Showing posts with label Roth bei Nuremberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roth bei Nuremberg. Show all posts

More Remaining Nazi Sites in Mittelfranken

Outside the town where, every summer, Dinkelsbühl celebrates its surrender to Swedish Troops in 1632 during the Thirty Years' War through a town-wide re-enactment played out by many of the town's residents. It features an array of Swedish troops attacking the city gate and children dressed in traditional garb coming to witness the event. Paper cones full of chocolate and candy are given as gifts to children. This historical event is called the "Kinderzeche" and can in some aspects be compared with the "Meistertrunk" in Rothenburg. The name is derived from the two German words for "child" and "the bill for food and drink in an inn", and is called such because of the legend that a child saved the town from massacre by the Swedish Troops during the surrender. The historically unsubstantiated story from the Thirty Years' War relates that a nanny with a group of children was able to do what all the councillors could not- dissuade the Swedish conquerors from destroying and plundering the city. A teenage girl took the children to the Swedish general to beg for mercy. The Swedish general had recently lost his young son to illness, and a boy who approached him so closely resembled his own son that he decided to spare the town.
 Hitler's supposed painting of Dr.-Martin-Luther-Straße (signed bottom right). On the right is the Mühlgraben from a Nazi-era postcard and today. Unlike most historic cities, all city expansions in the 19th and 20th centuries in Dinkelsbühl took place outside the old town. This is surrounded by a complete wall, which is adjoined to the west and south by the inner city moat excavated in the blister sandstone. In the north lie the Hippenweiher and Rothenburger Weiher with the outer city moat and in the east the Stadtmühlgraben with the floodplains of the Wörnitz. The silhouette of the city seen from the Wörnitz side is probably the most striking view of the city.
Dr.-Martin-Luther-Straße by Ludwig  Mößler from the book Fränkische Städtebilder. Nürnberg/ Rothenburg/ Dinkelsbühl published in 1940 and today on the left, and from a Nazi-era postcard on the right. The Rothenburg Gate shown in the background has held since 2006 a permanent exhibition on the history of the five witch trials in Dinkelsbühl that took place between 1613 and 1661. In the "Drudengewölbe" located above the gate, the names of the victims are engraved on glass stones embedded in the floor of the torture room. In 1611, three women were accused of witchcraft. Two years later two death sentences were enacted on two Catholic sisters from Ellwangen who were accused of witchcraft in an Ellwanger witch trial. A sister who was pregnant confessed to all allegations iand subsequently burned alive. The other sister confessed after the torture by being "pulled up " and was beheaded with the sword and then burned. 
 In 1645 a Protestant midwife was executed after forced to become a Catholic. She was sentenced by a Catholic Inner Council and executed with the sword and then burned. 
 In 1655 and 1656 a major series of trials involving eight accused women took place during which a woman was burned alive, seven women were beheaded and then burned, a woman was beheaded, and a man was beheaded and burned. It began after a woman was accused and arrested by her husband of attempted poisoning. Under torture, she accused her mother, her sister and other women of witchcraft. Of the women arrested, five were executed by the sword and Margaretha Buckel died during her imprisonment. Susanna Stadtmüller and Walburga Mangoldt were banned from the city, and their relatives had to pay the court costs and a fine.In 1658 Sebastian Zierer was accused by a neighbour and his son-in-law of causing paralysis and pain. Under torture, he confessed to poisoning many people with powder. He was sentenced to death by beheading and subsequently burned for witchcraft. In 1660 Barbara Huckler was accused of causing the suicide of her daughter-in-law. She was arrested and interrogated for witchcraft. Under torture, she admitted she had poisoned people with "Drudenpulver". She was also beheaded and burned. In fact, between 1649 and 1709 forty other cases of witch trials were held, none of which ended up leading to any executions. Many were punished with banishment, imprisonment, the so-called fool's house (Narrenhaus) or the throat violin (Halsgeige) and forced to apologise.
Looking the other way from the marktplatz towards the Hotel Goldene Rose and the Protestant Church with wife and son taking a tour from the back of a horse-drawn carriage from an earlier visit. In the July 1932 national elections when the Nazis enjoyed 37% of the national vote, 71% of Dinkelsbühl voted for them. In his Myth of the Twentieth Century, Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg- later hanged at Nuremberg- writes how, in walking through Dinkelsbühl 
a self contained picture of Germanic culture which appears before us. It is a picture of unequalled creative strength and defensive capacity. We know that the Thirty Years War destroyed a feeling of life forever. The 17th and 18th centuries lie in between like deep abysses. Only with the strengthening of the Prussian state has a completely new life begun to arrive again. In the wars of liberation of 1813 and in its men we saw the concept arise of a new German who shaped life. We men of today link ourselves to the leaders of this war of liberation, to the first founders of a new idea of state and to a new feeling of life.

Looking down Dr. Martin-Luther-Straße.

The Jewish community in Dinkelsbühl dates from the 13th century, often suffering expulsion or persecution. Indeed, the earliest references to Jewish life in Dinkelsbühl are related to such events. Entries in the so-called Memorbüchern- manuscripts in which the Jewish communities commemorate the victims of earlier persecution- suggest that Dinkelsbühl Jews were involved in the pogroms of 1298 and 1348-49. By the time Dinkelsbühl was incorporated into the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1806, there were no Jews living there. The most recent Jewish community existed here from 1853 to the November pogroms in 1938, after which the nineteen remaining men and women fled. More than 25 Jews were victims of the Holocaust. The town's stolperstein were set up in 2009 in front of their former houses as well as a memorial plaque at Haus Klostergasse 5 where the prayer room synagogue had been located. This had originally been the house that merchant Seligmann Hamburger bought in 1862 within which were the synagogue and mikveh rooms. His son Adolf took over the house and acted from 1932 to 1938 as the first and last chairman of the independent cultural community Dinkelsbühl. He and his wife were murdered in the Holocaust; three stumbling blocks are in front of the house entrance. In December 2013, Barack Obama presided at the White House over the Hanukka Reception of the Dinkelsbühler Jews. The occasion was the use of a special Hanukkah chandelier created by Manfred Ansbacher, born in 1922 in the town. Ansbacher, who renamed himself Anson after moving to the United States, had produced a candlestick, in which the candles stand on pure freedom statues. The American President was told that as a teenager, Anson had experienced "the horror of Kristallnacht" and lost a brother (Heinz) in the Holocaust. Anson sought "a place where he could live his life free of fear and practice his religion. For Manfred and for millions of others, America became such a place." His brother Heinz, murdered in 1942 at the age of 16, is commemorated by the stolperstein at the entrance to their former house at Altrathausplatz 11.

The tower of St. George's Church shown in the background. Located in the middle of the town, the church was built between 1448 and 1499 according to plans by Niclaus Eseler. In 2018 the building was declared a monument of national importance.

