Showing posts with label Wolfratshausen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wolfratshausen. Show all posts

Other remaining Nazi sites in southern Bavaria

Mittenwald
GIFs of the Obermarkt then and now when I cycled down the Isar from Freising. On April 29, 1933 the then Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler, together with Reich President General Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and the Minister of State of the Interior, Gauleiter Adolf Wagner, were appointed honorary citizens along with Ritter von Epp, Councilor of Justice Dr. Walter Luetgebrune and Professor Albrecht Penck. Luetgebrune had voluntarily returned his honorary citizenship in a letter dated January 8, 1947 whilst Penck, who died on March 7, 1945, had never been a member of the Nazi Party. Nevertheless, it wasn't until 2017 that Hitler's citizenship was symbolically stripped- symbolic, given such an honour expires upon the recipient's death.
Mittenwald, a picturesque town nestled in the Bavarian Alps, experienced considerable change during the Nazi era, as it was swept up in the ideological and political transformations of the time.
As with many towns across Germany, Mittenwald was not immune to the overarching control of the Nazi regime, and its unique features were put to use in service of the regime's propaganda and policies. During the Nazi era, Mittenwald, known for its traditional violin-making industry, rich folklore and scenic beauty, became a symbol of German romantic nationalism. The Nazi ideology heavily promoted the idea of 'Blut und Boden' which emphasised the supposed racial purity of the German people and their deep, ancestral connection to the land. In the propaganda narrative, Mittenwald was portrayed as an idyllic Aryan village, embodying the values of racial purity, rural simplicity, and German cultural heritage. The emphasis on folklore and the idyllic rural life served the dual purpose of promoting Aryan ideals and distracting from the harsh realities of Nazi policies. Historian Jill Stephenson's research on rural communities in Nazi Germany supports this perspective. She argues that places like Mittenwald were strategically utilised to 'sell' the Nazi vision of a racially pure, agrarian society, thus playing a significant role in the regime's propaganda machine. These areas were not just passive bystanders or victims of Nazi rule, but were rather strategically exploited as ideological showcases. For her, places like Mittenwald were integral to selling this vision. Their traditional rural life, local customs, and apparent racial homogeneity made them ideal symbols for the 'Blut und Boden' ethos. The town's picturesque scenery, charming houses, and local folklore were presented in stark contrast to the perceived decadence and moral decay of modern, urban environments. This served the dual purpose of glamourising rural life and promoting the supposed virtues of racial purity and a simple agrarian lifestyle. As Stephenson points out, this strategy was not merely confined to the realm of propaganda. It was also manifested in concrete policies. The Nazi regime undertook various measures to safeguard and promote rural life, including agricultural subsidies, support for traditional crafts, and regulations to prevent urban sprawl. Furthermore, the regime also implemented 'Heimatschutz' laws to preserve the traditional architecture and cultural heritage of these towns, further consolidating their role as ideological showcases.
Moreover, Mittenwald's geographical location on the border of Austria became politically significant after the annexation of Austria in 1938. The town's proximity to the Austrian border reinforced its strategic importance. During the war, it was used for troop movements and as a transit point for prisoners of war. As elsewhere in Germany, the Nazi regime's reach penetrated all aspects of life in Mittenwald. Societal organisations, including the Naturfreunde centres, were manipulated or suppressed. Public spaces became arenas for Nazi rallies and Hitler Youth activities, as the regime sought to indoctrinate the younger generation with its ideology.
The town hall, built in 1939, and looking from the same angle today. Enlarged by a story, the paintings on the façade shown below have now been removed. When at the end of March 1933 the leader of the local Nazi group based in Partenkirchen declared that it was necessary to check all hotels, pensions and inns in Partenkirchen "for foreign exchange dealers and politically dubious persons" using auxiliary police officers from the SA and the Stahlhelm, one who was targeted was Georg Neuner, Mittenwald's deputy mayor and member of the "Bayernwacht", the paramilitary wing of the Bavarian People's Party (BVP), who was suspected of hiding two machine guns. Here in the town hall the gendarmerie found a number of infantry rifles "with the help of six ϟϟ men."
The now removed painting on the facade
Meanwhile early in the morning of March 27, 1933, the Mittenwald hunting lodge ("Fereinsalm") of private banker August von Finck was searched by the Mittenwald constable Karl Hartmann from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, carried out by two Mittenwald police officers and ϟϟ troop leaders Karl Heilmann and Lohr. Fink was subsequently taken into' protective custody' for alleged foreign exchange offences. The order for the action came from town councillor Christian Weber, described as an "'old fighter' and friend of Adolf Hitler's."
