Showing posts with label Mauern. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mauern. Show all posts

More Remaining Nazi Sites in Oberbayern

Münchenerstraße during the Nazi era
Stalag VIIA
In September 1939, a prisoner of war camp Stalag VII-A was built to accommodate ten thousands of prisoners. The General Command of the Military District VII in Munich chose this site between the Isar and Amper rivers along with the General Command of the Wehrkreis VII in Munich. Within a fortnight the camp was ready for the first prisoners who arrived on October 19, 1939. They were initially housed in tents. In the hall of an adjacent artificial fertiliser factory a delousing facility was built. Initially, the camp accommodated Polish and Ukrainian soldiers captured in 1939. From 1940 additional barracks were built so that by the summer of 1940, the area of the camp had grown to 350,000 m².  Thus after the Western campaign in 1940, French soldiers (and members of the Polish armed forces in France ) were increasingly deported to Moosburg. After the invasion of the Soviet Union in mid-1941 there correspondingly followed a large number of prisoners of the Red Army. By the end of the war, the number of inmates grew to 80,000 (including increasingly Western Allied aircraft soldiers who had been shot down in the bombing of Germany, including roughly two hundred generals alone); they were used in surrounding industries, agriculture and trade whilst Moosburg itself had only about 5,000 inhabitants. Tens of thousands of prisoners of war were housed in subcamps and labour detachments around the area. About 2000 German guardsmen of the 512th Landesschützen battalion were stationed in their own barracks area between Moosburg and the Stalag. Due to the presence of the camp the entire surroundings were spared from allied bombing.
On the right is a covert photograph taken at Stalag VIIA at Moosburg in November 1943, showing British PoWs resting by the side of a hut. By early 1945, the number of registered prisoners had grown to more than 80,000 - many working in regional industries and farms. It is likely that the presence of this camp close to the town centre spared it from large-scale bombing.  
n April 29, 1945 the camp was liberated by a unit of the 14th Armoured Division of the United States Army under General Charles H. Karlstad, wherein the ordered transfer of the camp occurred almost without a fight.
The site was converted into a detention centre for 12,000 German civilians held accountable for their activities during the period of National Socialism- the "Civilian Internment Camp No. 6". The camp was released by the Americans in 1948 and served to house German refugees exiled from eastern areas. It became a new part of the town, named Moosburg-Neustadt. Three remaining guard barracks were included in the Bavarian monument list on February 15, 2013.
The entrance to the camp and the site today, and the town itself shown in the background on the right
Moosburg Stammlager VIIA, 1945. Pictures from Edward J. Paluch 780 Bomb Squadron. From Fall 1944- Feb 1945 interned in Stalag Luft III. This town about 20km from where I live was the site of Stalag VII A, a PoW camp covering an area of 85 acres which also served also as a transit camp through which prisoners, including officers, were processed on their way to another camp. At some time during the war prisoners from every nation fighting against Germany passed through it. By the time it had been liberated on April 29 1945, there were 130,000 prisoners from at least 26 nations on the camp roster. It was thus the largest prisoner of war camp in Germany.
Moosburg concentration camp warden from the video game Death to Spies: Moment of Truth, where he wears an armband signifying he's from the 5th ϟϟ Panzer Division Wiking. In the centre is Oberst Hans Nepf, Lagerkommandant 1939-1943, and his successor Oberst Otto Burger. The real-life commandants were no video game villains- Nepf was said to have provided decent accommodation for both German soldiers and prisoners of war, and during his time it had been reported that Stalag VII A was "with its beautiful facilities and facilities the most exemplary prison camp in Germany". By the time he resigned in 1943, Nepf was said to have been criticised by Munich-based Nazi authorities for being too decent towards the prisoners. He would eventually die in September 1952 at the age of 73 years in Garmisch. Burger's time as commandant was certainly the most demanding and his courage at the end of the war acknowledged by all. He disregarded the express orders of April 27, 1945 when, at 20.30, Commander-in-Chief West issued the following order: “The hour of the decision has come. It's about the last resistance and victory. Mutineers and deserters must be dealt with ruthlessly. Everyone has a duty to remove failing officers in order to take the lead themselves." Instead, Burger followed his own conscience, explaining it to the prisoners on the morning of April 28. As Dominik Reither argues, "[i]n doing so, he refused an order in public and put his life in danger." Not only did the guards follow the colonel's lead, but according to reports, citizens of Moosburg are also starting to hide bazookas or render them unusable in order to sabotage further fighting. 
 Given that the stalag was surrounded by fanatical Nazis officials, his ability to save the lives of civilians, prisoners and soldiers on both sides is remarkable and prevented Moosburg from being shelled. After the war he and his family continued to live in Moosburg until 1957; his wife worked as a teacher whilst his son Willy- now a lawyer and bank director in Munich- attended elementary school in Moosburg and later grammar school in Freising. In 1964 Burger died at the age of 76. 
On the left the funeral procession for two Russian prisoners of war who died on the day the camp was liberated. In all probability this was a result of the PoWs finding the cellar in which the Wehrmacht had stored 8,000 litres of wine. The Russian soldiers in particular got drunk and, already physically weakened, the consumption of alcohol became a lethal dose. The next day the military government had to order forty coffins for those who did not survive the binge. When the Americans closed the cellar, angry prisoners set it on fire. A farmer's property also burned when he hesitated to surrender a calf. At the same time, after the second day of the looting seventeen rapes were reported. City pastors and chaplains then set up shelters for women and girls in the rectory; it took eight days for the Americans to contain the looting and another fortnight to stop it completely.
The GIF on the right shows by contrast former prisoners of war with recently issued Red Cross food parcels following the liberation of the camp- a number of buildings are still in use. The cases of Americans and British Imperial troops were unique in several respects: their countries were unoccupied by Germany, they held large numbers of German servicemen in captivity, ensuring the attention of the German government, and lastly, their status as 'legitimate' signatories to the Geneva Convention was not called into doubt by Germany (unlike the Soviet Union or, after 1939, Poland). The inspectors were not just valued by the home governments as a source of information - their agents usually argued forcefully for the improvement of conditions of their charges directly with the Commandants of the camps, and noted in their reports if their complaints were satisfactorily dealt with at that level or whether further action would be required at a higher level of authority.
The cemetery of the camp was situated here in the south-western outskirts of Moosburg, an area called Oberreit, among whom 22 or 23 buried were British. From 1946- 1958 the mortal remains moved to central cemeteries before finally being closed in 1958 when 866 bodies were exhumed and reburied at the military cemetery in Schwabstadl near Landsberg. The bodies of 33 Italians were reburied at the Italian Memorial Cemetery near Munich. In 1982 the Moosburg City Council purchased a plot at the site of the old Oberreit cemetery and erected a wooden cross with a simple stone remembering the dead of Stalag VII A.
In the autumn of 2014 on the 75th anniversary of the opening of the camp, this historical marker was relocated at the site, its façade covered by this bronze plaque but steel helmet remaining above.
Today the municipal authorities have seen fit to place a dog association right next to it...
...whilst in the town itself this memorial, the Heimatvertriebenen, from 1958 commemorates the Germans' suffering; by 1950 1,931 out of 8,677 Moosburg citizens were refugees fleeing the Soviets. On the right is the view down the same road, Sudetenlandstraße, then and now. Whilst the layout is recognisable, today all that remains physically is a single dilapdiated prisoner barrack and three guard barracks.
Some surviving vestiges of the original barracks being used, and along Schlesierstraße
For a site devoted entirely to Moosburg: Moosburg Online
Nearby in front of St. Pius church on land devoted to serve as a memorial to the prisoners of the stalag is this fountain, the Stalag Gedenkbrunnen, which had been created by French prisoner Antoniucci Volti in 1942 and set up in 1963. The reliefs are intended to represent the four great rivers of France- the Garonne, Loire, Rhône and Seine. Volti himself had been born in Albano, Italy, in 1915, before his family moved to France in 1920. A book by art historian Christine Fößmeier, "Volti - A major French artist in Stalag VII A Moosburg," is expected to be published. Volti attended the École des Arts Décoratifs in Nice and later went to Paris. After the war he returned to Paris, where his studio and his works were destroyed shortly thereafter. Moosburg therefore possesses, as Fößmeier's project description states, "a unique excerpt from the work of Volti". He continued to work in Paris after the war, where he died in 1989. Volti's works can be found in the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, the Musée de la Ville de Paris, Albi, Menton, Nice and Honfleur.  
 Given the considerable growth Moosburg experienced after the war due to the influx of refugees, it's getting harder to find sites with which to compare.
Soldiers of the Infanterie Ersatz-Bataillon 423 in front of today's Anton-Vitzthum-Elementary School, shown arriving to eat in the school yard. The division ended up operating in the Ukraine until January 1944 when the division was encircled near Zwiahel and relocated to the Eastern Front after a loss-making break from the pocket. There the division was promptly destroyed due to insufficient combat experience and training. The survivors were then deployed among other divisions for the formation of the 363rd Infantry Division and the 394th Field Training Division which would take over the position of the division in Ukraine.