Gunzenhausen's Blasturm on Brunnengässchen between the wars and today. In 1933 Gunzenhausen had a total population of 5,686 of whom 184 were Jewish. The area around had been an economically weak agricultural region comprised mostly of small farms, a predominantly Protestant population and a relatively high proportion of Jews in many places. Hitler himself had delivered a campaign speech in Gunzenhausen on October 13, 1932. The Nazis had achieved above-average results in elections, so that by 1930 they had already won a remarkable 35% of the vote (compared to just under 19 percent in the country); in 1932 66%, nearly double the national average; and on March 6, 1933 the Nazis received 67.5% compared to the Reich average of 43.9% of the votes. As Loomis and Beegle (727) wrote a year after the end of the war in the American Sociological Review,

Relatively low land values, middle-sised family farms, and marginal agriculture characterise the one rural area in Bavaria wherean exceptionally large proportion of the vote was cast for the Nazi party in July, 1932. This area, a Protestant section including Franconia to the west of Nuernberg, contains the Kreise Uffenheim (81 per cent Nazi), Rothenburg (83 per cent Nazi), Neustadt (79 per cent Nazi), Ansbach (76 per cent Nazi), Dinkelsbuhl (71 per cent Nazi), and Gunzenhausen (72 per cent Nazi). The Nazis received no such large votes in the Catholic areas of Bavaria in 1932.

It was for this reason that the Völkische Beobachter described Gunzenhausen as the "best district".

At the Bismarck memorial on the Burgstall not far from the market square, erected in 1901. Nearby at the site the first memorial honouring Hitler was erected in April 1933. At the same time several SA flags were consecrated in the Protestant town church as the dean delivered the sermon. A huge crowd also gathered in the market square to watch the christening of two gliders that were to be rechristened "Adolf Hitler" and "Dr. Münch". The monument was destroyed by the Americans in 1946. Hitler himself did not want any public monuments with his own person. The corresponding decree of December 1933, which had been published in several German newspapers, read: “The Reich Chancellor has ordered that no Hitler memorials, memorial halls or the like may be erected or attached to his memory during his lifetime. Although popularly known as the “Hitler Monument”, the monument was dedicated to the “national uprising”. It too had the shape of an obelisk with a swastika and inscription and made an explicit parallel between the "national uprising" of 1933 and the throwing back of the Romans over the Danube 1,700 years earlier, hence its situation alongside the Roman limes. In fact, this site marked the northernmost point on the Rhaetian Limes where a Roman military camp was established. East of this camp the Roman border wall rises over the ridge of the "Vorderen Schloßbuck", at the highest point of which the Bismarck monument was erected for which stones from the Rhaetian Wall were also used. Next to the monument is this Roman watchtower with how it would have appeared at the time:

The christening of two aircraft in the names of Adolf Hitler and Dr. Münch on the market square in Altmühlstadt, by then renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz. Gunzenhausen and its surroundings stood out in the discrimination of its Jewish population. Anti-Semitic incidents have increased since the local Nazi group was founded in 1922. The Jewish cemetery was desecrated and the synagogue windows smashed. In 1928 and 1929 there was a wave of anti-Semitic agitation, which also led to attacks on Jewish merchants. The Jewish community tried - with little success - to take action against the attacks. In 1932 Heinrich Münch, who was elected mayor for ten years, joined the Nazi Party and the SA and was a radical anti-Semite. When Hitler came to power in late January 1933, the Jews were exposed to Nazi violence. One of the persecutors of the Jews was the tax officer Johann Appler, who had joined the Nazis in 1928. In 1929 he became local chairman and in 1930 district leader of the Nazi Party. In 1931 Appler founded a local group of the ϟϟ. Appler was appointed deputy mayor on April 27, 1933 at the suggestion of the powerful city council and highest SA leader in Gunzenhausen, SA-Sturmbannführer Karl Bär, the third most important Nazi in Gunzenhausen. Bär was an old fighter and worked as a tax secretary in the financial administration. From 1929 he sat on the city council of Gunzenhausen; before that in 1926 he had joined the ϟϟ and was the main director of SA terror. Before 1933, several criminal proceedings had been pending against Bär in connection with his SA activities but a "local action committee to ward off Jewish lies and atrocity propaganda" under the leadership of Appler took over the anti-Semitic agitation. Arbitrary arrests, boycott of Jewish shops, public denunciation, medical treatment bans were only part of the measures.