"Judenabwehrschild" near the Mittenwald train station. As with numerous other towns, Mittenwald had signs such as this proclaiming "Jews are undesirable in Mittenwald" near the train station and on the entrances to the village. Mittenwald's tourist office went out of its way to keep Jewish guests away by instructing landlords not to cater to them, stating in a report from September 15, 1937 that “[i]n most of the cases in which we heard about the rental to Jews, we appropriately informed the landlord of his civic obligations. In many cases this worked." One case where it didn't was Ehrhardt Erdt who was the owner of the Alpenhotel Erdt. Ignoring the threats and harassment, he continued to accept Jewish guests as the tourist office complained:
We only had difficulties with the Alpenhotel Erdt. This hotel often had up to 15 Jews in the house in the summer, among them well-known "greats" (Uhlfelder etc.). Aryan guests have often complained about it and especially denounced the courtesy of Mr. Erdt towards his Jewish guests. Mr. Erdt has refused any attempt at instruction. On the contrary: It is in writing that Erdt took in Jews and put German comrades on the street with meaningless justification.
Goethe House is pretty much unchanged as compared with these images from Nazi-era postcards. In 1940 Leni Riefenstahl made the film "Tiefland" in the town. Riefenstahl had forcibly recruited more than an hundred gypsies from the Nazi forced camp at Maxglan in the Kendlersiedlung near Salzburg. Given the film was set in Spain within the Pyrenees and real Spaniards were unavailable, she organised southern-looking prisoners for the Spanish extras. The publisher Helmut Kindler , who brought up this case shortly after the end of the war, was sued for this by Leni Riefenstahl and convicted of defamation by the district court of Munich in 1949. Although Riefenstahl knew very well that the prisoners would later be sent to the Gypsy camp at Auschwitz to be murdered, she continued to deny this on April 27, 2002 in an interview with the Frankfurter Rundschau.In addition to the Roma from the Maxglan gypsy camp, Riefenstahl also used Sinti from the Berlin-Marzahn Rastplatz forced camp . When Riefenstahl-Film GmbH paid the special compensatory levy due for Jews and “ gypsies ” for 68 Berlin Sinti on April 6, 1943, they had already been deported to the Gypsy camp in Auschwitz since March. Director Nina Gladitz took up this dark chapter in her documentary Zeit des Schweigen und der Dunkel, broadcast in 1982. Riefenstahl then sued again, this time against her colleague. The core of the legal dispute is Gladitz's allegation that Leni Riefenstahl had "compulsorily conscripted" gypsies from the Maxglan concentration camp as extras for Tiefland, promising them to intercede for them, but then leaving them to their fate. For many, the end was Auschwitz, only a few survived. Gladitz won the case on three out of four counts. The director was only agreed on one point, namely that she didn't know what would happen to the extras after the shooting, since the opposite could not be proven. At the time of her 100th birthday, the Tiefland case and the forced conscription were still the subject of legal disputes with Riefenstahl. The bit actors Rosa Kerndlbacher (who later married Winter) and Zäzilia Reinhardt also appeared in Tiefland, although they were not mentioned in the cast list. These are two of the Sinti known by name who were requested by Riefenstahl for the filming from the Maxglan “Gypsy camp” in order to portray “Spanish” girls as extras. The extra Josef Reinhardt was another of the lowland survivors of the "gypsy camp". In the premiere version, almost all scenes in which the conscripts appear have been deleted. According to Kay Weniger (17) in Lexikon der verfolgten Theater-, Film- und Musikkünstler 1933–1945
A number of members of these clans thus initially escaped the misery of the camps and were taken to the shooting location near Mittenwald, where they could expect better food than in the camps. But despite all the promises made by the regime-respected individual director, working in front of the camera by no means meant a permit to freedom – on the contrary. The 'Gypsies' were no longer needed after the end of filming, and contrary to Riefenstahl's promise to intercede for them, the minor actors, who were classified as racially inferior by the system, had to return to the camps - with almost certain death in sight.
The film received six to seven million Reichsmarks from the Nazi state. According to various biographers, Hitler personally valued the material very much; he himself is said to have instructed the millions in funding from the state budget. Tiefland was the most expensive black-and-white film produced in the Nazi state , with production costs of around 8.5 million Reichsmarks, for which Riefenstahl says it invested millions of its own assets. According to Riefenstahl, the film Tiefland cost her "eight arrests...four denazifications , an insane asylum, a court hearing, nervous breakdowns, serious illness and the millions" she made from her previous films.
