Showing posts with label Weiden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weiden. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi Sites in the Upper Palatinate

The city, one of the oldest in Germany, had survived seventeen sieges and had suffered a long and bloody history of violence. A Roman fortress, a bishopric since the eighth century, a way-station for Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land and a prosperous medieval port city, it had served as seat of the diet of the Holy Roman Empire until it was abolished by Napoleon. It was also the site of one of his victories during his advance on Vienna in 1809, and here too the French Emperor had been slightly wounded during the fight to breach its ancient walls. It had been home for the medieval astronomer Johann Kepler, and much later for the industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved hundreds of Jews from the Holocaust.  When Patton's men entered the city they found it mostly intact, although allied bombers had flattened its railway stations, freight yards and Messerschmitt aircraft factory. Its twelfth-century bridge, the Steinerne Brücke, had been all but destroyed by ϟϟ troops trying to halt the American advance. And there was another example of Nazi disregard for cultural heritage. Hidden in the vaults of the city's Reichsbank, the Americans found a vast collection of art stolen from all over Europe: paintings, precious stones, bracelets and watches taken from extermination camp victims, silver bars formed from melted-down jewellery, and solid gold items removed from churches in Czechoslovakia, including a solid gold tabernacle from a Russian Orthodox church in Prague. Most valuable of all, however, were three billion dollars' worth of Austrian securities, as well as the major part of Bavaria's paper assets.   
Stafford (144) Endgame 1945
Hitler Youth crossing the Stone Bridge on October 1, 1933. One of the perpetrators in the murders of Johann Maier and retired policeman Michael Lottner among others was Rupert Müller, the leader of the Hitler Youth- he had personally shot Lottner. After the war in 1954 Müller was condemned to four years for manslaughter. A few days before the end of the war on April 23, 1945 the Germans bombed the second and eleventh pillars of the bridge in an attempt to delay the American advance. This damage was only repaired in 1967. 

The Salzstadl from the 1940 book Regensburg: Eine Stadt des Reiches published by Gauverlag Bayerische Ostmark in Bayreuth and looking at the Brückentor from the other side. It was here in Regensburg that former Chancellor Franz von Papen, who more than anyone else jobbed Hitler into office, was held after having been sentenced to eight years’ hard labour at the Nuremberg trials.

While he was in Regensburg he was set upon by an ϟϟ man in the washhouse who beat him bloody, fracturing his nose and cheekbone and splitting his lips and eyelids. He was sewn up by another prisoner, a surgeon. Papen says he was singled out for special treatment. Meanwhile he was convinced that the right way to get out was to appeal for a shorter sentence rather than a retrial, which might have taken years to bring about. 
Giles MacDonogh (403) After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation

Regensburg was the home to both a Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft factory and an oil refinery, both of which were bombed by the Allies on August 17 1943 by the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission, and on February 5, 1945, during the so-called Oil Campaign. Although both targets were badly damaged, Regensburg itself suffered little damage from the Allied strategic bombing campaign, and the nearly intact medieval city centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city's most important cultural loss was that of the Romanesque church of Obermünster, which was destroyed in a March 1945 air raid and was not rebuilt (the belfry survived). Also, Regensburg's slow economic recovery after the war ensured that historic buildings were not torn down to be replaced by newer ones. Between 1945 and 1949, Regensburg was the site of the largest Displaced persons (DP) camp in Germany. At its peak in 1946–1947, the workers' district of Ganghofersiedlung housed almost 5,000 Ukrainian and about a thousand non-Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons. With the approval of the American Military Government in the American Allied Occupation Zone, Regensburg and other DP camps organised their own camp postal service. In Regensburg, the camp postal service began operation on December 11, 1946.

The southern portal of one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in Europe which is still allowed to prominently have on its façade the judensau (Jews' Sow), an example of antisemitic propaganda used by the authorities to ostracise the Jewish minority. There is a plaque that reads euphemistically:
The sculpture should be regarded as a witness in stone to a bygone era and should be seen in connection to its time; It is repugnant for the viewer of today in its anti-Jewish expression.
This despite the fact that anyone else who uses such imagery or expressions to people today or expresses them publicly about them is liable to prosecution in Germany ( Section 185 of the Criminal Code ) and Austria ( Section 115 of the Austrian Criminal Code ) for insulting and in Switzerland under the racism criminal norm (Section 261 to StGB ). In particularly serious cases, a punishment for sedition ( Section 130 ) can also be considered in Germany. 
My bike in front of the relief with historical examples of the judensau which was erected in front of the Jewish quarter.