The West and South entrances to St. Kastulus during the 1930s and today
Inside the church during the Nazi era and today. In 1927 the church Oettingen received a new organ and also a replacement for the bells that had partially melted down during the First World War when 44 per cent of the bells in Germany alone were lost to support the war effort. As Sir Hew Strachan records at 0:12:32 in the episode 'Germany's Last Gamble' for his outstanding First World War series, such were the "signs of the increasing scarcity of metal. In a small town near here, a sad ceremony took place. The church bell, which had rung the people from cradle to grave for 300 years, was requisitioned. The inhabitants performed a funeral service for it. The bell was covered with wreaths and flowers and handed over to the military authorities under tears and protestations." In the end, these replacement bells themselves had to be sacrificed in 1942 for armament purposes. It was not until 1954 that today's seven bells found their place in the bell cage of the cathedral tower. The interior was renovated in 1937 and 1938 and again in 1971-72.
At the foot of the Johannes tower on Thalbacher straße in a 1935 photograph and today. The rental office across the narrow passage from the tower was demolished that year. On the right is the tower from the other side on the High Street during the war and today. During the battle for the town the Americans fired upon the Johannesturm, where ϟϟ troops had established a position. The Moosburgers had already broken off their Sunday service in the neighbouring church and fled to their cellars. Given that ϟϟ troops had no heavy weapons and bazookas had been made unusable in Moosburg, the tanks were able to quickly break their resistance. The Americans couldn't however prevent scattered ϟϟ men from blowing up the Isar Bridge nevertheless conquered the city, apparently being greeted with flowers by the population, of whom nothing is known regarding civilian casualties.
Hitlerjugend on the left in 1937 and the site today
At the other end of the square is the war memorial and today, the Nazi flags being replaced by the red ensign. The  images on the right show Bürgermeister Dr. Hermann Müller in front of the memorial on March 10, 1940. In 1935 there were plans in Moosburg to redesign Münsterplatz for political rallies by introducing a wide flight of steps leading from Leinbergerstraße to two "honour temples" and a Gemeinschaftshaus at the choir of St. Kastulus which would be directly reminiscent of Munich's Königsplatz although in the end it was never realised.
Moosburg railway station in 1935 sporting the Nazi flag and now

Photo developer Georg Reindl driving the first car in Moosburg- a Kolibri- in 1908 on Weingraben. 
Here at Weingraben 17 Albert Kraaz ran a newspaper and magazine shop until 1969. A sailor during the war, he had been denounced by his colleagues in 1942 for listening to "enemy transmitters". He was arrested and suffered physical abuse in Gdansk. He had been freed during the death march towards Dachau around Altfraunhofen near Landshut; his wife died in Auschwitz. After the war he denied his Jewish ancestry having been categorised as a 'half Jew.' A subsequent medical report written up upon his claim for compensation for suffering under the Nazi regime almost led him to a psychiatric breakdown after his severe suffering, describing him as a "[m]entally overwhelmed person, stubborn, dissatisfied with everything, does what he likes, does not follow dietary rules, leaves the hospital and comes when it suits him."
 During the Nazi era the Jewish merchant Alois Weiner operated a large department store in Moosburg on am Gries until 1937 when he moved to Munich. The GIF on the left shows Auf dem Gries in 1936 and during the 2016 Herbstshau; Alois Weiner's department store in the large building on the left. He was first sentenced to forced labour in a flax factory for "racial disgrace" (his partner Klara Brunner was "Aryan" according to the Nazis) and, because of his Jewish descent, was then deported. In 1945 he was able to return to Moosburg from the Theresienstadt camp after its liberation and ran his department store again. He became a town and district councilor as a member of the SPD since 1918, and was temporarily the second mayor in Moosburg.
The GIF on the right is looking the other direction in a watercolour by Valentin Ott just before the war.
The chairman of the Jewish community from May 1946 to January 1948, Heinrich Kinas, lived with his wife Lazia at Weingraben 248 (now Münchner Strasse 1). He came from Breslau and was a dentist. He was imprisoned in 1939, and sentenced to forced labour at the Czestochowa concentration camp. When the camp was liberated on January 17, 1945, Kinas fled to Buchenwald after the camp was closed before the death march before coming to Moosburg with his family from the Feldafing camp. In May 1951 he left Germany for the United States.
Mordcha Zajf, the last chairman of the Jewish community in Moosburg, at Weingraben 22 (today number 20) having come from Poland and had also been employed as a slave labourer from September 1939. After liberation, he spent a year in hospitals in Munich and Gauting for a year, presumably suffering from tuberculosis, one of the most common diseases of the camp. His wife Masza also survived the Holocaust, but their two children obviously did not survive because they are nowhere mentioned.
One of the oldest gable-topped houses in Germany shown in a colourised photograph taken just after the war, and as depicted in a 1941 sketch by a French prisoner of war interned in Stalag VII A.