Hitlerplatz then and now

On April 1, 1933, the nationwide boycott of Jewish shops in Germany and Gunzenhausen took place. The non-Jewish population was put under pressure not to buy in Jewish shops, not to be treated by a Jewish doctor and, for example, not to go to the restaurant of “Simon Strauss”. The innkeeper and his son were mistreated by the SA as early as 1933. On June 6, 1933, around an hundred Nazis gathered in front of Jewish houses and shops and demanded that Jews living in the village be taken into protective custody. The police dispersed the crowd, but put three Jewish residents in jail. In 1934, Mayor Münch wrote to Goebbels that "[a] large part of economic life ... is in Jewish hands ... Politically, Jews have always been democrats."
Gauleiter Julius Streicher visiting the Diakonissenhaus Hensoltshöhe, a Protestant charity and a spiritual centre founded in 1909, on October 14, 1934. The Hensoltshöhe Deaconess Motherhouse sought a close relationship to the regime, and particularly with Julius Streicher, who determined many things in Gunzenhausen's politics. Below are images of the centre during this time and today.
In March 1934, SA men beat a Jewish citizen to hospital who had complained to Mayor Münch about attacks by the SA on life and property. On Palm Sunday, March 25, 1934, the 22-year-old SA Obersturmführer Kurt Bähr, the nephew of the SA-Sturmbannführer and SA boss of Gunzenhausen Karl Bähr, in the morning sought a dispute with the owner of the clothing store Sigmund Rosenfelder, so that he feared the worse. In the late afternoon, Kurt Bähr and his SA men attacked Simon Strauss's inn. There they met Jakob Rosenfelder, a Jew who was known as an opponent of the Nazis before 1933. SA people decided to come back and arrest him. Rosenfelder had disappeared upon their return. After that, they threw the cafe owner's son, Julius Strauss, onto the street, where a raging crowd had already gathered. Crying "beat him!" Skin him! "Strauss was unconsciously beaten. "Get rid of the Jews!" "- chanting, the mob continued through the city, looking for the next victims. Jakob Rosenfelder was later found dead in a shed; it was claimed that he'd hanged himself. The body of the private Max Rosenau was found in an apartment with five stab wounds. Both cases were declared suicide, driven to death by the mob. However, the forensic reports was full of contradictions. They went on to beat the mayor of Gundelsheim, Leopold Baumgärtner, from Simon Strauss's inn, because "he drank his beer at the Jew's". Then they attacked the innkeeper Simon Strauss and his son Julius, seriously injuring the son. Thereupon Bär gave an anti-Jewish inflammatory speech in front of the inn where a crowd of around 15–20 SA men had gathered. Initially the innkeeper family was brought to the city prison "for protection." The unconscious Julius Strauss was carried and dropped several times by the SA men and kicked. His mother was slapped several times in the face by Kurt Bär leading the crowd to exclaim “hit it!” In larger and smaller groups of mostly fifty to several hundred people, the crowd, led by Bär and his people, marched through the old town in front of the Jewish property until 23.00 shouting “Jews must get out” as they forcibly entered houses and apartments. 29 Jewish men and six women were accompanied to prison under abuse, some in nightgowns. The number of those involved in the acts of violence is given as 750 to 1500 people. The secret organiser of the pogrom, Obersturmbannführer Karl Bär, eventually arrived at the gaol, releasing the women but detaining the men until the next evening. The attacks were reported in the press around the world such as The New York Times, Manchester Guardian and the Neue Wiener Journal with the number of those involved in the acts of violence is given as 750 to 1500 people.
Two men were killed in the acts of violence which David Irving in Goebbels (328) unsurprisingly disputes:
Operating primarily from the safety of Prague, the émigrés around Bernhard (‘Isidor’) Weiss orchestrated a raucous outcry about alleged Nazi atrocities: they claimed that two Jews had died in a pogrom at Gunzenhausen, and that the former social democrat deputy Heilmann was being maltreated in concentration camp. The stories were fictional, but fact would inevitably follow fiction.
As always with Irving, the reality is easily uncovered; the two Jewish residents who died were 65-year-old Max Rosenau who had stabbed himself out of fear of the mob breaking into his house, and 30-year-old businessman Jakob Rosenfelder, a Social Democrat who was found hanged in a shed. In fact, this prompted the Nazis to open court proceedings in Ansbach. In the following two trials, the judges spoke of the pogrom as a "cleansing thunderstorm". The trial of 24 SA members who were involved in the incident were sentenced to low prison terms but remained at large. A few weeks later, Obersturmführer Bär shot dead Julius Strauss and seriously injured his father. Both had testified against him before the district court in Ansbach. Bär was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released after three years.
One day before the Reichspogromnacht in 1938, the city bought the synagogue from the Jewish community, so it was spared from pillage as a municipal property due to the intervention of the district fire inspector Wilhelm Braun. A week later, the domes were symbolically torn down. The Jewish cemetery on Leonhardsruhstrasse was desecrated and largely destroyed. At the beginning of November 1938, 64 Jews are said to have lived in Gunzenhausen. In January 1939 Gunzenhausen declared itself Judenfrei. Gunzenhausen waited until 1981 to finally destroy the former synagogue completely.
Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today, renamed marktplatz. In the first phase of the Franco-Prussian War, the allied German armies defeated parts of the French forces on August 4, 1870 here. Birthplace of Gustav Ritter von Kahr who, as commissar of Bavaria helped turn post World War I Bavaria into Germany's centre of radical-nationalism, was then instrumental in the collapse and suppression of Adolf Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. In revenge for the latter, he was murdered later in the 1934 Night of the Long Knives. On Sunday July 19, 1931 the Nazis held a large rally here in this medæival town, at which Hitler spoke in three mass meetings. It was initially planned that Hitler would speak following an open-air performance of Schiller's Wilhelm Tell in Weißenburger's Bergwaldtheater. However, in a letter dated July 15 the mayor, Hermann Fitz, informed Hitler that such an address would not be allowed and attached a copy of a note from City Commissioner Baer which would only approved the planned rallies could be held in the hall of the Evangelical Club House, in the Wildbad Hall and in the Goppel hall, whilst with reference to the order of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior from July 1 all other planned outdoor events were banned. Hitler, contrary to his stated promise, didn't arrive until 15.00 and spoke in all three fully occupied halls, initially for ninety minutes, and then 45 minutes each. The Völkische Beobachter claimed that an audience of over 2,500 people had attended. In addition to Hitler, other prominent Nazis spoke including Gauleiters Julius Streicher and Adolf Wagner.
In his speeches Hitler compared the Young Plan with the so-called Hoover Plan and declared that in world history political debts would only be erased by one's own efforts. So far according to Hitler, no people had eliminated their political enslavement through work. To fathom the causes of the extraordinarily difficult situation would go beyond the horizon of party politicians. The current economic crisis was a world crisis in which almost all white peoples were gripped by the same plague of internal decomposition, and he declared that the question of the day was whether, given the continuation of the present development fifty years from now, the German people would still exist. The Nazis had set themselves the goal of eliminating the internal disintegration of the people that the bourgeois parties and Marxism intended. As he declared, "[w]e would have to become one people again, then the indestructible life force of our people will ultimately prevail." 
Two years earlier at the city council election on December 8, 1929, the Weißenburg city council received its first Nazi councillors. Whilst little is known of any political unrest or street battles in Weißenburg up until then, this would change by 1932 when, on the afternoon of July 7, violent clashes between Social Democrats and Nazis took place in the town council as the communist "Iron Front" held a rally on the market square. Shortly before the end of the speech there were "fights and stabbing;"  a police report recorded in the Weißenburger Zeitung the next day described a number of injured, with one seriously so. On March 11, 1933, eleven communist functionaries and seven Reichsbannerführer were taken into protective custody. According to the Gleichschaltungsgesetz of March 31, 1933, the city council in Weissenburg was reformed following the result of the Reichstag election of March 5, 1933 leading to the Nazis being given ten seats, the Black-White-Red battle front one seat, the Bavarian People's Party one seat and the SPD three seats. These latter three councillors- Max Müller, Wilhelm Böhner and Fritz Berger- declared their resignation on July 10, 1933 in a document stamped from the "Dachau Political Department" in the concentration camp. The elected representative Friedrich Traber resigned his office in July 1933 with his seat taken over by a Nazi "according to popular opinion".
The historic townscape is characterised by the largely preserved city wall the runs around as seen in the following GIFs showing it from prewar postcards and during a few visits when I cycled through. 
The city wall had several dozen towers, of which only 38 remain. Most of the towers are square in shape although the Scheibleinsturm shown here in the background is the only round tower that still exists; it was built in the 14th or 15th century and is located on the section of the city moat that is almost completely preserved along the rampart wall. The Scheibleinsturm had to be rebuilt in 1661 after the destruction of the Thirty Years' War and for a long time it was one of the city's prisons. People live in it today together with the building that was added in 1846. The first city wall dates from the 12th and 13th centuries. In the 14th century, the city wall was moved southwards with an imperial tax privilege. In addition to the wall, a thirty-metre-wide moat was built around the city, which was filled with water in the southern part and is still there today. That the walls are so well preserved is thanks to the fact that only bombing raid took place on Weißenburg during the war took place on February 23, 1945 at around 12.30 as part of Operation Clarion. An American B-17 "Flying Fortress" bomber of the USAAF lost contact with its squadron and dropped its bomb load of 1,800 kilogrammes of fragmentation bombs, originally intended for neighbouring Ellingen, on the southern area of ​​​​the Am Hof ​​​​square. It ended up killing 22 people, including nine children.
On March 23, 1933, by order of the deputy Gauleiter Karl Holz, a general meeting of the Weissenburg local Nazi party took place in Nuremberg which demanded the immediate leave of absence of Mayor Dr. Fitz and his replacement to be the Nazi district leader, Michael Gerstner. Dr. Fitz, informed by a confidante of his imminent arrest, had to leave town at night. A year earlier, on April 14, 1932, the Nazi party leader in the city council, Max Hetzner, had responded to Dr. Fitz after having asked for a vote of confidence that his group is "still ready to work in a factual and completely independent manner for the good of our city." Already by March 27, 1933 Bahnhofstrasse was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Strasse.
 In much the same way the communists would later employ their 'salami tactics' across Eastern Europe, the strategy of the Nazis can be summed up in the quick occupation of local positions of power. At a point in time when the Nazis only had two seats in the Weißenburg city council, Gerstner- who had never been elected, bypassed the elected 2nd mayor of the district government "in agreement with the supreme SA leadership as acting deputy of the 1. Mayor of the city of Weißenburg i. Bay." On March 27, 1933, the 2nd Mayor Michel handed over all official business to him. In addition to the office of mayor as head of the city administration, the Nazis occupied the office of head of the city police in order to get the police force under their control. With this in mind, the previous police commissioner Andreas Fischer was relieved of his functions by a resolution of the Personnel Committee on June 21, 1933. The City Council (under the subject "Gleichschalt der Stadt Police") followed a week later. After the retirement of the head of the city police Elias Hohenberger, Franz Ohnesorg took over his position on January 1, 1934 after he had been assessed by Mayor Gerstner as having "always represented the interests of the NSDAP." Five years after the war on September 14th, 1950, the Nuremberg Chamber of Justice discontinued the denazification proceedings against Ohnesorg. 
The exterior and interior of St. Andreas Church then and now. The oldest part of the church is the three-aisled nave, which is divided by buttresses and a surrounding cornice at the level of the steps shown on the right. In front of the west front of the church stands the bronze statue of Martin Luther seen here by the sculptor Martin Mayer. 