Hitler exiting the rathaus on October 22, 1933 and shown during the war in 1942. It was here on June 6, 1937 that Hitler spoke, referring to the nearby Walhalla:
For us there was the hard choice: either-or! Either relinquishing claim to the remnants of a bad past, remnants that had become as ridiculous as they were harmful-or relinquishing claim to the future of Germany. We would rather relinquish claim to the past and fight for a future! You are standing here in an ancient German city in which a King once erected the Walhalla with the bequest to unite in it all great German men of our history and hence lend expression to the German Volk’s indissoluble bond of blood. We believe that today we have practically accomplished our primary task of creating one Volk; before us stands a goal, and this goal has hypnotised us. It is under the spell of this goal that we march on! Let he who stands in our way not complain if, sooner or later, the march of a nation sweeps over him.  We have not practised a policy of using cheap popular phrases. We have divested money of its phantom-like traits and assigned to it the role it deserves: neither gold nor foreign exchange funds, but work alone is the foundation for money! There is no such thing as an increase in wages if it does not go hand in hand with an increase in production. This economic insight has enabled us to decimate seven million unemployed to approximately 800,000 and to keep prices almost completely stable for all essential vital goods. Today there is work going on everywhere. The peasant is tilling his fields, the worker is supplying him with manufactured products, an entire nation is working. Things are looking up!
In fact, the reception in the Old Town Hall was overshadowed by an incident that meant that Hitler never entered the city again after former Mayor Hans Schaidinger had exclaimed that Hitler hated the Free Imperial City because before 1933 the Nazis often had their worst election results in this city whilst the now-banned Bavarian People's Party performed very well. On top of this, within the Reichssaal a heavy chandelier broke loose from the wooden ceiling and crashed to the floor as Hitler entered the hall. He regarded this as a bad sign in the centre of power of what he considered the first German Reich, the Holy Roman Empire. Hitler turned on his heel and never came back to Regensburg. 
Adolf Hitler Brücke was inaugurated on December 21, 1935, by the Bavarian Minister for the Interior, Adolf Wagner, who dedicated it "to the glory of the state, the glory of the Bavarian Ostmark and the glory of National Socialist Germany". Work began with the north span, between the Lower Wöhrd and Weichs; work on the south span, between Weißenburgstraße and the Lower Wöhrd, began in summer 1936. In 1937 the north span opened to traffic and repairs immediately began on the Stone Bridge. On June 18, 1938, the south span and the Frankenbrücke both opened, and on July 16 Minister Wagner ceremonially christened the bridge. Several thousand people attended the festivities and the fireworks that evening. The bridge was designed by Roderich Fick, with engineering work by Gerhart & Zenns. Fick wanted the new concrete bridge to appear as slender and serene as possible to contrast with the Stone Bridge. On April 23 1945, the bridge was blown up to slow the Allied advance, and largely destroyed. It has since been replaced by the Nibelungenbrücke.
Albert Allmann's reichsadler that had graced the Nibelungenbrücke until it had been removed after the bridge's restoration. For the 1938 Adolf Hitler Bridge, Munich sculptor Allman was commissioned to carve a group of maidens and a monumental Nazi eagle. Allman had little experience as a monumental sculptor; he was known for art deco nudes. He requested porphyry, an extremely durable stone, for the eagle but was required to use granite. He began work over a year late; when the bridge was dedicated, the eagle was not yet ready and was ineptly added to the official photographs by retouching. When completed in 1939, the nine-metre eagle weighed twelve tonnes and had cost RM 18,000. In March 1940 it was installed at a semicircular lookout between the two parts of the bridge.  The eagle was mounted on the 1950 Nibelungen Bridge as a federal eagle, facing east, with the swastika omitted from the oak garland in its claws. It was frequently defaced with graffiti and painted various colours. On July 11, 2001, as part of the preparations for moving the 1950 bridge before its demolition, the eagle and the maidens were moved into storage. It was announced at the time that the city would find an appropriate use for the eagle, but as of 2008 it was still in storage, despite a 2003 invitation for proposals from well known artists and an exhibit of the suggestions, which included wrapping it in the manner of Christo and permitting nature to reclaim it by letting grass grow over it. Other ideas have included smashing it and reassembling it randomly, and a local entrepreneur once offered to buy it and put it in his garden.
History of the Brückenadler
The Goliathhaus on the left, built in 1260, in 1946 and today. The name is derived from the Goliards, a group of theology students whose guardian angel was Golias. It is believed that the present Goliath house was built on the location of the quarters in which these students would stay during the 12th century. The monumental mural itself was painted in 1573 by Melchior Bocksberger. It was here, off Goliathstrasse, that Oskar Schindler briefly lived after the war, all but penniless when, at the end of the war, he and his wife arrived from Constance and spent the next five years here until 1950. A tangible memento of Oskar Schindler can be found in the city archive in the form of an official registration form. As in many other cities in post-war Germany, there was a housing shortage in Regensburg as displaced Germans from Eastern Europe and the country's bombed out citizens needed accommodation. The Schindler couple were accommodated in the overcrowded house at Am Watmarkt 5. Before Emilie and Oskar Schindler emigrated to Argentina, they lived on Alte Nürnberger Straße, in the Steinweg district of Regensburg.
The morning after Reichskristallnacht in Regensburg: Jews led down Maximilianstraße (shown before the war and today) to the railway station
On the night of November 9, Sebastian Platzer, head of the NSKK driver training school in Regensburg, was ordered by his superior, Wilhelm Müller-Seyfferth, to set fire to the local synagogue together with the NSKK men under his command. In characteristic fashion, the NSKK, the SA, and the ϟϟ fought over who would get to carry out the arson attack. Arrests of Jewish families began directly thereafter, and the next morning – under the supervision of Müller-Seyfferth – the SA and the NSKK forced the Jewish men to do degrading drills. Finally, all of the Jewish men in Regensburg were led to the train station on a “march of shame” [Schandmarsch] under a poster that read “Exodus of Jews” [Auszug der Juden]. Some were deported to the Dachau concentration camp; others were taken to the Regensburg prison. A total of 224 Jewish men from the entire administrative district of Lower Bavaria and Upper Palatinate were sent to Dachau. In the end, only eleven survived the camps and could be released in May 1945 by the Allies.
The Nazis’ use of the phrase “Exodus of Jews” was particularly cynical since it alluded to the exodus of Jews from Egypt, a central liberation theme in Jewish tradition. This phrase was used in later waves of persecution and killings. At the train station a reminder of Reichskristallnacht appears on a mural on the wall at the entrance shown on the left.
However, the persecution of the Jews took place much earlier in Regensburg's history. The original Synagogue was erected between 1210 and 1227 on the site of the former Jewish hospital in the centre of the ghetto. In 1519 following the death of Emperor Maxmilian who had long been a protector of the Jews in the imperial cities, the town, which blamed its economic troubles on its prosperous Jewish community, expelled the 500 Jews. The Jews themselves had demolished the interior of their venerable synagogue, on the site of which seen behind me a chapel was built in honour of the Virgin. Two etchings made by Albrecht Altdorfer just before it was destroyed on February 22, 1519 provide the first prints of an actual architectural monument. Just in front is a memorial created by Dani Karavan in 2005 that depicts the foundation of the Synagogue. Dani Karavan website 
The synagogue alight during Reichskristallnacht, November 8-9 1938 above