My favourite Pub on Herrnstraße, formerly a bakery, and looking the other way towards Herrnstraße 293, the second building on the right, where the Jewish administration was housed after the war from January 1946 to February 1951. In 1948, 248 Jews were living in the town, about 80 percent of whom came from Poland. They had been through captivity, concentration camps and death marches for which Moosburg was just a stopover - with the aim of emigrating to other countries. In fact, persecution of Jews in Moosburg dates back as early as 1338 when Jewish residents were killed. In 1951 there were only 34 Jews left in the city and the community and the former sports club Hapoel Moosburg dissolved. The former property of Nazi official Alfred Heppner and his wife Centa on Herrnstraße 7, now the site of a flower shop, was given to the Jewish Committee by the American military government. A synagogue was set up there consisting of a 41 square metre lounge and a 23 square metre prayer room, as well as the municipal administration office, another lounge, an anteroom, a small kitchen and two rooms. There were apartments on the upper floors, where Rabbi Hirsch Gornicky and his family lived in one room. In 1948, the Heppners demanded the return of their property and brought legal action against the town, but the Jewish community refused to provide alternative accommodation. With the dissolution of the Jewish community in 1950, the synagogue was also cleared. At the end of the road is the town hall.
When the Allied forces conquered Germany, they were able to liberate some tens of thousands of Jewish prisoners. Between 1945 and 1950, however, the former Third Reich became a temporary place of refuge for about 200,000 Shoah survivors. Besides the prisoners freed from the work and death camps, these were people who had fled from the Nazis to Russia, fought in Eastern Europe with the partisans, or in some other way managed to survive underground. Starting in the fall of 1945, the American military government set up special Displaced Persons (DP) camps for them. For a short time, General Eisenhower had even considered allowing the Jews to set up their own territory in Bavaria. This plan had been proposed to him by David Ben-Gurion, who was travelling through occupied Germany at that time. However, a Bavarian Jewish state was never established. Nevertheless, the Americans conceded wide-ranging rights of self-determination to the Shoah survivors. The British, Russians, and French granted no such privileges. Supplies, too, were more plentiful in the American zone, and so about 85% of all Jewish DPs settled here, considering their residence, however, as but a temporary measure. The overwhelming majority believed that their future would only be guaranteed in a country of their own, convinced that “only Eretz Israel will succeed in absorbing and healing them, help them regain their national and human balance.” As the state of Israel would not be established until 1948, some Jews dreamed also of a new life in the USA, Canada or Australia. 
The birthplace of Josef Furtmeier (born September 3, 1887), one of the mentors of the White Rose, especially Hans Scholl. Sophie Scholl referred to him as "the philosopher." 
From the end of 1918 until May 1, 1919 he was a member of the Communist Party, and in the spring of 1919 he took part in a communist demonstration at the Justice Palace in Munich. This, and the fact that he refused to use the Hitler salute nor joined any Nazi organisation, led him to be fired in October 1933 on the basis of the law for the restoration of the professional civil service. Up until 1945 he lived in Moosburg and Munich, receiving a pension which was small compared to his last salary. From mid-1941 Hans Scholl got in touch with Josef Furtmeier about Carl Muth and Alfred von Martin. Sophie and Hans Scholl met regularly with Furtmeier. Concerning a conversation on June 4, 1942 with Furtmeier, Sophie Scholl reported: "... a three-hour, uninterrupted and exhausting conversation was held." After the arrest of the leading members of the White Rose, Furtmeier was held by the Gestapo from February 28 to March 20, 1943.  Furtmeier stated after the war period how he had talked with Hans Scholl about the legitimacy of the murder of tyrants. In May 1945 he was appointed mayor of the city of Moosburg and began investigations into former Nazi party members and against Nazi divisions. At the commemorative ceremony for the victims of the White Rose in 1945 in Munich, he gave a speech alongside Romano Guardini. In 1946 he joined the SPD. After 1949 he tried two times to obtain a promotion as compensation for his dismissal in 1933. This was denied him by the ministry which claimed that he had been already adequately compensated. He is buried in the family grave at the cemetery in Moosburg shown here on the left.
Also buried in Moosburg (next to a memorial to those killed in the air bombing) is Koloman Wagner, born April 15, 1905 in Sünzhausen. In 1943 he worked at the Driescher firm producing war materiel when Joseph Goebbels gave his Sportpalast, or total war, speech to a large and carefully-selected audience on February 18 1943 calling for total war, as the tide of the war had turned against Germany. His colleague, Maria Huber, testified in court that following the speech Wagner repeated Goebbels's question "Do you want your men to come to the front; do you want the total war?" and responded with a sarcastic "yes" before stating that this has "signed your men's death sentence." She went on to say in her denunciation that the female workers were ashamed by his attitude, especially given the number of prisoners of war working alongside them. The Nazi mayor of Moosburg at the time, Dr. Hermann Müller (whose portrait hangs today in the town hall) declared that "Wagner is, in my opinion, a man who threatens public morale through his attitude and lifestyle." Even after the supportive testimony of the company's management which had testified how Wagner had been responsible for labour-saving innovations, his fate was sealed. The Attorney General reported to the minister of justice the enforcement of the judgement on July 27, 1944: "The execution process lasted 53 seconds from leaving of the cell; eight seconds from his handover to the executioner until the fall of the axe. No other incidents or other events of importance occurred."
Nearby is the grave of Heinrich Hiermeier. An active member of the communist party since 1931, he was first imprisoned by the Nazis and held under 'protective custody' in Moosburg from March 10 to May 3, 1933. He remained an antifascist- it had been reported to district authorities in January 1936 that although publicly Hiermeier had abandoned his earlier attitude, it is clear to his work colleagues that he "does not agree with the current system." By the end of that month he had been arrested again and on June 23 appeared before the Higher Regional Court in Munich for apparently planning a treasonous activity before being sentenced to two years and four months at the penitentiary. It's not clear if was released the end of his sentence on June 23 1938 but he is recorded as having died in a camp, possibly one that had used 1000-1200 forced labourers in the Obersalzberg to work on one of the gigantic construction projects at the time. Nor is the nature of his death, recorded on his grave as having been February 19, 1940, other than he had supposedly been crushed by scaffolding which led to a skull fracture, internal bleeding and fracture of neck vertebrae.
The bridge that became the main strategic objective in the battle between Patton and the German ϟϟ in Moosburg, led by the tanks of Sergeants Claude Newton and William Summers and Lieutenants Hack and Boucher. The Germans eventually bombed the bridge as Newton’s tank moved into the first span in order to keep the American tanks from crossing it. The battle didn't last long however and by the evening the 14th Armoured Division was established along the Isar. Behind it were miles-long columns of German prisoners being marched to the rear and the fields all around with two thousands of Germans prisoners guarded under lights. Among them lay the burned out German vehicles caught in the fight that morning with the German dead lying in grotesque positions as Graves Registration Officers moved among them preparing for burial and British ex-prisoners of war rode bicycles through the towns. The bridge has recently been replaced by a new one seen here.

 Next to the bridge is the Gasthof zur Länd, shown in 1941 and April 29, 1945 below. According to author Dominik Reither in his recent book "Zwischen Hakenkreuz und Sternenbanner - Kriegsende und Nachkriegszeit in Moosburg" which focuses on the period between April 29, 1945, when the Americans marched into Moosburg and the election to the first Bundestag on August 14, 1949,  Moosburg, which had previously been spared major bombardments, only suffered from them towards the end of the war, when the front drew closer and low-flying aircraft attacks in the area increased. Whilst city commander Major Rudolf Koller, camp commander Colonel Otto Burger and Mayor Hermann Müller had decided not to defend Moosburg and hand it over to the approaching Americans, ϟϟ units resisted when the American Army took the city and liberated the camp. Reither writes how there were no dead or wounded in Moosburg during the invasion but chaotic days of looting, rape and arson by freed prisoners followed. It is believed that there were 70,000 to 80,000 people in the overcrowded Stalag at the end and Reither describes how western prisoners of war were brought home whilst those from the east remained as displaced persons in the town as the city administration was rebuilt, a Jewish community formed, expellees and refugees were taken in and the Neustadt district came into being on the Stalag site. Reither also addresses denazification, such as the case of ex-mayor Müller, who after three years of internment ultimately received a mild sentence and was only classified as a follower, even though he was a staunch Nazi. Reither's book also provides insights into the "German Youth Activities" programme, with which the Americans also got young people off the streets in Moosburg and led them towards democracy. He describes how cultural, sporting and leisure activities gained momentum again and includes anecdotes such as those from the FC Bayern Munich visit, who made two guest appearances at SpVgg Moosburg in September 1945.
Had taken considerable time to hunt down the site of a Roman villa that had been excavated just about fifteen miles away back in 1987 before being covered up again with only this photo giving me the clues as to its actual location. It's just outside a little town called Mauern north of Moosburg- the name could come from the Roman "ad murun", and sure enough Roman bricks were found nearby in Alpersdorf in 2007 is not surprising. A small thermal bath and a kiln were excavated here. The thermal bath had underfloor heating and was divided into typical rooms such as changing room, cold bath, tepid bath and warm bath. Concentrated metal objects were found in the heating shaft of the praefurnium that were probably hidden there when the Alemanni plundered the area, but then no longer picked up. Information about the excavations:…

About twenty miles south of Landshut is the tiny town of Dorfen, its Marienplatz shown here during the Nazi era and today.