Nazis saluting with swastika-topped flags inside the church in front of the high altar, probably made by Michael Wohlgemut from Nuremberg dating from 1500. It was originally located in the northern choir chapel and was only moved to its current location after 1931. In the middle section of the six metre wide winged altar is a sculpture of the seated apostle Andrew. The flanking panel paintings depict the apostles Judas Thaddaeus, John the Evangelist,Peter,Paul, James the Elder and Simon Zelotes.
As early as a fortnight after the founding of the Nazi Party in Munich, a local association with forty members had also formed in Weißenburg. Already in 1930 a large march was conducted culminating in a flag consecration here within St. Andrew's Church. During the persecution of Jewish citizens, many Protestant pastors and church leaders had “patiently or even supported” the Nazis' activities. 
However, at the time there were few Jews actually living in the town. On June 5, 1520, the synagogue and several Jewish homes were looted residents and the town council, which had initially protected the Jews and didn't want to agree to an expulsion without imperial consent, decided on June 12, 1520 to expel them . The Jews were forced to declare that they wished to leave the city and to ask the council for permission to do so. When they left, they took their movable property. Their homes were confiscated by the council, the synagogue was demolished and a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary was built in its place.

The war itself ended in Weissenburg with the invasion of American troops on the morning of April 23, 1945. They entered a deserted town- party officials, mayor Hetzner and district leader Gerstner had already fled and so Weißenburg was handed over by city treasurer Georg Schuster. The war had left 589 people dead and missing among its residents. The American military government initially removed anyone even marginally suspected of Nazi ties and put new people in their place - often regardless of their qualifications and suitability. The Weißenburg military governor Bailey convened a meeting of Weißenburg citizens in the "Wittelsbacher Hof" on May 6, 1945 in order to have them propose a provisional mayor and a district administrator by election. Drug store owner Friedrich Traber was elected and duly appointed by Bailey as mayor of the city. An "advisory committee" to provide support (without further powers) was also appointed by the military government at the suggestion of the mayor on July 12, 1945; the first joint meeting took place on August 3, 1945. Tremendous tasks awaited the new administration. First there was the repair of the war damage in the city, especially from the air raid of February 23, 1945. When the last German soldiers withdrew, just minutes before the Americans arrived, they blew up the station bridge to Gunzenhausener Strasse. First, a wooden bridge was provisionally built, which was later replaced by a steel structure. The masses of refugees and displaced persons who were partially present in free flows, partly organised through the Wülzburg refugee camp, seem to gigantic. Within a few years, the population rose from just under 9,000 in 1939 to over 14,000 by 1950. Quickly assembled wooden barracks, which still existed in the sixties, served as emergency shelters. The municipal housing office tracked down every small space and covered it with home seekers.Within a few months, the city administration had some control to some extent. The relationship with the military government, which at first had still blocked much rather restrictively, also improved, more and more competences were transferred back to the German authorities.
In the Weißenburg pogrom trial held after the war, the largest pogrom process in the American zone of occupation to date, those responsible for the Kristallnacht violence against the Jewish population in the town of Treuchtlingen took place from 1946 to 1947. During it a total of 57 people were put on trial, including eight women and several children. Eleven defendants were acquitted and 46 people were sentenced to four years in prison. Michael Gerstner had protested his innocence, but was incriminated by the standard leader of the SA Georg Sauber and the ϟϟ-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Dorner and found to be one of the main people responsible.
Recently in 2014 a Weißenburg headteacher who shouted "Sieg Heil” to pupils at the start of her school's annual mini car race caused a scandal and became the centre of an investigation by Bavarian authorities given that  such an utterance with or without the right arm salute, is illegal in Germany.
 A couple of miles away is Fortress Wülzburg, a Renaissance-era fortress east of Weißenburg situated on an hill 660 feet above the town. Originally a Benedictine monastery dating from the 11th century, it is one of the best-preserved Renaissance fortresses in Germany. It was converted into a fortress from 1588 to 1605 by George Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach. In the 19th century it was an garrison of the Bavarian Army. During the Great War Charles DeGaulle was imprisoned here. The Nazis also used it as a prison camp during the war; it was here that the Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff was held for over a year before he died of TB. After the war it was a refugee camp when masses of refugees and displaced persons arrived at Weißenburg, some in an organised manner via the Wülzburg refugee camp. Within a few years Weißenburg's population rose from just under 9,000 in 1939 to over 14,000 by 1950. Quickly assembled wooden barracks, which still existed in the 1960s, served as emergency shelters. The municipal housing office tracked down every little space and occupied it with people looking for accommodation. Within a few months, the city council got most of the problems under control, the relationship with the military government improved, and more powers were transferred back to the German authorities.
Weißenburg Roman fort Biriciana reconstruction
Weißenburg fort in ancient Biriciana was a former Roman ala castellum, possibly garrisoned by the ala I Hispanorum Auriana and built around 90 CE as part of Trajan’s military reorganisation. On the left is an idealised virtual reconstruction of its northern gate with an additional storey in comparison with it too low 1990 reconstruction. In its last expansion phase the site was an almost square stone fort for an ala with dimensions of 170 by 174 by 179 metres. Its walls were rounded at the corners and provided with defensive towers. The total of four gates were flanked by double towers, between these and the corner towers there was a further, smaller tower. Digital reconstruction of the north gate during the timber construction phase seen from the inside on the right. Today the castellum with its remains of buildings- some of which have been preserved underground- the reconstructed north gate, the large thermal baths and the Roman museum with integrated Limes information centre is one of the most important addresses for Limes research in Germany. Below on the left is the site at the turn of the century during initial excavations and how it appears today with the reconstructed gate. Weißenburg Roman fort Biriciana reconstructionThe fort was reinforced with stone structures and defences during the course of the 2nd century; again, on the right below is a GIF comparing a visualisation of how it may have appeared compared to the site today. As can be seen in these images, the wall itself was surrounded by a double moat; another moat has so far only been proven on three sides of the fort. This pit system was only interrupted in the area of ​​the camp gates. On the northern front in 1986 the archaeological excavations also cut into the moat. It was found that the outermost pointed ditch was 2.70 metres wide and 1.60 metres deep. The middle trench was measured with a width of 4.50 metres and a depth of 1.40 metres with the innermost trench widest at 5.40 metres. Weißenburg Roman fort Biriciana reconstructionAs a special feature, this trench was created as the Fossa Punica. The enemy-facing side was sunk vertically into the ground, whilst the side facing the surrounding wall sloped. The garrison served there to secure the newly conquered territory north of the Danube, which had been incorporated into the province of Raetia. As the excavations of 1986 showed, the porta decumana existed on the northern front of the wood-earth bearing made of twelve posts, six of which posts each belonged to one of the two gate towers by which the actual gate was flanked. The two wooden rectangular towers had a 3.20 x 3.60 metre floor plan. A palisade ditch around 0.60 metres wide connected the gate on both sides with the adjoining intermediate towers, each supported by four posts. After its construction, it covered an area of 3.1 hectares, with sides measuring 175 × 179 metres. Weißenburg was destroyed between 240-250 along with nearby Ellingen in the course of the Alemannic invasions. The latest coins found on the Via principalis dextra date to the years 251 and 253. In the Middle Ages the site served as a quarry for the new city until everything was removed and overgrown. The fort was not rediscovered until 1885 and was excavated between 1889 and 1913.
 Weißenburg Roman fort Biriciana courtyard reconstruction Weißenburg Roman fort Biriciana courtyard reconstruction
The inner courtyard of the administration building, the principia. On the left is the praetorium hypocaust and, inset, when it was excavated in the 1890s.  On the right is the well and how it has been virtually reconstructed.
Weißenburg Roman fort Biriciana RömertagDrake on the right at the camp of the Numerus Brittonum reenactment group on the grounds during a wet Römertage 2017.  The historical Numerus Brittonum was a Roman auxiliary unit of a nominal strength of probably 160 men, consisting of two centuries with eighty men each, probably all of whom were foot soldiers. The soldiers would have been recruited in the province of Britannia when the unit was established around 100 CE, possibly under Domitian. According to Marcus Reuter, the British would have arrived to Germania superior as a closed contingent and were only then divided into the individual units. He assumes there would have  been 1500 to 2000 British in this first contingent.
At the nearby baths, the oldest thermal bath building probably built at the same time as the wooden fort. Also called the Great Baths, these are among the most remarkable relics of the Roman fort and Vicus Biriciana that secured the northern border of the province of Raetia.

