Showing posts with label Mülheim. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mülheim. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi Sites in Westphalia (2)

Continued from Remaining Nazi Structures in Westphalia (1)
Wewelsburg (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Wewelsburg castle holds a significant place in the annals of the Second World War. Its importance is primarily linked to Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsführer-ϟϟ, who transformed the castle into a pseudo-religious and ideological centre for the ϟϟ. The castle's role in the ϟϟ's mystic and racial doctrines, its function as a training centre, and its symbolic representation of the ϟϟ's future aspirations, underscore its significance to Himmler and the ϟϟ. On the left are the original plans of the ϟϟ-project of August 5, 1940, signed by Himmler and architect Hermann Bartels. As a leading architect for the reconstruction of the Wewelsburg Castle for the ϟϟ, Bartels had already been appointed by the Reichsführer ϟϟ Heinrich Himmler in 1933. From 1934 the Wewelsburg was rented to the ϟϟ. According to Karl Hüser, Wewelsburg is the "cult and terrorist site of the ϟϟ" where ϟϟ ideologues assumed that a Saxon Wallburg was the first predecessor building at the time of the defensive battles of King Henry I around 930 against the Hungarians or 'Huns'. Himmler had been drawn to Henry I in 1935, when Hermann Reischle, who represented him as a deputy curator in the "Ahnenerbe", informed him on October 24, 1935 that the city of Quedlinburg was to support the organisation of the festivities for the thousandth anniversary of the death of Henry I on July 2, 1936. He called this celebration "propagandistically [...] a gift of heaven" and wrote: "By their appropriate design, we can achieve with a great blow what otherwise would be difficult to fight through in a propagandistic way in years. For this very reason the decisive participation of the ϟϟ and thus our influence on the preparation and organisation of the celebration must be urgently advocated." Shortly thereafter, on November 6, 1935, Himmler took over Wewelsburg and in the next month stated "that the ϟϟ with the city of Quedlinburg should be the sole bearer of the celebrations on 2 July 1936."    
Himmler had been made aware of Wewelsburg by leading Nazis from the region, in particular Adolf von Oeynhausen. Himmler initially planned a training ground for ϟϟ leaders. A small staff of ϟϟ scientists was hired. From the beginning of the war, new plans were directed to make a meeting place for ϟϟ group leaders, especially on special occasions.In 1934 Himmler signed a 100-mark hundred-year lease with the Paderborn district, intending to renovate and redesign the castle as a Reichsführerschule ϟϟ after Karl Maria Wiligut advised him based on the Westphalian legend of the "Battle at the birch tree". It was to be enlarged to a ϟϟ-Führerschule. Besides physical training, a uniform ideological orientation of the leading cadre of the ϟϟ was to be realised. Courses for ϟϟ-officers in pre- and early history, mythology, archaeology, astronomy and art were intended and, from 1939, the castle was also furnished with miscellaneous objects of art, including prehistoric objects, objects of past historical eras, and works of contemporary sculptors and painters (mainly works by such artists as Karl Diebitsch, Wolfgang Willrich, and Hans Lohbeck—that is, art comporting with the aesthetics of National Socialism). In 1938 Himmler ordered the return of all Death's head rings (Totenkopfringe) of dead ϟϟ-men and officers to be stored in a chest in the castle as a symbol of the ongoing membership of the decedent in the ϟϟ-Order. The whereabouts of the approximately 11,500 rings is still unknown.  Although academic instructors were appointed who began a "research enterprise" there and set up a large library, the "ϟϟ-Schule Haus Wewelsburg" never saw any training take place. Himmler and Bartels transformed Wewelsburg into a shielded central meeting place for ϟϟ generals which saw the castle obtain a more defensive appearance, for which the white plaster was cut off and the ditch was deepened. Inside Nordic-Germanic ornaments and symbols on stairs, furniture, floors, ceilings, crockery, cutlery and other everyday objects soon formed the picture.
Himmler's had group leaders' coats of arms suspended as ornaments in 1937, organised an annual group leadership involving a ritual swearing-in from 1938, and the storage of the ceremonial ϟϟ-Ehrenring ("ϟϟ Honour Ring"), unofficially called Totenkopfring ("Death's Head Ring"). These were not official state decorations, but rather a personal gift bestowed by Himmler. The ring was initially presented to senior officers of the Old Guard (of which there were fewer than 5,000). Each ring had the recipient's name, the award date, and Himmler's signature engraved on the interior and came with a standard letter from Himmler and citation stating that the ring was a "reminder at all times to be willing to risk the life of ourselves for the life of the whole".. It was to be worn only on the left hand, on the "ring finger". If an ϟϟ member was dismissed or retired from the service, his ring had to be returned. The name of the recipient and the conferment date was added on the letter. In 1938 Himmler ordered the return of all rings of dead ϟϟ-men and officers to be stored in a chest in Wewelsburg Castle as a memorial to symbolise the ongoing membership of the deceased in the ϟϟ-order. In October 1944, Himmler ordered that further manufacture and awards of the ring were to be halted and then ordered all remaining rings, approximately 11,500, blast-sealed inside a hill near Wewelsburg. By January 1945, 64% of the 14,500 rings made had been returned to Himmler after the deaths of the "holders". In addition, 10% had been lost on the battlefield and 26% were either kept by the holder or their whereabouts were unknown. As for regular meetings of group leaders, only in June 1941 Himmler summoned a group of ϟϟ officials to explain to them the war aims of the Russian campaign. According to local residents, American GIs took the rings in 1945. 
In the early years, the Wewelsburg received a completely new interior, partly decorated with ϟϟ ornamentation. The exterior of Wewelsburg was designed "by the removal of the plaster, deepening of the trenches and the erection of a new bridge" to appear more like a mediævel castle. In 1936-1937 and 1939-1941, two large ϟϟ administrative buildings were built on the forecourt. In the village, a villa was built for the chief architect and dwelling-houses for ϟϟ staff. From 1940 on, the plans under the influence of the architect Himmler commissioned architect Hermann Bartels assumed gigantic proportions. On the territory of the village of Wewelsburg, a new burial site was to be built in a three-circle circle with a radius of 635 metres around the old building. The inhabitants were to be resettled. In order to be able to realise the ongoing and planned construction work in the war, the ϟϟ established a concentration camp in Wewelsburg. From May 1939 onwards, the camp consisted of a detainee commando, which belonged to the Sachsenhausen main camp. From 1941, the concentration camp was linked to the main state camp at Niederrhein which operated until April 1943. The remaining prisoners were subordinated organisationally to the Buchenwald concentration camp . Of the altogether 3,900 documented prisoners from almost all the countries occupied by the Wehrmacht, 1,855 did not survive this camp. In March 1945, Himmler ordered the blasting of the Burganlage and the adjoining administrative buildings. Wewelsburg was burnt out completely, as was the guard-house; the adjacent buildings were completely destroyed. On April 2, 1945 the destroyed castle was taken by Americans.
After the war and today. Himmler's fascination with the occult and pseudo-scientific racial theories led to the transformation of Wewelsburg Castle into a mystical and ideological hub for the ϟϟ. Himmler, who was deeply influenced by the works of Chamberlain and Rosenberg, believed in the superiority of the Aryan race and the need for its preservation. Wewelsburg Castle, in his view, was to become the 'centre of the world', a spiritual home for the ϟϟ, where the racial purity of the Aryan race could be preserved and propagated. Historian Longerich argues that Himmler's interest in the occult was not merely a personal fascination but a strategic tool to foster a distinct identity for the ϟϟ. According to Longerich, Himmler used the castle as a platform to instil a sense of racial superiority and a shared destiny among the ϟϟ members. The castle's North Tower, known as the ϟϟ-Ordenburg, was the focal point of this ideological indoctrination. It housed the 'Obergruppenführersaal' (Hall of the Supreme Group Leaders), where twelve ϟϟ leaders would gather around a massive oak table, engaging in rituals and discussions aimed at reinforcing their commitment to the ϟϟ's racial and ideological doctrines. 
Wewelsburg is apparently the only triangular-shaped castle in Germany, built at the beginning of the 17th century in the village of Wewelsburg. After 1934, it was used by the ϟϟ under Himmler and was to be expanded into the central ϟϟ-cult-site. After 1941, plans were developed to enlarge it to be the so-called "Centre of the World". In 1950, the castle was reopened as a museum and youth hostel, now one of the largest in Germany. The castle today hosts the Historical Museum of the Prince Bishopric of Paderborn and the Wewelsburg 1933-1945 Memorial Museum.
Himmler with NSDAP-Reichsorganisationsleiter Robert Ley in 1937 and with his architect Bartels
While travelling through Westphalia during the Nazi electoral campaign of January 1933, Himmler was profoundly affected by the atmosphere of the region, with its romantic castles and the mist- (and myth-) shrouded Teutoburger Forest. After deciding to take over a castle for ϟϟ use, he returned to Westphalia in November and viewed the Wewelsburg castle, which he appropriated in August 1934 with the intention of turning it into an ideological-education college for 
ϟϟ officers. Although at first belonging to the Race and Settlement Main Office, the Wewelsburg castle was placed under the control of Himmler's Personal Staff in February 1935.  
Himmler's plans included making it the "centre of the new world" ("Zentrum der neuen Welt") following the "final victory" but only detailed plans and models exist. It was to be finished within twenty years. The complex was to be a centre of the "kind accordant" religion (artgemäße Religion) and a representative estate for the ϟϟ-Führerkorps ( ϟϟ leader corps) If the plans had been realised, the entire village of Wewelsburg and adjacent villages would have disappeared. The population was to be resettled and the valley flooded.
The guardhouse has had its ϟϟ runes chipped out, but in a way that makes them easily recognisable 
Hitler Youth leaving the castle in 1935
The Obergruppenführersaal and mausoleum beneath the Obergruppenführer hall then and now. In addition to the exhibition rooms in the historic rooms of the former guard building, these two rooms from the ϟϟ era have been preserved in the north tower of the Wewelsburg, which can be visited during the opening hours of the memorial. The dark green ornament on the marble floor of the Obergruppenfuhrersaal has in recent years developed under the name Schwarze Sonne into a symbol of identification among right-wing extremists and a supposed "sign of power" among esotericists. Since 1991 it has been associated with the esoteric neo-Nazi concept of the Black Sun, which has been discussed since the 1950s. 
The north tower then and now on the left. Richard J. Evans argues that the castle's function as a training centre was integral to Himmler's vision of the ϟϟ. According to Evans, Himmler saw the ϟϟ not merely as a military organisation, but as a racial and ideological vanguard. The training provided at the castle was intended to equip ϟϟ members with the intellectual tools necessary to fulfil this role. The castle's function as a training centre, therefore, was not merely a practical consideration, but a crucial component of Himmler's vision of the ϟϟ's role in the Third Reich. The castle's symbolic representation of the ϟϟ's future aspirations further underscores its significance to Himmler and the ϟϟ. Himmler envisaged the castle as the future 'centre of the world', a spiritual and ideological hub from which the ϟϟ would govern a post-war Aryan utopia. The castle's architecture and decor, heavily influenced by Germanic mythology and the occult, were intended to reflect this future vision. The castle's North Tower, for instance, was designed to align with the North Star, a symbol of the ϟϟ's destined path to racial supremacy. Snyder argues that the castle's symbolic representation of the ϟϟ's future aspirations was a key element of Himmler's strategy to foster a sense of shared destiny among the ϟϟ. According to Snyder, the castle served as a tangible manifestation of the ϟϟ's future vision, a constant reminder of the ϟϟ's destined role as the racial and ideological vanguard of the Third Reich. The castle, therefore, was not merely a physical structure, but a symbolic representation of the ϟϟ's future aspirations.
Inside the vault at the very top of the roof, a swastika remains. This "vault, built after the model of Mycenaean domed tombs was hewn into the rock which possibly was to serve for some kind of commemoration of the dead. The floor was lowered 4.80 metres although the room itself remains unfinished. In the middle of the vault a bowl with an eternal flame was probably  planned. In the middle of the floor a gas pipe is embedded and around the presumed place for the eternal flame at the wall twelve pedestals are placed. Their meaning is unknown. Above the pedestals wall niches existed. In the zenith of the vault a swastika is walled in. The vault has special acoustics and illumination. The castle's crypt, with its twelve pedestals, each bearing the name of an ϟϟ officer, further exemplified the mystical aura Himmler sought to create. The crypt was intended to serve as a sacred space for the commemoration of fallen ϟϟ officers, reinforcing the notion of the ϟϟ as a knightly order. Kershaw posits that these rituals were instrumental in fostering a sense of unity and purpose among the ϟϟ, creating a bond that transcended the traditional military hierarchy. The castle, thus, served as a physical manifestation of Himmler's vision of the ϟϟ as a racial elite, a new aristocracy that would lead the Aryan race to its destined supremacy. The castle's role in the ϟϟ's racial and ideological indoctrination was further amplified by its function as a training centre. Himmler envisaged the castle as an 'ϟϟ school', where members of the ϟϟ could be educated in the racial and ideological doctrines of the ϟϟ. The castle housed a library with a vast collection of books on Germanic mythology, racial theory, and the occult, reflecting Himmler's belief in the importance of intellectual training in shaping the ϟϟ's racial elite. The castle also hosted conferences and seminars on racial theory, providing a platform for the dissemination of the ϟϟ's racial and ideological doctrines.
Before and after the war. In addition to serving as a repository for stolen artefacts, Wewelsburg Castle was also the site of a concentration camp. The camp, which was established in 1939, was used primarily as a source of forced labour for the castle's renovation and expansion. The prisoners, most of whom were Soviet PoWs, were subjected to brutal conditions, with many dying from malnutrition, disease, and overwork. Evans argues that the existence of the camp underscores the brutal reality of the ϟϟ's racial and ideological doctrines, which were often masked by the castle's mystical and ideological facade. The castle's role as a site of brutality and oppression was further highlighted by its use as a detention centre for high-ranking ϟϟ officers accused of disloyalty or incompetence. Snyder suggests that the castle's function as a detention centre was part of Himmler's strategy to maintain discipline and loyalty within the ϟϟ. The threat of detention at the castle served as a constant reminder of the consequences of disloyalty, reinforcing Himmler's authority over the ϟϟ.