and, left,  the current synagogue today, with memorial plaque to the events of the past. On November 9, 1938, during the Reichspogromnacht, the synagogue was burned down at the Brixner Hof, the remaining Jewish shops were looted and the Jewish population of Regensburg terrorised. On April 2, 1942, 106 Jews from Regensburg were transported from the square of the destroyed synagogue to Piaski and murdered at the Belzec extermination camp. Further transports, including those to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, followed until 1943. In the Stadtamhof district there was an external camp at the Flossenbürg concentration camp. Another subcamp was located at the Regensburg-Obertraubling airfield. In total, 200-250 victims of the Holocaust fell victim; 233 Regensburgers had earlier managed to escape through emigration. In the autumn of 1942, the Gestapo smashed the so-called Neupfarrplatz-Gruppe, a resistance movement consisting of about fifty people; nine were poisoned with the remainder sentenced to imprisonment. Starting in 1940, a total of 638 women, men and young people were deported from the district hospital on Ludwig-Thoma-Strasse and sent to the Hartheim homicide facility through the so-called euthanasia programme; over 500 other people were sterilised against their will.
The early-Gothic church of St. Ulrich, built between 1220 and 1230 and on the right the Schottenportal during the Nazi era and today, protected within a glass structure. Founded in the 11th century by Irish missionaries and for most of its history in the hands of first Irish, followed by Scottish monks, in Middle Latin Scotti meant Gaels, not differentiating Ireland from Scotland.
 The house on the right of the photograph showing Regensburg in flames after allied bombing remains at Donaustaufer Straße, although it's uncertain for how much longer.
The Americans were only a short distance away, and few people were prepared to go down in flames as the enemy took the town. Next morning some women started going round shops, spreading the word that there was to be another meeting that evening in Moltkeplatz, in the city centre, to demand that Regensburg be handed over to the Allies without a fight. Nearly a thousand people, many of them women with
The same house today
children, turned out. As the crowd started to become restless, it was addressed by a prominent member of the cathedral chapter, Domprediger Dr. Johann Maier, who, however, was able to say only a few words before he and several others were arrested.
When [Gauleiter] Rucksdeckel heard what had happened, he ordered that Maier and the other 'ringleaders' be hanged. A rapidly summoned drumhead court lost no time in pronouncing the death sentence on Maier and a seventy-year-old warehouse worker, Joseph Zirkl. They were hanged in the early hours of 24 April. The terror apparatus had still functioned. But with the Americans on the doorstep, the town's military commandant, its head of regional government, the Kreisleiter and the head of police suddenly vanished into the night. Gauleiter Rucksdeckel had also disappeared. The way was all at once clear for emissaries to hand over the city on 27 April, still largely undamaged by the war.
Kershaw (342-3) The End
 For a personal account of the American entry into Regensburg May 1, 1945:
Chapter 22: Regensburg, Germany
Porta Praetoria- Germany’s most ancient stone building, a gateway once reaching twenty metres in height dating from 179 under Emperor Marcus Aurelius for the new Roman fort Castra Regina ("fortress by the river Regen"). It was the threat posed during the second Marcomanic war that led Rome to put a legion as an occupying force back into Raetia after almost two hundred years. The largest garrison town in Raetia was built over an area of 33 football fields (24 hectares in total). This stone building with its approximately ten metre high wall, four gates and numerous towers can still be recognised today in the floor plan of the old town of Regensburg. 
From its inauguration in 179, the stone inscription that was once located above the east gate is still preserved today and is considered the founding document of Regensburg. It was built for Legio III Italica and was an important camp on the most northerly point of the Danube corresponding to what is today the core of Regensburg's old town east of Obere and Untere Bachgasse and west of Schwanenplatz. The Legio III Italica stationed with around 6000 soldiers. It was the main military base of the province of Raetia and was therefore an exception in the Roman administrative system, since the legion was not based in the provincial capital of Augsburg. Giant blocks of stone were used to construct this gate in the northern wall of the Roman military camp. It survives as a reminder of Castra Regina, the Roman settlement; another camp village was found at today's Bismarckplatz. On a walk through the old town one can still see the relics of the former castle wall built into the walls of a number of old buildings although in contrast to the remains of the protective wall, there is not much left of the interior of the “Reginum” fort given that the late-antiquity fortress town of Castra Regina developed from the fort at a time when the reduced military garrison retreated to a reinforced corner of the entire camp and opened the rest of the space within the enormous walls for civil settlement. During the turmoil of the peoples' migration , the fort was given a military role in the course of the 5th century, which from then on was a walled civil settlement.
The Römerturm (also called the "Heidenturm") at the former Moltkeplatz and today. During the war a two metre-thick reinforced concrete ceiling of the tower was reinforced.
 In November 1922 the first meeting of the Nazi Party met for the first time in the Carmelite Hall. The local group was founded in early 1923 at which ime it had 23 members. By the time Hitler visited Regensburg in 1930 on the occasion of his so-called freedom rallies, the Regensburg Nazis grew in number and claimed the "Brauner Häusl" at Bismarckplatz 5. In front of this building there were repeated marches and political events. The following night after Hitler's appointment as chancellor at around 20.30 the local Nazis at what was then Moltkeplatz, now Dachauplatz. The local paper Regensburger Anzeiger reported about 1,000 people involved in the rally, which led with torches over Maxstrasse, Domplatz and Neupfarrplatz, over Wahlenstrasse to Haidplatz, and from there to Arnulfsplatz and Bismarckplatz. The local newspapers reported extremely differently about the memorable event. The Nazi paper Bayerische Ostmark, printed in Bayreuth and provided with a daily special page about Regensburg, reported loud encouragement from the Regensburg residents who lined the roadside. The Regensburger Anzeiger, whose editor-in-chief was the son-in-law of BVP Prime Minister Held who was still in office at the beginning of 1933, wrote of serious faces that eyed the march with suspicion. The SPD-affiliated paper Volkswacht even reported that the Nazis struck the crowd with their burning torches to silence jeers.
Before the last free elections on March 5, there were numerous rallies by the parties. For the Nazis, von Epp spoke at Bismarckplatz. The SPD hosted a rally in what was then the town hall; their member of the state parliament Toni Pfülf spoke at the meeting which had been titled "Unmasking the NSDAP." In the end the turnout in Regensburg was 88 percent with the greatest share of the vote going to the BVP despite having lost six percent of the vote compared to the 1932 election. The Nazis doubled their vote with 14,611 people from Regensburg voting for them whilst the BVP received over 19,000 votes and the SPD over 8,500.
Haidplatz during the Nazi-era and today. It was here on March 20 1933 that a mob gathered in front of the town hall and the police headquarters, demandeding the removal of the police captain and the mayor Dr. Otto Hipp. Overnight, acting police director Breitenbach initiated security measures so that the situation did not escalate further. The Nazi general practitioner Dr. Otto Schottenheim was named by the Nazis as temporary acting mayor. Schottenheim held his first extraordinary city council meeting on March 22, 1933 which lasted for three minutes and involved him declaring: 
As acting mayor confirmed by the government, I would like to inform you that I have legally taken over the business, in particular the legally effective subscription. The committees are asked to continue to be available with the express reference to the exclusively advisory character. I expect the city officials to continue their duties dutifully and responsibly in the interest of the common good. I'm postponing the city council indefinitely- that closes the session.
Schottenheim was to remain mayor for twelve years, always a staunch Nazi. After the war he was tried, mainly because he is said to have fueled the crowd in front of the synagogue during Kristallnacht in November 1938. He acted according to the Nuremberg laws even before the official introduction as in the case with the marriage of businessman Helmut Seelig and his wife Maria Ernst, which took place on July 19, 1935. It had been annulled by Schottenheim, as this marriage of a Jew and a non-Jew, according to the city chief, was not compatible with the Nazis' racial ideology. The registrar who had performed the wedding was suspended despite acting legally correct, and the two spouses were placed in “protective custody” because of racial disgrace.