Mittenwald became known worldwide through the novel "Nazigold," published in 1984. Since then, this place has been the destination of treasure hunters from all over the world based on the claims that Nazi loot left in the Bavarian hills at the end of the war was taken by Colonel Franz Wilhelm Pfeiffer somewhere nearby into the Karwendel Mountains.
In the 1930s, Mittenwald became the garrison and training centre of the Wehrmacht mountain group. It was here in Mittenwald that one of the "evacuation transports" from the Dachau concentration camp ended at the end of April 1945.  After the war Mittenwald belonged to the American occupation zone. From April 1946 until the end of January 1952, the military administration established a DP camp for Jewish and Ukrainian Displaced Persons. Among the refugees were some homeless foreigners and members of the Vlasov army, Poles, Belarusians and Russians among them. The East European DPs were placed in the mountain huntsmen camp and in the Luttensee camp (today's Luttensee barracks), and some Mittenwalder hotels were requisitioned for the Jewish DPs. The White Russians erected a monument to the participants of the Sluzker insurrection near the Luthenese Barracks. From 2002-2009 leftist antifa demonstrators protested against commemorations by veterans of the Wehrmacht mountain group on Pentecost at the memorial on the Hohenbrendten.
The Ludendorff Kaserne in 1940 and today. Ludendorff had owned an holiday house in the neighbouring town of Klais and  may have passed through the barracks with its vast mountain tours in the Karwendel. On January 16, 1938, cornerstones for the first Adolf Hitler Schools were laid here at Mittenwald, as well as Waldbröl near Cologne, Hesselberg, and at various other locations. Astonishingly, in May 1964 the barracks were renamed after General Ludwig Kübler, a German General of the Mountain Troops during the war who was executed as a war criminal in Yugoslavia in 1947. It was not until November 1995 that Volker Rühe, then the German Minister of Defence, changed the name "General-Kübler-Kaserne" into "Karwendel-Kaserne".

Garmisch-Partenkirchen
This was the site of the Winter Olympic Games in 1936. The Summer Games for 1936 had already been awarded to Germany in 1931, after Berlin had already been scheduled for the 1916 Summer Games , but these did not take place because of the First World War. This gave Germany the privilege to host the Winter Games as well. At that time there was no suitable winter sports resort in Germany, and it wasn't until 1933 that the conditions for such an event were created. Other candidate cities were Montreal and St. Moritz. On January 24, 1933, the founding meeting of the German Olympic Organising Committee was held, initially under the patronage of President Paul von Hindenburg but, after his death, assumed by Hitler on November 13, 1934. An Olympic Propaganda Committee was formed to be responsible for public relations of the games. The German Olympic Organising Committee was subordinate to both the Ministry of Propaganda and the Ministry of the Interior - the former for the area of public appearance, the latter for the sports department. Such a dependency on government agencies represented a violation of the IOC statutes and was concealed from the outside. 
Ludwigstraße decked out in Nazi flags for the Games. Karl Ritter von Halt, appointed President of the German Organising Committee of the Winter Games in 1936, saw in May 1935 "with growing concern" - as he reported in a letter to Oberregierungsrat Hans Ritter von Lex and the Reich Ministry of the Interior in the run-up to the veils - "... in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the surrounding area a planned anti-Semitic propaganda ”and “ ... especially on the highway from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen ”. He had belonged to Himmler's circle of friends and concluded by stating that "you also know very well that I am not telling you these worries of mine to help the Jews, it is exclusively about the Olympic idea." On December 3, 1935 the Nazi government issued an order to “remove all signs and posters relating to the Jewish question” in the region of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, so as not to endanger international support for the Berlin Games. Prior to the Winter Games, the Garmisch-Partenkirchen town council passed an order to expel all Jews in its jurisdiction, but it wait until after the Olympics to implement the antisemitic decree. Anti-Jewish signs were temporarily removed.