Düsseldorf's market square during an induction ceremony for 10-14 year old boys into the “Deutsche Jungvolk“ of the Hitler-Jugend in either April 1937 or 1939.  After the Nazi takeover of power, the first book burning involving "unwanted literature" by the Deutsche Studentenschaft, including books by Heinrich Heines, took place in Düsseldorf on April 11, 1933. The NSDAP Gauleiter Friedrich Karl Florian supported the mass-bearing remembrance of Albert Leo Schlageter at the Schlagter National Monument, which had already been built in 1931, as well as the personnel restructuring of city administration and authorities. Hans Langels (Centre Party), who had previously been hired, was dismissed and replaced by the ϟϟ Group leader Fritz Weitzel (mentioned below). Many regime adversaries were arrested, abused, or killed. Dusseldorf,
The main railway station flying Nazi flags and today, unchanged.
the senior ϟϟ and police officer West (from 1938), the inspector of the security police and the SD, the ϟϟ upper section of West, was the seat of numerous Nazi organisations and security police institutions. The SD-Oberabschnitt West, the SA-Gruppe Niederrhein, the 20th ϟϟ-Stand, an HJ-Bann (No. 39, Obergebiet West, Ruhr Ruhr region), from 1936 an army headquarters administration and a Wehrmzirkkommando of the Wehrmacht. Among the cultural-political "climaxes" were the propaganda campaigns involving the Reichsausstellung Schaffende Volk (1937) and Entartete Musik (1938). On November 10, 1938, during the Pogrom Night, the synagogues were burnt down on the Kasernenstrasse and Benrath, the Jewish population of the city was persecuted, and at least eighteen persons were murdered. The "Judenreferat" was responsible for the deportation of nearly 6,000 Jews from the entire government district to the Düsseldorf State Police Office. On October 27, 1941, the first train drove to the concentration camps in occupied Poland (see Jewish Life in Dusseldorf) with a total of 1003 Dusseldorf and Lower Rhine Jews from the Derendorf freight station. More than 2200 Dusseldorfer Jews were murdered. In 1944 about 35,000 foreign civilian workers, several thousand prisoners of war, and concentration camp prisoners were forced to work in the roughly 400 camps in Düsseldorf.
The Reichsausstellung Schaffendes Volk (The Reich's Exhibition of a Productive People) of 1937 was held in the North Park district of Düsseldorf along one mile of the Rhine shoreline. It was opened on May 8, 1937 by Hermann Göring. Through October of the same year it attracted more than six million visitors. Planned in secret and deliberately designed as a rival to the 1937 International Exposition of Modern Life in Paris, the exhibition was meant to showcase the domestic accomplishments of the National Socialists in new housing, art, and science during their four years in power. The fair's director was Dr. Ernst Poensgen. The exhibition was laid out in four main divisions: industry and economics, land utilisation and city planning, material progress (with an emphasis on progress in synthetics), and arts and culture.
The two huge horses and horsemen sculpted out of granite for the Reichsaustellung Schaffendes Volk. Due to wrangles the exhibition, opened in the presence of Goering, ran with these monumental statues in an unfinished state - the right hand one extremely so. It was only in 1940 that the sculptor, Edwin Scharff, was allowed to complete the project, having suffered a ban at the hands of the regime in the meantime.
The ban came in 1937 when photos of these sculptures, die Rossebändiger, were presented at the exhibition "Entartete Kunst" in Munich. The argument  was that the antique motif of the Rossebändiger - symbol for the rule of the human spirit over the wild nature - had not been implemented appropriately. The sculptures did not express the clear supremacy of man over the horses as the Nazis had intended. As one councillor wrote to Lord Mayor Liederley,"[i]n the midst of the rubbish, the filth, are two photographs of the horse standing pictures placed before the exhibition entrance. For this purpose, one reads that in 1937 the city of Düsseldorf paid Mk 120,000 to the sculptor Edwin Scharff." Whilst this claim was wrong, but did not change much in the unpleasant situation. It was true that the pictures were soon sent back with the diplomatic note that this must have been an "accident", but the scandal did not end there. The main point was that the two horses, which were easily held by the two "horse-riders", did not make a particularly subdued impression. However, the ancient motif, a symbol of the domination of the human mind over the wild nature, demanded, especially in the interpretation of Nazi ideology, the taming of the wild beast by man. Scharff's Rossehalter, on the contrary, expressed neither superiority over the horses, nor allowed the interpretation of the "ancient comradeship between man and horse." The two sculptures depicted carefully-looking, temperamental horses, standing on the right and left in front of the gate, a kind of gate through which the visitor had to go to get to the exhibition grounds. The horse-holders, who, in spite of their muscular nakedness, lacked the heroic Nordic idealisation of other horse-holders, seemed to have fused with the powerful flanks of the animals. The youths did not dominate either the animals or the motif, and even their small size gave no reason to hope that they could be up to the animals. Due to their immense size, which made it difficult to dismantle, the "sculptures created for eternity" based on Hitler's motto: "The greatness of the present will be measured once in the eternity which it leaves behind", remained a very visible landmark at their location. Even Hitler had to pass through the portraits of the great animals, which covered the view of the horse-holders, to get to the exhibition grounds.
The fountains here were the centre piece of the exhibition. This was the so-called Wasserachse, which was the centrepiece of the Gardenschau. In the background, the former Ehrenhalle der Partei which contained the administrative offices for the Reich Exhibition, ticket booths and a restaurant.
The statues carved for the exhibition may still be seen, such as Zimmermann's 'Bauer,' 'Bäuerin,' Hoselmann's 'Falkner' and Zschorsch's 'Winzerin' shown here. There were originally a dozen but some are missing. Known as Die Ständischen (The Estates), representing the professions and classes of the "creative people," they were created by Düsseldorf sculptors Hans Breker (a brother of Arno Breker), Ernst Gottschalk, Willi Hoselmann, Robert Ittermann, Erich Kuhn, Josef Daniel Sommer, Kurt Zimmermann, Alexander Zschokke and Alfred Zschorsch. The figures had actually been removed before the visit of Adolf Hitler, which took place on October 2, 1937, due to a lack of artistic execution.
Four of the sculptures were put up again on the water basin in 1941, and flower baskets were placed on the empty plinths. "The Fisherman" was handed over to the city in 2006 from private ownership, and "The Shepherdess" was set up in front of a children's playground in Benrath. Both came back to their old place in the Nordpark in 2006, the remaining six sculptures are considered missing. On the other hand, the sculpture "Die Sitzende" by Johannes Knubel, which is not part of the "Ständische", remained, which is still in the Nordpark.