Hellenenbrücke and Ostentor
 The Historische Wurstküche zu Regensburg which claims to be the oldest continuously open public restaurant in the world.  In 1135 a building was erected as the construction office for the Regensburg stone bridge which, when completed 1146, the building became a restaurant named "Garkueche auf dem Kranchen" ('cookshop near the crane') as it was sited alongside the river port. The present building dates from the 17th century although archaeological evidence has confirmed the existence of a previous building from the 12th century with about the same dimensions.  
By the beginning of the war several camps were built in and around Regensburg for Soviet prisoners of war. About 700 of them were victims of Nazi forced labour, or fell victim to plagues and wretched living conditions.During the war Regensburg suffered from air raids, especially as the Messerschmitt aircraft works were located in the west of the city. Compared to the destruction of other German inner cities however, the old town was less affected, although one of the most important architectural features of the town was completely lost with the Stiftskirche Obermünster and other historical buildings such as the Old Chapel or the Neue Waag am Haidplatz seriously damaged. The aircraft factory, the largest such factory in Europe, was attacked and hit. In a total of twenty bomb attacks by the Royal Air Force and the 8th US Air Force between 1943-1945 about 3,000 people died, including many prisoners of war. In 1945 a partial explosion of the Donaubruck took place. The city itself was, however, finally handed over without a fight, not least because of a demonstration by Regensburg women and the Domprediger Johann Maier on April 23, 1945. Maier demanded the surrender to ensure the city was not damaged. The following day he was publicly deported for "sabotage" together with another Regensburger, Josef Zirkl and the retired gendarmerie officer Michael Lottner. A memorial was erected on the site of their execution at the Dachauplatz, and Maier's bones were transferred to Regensburg Cathedral in 2005.    
The Regensburg Walhalla
Conceived in 1807 by Crown Prince Ludwig for the purpose of supporting the drive for the unification of the German states, it was not until after his accession to the throne of Bavaria in 1825 that construction took place between 1830 and 1842 under the supervision of the architect Leo von Klenze, modelled after the Parthenon in Athens at a cost of cost £666,666. The southern pediment frieze features the 1815 creation of the German Confederation whilst the northern displays scenes from the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest of 9 CE. The memorial displays some 65 plaques and 130 busts covering 2,000 years of history, beginning with Arminius, victor at Teutoburg Forest. According to the guide booklet, it serves to honour "politicians, sovereigns, scientists and artists of the German tongue." Beginning in 1933, the Kraft durch Freude and other Nazi organisations promoted trips to Walhalla, so visitor numbers increased exponentially. In 1937 when Hitler unveiled the Bruckner bust described below, 131,520 were counted. In April 1945, General George Patton stood there, as men of his 3rd Army were crossing the Danube River.
Hitler arriving at the Walhalla around 11.00 on June 7, 1937. Among the guests of honour was propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, the ϟϟ chief Heinrich Himmler, Nazi Minister of Justice and local boy Franz Gürtner, the Bavarian Minister President Ludwig Siebert, the Austrian ambassador in Berlin, Stephan Tauschitz, and the German Ambassador to Austria, Franz von Papen. After their arrival on the Bräuberg, Hitler and his entourage marched through the colonnade to the Danube side of the Walhalla. Fanfare players played the sounds of Richard Wagner. Then the guests of honour on the south side of the Walhalla descended the steps and took up a specially made, wooden podium on the landing above the "Hall of Expectation". Here the speeches were held in honour of Anton Bruckner. At first the Bavarian Prime Minister Ludwig Siebert spoke, followed by Goebbels, who captured Bruckner in the spirit of Nazi propaganda. Specifically, this means that Bruckner was no longer regarded as a good Catholic Austrian in the succession of Beethoven and Wagner, but a scion of an "old peasant tribe", as a "genius" and "German cantor". Goebbels's speech in is preserved and stored in the German broadcasting archive. Finally Peter Raabe, the president of the Reichsmusikkammer spoke, emphasising the merits of Hitler's financially supported Nazi music publisher Gustav Bosse from Regensburg, who had been campaigning for years for the installation of a Bruckner bust in the Walhalla.
Among the busts of renowned speakers of Germanic languages today is this of Sophie Scholl which was inaugurated on February 22, 2003- the 60th anniversary of her execution- and is intended to represent the supposed German Resistance against the Nazis even though her own involvement was detrimental to the White Rose itself. After the speeches in front of the Walhalla, Hitler and the guests of honour climbed the stairs to the main entrance. Hitler entered the Hall of Fame to the "victory sounds" of Bruckner's 8th Symphony (played by the Munich Philharmonic) and then laid down a wagon wheel-sized laurel wreath in front of the Bruckner bust. The marble bust was the work of the Munich sculptor Adolf Rothenburger. Altogether the Bruckner celebration on the Walhalla cost about 50,000 Reichsmarks. Hitler was at that time - after the Olympic Games in Berlin and before the so-called "Anschluss" of Austria - at  first peak of his power. After the ceremony Hitler returned to Regensburg, where Nazi Lord Mayor Otto Schottenheim escorted him to the Reichssaal in the Old Town Hall.
Hitler installing the bust of Anton Bruckner, one of his favourite composers, and me standing at the same spot today; Wagner, of course, had already been honoured in the Walhalla. Here he silently paid his respects to the composer, standing in mute homage before his bust as Siegmund von Hausegger and the Munich Philharmonic played the magnificent Adagio of the Seventh Symphony.
Why Hitler staged that event is not known. Speculation has ranged from the theory that it was intended as a cultural precursor of the annexation of Austria the following year, to the notion that it was out of nostalgia for his ‘beautiful time as a choirboy’ and Lembach Abbey - with its Bruckner associations.

