Showing posts with label Lower Bavaria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lower Bavaria. Show all posts

Nazi Remains in Lower Bavaria


Hometown of Heinrich Himmler whose family moved to Landshut in 1913 after his father took the job of assistant principal of the Gymnasium in Landshut. Using his reluctant father's connections, Himmler left high school to begin training as an officer candidate on January 1, 1918. On November 11 however, before Himmler's training was complete, Germany signed the armistice ending the war.  Himmler graduated from high school in Landshut in July 1919. 
The founding of the 5th local Nazi branch in Bavaria was founded here already in 1921. The Landshut pharmacist Gregor Strasser, who had been active in the Völkisch movement since 1919 and would become the second most senior member of the Party under Hitler (only to be murdered during the Night of the Long Knives), played a key role in this. With the Nazi Party membership number 9, he sat in Bavarian parliament from 1924 and soon afterwards in the Reichstag. At the beginning of 1933, Social Democrats and Communists were arrested in Landshut and taken into protective custody. In April 1933, the city council was re-elected in accordance with the National Council elections. The independent mayor Herterich was removed from his office and replaced by the Nazi Party member Vielweib. The SPD councilors were kicked out of the town hall in June and those of the Bavarian People's Party in August 1933 and replaced by Nazis. Organisations such as trade unions, workers' welfare and Christian associations were banned. Other clubs were taken over and brought into line. Society was brought into line.
Towards the end of the war, the Todt organisation set up an external camp of the Dachau concentration camp at the Kleine Exerzierplatz. Here 500 Jewish concentration camp inmates were used for forced labor in armaments projects, of which 83 died as a result of inhumane conditions of detention. A memorial plaque on Landshut-Achdorf cemetery commemorates these victims of the Nazi regime, which included 74 prisoners from a death march in the Flossenbürg concentration camp. On March 19, 1945, just over a month before the American troops entered the city on May 1, the station area was devastated by the heaviest bombing raid on the city. There were 300-400 victims. In memory of the victims of National Socialism who lived in Landshut, a total of 26 stumbling blocks were moved to Landshut on October 2, 2012 in Theaterstrasse, the "Altstadt" street, in Seligenthaler Straße and in Gunter Demnig's Inner Münchner Strasse.
Landshut Nazi map
Landshut from a postcard dated 21viii39 with a town map from the same year provided by HPL2008 at who was also responsible for the subsequent information.
 Landshut, the town where Himmler spent much of his youth. Himmler’s house is shown prominently at centre right in the period photograph with Burg Trausnitz in the background; the subsequent development has made an accurate comparison with the site today impossible. As Richard Rhodes relates in Masters of Death (81),
 Himmler found employment in Landshut as Gregor Strasser’s “half-starved shrew” in June 1924. Strasser was a Landshut pharmacist before he became a Nazi Gauleiter, and the Gau office that Himmler now organized was located above the Strasser pharmacy. From that office Himmler careened around Bavaria on his Swedish motorbike, venturing farther north as his work and political campaigning expanded; it was during one of these northern forays that Rauschning watched an intense, nervous, damp-handed Himmler inciting the farmers. In a memo from this period that summarizes his political perspective, Himmler called “international Jewish capital” the farmer’s “worst enemy,” because it “set the townsman against the countryman.”
 Burg Trausnitz, Drake Winston at Burg Trausnitz, founded in 1204 and considered the seat of the Wittelsbach dynasty, serving as residence of the local dukes until 1503 as each adapted the structure to the style of the time from the late-Romanesque Georgskapelle, a two-storey chapel later decorated with intricate Gothic sculptures; the Renaissance Narrentreppe (Fools’ Stairs) featuring murals of commedia dell’arte scenes and the remarkable collection of rarities, oddities and art amassed by inquisitive rulers including Landshut’s own Prince Wilhelm. The castle is reached via a set of stairs known as the ‘Ochsenklavier’ (oxen piano) shown below, which veers off Alte Bergstrasse which once led to Hitlerplatz. 
Wittelsbacher Turm
 Drake Winston in the schloßhof and at the Wittelsbacher Turm
This is the town where Himmler was raised and went to school at what was then Humanistisches Gymnasium). Behind me at Dreifaltigkeitsplatz 1 1/2 is where he lived according to Die Geschichte des Hans-Carossa-Gymnasiums in Landshut 1629-2004 by Werner Ebermeier. (thanks to Heimatschuss for the information). Dr Karl Gebhardt, a friend of Himmler’s youth and head of Hohenlychen sanatorium, explained at the Nuremberg doctors’ trial (Report S.3991): "Himmler came from Landshut, the same town as myself... If my parents’ house was an extraordinarily liberal, free, quiet one, then the Himmler house was that of a strong orthodox Catholic schoolmaster whose son was brought up very strictly and kept very short of money."
Himmler home Landshut 
The apartment in Amalienstrasse on the left where Himmler lived from 1904 to 1913. The recent photos show the flat where he lived on Seligenthaler Str. 11 on his own for two years. 

Himmler as a senior schoolboy at Landshut (front row, second from right) and the Gymnasium he attended in 1910 where he studied classic literature. Himmler was generally an above-average student. In religious education and history he was always graded ‘very good’ and in languages he was judged ‘very good’ to ‘good’; his weakest subject was physics, for which one year he was given only ‘satisfactory’. A school report from 1913/14 reads: ‘An apparently very able student who by tireless hard work, burning ambition and very lively participation achieved the best results in the class. His conduct was exemplary.' 
The main task for Himmler in the Party offices at Landshut, where a portrait of Hitler frowned down on his activities, was to increase the Party’s supporters. His initial salary was 120 marks a month, and the local ϟϟ were sent out to collect subscriptions and canvas advertisements for the Party newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter.  In 1926 he was made Deputy Reich Propaganda Chief, and this gradual accretion of subordinate offices led to a modest increase in his salary. Yet he seems to have made little impression at this stage other than by being a willing and dutiful administrator. There are glimpses of him in Goebbels’s excited diary during the period of Party expansion before he went to Berlin – on 13 April 1926, for example, during a speaking tour, he writes: ‘with Himmler in Landshut; Himmler a good fellow and very intelligent; I like him.’  
Manvell and Fraenkel Heinrich Himmler- The SS, Gestapo, His Life and Career
Dreifaltigkeitsplatz had been renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz during the Third Reich as shown on the period postcard on the left. Behind the wife and kid is St. Martin's church which has a stained-glass window featuring Hitler, Goering and Goebbels created after the war by the artist Max Lacher to replace the original window destroyed late in the war. 
Hitler stained glass
Their faces were given to the torturers in a scene depicting the persecution of St. Castalus. (thanks to HPL2008 for this information). His relics reside in the church after having originally stayed in Moosburg. In his 2008 book Hitler, The Germans and the Final Solution, Sir Ian Kershaw records how courageous and noteworthy were the remarks of the Catholic priest Josef Atzinger in Landshut in November 1940, in which he condemned the racial legislation of the Third Reich as ‘godless, unjustified, and harmful.’
Hitler had been the 28th person to have received honorary citizenship of Landshut, given on May 25, 1932. It wasn't until 2003 that the city council "not to mention" Hitler in the city's lists of honorary citizens. Whilst officially the honorary citizenship of Landshut given to Hitler had actually expired due to the dictator's death, other towns had madeit a point to use legislation to annul it completely. For him to be posthumusly denied the honour, the Landshut city council plenum would have to approve a corresponding resolution and no such motion from the city council has been made. Instead, Landshut has uploaded its own list on its website - instead of a link to Wikipedia's own list of honorary citizens- listing all those given honorary citizenship - omitting Hitler.
GIF: Landshuter Neustadt
Landshuter Neustadt before the war with the remarkable war memorial at the intersection of Steckengasse in the direction of the old town and the Barfüßergasse in the direction of the district Freyung.  Since the 18th century until the 1990s, the garrison town of Landshut has housed units of the Duke or Electorate, later the Kingdom of Bavaria, the German Empire, the Reichswehr, the Wehrmacht, and most recently the Bundeswehr. Accordingly, in 1914 Landshut attracted almost 2,800 soldiers into the First World War. The war memorial is dedicated to all 2,091 soldiers who came from Landshut or who had been stationed there before and during the First World War. The Landshuter Zeitung at the time praised the sculptor Wilhelm Lechner's design as "one of the greatest sculptural works of the post-war period" and "a creation of such boldness that it may claim general interest." As early as the beginning of the 1920s Lechner had been a member of the Federal Oberland, later a Nazi party member and served from 1933 in the town council of Oberammergau. Because of his political activity, he was interned by the Allies after 1945.