The former Reichsmuseum für Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftskunde (now the NRW Forum) topped with Arno Breker's 1926 Aurora, created during the exhibition. Eight decades later the American provocateur
Spencer Tunick took advantage of Aurora for his latest nude group portrait photograph in Düsseldorf when he invited over eight hundred volunteers to strip down near the nude. Tunick had openly shied away from any connections with the Nazi regime Breker served, declaring that for him at least, “bodies are about freedom and beauty.”
In the summer of 2015 the Aurora was restored on the roof from which the "goddess of the dawn" had sat continuously for ninety years. Breker, who never expressed any regret for his work on behalf of the Nazis, was classified a "fellow traveller" by an Allied de-Nazification tribunal and moved to Dusseldorf where he eventually died and is buried in the city's Nordfriedhof.

Düsseldorf's Adolf Hitler Platz with its Kugelspielerin has now reverted back to Graf-Adolf-Platz
Die Kugelspielerin, seen in the postcard above, shown here in the 1930s and today.
Hitler’s two-and-a-half hour speech to the Industry Club took place here at the Parkhotel on January 27, 1932, probably the most important speech Hitler gave before becoming chancellor a year later, helping overcome the skepticism of many in the business community about the putative socialism of the Nazi Party. The speech, later published as a pamphlet, was carefully constructed to appeal to the economic and political interests of his affluent and influential audience. Hitler emphasised the importance of personality, the distinction of the German nation, and the beneficence of struggle. His critique of democracy and praise of racial and political hierarchy struck a responsive chord. Study of this speech my help to understand why so many of Germany’s conservative economic elite were prepared to accept Hitler’s leadership despite his record and reputation as Jew-baiting rabble-rouser.
Hitler’s major argument was that only the Nazis could prevent the eventual triumph of Bolshevism in Germany. Only the Nazis could provide the Weltanschauung to overcome the debilitating class conflict Marxism had supposedly created, the Weimar multi-party “system” had fostered, and the depression had exacerbated. Only they could restore unity to the nation, and the nation to its former greatness. Only they could hold democracy and its discontents in check. Hitler projected an optimistic attitude of self-reliance that closely corresponded to the entrepreneurial mindset of successful businessmen. They would readily have agreed with him that it was inconsistent and counterproductive to adhere to the “leadership principle,” individual achievement and competition, and private property in the economy, but to favour democracy, the egalitarian principle, pacifism, and internationalism in politics. What democracy is to politics, Hitler warned, communism is to the economy. 
The talk has an inspirational quality that enabled Hitler to evoke enthusiasm even among serious and level-headed people. Hitler took the line that Germany, with its inherent racial value, could solve the problems of the depression without depending on outside help. He portrayed the Nazi Party as motivated by idealism and faith, qualities that alone could save the nation from distributional conflicts and left-wing subversion. He also made frequent use of historical references, invoking the Thirty Years’ War as an example of the perils of national disunity, and the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 as an example of the unified national purpose that Germany would have to recapture if it wished to regain the power and prosperity it once had. His refusal, however, to blame Germany’s troubles solely on the Versailles Treaty or the world economic crisis was directed against the government of Chancellor Brüning, who contended that German revival could be brought about simply by ending or reducing German reparations payments.
Parkhotel was located on what was then named Albert Leo Schlageter Platz after the adopted Nazi martyr, now Corneliusplatz. The fountain remains in situ. Hitler’s speech was also noteworthy for what it did not contain. In deference to his hosts, a business group that included some Jews and persons of mixed ancestry, Hitler avoided any explicit denunciation of Jews. He knew that the anti-capitalist implications of rabble-rousing anti-Semitism would not endear him to “respectable” conservatives. He did not exercise similar restraint, however, in asserting the superiority of the “white race” and its right to colonial dominance. He apparently assumed that this was an uncontroversial point of view that most of his audience shared. Anti-Semitism was implied, on the other hand, in his reference to the “ferment of decomposition,” a phrase first applied to the Jewish influence in the ancient Roman Empire by the great classical historian Theodor Mommsen.

Another place name that has reverted Albert-Leo-Schlageter-Allee to Königsallee. Still noted for both the landscaped canal that runs along its centre as well as for the fashion showrooms and luxury retail stores located along its sides, it remains by far Germany's busiest, upscale shopping street. 
The town centre immediately after the war and today with the Wilhelm Marx House shown to the right. Started in 1922, it was one of the first skyscrapers in Düsseldorf and one of the earliest in Germany when it was completed in 1924 with a height of 57 metres and storeys, together with the Industriehaus Düsseldorf. Until the completion of the Hansahigh House in Cologne in 1925, which still towers four storeys above the Düsseldorf office building, this was described as "the tallest reinforced concrete structure in Europe" at the time. During the air raids of the Second World War, the top floors of the building were badly damaged in June 1943, but were able to be used again after the end of the war. Nothing of the original furnishings has been preserved except for the entrance hall with the tiger sculpture by Carl Moritz Schreiner and the main staircase.

The war memorial at the Reeserplatz by the architects Klophaus and Tachill, commissioned in 1932 by the Monuments Committee of the Fusilierregiment and inaugurated in July 1939. It shows armed soldiers emerging from the crypt with unbroken struggle. The monument is typical language of the time in which war is glorified and its participants  followers are heroised in death. The inscription on the monument still reads "For the German People's Honour and Freedom" as well as the names of the conquered cities, later engraved on the side of the monument, as a positive expression of the aggressive war policy of Nazi Germany. After the war, the monument was set to be demolished but was preserved on the grounds that it was dedicated to the fallen soldiers and would be "artistically and architecturally" significant.

Schloss Jägerhof in 1935 with the swastika above and today. In 1795 during the Napoleonic Wars the Jägerhof was almost blown up by the French revolutionary troops. During this time however, the Jägerhof served as a military hospital for the French and remained so until the visit of Napoleon in 1811, It was hastily renovated and equipped so that the Emperor and his wife Marie Louise could feel at home during their four-day visit.
During the French occupation in 1925, the building was confiscated and used as the seat of its headquarters.  Due to the considerable pressure of the Nazi Gauleiter Friedrich Karl Florian, its lease had been illegally dissolved so that on January 30, 1937 the building could serve the Gauleitung which had been sitting here during the heavy air raid of June 12, 1943 in which the castle was severely damaged. It was eventually rebuilt in 1950 by Helmut Hentrich as can be seen in the then-and-now comparison. 
The Nazi eagle over the entrance of police headquarters at Jürgensplatz remains, but is covered by a plaque reading "All are equal before the law." Built from 1929 to 1932, this served as headquarters for representatives of the ϟϟ Upper Section West, the 20th ϟϟ regiment, the 6th ϟϟ Rider standard and the 4th ϟϟ Lieutenant Colonel. It was at this site that 7, 101 men and 851 women were imprisoned as opponents of the Nazis. Many prisoners were handed over to the Gestapo for interrogation.
In June 1933, the ϟϟ-group leader Fritz Weitzel was appointed to President-Polizeiprä. Weitzel had became a member of the Nazi Party in 1925, joining the ϟϟ the following year at the age of 22, and was only 29 years old when he was police chief although he was considered in Nazi circles as incompetent. In 1930 he was promoted leader of the ϟϟ in the Rheinland and Ruhr. He became Polizeipräsident in Düsseldorf in 1933, and Höherer ϟϟ- und Polizeiführer West in 1938. During 1939 Weitzel wrote the book Celebrations of the ϟϟ Family which described the holidays to be celebrated and how married ϟϟ men and their families should celebrate them. This book, written by Weitzel, described how the Julleuchter, a Yuletide gift by Himmler to the ϟϟ, should be used. After the Germans invaded Norway on April 9, 1940 Weitzel was sent to Norway on April 21 to become Höherer ϟϟ- und Polizeiführer in the country's capital, Oslo. However, he was killed two months later by shrapnel in an aerial attack on his home town, Düsseldorf, during a visit on 19 June 1940. He is buried in the cemetery at Düsseldorf.
St. Benediktus  behind the ruins of the Hitlereiche guesthouse and now. During the war the first bombs fell to Düsseldorf in 1940. Allied air raids demanded more than 5,000 civilian casualties by 1945. About half of the buildings were destroyed, about 90 percent were damaged. All Rhine bridges, most of the roads, floodplains, underpasses and overpasses, as well as the urban drainage network, were largely destroyed.  The amount of debris was estimated to be about ten million cubic meters. From February 28, 1945, Düsseldorf was encircled for a period of seven weeks to the front town, with American permanent bombardment from the left bank of the Rhine, and in March more and more.  The city was a target of strategic bombing, particularly during the RAF bombing campaign in 1943 when over 700 bombers were used in a single night. Raids continued late into the war. As part of the campaign against German oil facilities, the RAF raid of 20–21 February on the Rhenania Ossag refinery in the Reisholz district of the city halted oil production there. In April, several Düsseldorf residents of the resistance to lawyer Karl August Wiedenhofen tried to convince police police commander Franz Jiirgens to appoint police officer August Korren to hand over the city without a fight to the Allies. The coup attempt succeeded, but was then betrayed. After the liberation of Korreng by the loyal forces of Gauleiter Friedrich Karl Florian, who shot five of the resistance members (including Jürgens), the two last members of the lawmaker Wiedenhofen and architect Aloys Odenthal managed to escape the American forces arriving in the east of the city and the final destruction of the city by an already prepared large air attack. The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Düsseldorf in mid-April 1945. The United States 97th Infantry Division easily captured the city on April 18, 1945.
The grave in Nordfriedhof cemetery of Ernst Eduard vom Rath, a German diplomat remembered for his assassination in Paris in 1938 by a Jewish young man, Herschel Grynszpan, which touched off Reichskristallnacht- the so-called Night of Broken Glass.
Vom Rath was given a state funeral on November 17 in Düsseldorf, with Hitler and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop among those in attendance. Germany used the incident to publicise the idea that the Jews had "fired the first shot" in a war on Germany; in his funeral oration, Ribbentrop declared, "[w]e understand the challenge, and we accept it." Much to the fury of Grynszpan who wanted to use the defence that he had killed Rath because he was a Jew, Grynszpan's French lawyer Vincent de Moro-Giafferi wanted to use as the defence the allegation that Rath was a homosexual who had seduced Grynszpan, and that Grynszpan had killed Rath as a part of a lover's quarrel. The allegations that Rath was gay started with Moro-Giafferi. 