This small, heated room shown on the left built onto the apodyterium (changing room) was established around 180 AD. It's indicative of Roman bathhouses found in colder regions in that it had such heated rooms by the entrance for which they were referred to as winter apodyteria- somewhat warmer changing rooms for the colder months. Constructed with nearby Solnhofen stone slabs, the room was entered via two entrances with wide steps from the cold bath to the west. These baths on the outskirts of the present-day town of Weissenburg in Bavaria are among the few that have survived on Germanic soil; they were discovered in 1977 and have been converted into a museum since 1983. There are a total of three construction phases for the thermal baths. The first building, around 90 AD, was constructed at the same time as the fort and was a simple terraced bath. Only a few remains from this first phase remain. 
The small tepidarium where the punters would often clean themselves. Instead of using soap, Roman bathers would cover their bodies with oil to loosen dirt and then wipe off the mixture with strigils. Another activity that took place here was depilation, which consisted of having one's body hairs plucked out. Tepidariums 1 and 2 were connected to the heating rooms (praefurnia) by air shafts.  During the Marcomanni wars the thermal baths were burned down and destroyed. After around 180, the reconstruction work on the thermal baths began through which a significantly changed and larger facility was created which included a large gymnastics hall (basilica) with approximately 320 square metres of interior space complemented the thermal baths. During the expansion around 130 AD, a warm bath (caldarium), two leaf baths (tepidariums), a round sweat bath (sudatorium), a cold bath (frigidarium), a basilica surrounded by a portico and a field forge were added. The core of this basic structure is still there and can be traced. After the bathing building was destroyed, probably as a result of the Marcomannic Wars, a third, significantly larger and more luxurious ring-type thermal bath complex was built around 180, measuring 65 by 42.5 metres. Here on the right is a recreation of the round sudatorium which served as the steam bath. Located on the west side of the complex with hypocausts, of which only a few foundational walls remain, it dates from its second construction phase around 180 AD and was never rebuilt after its destruction. There was a connecting corridor to the tepidarium and from there to a small frigidarium next door in order to cool the body quickly after a visit to the sauna, still with its original brick floor. The water there was 1.10 metres deep, but the area was only suitable for immersion. In the third construction phase, the pool was filled in and the room used as a changing room (apodyterium). It's difficult to reconstruct Roman baths fully as the sources are so scanty. In the 1st century BC, the Roman architect Vitruvius left a description of a hypocaust heating system for baths. He described how the hollow lining of the walls with porous bricks (tegulae mammatae) were used for the express purpose of making the walls dry but writes nothing about the pillar arrangements with floating floors seen here for the purpose of conducting heating gases.
Probably the most important area of the thermal baths was the hot bath with two semicircular and a square water basin. In the first two construction phases, both side water basins had their own heating positions. The eastern water basin has been very well preserved. The floor of the warm bathroom rests on hypochetic pillars and during the third construction phase its was covered with Solnhofen stone slabs.
 Recreation of the caldarium, the main room of the thermal baths with hot water heated by two furnaces, located on the south side in what is now the entrance area. Here the room temperature was 32 °C. It had three warm water pools of about 20–30 °C heated by a so-called testudo alvei (a tortoise-shaped bronze metal kettle above the heating channel) and a floor heated by hypocausts. Baths were located within the apses. With a water depth of only 40 centimetres, it was only suitable for knee-deep wading rather than for swimming. 
Reconstruction of the praefurnium- the furnace. Here slaves stoked the fire in the small pits in front of the air shafts using wood and charcoal, and the hot air flowed into the two leaf baths. The thermal baths were heated day and night because it would have taken several days to reheat a cooled bath. Estimates showed that roughly one hectare of forest had to be cleared each year to keep the operation going. Traces of the fires are still clearly visible in the ground. Until about 168 AD this system heated the adjacent caldarium until such a system fell out of use and the heating duct was bricked up.
The construction period lasted until the complex was finally seriously damaged during the Alemanni invasion around 230 and abandoned in 258-59. After that, only a few remaining rooms continued to be used for purposes other than bathing. In a later renovation, almost the entire bathing area was lined with limestone slabs. In the final stage, the now luxurious thermal baths were 65 metres long and 42.5 metres wide. In the course of the Alemanni incursions after 230, the complex was again destroyed by fire after which the facilities were forever abandoned.
This main drain carried the waste water to the river behind. The reconstructed wall that runs above it with the column bases located in top provides a visual image of the porticus surrounding the basilica thermarum, which served as the bathhouse recreational hall containing an open sports and gymnastics site (palaestra). Behind this wall, further aong the drain, there is thought to have been a latrine. As it is, it's not known how often the baths were cleaned.
If one believes Martial, bathers could expect their neighbours to exhibit any manner of injuries. One medical writer, Scribonius Largus, casually claims that a certain plaster "good for weeping sores" holds up well in bath water. According to the questionable Historia Augusta, Hadrian apparently set aside certain hours each morning for sick bathers. This may have been relaxing for the convalescents, but it must have enlivened Rome's bath waters with the microbial residue of their ailments. It would appear that Roman doctors, with no understanding of germ theory, simply saw no connection between contaminated water and illness. 
The main drain with its brick-built floor and walls of a height of just under six feet is a typical example of a Roman waste water drain. As seen here, it's joined by a second, smaller drain. Finds have also been discovered in these drains such as the gold earring which can now be seen in the Roman Museum in the town. The channel (1) was probably covered with stone slabs or wooden boards. It had to be accessible for any maintenance work. A look inside the channel shows that it ended below the wall with an arched segment made of bricks (2). The main sewer existed since the first construction phase and drained the domestic water from the frigidarium. With the installation of the frigidarium II and the associated water basins, a second, smaller sewer (3) was created, which flowed into the large main water channel. 