The monument was inaugurated on June 24, 1928, with the town's notables and the troops of the Reichswehr stationed in Landshut. It represents a maimed German oak tree hurt by nicks and notches, but already showing young shoots- a symbol for the German Reich, which was mutilated by the Treaty of Versailles. Three figures are shown- at the top, bounded and pierced with arrows, is Sebastian , the patron of the dying and soldiers. The figure rising from the trunk below shows a young man holding a shield with the coat of arms of Landshut with a serious and sad look who addresses the young generation. The female figure, with a mournful expression, holds an urn in her left hand whilst her right is raised in a blessing gesture.  Thus a latent dissatisfaction with the political situation as well as a clear demand for the future, in particular a renunciation of the terms of the Versailles settlement, is made monumental and composed in the middle of the old Residenzstadt to be visible to all citizens. After the war the central commemoration ceremonies of the city took place elsewhere on the Day of the Memorial . Recently, discussions about the relocation of the large sculpture have flared up, but after the commemorations held for the first time at the monument in November 2015, these have for the most part ended.
Dr. Karl Gebhardt office Landshut
Located at number 6 on the map, this had been the Städtisches Krankenhaus (Municipal Hospital) where ϟϟ physician Dr. Karl Gebhardt had worked for a while from the autumn of 1922 onwards. He had known Heinrich Himmler from school and stated at the Nuremberg doctors’ trial that "Himmler came from Landshut, the same town as myself... If my parents’ house was an extraordinarily liberal, free, quiet one, then the Himmler house was that of a strong orthodox Catholic schoolmaster whose son was brought up very strictly and kept very short of money."
Looking the other direction towards Trausnitz castle directly across the former hospital was the local Deutsches Arbeit Front headquarters, no.3.
The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls were particularly active in Landshut, utilising the local schools and public spaces like the Wittstraße sports field for their activities. These organisations were not merely extracurricular but were instrumental in disseminating Nazi ideology. Kershaw notes that the Hitler Youth was particularly effective in instilling a sense of duty and nationalism among the young, a point exemplified by the high enrolment numbers in Landshut.
Landshut Nazi headquarters
On the left is the former local Nazi headquarters at number 2 on the map. It was here on December 8, 1935 that Hitler addressed the Ortsgruppe of the NSDAP at the celebration of its fifteenth anniversary, declaring that “He who has the courage to conquer the state with seven men also has the courage and the power and the confidence to maintain that state.” According to the ϟϟ 1937 address list, the site shown on the right was the headquarters of the 31st ϟϟ-Standarte at Nahensteig 182. HPL2008 points out that, according to Landshut's local address book, in mediaeval times this street was located in the Jewish quarter of town, which is why its name is name is actually derived from the Hebrew word nahar (= brook). One wonders how many Standarte members were aware of that particular bit of trivia.
In Landshut, the impact of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 was immediate and devastating for the Jewish community. The town had a small but significant Jewish population, primarily centred around Altstadt, the old town. Following the enactment of these laws, Jewish-owned shops along Altstadt and Neustadt streets faced boycotts, often led by SA members. By 1938, during the Kristallnacht, the synagogue on Ländgasse was destroyed, marking a dark chapter in the town's history. Evans contends that the enthusiastic local implementation of anti-Semitic laws indicates a broader acceptance or at least acquiescence to Nazi racial policies.
In order to slow the advance of the Allies and to leave them with no functioning infrastructure, Hitler issued the notorious Nero Order on March 19, 1945 through which  all "military traffic, communications, industrial and supply systems as well as material assets within the Reich territory that the enemy can somehow make immediately or in the foreseeable future usable for the continuation of his fight" should be destroyed. In Landshut at that time only the Isar bridges were of strategic importance after the USAAF had completely destroyed the main station in an air raid on March 19, 1945. Units of the Waffen-ϟϟ and Wehrmacht therefore blew up the Luitpold Bridge, the inner and outer Isar bridge, the pedestrian bridge from Mitterwöhr to the Schochkaserne, part of the Achdorfs railway bridge and the Weißsteg on April 30th. The soldiers only removed the planks of the Maxwehr. 
By the end of April 1945 when ϟϟ units found themselves holed up in Landshut, they then destroyed the Isar bridges as they retreated. 
From  September 1944 to the end of April 1945 there was a work camp of the Todt Organisation in Landshut for a railway construction department of around sixty men between today's Dieselstrasse and Siemensstrasse, now an industrial area. Separated from this camp was a so-called "Jewish camp" consisting of corrugated iron barracks set up on Hofmark-Aich-Strasse in December 1944, serving as an external command of the Dachau concentration camp. Here around 500 Jewish prisoners had to do forced labour under horrific living and working conditions. Immediately outside of the "Jewish camp" was a barrack for ϟϟ guards. The Jews, who were previously assigned to the external commandos near Landsberg, were deployed to the OT camp under the strictest ϟϟ guard. A rail connection to the rail network of the former Reichsbahn was created, roads were built, the area was levelled and buildings were erected. After air raids, including those on the Landsberg main station, the prisoners were used to clean up. Many of these inmates died of illness, abuse, and exhaustion. They were brought to the Achdorf cemetery early in the morning on a cart and buried there on the cemetery wall. Closed in April 1945, the prisoners who were still alive evacuated to Wasserburg. Many of the prisoners died during this so-called "death march" as well. 
Photograph taken of the Ussar-villa  by the
284th Engineer Combat Battalion in April 1945 and as it appears today along the Isarweg bicycle path. The remarkable building hearkens back to time when Landshut experienced the heyday of its snuff production. At that time, the property was still the headquarters of the important "Brasiltabak-Fabrik Jos. Gremmer`s Ww." From 1879, the company grew from a small grinding mill - due to constant expansion measures and the purchase of the Gerl Müller house - to one of the largest tobacco factories in Bavaria and Germany, until it became the property of the Bayerische Staatsbank Landshut in 1928 due to the economic crisis. Unfortunately, only part of this complex remains today, as the grinding mill ("Schneidwaren WEISS") had to be demolished in 2009.
The Americans marching down Adolf Hitler square May 1, 1945.  At around 8.15 on April 29th, low-flying American aircraft attacked the city, killing more than thirty people. The day before, the 38th ϟϟ Grenadier Division "Nibelungen" had taken up position in the city under ϟϟ Standartenführer Martin Stange to resist the approaching units of the American 14th Armoured Division and  99th Infantry Division. Meanhile government councilor Dr. Franz Seiff, at the instigation of Gauleiter Ludwig Ruckdeschel was publicly hanged without trial on the market square by Gestapo men, because he had hoisted a white and blue flag on his house in Schweinbach near Landshut. He was the leader of a thirty to 50 -strong resistance group, which worked as part of the freedom action Bavaria on a peaceful transfer of the city to the Americans. The planned actions could not be carried out after the arrest of Seiff. At the same time occupied police officers who had responded only to the radio call of the freedom action Bavaria, the city hall to hand over the city peacefully to the Allied troops. This action, however, failed. The city honoured Franz Seiff in 1946 with a street name. The attack on Landshut began the next day. At around 14.00 a rifle company of the 14th American Armoured Division occupied the districts on the left of the Isar. The unit suffered 21 losses at the end of the day. In the course of the fighting, German soldiers blew up the Isar bridges. The First and Third American Battalions had pulled up to the banks of the lsar River and the Third Battalion (I and L Companies) began infiltrating troops onto an island in the vicinity of Landshut. Enemy defences were stubborn and artillery heavy. The First and Second Battalions began crossing the Isar South of Landshut that night and captured the town on May 1st taking over six hundred prisoners. The next day the Regiment sped toward the Inn river and a Task Force was reconnoitering routes and crossing sites when orders were received from higher headquarters to cease further advances. 
By the night of May 1st, the town centre to the right of the Isar had been taken with American troops reaching Mühleninsel via the Ludwigswehr and a makeshift bridge and from there via the Maxwehr to the centre. Another part crossed the Isar with assault boats southwest of Landshut. By 15.15 when defeat was obvious, policeman Schmidtbauer, dentist Karl Eisenreich, churchman Engelbert Ott and a woman with the surname Amann hoisted the white flag at the Martinsturm. At 5.00 Josef Uhlmann officially handed the city over to the American Army. The Regiment assembled South of Vilsbiburg preparing for further offensive action but on the 5th of May the Regiment moved to Landshut to assume responsibility for the security of surrounding territory. The hotel Draxlmar on the main street of Landshut was the Regimental Command Post when the official announcement of VE Day was made to the relief of the soldiers of the 393d were stationed in and around Landshut. Photographs of the town's destroyed train station show how lucky it was that this bombing target was far from the city centre, otherwise the Gothic old town would also have been reduced to rubble. By December 1944 a subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp located near Landshut train station employed roughly five hundred prisoners to repair the damage caused by the first air raids. On the one air raid of March 19, 1945, besides the destruction of the station, all adjacent buildings as well as the destruction of the entire rail network, many other buildings, including the Franciscan Monastery, were destroyed. In total, 30% of the original living space had been destroyed with 573 apartments either being destroyed outright or in need of repair apartments and severe damage to the Loretto monastery. 200 were killed. Further damage to numerous buildings, including the Ursuline monastery, from air and low-level aircraft attacks and shelling took place on the night of April 29/30. 