These homosexuality accusations threatened to humiliate the Nazis with Goebbels writing that "Grynszpan has invented the insolent argument that he had a homosexual relationship with... vom Rath. That is, of course, a shameless lie; however, it is thought out very cleverly and would, if brought out in the course of a public trial, certainly become the main argument of enemy propaganda."  According to Hans-Jürgen Döscher, Germany's foremost authority on Kristallnacht, vom Rath was indeed an homosexual and had met Grynszpan in Le Boeuf sur le Toit, a popular haunt for gay men in 1938. The gay French writer André Gide testified in his personal diaries that vom Rath was well known in the Parisian homosexual community. There were rumours that occasionally he was called "Madame Ambassador" and "Notre Dame de Paris." His brother, Gustav, was convicted of homosexual offences and there were allegations that vom Rath was treated for rectal gonorrhoea at the Berlin Institute of Radiology.


The former Gauschulungsburg, now Haus Welchenberg. It was built in 1925-26 on the occasion of the thousandth anniversary of the Rhineland, with the membership of the region was celebrated to the German Empire and Prussia. Already in 1927-28 it was extended by cultivation at a hostel.  The global economic crisis and the resulting political changes complicated the financing of the house; 1932 lived only 20 orphans. After the seizure of power by the Nazis it became a Gauführerschule. During the war forced labourers were housed here. When the Americans occupied Neuenhausen on March 3, 1945 they took over Welchenberg as the last bastion of the Nazis after considerable damage and was subsequently sacked by the population.  Once there Polish civilian workers and homeless families were provisionally housed. By 1949 it was converted into a tuberculosis hospital until the mid-1980s with the establishment of the new Grevenbroicher district hospital.

Moers am Niederrhein
The Königlichen Hof then and, below, now. After the Reichstag fire on February 27, 1933, members of the communist party were arrested and on March 28, 1933, 137 people were imprisoned in the Moers district. Among the 43 known fatalities as a result of resistance and persecution from Moers includes Johann Esser who wrote the Liedes der Moorsoldaten whilst in the Börgermoor concentration camp and which became a symbol of resistance to fascism. 
 In 1928, about 230 Jews lived in Moers, making up about a percent of the population. The long-standing council member Issak Kaufmann was congratulated by Reich President Hindenburg on his 85th birthday in 1931 and was publicly praised in the press. But with the seizure of power Jewish businesses were boycotted from March 28, 1933, enforced by the SA and ϟϟ in Moers. As a result, many Jews left Moers. The Jewish school was finally closed in 1939. The synagogue was destroyed during the Reichspogromnacht but, because of the proximity of neighbouring buildings, it was not set on fire. When Jewish emigration was formally prohibited on October 1, 1941, sixty Jews still lived in Moers, crowded into five so-called Jewish houses. The first transport of forty people to Riga and Theresienstadt took place on December 13, 1941. After two more transports in April and July 1942, the Nazis found that Moers was "Judenfrei," overlooking a family in Matthek who were protected by a courageous city worker from Moers.  
In 1940 there were around a thousand prisoners of war and the forced labourers from Russia, Poland and Ukraine ; in early 1942, 3,000 prisoners of war were counted in 23 foreigners' camps in the Moers district. In addition to mining recruitment, many were employed on farms, in industries and construction companies. Many died of malnutrition and debilitation; foreigners were not allowed into the bunkers during bombing raids. A target of the Oil Campaign during the war, the Steinkohlenbergwerke (coal mine) Rheinpreussen synthetic oil plant in Moers was partially dismantled post-war.  There are 141 graves in the Lohmansheide cemetery near the Rheinpreussen 5/9 shaft alone. The number of deaths in Moers is estimated at over 200 whilst 558 Russian forced labourers are documented as having been killed. No corresponding figures are available for the other nationalities, including French, Belgian and Dutch. Of the five thousand Wehrmacht soldiers from Moers, 975 were killed or missing. There were also 150 civil war casualties. In Meerbeck, where the bombing was particularly strong because of the fuel plants, almost all of the 3,000 settlement houses were damaged and a thousand almost completely destroyed.  On May 27, 2013, eleven stumbling blocks to commemorate Moers citizens who had been killed by the Nazis were laid in the town centre by the Cologne artist Gunter Demnig.

Mülheim an der Ruhr 
One memorial that hasn't survived is this, replacing the earlier one form the Great War shown in the Nazi-era postcard and today.
Military parade at Viktoriaplatz before General Klutman to mark Hitler's birthday in 1939. 
In the last free parliamentary elections on November 6, 1932, the Nazi Party received 28.3% of the vote in Mülheim and thus was the strongest party. In comparison, National Socialism in Germany, overall, received 33.1% of the vote. As in other cities of the Ruhr, the Nazi Party was indeed the strongest party, but the Communist Party had 24.27% and the SPD had 13.53%, which means that these two parties of the left, together, had 37.81%, a larger share of the vote. Nevertheless, Mülheim was enthusiastic over the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor, and celebrated this with a torchlight procession.
Beginning in mid-February 1933, the first houses were searched, especially in the Dümpten neighbourhood, for suspected Communists. At the end of February, 200 ϟϟ, SA, and Stahlhelm members officially became auxiliary policemen of the city, and they arrested many political opponents. In the first local elections after seizing power, the Nazi Party took 45.1% of votes. In the first council decision, Hitler and Hindenburg were awarded honorary citizenship of the city.
Wehrmacht marching down Schloßstraße, now pedestrianised
On September 30, 1938, the "quasi-expropriation" of the Jewish community in Mülheim occurred. With a council decision, the synagogue at Viktoriaplatz was forcibly sold for only 56,000 Reichsmarks to the Stadtsparkasse. A few weeks later during Kristallnacht on 10 November, the Jewish house of worship burned down. The Mülheim fire department acted only to prevent the fire from spreading to neighbouring structures.

In June 1941, an Arbeitserziehungslager (Nazi labour camp) was established at the Essen-Mülheim airport. It was administered by the Cologne Gestapo. The guards were 26 policemen from the Essen police department, and the work of setting up the camp was carried out by the airport company. By March 1945, an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people were in the camp, and 130 of the prisoners died.

 First day at school, 1939; note hakenkreuz in the background
During the years 1943 and 1944, the city was repeatedly the target of British air attacks. The most severe attack took place in the night of June 22 to 23, 1943. In three closely successive waves, 242 Lancaster, 155 Halifax, 93 Stirling, 55 Wellington, and twelve Mosquito bombers targeted the city. The main objectives were the downtown area, the railway lines, the tube stations, the facilities of Schmitz-Scholl (a manufacturer of Wehrmacht supplies), the Reichsbahn repair shop, and the harbour. The attack caused 530 deaths among the urban population and 1,630 buildings (64% of the city's buildings) were damaged or destroyed. Approximately 40,000 residents had to be evacuated afterwards.

Wallstraße before the war and today
Another aerial attack, which actually was on the city of Oberhausen, came on the night of November 1-2, 1944. Bombs fell on the Dümpten neighbourhood. There and in surrounding neighbourhoods 33 inhabitants were killed. On December 24, 1944, the last serious attack occurred as a result of Germany's Ardennes offensive, which received air support from the Essen-Mülheim Airport. That airport was attacked by 338 British bombers. A total of 74 inhabitants of the city lost their lives, of which 50 were killed by a direct hit on the bunker on Windmühlenstraße.

The end of the war came to the city on 11 April 1945. To defend against the advancing troops, there were 200 soldiers of the 183rd People's Grenadier Regiment in the Mülheim area who were theoretically supported by approximately 3,000 members of the Volkssturm. In the morning, the first soldiers of the 17th American Airborne Division advanced from Essen to the neighbourhood of Hot in the city centre. In the urban area, only along Kämpchenstraße was there any fighting. A short fight there between some Volkssturm and the Americans resulted in the deaths of two Volkssturm and three GIs. Mayor Hasenjäger handed the city over to the Americans at 9:40. A few months later, America was superseded by Britain as the occupying power.

