killed after finding ammunition and handled it resulting in an explosion in which the four boys were killed. A fifth boy survived seriously injured. To commemorate this misfortune seventy years earlier, members of the nature group Unser Radlberg and other volunteers set up this memorial at about the point where the accident occurred. It was unveiled and blessed on Sunday, August 23, 2015.