In 1946 a plaque was put up at the cemetery by the Jewish DP community: "Our 200 dead, tormented in the Landshut Jewish camp, to our credit. At that time it was assumed that 211 Jewish prisoners had died, which could not be confirmed on the basis of the number of those later exhumed (the plaque and two others for perished slave labourers no longer exist).87 dead forced labourers in June 1958 and 83 further dead Jewish prisoners, plus thirteen Russian and Polish forced labourers) in November 1961 were exhumed and buried in the Flossenbürg concentration camp cemetery.
After the war a camp for Jewish "Displaced Persons" was set up in Landshut. Of landshut's Jewish population, only two ever returned. The Jewish DP community in Landshut consisted of sixty people in December 1945, 76 in May 1946, 120 in September 1946, 148 in February 1947, 130 in January 1948, and finally 55 in March 1949. The camp was closed in 1951. Besides the town's DP camp was a reception camp (tent camp) for up to 3,000 displaced people on the town's outskirts from August to October 1946 until most of them were brought to Babenhausen in Hessen in September 1946. One of the DPs was Ivan Demjanjuk, decades later being found guilty of aiding and abetting the murder of at least 29,000 Jews in Sobibor.
Two girls being shamed through the main street on April 14, 1942, escorted by guarded by two members of the criminal police. Around their necks they are forced to carry a placard reading "Wir sind aus der Volksgemeinschaft ausgeschlossen - wegen Verkehr mit Kriegsgefangenen"- We have been excluded from the national community for having relations with prisoners of war." This is one of a number of photographs discovered by historian  Mario Tamme; no such pictures anywhere else in Bavaria have been located. One of the girls has been identified- Anna Scharf. She and her friend are said to have intervened with French prisoners of war. They walked the gauntlet of shame from the town square to Landshut Prison, both ending up in custody. Anna Scharf was sentenced to two years in prison for forbidden treatment of prisoners of war. In her cell she wrote on the wall: "I'm dying for France, I'm going to Jacques's death." For these doodles, she was then once again charged with the Special Court in Munich and got another two months in prison. She was recently found living in Strasbourg and interviewed. Only now was her judgement lifted although she never received compensation. When she had applied in 1956 her application was refused because she was ruled as not having been detained for political reasons. Now she has a German lawyer, Marc-Yaron Popper, who argues that his client was illegally imprisoned for two years and is entitled to compensation. 
GIF: Landshuter HochzeitThe first Landshuter Hochzeit 1475 pageant conducted after the war, one of the largest historical pageants in Europe. More than 2,000 participants in medieval costumes recreate the wedding between Hedwig, the Polish King's daughter, and George, the son of the Duke of Bavaria at Landshut. The first Landshut Wedding recreation took place in 1903 and took the form of a public play performed by 145 citizens each taking on a role. It was subsequently presented annually from 1903 to 1914 (paused during the Great War) and 1922 to 1938 (paused during the war). During this time the number of actors involved increased to 2000 and became a triennial event from 1950 to 1968 and from 1975 to 1981. Since 1985 the Landshut Wedding has taken place every four years, consisting of mediæval jousting, pageantry, feasting and wedding processions in July.
Landshut einst und jetzt
Hitler delivered a speech in Landshut on June 17, 1927 in which he declared that export-oriented industry could produce only disaster for a nation. Only a healthy peasantry could keep a nation alive. The life of a healthy people (Volk), in Hitler's opinion, was based on Grund und Boden. By Grund und Boden Hitler always meant additional space for Germany. In Hitler's view, the farmer would enable Germany to obtain economic autarchy by providing a secure source of food. Secondly, the rural population would guarantee a constant supply of "healthy" blood for the nation. For Hitler economic autarchy and a secure supply of manpower were valued primarily for racial, expansionistic reasons. This demand for living space which Hitler had emphasised as early as 1923, became a standard part of Hitler's speeches and writings.
 Landshut Schochkaserne
The Schochkaserne in 1940 and today. Towards the end of the war the organisation Todt at the Kleine Exerzierplatz built an outer camp of Dachau concentration camp. 500 Jewish concentration camp prisoners were deployed to coerce with armaments projects, of which 83 died as a result of inhuman conditions of imprisonment. A memorial plaque in the Landshut-Achdorf cemetery recalls these victims of the Nazi regime, including 74 prisoners of a death march from Flossenbürg concentration camp. On March 19, 1945, a month before the invasion of American troops in the city on May 1, the town was devastated by the heaviest bomb attack on the city. There were 300-400 victims. On April 29, 1945, Dr. Franz Seiff, at the instigation of Gauleiter Ludwig Ruckdeschel without proceedings, was publicly hanged in the market square of Gestapoans because he had hoisted a white and blue flag on his house in Schweinbach near Landshut. He had been the leader of a thirty to fifty-strong resistance group, who worked as part of Bavaria's freedom campaign on a peaceful surrender of the city to the Americans. The planned actions could not be carried out after Seiff's arrest. At the same time, policemen, who had merely responded to the radio call of the freedom campaign of Bavaria, occupied the town hall to hand over the city peacefully to the Allied troops. This action also failed. The city honoured Franz Seiff with a street name in 1946. To commemorate those victims of the Nazis who lived in Landshut, a total of sixteen Stolpersteine by Gunter Demnig in Landshut have been relocated since October 2012 to Theaterstraße and "Seligenthaler Straße".
Landshut denkmal
Whilst no reference to the Nazi era is found anywhere in the town, this memorial recognises the mass deportation of the night of June 18, 1951, the third-largest mass deportation in modern Romanian history, surpassed only by the wartime deportation of Jews to Transnistria, and the January 1945 deportation of ethnic Germans from Romania. Some 45,000 people were taken from their homes and deported to the Bărăgan. These included Romanians, Germans (mostly Banat Swabians), Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanian and some Ukrainian refugees from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, and Aromanians.
At the grave of Max von Oppenheim in Landshut's town cemetery. Not only a famous explorer but also a well known diplomat, infamous spy and intriguer in the lead-up to the Great War and collector of oriental artefacts,
Oppenheim is the subject of Sean McMeekin's Berlin-Baghdad Express where he is described as having published a Memorandum on revolutionising the Islamic territories of our enemies in October 1914, arguing for the enlisting of the Ottoman Sultan to call on the world’s Muslims to engage in a Holy War against France and Britain. The German High Command then set up an Intelligence Bureau for the East in Berlin and made Oppenheim its head through which Oppenheim helped plan, equip and select the personnel for a series of missions against the British Empire. After the Nazis took power, Oppenheim's Jewish background became a potential threat. Probably protected by old acquaintances in the scientific community, he was able to continue with his scholarly work. According to McMeekin, "[i]n a speech before Nazi dignitaries, he went so far as to flatly ascribe his statues to the 'Aryan' culture, and he even received support from the Nazi government." In 1939, he once more travelled to Syria for excavations, coming within sight of Tell Halaf. However, the French authorities refused to award him a permit to dig and he had to depart.
The Landtor during the Nazi era and today
With debts of 2 million Reichsmarks, Oppenheim was in dire financial trouble. He unsuccessfully tried to sell some of his finds in New York just as his own private "Tell Halaf Museum" in Berlin-Charlottenburg was hit by a Allied phosphorus bomb in November 1943. It burnt down completely, all wooden and limestone exhibits were destroyed. Those made from basalt were exposed to a thermal shock during attempts to fight the fire and severely damaged. Many statues and reliefs burst into dozens of pieces. Although the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin took care of the remains, months passed before all of the pieces had been recovered and they were further damaged by frost and summer heat. A bombing raid in 1943 also destroyed Oppenheim's apartment in Berlin and with it much of his library and art collection. He then moved to Dresden, where he lived through the firebombing of February 1945. Having lost virtually all his possessions, Oppenheim moved to Schloss Ammerland in Bavaria, where he stayed with his sister. He died on November 15, 1946 here in Landshut. His grave is a basalt replica of the bottom half of the seated woman statue which he adored. It is evident he admired this statue, as Agatha Christie in her memoirs recalls Oppenheim looking up at this statue whilst on a tour of The Tell Halaf Museum in Berlin and exclaiming, "Ah my beautiful Venus."
18 kilometres southeast of Landshut, in the district of Landshut, is Vilsbiburg
On the left Himmler is shown leading a parade through the high street on March 6, 1927 in preparation for the first speech in Bavaria by Hitler after his release from Landsberg after the failed putsch attempt in which he denounced his continued ban on public speaking in Munich. The same event is shown on the right, with Hitler himself shown fourth from the left. Little appears to have changed since.  
Hitler at the event in the Vilsbiburger Volksfesthalle on the podium with the member of the state parliament, Dr. Rudolf Buttmann, Gregor Strasser (who was later amateurishly retouched from the photo), and Himmler. He spoke at 15.00 regarding "Zukunft oder Untergang" (Future or Doom) in the Volksfesthalle, which was later to be renamed the "Adolf Hitler Hall." According to Kershaw (292), the hall was one-third empty and made up mostly of party members and SA men.The venue would continue to serve as a festival hall up to a devastating fire on February 22, 1990. Reporting the next day, the local newspaper Vilsbiburger Anzeiger reported
It happened as in a large city… Mr. Adolf Hitler spoke to about a thousand persons about Germany's future or doom. One must leave it to Mr. Hitler: he spoke essentially, sometimes however for our public somewhat with difficulty.