  The Nazi eagle that adorns the Kolpinghaus on Steinkopfstraße which, from 1936, served as the Nazi Party headquarters.
The synagogue before (during an SA demonstration in 1934), during and after Reichskristallnacht November 8-9, 1939. When Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933, Mühlheim counted 71 Jewish inhabitants, roughly 1.0% of its 6,757 citizens. Increasingly Jews emigrated because of the state-sponsored terrorism against them. During the Kristallnacht, the interior of the synagogue was completely destroyed and Jewish men were imprisoned in the guardhouse at the Catholic Church and beaten by SA. Some were taken to the Buchenwald concentration camp the next day. In 1939, there were still 36 Jewish people remaining- 0.3% of the local population. As of December 31, 1939 this was reduced to 28, and on February 5, 1942 sixteen were recorded as continuing to live in the town. However, on September 19, 1942, the last Jewish inhabitants were forced to meet at the Old Town Hall, from where they were deported to the extermination camps. The last four Jewish inhabitants lived in so-called "mixed marriages"; three of them were arrested and deported in the spring of 1943.  
As of today, anti-Semitism has made a reappearance, especially with the huge influx of Muslims by the Merkel government with the Mülheim town council choosing to cancel its official 2017 Hanukkah festivities, citing ‘security concerns.’ All outdoor Hanukkah events due to take place in Mülheim and the adjoining region had also been cancelled, with Berlin branch of the American Jewish Committee  blaming the “widespread antisemitism among Arab refugees in Germany.”
  Bombentreffer at a Flak station on Wiener Platz in May 1944 and the site today
The city under intense bombing October 29, 1944. In his postwar memoir, Hajo Herrmann, flying with the so-called 'Wild Boars' to intercept the enemy bombers, described the situation:
We were not flying above General Hintz's flak but over Cologne-Mulheim, in the area of the 7th Flakdivision, which was illuminating bombers and fighters indiscriminately. They fired on us without paying any heed to our flashing belly and navigation lights. Searchlight beams were concentrated around us, and ahead of us we heard the thunder of our artillery. In the intoxication of that summer night's battle we forgot the countless flak splinters and other dangers that faced us, and we tore into the witch's cauldron hot with anger and spurred with enthusiasm. This was Wilde Sau pure and simple.
However, even without the assistance of the flak, Herrmann still owed a large part of his unit's success to ground-based air defences. In fact, the wild boar procedure relied completely on either searchlights or flak to provide illumination for the initial intercept, thereby allowing the fighters to press home their attacks. Admittedly, it was the fighters that finished off the bombers, but ground-based air defenses provided the necessary conditions for ensuring this outcome.
Westermann (142) Flak German Anti-aircraft Defences 1914-1945
An example of a single building transformed through war- Freiheit 54 in 1930, 1945, 1995 and today
The current 'Kulturbunker' today and in use during the war in 1943 

Siegen (North Rhine-Westphalia)
The Siegener Krönchen einst und jetzt.
 On the evening of July 25, 1933, ϟϟ units swarmed out in into the town and picked up their victims where they were taken to the Nazi Party office, the so-called Brown House, located within the old Oberförserei in Hindenburgstrasse. There they were subject to brutal interrogations and torture. One of the first victims was communist Willi Henrich, suspected by the Gestapo as a sub-district leader of the illegal KPD. He was arrested during the day by order of the police commissioner Härter who released Harter from gaol at around 20.00 only to meet with the SA already waiting in the hall who then attacked Henrich with rubber truncheons in the basement for ten minutes. With a bucket of cold water, he was brought back to consciousness until Wilhelm Odendahl finally pointed his pistol at Henrich. Henrich by then had been so worn out now that he told him to "pull the trigger, but stop beating me" before succumbing to exhaustion and waking up at 14.00 in his police cell the next day. The first person he saw was the Siegen doctor Dr. Stiebeling, who described him as having the "constitution of an ox;" a weaker nature would not have survived the abuse, he later explained. After the war, Kehl, then a doctor in the Marienkrankenhaus, declared that Henrich had so many hæmatomas that he looked as if he was “wearing a blue suit”.
Kölner Straße then and now
Another victim, Erich Schutz, also emphatically described how he was tortured in the Brown House, having been been pushed down its basement stairs where there were already twenty to 25 SA men SA command with carbines on him. The next day he was left in a gutter. Another day later, Pastor Ochse had him taken to the hospital, where he then spent 28 weeks. Chief physician Prof. Flosdorf operated on him for a biliary tear and on the kidneys and intestines. In total, he had to be treated seven times in hospital, and in 1947 he was written off for the injured as an invalid. Erich Schutz was treated in the Marienkrankenhaus as well as Anton Kappi, Rudolf Metzeler and Willi Henrich. After a fortnight, SA adjutant Irmer appeared and imposed a visiting ban on the room with the three Communists. After six weeks in the hospital, the SA reappeared, throwing Henrich out of the hospital. The communist then collapsed at the gate and was brought home by passers-by. After other doctors were put under pressure by the SA, Dr. Stiebeling continued the treatment.

During the war Siegen was repeatedly bombed by the Allies owing to a crucial railroad that crossed through the town. On April 1, 1945, the American 8th Infantry Division began the Allied ground assault against Siegen and the dominating military-significant high ground north of the river. The battle against determined German forces at Siegen continued through 2 April 1945, until organised resistance was finally overwhelmed by the division on April 3, 1945.

Bochum (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Generaldirektor of the Bochumer Vereins, Walter Borbet, a key executive of the United Steel Works, with Hitler at the Werk Höntrop on April 14, 1935 and the site today. The city of Bochum, situated in the Ruhr area of Germany, had a complex and multi-faceted role during the Nazi regime. Known as an industrial hub, the city became critically involved in various aspects of the Nazi apparatus. Bochum's industrial importance cannot be overstated in any discussion concerning its role under Nazi rule. Located in the Ruhr valley, an area replete with coal mines and factories, Bochum was a hub for industrial production, particularly in steel and armaments. This made it a focal point for the implementation of the Four-Year Plan, aimed at making Germany self-sufficient and prepared for war. The city's factories were retrofitted and expanded to meet the growing demand for weapons and equipment, as Hitler’s war plans became increasingly apparent. Historian Kershaw argues that places like Bochum were central to the Nazi war effort, providing the material basis for military expansion. Moreover, Bochum became a site for forced labour as the war progressed. Factories were staffed with prisoners of war, and later, with forced labourers from occupied territories. This grim aspect of industrial production sheds light on the city’s complicity in the oppressive Nazi policies. Mason contends that the exploitation of forced labour in industrial cities like Bochum was not merely an economic necessity for the regime but also a tool of subjugation, integrating the city into the wider network of Nazi oppression. The economic gains derived from forced labour also had broader ramifications, further entrenching the local populace and elite in the web of Nazi moral compromises and complicities. Through the combination of economic benefit and ideological compliance, Bochum became a textbook example of the manner in which ordinary German towns became inextricably linked to the regime's war crimes. Mason argues that industrial cities like Bochum offered a "double-edged sword"—on one side contributing to Germany's war economy and on the other perpetuating a cycle of moral degradation and ethical compromises. Therefore, the industrial dimension of Bochum’s role under the Nazis was far more intricate than mere production numbers; it was interwoven with both the aims and the malevolent methods of the regime.
Apart from its industrial significance, Bochum played an equally disturbing role in the oppressive measures enacted by the Nazi state. As a medium-sized city with a mixed population, Bochum became a site where various Nazi ideologies and policies, from anti-Semitic legislation to Aryanisation, were vigorously implemented. Bochum’s Jewish community faced extreme persecution, beginning with social ostracisation and progressing to confiscation of property and deportation. Numerous synagogues were destroyed during Kristallnacht, marking a grim escalation of anti-Jewish measures. Friedlander, a historian focusing on the Holocaust, elaborates on how mid-sized cities like Bochum were essential cogs in the bureaucratic machinery of the Final Solution. On November 9, 1938 during Kristallnacht, the Jewish citizens of Bochum were attacked with the synagogue set on fire and rioting against Jewish citizens. The first Jews from Bochum were deported to Nazi concentration camps and many Jewish institutions and homes were destroyed. Some 500 Jewish citizens are known by name to have been killed in the Holocaust, including nineteen who were younger than 16 years old. Joseph Klirsfeld was Bochum's rabbi at this time. He and his wife fled to Palestine. In December 1938, the Jewish elementary school teacher Else Hirsch began organising groups of children and adolescents to be sent to the Netherlands and England, sending ten groups in all. Many Jewish children and those from other persecuted groups were taken in by Dutch families and thereby saved from abduction or deportation and death. Additionally, the city was involved in the more extensive persecution machinery of the Third Reich. Political dissidents, Communists, and other "undesirables" were often arrested and sent to concentration camps. Local law enforcement cooperated with Gestapo agents in surveillance and policing activities, underscoring how deeply the tentacles of Nazi repression had penetrated into everyday life in Bochum. Friedlander contends that this integration of local administration into state repression represents one of the many insidious ways the Nazi regime managed to involve ordinary Germans in its broader criminal activities. Peukert, in Die KPD im Widerstand (88) reports that in the city of Bochum leading Communists were brutally beaten by the SA, pummelled through the streets and left lying at a street corner. This event led to an "atmosphere of paralysis" among the workers. 
The Nazi eagle over the entrance to the former air raid shelter at Boltestraße 38, dated 1941-1942, remains, denuded of its swastika. Because the Ruhr region was an area of high residential density and a centre for the manufacture of weapons, it was a major target in the war. Given its industrial and ideological importance, it was inevitably targeted by Allied bombing campaigns. The devastation wrought by these air raids served multiple purposes: disrupting Germany's war machinery and demoralising the population. However, paradoxically, the wartime experiences also led to a different kind of mobilisation in Bochum. Despite the destruction, many in the city viewed the air raids as an impetus for increased loyalty to the regime, as suffering was framed as collective and noble sacrifice for the Fatherland. Tooze argues that this 'rallying effect' of wartime hardship was not unique to Bochum but constituted a broader trend across Nazi Germany, revealing the complex psychological interplay between the regime and its populace. The bombings also had a more direct impact on Bochum’s role in the war effort. With factories damaged or destroyed, the city’s productivity plummeted, affecting the overall German war economy. Here, the city’s previously celebrated industrial prowess turned into a liability, as it drew the destructive attention of the Allies. Despite its vulnerabilities, Bochum was never entirely subdued; even in the latter stages of the war, makeshift production continued, albeit at reduced capacity. Overy emphasises the resilience of Nazi Germany's industrial cities, including Bochum, as they adapted to the constraints imposed by wartime conditions. This section has reached the 400-word limit. May I continue with the next section of this paragraph?Women with young children, school children and the homeless fled or were evacuated to safer areas, leaving cities largely deserted to the arms industry, coal mines and steel plants and those unable to leave. Bochum was first bombed heavily in May and June 1943. On May 13, 1943, the city hall was hit, destroying the top floor, and leaving the next two floors in flames. On November 4, 1944, in an attack involving seven hundred British bombers, the steel plant, Bochumer Verein, was hit. This included one of the largest steel plants in Germany which had more than ten thousand high-explosive and 130,000 incendiary bombs stored there, setting off a conflagration that destroyed the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Another example of vandalism directed towards a relic of the Nazi era was this kriegerdenkmal honouring the fallen of the 4th Magdeburg Infantry Regiment No. 67 of the Great War. Based on a design by the sculptor Walter Becker and inaugurated in August 1935, it consisted of Ruhr sandstone brick, in front of which were two larger than life warriors who symbolised the imperial army and the Nazi Wehrmacht. The monument was an example of Nazi martial arts and his consecration was an attempt to prepare  the population ideologically for future military conflict.
In February 1983, an unknown party sawed through the bronze figures; they have not been replaced.
 Much of Bochum has been lost, but the rathaus has remained all but intact. It was in Bochum on January 8, 1942 that the state funeral ordered by Hitler for the leader of the war economy and chairman of the Bochum Association, Dr. Walter Borber, took place with Reich Economics Minister Frick conveying the “Führer’s last greetings.”
 The town centre of Bochum was a strategic target during the Oil Campaign. In 150 air raids on Bochum, over 1,300 bombs were dropped on Bochum and Gelsenkirchen. By the end of the war, 38% of Bochum had been destroyed. 70,000 citizens were homeless and at least 4,095 dead. Of Bochum's more than 90,000 homes, only 25,000 remained for the 170,000 citizens who survived the war, many by fleeing to other areas. Most of the remaining buildings were damaged, many with only one usable room. Only 1,000 houses in Bochum remained undamaged after the war. Only two of 122 schools remained unscathed; others were totally destroyed. Hunger was rampant. A resident of neighbouring Essen was quoted on April 23, 1945 as saying, "[t]oday, I used up my last potato... it will be a difficult time till the new [autumn] potatoes are ready to be picked – if they're not stolen." The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Bochum in April 1945. Encountering desultory resistance, the American 79th Infantry Division captured the city on April 10, 1945. After the war, Bochum was occupied by the British, who established two camps to house people displaced by the war. The majority of them were former Polish Zwangsarbeiter, forced labourers, many of them from the Bochumer Verein.  More than sixty years after the war, bombs continue to be found in the region, usually by construction workers. One found in October 2008 in Bochum town centre led to the evacuation of 400 and involved hundreds of emergency workers. A month earlier, a buried bomb exploded in neighbouring Hattingen, injuring 17 people. 
The Neues Rathaus and war memorial. The city's resilience revealed the extent to which the Nazi regime had succeeded in integrating Bochum into its war machine. Local efforts to maintain production, even under adverse conditions, showcased the effectiveness of the regime’s ideological and organisational penetration into everyday life. Mason contends that this dogged perseverance of German industrial cities, often against immense odds, questions the traditional narrative of a Germany uniformly collapsing under the weight of its internal contradictions and external pressures. In Bochum's case, the city's wartime experience serves as a microcosm of Nazi Germany's broader complexities, revealing a populace that, whether due to ideological commitment or fear of reprisal, continued to contribute to the regime’s war efforts until the very end.