On September 25, 1935, the town served an as a garrison of the Wehrmacht with the first groundbreaking ceremony for the Jägerkaserne and later the artillery barracks. Hitler had intended to take full advantage of the staging of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games in Garmisch- Partenkirchen and the summer games in Berlin to divert the attention of the German public and the international community as an whole from his military and political activities, in particular his goal of extending the military sovereignty of the Reich to the Rhineland and of prolonging the one-year compulsory military service to two years, having earlier chosen the shorter term of service only to make its introduction politically and psychologically more acceptable. The town hall, constructed by Oswald Bieber by 1936. Bieber was responsible for a number of Nazi buildings including  the Munich-based ϟϟ-Standarte 1 „Deutschland“ and the Haus des Deutschen Rechts. The war for Garmisch would end here on Sunday, April 29, 1945 when the tanks of the 10th American Armoured Division approached the Garmisch-Partenkirchen market from Oberammergau. The Ettal mountain hunter major Michael Pössinger drove to meet the US troops as a parliamentarian to convince them that the Garmisch-Partenkirchen hospital was ready for a surrender without a fight. The US officer with whom Pössinger negotiated initially stated that the offer would come too late and that the Americans' plan to have Garmisch-Partenkirchen bombed by several hundred planes could no longer be stopped. The resulting inferno would have destroyed the town just a few days before the armistice but in the end never took place, either because Pössinger was able to convince the American officers or because the threat of the bomber attack was only a ruse. In the end, the American tanks reached Garmisch-Partenkirchen town hall in the early evening without a fight. Ironically, recently the town's police chief has declared that "the blacks are now in charge"of the town as 'refugees' from Africa have taken over the Abrams complex, a former American Army site that now houses around 250 claimed asylum seekers which the mayor in her appeal for help from the authorities is claiming is affecting tourism and the health of her residents.
The post office on the right and the area around the railway station decked out for the Games.
 It was to Garmisch that
Göring fled after the failed Beer Hall Putsch attempt. Franz Thanner, who chauffeured the Görings on this trip and was a member of the National Socialist Driver Corps (NSKK), drove them to the Partenkirchner Villa of Major Friedrich Schueler van Krieken on the afternoon of November 9. Like Goering, he had been an officer in the German air force during the Great War. Van Krieken had served in the Feldfliegerabteilung 23 with Göring serving in the Feldfliegerabteilung 25; in 1916 van Krieken became the flight commander of the 5th (Ottoman) Army. From there he received the order at around 22.00 to drive Göring and his wife across the border from Griesen to Tyrol, accompanied by Dr. Richard Meyer, doctor in the prestigious Partenkirchner sanatorium “Dr. Wiggers Kurheim ”. During passport control, it was discovered who the wounded occupant of the car was. The official on duty refused Goering to cross the border, but did not arrest him because no arrest warrant had yet been issued. Accompanied by the state police, Göring was driven to the district office in Garmisch. There he was told again that he should not cross the border and remained under police surveillance. He was sent on to the Kurheim Wiggers in Partenkirchen.   
The railway station during a Nazi ceremony and today.
The winter games provided the occasion to unite the two neighbouring Bavarian communities Garmisch and Partenkirchen on January 1, 1935 to form the market town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This was not without controversy among the population with the Garmisch-based composer Richard Strauss rejecting the collection of a new council tax on the grounds that he was not even thinking of “financing this sport nonsense”. The Garmisch municipal council initially resisted the merging of municipalities, after which Gauleiter Adolf Wagner ordered Garmisch's mayors and councillors to Munich from where he threatened them with imprisonment in the Dachau concentration camp and left the council to decide on the merger with Partenkirchen that same evening.
 
Wagner would be honoured by Garmisch with its main square, now Marienplatz, being renamed in his honour. At the end was the former Nazi headquarters in Garmisch. In the course of 1935, this "House of the National Socialists" was opened in the former town hall of the Garmisch market on Adolf-Wagner-Platz 13, shown below. Its location, facilities and personnel apparatus made it the local political centre of the Nazi dictatorship. From here, the population was indoctrinated, mobilised and terrorised. It was until 1945 the seat of the four Kreisleiters- Hans Hartmann, Johann Hausböck, Jakob Scheck and Heinrich Schiede.