Prior to and during the Second World War Erding was a Luftwaffe pilot training airfield. It was seized by the United States Army in April 1945 and used as a United States Air Force facility during the early years of the Cold War. 
The Nazi flag flying before the stadtturm and flanking the town's war memorial, today its iron cross now replaced from the top.
The 1941 aviation comedy Quax, der Bruchpilot had several scenes shot in or around Erding- one can for example recognise the Frauenkircherl on Schrannenplatz in the scene shown above.
Directed by Kurt Hoffmann and starring Heinz Rühmann, it was set in the 1930s before the outbreak of the war based on an aviation story by Hermann Grote about an ordinary man who wins a newspaper competition that offers free flying lessons. Despite initial struggles, he gradually shows himself to be a good pilot. It was followed by a sequel Quax in Africa which was also made during the Nazi era, but not released until 1947 in Sweden and 1953 in West Germany. The character inspired Disney to recently 'revamp' the character as Quack der Bruchpilot, although in English his name is given as Launchpad McQuack.The film is set somewhere in the south of Germany in 1930; the main town is referred to as Dünkelstätt although at one point on a sign it's stated as being Dünkelstedt. Otto Groschenbügel, aka Quax, a small employee of a traffic bureau, wins in a competition providing free sport aviation training at the aviation school Bergried. Although hooping for a different prize, he hopes to become famous overnight in his hometown of Dünkelstätt. Kicked out of the aviation school owing to his behaviour covering up his cowardice, he is soon advised to stop the course.  In Dünkelstätt, where the reason for his speedy return home is unknown, Quax is celebrated as an aviator. To live up to expectations, and also out of disappointment that his friend Adelheid was unfaithful during his absence, he returns to continue his education. Over time, he actually becomes a disciplined airman and even proves to be talented. As a reward, he gains the affection of Marianne, who has helped him out of difficult situations several times. At the end of the film set two years later, Quax is seen working as a disciplined flying instructor at Bergried Flying School. The movie itself was shot from May 23 to September 1941 at the Ufa Atelier Berlin Tempelhof and in Bavaria at the airfield of Prien am Chiemsee and here at the Erding Air Base , where the landing on the course was shot. Other parts of the film were shot on the airfield Kempten-Durach, Germany's highest-lying airfield. During the filming the stand-in pilot had to be replaced due to a leg fracture and, due to the war, could not be substituted. Rühmann himself, an avid sports aviator in real life, flew in all the scenes. Both on the wing and in front of the cockpit of the Udet U12 a camera from Bell & Howell was mounted which only allowed for 27 metres of film, which was just enough for a minute. As a result Rühmann had to take-of fity times to record the flight scenes. The première took place on December 16, 1941 in the Ufa Palace in Hamburg. It was helped by the Werner Bochmann hit song Heimat, deine Sterne and went on to win the regime's Filmprüfstelle before eventually making five million Reichsmarks at the box office. Hitler aparently loved the film and had it repeatedly shown at the Fiihrer's headquarters. A sequel- Quax in Fahrt (renamed Quax in Africa after the war in West Germany)- also starring Heinz Rühmann in the lead role was made in 1943-45 under the direction of Helmut Weiss. As in all Nazi aviation films, values such as discipline, camaraderie and social adaptation are highlighted. A special feature of this film is the main character who, an anti-hero, shows how even an obvious failure can become a "German hero" - if he meets only one competent leader- thus when Quax is at his lowest ebb his instructor does not display the usual authoritarian traits of discipline and obedience but, on the contrary, demonstrates confidence by making Quax himself a flight instructor. Through Nazi film policy, the film was also intended to promote the Luftwaffe, especially as the Third Reich had a particularly high demand for new blood in this area during the war. The High Command of the Allied occupying powers banned the film after the war; Rühmann himself always asserted that he had never felt that he had any propaganda, let alone military, training.
Some scenes set in  and around Erding's Schrannenplatz from the film:
Heinz Rühmann landing in Schrannenplatz at the end of the film. His role in the 1930 movie Die Drei von der Tankstelle led him to film stardom. He remained highly popular as a comedic actor (and sometime singer) throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, remaining in Germany to work during the Nazi period, as did his friend and colleague, Hans Albers during which time he acted in 37 films and directed four. After the Nazis seized power in 1933, Rühmann did not speak openly about German politics, but instead kept himself as neutral as possible. In 1938 he divorced his Jewish wife Maria Bernheim who managed before the war to move to Stockholm, and as a result, survived the Holocaust. His second wife, Hertha Feiler, whom he married shortly after, had a Jewish grandfather, a fact that caused Rühmann problems with the Nazi cultural authorities. Rühmann retained his reputation as an apolitical star during the entire Nazi era. During the war years, Rühmann increasingly let himself be co-opted by the Third Reich. The same year as Quax, he also played the title role in Der Gasmann, about a gas-metre reader who is suspected of foreign espionage. In 1944, the première of Die Feuerzangenbowle was forbidden by the Nazi film censor for "disrespect for authority" although given his good relationships with the regime, Rühmann was able to screen the film in public. He brought the film to the Führerhauptquartier Wolfsschanze for a private screening for Hermann Göring and others. Afterward, Göring was able to get the ban on the film lifted by Adolf Hitler. As a "state actor", the highest title for an actor during the Nazi era, Rühmann was not drafted into the Wehrmacht. 
He did have to take the basic training to become a military pilot, but for the Third Reich, Rühmann was more valuable as an actor and he was spared having to take part in the war effort. In August 1944, Goebbels put Rühmann on the Gottbegnadeten list of indispensable actors. Rühmann was a favourite actor of Holocaust diarist Anne Frank, who pasted his picture on the wall of her room in her family's hiding place during the war, where it can still be seen today, as well as both Hitler and Goebbels. Rühmann had a difficult time resuming his career after the war, but by the mid-1950s, the former comedian had established himself again as a star, only this time as Germany's leading character actor. In 1956, Rühmann starred in the title role of the internationally acclaimed picture Der Hauptmann von Köpenick, the incredible true story of a Prussian cobbler, Wilhelm Voigt, who dressed up as an army officer and took over the town hall in Köpenick. Rühmann was also the leading man in the 1960 film version of The Adventures of the Good Soldier Schweik, after the novel by Czech author Jaroslav Hašek. He also played the role of Father Brown in three German films during the 1960s. In 1965, Rühmann was brought to Hollywood by producer Stanley Kramer for a supporting role as a German Jew in his all-star movie Ship of Fools.
His last film was Faraway, So Close! (1993) by Wim Wenders, in which he played an old fatherly chauffeur named Konrad. Rühmann died in October 1994, aged 92 years. He was buried in Berg-Aufkirchen. His popularity with German audiences continues: in 1995, he was posthumously awarded the Goldene Kamera as the "Greatest German Actor of the Century"; in 2006, a poll voted him number one in the ZDF TV-show Unsere Besten - Favourite German Actors. Erding proved an appropriate site for an aviation movie given it provided the location for Fliegerhorst Erding, a military airfield northeast of the town. Prior to and during the war, Erding was a Luftwaffe pilot training airfield. The air base was built in 1935 by the Air Force of the Wehrmacht. From 1941 it hosted various flying overpass units, such as the transfer point Erding, the transfer command air group 3, the group South / aircraft transfer squadron 1 and the airlock airlock commando 2. From April to December 1944 the 10th (supplementary) squadron of the combat squadron 51 was stationed here. Only in April 1945 with the III./KG(J) 54 was an active flying unit based at the site which boasted the Messerschmitt Me 262. After the war the American Air Force occupied and used Airfield R.91 , according to the then-Allied code designation. From 1949 the 7200th Air Force Depot Wing was stationed on the air base. It was from Erding that British and American aircraft started to supply flights in the context of the Berlin Airlift. For this reason the number of employees increased to 7,512, 2,704 of which were soldiers.
Nazi rallies, marches and demonstrations in Erding
Looking down Landshuter Strasse, comparing the view after the war and today. 