 This monument in North Rhine-Westphalia commemorates the Cherusci war chief Hermann (Arminius) at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in which the Germanic tribes under Arminius recorded a decisive victory in 9 AD over three Roman legions under Varus. Of Arminius, Hitler remarked in rejecting "Czech aspirations for the creation of a national army" that
To teach a nation the handling of arms is to give it a virile education. If the Romans had not recruited Germans in their armies, the latter would never have had the opportunity of becoming soldiers and, eventually, of annihilating their former instructors. The most striking example is that of Arminius, who became Commander of the Third Roman Legion. The Romans instructed the Third in the arts of war, and Arminius afterwards used it to defeat his instructors. At the time of the revolt against Rome, the most daring of Arminius's brothers-in-arms were all Germanics who had served some time or other in the Roman legions.
The postcard's caption roughly translates as
Where once the leader of the Germans released the German land from the enemy
Blow Hitler´s victory flags, powerfully into the new age.
During the Great War the monument became an instrument of military propaganda, which implied that the current war would end with a German victory like the battle fought by Arminius or the war of 1870/71. In 1915, the number of annual visitors exceeded 50,000 for the first time. In the Weimar Republic the monument became a popular meeting point for associations and societies of the nationalist, monarchist and reactionary right whilst the government kept its distance. The 50th anniversary of the statue's inauguration from August 1 to 19, 1925 thus was an event dominated by the political right. On August 8-9, around fifty thousands of visitors attended a procession. Hitler, whom James Holland in The Rise of Germany describes as having been "obsessed with the stories of Arminius's defeat if Varus's legions" visited the monument in 1926 and after 1930 the Nazi Party in Lippe used the location for a number of assemblies- "[t]he myths of Arminius as a freedom fighter who had liberated the pure Aryan German peoples from the yoke of Rome became a source for Nazi ideology" (393-394). After the Machtergreifung of 1933, the Detmold government tried to have the Hermannsdenkmal declared the official Wallfahrtstätte der deutschen Nation (pilgrimage site of the German nation) but was turned down by the Nazi government in Berlin. The Nazi leadership preferred to organise events at locations of its own choosing, with better transport facilities. The monument featured as a symbol in Nazi propaganda material, but as a place for assemblies it was mostly used only by the Hitlerjugend and local branches of the various Nazi organisations. In 1936, the monument had 191,000 visitors. Events in 1935 (the monument's 60th anniversary) and 1941 (on the centenary when the foundation stone was laid) were smaller than the 1909 and 1925 celebrations and focused on glorifying Hitler and glamorising him as the successor of Arminius.
One of my senior's research essay on the actual location of the battle of Teutoburg Forest

This gravestone prompted controversy recently when it was apparently only now realised that it sported a swastika, a banned symbol here in Germany (despite covering numerous official state buildings here as checking out the link to hakenkreuzes will show). For everyone else, however, up to three years in gaol or a fine is the punishment stipulated by the the Penal Code. The grave itself is to the memory of Hermann Pantförder, a member of the Nazi Party since 1925 who died in a car accident on the way from Bielefeld to Herford. At his death, he led over a thousdand storm troopers and was responsible for a number of Nazi-era buildings in the area.
In the end, the matter appears to have been resolved when persons unknown took it upon themselves to partially chip the offending symbol away.
The town's railway station was once located on Horst-Wessel-Platz as shown in the period postcard.

Bielefeld  (North Rhine-Westphalia) 

Reichsminister Dr. Robert Ley unveiling a statue produced by the Berlin sculptor Ernst Paul Hinckeldey to "Bielefelds bestem Sohn" June 14 1939. 
Horst Wessel was born in Bielefeld on September 9, 1907 here on August Bebel Strasse (formerly Horst-Wessel-Strasse) and became the Nazis' most famous 'martyrs' after his murder on February 23, 1930. As a teenager Horst Wessel was a leader among the youth group of the German National People’s Party, a conservative nationalist party. He would often lead the group into brawls against Communists. But when the organization began viewing him as too extreme he became more involved with the Nazis and their Stormtroopers. Eventually in 1926, he abandoned his studies of law at Berlin’s Friedrich Wilhelm University to become a full-time Stormtrooper; as a leader of the SA, he often made speeches and led marches and fights against Communists in the streets. Whilst Berlin was a mainly Liberal and Communist city, with his charisma Horst Wessel began winning over the support and votes of many Berliners for the National Socialists.  He was the author of the lyrics to the song "Die Fahne hoch", usually known as Horst-Wessel-Lied, which became the Nazi Party anthem and, de facto, Germany's co-national anthem from 1933 to 1945. His death also resulted in his becoming the "patron" for the Luftwaffe's 26th Destroyer Wing and the 18th ϟϟ Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division during the war.After his murder by the German Communist Party in 1930 he became the subject of a major Nazi feature film (Hans Westmar, 1933), becoming the archetypal Nazi hero; much of his legend, a major plank of Nazi mythology, began on the pages of Der Angriff. More about this site at Bill's Bunker and a good overview about The Death, Burial and Ressurection of Horst Wessel from Berlin Wartourist.
The swastika being raised at the rathaus on March 6, 1933. At 14.30, eight SA men and steel helmsmen raised the black and white and red flag of the German Reich, which had been defeated in the First World War in 1918, and the Hakenkreuzfahne from the windows of the meeting hall of the town council assembly. This action was well organised so that by the early afternoon many people went to Schillerplatz in front of the town hall, because a rumour went around saying something was going on. A short time later three SA trains, half a train of steel helmets and members of the German National Campaign met. They had two flags, wrapped with flags, which were carried to the town hall. This was designed to celebrate with this action the results of the Reichstag and Landtag elections on March 5, which the NSDAP had won as the strongest party. Whilst the Nazis accounted for 43.9 per cent of the national vote, the SPD 18.3% and the KPD %, here in Bielefeld the Nazis won 37.3 per cent. Compared to the elections in November 1932 it could increase its share of votes by a good 10 per cent. The SPD reached 34.4 percent and the KPD 10.3 percent. Whilst the flags were being hoisted with the right arms raised, Councilor Clara Delius of the DVP protested at the magistrate's meeting before the twelve-person panel and left the meeting. Seven city councils of the SPD and the Zentrum party followed. Clara Delius made no secret of the fact that she was behind the symbolism of the old imperial flag. If only these had been hoisted by steel guards, it would have remained.  However, after the Reichstag election Reichsminister Hermann Göring sent a radio speech to the Prussian presidents, referring to "the hoisting of the Hakenkreuzfahne on state and municipal service buildings". "This intelligible national vote" should be recognised by the police and tolerated. So it was in Bielefeld.
On March 7, SA, Stahlhelm and Deutschnationaler Kampfring raised the Nazi flag over the police headquarters, the Kreishaus, the main station and the Haus der Technik. They burned a black-red-gold flag, the symbol of democratic Germany. The same was repeated on March 9th. This time, the already active "national associations" tried to flag the Eisenhütte, the trade union building on Marktstraße, with black and white red and Hakenkreuz, but came upon a "large crowd of SPD people and trade unionists" and fled. In the early evening hours there was a large crowd again at Schillerplatz. The latest news from the Westphalian newspaper reported: "At about 19.20, the ϟϟ and SA came, bringing along black-and-red, gold, and three-arrow flags, which had been fetched from schools and other public and other buildings. On Schillerplatz the flags were filled with gasoline and lit. A great multitude pursued the process, and ended the demonstration with the singing of the German and Horst-Wessel songs."
Klosterplatz at the start of the war when "Fall weiß" started - the attack on Poland. At 4.45 am, the "Schleswig - Holstein" line ship opened fire on Polish fortifications on the Westerplatte near Gdansk, accompanied by the invasion of fictitious raids on German facilities (including the transmitter Gliwitz), which the ϟϟ had prepared and which was the propagandistic pretext for a German "counter-attack." Two German army groups with more than 1.5 million soldiers advanced in a pincer movement against the strategically unfavourably postponed Polish army on September 17, 1939. The Soviets invaded Eastern Poland, and on September 27, 1939, Warsaw capitulated unconditionally Poland had no longer existed, the crimes of the armed forces and the police units gave a foreboding of the brutal occupying forces, which had now begun: about 3,000 Polish soldiers had been killed, some 12,000 civilians were killed and an unknown number of Polish Jews murdered. The German Reich had not proved itself as the expected civilized opponent, but as an enemy with the will to destroy.
The headlines and covers of the Bielefeld newspapers presented fake news ("Poland attacked!") as well as printing speeches by Hitler and extensive articles on the German advance and the collapse of the Polish army. Reports of excesses against Volksdeutsche fuelled the mood that culminated in drastic depictions of the "Bromberg Bloody Sunday," when the murder of some 1,000 Volksdeutsche, which was owed, not least, to the dissolution of an orderly Polish administration and an overthrow to German aggression.
The Naturfreundehaus when used by Hitlerjugend and today, the swastika replaced with a different device. Kershaw records how the Social Democrats in Bielefeld reported that in August 1941
strong feeling about the ‘provocative behaviour of Jews’ had brought a ban on Jews attending the weekly markets ‘in order to avoid acts of violence’. In addition, there had been general approval, so it was alleged, for an announcement in the local newspapers that Jews would receive no compensation for damage suffered as a result of the war. It was also keenly felt, it was asserted, that Jews should only be served in shops once German customers had had their turn. The threat of resort to self-help and use of force against Jews if nothing was done hung in the air. Ominously, it was nonetheless claimed that these measures would not be enough to satisfy the population. Demands were growing for the introduction of some compulsory mark of identification such as had been worn by Jews in the General Government since the start of the war, in order to prevent Jews from avoiding the restrictions imposed on them.
The Ausstellungshalle after the war, with the roof having fallen through, and its current incarnation. Hitler had spoken here on November 16, 1930. 
The town hall then and now