This was seen from the start of his speech which he began by addressing his "German comrades" and stating how 
You will not expect me to speak about the previous ban on speaking today. This is a time not only in the history of the German people, but in the history of our own movement. For two years there is nothing in the struggle of a people for their existence in the world and nothing in the history of a movement which is to serve this struggle and which should help a people to defend and fight for their presence on earth. During these two years, they have not been able to destroy our movement; it is strong, and its name went further into the flat country, and I wanted to show that these two years mean nothing, but that this idea has grown and that public attention will gain more today, and that development will continue year after year, decade after decade, until the German people have shaken off their ties and a new life will begin under a new flag. 
The Oberer Torturm with its Nazi eagle shown in a postcard replaced today with the town's coat of arms. The right looks the other way.
The Vils Bridge, blown up by the Hungarian ϟϟ on May 1, 1945 at 13.00, being replaced by a provisional one later that same month; on the right the destroyed bridge.

Nazi Straubing
Straubing was one of the first Bavarian cities that experienced by the November revolution at the end of the First World War. On November 8, 1918, a demonstration train liberated prisoners. Already on the afternoon of November 9 a workers 'and soldiers' council had formed, in the evening a council of citizens.
 Between 1933 and 1945 most of the members of the then small Jewish community of Straubing were murdered or forced to emigrate; today its Jewish community numbers just under a thousand.
Otto Straz, murdered in March 1933, was the first Jewish victim of Nazi rule in Germany. At the November pogrom, the Synagogue of the Jewish Community in Wittelsbacherstrasse was devastated by SA men. A memorial plaque at the memorial for the victims of the wars in the Pulverturm, the victims of forced labour, commemorates the 43 Jewish inhabitants who fell victim to the Holocaust within the cemetery of St. Peter.

Straubing before and after the war
The town before the war and after looking from the east towards the old town showing the church of St. Peter, St. Peter school and the Schlachthof, now serving as an art gallery. Hitler delivered a speech entitled "Der Weg zur Freiheit" at the former Kronensaal on Wednesday April 11, 1928 from 20.00 to 23.00 here in Straubing. According to the subsequent police report, it was attended by roughly 1,200 people and was headed by Nazi city councilor Hanns Oberlindober who was apparently an effective public speaker, becoming a Reichsredner for the party after 1928 and was elected to the Reichstag in the breakthrough election of September 1930. At that time he was also named to head the newly formed section in the national party directorate dealing with disabled veterans. The meeting had originally been set for March 15, 1928 but had to be postponed due to Hitler's illness. 
Himmler too spoke here June 4, 1925, attacking the Dawes Plan, the 1924 adjustment by the Germans and the Allies of the reparations imposed by the Versailles Treaty, in his speech "The Freemasons’ Lodge as a Tool of the Jews."  
After the war Göring's wife Emmy, together with her niece, sister, and their nurse Christa Gormanns were incarcerated in Straubing's gaol, and his daughter Edda was put in an orphanage. Since the end of the 19th century, this has been largest Bavarian penitentiary; by the end of the 20th century, the Bavarian Correctional Academy and an institution for forensic psychiatry were added. Today, offenders with prison sentences of more than five years are housed in the Straubing prison. The former prison doctor during during the Nazi era, Theodor Viernstein, considered that "enemies of the race, enemies of society" had to be removed from the chain of heredity as fast as possible. His successor, Hans Trunk, actually proposed to have up to a third of the prison’s inmates sterilised, a figure considered too high even by the local Hereditary Health Court. As Richard J. Evans writes 
It was hardly surprising that prisoners were over-represented amongst the compulsorily sterilised, with nearly 5,400 subjected to this procedure by December 1939. It was equally unsurprising that the threat of a vasectomy or hysterectomy spread fear amongst prison inmates, who often told each other the correct answers to the intelligence tests administered by the doctors and learned them off by heart.
Großdeutschlandplatz as seen in Nazi-era postcards and today. The local authorities in Straubing weren't mere puppets of the central Nazi government but played an active role in implementing the policies of the Third Reich. Gauleiter Wächtler and Gauamtsleiter Erbersdobler, for instance, were instrumental in propagating Nazi ideology in Straubing. Their speeches at the rally in Großdeutschlandplatz in June 1940 were not isolated incidents but part of a broader pattern of local authorities actively participating in the dissemination of Nazi policies. This active role is further evidenced by the local police and administrative bodies who were complicit in the deportation and persecution of the Jewish community in Straubing. The local authorities' actions were not merely a reflection of orders from above but demonstrated a level of agency that should not be overlooked. This aligns with the arguments made by Kershaw, who posits that the local authorities had a significant role in the "polycratic" nature of the Nazi state.
The publishing house at Ludwigsplatz 32 where the anti-Nazi Straubinger Tagblatt was eventually closed down by the Nazi regime. Both its publisher Georg Huber Sr. and his son Georg Huber Jr. refused to join the party or any of its organisations or to give the Hitler salute. After Alfons Putz became the the new Nazi district leader in June 1934, he wanted to make the building a Nazi printing centre, replacing the Straubinger Tagblatt with the Nazi newspaper "Bavarian Ostwacht" or "Bavarian Ostmark". On May 29, 1935 Huber Sr., who had been denounced for anti-Nazi statements, was taken into 'protective custody.' That same day the Nazis had organised a rally against the Straubinger Tagblatt in the main square which was then banned for two days. By September that year it finally closed for "political unreliability" and Huber was finally excluded from the Reich Association of German Publishers for the same reason. He thus lost the right to work as a publisher and was left to hand over the business to his son Dr. Georg Huber. The company had about seventy employees at this time with the paper enjoying a circulation of over 12,000. Given that Georg Huber married the Swiss Elsy Wipf, daughter of a packaging entrepreneur from Zurich, a complete Nazi takeover of the "Straubinger Tagblatt" was prevented leading to a compromise - a presumably unique case in Nazi press policy - the "Verlag Straubinger Tagblatt GmbH" was founded, which accounted for 55% of the Nazi-owned Phönix Zeitungsverlag GmbH with Huber owning the rest. The content of the Straubinger Tagblatt was now the same, but thanks to the loyalty of its readers and its continued extensive local reporting it continued to hold its own against their Nazi press competitors- the Bavarian Ostmark printed their last edition in October 1939.
Straubing unter dem hackenkreuz The paper did however describe how the "Swastika flags waved over the city as banners of victory" during the 1938 commemoration of the failed Hitler putsch in 1923. The sixteen putschists were glorified as "martyrs of the movement" in the crowded Kronensaal on Großdeutschlandplatz where the wife and baby Drake Winston are shown towards the stadturm and Tibertiusbrunnen and during a rally in June 1940, when Straubing held its Kriegskreistag, with some 20,000 people gathering at Großdeutschlandplatz, the name given to Ludwigplatz in 1938 after the annexation of Austria. In the main speech, district leader Alfons Putz also emphasised that only a few hours earlier the German legation secretary, von Rath, died in Paris, "hit by a Jewish criminal's bullet." The Nazis took advantage of this assassination and initiated the Night of Broken Glass. After the celebration in the Kronensaal many Nazis met in pubs such as the Café Alfons on Innere Passauer Straße. After a phone call Putz ordered them all to come to the district management at Rennbahnstraße 1 from where, as well as from the office of the NSKK (National Socialist Driver Corps) on the corner of Stadtgraben and Flurlgasse, individual squads were sent out targetting Jewish citizens such as businessman Leopold Stein, then just under 24 years old, who lived on Ludwigsplatz.
His business and apartment can be seen in the GIF on the left with the several small awnings as it appeared in 1935 and when I visited August 2022. He ended up left unrecognisable during Kristallnacht with the Nazi thugs going so far as to cut off a finger. One detective had to admit before the arbitration board that Stein "had bled profusely".  Even non-Jewish property was damaged, including the private bank Gerhaher on Innere Passauer Straße and at the flat of bank manager Andreas Tremmel on Krankenhausgasse. As an aside, i
n July 1940, the Donau-Zeitung reported that Putz, had flown toward France and not returned.   
The Straubinger Tagblatt's commercial printing and publishing continued despite Nazi harassment such as the confiscation of machinery and cars, monitoring of mail and telephone, reduction of paper and gasoline allocations, whilst several other local newspapers were shut down under the pretext of wartime reasons by the Nazis. Thus, in the autumn of 1944, 80% of private newspapers from before 1933 had disappeared. The last issue of Straubinger Tagblatt in the Third Reich appeared on April 18, 1945; the heavy air raid that hit Straubing that day disrupting the supply of electricity, water and gas.
The arms used in the top-left canton on the reverse of the Straubing Deutschland Erwache standard reflects the change made in 1923 by the Nazis to remove the French influence shown in the fleur-de-lis, which were added in the 18th century. The arms have since been restored officially, but the spitaltor dating from 1628 shows the version favoured by the Nazis.