The games seemed endangered by the lack of snow, but it had started to snow just in time. On February 3, the message went beyond teletype: “Snowfall in Garmisch-Partenkirchen; Winter Olympics secured!” Up until February 4, the snow cover in the valley had been approximately 20 centimetres. And after a short break, it began to snow around noon the next day, continuing overnight. Meanwhile, just days before the opening of the Winter Games, there had been the acute threat of violent attacks on the Jewish population after David Frankfurter's assassination of Nazi regional leader Wilhelm Gustloff on February 4 in Switzerland. Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick the next day sent out the following notice: "Subject: Prevention of riots due to the murder of NSDAP group leader Gustloff in Switzerland :... I agree with the deputy of the leader Rudolf Heß that individual actions against Jews on the occasion of the murder of the leader of the Swiss national group Wilhelm Gustloff in Davos absolutely have to be avoided. I ask to take action against any such actions and to maintain public safety and order. "At the same time, Nazi propaganda raised Gustloff to the “martyrs of the movement ” and had his coffin brought to the German Reich by special train. Hitler also limited his funeral speech to what was described as "relatively reserved"and "moderate".
 The Nazi eagle remains in situ at the Artillerie Kaserne a couple of miles West of the town centre. In 1937 the barracks complex was named the "Krafft-von-Dellmensingen-Kaserne" in honour of Konrad Krafft von Dellmensingen, a Bavarian Army general in the Great War who had served as Chief of the General Staff of the Royal Bavarian Army and commanded the elite Alpenkorps, the Imperial German Army's mountain division formed in 1915. After the war the barracks were taken over by the Americans. After the programme of denazification was launched after the end of the war, the name “Krafft-von-Dellmensingen-Kaserne” was rescinded even though von Dellmensingen had retired from the army long before in December 1918. However, on July 9, 1975 this decision was reversed and the barracks were named after Dellmensingen again even though its name was removed from the outside of the barracks on June 29, 2011. Today this building houses part of the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies. 
Hitler arriving at the start of the Games on February 6, 1936 in the new Skiing Stadium. He is seen leaving via the the Gasthof Olympiahaus. After Garmisch was awarded the contract for the IV Winter Olympics, this stadium had to be built for the opening ceremony. This led Mayor Scheck to order the renovation and expansion of the old Gudibergschanze by architect Arnulf Albinger. It was quickly built that same year and consisted of earthworks and terraced wooden bleachers that could accommodate 40,000 guests at the northwest end of the Großen Olympiaschanze. In fact, it was designed to allow as many as 60,000 people to enter the stadium. Since the ski stadium offered more places than the more central Olympic ice stadium, the organising committee recommended that the opening and closing ceremony be held here in the ski stadium instead of in the ice stadium, as was previously the case. They also recommended using the ski stadium as the start and finish of the 18-kilometre cross-country ski run, the fifty kilometre endurance run and the 4 × 10-kilometre relay race. The then IOC President De Baillet-Latour described the stadium with the jumps as "the most beautiful winter sports facility in the world". Arnd Krüger remarks in his book The Nazi Olympics (236) that "[e]ven as late as 1996 the city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of their Olympics, as if this had been nothing but a big happy sports meet. So much for the long-term effect of efficient propaganda."
For the Nazis, skiing was a meticulously curated activity that served a tripartite function - ideological dissemination, social mobilisation, and military preparedness. The underlying ideological implication of skiing was apparent in the promotion of Aryan traits such as endurance and virility. By facilitating mass participation and fostering a sense of shared identity, skiing was instrumental in creating a cohesive 'Volksgemeinschaft', thereby solidifying the Nazi regime's base. The military aspect of skiing, although seemingly peripheral, played a significant role in shaping the Hitler Youth's preparedness for warfare. Large's research illustrates how skiing was popularised under the banner of the 'Strength Through Joy' programme. This initiative was essentially an exercise in mass mobilisation, an attempt to create a united 'Volksgemeinschaft' or people's community. By organising mass ski trips and competitions, the Nazis could integrate various social classes and foster a sense of collective identity. Large also notes that the affordability of these ski excursions allowed working-class Germans access to a traditionally upper-class pastime. This social levelling not only bolstered the Nazis' populist appeal but also smoothed over class tensions, contributing to the regime's stability. The relationship between skiing and military preparedness as outlined by Kershaw presents yet another perspective on its significance to the Nazis. According to Kershaw, skiing was not only a tool for ideological and social purposes but also served a more practical purpose: military training. Skiing, with its demands on physical fitness and endurance, was used as a form of pre-military training for the Hitler Youth. Kershaw notes that organised ski trips such as to here often involved elements of military drill and discipline, inculcating obedience and readiness in potential soldiers. The physical resilience required to ski was seen as a desirable quality in soldiers, fitting perfectly into the Nazi's militaristic narrative.