 On the night of January 13th-14th, 1942 after a hearing of Bruckner''s Seventh Symphony, Hitler remarked:
This work is based on popular airs of upper Austria. They're not textually reproduced, but repeatedly I recognise in passing Tyrolean dances of my youth. It's wonderful what he managed to get out of that folklore. As it happened, it's a priest to whom we must give the credit for having protected this great master. The Bishop of Linz used to sit in his cathedral for hours at a time, listening to Bruckner play the organ. He was the greatest organist of his day.
In fact, during most of his life, Bruckner held little appeal. Hoffmann did not so much as mention the composer’s name when once identifying Hitler’s favourites. Even after becoming chancellor, Speer noted, his interest ‘never seemed very marked’. However, he had symbolic importance to him both as a ‘home town boy’ and rival to Brahms, so beloved in Vienna. It was a fixed part of the Nuremberg rallies for the cultural session to open with a movement of one of his symphonies. Undoubtedly the Hitler felt a personal kinship. Both had come from small Austrian towns, grew up in modest circumstances, had fathers who died at an early age, were autodidacts, and made their way in life despite great obstacles. On a number of occasions he contrasted the Austrian Catholic Bruckner, whom the Viennese shunned, to the north German Protestant Brahms, whom they idolised. Then, suddenly in 1940 he developed a passion for Bruckner’s symphonies.  He even began mentioning him in the same breath with Wagner. ‘He told me,’ Goebbels noted in his diary, ‘... that it was only now during the war, that he had learned to like him at all.’ By 1942 he placed Bruckner on a level with Beethoven, and categorised the former’s Seventh Symphony as ‘one of the most splendid manifestations of German musical creativity, the equivalent of Beethoven’s Ninth’. His feelings about Bruckner, man and composer, are best conveyed by remarks he made after listening to a recording of the first movement of the Seventh at his military headquarters in January 1942:
'Those are pure popular melodies from Upper Austria, nothing taken over literally but ländler and so on that I know from my youth. What the man made out of this primitive material! In this case it was a priest who deserves well for having supported a great master.' 'The bishop of Linz sat for hours alone in the cathedral when Bruckner, the greatest organist of his time, played the organ. One can imagine how difficult it was for a small peasant lad when he went to Vienna, that urbanised, debauched society. A remark by him about Brahms, which a newspaper recently carried, brought him closer to me: Brahms’s music is quite lovely, but he preferred his own. That is the healthy self-confidence of a peasant who is modest but when it came down to it knew how to promote a cause when it was his own. That critic Hanslick made his life in Vienna hell. But when he could no longer be ignored, he was given honours and awards. But what could he do with those? It was his creative activity that should have been made easier.
Brahms was praised to the heavens by Jewry, a creature of salons, a theatrical figure with his flowing beard and hair and his hands raised above the keyboard. Bruckner on the other hand, a shrunken little man, would perhaps have been too shy even to play in such society.'
Spotts (230-233) Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics
The execution site in the Flossenbürg concentration camp, seen here after liberation of the camp by American armed forces and today, now a memorial to the resistance. When the Nazis came to power the first steps to concentration camps were taken. After the Reichstag fire such great numbers of people were arrested that the existing prisons were soon overcrowded and alternative places were prisoners could be held needed to be established. On March 21, 1933 the first concentration camp was set up in an old gunpowder factory in Dachau. In the beginning of 1938 in Flossenbürg, close to the present Czech border, a similar camp was set up built by prisoners from Dachau. Flossenbürg had been chosen as a site due to the presence of large quantities of granite in this area and the availability of a railroad providing use for the transport of granite, prisoners, troops and equipment. By the end of 1944 there were 8,000 prisoners housed in the camp whereas the camp was intended in fact for only 5,000. Many were executed in the camp, among them some prominent people- on April 9, 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Wilhelm Canaris, Ludwig Gehre, Hans Oster, Karl Sack, Theodor Strünck and Friedrich von Rabenau were murdered here. In May 1945 the camp was liberated by the Americans who decided to use it as a hospital for the surviving prisoners before being decided that Flossenbürg should be preserved as a monument and a museum. Today what remains is the cemetery, Kommandatur, chapel, three guard towers, and a monument consisting of the ashes of the prisoners that died in the concentration camp.   
The “Kommandantur” of concentration camp Flossenbürg was used by the administration of the camp for registration of the inmates and assignment to work either in the Flossenbürg quarry, the nearby Messerschmitt factory or one of the several sub camps. All inmates had to pass through the central portal of the Kommandantur and where lead to the prisoner camp lying behind the building.
On April 8, 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer was transferred as one of the last of over 100.000 prisoners to the camp. As a member of the “Bekennende Kirche” and of the wider circle of organisers of the failed plot to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944 he was brought to Flossenbürg together with other members of this circle on personal order of Hitler and Kaltenbrunner. 
After escape attempts or alleged acts of sabotage, inmates were hanged to serve as examples on the roll-call square which was visible from almost everywhere in the camp.
Pastor Bonhoeffer together with Admiral Canaris, Generalmajor Oster, Heeresrichter Dr. Sack and Hauptmann Gehre where sentenced to death on the day of their arrival by Lagerkommandant Kögel in a setup show trial due to “Hoch- und Landesverrat”.
The sole crematorium oven examined by an American Army officer on April 30, 1945 and today. Many Flossenbürg inmates died of starvation, exhaustion or random violence. Certain ethic, especially jewish people and other groups of inmates became target of planned mass killings by the ϟϟ starting 1941.
The victims were led out of sight of the other prisoners but always watched by the watchtowers to a closed section of the camp - called valley of death - where they were killed and their bodies burned. Over 30,000 lost their lives at Flossenbürg between 1938 and 1945.
In the morning of the 9th of April Bonnhoefer, Canaris, Oster, Dr. Sack and Gehre were murdered one after the other after having to completely undress in front of the detention barracks.
On April 23 the Americans reached the Flossenbürg concentration camp, where they found 1,500 critically ill inmates. The majority of surviving prisoners had departed on death marches. The last death march prisoners were finally liberated by Allied troops on May 8th.
After freeing the camp the Americans ordered all the inhabitants of Flossenbürg to exhume the dead bodies found within the camp and to bury the remains in a newly create cemeteries in the middle of the village of Flossenbürg. The cemetery still exists in the same place today. 