On April 18, 1945, Erding was devastated in a bomb attack in which 144 people were killed, many due to an earlier, mistaken all-clear warning which lured people into the open air. Shortly after 15.00 a relatively small American bomber group consisting of about a dozen planes arrived from the direction of Hohenlinden. Air-raid sirens had sounded at 12.15 for the first time. At 12.55 a pre-warning siren sounded followed at 13.35 by another. At 15.00 the radio broadcast a pre-warning for the city of Munich but a subsequent all-clear signal sound led many who had sought shelter in their basements to come out. By this stage of the war air-raid alarms was an everyday occurrence in Erding as the constant threat of airborne traffic had been accepted. With the Americans already in Nuremberg and along the Danube, most waited for an end. Nevertheless, at 15.20 came the short but deafening noise of the bombing. After a few seconds houses had blown away with the destruction especially strong in the south-eastern part of the city between the railway station and Hagervorstadt. Roughly fifty ten-tonne bombs were dropped. 126 people were killed immediately by splinter, flying building parts, air pressure or under the masses of their collapsed houses with eighteen more succumbing to their injuries later.
On Haager Straße the greatest damage was reported as was the number of killed. The pressure of the detonations destroyed roofs and windows in the Innenstadt- on the Schrannenplatz the pharmacy and the Lehner house burned as shown in the photo here. It had taken days of work by mountain commanders to dig up the buried people. To make matters worse, electricity and water were left non-existent for days. The dead were first placed on the roadside in Hagerstrasse, then brought to the heavily damaged city parish church. The coffins had been stacked on top of one another for reasons of space. Many other towns  in Bavaria were bombed that day- Freising, Rosenheim, Dillingen, Augsburg, Neuburg an der Donau and Traunstein. Erding's city archivist, Markus Hiermer, observed that American flying fortresses on April 18 should not have actually thrown their cargo over Erding- "An attack on Pilsen was planned, but it was blown off course. They did everything they could to get rid of their bombs." Nazi air defences had already collapsed in the final phase of the war. Nevertheless, Americans and of course the RAF needed to bombard small towns like Erding to break the Germans' last resistance. Thus the attacks were no longer of strategic importance, but it was seen as an appropriate response to the relentless bombing the Germans had happily initiated and continued against civilian populations from the start of their war, particularly against British cities. 
 The Stadtturm beside the remains of the church on Friedrich Fischer Straße
From the other side on Kirchgaße 
 Of course, many other towns in Bavaria were attacked that day including Freising, Rosenheim, Dillingen, rural districts around Augsburg, Neuburg an der Donau and Traunstein. In fact, the plan was for the USAAF coming from Sicily to attack Pilsen but it was blown off, leaving the crews to do everything they could to get rid of their burden. By now the air defences had already collapsed in the final phase of the war. Nevertheless, Americans and British are deliberately bombarding small towns like Erding to break the Germans' last resistance. The attacks were of no strategic importance, but it was an answer to the Germans' bombing of the civilian population. On April 30 German troops returned through Erding with the last squad passing ordered to destroy all the bridges. Only the Freisinger bridge, under which the power lines run to the power plant, was spared because the master of the works, Georg Pfab, convinced the responsible officer that Erding could not be allowed to sink into the dark. A day later, American soldiers entered Erding from the already-taken Eitting: "After this blaze of fire, the 34th Regiment stormed Erding at 8 am, and at 11 am, the city was in American hands," according to a military report from the American Army. When the American tanks arrived at Erding on May 1, winter returned with snow covering the rubble. On May 5, 1945 Army Group G signed the capitulation order in Haar near Munich ending the area's war.
Comparison of the same street during the Third Reich and after its wartime bombing
Many of the photos of Erding during the Nazi era come from the town museum, shown here before the war and today with its mural still intact, during its special exhibition focussing on Erding's eighty year-old aviation history of the site. 
Another museum in town occupies the house where Franz Xaver Stahl was born and which was named after him. Stahl was a painter during the Third Reich whose paintings of farmlife were bought by Hitler, such as his "Weidende Kühe" in 1941. He has a street named after him and his paintings continue to hang in the town hall as well as in the district office and in the canteen of the Bavarian Ministry of Agriculture on Galeriestraße in Munich.  In 1931 he moved into a studio on Nymphenburger Straße in Munich, which he kept until 1944. On June 6 of the same year, some of Stahl's pictures were destroyed during the fire of the Glaspalast in Munich. From 1937, Stahl regularly participated in the Great German Art Exhibition in the House of German Art in Munich, the propagandistic exhibition of Nazi art. From 1937 to 1944, with the exception of 1939, Stahl represented one or two of his paintings at the Great German Art Exhibition each year, an unmistakable sign that he had attained a very prestigious position in the regime. He joined the Nazi Party in 1941 and 1947 was classified as a "follower" during the denazification campaign, although the question remains whether Stahl was a fellow traveller for career reasons or for support of Nazi ideology. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed head of the animal painting class at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In 1942, the Academy awarded him the service title Professor. Regardless, his work seemed entirely focused on animals- horses in the smithy, cows in the pasture, pigs at the trough. Even with his landscapes, a flock of sheep often appear in the background. In fact, only he only produced about ten portraits, mostly of family members and close acquaintances which never changed even after Hitler's seizure of power; up until his death in 1977, his interest had only one topic: the animal. The earliest document which provides an indication of his involvement with the Nazis is a receipt from the Nazi treasurer in the Max II barracks in Munich on January 30, 1939, confirming that Stahl had paid twelve Reichsmarks to join the party. He was admitted to the party in 1941 and, in October that year, was appointed as a teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he had previously studied. 
More recently one of Germany's most visible far-right extremists has been sentenced to ten months in gaol for greeting a Jewish interviewer with "Heil Hitler." A judge described Horst Mahler as "utterly incorrigible" after he denied the Holocaust, again, in open court. Mahler is said to have started a conversation for the magazine "Vanity Fair" with "Heil Hitler" and denied the Holocaust. The interview was conducted by the journalist and former vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Michel Friedman, who subsequently filed a complaint after the interview. Since the conversation was conducted in a hotel at Munich Airport, the prosecutor in Landshut and the court in Erding are responsible for the case. "Vanity Fair" justified the ten-page interview as an exposure of German right-wing extremists.  Friedman himself has defended his collaboration in the interview against the criticism that he had offered Mahler a forum. Mahler himself was co-founder of the left-wing terrorist Red Army Faction (RAF) and later member and advocate of the right-wing extremist NPD. Most recently, he was convicted in November in Cottbus for giving the Hitler salute and sentenced to half a year in prison without parole. 
Through this website I was contacted by Mr. George Fogelson whose father's unit was in Freising and Moosburg with the 14th Armoured Division. He directed me to hundreds of remarkable photographs from the 94th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron during and after the war in the hope that I could recognise some of the sites shown. Among the locations was Isen, a town I hadn't even heard of before, about fifteen miles south of Erding. Here is the town's railway station directly after the war, taken by soldier Hugh West; it's now an Internet café with the railway line now paved over by the road. Below is a photo of the Church taken June 1945 and when I visited May 2022.
The division had been commissioned on November 15,  1942 at Camp Chaffee , Arkansas. It began combat operations in the war in southern France after landing in Marseille on October 29, 1944,  where it had largely defensive duties on the Franco-Italian border. It went on into the Rhineland, Ardennes and Alsace; on December 17 it advanced across the Lauter. During Operation Nordwind, it succeeded in slowing down the German attack against five divisions. This included the Battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen from January 9 to 21, 1945. On March 5 the Moder was crossed as was, at the end of the month, the Rhine near Germersheim and Worms. Moving further into central Europe after Neustadt/Main, many prisoners of war were freed in Hammelburg on April 6 in Stalag XIII C and Oflag XIII B. Likewise in Moosburg where over 130,000 Allied prisoners of war were liberated on April 29 at Stalag VII A, including around 20,000 Americans. At the Ampfing subcamp in the Mühldorf am Inn area, the last combat action of the war took place for the unit on May 2, 1945. It was reduced to zero strength on September 16, 1945 but not deactivated before ending up being named for a total of two Presidential Unit Citations.  
Now the Gasthof Klement, this was the HQ for the Americans staying in the town. The photo on the left is marked by A Troop's Hugh West.
West himself shown with some local children in Isen; wasn't sure I had the right spot until I got home and noticed the gate and windows lined up. Beside it is how it appeared sporting the sign marking the location for the troops' base.
Sgt. John H. Hepler from Lansing Michigan, 1945 and Münchener Straße today. The photo on the right is looking down the opposite direction, showing the American flag that flew during the occupation.
Raleigh McCluskey, A Troop, in front of the church.