 Whilst after the Nazi takeover SPD and KPD supporters frequently distributed illegal leaflets and newspapers, in the early years of the war resistance groups withdrew completely. It wasn't until the winter of 1942 and 1943 with the fall of Stalingrad that provoked a marked change of sentiment in the population and shook the faith in any victory of the German Wehrmacht profoundly, through which resistance fighters again stepped into action. Attempts were made to keep track of the news via the illegal interception of foreign broadcasters and to discuss the political situation together. Such resistance groups existed at the Benteler and Dürkopp machine factories. If they were uncovered, members would face severe penalties; between 1942 and 1944 at least nineteen Bielefelders were sentenced to death, most of them for high treason. In total, over fifty Bielefelders died for their political beliefs. For three weeks in August 1944, fthe People's Court conducted trials chaired by its Vice-President Dr. Crone in the district court of Bielefeld. To increase the propaganda and deterrent function held Crone in full judge's vote at the Dürkopp company a speech to the workers, which was also published in the press. Given that Bielefeld was an important industrial location, more than 14,000 mostly young people, mainly from Belarus, Ukraine and Poland, were employed as forced labourers. They lived mostly in camps and worked for the defence industry. Whilst the press hardly ever dealt with the foreign workers, the camp was visited by the high Nazis and a detailed report in the "Westfälische Neueste Nachrichten" concerns the visit of Gauleiter Dr. Meyer to such camps. In a situation in which the blitzkrieg strategy was shelved, the press attempted to encourage the stay of foreign workers, who were problematic for the National Socialists from a racial ideological point of view, in order to raise awareness of the Ukrainian forced labourers helped secure the war economy.  
Rudolf-Oetker-Halle in the former Hitlerpark 
Rudolf-Oetker-Halle in the former Hitlerpark, now Bürgerpark, located in the west of the city. The park itself had been established in the years 1919-1921 according to the planning of the Bielefeld gardening director Paul Meyerkamp in which ​​an abandoned clay pit was redesigned as a job- creation measure to be transformed into a town centre recreational facility. The plan- promoted by the mayor Rudolf Stapenhorst at that time -was controversial given the economic turmoil. From 1933 to 1945 the park was officially called Adolf Hitler Park. The renaming took place amidst a fireworks display to mark the birthday of Adolf Hitler on April 20, 1933. On this day there was a big event in the park; in front of the Oetkerhalle a huge screen was set up, onto which the image of Hitler was projected.
Hitler's picture projected onto it in honour of his birthday, April 20, 1933
Torchlight trains in the darkness, crowds, and the use of modern imaging techniques were all designed to create a strong emotional reaction.
 Another big event took place on May Day 1933. From 1933, a well-organised mass march whose purpose was to strengthen the sense of community among the population and also to win over the workers for the regime State celebration was alienated from what had originally been an international orientation, and the organisation's extensive efforts to make the day run smoothly were made clear in advance by the company's extensive staff and their operators marching to the central rally in the Heeper Spruce through the quarter inhabited by the working class, the "5th Canton". The participation went far beyond the companies: SA, ϟϟ, school classes, police, railwaymen, choirs and YMCA marched with. On the next day, the free trade unions were banned and their buildings confiscated. 
Nazi flags and eagles covering the Theatre in 1936, the year Nazi party member Alfred Kruchen took over the directorship.
The Dessauer shoeshop on Niedernstraße 18 was, among other Jewish-owned shops, targeted between October 11-13 1938 by Nazis. Here the letters of Dessauer have been crossed out to leave the word "sau"- pig along with ant-Semitic slogans written over the windows. 

The Bielefeld Central Station bedecked in Nazi flags in June 1939. From 1941 Jews were deported via the freight yard behind. Beginning on December 13, 1941, 400 Jews from the region of Minden-Ravensberg and Lippe were deported from Bielefeld train station to Riga. A few days before, they had been asked to be ready with the baggage, which had been compiled according to strict regulations. Police officers took the people into the hall of the Kyffhäuser restaurant on Kesselbrink, a busy square in the middle of the city. Even if the press did not report on the transit camp or the imminent deportation, the people knew what was going on. On a clear day, people were transported by bus to the freight yard and had to board a train from Münster there. This reached the ghetto in Riga, Latvia, four days later. Only 47 people survived this deportation, among them six Jews from Bielefeld.  On July 10, 1942, at least 78 men, women and children were probably deported and murdered at Auschwitz. By far the largest deportation took place on July 31, 1942 when 590 Jews were sent from Bielefeld to the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

The Alte Hauptpost
In 1944, B-17 Flying Fortresses bombed Bielefeld on September 20 (the gas works) & October 7, and the RAF bombed on December 4/5. In 1945, B-17s bombed the nearby Paderborn marshalling yard, the "Schildesche Railway Viaduct" was bombed on January 17, 1945, and on March 14 the Grand Slam bomb was used for the very first time against the viaduct. American troops entered the city in April 1945.  Founded in 1867 as a Bielefeld sewing machine repair company, AG Dürkoppwerke employed 1,665 people in 1892; it used Waffenamt code "WaA547" from 1938 to 1939 as the Dürkopp-Werke, and merged with other Bielefeld companies to form Dürkopp Adler AG in 1990.  Due to the presence of a number of barracks built during the 1930s and its location next to the main East-West Autobahn in northern Germany, after the war Bielefeld became a headquarters town for the fighting command of the British Army of the Rhine - BAOR (the administrative and strategic headquarters were at Rheindahlen near the Dutch border). Until the 1980s there was a large British presence in the barracks housing the headquarters of the British First Corps and support units, as well as schools, NAAFI shops, officers' and sergeants' messes and several estates of married quarters. The British presence was heavily scaled back after the reunification of Germany and most of the infrastructure has disappeared.

Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia)
 Prinzipalmarkt festooned with swastikas and today. 

Catholic Münster had been largely antipathic towards the Nazis and the local group of the NSDAP was not particularly large. The slow rise of the Nazis began in 1931 with a variety of events, including sixteen major events. Benefiting from external speakers, they experienced a steady influx, in particular after the speeches by Göring and August Wilhelm von Prussia on August 25, 1931 which caused a turning point. The Nazis were able to improve their reputation among the population from “brown Marxists” to a “decent” party. Propaganda further intensified in 1932 when nearly the entire party leadership paid a visit to Münster including Goebbels, Robert Ley, Gregor Strasser and Wilhelm Frick as well as Hitler himself for whom it would be his second and last visit to Münster, after he had formerly been the Freikorpsführer. He spoke at a campaign event on the election of the Reich President on April 8, 1932 to a total of about 10,000 people. Around 7,000 people listened to his speech inside Halle Münsterland whilst another 3,000 listened from the neighbouring Halle Kiffe. The year before the city council had refused to allow the Nazis to hold events in the hall. Due to their increasing influence on politics and the police this ban was no longer possible. The success of this continuing propaganda was evident in the spring of 1933: in the 1933 Reichstag election , the Nazis increased their share of the vote from 16,246 (24.3%) to 26,490 (36.1%), but was still behind the Zentrum party with 41.6%. A few days later, at the municipal election on March 12, 1933, this ratio had been reversed: the Nazi Party was now the strongest party with 40.2% with the Zentrum at 39.7%. In the election on March 5, the Nazis nationwide had managed 43.9%. The initial reaction to the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 was met with significant ambivalence in Münster. A stronghold of the Catholic Zentrum Party, the city initially appeared somewhat resistant to National Socialist ideology. However, this facade of resistance crumbled rapidly under the pressures of Gleichschaltung, the process of Nazification. By 1934, key institutions in Münster, such as the university and local government, were under Nazi control. Bishop Clemens August Graf von Galen, an authoritative figure in the city, initially attempted to reconcile Catholicism with Nazi ideology but later became an outspoken critic. Kershaw identifies von Galen's sermons against euthanasia and other Nazi practices as one of the isolated instances of high-profile resistance within Germany, which had a resounding effect on the Münster populace. Still, von Galen's impact was limited in scope and did not translate into widespread active resistance. 
Frauenstraße then and now. In terms of ideological conformity, Münster had a complicated relationship with National Socialism. Despite the Reich Concordat of 1933, which attempted to regulate the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Nazi state, Catholic leaders in Münster, including the influential Bishop Clemens August Graf von Galen, were often vocally opposed to Nazi policies, especially those regarding euthanasia and the infringement on the Church's rights. Kershaw documents that von Galen's sermons, particularly one delivered on 3 August 1941, were a form of intellectual and moral resistance, although they avoided direct confrontation with the regime's anti-Semitic actions. Whilst von Galen’s vocal opposition indicates a form of resistance, it is also important to note that daily life was punctuated by acts of compliance.
The town hall seven years after the war and today. Residents of Münster participated in mandatory civil services such as the Reich Labour Service and military conscription. Public spaces in Münster were not immune to the propaganda onslaught; swastika flags adorned buildings and squares, whilst anti-Semitic literature found its way into households. Koonz argues that even though Münster's religious community offered some resistance, the majority of the population still cooperated in varying degrees with the Nazi regime, whether out of ideological belief, apathy, or fear.