The 'Square of Nations' memorial to the nationalities of the prisioners that were interned and died in Flossenbürg.
At the entrance, the original gate posts emblazoned with the standard legend 'Arbeit Macht Frei' have been placed.
In Flossenbürg, members of the punishment company were compelled to load heavy stones on their backs at the foot of the slag heap and run around with them in the morass until they finally collapsed. There was also the “moor hole,” a swamp one hundred meters long and forty meters wide in a small hollow; at its deepest point, a grown man could stand with his head barely protruding above the surface. Granite blocks were loaded on the backs of prisoners, and they were then forced to run at double time down the slope. Those who collapsed under the heavy load while still on dry ground were beaten and forced to rush further down into the moor hole. They were supposed to “rest” down there for a while, with the stone slabs supported on their shoulders. If they still had some strength, they survived; if they were too weak, the stones pressed them down into the swampy morass. 

The rathaus in period photos bears the sign "Grafenwöhr grüßt die siegreichen Truppen"- Grafenwöhr greets its greatly-honoured troops.
On June 25 1938, Hitler attended manoeuvres on the training grounds at Grafenwöhr, close to the Czechoslovakian border, where American paratroopers assigned to Destined Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) took part in a military exercise on February 1, 2014. The military training centre had been founded in 1908 during a time of economic upsurge. In 1944 the new Italian division "San Marco" also trained in Grafenwöhr where it was visited by Benito Mussolini on July 18, 1944. In addition, there was a Belarussian officers' school in Grafenwöhr under the command of Barys Rahulja, serving with the Biełaruskaja Krajovaja Abarona (BKA) which was the military arm of the pro-Nazi Belarusian Central Rada. After the war he studied medicine and became a Canadian doctor; after the Chernobyl disaster Rahula organised fund raising to support victims of the catastrophe before dying in 2005.
The water tower on Truppenübungsplatz in 1935 and today.  Grafenwöhr and the practice ground were heavily bombed at around 11 am on April 5, in a bombardment lasting about 15 minutes, during which the army service centre and the military station were completely destroyed- 74 people were killed. On April 8 at 11:30 am, Grafenwoehr was once more bombed by 203 American B17 bombers leaving the Ostlager Grafenwohr completely destroyed. The bombardment lasted two hours, dropping 427.5 tonnes of explosive bombs and 178.5 tonnes of firebombs. 210 buildings were destroyed leaving over 3,000 homeless. By April 19 the 11th American Panzer Division entered Grafenwoehr. A day later the Americans in Grafenwoehr discovered three million chemical artillery shells - the largest poison gas depot of the Wehrmacht. On April 21, 1945, the 11th Panzer Division at the military training centre discovered whole carloads of ammunition and other war equipment. Today the American Army and the Bundeswehr are currently using the military training centre.