Described in this Nazi-era postcard as Germany's oldest house, the Herderhaus in Bergham just outside Erding is described by the authorities as an"ancient ground-floor block with a high thatched hipped roof from the mid-17th century." With a date of construction listed as being from around 1650, the Herderhaus is certainly one of the oldest rural houses in Bavaria. Moreover, it has been in the same place since its construction and has probably been inhabited for the past four centuries. The last shepherd lived in the house until 1952 before moving to a retirement home, where he died in 1967. The interior of the house is divided into two parts by a corridor, the Flez, on the left of which is the parlour, kitchen and the room for the children. On the right is a small sheepfold for half a dozen sheep belonging to Herder himself. At the north-west corner is the largest room for him and his wife. The hay was stored upstairs. With no running water, the fountain in front of the house. Even today there is a well on the site although the well shaft itself is closed.   
Near Dingolfing is this memorial commemorating the emergency landing of the "Reichsluftschiff Z1" on April 1st, 1909. 36 metres in length with a diametre of 11.65 metres, the aircraft was powered by two four-cylinder Daimler in-line engines, each with 100 hp which enabled it to reach a top speed of around 45 kilometres per hour. On board was Graf Zeppelin himself, his chief engineer Dürr and various military personnel and flown by airship captain Hacker. As a result, the first long-distance flight to Munich made headlines with houses decked out in flags, children allowed out of school and postcards printed for the event. Zeppelin arrived in Munich at around 9.00 but was unable to land because the wind was too strong and it was therefore driven away to the disappointment of Prince Regent Luitpold who had been waiting to receive the entourage. Its travel over Erding led people to travel all directions to see the giant 'flying cigar' for themselves. Initially, the municipalities of Loiching and Niederviehbach vied for the plot of land on which the zeppelin actually landed, until an agreement was reached on the former although this memorial stone is sited in the community of Niederviehbach on Staatsstrasse 2074. The monument was restored to mark the centenary of the landing.

Now the Gasthaus Bründlhof, from a 1940 postcard when it was the Tirolerstube and had a photo of Hitler gracing the wall. A year after I took my photo the building had been demolished to make way for apartment buildings.

Hometown of Otto Braun who, under his assumed Chinese name "Li De," was the only foreigner to have taken part in the Long March with Mao, and might have even been the original proposer of the idea of embarking on such a march in an effort to reach the safer interior of China.
The listed war memorial on Schloßstraße, a stone sculpture about two metres high in which on a stone altar two standing lions are shown whilst another lies wounded on the ground next to them. The monument first commemorates the hundred men from Ismaning who fell in the First World War. It was inaugurated on May 24, 1924 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the local veterans and warriors club in a solemn act and is shown at that time and today.  The sculpture was designed by Richard Riemerschmid, then-Director of the School of Applied Arts Munich, working on a model by the sculptor Wilhelm Nida-Rümelin. The stone works were executed by R. Gschwender. Originally a ring of iron spears surrounded the monument. At the decision of the mayor Erich Zeitler , these were replaced after the war by stone tablets, on which the names of the 181 fallen and 89 missing persons of the war are engraved. Every year on Memorial Day, a memorial service for the victims of the two world wars takes place at the sculpture.
The schloß and war memorial then and now. Although the Nazi party had existed in Ismaning since 1921, no Nazi represented in the Ismaning municipal council before the March 1933 Reichstag elections which ended up producing seven Nazi municipal councillors. From June 1933 all municipal councillors were members of the NSDAP. Benno Hartl, awarded honorary citizenship during his tenure as mayor from 1922 to 1933, on May 5, 1933had to hand over his office to Nazi member Korbinian Huber. Huber remained in office until the capitulation in May 1945. Under the Nazis  Ismaning's associations and organisations were brought into line and many, from the religious like the Kolpingsfamilie or those close to the SPD like the "Workers-Cyclists' Solidarity Association" were banned. The Nazis endeavoured to upgrade the artisan class and bind it ideologically and so on October 22, 1933, a parade of artisans moved through the village as every handicraft practiced in the village was depicted on a decorated wagon and presented by guild signs. The Nazis also launched construction works; in 1937-38 a settlement of the Upper Bavarian homestead factory was built on the field between Münchener Strasse and Isarau. Families who had given up their homes to build the concentration camp in Dachau or the harness racing track in Daglfing moved there. The town's sports hallwas created for the Nazi youth organisations, but later served as accommodation for prisoners of war and forced labourers, who were employed as workers on the farms and in many companies. Despite all the propaganda and hidden threats, Nazi ideology in Ismaning was not as deeply rooted as the party wanted it to be: only around 156 Nazi members, including 18 women, were counted among the approximately 4,000 inhabitants in 1945 in the village. In 1939, the local group leader complained that at the important May Day the traders and their assistants were completely absent and that only a few younger farmers had participated. Eventually 270 of the town's young men fell at the front or were missing with more than 300 taken as prisoners of war. Ismaning itself was largely spared from the effects of the war with only a few buildings damaged.  In the last days of the war in April 1945, another Nazi training evening took place in the „Deutschen Haus“ (now the Gasthof Hillebrand). 
On April 28 the so-called Freiheitsaktion Bayern called for an uprising on the radio, but no one from the village became involved. On April 30, German 'pioneers' blew up the Aschheim Canal Bridge, the bridge to Unterföhring had already been destroyed two days earlier leaving Ismaning largely isolated in terms of traffic. At the same time, the Americans continued from Garching towards Unterdorf and hit the paper mill. This was considered a warning signal and action was taken: a white flag was attached to the church tower. When the local Volkssturmführer exchanged it for a swastika flag, the Americans fired another round. Someone again dared to raise the white flag, this time without being threatened by the remaining Nazi authorities. 
On May 1, 1945, the war ended in Ismaning with the invasion of 150 Americans. During the war, refugees and Munich residents who had lost their homes came to Ismaning in search of food and accommodation. In 1946, in addition to its 4,600 inhabitants, the town housed over a thousand displaced persons, mostly from the Sudetenland. There were also other refugees from other regions. Many stayed in Ismaning permanently. Their integration represents a difficult but, from today's perspective, a successful chapter in the local history. The street names of the Bohemian Forest settlement serve as reminders of their former homeland.
Just outside Ismaning is this listed farm house, located on possibly the longest village street in the district of Munich, stretching four kilometres. the In 1905, it was bought by the remarkable widow Therese Randlkofer Therese Randlkofer who managed to own and develop Dallmayr, turning it into what is now the largest delicatessen business in Europe and probably the best-known German coffee brand. She converted the property into a stately model property and gave it the name "Goldachhof" - in the style of the little river that runs through the complex. Randlkofer modernised the system and even had a small E-Werk built in 1906 which was at that time a striking achievement. It exists today, recently renovated according to the guidelines of monument and water protection, and can deliver up to 80 000 KWh of electricity per year.

Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm
Adolf-Hitler-Platz in front of the town hall bedecked with Nazi flags as shown on the cover of Pfaffenhofen unterm Hakenkreuz by Reinhard Haiplik, now in its third edition. As Haiplik reveals, in the Reichstag election in 1933, the Nazis achieved its highest election result in Oberbayern with 43.1 percent of the votes in Pfaffenhofen- "indeed by far." As early as 1923, some of Hitler's adherents from Pfaffenhofen had participated in the so-called "Marsch zur Feldherrnhalle," otherwise known as the Munich beerhall putsch. Some ϟϟ men from Pfaffenhofen made a career, most notably Anton Thumann. Between 1933 and the end of the war in 1945 there was a lively support of the ruling regime among the citizens of the city. In this edition Haiplik was especially concerned about the subject of war criminals: "I wanted to name the perpetrators and keep the memory of the victims." In his newly-written chapter titled "Victims of the Holocaust - Individual Destinies of Murdered Pioneers," Haiplik devoted his focus to Jewish families, some of whom lived in Pfaffenhofen for decades and became victims of the Holocaust. Earlier Haiplik had previously written that there were probably no Holocaust victims from Pfaffenhofen; he has since determined that several Jewish families lived in Pfaffenhofen until the 1930s before being sent to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz to be murdered.
SA men jumping out of a wagon in Munich marked "Burgerbräu Pfaffenhofen" during the Beer Hall Putsch, November 9, 1923; some from Pfaffenhofen took part in the attempted coup. Indeed, the Nazi movement found supporters in Pfaffenhofen very early on. In 1922 ten of its citizens had become Nazi Party members, attending Nazi meetings in Munich's Bürgerbräukeller, at which Hitler spoke. The men from Pfaffenhofen asked Hitler to come to Pfaffenhofen which he did on September 23, 1922. Hitler spoke in the Müllerbräukeller; less than a fortnight later  on October 4, 1922 the founding meeting of a local Nazi Party group in Pfaffenhofen took place in the next room of the Pfaffelbräu. In 1923 there were already 130 Nazi members in Pfaffenhofen with sixty of them joining the SA. At 2.00 on the day of the Hitler putsch, a regimental commander arrived at the house local group leader Wilhelm Hörskens with orders to immediately provide men for the occupation of Munich. According to a report in the Pfaffenhofener Volksblatt of November 9, 1933, eighteen men followed this order. According to Hans Niedermayr, whose father and uncle were involved in the putsch, fifteen men absolutely wanted to be taken to Munich but the large Müllerbräulastwagen was not ready for use, and so one had to be content with a smaller car from the brewery. Only eleven revolutionaries would have found space in it. These have been drawn. The four people who stayed at home were entrusted with another task: they were supposed to carry out the "revolution" in Pfaffenhofen. The Pfaffenhofen putschists' truck only got as far as Lohof before being driven into a ditch. According to the Pfaffenhofener Volksblatt of November 9, 1933, the Pfaffenhofeners had fought valiantly and heroically on the front line; at the time however the same newspaper actually admitted that they had fled as soon as they heard the first gunshots. 
The land surveying office on the main square shown left which was used by the Nazi district leadership from 1933 to 1945. On the day Hitler was appointed Chancellor the town's ϟϟ squadron marched through the streets of the town with flaming torches at 20.00  Five years later, then-mayor Otto Bauer recalled: "What it was for us when we got the news that Adolf Hitler was Chancellor. Adolf Hitler is in power! Tears of joy filled our eyes and we enjoined the ϟϟ-Heim to fight again for Adolf Hitler, for Germany's way into eternity." 
In the March 5, 1933 elections a week after the Reichstag fire the turnout in Pfaffenhofen was 90%. 1, 033 voted for the Nazis, making them the biggest party. In comparison the BVP received 826 votes, the SPD 570, and the communists 138. In the Pfaffenhofen district, 10,193 citizens voted for the Nazis, 6,854 for the BVP, 1,286 for the SPD, 570 for the KPD, and 816 for the Bauernbund. This gave the Nazis  their best result of all of Upper Bavaria with 43.1% (other sources claim 50.2%) voting for the Nazis. At noon on March 10, 1933, the Nazi flag was raised from the balcony of the town hall as seen on the left.
Later that year Pfaffenhofen had a second vote on November 12 to vote on Hitler's policy- 3,070 people from Pfaffenhofen voted 'yes', 62 'no'. The residents of a now demolished Wallnerhaus on Sonnenstrasse voted unanimously with "no" with its house ending up being smeared with fæces. 
Between 1933 and the end of the war there was active support from the ruling regime among the city's citizens. Indeed, during the Nazi era some ϟϟ men from Pfaffenhofen made noteworthy careers including Anton Thumann who had served in various Nazi concentration camps during the war. He had joined the Nazi party as member no. 1,726,633 and the ϟϟ as member no. 24,444 in the 1930s, serving as a guard at Dachau concentration camp from 1933 onward. Starting in 1937, Thumann was employed in the Office of Guard Command and ascended to the rank of Schutzhaftlagerführer in 1940. By early August 1940 he transferred to Gross-Rosen concentration camp, which at the time was still a sub-camp of Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In early May 1941, Thumann became the Protective Custody Camp Leader of the now independent Gross-Rosen camp, under Commander Arthur Rödl. From February 1943 to March 1944 he was Protective Custody Camp Leader at the Majdanek concentration camp where, due to his sadism and participation in selections, gassings and shootings, he was known as the "Hangman of Majdanek". According to Jerzy Kwiatkowski, an eyewitness interned at Majdanek during the time, Thumann personally executed prisoners and Soviet prisoners of war. He owned a German Shepherd that he used to bite the inmates. For a few weeks between March and April 1944 Thumann was at Auschwitz. He appears in the so-called Höcker Album containing a series of photographs from an ϟϟ recreation camp, the Solahütte near Auschwitz, which had been discovered in 2007. In one of the photos shown on the right Thumann is pictured with Richard Baer, Josef Mengele, Josef Kramer and Rudolf Hoess.
Thumann then served as Protective Custody Camp Leader at Neuengamme concentration camp from mid-April 1944 until the end of April 1945. Often accompanied by his dog, he was greatly feared in Neuengamme due to his reputation for abuse of prisoners. As the British closed in on Neuengamme, the ϟϟ evacuated the prisoners to prison ships. During the evacuation, 58 male and 13 female resistance fighters from nearby Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp were selected to be brought to Neuengamme to be executed on the orders Georg-Henning Graf von Bassewitz-Behr. With the participation of Thumann, these prisoners were hanged between April 21 and 23, 1945 in a detention cell. When some continued to resist, Thumann threw a hand grenade through the cell window. Under the command of Thumann and Wilhelm Dreimann, the last 700 prisoners remaining at Neuengamme were forced to dispose of bodies and cover up the traces of the camp. On April 30, 1945 the prisoners were then sent on a death march with the aim of reaching the area of the Flensburg government. At the end of the war Thumann was arrested by the British and put on trial before a British military tribunal in the Neuengamme Camp Case No. 1 in Hamburg. Thumann and thirteen other defendants, including Wilhelm Dreimann and Max Pauly, the Commandant of Neuengamme, were charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. The court handed down a guilty verdict on March 18, 1946 and sentenced eleven of the 14 defendants to death by hanging on May 3, 1946, including Thumann, Dreimann and Pauly. The death sentence was carried out by British executioner Albert Pierrepoint at Hamelin prison on October 8, 1946.
Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now, renamed Hauptplatz, with the rathaus on the right
The Brauerei Bortenschlager sporting the Nazi flag and today, a K&L clothing shop.
Karl Riemer spent the entire time of the Nazi rule from 1933–1945 in the Dachau concentration camp. He fled from the camp on April 26, 1945. He succeeded in getting through here to Pfaffenhofen, some fifty kilometres away and already in American hands, by April 29. The American town commandant there assured him immediate help for the prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp. Karl Riemer was unaware that the order for liberating the camp had already been given on the morning of his arrival.

Some views of the town before the war and today
The "Moosburger Hof" run by Josef Rath which was the birthplace of the SPD regional association of Bavaria. After the war they would coordinate with the occupying Americans  in the tracking and investigation of Nazis and former activists. In October 1945, the parties took part in their first public action in the district having already met in secret in July and August, going so far as to develop their presence in Pfaffenhofen. Significant leaders of the SPD before 1933 such as Wilhelm Hoegner met several times in the “Moosburger Hof”, which by then was now run by the Social Democrat Sepp Rath. Here those responsible set the course for the re-establishment of the SPD at the Bavarian state level and prepared the party for the local elections a few months later.