A heated room was initially located here, possibly with an apodyterium- changing room. Around 150 AD this was converted into a frigidarium with two baths. This was further reconstructed around 180 with the construction of a large, oblung room which certainly served as an apodyterium and featured a fountain set in the wall seen here n the left. In this final form, the now luxurious thermal baths measured 65 metres in length and 42.5 metres wide. During the Alemanni invasions after 230, the complex was again destroyed by fire and the baths were never used again after that.
Hitler driving through the town towards the Pleinfelder Tor whilst campaigning.
The town hall, then and now.
The year 1933 witnessed an explosion of physical attacks against Jews, particularly in rural areas. Of course, National Socialist policy itself was essentially violent. The young dictatorship established its power through open violence in the streets. Jews were no longer safe from physical attacks either outside or in their homes. For example, in Rothenburg, the SA occupied the house of the cattle-dealing Mann family for more than four weeks in March 1933. While the men were taken into ‘protective custody’ (Schutzhaft), the wife and his daughter remained in the house under an SA guard. After three weeks living in this way, the wife, Klara Mann, committed suicide. The men got out of ‘protective custody’ after a while, but, once released, Josef Mann had a nervous breakdown. Neither he nor his business ever recovered from the attack. The case was not unique. In the Bavarian provincial town of Ellingen, local Nazis rioted in front of the house of a cattle-dealer. The open violence against Jews continued for weeks. It had become a part of public life. 
Stefanie Fischer (10) Economic Trust in the ‘Racial State’
Ellingen during the war roughly had about  1,500 inhabitants, most of whom were farmers. The town itself had nothing of military value to attack and was thus left totally unprepared when, on February 23, 1945, 25 USAAF bombers dropped 285 high explosive bombs on the hamlet in a surprise attack which left 120 bomb craters and killed the town’s farm animals along with 98 villagers.
 The schloss from a 1944 postcard and the Schlosskirche after the war with an American GI surveying the looted art recovered from the Nazis, and today.

Standing at the former Adolf-Hitler-Platz, its Nazi eagle-topped war memorial torn down. The war saw 75% of Allersberg destroyed by the time the Americans arrived on April 23, 1945 as units of the Waffen-ϟϟ including the  the 17th ϟϟ Panzergrenadier continued to fiercely defend the town. The 501st Armoured Field Artillery Battalion had initially fired on Allersberg and nearby enemy positions during the night of April 20, Hitler's birthday. This action initiated a three-day battle. During the night of April 22, the American XV Corps and 14th Armoured Division artillery bombarded the German forces in Allersberg in preparation for the impending attack led by the black American CCR Rifle Company. Moving from Göggelsbuch through a wooded area toward Allersberg, the black infantrymen were confronted at close range by two Tiger tanks that had been concealed among the buildings at the edge of town. The black soldiers held their ground, firing on the advancing tanks with their rifles and submachine guns, whilst their bazooka teams took up positions and opened fire. Several bazooka rounds found their targets but did not penetrate the thick armor of the German tanks. As the enemy tanks closed to within fifteen yards of the infantry positions, Pfc. Percy Smith of the 1st Platoon fired his bazooka and succeeded in disabling one of the Tigers. Private Smith was killed by return fire from the same tank, and other soldiers were wounded. 
At a time when the Germans were collapsing all across the front, the three-day battle at Allersberg had been particularly fierce, impressing even the veterans of the 62d Armoured Infantry Battalion whose unit history reported that the battalion’s “A Company made the attack with CCR Rifle Company (Coloured). They will long remember the fighting there and the Krauts ‘Tiger’ tanks.” Eventually the fighting claimed 200 deaths, 47 houses totally destroyed, and 150 families made homeless.

Another former Adolf-Hitler-Platz below, with the Nazi eagle removed from one of the building's façades. Leutershausen was the third German city which appointed Hitler an honorary citizen in 1932. In 1948, the honorary citizenship was revoked by the city council. 
 In his book Henry Kissinger and the American Century, Jeremi Suri writes how
[t]he anti-Semitic frenzy in Leutershausen reached such a height that local Nazis did not wait for the national party's call for what became the Kristallnacht pogrom against Jews. On Sunday evening, 16 October 1938—three weeks before Kristallnacht local residents vandalised the village's synagogue and broke the windows of homes belonging to Jews, including Falk and Fanny Stern. A young visitor to the Stern household at the time recounts the shock and anguish felt by Kissinger's grandfather. He reacted to the attacks with a determination to abandon his house and business in Leutershausen immediately. This prosperous German cattle merchant fled to Fürth, where he became an internal exile from his home, and died seven months later, at least in part from the personal stress of recent events. The Nazis deported Fanny Stern to Izbica, Poland, a holding location for the nearby Belzec extermination camp. She never returned.
 Living his first ten years in Weimar Germany, Henry Kissinger had witnessed the weakness of democracy. His five teenage years under Nazi rule revealed the potential for popular and extreme violence within civilised society. The pogroms in Gunzenhausen and Leutershausen, as well as the "Hitler Youth kids" on the streets of Fürth, displayed the dangerous dynamics of mass action. The crowds that rampaged against Jews did not follow direct orders from the Nazi leadership. Instead they took politics and social change into their own hands, acting in the spirit of what they perceived as a larger Nazi program. This kind of popular, grassroots politics was a particular Nazi talent, and it frightened Kissinger when he experienced it in the 1930s and throughout his later career.
A monument on the side wall of the town cemetery commemorates the two Wehrmacht soldiers, Friedrich Döppel and Richard Köhler, who were shot dead by an ϟϟ commando in April 1945 due to desertion.
[A]rmy officers and ϟϟ units were determined to obey Hitler's orders to the last, the latter out of fanaticism and the former often because they feared the consequences of disobeying orders, although there were also fanatics in the officer corps. Sometimes an army unit was already installed in a town or village, and sometimes there was one nearby and available to be summoned by diehards who wanted them to prevent a surrender by citizens. Sometimes a village received a flying visit from an ϟϟ troop and had to reverse any measures already taken to dismantle defences such as antitank barriers. This was the case in Leutershausen, in Bavaria, where an ϟϟ unit arrived shortly after a group of women had dismantled anti-tank barriers and forced the villagers to reassemble the barriers and prepare a bridge for demolition. The result of ϟϟ attempts to defend the village was that American forces used their superior firepower to destroy half of it. 
Stoltzfus, Maier-Katkin (31) Protest in Hitler's “National Community”: Popular Unrest and the Nazi Response