Under the Nazis, Münster was the administrative seat of the Nazi district "Westphalia North". Gauleiter Meyer was appointed Upper President of Westphalia. The Gau capital of Münster became the seat of SA Brigade 66, SA Standarte 13, ϟϟ Section XVII, ϟϟ Fußstandarte 19, HJ Area Management 9, BDM Top Performance 9 and other party authorities. The Wehrmacht offices were also expanded. The number of inhabitants increased from 123,000 in 1933 to 145,000 in 1944; although a total of 5,818 apartments were built between 1933 and 1940, the town's housing shortage was not removed. 30% of the new buildings were funded with public funds; before 1933 it was 60%.The problem of unemployment was initially covered by many celebrations and later tackled through job creation measures. Between 1933 and 1937, the city of Münster spent around 9.7 million Reichsmarks for this purpose, and in 1937 reached practically full employment with only 616 unemployed. 
A Nazi eagle actually commandeered to decorate a Munster shopping centre.
Münster became the administrative seat of the commander of the Ordnungspolizei (BdO) in military district VI, the most populous and largest police area in Germany. This included what is now North Rhine-Westphalia, the Osnabrück area and, from 1940, eastern Belgium. The Ordnungspolizei was formed by decree of June 26, 1936 and their uniformed protection police became part of the order police. From April 1940 Heinrich B. Lankenau was the commander of the police, residing at "Villa ten Hompel" with up to forty employees commanding around 200,000 men. The war expanded the tasks of the police. The supervisory staff for the labour camps, and later also for the forced labour and prisoner of war camps, were to be provided from here. For the deportation trains to the concentration and extermination camps security teams and transport escorts were put together in the east. The deployment of at least 22 police battalions, which were used to organise the murder of the Jewish population of Eastern Europe, was monitored from Münster. Thousands of police officers were sent from here to the occupied areas of Europe. Law enforcement officers became executive organs of an inhuman extermination policy. In October 1944, the command centre of the Ordnungspolizei for the military district VI was moved from Münster to Düsseldorf-Kaiserswerth.

Atop the city's Hauptklinik at 56-58 Esmarchstrasse is a Nazi eagle with the caduceus replacing the swastika. The relief itself dates from 1937-8 and the warriors on the Tympanonrelief created by Hermann Kissenkötter are now lacking their weapons. In the 1940s the Bishop of Münster, Cardinal Clemens August Graf von Galen, was one of the most prominent critics of the Nazi government. In retaliation for his success (The New York Times described Bishop von Galen as "the most obstinate opponent of the National Socialist anti-Christian program"), Münster was heavily garrisoned during the war and five large complexes of barracks are still a feature of the city, still sporting their Nazi eagles as shown here. Münster was the headquarters (Hauptsitz) for the 6th Military District (Wehrkreis) of the German Wehrmacht, under the command of Infantry General (General der Infanterie) Gerhard Glokke. Originally made up of Westphalia and the Rhineland, after the Battle of France it was expanded to include the Eupen - Malmedy district of Belgium. The headquarters controlled military operations in Münster, Essen, Düsseldorf, Wuppertal, Bielefeld, Coesfeld, Paderborn, Herford, Minden, Detmold, Lingen, Osnabrück, Recklinghausen, Gelsenkirchen, and Cologne. Münster was the home station for the VI and XXIII Infantry Corps (Armeekorps), as well as the XXXIII and LVI Panzerkorps. Münster was also the home of the 6th, 16th and 25th Panzer Division; the 16th Panzergrenadier Division; and the 6th, 26th, 69th, 86th, 106th, 126th, 196th, 199th, 211th, 227th, 253rd, 254th, 264th, 306th, 326th, 329th, 336th, 371st, 385th, and 716th Infantry Divisions (Infanterie-division).  
The schloss after the war and today, reconstructed. The original construction was probably started before 1200 and was expanded several times over the centuries. The building was largely destroyed in the war. The foundation stone for the reconstruction took place in 1950 and was completed in 1958. Since then it has once again been considered one of the most important secular Gothic monuments and is one of the main attractions for tourists in Münster. A secondary target of the Oil Campaign of the war, Münster was bombed on October 25, 1944 by 34 diverted B-24 Liberator bombers, during a mission to a nearby primary target, the Scholven/Buer synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen. During the war, Münster suffered significantly from Allied bombing, being a crucial railway and industrial hub. The city experienced severe destruction, particularly in 1943 and 1944, affecting both its architectural heritage and its populace. The damage inflicted by these bombings added another layer of suffering, but also offered an avenue for the regime to fortify ideological commitment through shared hardship. Ziemann provides an analysis of how the experience of air raids led to complex reactions among citizens, from further alienation to a deepening of commitment to the regime's war efforts.About 91% of the Old City and 63% of the entire city was destroyed by Allied air raids. The American 17th Airborne Division, employed in a standard infantry role and not in a parachute capacity, attacked Münster with the British 6th Guards Tank Brigade on April 2, 1945 in a ground assault and fought its way into the contested city centre, which was cleared in urban combat on the following day.  
View of Spiegelturm with St. Paul's Cathedral in the background after the war when these small locomotives (Trümmerloks) were used on improvised tracks to clear the huge masses of rubble. In Münster alone, around 2.5 cubic metres of rubble was generated. Today one of the rubble locomotives at Kalkmarkt is a reminder of the reconstruction. The defeat led to an immediate imposition of military governance, and the city underwent a difficult process of denazification in the months and years that followed. Records from the city's archives show a variety of responses to the denazification process. While some individuals were quick to distance themselves from the Nazi regime, others found it more difficult to shed the ideological commitments or social ties they had formed during the Nazi years. The transition from wartime to peacetime governance brought its own challenges, including food shortages, housing crises, and the reintegration of returning soldiers and displaced persons, as noted by historians such as Nicholas Stargardt. Münster's religious institutions, particularly the Catholic Church, played a significant role in shaping the post-war moral landscape. The Church was instrumental in providing social services and moral guidance, as well as in facilitating discussions around guilt, responsibility, and reconciliation. It's worth noting that Bishop von Galen, who had been critical of certain Nazi policies, became a cardinal in 1946 and was later beatified by the Catholic Church. His legacy is often invoked in discussions about the ethical and moral responsibilities of individuals and institutions during the Nazi period. However, as Evans argues, the Church's role is not without its critics, who point to its lack of a stronger opposition to the regime's anti-Semitic policies among other issues.

 Gremmendorf (Munster)

The Fliegernachrichtenkaserne, later taken over by the British who renamed it the York barracks, replacing the hakenkreuz with the holy Union flag. The reichsadler remains however, albeit in a dilapidated state  

Bad Hamm

The front of the Kurhauses Bad Hamm, the swastika- bedecked Badehaus now gone.   The Schützenhof, acquired in 1931 by the town, served as a venue for political events during the Nazi era. On March 13, 1933, ϟϟ-Sturmbann II / 30 organised Towards the end of the Second World War, the bathhouse was misused, and finally the whole bathing business was shut down. The bathhouse and the lodge house were used to accommodate homeless people, especially children. At the time, the community centre provided for the homeless in the Badehaus and the Sylverberg. The northern transverse wing of the Kurhaus, located at the brine bath, was affected by war damage by about 25%.  During the war 55 air raids destroyed nearly 60% of the old city and left only a few historical buildings.  The suburbs of Hamm "had been almost razed to the ground. People who had fled from collapsing bunkers and had got stuck in huge crowds in the streets had burning phosphorus poured over them, rushed into the next air raid shelter and were shot in order not to spread the flames."

The town hall in September 1938 adorned with the face of Hitler and flanked by swastikas and today. In 1935, the municipality of Übach-Palenberg was founded by the municipalities of Frelenberg, Scherpenseel and Übach. In 1936, the municipal administration took over 14 Übach-Palenberger Jews, whose traces were lost in the following years. Two women married to non-Jews survived the Holocaust, whilst the Jew Baruch Dellman was expelled to Poland in 1938 and was murdered in Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1940. During the war on September 9, 1940, Heinrich Himmler ordered the regional arrangement of brothels for municipalities in which more than a hundred foreign workers were placed. The Übach-Palenberger mayor Carl as well as the collier Carolus Magnus tried to prevent this but their efforts were unsuccessful. In 1941 a brothel was set up in a wooden barrack with three Polish prostitutes. The use of the brothel, which was subsequently dissolved, also declined with the withdrawal of coal. The liberated barracks were then occupied with Soviet prisoners of war.  After the American invasion, the population was initially relieved. The end of the fighting was dated to the church on October 5, 1944. When an American infantry unit was preparing for an invasion of the Cologne area for the following day, an Austrian attack on Antwerp was made into a double house In the hill road. The damage in the largely spared settlement until this time by war effects was devastating. The number of deaths was never known.

Werne (North Rhine-Westphalia)

The war memorial during the Third Reich and what's left of it today. During the war, 471 citizens of Werne died and five hundred more disappeared without trace. The town was forced to accommodate nearly four thousand refugees.