Master baker Heinrich Wagenknecht prevented the Ilm Bridge, shown here from around 1935, from being blown up when the Americans invaded on April 27, as they approached Pfaffenhofen on a broad front in a southerly direction. The XIII. ϟϟ-Armee-Korps and the 17. ϟϟ-Panzergrenadier-Division „Götz von Berlichingen“ subordinate to it (mentioned later below in regards the massacre of some of its members), began to withdraw to the area south of Pfaffenhofen. In doing so, they secured the road between Ingolstadt and Munich and the autobahn to the south in order to prevent surprise attacks by American units. The following incident, described by Otto Stumm, possibly prevented a tougher confrontation over the town of Pfaffenhofen: 
Army Group H, which was deployed in our area and to which a great many units of the Waffen ϟϟ belonged, was commanded by General of the Infantry Schulz ... Oak leaves adorned the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. His wife had been living here with her one-year-old daughter as an evacuee for some time on the Schleiferberge. On the night of April 27-28, 1945, General Schulz ordered the commanders of the troops under him to go to Mr. Prechter's hunting lodge, which was located in the community of Sulzbach im Walde, on the way from Wolfsberg to Menzenbach to undertake the general withdrawal order to the Isar-Amperlinie near Munich. Did tactical reasons prompt him or did he want to spare his wife and child the horrors of a bombardment and the probable destruction of Pfaffenhofen? Only he knows.
In front of the bridge remains this fountain dated 1934, its swastika removed but leaving no mistake as to what it represented
Formerly a girls finishing school, this building which opened in 1879 continued to serve this purpose until the end of 1965 when it was replaced by a new girls' school on Niederscheyerer Strasse. The old building on the main square was renovated and left to the secondary school until July 1976 when it too  could move into a new building. Hidden away on the side to the left of the building is a memorial for the victims of National Socialism erected in 2014 by artist Thomas Neumair. It consists of a red steel beam piercing the upper west corner of the building, apparently it's intended to represent an acupuncture needle that anchors painful experiences of Nazi history into the collective memory of the city. The position of the steel girder was chosen so that it can also be seen from Kellerstrasse and the main square, although I only found the site later once I knew where to look, having taken the photo above not even knowing about it.
Brief write-ups of
a selection of Pfaffenhofen residents who played a role during the Nazi regime, both victims and perpetrators, are presented at eye level. Intended to bring the past to life through faces and names, the documentation is based on research by Reinhard Haiplink, who meticulously describes the development of National Socialism in Pfaffenhofen in his third edition of the book "Pfaffenhofen unterm Hakenkreuz." Among the main themes are sections highlighting the strength of Nazi support in the town at the time of the Beer Hall Putsch; the children of foreign workers who suffered terribly in the Nazi camp at Uttenhofen mentioned below; the so-called 'apple priest' Korbinian Aigner who had spoken out against the Nazis since 1923, spoke out in support of Georg Elser's attempt on Hitler's life and subsequently sent to Stadelheim, Sachsenhausen and Dachau before managing to escape on April 28 in Aufkirchen am Starnberger See and hide in the local monastery when he and around 10,000 prisoners were forced to march to South Tyrol; the story of Wilhelm Meinstein; Pastor Braun's unexplained death; the persecution of Joseph Rath; and the war criminal Theodor Traugott Meyer.
It wasn't until the summer of 1944 that Pfaffenhofen did suffered direct bombing, with waves of enemy bombers having flown over to target Augsburg or Munich. The first bombs fell on neighbouring fields without causing any damage. Later, lighter bombs were dropped over the forest on Niederhauser Weg near what is now Marienfried. In July 1944 a USAAF bomber had to make an emergency landing near Pfaffenhofen with the plane crashing in Rehgräble leaving six of the crew killed ( two crew members managing to jump out and land in the farmyard of Xaver Spleiß in Erbishofenand) summarily buried. When the Americans occupied Pfaffenhofen in 1945 they forced Nazi Party members to exhume the corpses, whereupon the dead were brought to back to the US. Two crew members of the bomber jumped off and landed in the yard of the farmer Xaver Spleiß in Erbishofen. Sergeant Thomas received them and brought them to Weissenhorn the next day.
As the fighting was getting closer to Pfaffenhofen, between April 18 and 22 alone the town's sirens sounded 53 times to warn of impending air raids, making it impossible to distinguish whether a pre-alarm, major alarm or the all-clear was being sounded. Despite this, lessons were still being taught in schools.
In total only one person had died from air raids whilst numerous civilians and soldiers would be killed by the shelling of the city by the ϟϟ and from defensive battles on April 28, 1945 conducted by the ϟϟ, Wehrmacht and remnants of the Volkssturm. In 1953 19.2% of the population was still displaced.
The boys' school on Schulstrasse returned to school in September 1945 after several months of interruption which began on April 22, 1945  when classes had been stopped in view of the danger of air raids. American soldiers were billeted in this building until the end of August when they first cleared the building and released it again for school operations. Nevertheless, it took a few weeks before the building was made suitable for school again. The Americans had relocated all school furniture, files and books to the basement and storage room so that the rooms could be used for their units and purposes. Some of the furniture left by the Americans in the classrooms was taken over by the school, and some of it passed into private hands via auction. After three weeks the school was sufficiently repaired to be able to start regular lessons although the start of lessons was further delayed because both the boys 'and girls' schools combined only had nine teachers for 18 classes. This was where the initially strict denazification practice became noticeable, removing all civil servants from their posts so that the teachers could not be filled quickly. City commander Sloat, who returned to Pittsburgh as a university professor, tried his best to improve conditions during his time in Pfaffenhofen from May 1945 to January 1946 only to find that military interests often stood in the way of faster advances in the school system.
A couple of miles outside Pfaffenhofen just when entering the small town of Eberstetten is this memorial, inaugurated in 1980, commemorating the killing of young ϟϟ men by American soldiers. On April 28, 1945, around twenty soldiers (sometimes the number 15 is also mentioned), probably all from the "Götz von Berlichingen" division, were discovered by the Americans in a courtyard. They had been fanatical fighters, threatening the farmer with summary execution if he displayed a white flag. The Americans in turn threatened to blow up the property if the ϟϟ did not surrender. They eventally surrendered and were forced to stand in the courtyard with their hands up for an hour before being driven to Pfaffenhofen in tanks. Three jumped off at the edhge of Eberstetten only to be shot immediately. The rest were ordered to dismount and taken into the nearby field where they were each shot from behind. Apparently some called for their mothers and others didn't die until the following day. Their identification tags were taken from them, leaving French prisoners of war who witnessed the execution to indignantly denounce the Americans as criminals. The dead remained in situ for four days until the Americans ordered the male residents of Eberstetten to bury them in a mass grave in the meadow. In 1952 the bodies were exhumed and transferred to the military cemetery in Regensburg.
Nearby is the Holledau bridge on the  Bundesautobahn 9, completed as part of the construction of the Reichsautobahn between Nuremberg and Munich. At the end of its sixteen arches is the Rasthaus Holledau," shown then and today. The Rasthof Holledau is the oldest rest stop along Germany's motorway today, built in 1938. Today it continues to boast the sign "Gastlichkeit seit 1938"; apparently Hitler sat beside its fireplace in its Jägerstüberl. A listed bridge today, architect Georg Gsaenger designed the previously 330 metre-long bridge in July 1937. The bridge with the directional road to Munich was inaugurated on November 4, 1938 and its final completion took place in August 1939 at a cost of six million Reichsmarks. On April 28, 1945, the Wehrmacht blew it up as shown here on the left and it wasn't fully rebuilt until 1949.
On the right shows an address by an American official on the occasion of the reopening of the motorway bridge near Geisenhausen in 1945. Apart from this partly destroyed but quickly repaired motorway bridge, hardly any major damage had occurred in the district. In the first weeks after the war, bus routes could be put into operation again, whereby the petrol, which was scarce for the general public, was mainly reserved for systemically relevant professional groups such as entrepreneurs, doctors or the Red Cross. Up to autumn 1945 the transport system was structurally largely at the pre-war level and formed a basis for the later economic development although it was the lack of vehicles and petrol that most stood in the way of it. Between 1978 and 1979, the Autobahndirektion Südbayern widened the highway on three lanes in each direction causing it to be slightly altered from how it orginally appeared.
Three miles from Pfaffenhofen is this parish village of Uttenhofen where, during the Third Reich, there was a children's camp for East European children. The children were so neglected that they died quickly and were buried outside the cemetery wall. This children's camp was a so-called “foreign child care camp” created on the orders of Heinrich Himmler, which was set up in 1944 next to the Köhlhaus near the church, which has now been demolished. This grave overlooking the graveyard at St. Sebastian Church commemorate sixteen Polish children who died in the most adject circumstances at the camp.
Based on burials in the local cemetery, at least sixteen children died in the small camp of Uttenhofen (Bavaria) during the six months of its existence between fall 1944 and spring 1945. We have no records indicating the total number of babies born in this camp, however, or how many could have died and been buried on the campgrounds (as witness statements indicate) without being mentioned in any records.
Nearby Scheyern Abbey, resting place of Bavarian dukes and duchesses Otto I, Agnes von Loon, Ludwig der Kelheimer, Otto II and Agnes von Braunschweig, then and now. The site is historically significant as one of the origins of the Bavarian ruling house Wittelsbach; Joseph Peruschitz, a victim of the sinking of the Titanic, was the abbey's Benedictine priest. During the war Scheyern was a location of the air signal corps of the Luftwaffe. Immediately after the war the American Air Force's listening units were housed in Scheyernand would grow in importance as the Cold War developed. Until the Schyren barracks were abandoned in 1993, Scheyern was also the location of the Bundeswehr although air defence units of the German Air Force have been stationed here since 1958.