  Just less than twenty miles southeast of Bayreuth is this town, shown when its high street was Adolf-Hitler-Straße and today. In The Holocaust and Catholic Conscience, Suzanne Brown-Fleming writes of the Methschnabel Textilwaren Affair that took place in Kemnath after the war involving the German-American Aloisius Muench, bishop of Fargo, North Dakota:
For long generations, the Methschnabel family owned a textile business, Hans Methschnabel Textilwaren, specializing in cloth, woolens, and readymade clothing, which operated out of Kemnath, Bavaria. Muench first met Hans Methschnabel in 1939 when he and his mother vacationed in Kemnath, his mother's childhood home. In August 1946, American occupation officials confiscated Hans Methschnabel Textilwaren and placed a Jewish displaced person from Warsaw named Hoglich in charge of its management... According to Anthony Schuller, Methschnabel's son-in-law and heir, the citizens of Kemnath were outraged. Eight days later... Schuller, a Party member since 1935, [was classifed] as a Mitläufer (category four). Though this judgement enabled Schuller to petition for the return of his business, he feared the Jewish trustee would not be easily dismissed. "That a former Polish journalist is not the suitable man for my extensive textile business, and that he could do me great damage, is plain to see,” Schuller told Muench. “When this type manages to cling to something, it is nearly impossible to extract him.” ... Muench got Schuller's letter in early September 1946 and acted immediately. He wrote to a Father Henderson, Catholic Chaplain at the 1st Infantry Division army headquarters in Regensburg. Muench asked Father Henderson to "get information about the past” of the two men now managing Schuller's business. “Some of these gents exploit the fact that they were in concentration camps for their own benefit, although some were there because of an unsavoury past," Muench warned Henderson.
By late November 1946 Schuller had re-acquired his business.
A Nazi memorial to Dietrich Eckart, one of the important early members of the Nazi Party and a participant of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, still taking a prominant place in the town park. His birthplace in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz was officially renamed with the added suffix "Dietrich-Eckart-Stadt". He had returned to his hometown of Neumarkt for eight years after a stay in a mental hospital as a freelance writer and journalist. It was to him that Hitler had dedicated the second volume of Mein Kampf in which he is described as a martyr and is referred to specifically in the last sentence of the book:
Hitler in Neumarkt

Hitler visiting the town
And among them I could also reckon that man who as no one else has devoted his life to the awakening of his, of our nation in writing, poetry, thought and finally in the deed. Here at the end of this second volume let me again bring those men to the memory of the adherents and champions of our ideals, as heroes who, in the full consciousness of what they were doing, sacrificed their lives for us all. We must never fail to recall those names in order to encourage the weak and wavering among us when duty calls, that duty which they fulfilled with absolute faith, even to its extreme consequences. Together with those, and as one of the best of all, I should like to mention the name of a man who devoted his life to reawakening his and our people, through his writing and his ideas and finally through positive action. I mean: Dietrich Eckart.
Eckart's 1925 unfinished essay Hitler-Eckart: Der Bolschewismus von Moses bis Lenin: Zwiegespräch zwischen Hitler und mir ( Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin: Dialogues Between Hitler and Me") was published posthumously, although it has been demonstrated that the dialogues were an invention. Eckart had been described by Edgar Ansel Mowrer as "a strange drunken genius" whose anti-Semitism had supposedly arisen from various esoteric schools of mysticism; he had spent hours with Hitler discussing art and the place of the Jews in world history. Cyprian Blamires in his World Fascism: A Historical Encyclopedia describes him as the spiritual father of National Socialism. In Eckart's hometown a "Dietrich-Eckart-Denkmal-Verein" was constituted in Neumarkt, its Chairman being Walter Prebel. The club first presented itself and its plans to the public on July 1, 1933. That evening in the "German Emperor", at that time the favourite pub of the Neumarkt SA, painter Albert Reich held a photo lecture about his friend Dietrich Eckart. Reich, a fellow native of Neumarkt, had lived in Munich since 1919 and was a Nazi Party member. The group sent a telegramme to Hitler with the request that he personally come to the monument's consecration that autumn. Nearly a week later, Hitler replied that he would be "exceptionally" prepared to personally make the consecration of the monument to his paternal friend Eckart. Quickly over the next few weeks three freight cars brought the material from quarries near Treuchtlingen and Solnhofen as donors looked to find the 10, 000 Reichsmarks required. By the second half of July local brownshirts began the foundation in the city park. From Weiherstraße, nearly 500 railway sleepers moved the heavy stone blocks. The area in front of the monument was leveled and a memorial stone of the Masonic Lodge was removed. The last stones arrived in September, as well as the two reliefs and the three gargoyles of the Munich Erzgießerei Brandstetter. The inauguration on October 29 with Adolf Hitler as the chief speaker, shown on the left, was only the first of a series of parades at the shrine in the city park. Eleven and an half years later, the American occupiers dismantled much of the memorial and by the end of the 1980s, a new stone with a new plaque was erected behind the fountain basin in honour of the Count Palatine Christoph, who was King of Sweden, Norway and Denmark from 1441 - 1448.  
Nazi propaganda over Untere Marktstraße and today. On the right is a march by the Reichsarbeitsdienst, looking from the same spot the other way on Obere Marktstraße.
 The Sparkasse then, adorned with Nazi paraphernalia, and now at the same location. On the right is the Unteres Tor during the war with its Nazi fresco and as it appears today
The railway station during the Third Reich and now
Memorial to the Holocaust in town. In September 1923, the first local Nazi group was founded in Neumarkt, although the departure of active parties from Neumarkt led to the collapse of the Nazi movement. It was not until 1928 that the party was reestablished. From 1933 the Nazis took power in Neumarkt. As the birthplace of Dietrich Eckart, it bore the official name "Dietrich-Eckart-Stadt". For the numerous forced labourers in the industry, the Nazis set up an internment camp in 1942 in today's district of Wolfenstein. As in the rest of the country, extensive Jewish persecutions took place- the synagogue in Hallertorstrasse was destroyed in November 1938. On Good Friday 1942 Neumarkt became "judenfrei", when the last fifteen Jews were sent to concentration camps. Shortly before the war finally ended, Neumarkt was largely destroyed by two air raids on February 23, 1945 (Operation Clarion) and on April 11, 1945.
 The civilian population withdrew to the surrounding suburbs of Woffenbach, Pölling and Berg. The last few who remained in the city tried several times to hand over the city without a fight to the American troops who had advanced to Postbauer-Heng and Berg, but two ϟϟ divisions resisted until the end, reinforced by an Hungarian ϟϟ division. There were fierce battles between American and German soldiers throughout the city. Among other things, an American was pushed back into the Hofkirche, where the scars of the battle are still in the base of the main altar. On April 22, 1945, over 90% of the old town and the station area were in ruins when American troops took it. Today's Voggenthal district was occupied by the Americans, so the Voggenthalers waited in vain at first and finally asked the troops in the neighbouring Höhenberg to be liberated as well.
Gasthaus Zum Hechten Gasthaus Zum Hechten 
The Gasthaus Zum Hechten at Untere Marktstraße 3; today the building appears to have been completed replaced. Not surprising given the damage the town received during the war as shown on the right showing Obere Marktstraße-Klostergasse with the church still in the background. The reconstruction following the war led to a loss of the traditional  architecture in the cityscape. However, it managed to preserve much of the historical character of the old town.

Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now. The population suffered in 1917 during the Great War. The town's endemic bankruptcy lasted until 1934 after the loss trillions of money through the 1923 hRuhr crisis ended up cancelling the planned millennial celebration. In 1940, the district was enlarged by eleven Czechoslovakian municipalities (partly Sudeten-German, partly Czech-speaking).
When the Americans approached the Gau capital of the Bavarian Ostmark in Bayreuth in April 1945, Gauleiter Fritz Wächtler fled to the Grenzlandhotel Herzogau near Waldmünchen on April 13, 1945, where he had been living luxuriously. Wachtler was then shot there six days later at the instigation of his deputy, Ludwig Ruckdeschel, and on the orders of Hitler. Under the auspices of ϟϟ city commander Siegfried Stöhr and mayor and district leader Max Seidel, intensive preparations for defence were made involving the Waldmünchner Volkssturm. After several hours of fire, 30% of the city was destroyed. Units of the 90th US Infantry Division ("Tough Ombres") on April 26 succeeded against violent opposition of the "30th. Waffen-Grenadier Division of the ϟϟ (White Ruthenian No. 1) as well as units of the 11th Panzerdivision („Gespensterdivision“, or"Ghost Division "). In the surrounding area, in particular on the other side of the border with today's Czech Republic in the vicinity of today's partner town Waldmünchen Klenčí pod Čerchovem (Klentsch), heavy fighting was carried out against the 11th Panzerdivision with several dozen deaths until May 1. First elections under American supervision took place in 1946. The former Waldmünchener "Hinterland" in the area of the municipalities of Haselbach, Watersuppen (Nemanice) and Grafenried was completely cut off for 45 years by the Iron Curtain; In 1945/46 almost all inhabitants of German nationality were expelled from the villages of the former Sudetenland on the basis of the Beneš decrees; the villages Haselbach, Mauthaus, Anger, Seeg, Haselberg and Grafenried (where the parish church of St. Georg was demolished completely.

Auerbach hitlerplatz
Another former Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now. At the end of the war Auerbach on the far side of Deggendorf had 10,488 prisoners and 238 foreigners, as well as a women’s section. In terms of its urban landscape, the main effect the Nazi regime had on the town was the expansion of the Grafenwöhr military training centre from 1936; Auerbach lost part of his eastern hinterland, including twenty-four houses.

Witt Weiden

Witt Weiden, the oldest mail-order house for clothes in Germany in 1938 and today.  Weiden had been the birthplace of Martin Gottfried Weiss, ϟϟ Commander of German concentration camps executed for war crimes after the war in 1946. During the Second World War, in addition to a Wehrmacht barracks in the west of the city, there was the PoW camp Stalag XIIIB. French and Soviet prisoners of war and forced labourers who died between 1940 and 1945 were reburied in the city cemetery on Gabelsbergerstraße. At the end of the war on April 5, 1945 Weiden was again attacked by low-flying aircraft during which fifteen aircraft bombarded the area between the waterworks and the cemetery with 51 explosive bombs and over a thousand firebombs. At 8:30 am on April 16, 1945, American airmen came under fire from the station, causing a freight train to explode killing sixty. On the night on April 22, 1945, the Wehrmacht withdrew and the war was over for the city. Between 1945 and 1955, the population was increased by the influx of refugees  to over 40,000.