The two pages shown are from Deutschland Erwache - The History and Development of the Nazi Party and the “Germany Awake” Standards.
Rosengasse then and now
Rosengasse then and now. Embedded in a wall on the right is the inscription in Hebrew shown below with Drake Winston, a duplicate of what is now in the town museum. Roughly translated, it reads
The crown of our race fell with the death of our father Rabbi Azariah, the son of Jose, who stepped into another world on the eve of Shabbat, the 26th, the month of Iyar, the 88th.  
 In 1933 there were 110 Jewish residents in the town. Immediately after the Nazi takeover of power, Straubing's Jewish population faced various acts of violence. In his book Hitler and Nazism, Dick Geary writes specifically how "[i]n Straubing Nazi excesses against local Jews ended in murder." For example, less than two months after Hitler's appointment as chancellor, Otto Selz, a Jewish cattle and goods trader, was dragged out of the house by several men, driven towards Leiblfing and, after torture, shot in a forest near Soplterstein on March 15. He is considered the first of Straubing's Jews to have been murdered by the Nazis. After the body was found and then dissected, it was brought to Straubing and buried two days later in the Jewish cemetery in Regensburg. Eight months later, the Nazis broke into the murdered man's house, hoisted the Nazi flag and chased away the administrator and the economic manager. The search for the murderers was initially thoroughly engaged by the police and public prosecutor's offices in 1933, but was quickly stopped from above, especially by the Bavarian political police. After 1945 efforts were made to investigate again, but this was complicated by the long period of time and the disappearance or death of several suspects. The motive for the murder was clearly seen in the conflict between Otto Selz and Julius Streicher, Nazi Gauleiter of Franconia and editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer. In August 1933, Jews were banned from bathing in the Danube.
 At least ten of the town's Jews emigrated outside the country over the next few years whilst eleven moved to other places in Germany. During Kristallnacht in 1938, the interior of the synagogue, shown below, and a Jewish shoe shop was looted. Of the thirty local Jews who remained in April 1942, 21 were deported to Piaski near Lublin and murdered, five were deported in September 1942 and one in February 1945 was sent to Theresienstadt. Today eight stolpersteine can be found at Wittelsbacherstraße 11 and 12, two at Bahnhofstrasse 11, two at Oberen Bachstrasse 12, and four at Oberen Bachstrasse 14, the former address of Otto Selz. While it's difficult to make sweeping generalisations, the sizeable attendance at the 1940 rally in Großdeutschlandplatz suggests a level of complicity among the local populace. This is not to say that the entire population was in agreement with the Nazi policies, but the public actions and events indicate a disturbing willingness to conform. This lends some credence to Goldhagen's controversial thesis that ordinary Germans were "willing executioners," although this view has been criticised for its lack of nuance and overgeneralisation.
Standing in front of the synagogue today and in 1945 when German women were forced to clean the synagogue through the orders of American soldier Joseph Eaton which after it had been desecrated by their relatives on Reichskristallnacht before posing in front. It had been inaugurated in 1907 by the district rabbi of Regensburg, Dr. Meyer. Hofrat von Leistner, a representative the royal government of Lower Bavaria, used the occasion to convey the warmest congratulations on behalf of the government, the city administration as well as the entire citizens and residents. Straubing's mayor then handed over to Dr. Meyer the key to open the synagogue. Then the whole festival assembly, in which the representatives of the Catholic and Protestant churches, the military and state authorities and municipal colleges took part, went to the new synagogue, where Rabbi Dr. Meyer gave the speech. In the evening there was a festive dinner with a concert. This shows the radical change that took place under the Nazis. The synagogue only managed to survive Reichskristallnacht out of fear of any conflagration affecting the neighbouring buildings. The petrol for setting the fire had apparently already been provided by the ϟϟ, but the commander of the city fire department raised objections that the surrounding houses and the old people's home opposite would be damaged. So whilst the interior was completely destroyed, the building itself was preserved. After the end of the war, a box was handed over to the police containing the Torah scrolls, candlesticks and ritual objects. It is unknown which of the ϟϟ men secretly brought the items to safety and kept them during the war.
Max and Julie Loose's fashion and department store at Ludwigsplatz 21. In 1917 the Loose couple was able to purchase the building with Julie Loose managing the
the Julius Rosenthal company together with her husband until his death on July 1, 1936. She then sold the building to the Gewerbebank, today's Volksbank, and closed the business at the end of the year. She then moved to Munich where she was sent to the notorious barracks camp in Milbertshofen where she was deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto on July 29, 1942. She would die there on April 7, 1944; a card sent by Swiss friends on June 9 “[t]o Julie Loose, Bahnhofstrasse 3, Theresienstadt. Protectorate of Bohemia” – was actually sent back to the sender with the note “deceased 7.4.1944”.  Her son Franz, who had studied medicine, and daughter Fanny, together with her husband Walter Frank, managed to emigrate to the United States.

On May 13, 1887, the Jewish merchant Emanuel Schwarzhaupt acquired this property at Ludwigsplatz 6 and opened, as a branch of his Regensburg company, a department store for women's clothing.
Three years later his son Karl, born in Regensburg, moved to Straubing and entered the business. In 1919 the family, who had previously lived in the commercial building on Ludwigsplatz, moved to Obere Bachstraße 12, the house next door to the Jewish cattle and goods dealer Otto Selz. From 1924 Max Levite, husband of daughter Irma, supported Karl Schwarzhaupt in the management of the company.
On March 15, 1933, the Schwarzhaupt couple experienced the cruelty of the new Nazi regime rulers first-hand when Selz was taken out of bed early in the morning, kidnapped, abused and shot on Dreifaltigkeitsberg near Weng.
The Schwarzhaupts soon felt the fanatical anti-Semitism in their business, too. The photo from 1933 shown right has survived, presumably from April 1, when the Nazis called for a boycott of Jewish shops throughout Germany, in which SA men can be recognised intimidating prospective customers in front of the shop door. According to Geary (74), "[i]n Straubing Nazi excesses against local Jews ended in murder. Partly to control such uncoordinated violence, the regime organised a boycott of Jewish businesses for 1 April 1933, although this seems to have had little success with the German public at large."
Despite occasional attempts at intimidation by the Nazis, the population remained loyal to their well-known department stores by and large. However, Levite, who had been the sole managing director since 1935, recognised the threat and in April 1938, the Munich merchant Ludwig Hafner took over the business; by November 1940, the “Hafner & Co” company acquired the entire property from Karl Schwarzhaupt, who had meanwhile moved to Munich with his wife. The actual purchase price was immediately confiscated by the Nazis. In mid-October 1941, Karl and his mother Emma were interned in Munich and finally moved to the barracks camp on Knorrstrasse. On June 18, 1942, they were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto from where Karl Schwarzhaupt died on January 20, 1943 and his mother on March 8, 1944. Granddaughter Lieselotte Levite, who became Louise when she arrived in the United States, described her grandparents as "wonderful, good , good people who have never done anything to anyone!! ... Tears come to our eyes when we think of how they had to suffer in Theresienstadt, where my grandfather died of 'natural causes' [starved to death]. We learned that my grandmother was killed in a crematorium in Theresienstadt.”
In 1944 and 1945 Straubing suffered from several American air raids during which time the local military hospital was destroyed to the extent of eighty percent with a loss of 45 patients. In three heavy American air raids on the Straubing railroad at least 400 people were killed, and extensive destruction in the urban area was established. Most of the historic buildings survived the bombings undamaged however. 
On April 28, 1945 at around noon, the Americans took the city without a fight after it had been bombed with over 500 tonnes of explosives. On the afternoon the next day Wallersdorf, an hour away, was peacefully handed over to the American units.GIF: Straubing Einst und jetzt Straubing had been the target of five air raids, the heaviest of which occurred on April 18, 1945 when 460 people were killed and 29% of the buildings were damaged including the Protestant church on Bahnhofstrasse and the Catholic cemetery church of St. Michael. After the war 14,000 refugees were temporarily housed; by 1950 there were still 6,997 displaced persons out of a population of 36,147. Just ten days later American tanks arrived from the west via Regensburger Strasse, marking the end of the war for Straubing. Almost 2,000 its citizens lost their lives or were missing; around fifty Jewish fellow citizens - half of Straubing's pre-war community - did not survive deportation and concentration camps.
On April 28, 1945 the ϟϟ blew up the Schloßbrücke Straubing over the Danube to retard the allies' advance. It was rebuilt between 1946 and 1949, being inaugurated by Bishop Michael Buchberger on December 27, 1949.