Hitler opening the 1936 Olympic ski jump events from the Olympiahaus terrace on February 6, 1936. The ceremony began at 11.00 and took place in biting frost and heavy snow. Even beforehand, the motorcades and streams of people were directed by a huge contingent of well-trained and precisely instructed police officers on various well-groomed roads into the huge stadium on Gudiberg. At 10.00 the access roads were closed and the crowd was let in by uniformed officers. The Nazis' youth organisations consisting of about a thousand boys stood disciplined, bareheaded and freezing, in the deep snow, which was growing ever more. At 11.00 Hitler's special train with government representatives arrived about 100 metres from the stadium. Hitler was greeted with tremendous jubilation when he entered the official here on the terrace of the Olympiahaus. Accompanied by marching music, the Olympic participants, starting with Greece with its two skiers, followed in alphabetical order culminating in Germany as the host country. The Austrians, in red sweaters and matching white hats and gloves, were accompanied with a storm of applause that never stopped. At the end of their long procession there were three groups of ice shooters in Tyrolean costumes.
Hitler saluting the athletes from the terrace during the opening ceremony. According to the usual practices at the Olympic Games, these were conducted under the auspices of the head of state of the host nation, meaning Hitler in this case. The President of the German Olympic Organising Committee, Karl Ritter von Halt, entered the speaker's gallery and gave a short speech concluding with how "[w]e Germans also want to show the world in this way that we will, true to the orders of our Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor, make the Olympic Games a true celebration of peace and sincere understanding between the peoples." This sounded particularly defencive at the time given the political background; it looked as if the Nazi regime had to fight against resistance in the implementation of the Olympic Winter Games. The games were officially opened with a single sentence by Hitler “with resounding clarity,” as the German News Bureau phrased it: 
I hereby declare the Fourth Winter Olympics of 1936 in Garmisch- Partenkirchen open to the public! 
Later he himself congratulated every victorious German athlete by sending a telegramme.
The sounds of music, gun salutes and the hoisting of the Olympic flag. Wilhelm Bogner spoke the athlete's oath. Before it noon, the ceremony, which was carried out without any particular pomp, was over. The stadium emptied relatively quickly during a wind storm.
 Germany also hosted the Summer Olympics the same year in Berlin. 1936 is the last year in which the Summer and Winter Games were both held in the same country (the cancelled 1940 games would have been held in Japan, with that country likewise hosting the Winter and Summer games). In the six months between the Winter and Summer Games, the Nazis prepared to host a variety of athletic and cultural events and selected the German athletes who would participate. 
At the ski run at the Olympia Skischanze and as it appeared in 1936. Of personal interest as a Winnipegger, neither Canada nor the United States, both heavy favourites, even appeared in the final which Britain won against the German team as the commentators described the action on the ice as if they were reporting from a theatre of war. Ten of Britain's twelve players came from the Dominion of Canada, which is why the ice hockey congress had met before the opening day for their approval. 
The closing ceremony took place in the Olympic Stadium and was connected with the award ceremony carried out by Dr. Ritter von Halt for the last competitions. Hitler and his entourage also took part. To the sound of a parade march, the standard-bearers of all nations moved in, followed by the competitors. The flags went up on the masts, still remaining today, whilst gun salutes were fired, the national anthems were played and the torches lit as darkness fell. Ritter von Halt decorated all banners with an Olympic ribbon. Then IOC President Henri de Baillet-Latour entered the speaker's platform and closed the games with a speech. The Olympic flag was lowered, the fire went out and the participants left the stadium. 
The International Olympic Committee was so satisfied with the implementation of the Games that it unanimously awarded Germany the right to host the Winter Olympics in 1940 after the cancellation of Sapporo in July 1938 and St. Moritz in June 1939, despite the breach of the Munich Agreement by Germany after annexing the rest of the Czech Republic in March 1939. - unanimously again awarded to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The IOC, as it would later show by kowtowing to the Chinese regime in 2008, believed that a state that received a pledge from it for the 1940 Winter Games would not go to war. And that, although three weeks after the end of the 1936 Winter Games, German troops marched into the Rhineland. 
After 1945 the recreation facilities of the American Army (later Armed Forces Recreation Centre) were used on the site of numerous units.   