The Schöner Brunnen shows the difficulties with taking such then-and-now images with fountains which invariably shift position over time. In 1934 Schwabach became a garrison town with the Auf der Reit barracks. One of the co-founders of the NSDAP-Ortsgruppe in Schwabach was brownshirt Fritz Schöller who had been trained as a teacher. During the war Schwabach was first bombed on October 13, 1941 from 00.45 to 2.00 resulting in eleven fatalities. The last bombs fell on April 18, 1945 whilst the battle for Nuremberg was already raging. By the time of its capitulation on April 19, Schwabach

managed to escape destruction. The former Nazi barracks were used by the American Army after the war and renamed the O'Brien Barracks until its closure in 1992. Until recently, this converted military building contained the Stadtmuseum Schwabach.
In 1969, a national party convention of the extreme right NPD took place in the Schwabach Markgrafensaal. More recently the town's mayor, Matthias Thuerauf, sought to convince local legislators to posthumously strip the town's honorary citizenship from Nazi officials such as Hitler, Julius Streicher and Gauleiter Adolf Wagner. Among the towns that have revoked Hitler's citizenship in recent years is Bad Doberan, which did so shortly before the 2007 G-8 meeting in Heiligendamm. That same year, members of the Social Democratic Party in Lower Saxony tried to revoke Hitler's German nationality, a suggestion which drew criticism from the state's minister of the interior, Uwe Schunemann of the Christian Democratic Union party, who suggested that such a move could be seen abroad as an attempt to deny German history. Hitler was stateless when he was granted German citizenship on Feb. 26, 1932 after becoming a civil servant in Braunschweig, in the region now encompassed by Lower Saxony. His status enabled him to run for president that year.

Roth bei Nuremberg

Adolf-Hitlerstraße with the war memorial on the right and Adolf-Hitler-Platz. Note the 'NSDAP' letters on the Nazi headquarters on the left. 
The site of the former synagogue built in 1737 on Judengaße, now Kugelbuehlstraße 44. Jews were first recorded as having a presence in Roth bei Nuremberg in 1414. At its peak in 1837 there were about two hundred Jews living in Roth. By the time Hitler became chancellor in 1933, there were nineteen Jewish living in the town, which amounted to 0.3% of the total of 5,840 inhabitants. There was apparently a strong anti-Jewish atmosphere in the city. According to an essay by a nine-year-old pupil at the municipal elementary school which was printed in the September 1935 edition of the Nazi publication Der Stürmer, children stood in front of Jewish shops shouting "Gentlemen, shame on you for buying from the Jews, damn you!" and thus supported the boycott of Jewish businesses. By the end of December 1935 all Jewish residents left the city after being forced to sell their property, leading the town to proclaim itself. After the departure of the last Jewish inhabitants, the city was declared judenfrei and the synagogue’s interior was ransacked. About fifteen Jews from Roth were killed during the Nazi period according to the lists of Yad Vashem published in the "Memorial Book - Victims of the persecution of the Jews under the National Socialist tyranny in Germany 1933-1945" but, given that there was also a Jewish community in another town named Roth in the state of Hesse, the actual number is problematic. After 1945, some Jewish survivors of concentration camps came to the city temporarily. In May 1946 there were sixteen Jews in the town, but after 1948 they all emigrated, probably mostly to Israel. The synagogue was eventually converted into an office building after the war before being used as a youth centre. 
The charming hotel I stayed in- Zur Goldenen Krone, located on Bahnhofstraße, one of the oldest inns in Roth. It is recorded in the late 14 century as being one of the two inns in town; the "Roter Ochse" which is now the Golden Crown, and the "Rote Roß" which is now the location of the "Schwarzer Adler." The Tavern "Roter Ochse" had the permits for brewing beer, brandy distillation, cellar, water and fishing rights and over the course of later centuries it gained further permits for backing and stall rights. In the "Roten Roß" the Inn was more for the nobility and officers whilst the "Roter Ochsen" was primarily for merchants and their entourage. The merchants gathered together at the Inn to create larger traveling parties to defer and fend off thieves and bandits that hovered along the trade route into Nuremberg which made the Inn one of the most important addresses in the town. Starting from the early beginning of these gatherings at the Inn, where wealthy and prosperous travellers met, played a major role in Roth's economy, and thus giving it part of the industrial background it has today. The friendly owners, Erwin and Heidi Schmilewski, took over the hotel in 1979 and have compiled a remarkable documentary history both of the hotel and of the town itself.
Nazi eagle of the German Red Cross at Karolinenstraße 13 dated 1935. The national Red Cross Society in Germany had chosen to fall in line with the regime during the Gleichschaltung rather than face being shut down. It subsequently became deeply Nazified and obstructed many attempts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help concentration camp inmates, not that the ICRC acted any diifferently than the WHO in lying on behalf of the Chinese regime and actively acting against Taiwan, as Jean-Claude Favez in
The Red Cross and the Holocaust (282) argues that the ICRC " did not take the supreme risk of throwing the full weight of its moral authority into the scales on behalf of these particular victims." As for the German Red Cross which Gerald Steinacher examines in his book Humanitarians at War,  official Walther Georg Hartmann, the most important contact between Geneva and Berlin, was often praised as being one of the few remaining humanitarians in the leadership of his organisation despite having been a member of the Nazi Party since 1933 and described in Nazi Party files as a ‘political leader’ of the Nazi-aligned association of the German Red Cross. After the war in 1950 Hartmann became the secretary general of the refounded Red Cross in West Germany, no doubt given that he was never seen to have been a fanatical Nazi, nor found to be directly responsible for war crimes. His superior, ϟϟ-General Dr Ernst Robert Grawitz, however certainly was. In 1937 he was appointed leader of the German Red Cross. A fanatical Nazi and close follower of Himmler, he was deeply implicated in the euthanasia murders of handicapped people and medical ‘experiments’ in concentration camps. Grawitz ensured that the actions of his Red Cross colleagues were in line with the policies of the Nazi leadership. The German Red Cross was now merely a Nazi medical service unit supporting Hitler’s Wehrmacht.
When the Americans bombed the Ansbach train station district on February 22 and 23, 1945 as part of "Operation Clarion", they destroyed not only the train station but also large parts of the Hofgarten including the orangery and the buildings of the then Oberrealschule Ansbach, including the 18th century Zocha palace. From March 13, 1945 to April 4, 1945, shortly before the end of the war, there was a subcamp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp in the village , whose 700 prisoners had to do forced labour for the Reichsbahn; between three and five prisoners died every day. In all, at least 72 died. 58 concentration camp victims are buried in the forest cemetery, although it is uncertain whether they came from the Ansbach camp. They are remembered there with a memorial stone.
At the end of the war, nineteen-year-old student Robert Limpert actively campaigned for the city to be handed over to Americans troops without a fight. Betrayed by Hitler Youth, he was personally hanged at the gate of the town hall by the town's combat commander, Colonel Ernst Meyer. In the end, the former margravial envoy house on the Promenade, today the seat of the Ansbach administrative court, became an office of the American military government. In January 1946, the military administration set up a DP camp to accommodate Jewish orphans in a former lung sanatorium in what is now the Strüth district. 
More recently Ansbach has seen its share of violence as with the 2009 shooting spree which occurred at the local Carolinum grammar school, in which nine students and one teacher were injured by a shooter further armed with an axe, two knives and three Molotov cocktails. On July 24, 2016 another Syrian refugee the Merkel government simply allowed into the country detonated a bomb in a restaurant, killing himself and injuring others.