 Overlooking the Danube and towards the bridge is this reichsadler, created by Munich sculptor Fritz Schmoll, also known as Eisenwerth. He was commissioned by the Deggendorf cultural building authority to produce a "sculpture (national eagle) in Danube limestone for the bastion of the Straubing pumping station at a price of 10,000 RM". Schmoll carved an eagle that weighed seven tonnes, at 2.90 metres in height and 1.75 metres in width, signed “FSgE” and the dates “1941/42”. In 1936, Straubing started building water protection measures with the help of the Water Management Office, building the pumping station on Gscheiderbrückl. From 1938, members of the Reich Labour Service, prisoners of war and Deggendorf workers built the dikes and dams along the Moosmühlbach and the Danube with the pumping station and the so-called "Bastion"  to form a flood protection wall. After it was completed in 1940, a so-called "bastion" was built, consisting of a roundel with a diameter of 12.60 metres. In addition, a high pillar with a swastika relief and a magnificent Nazi eagle, which was supposed to show the greatness of the Nazi state, was to be erected on it. However, since the construction work on the bastion and the pillar had to be stopped in the middle of the war due to a lack of workers and building materials and was finally stopped altogether in 1943. The rondel was already finished, but the granite pillar with a base area of ​​1.83 by 1.50 metres was only 2.33 metres high. The sculpture survived the war first in Munich, then in the building yard of the water management office in Vogelau. The figure was only remembered nine years after the end of the war when, on the morning of December 28, 1954, the pillar with the eagle was erected, the swastika removed of course, under the supervision of the then police commandant and- remarkably- the American occupation forces. Police commander Peter Bauer – a social democrat who was dismissed from the city police service in 1933 because of his political views and was appointed chief of police by the Americans at the end of the war – was directly involved in its construction, as were the municipal building department under Franz Xaver Feichtmeyer and the American occupying forces led by Major Cheney Engr. and CWO Lawson who directed departments with German specialists. The heavy blocks of stone were transported from the courtyard of the Water Management Office where they had been stored for years, to the location with a ten-tonne tow truck. A part of the enclosing wall was torn down there to enable the crane to enter the interior of the bastion. With a five-tonne crane on an eight-tonne truck, drivers Karl Biederer and Günther Dünnebier lifted it piece by piece as shown here and, with the assistance of numerous experts, placed it on the podium. After several hours of work, the eagle stood in its intended place and cast its gaze menacingly into the distance, as befits a Nibelung eagle.” The eagle now was described as no longer to be regarded as a Nazi symbol of power, but rather as a "Nibelung eagle" and "stone portrait worth seeing". Nevertheless the bastion with the eagle is not only a lookout point for walkers, but serves to remind of the dark history of Germany through remaining traces of evil.

Standing behind the monument with the limestone relief directly behind me depicting a ploughing farmer inscribed with "1941" by the Munich artist Johann Peter Vogl (or Hans Vogl).
Nearby is the so-called Agnes-Bernauer-Turm, seen here in a Nazi-era postcard from 1941 and today. It was a fortified tower making up the city fortifications, probably built in 1477 and attached to the city wall to the east and south. The tower is named after Agnes Bernauer, the mistress and perhaps also the first wife of the Bavarian Duke Albrecht III. This connection, which did not befit his status, brought Albrecht into conflict with his father, Duke Ernst of Bavaria-Munich, who had Agnes Bernauer drowned in the Danube in 1435. In the 19th century the legend spread that Bernauer was imprisoned in this tower resulting in its depiction in numerous engravings and lithographs, on postcards and posters. On the 500th anniversary of Bernauer's death in 1935, the local Nazi district culture warden Eugen Hubrich, who had already written open -air plays for the Further Drachenstich and the 900th anniversary of the city of Amberg, wrote Die Agnes Bernauerin zu Straubing. Hubrich, according to his own statements was"a National Socialist out of idealism [...] but also with enthusiasm," not only wanted to boost tourism with his piece, but also do justice to the Nazi concept of art. He described his intention in the style of the time: "The great-great-grandchildren should feel as their ancestors felt in the same place, but they should also recognise that Agnes was a people's sacrifice that was devoured by the cruel Middle Ages, but that can rise again in purity in the happy time that brings about the renewal of the blood and morals of the people from the primal source of life.”

What is now the Amtsgericht (District Court) Straubing on Kolbstrasse 11. In February 1997, this courthouse tried a young man from Saxony whom the public prosecutor accused of wearing a triangle-shaped fabric patch on the left sleeve of his denim jacket at a neo-Nazi NPD rally, which is confusingly similar to the Obergauarmdreieck of the BdM, a banned Nazi organisation, and which is thus guilty of a misuse of the symbols of unconstitutional organisations according to § 86a of the criminal code. The district court acquitted the defendants, whereupon the public prosecutor appealed to the Bavarian Supreme Court because of the fundamental importance of the case. Its 2nd criminal senate overturned the judgement and referred the case back to the district court for a new trial by another criminal judge. As a precautionary measure, the Senate pointed out the following for this procedure: “[s]hould the district court find that the patch worn by the defendant was in the shape of a black triangle with a gold-colored border and the gold-coloured lettering 'Sachsen', it can hardly be denied that this patch looks confusingly similar to the upper arm triangle of the Hitler Youth [...] ".
The Senate referred to an expert opinion by the Institute for Contemporary History and to a panel in the "Organisation Book of the NSDAP". Because Section 86a (2) sentence 2 of the Criminal Code only requires that the markings used can be confused with the originals. In other words, the badge is confusingly similar to the original "if an impartial person can easily regard it as the mark of an unconstitutional organisation [...]. whether the appearance of a mark of the respective organisation is created and its symbolic content is conveyed [...]. " Eventually the local court found the accused guilty based on an expert opinion by the Institute for Contemporary History only for the 5th Criminal Senate of the Bavarian Supreme Court to overturn the judgement and acquit the defendant on December 7, 1998.
The Hans-Schemm-Schule, named after the founder of the National Socialist Teachers' Federation in 1927 and today, renamed St. Jakobsschule. Schemm built the organisation under guiding principles that were clearly anti-democratic, anti-Semitic and anti-Communist, as seen in a number of his quotations as when he proclaimed how "[w]e are not objective – we are German!" and declared "that a Jew should dangle from every lamppost." In 1928, he became a member of the Bavarian Landtag. Schemm has been described by Thomas Childers (119) as "perhaps the most skilled and dynamic of Franconia's Nazi leaders."  Schemm also took on the role of publicist in the late 1920s when for a brief period he took over the leadership of several Nazi newspapers such as Streiter, Weckruf and Nationale Zeitung before founding his own newspaper in April 1929; in August of that year he launched the Nationalsozialistische Lehrerzeitung, the National Socialist Teachers League's (NSLB) journalistic organ. On October 1, 1930 came the first edition of the weekly newspaper Kampf für deutsche Freiheit und Kultur ("Struggle for German Freedom and Culture"), which was published by Schemm, and whose circulation rose from 3,000 in the beginning to 20,000 by 1932.  
In April 1933 Schemm arrived in Passau to attend the laying of the corner stone for the Hall of the Nibelungs where he also spoke at a mass rally; Passau too subsequently honoured Schemm by dedicating a street and a school to him. In March 1935 Schemm was seriously injured in an aircraft crash. Although Hitler personally ordered Berlin Professor Ferdinand Sauerbruch to fly to Bayreuth, Schemm, however, succumbed to his injuries on March 5 before the professor's arrival.

Passau einst und jetzt
From 1892 until 1894, Adolf Hitler and his family lived here in Passau. The city archives mention Hitler being in Passau on four different occasions in the 1920s for speeches.
Hitler mentions it on the first page of Mein Kampf:
my father had to leave that frontier town which I had come to love so much and take up a new post farther down the Inn valley, at Passau, therefore actually in Germany itself.
Passau's coat of arms features the rampant red wolf. During the Renaissance Passau had been one of the most prolific centres of sword and bladed weapon manufacture in Germany and Passau smiths stamped their blades with the Passau wolf, usually a rather simplified rendering of the wolf on the city's coat-of-arms. Superstitious warriors believed that the Passau wolf conferred invulnerability on the blade's bearer, and thus Passau swords acquired a great premium. According to Nick Thorpe in his book The Danube, A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest, this ended up being significant to Hitler's, and the Nazis', development:
‘The Nazis were constantly invoking dogs and wolves as models for the qualities they wanted to cultivate: loyalty, hierarchy, fierceness, courage, obedience, and sometimes even cruelty. Hitler’s code name was “the wolf ”.’ He was also fond of telling people how his name stemmed from the Old High German words – adal – meaning ‘noble’, and wolf...
There is little doubt that the symbolic wolf of Passau made its mark on the young boy’s imagination. ‘For the cult of the wolf seemed to offer the Nazis a promise of the discipline sometimes associated with “civilisation” without its accompanying decadence. Of nature without anarchy. As an animal which had been extinct within Germany for almost a century yet lived on in figures of speech, folk tales and iconography, the wolf suggested a sort of primeval vitality that had been lost.’
According to John F. Williams in his book Corporal Hitler and the Great War 1914-1918: The List Regiment, "[f]rom his childhood – much of which was spent in the German border town of Passau – Hitler had been brought up to consider himself Bavarian."