Reliefs remaining from the time. As David Clay Large argues, it is 
such surviving artifacts from Olympia 1936 [that] may also serve to remind us that these games are among the few undertakings of the Nazi era that many Germans even today believe reflect a more “positive” side of Hitler's Germany (the Autobahnen would be another such example). Anchoring this overly favorable view of the games is a widespread belief that the 1936 Olympics were largely untainted by Nazi ideology and represented a brief moment of tolerance and good feeling—a kind of oasis of decency—in the twelve-year nightmare of National Socialist rule. This was the main theme of the public commemorations in Berlin and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1986, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the German games. These festivities were full of nostalgic ruminations about the technical competence and innovative brilliance of the organizers, the orderliness and conviviality of the proceedings, and the "idealism” of the athletes in comparison to "the spoiled professionals of today.” On these occasions many of the athletes themselves hotly disputed the notion that the Hitler regime had in any way “misused” the games for political purposes. Their cry was then taken up by some conservative journalists and sports historians, one of whom, Willi Knecht, argued that it was simply "ignorant” for historians to posit extensive ties between the Hitler regime and the '36 games.
 
These aren't the only Nazi reliefs in Garmisch; on an elevated water tank in the Kramer area incredibly remains this huge relief of a man, right arm stretched out in the Hitler salute with the remains of a chain hanging from his left arm, apparently having freed himself from the democracy of the Weimar Republic. Dated 1933-1934, the original swastika was long removed. Apparently it has since been scrubbed; like the swastika the man has been chiselled down but his outline is obviously discernible.
Hotel Alpengruß
A group of children in front of the Hotel Alpengruß in 1943 during the time when it served as a Kinderlandverschickung (KLV) through which mainly children and young people from cities at risk of air warfare were to be quartered in rural areas of Germany. From 1940 to 1945 more than 2.2 million children and young people were placed in foster families or these KLV camps within the framework of the KLV. Because of its location far from the front, Bavaria was long considered a safe reception area and was a main target of the deportation measures from the start. The main purpose of the KLV was to demonstrate the care of the regime and to reassure the population concerned about the effects of the air war. Parents would know their children were safe and should be able to go about their work without worry. The campaign also served to conceal the inadequate air protection measures in the cities and were initiated in 1940 when Hitler appointed the former Reichsjugendführer Baldur von Schirach as the "Führer's Representative for Extended Kinderland Dispatch" and put in charge of the newly founded "Reichsdienststelle Kinderlandverschickung." KLV camps for ten to fourteen year olds were subordinate to the Hitler Youth, and they also took over the organization of everyday camp life. The NSLB was responsible for the provision and supervision of teachers and the organisation of school lessons for the exiled children. After its dissolution in 1943, these tasks were transferred to the Reichsdienststelle KLV, which largely took over the staff of the NSLB, as well as to the Reich Ministry for Science, Education and National Education.
   
The Bräustüberl in 1937 Hotel Husar in 1939 and today

Chiemsee   
Raststätte ChiemseeAt the Raststätte Chiemsee, the first large service area on the Autobahn, since 2011 the Klinik Medical Park Chiemseeblick (Psychosomatik). It is located on the A 8, the Chiemsee motorway, between Munich and Salzburg in Bernau directly on the south bank of the Chiemsee. The Rasthaus was opened on August 27, 1937 with 520 seats. In 1942 the building was completed, but then only used as an hospital. The Munich architect Fritz Norkauer oriented himself to the large Chiemgau courtyards with their sloping saddle roofs. Fritz Todt supervised the construction personally. The site became so popular as an excursion site that it had to be closed temporarily in the summer of 1939 because of overcrowding. The restaurant was designed for 350 persons, the terrace of the café for 1300 guests and the outdoor swimming pool for 1450 people. It took 800 workers a year to build the rest-stop on the lake shore given the difficulty of the site. For the main building, fourteen metre long reinforced concrete piles were placed in the alluvium. The 250-metre-long building also stands in watertight concrete tubs, so that would not flood in the spring. In its three wings was a restaurant, bathing establishment and an hotel with 53 rooms. The house technology was modern with the Radiolautsprecher behind the wall lamps, exhaust air slots in the ceilings and the radiators in the windows. There was also an extension for yachts and excursion steamers. South of the motorway, connected with the rest house by an underpass were, among other things, gas station, workshops, apartments for 160 employees, laundry, butcher and heating centre. On the terrace is the Bronze statue Die Schauende by Fritz Klimsch.
Hitler and, returning from his meeting with Hitler at the Obersalzberg that led to the Munich Agreement, Neville Chamberlain (between Herbert von Dirksen and Joachim von Ribbentrop) on September 15, 1938.  