The Ermetzhofen war memorial for the fallen of both world wars is located on the right in front of the entrance to the local cemetery on the road to Uffenheim. Below a Reichsadler and steel helmet and the inscription "Die Gemeinde Ermetzhofen in gratitude to their brave heroes who fell in the World War 1914 – 1918", the names of the fallen are listed, including that of a Jewish German soldier second on the right column- Holzer Siegl, born December 10, 1895 and killed in action on June 27, 1916. Another Ermetzhofen-born Jew who died for his country in the Great War was non-commissioned officer Ludwig Stark, born April 23, 1891. He had moved to Ulm before being sent to the front, dying a mere month after the very start of the war on August 24, 1914. 
A Jewish community existed in Ermetzhofen dating back to the 16th century until 1938. They settled after Jews were expelled from almost all cities, for example from Rothenburg ob der Tauber in 1519. The Margraves of Ansbach, the Barons of Seckendorff and later also the Princes of Schwarzenberg allowed them to take up residence in Ermetzhofen for a not insignificant fee. Most of the Jewish local residents lived in modest circumstances. Since they were generally not allowed to practice any trades, they subsisted on trade and very small-scale farming.Records in 1530 and 1593 refer to Jewish residents as well as during the time of the Thirty Years' War. In the 18th century the number of Jewish families in the area increased from four families in 1736 to nine in 1796 who were under the protection of the Barons von Seckendorff. By 1880 the number of Jewish residents increased to 103, making up 24.4% of a total of 422 residents in total
One testament to the history of the Jewish community here is the forlorn Jewish cemetery on the south-eastern outskirts of Ermetzhofen, first laid out in 1564 and expanded in 1777. The historically important Jewish district cemetery has been under monument protection since 1979. The cemetery was a union cemetery for deceased Jews from the Jewish communities of Burgbernheim, Ermetzhofen, Gnodstadt, Uffenheim and Welbhausen. Already in 1926 the cemetery was desecrated. When the Nazis took power gravestones were used to build a road to Obermühl. In 1959 the cemetery was restored as best as possible and there are still about four hundred tombstones in the cemetery. The two oldest stones are from 1791 and 1794, the most recent from 1936. Contrary to the Jewish tradition which envisages a simple gravestone design, most of the graves are in the neoclassical and neo-Gothic style and several have show several specific symbols. For example, this grave showstwo hands representing the Kohanim, the blessing hands of the priests appealing to the male descendants of Aaron. As a descendant of the tribe of Aaron, one is born a priest whereas one becomes a rabbi by virtue of training and ordination. A priest can be a rabbi, but a rabbi can never become a priest unless he is of the Aaronid lineage. In this case the hands are directed upwards, thumb, index and middle finger face each other, but only thumb and index finger are touching. Such positioning of the hands is used when the Kohanim bless the congregation in synagogue. Leonard Nimoy was Jewish, and took inspiration from his heritage to create the Vulcan gesture on Star Trek. Such a symbol indicates that the person buried here is therefore a Cohen- a descendent of Aaron given that it can only be used for a deceased male Cohen.
The grave shown on the left depicts the pitcher of the Levites, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Levites were responsible for cleaning the hands of the Temple Priest or Cohen and this is what the symbol is depicting. Such a gravestone with this symbol shows that the deceased was a Levi. Like the priests, the Levites have their own symbol of special belonging within the Jewish community. Leviteship is also hereditary and can neither be acquired nor discarded. In ancient times, the Levites assisted the priests in the temple. The Levite poured the water on the priest's hands before he extended his hands and blessed the congregation. Liberal Judaism no longer distinguishes between affiliations by birth such as priests, Levites and other Jews. 

The stones showing a broken tree or column as seen in the examples shown left and centre, indicate that the deceased was of a life cut short. The central grave also shows a book symbolising the book of life. The stone on the right shows a Shofar- ram’s horn- one of the earliest symbols found on Jewish gravestones seen in the catacombs of Bet Shearim. It's derived from the biblical story of the sacrifice of a ram instead of Isaac as well as serving as a symbol of resurrection.
Various buildings bear witness to the local Jewish history to this day. According to Ilse Vogel, various structural features, some of which differed regionally, were an expression of the piety of the builders and Jewish citizens could recognise their co-religionists by them. There used to be a Jewish school at house number 98. After compulsory schooling was introduced at the beginning of the 19th century, Jewish children attended the Christian elementary school. In addition, they received weekly religious instruction in their own school building, where the Jewish religious teacher also lived. However, the house had to be demolished after a fire in 2009 and no longer exists. That said, there are still a number of residences that remain such as house number 85/87 on the left. Apparently the five windows on the courtyard side represent the five books of the Torah. These correspond to the five so-called books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
 Meanwhile at house number 101 seen on the right the twin windows in the gable symbolise the tablets of the law with the ten commandments. At house number 100 was located a Mikveh, a Jewish ritual bath. In fact, in the 19th century there were several such ritual baths in Ermetzhofen which were used for the purpose of ritual immersion to achieve ritual purity by providing a bathing facility that remains in contact with a natural source of water. In Orthodox Judaism, such a regulation is steadfastly adhered to; consequently, the mikveh is central to an Orthodox Jewish community although conservative Judaism also formally holds to the regulations. The existence of a mikveh is considered so important that a Jewish community is required to construct a mikveh even before building a synagogue, and must go to the extreme of selling Torah scrolls, or even a synagogue if necessary, to provide funding for its construction.
A Mezuzah at house number 61. Religious Jews fasten a capsule in which a small roll of parchment is kept to the right doorpost of the house entrance, as well as to room entrances. The beginning of the "Shema Yisrael", the Jewish creed, is written on it in Hebrew "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deuteronomy 6:4). At the entrance the two holes in which the Mezuzah was fastened can still be seen. The building used to serve as a Jewish butcher's shop where animals were ritually slaughtered and their meat sold.
The beginning of Nazi rule of course saw the local Jewish residents suffer from discrimination and boycotts. In 1933 there were still 34 Jews living in Ermetzhofen (9.9% of the total population). Due to the increasing reprisals and the effects of the economic boycott, twelve  people left the village by November 1938, and one member of the community died during this time. Several weeks before the November pogrom of 1938 the Jewish families were forced by the authorities to sell their houses. During the November pogrom itself, all Jews were arrested, some arrested and taken to the Dachau concentration camp; the rest asked to leave the place immediately. By November 29, 1938, 21 Jewish residents had left Ermetzhofen. Few were able to emigrate with two fleeing to China, although most moved within Germany to Munich, Würzburg, Augsburg, or Frankfurt am Main. On November 30, 1938, Ermetzhofen was Judenfrei, and the Jewish community was dissolved. In 1936, Jewish children were excluded from attending the Ermetzhöfer elementary school. From then on they had to take the train every day to the Jewish elementary school in Marktbreit, just under twenty miles away. Some Jewish Ermetzhofers managed to emigrate to the United States, Israel and even China. In October 1938, the Jewish citizens had to sell their property. Shortly after Kristallnacht on November 19, 1938, the last fifteen Jews were rounded up by force, interrogated in a cellar and then taken to the Windsheim gaol. The district man there sent the women and a child back to Ermetzhofen. There they were told that they had to leave Ermetzhofen the next day. With some belongings, the women left the town and fled to larger cities. Most of these Jews were deported to extermination camps in the early 1940s and murdered there.