On April 10, 1934, the Passau city council decided to rename the street to Klara-Hitler-Straße after Hitler's mother Klara in memory of the family's residence at Kapuzinerstraße 31 (today number 5) from 1893 to 1894. It's the red building shown in the background. On April 12, 1938, the eastern part of the street was renamed General Alfred Kraußstraße. After the end of the war, the street was given its former name again.
Hitler nearly drowned when he was four years-old but was saved by a local priest, historians have claimed. Newspaper clippings have emerged detailing how a child – who experts believe was Hitler – was rescued from a river in Passau, Germany, in January 1894.  The infant is not named in the article, which was uncovered in a German archive, but it matches a story recounted by priest Max Tremmel in 1980. He said his predecessor Johann Kuehberger told him he had rescued Hitler when the Nazi leader was a child. Residents of Passau, where Hitler grew up, also claimed the priest's story was true.  The account of the incident remained uncorroborated until recently when the article emerged.  The Donauzeitung-Danube newspaper described how "a young fellow" was pulled out of the River Passau by a "brave comrade" after he fell through thin ice. The priest is said to have dived into the icy water after spotting the child struggling to stay afloat in the strong current.
 Anna Elisabeth Rosmus, a German author who lived in Passau, said the tale was known by most people in the town in book Out of Passau, Leaving a City Hitler Called Home. "Everyone in Passau knew the story. Some of the other stories told about him were that he never learned to swim and needed glasses," she wrote. "In 1894, while playing tag with a group of other children, the way many children do in Passau to this day, Adolf fell into the river. The current was very strong and the water ice cold, flowing as it did straight from the mountains. Luckily for young Adolf, the son of the owner of the house where he lived was able to pull him out in time and so saved his life."  Hitler told his generals that he used to play cowboys and Indians on the banks of the river but never admitted to falling in the water.
Hitker house Passau Hitler lived here at Theresienstrasse 23 until May 1, 1893 before his family moved across to the other side of the Inn.
[Hitler's father's] life revolved around the usual quarters very much: the Customs station at the river bank, the inns, and the bee hives that were his hobby since childhood. He continued his work in good standing and was promoted again in 1892, when Adolf was 3 years old. The family moved to his next duty station, Passau, fifty miles downriver. This change of residence was to exert a significant influence upon young Hitler. Braunau was a provincial, sleepy border town, which had only provided a tiny footnote to German history... The former Imperial town and Episcopal see Passau was of a different calibre. In the Middle Ages, the Prince- Bishop of Passau had ruled over the important market, bishopric and county at the confluence of the Inn and Danube rivers; splendid churches, castles and palaces bore witness to the glory days of the town.
Although Passau was on the German bank of the river and border, the Austrian Customs inspection was located, by mutual disposition of the respective governments, on German territory, where, luckily, the inns closed an hour later at night. Yet for the family in general, and Alois in particular, the change of posting seems not to have been entirely welcome. Alois had lived seventeen years in Braunau, where he had buried two wives, and had developed affection for the small town. There was also the fact that in Braunau he was necessarily a bigger fish than in the much larger Customs office in Passau, and, in addition, the position in Passau was a provisional appointment only, subject to confirmation by his superiors.
It was perhaps only for the youngest member of the family, Adolf, three and a half years old, that the new town was an unmitigated success; he was in the impressionable age in which a child leaves home for the first time and is unfailingly altered by the first impressions of the new environment, the sight of the buildings, the sound of the language. For the rest of his life, Adolf Hitler would speak the distinctive dialect of Lower Bavaria that was spoken in Passau. He insisted later that, from his time in Passau onwards, he had always felt more German than Austrian, and the old town's cultural and historic pedigree certainly provided a different impression than sleepy Braunau. In all probability, he spent two carefree years in Passau. 
John Vincent Palatine (172) Children of the Lesser Men
Drake Winston and I in front of the Schaiblingsturm, and during a later solo trip below.
Of Hitler's accent, it has been described as being that from Passau. According to Keller 2010 (15), "He played a lot with the neighbourhood children, and through them came in contact with the Lower Bavarian dialect, which he retained for the rest of his life. Hamann 2010 (7-8) describes how "[b]etween 1892 and 1895 Alois went to work in Passau, on the German side of the border, during which time the three- to six-year-old boy acquired his peculiar Bavarian accent: The German of my youth was the dialect of Lower Bavaria; I could neither forget it nor learn the Viennese jargon." Hitler's childhood friend Kubizek 2006 (37) recalled how "[h]e disliked dialect, in particular Viennese, the soft melodiousness of which was utterly repulsive to him. To be sure, Hitler did not speak Austrian in the true sense. It was rather that in his diction, especially in the rhythm of his speech, there was something Bavarian. Perhaps this was due to the fact that from his third to his sixth year, the real formative years for speech, he lived in Passau, where his father was then a customs official."

On November 8, 1918, a council of soldiers and workers was formed. In the course of this, a 200-strong civil service was established, which sought to preserve public order in the city. The situation was peaceful after the revolution until the murder of Kurt Eisner in Munich on February 21, 1919 led to the destabilisation of the situation as censorship was enforced and public meetings were prohibited. On April 7, 1919, the Soviet republic was established in Passau. Hitler had come to Passau on on February 19, 1920 to found the local branch of the Nazi Party. group in Passau are described. Hitler delivered what had been described as a "patriotic lecture, which was greeted with enthusiastic applause, in which the speaker spoke in convincing, haunted words about the external and internal causes of our collapse and the unsuitable means to combat the hardship of our day through phrases and key words." 
Hitler would give a number of speeches in Passau, starting as early as Oct 26, 1919 with a speech to the 20th infantry regiment. In 1922, the Nazi Party had a total of roughly six thousand members among whom 167 were from Passau. They would meet in the "Altdeutsche Bierstube", which became the preferred venue for the local Nazi Party. That year on August 7 at the Gasthaus Schmeroldkeller Hitler gave the speech "National Socialism as Germany's future". He would give two separate speeches Schmeroldkeller on Sunday, June 17 1923 at the Peschl-Keller and Schmeroldkeller. On Thursday Aug 12, 1926 he spoke of the aim of union with  Austria during a meeting with Austrian National Socialists. And on Saturday October 27, 1928 he spoke at both the Schmeroldkeller and at the Hotel Omnibus.
Nazis marching down the Rindermarkt June 17, 1923 in front of what is now the Hotel Passauer Wolf during their first major appearance in Passau. They celebrated 'German Day' and marched with the ϟϟ bodyguard from Munich from the cathedral to the Schmerold-keller. There Gregor Strasser handed the standard over to the Passau flag bearer.  Hermann Göring was present and Hitler spoke. 
On October 27, 1923, Hitler returned to give a speech at the Nibelungenhalle. This speech marked a turning point in spreading his political views in the region and contributing to the future consolidation of Nazi power.
Just over a fortnight later would see the failed Beer Hall putsch in Munich after which several party members from Passau were arrested and the party itself banned. However, it quickly reformed itself, camouflaging itself first in the GesangsvereinEinigkeit, a choral group, in the shooting and hiking association, in the front fighters association and finally in the Deutschvölkischen Turnverein Jahn, a gymanastics organisation. On March 5, Max Barnerssoi chaired the party's refounding. Shortly before the ban was lifted on February 14, 1925, Himmler from nearby Landshut visited the Passau branch members. Himmler had been the most frequent leading Nazi official to visit Passau, having had a personal connection to the town- his father Gebhard Himmler had served as a high school professor at Passau Humanistic High School from 1902 to 1904. Himmler ended up speaking in Passau on May 10, 1926, August 20, 1926, March 26, 1927, July 8, 1927, October 29, 1927, April 21 1928, February 8, 1930, April 17, 1931 and March 7, 1932. Other prominent speakers included Hans Schemm, Gauleiter and Bavarian Minister of Culture, on February 6, 1929. Julius Streicher, Gauleiter Franken and founder of the notorious "Der Stürmer" spoke on May 27, 1929, about the "Judaism of German Justice". Streicher organised the first boycott of Jews in 1933 on Hitler's behalf. Gregor Strasser, whom Hitler later had shot during the Rohm Putsch on June 30, 1934, spoke on February 25, 1928, on September 24, 1929, and on September 7, 1930 in the Dreiflüssestadt. Propaganda leader Hermann Esser came on October 5, 1929, and on March 1, 1932. Wilhelm Frick, the later Minister of the Interior who would also become the driving force in the drafting of the Nuremberg Laws spoke as well, although such speaking events were not always very well attended. 
Passau unter dem hackenkreuz Soon after Hitler came to power, the democratic parties were pushed out of the city council in Passau so that when appointed on April 27, 1933 it only had nine BVB representatives and eleven Nazis. The number of city councillors had been arbitrarily reduced from 30 to twenty. Max Moosbauer replaced the former Mayor Dr. Carl Sittler. The Passau SPD dissolved on April 8. After April 20, 1933, the "Führer's Birthday", Hitler Youth and BdM moved to Kapuzinerstrasse 5 and hoisted the swastika flag on Hitler's former home at Theresienstrasse 23. Hitler became an honorary citizen of Passau on March 14, 1933; Hitler never received it, but the document is still in the city archives.
On April 27, 1933 Ludwigsplatz became "Adolf-Hitler-Platz". This was also where the Nazi Party headquarters, the "Braune Haus", was located. Sedanstraße became Ritter von Epp-Straße "(today renamed Neuburgerstraße). Nikolastraße became Hans Schemm-Straße, Mühltal became Horst-Wessel-Straße and Schmiedgasse/Kapuzinerstraße renamed Klara-Hitler-Straße.
 In 1934, the Passau Nazi Kreisleiter, Otto Hellmuth, organised the first Nazi Party rally in the city, an event that symbolised the city's growing importance to the Party. The rally attracted thousands of Nazi sympathisers and Party members. Passau was instrumental in the Nazi Party's propaganda efforts through the media as well. From 1933 to 1945, the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper served as a Nazi Party mouthpiece with its editor, Alois Dallmeier, using the paper to disseminate Nazi propaganda extensively.
The  Nazis would set up the Kinderlandverschickung (KLV), a programme established by during the war to evacuate children from cities at risk of Allied bombing. In Passau, one of the major reception areas, the programme started operating in 1940. A considerable number of children, estimated to be in the thousands, were relocated to Passau during the programme's operation from 1940 to 1945. The children were housed in numerous camps and accommodations around Passau, its main camp located in the Passau district of Heining. Living conditions in the camps varied, but many children, particularly those in the latter years of the war, faced food shortages and inadequate medical care, reflecting the overall scarcity of resources within Germany. The programme in Passau was overseen by local party officials of the Nazi regime, including the local Kreisleiter. They were responsible for the administration and supervision of the camps. The children's daily life was strictly regimented in line with Nazi ideology with the aim not only to protect the children but also to indoctrinate them. Thus, a key part of their daily routine was attending lessons, which included Nazi propaganda. As the war neared its end and the Allied forces advanced, the programme in Passau was terminated in April 1945, and the remaining children were returned to their homes.
The town hall during the Nazi era and today 
In Passau the Nazis set up a Schlageter cross in honour of student Leo Schlageter, executed by the French on May 26, 1923 after the occupation of the Rhineland (Ruhrkampf) for active resistance. The cross was set up on September 17, 1933 on Passau's Hammerberg. The place around the cross was called Schlageter-Platz and the hill renamed Schlageter-Höhe. In the years that followed, SA, ϟϟ, Hitler Youth, BdM and Jungvolk events took place there. After the war the Schlageter Cross remained, but gradually became an embarrassing nuisance. After the 1956 Hungarian uprising during which Passau residents took part in an evening candlelight procession, the Schlageter Cross was dismantled. On June 15, 1957 the Catholic youth erected a new cross on its base to commemorate the bloodily suppressed popular uprising. This new cross was named after the first Christian king of Hungary, St. Stephan, whose wife Gisela, a daughter of the Bavarian Duke Heinrich II, is buried in Niedernburg.
The Nazis also
set up a Thingplatz. There were also plans for a an Ehrenmal Großdeutschland to express the importance of the movement here. Recently it was discovered within the town's archives love letters written to Hitler which had been collected in Passau and not passed on to the Führer. Other aspects of Nazi rule which had remained undetected in the city archive for the past decade include material about those deemed mentally ill, and still waiting to be processed are the files of people who found themselves in trouble due to non-conformity. Lacking is information about  the two concentration camp subcamps in Oberilzmühle and Grubweg, or the role of the church in Passau. 
When the Nazis launched their economic boycott upon taking power in 1933, it hit the twelve Jewish shops hard. When the Jewish department store Merkur wanted to hold its annual sale in August 1935 for example, Nazi officials prevented buyers from entering the store. Eventually the police closed the department store. On August 31, 1935, a well-attended anti-Semitic rally took place in Passau as on that night and in the following days, anti-Jewish posters and slogans were stuck on the windows of the Jewish shops and anti-Semitic leaflets were distributed. Within a short time, all Jewish businesses became 'aryanised'. In August 1938 Robert Weilheimer was arrested and taken to Amberg prison later to be murdered in Treblinka. By the time the deportations began, almost all Jewish residents had emigrated or moved from Passau with twenty to Munich and another four to Berlin. The last two Jewish residents were women who lived in "privileged mixed marriage" and survived the war. 
In front of the Wittelsbacherbrunnen
After 1945, a Jewish community of former concentration camp prisoners and displaced persons (mainly from Kielce in Poland) were settled in Passau and by January 1946 a Jewish community was founded. In August 1946 there were 150 Jews living in the city with the administrative seat and cultural centre of the Jewish community under community chairman Josef Holländer established inside the Hotel Deutscher Kaiser at Bahnhofstrasse 30. The number of Jews temporarily housed in apartments or houses in Passau grew to about 280 people, most of whom eventually moved to the new state of Israel in 1948. Before emigrating, many had prepared in a "training kibbutz" in Soldenpeterweg 19. In 1961 there were still 35 Jewish residents; this was reduced to a mere twenty by 1976.
In November 1933, the building of Nibelungenhalle was announced. Intended to hold 8,000 to 10,000 guests, and another 30,000 in front of it, in 1935 the hall also became quarters for a unit of the Austrian Legion. At the start of 1934, these troops had occupied a building that belonged to Sigmund Mandl, a Jewish merchant. That building, in turn, was referred to as SA barracks.  Beginning in 1940, Passau offered the building at Bräugasse 13 to Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle. 
Beginning in 1942, an external warehouse of the Dachau concentration camp was located in Passau. The prisoners were used in the construction of an underwater power station at the present lake lake Oberilzmühle. From November 1942 onwards, this external camp was transferred to the Mauthausen concentration camp, which opened Passau II in March 1944, and Passau III in March 1945. The prisoners were here in the Waldwerke Passau-Ilzstadt and at the Bayer. 
 During the war the town also housed three sub-camps of the infamous Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp: Passau I (Oberilzmühle), Passau II (Waldwerke Passau-Ilzstadt) and Passau III (Jandelsbrunn).  
 In addition to working on construction sites, the prisoners were also used to dig up unexploded ordnance after the  bombing of Passau during the war. The Passau population called the prisoners "zebra people" because of their striped clothing. In his history of the Mauthausen concentration camp, Hans Marsalek wrote that the highest prisoner population was 333 people. They had been housed in a barrack surrounded by barbed wire and forced to work in two shifts in the forest works for the manufacture of Tiger gearboxes -Panzer, and the production of steel bunker doors and the introduction of steel bunker doors and individual parts for aircraft construction. Prisoner transports of 100 to 150 men to the Mauthausen and Flossenburg camps had been made several times.
On May 3, 1945, a message from Major General Stanley Eric Reinhart’s 261st Infantry Regiment stated at 3:15 am: "AMG Officer has unconditional surrender of PASSAU signed by Burgermeister, Chief of Police and Lt. Col of Med Corps there. All troops are to turn themselves in this morning."  It was the site of a post-war American sector DP camp.
GIF: Kaiserin-Elisabeth-Brücke
On the day Hitler finally killed himself, the Kaiserin-Elisabeth-Brücke was blown up, since rebuilt. The city of Passau was bombed three times in the final phase of the Second World War, with a total of about 200 fatalities and the destruction of almost 250 buildings. The main target of the attacks was the railway station. After the American Army advanced in the spring of 1945 through Bavaria to the east, a larger defence operation was planned for the city of Passau by the German armed forces. However, only small-scale combat operations took place, and finally, on May 2, 1945, the city was handed over to the units of the American armed forces by the former mayor Carl Sittler. The next day Captain John Baumgartner of the American 11th Armoured Division accepted the surrender of the city, marking the end of the Nazi regime's control over Passau. As early as January 1945, the city and the surrounding countryside from Passau were the target of refugees from Silesia who reached Passau with horse carts and overcrowded trains. Towards the end of the war and in the immediate post-war period the arrival of German-born refugees from Bohemia took place. In September 1945 there were over 28,000 refugees and displaced persons in the city. Due to the lack of housing, numerous provisional barrack settlements were built in the urban area.
The 208 metre long Luitpoldbrücke on the right, colloquially known as the Hängebrücke, in 1938 and its current incarnation during my 2020 cycling trip. Shortly before the end of the war on May 2, 1945, just before the invasion of American troops, the bridge was partially blown up. Only the two concrete pylons in front of today's brewery and the downstream cable were left almost undamaged. The Royal Hungarian Electric Force took over the salvage of the destroyed bridge in September 1945. Donations and the support of the Bavarian ministries enabled the relatively quick repair and a renewed opening for traffic on August 17, 1948. The engineer Rudolf Barbré was significantly involved in its reconstruction. The new suspension bridge cost a total of 1.5 million Deutschmarks with mayor Stephan Billinger stating at the time that “the suspension bridge has always been the favourite child of Passau residents”.
Neo Nazis in Passau
Passau has recently been the scene of demonstrations by and against neo-nazis after the town's police chief Alois Mannichl had been stabbed in front of his home by a neo-Nazi.