Of this project, Adolf Hitler, Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers would claim how Hitler merited full credit:         
 The Leader is regularly informed of the progress of the work by the Inspector General. In the course of these briefings The Leader intervenes decisively in many details to influence the basic attitude of the coworkers to this work according to his will. In these discussions over the details, it has happened again and again that a decision made by The Leader has proved itself to be the only possible solution in the course of time. An example of this was the decision about the lines of the section on the southern bank of the Chiemsee in Upper Bavaria. Between this lake and the rising mountains, there is a moor which is several kilometres wide. The crossing of this moor had caused severe difficulties for the railroad. The first design of the line for the Reich Autobahn avoided the moor in a wide arc to the side of the bank towards the south. The Leader did not agree to this line, which offered the road neither a view of the lake nor a view of the mountains. He requested that further and more thorough investigations should be made to determine whether a possibility could still be found to put the road closer to the lake. At his instigation further extensive drilling was carried out in the vicinity of the lake. To everyone's great surprise these further investigations revealed a rocklike ledge close to the lake. This ledge was just wide enough to enable the road to be built close to the side of the lake in accordance with The Leader's wishes. 

During the Nazi era and today. On the wall outside the entrance is this plaque offering its own history of the site:     
The Resthouse on Lake Chiemsee was designed by order of Adolf Hitler under supervision of the General Inspector for German roads, Dr. Todt, interior and exterior by Prof. Norhauer. Construction was in the hands of the Supreme Construction Office of the Reichsautobahnen in Munich. Construction was commenced on 3 July 1937 and the Resthouse was opened 1 September 1938.
Murnau
 The town hall during the Nazi era and today. After the Great War Murnau was impacted by the revolution and the Munich Soviet Republic which led to the people of Murnau seeking to protect themselves against further revolutionary efforts through a local militia. When it was disarmed, it was soon replaced by the Bundes Oberland, members of which took part in the Hitler putsch in Munich in 1923; there was even an attempted coup in Murnau itself. In fact, numerous citizens of the place took part in the Hitler putsch in Munich and received the so-called Blood Order for it. That same year a local Nazi Party branch was founded before being banned until 1926. From 1924, national and nationalist parties won the majority of Murnau's votes in elections. In fact, whilst the Nazis managed a paltry 2.6% of the national vote during the 1924 election, they obtained nearly 33% of the vote in Murnau. In 1924 a private high school for girls (later Gymnasium ) was founded. Since the late 1920s, nationalist groups including the Nazis viewed Murnau as their stronghold, which they defended against political opponents, often through violence, as in the Murnau Saalschlacht in 1931. As an aside, the town's new hospital, donated by James Loeb, was built in 1932. Loeb was the founder of the Loeb Classical Library for which, as a classicist, I will always be grateful. In the Reichstag elections of March 1933, 55.8% of the voters of Murnau voted for the Nazi party- compared to 44% nationwide. When the Nazis took power Murnau and the surrounding area served as a backdrop for Nazi projects such as the Hitler Youth highland camp in 1934, the 600th anniversary celebration in 1935 or the 1936 Winter Olympics.
 On September 9, 1937 the tourist office in Murnau set out the following directive regarding regulations concerning Jewish visitors to the town:
1. In Murnau there used to be a sign saying “Jews are not welcome in Murnau”, but these signs were put up before the Olympics, on the basis of a circular from the Landesfremdenverkehrsverband, which stated that out of consideration for the many foreigners who come to our area for the Winter Olympics , such addresses should be removed.
2. At the moment there is no longer any notice in this regard in Murnau.
3. Neither last year nor this season were Jews in Murnau for their summer stay. Only a few asked whether Jews were allowed to stay in Murnau, to which we politely replied that Jews are not welcome in Murnau. 
The construction of two barracks in 1938 suggested the harbinger of the next war, in which, as in the First World War, many young Murnau men were killed. During the war, bombed-out, evacuated and refugees needed all rooms in hotels and restaurants that had previously accommodated tourists.
Nazis marching through the town in the summer of 1933. Murnau was the home of many prominent Germans across its cultural and political landscape from the Nazi economic theorist and early supporter of Hitler Gottfried Feder to Nahum Goldmann, who would later become the founder and longtime president of the World Jewish Congress. It was one of the former's lectures, delivered in 1919 in the Sterneckerbrau, that drew Hitler into the party; he ended up dying in the town in 1941. Three days later on September 27 he was buried in Munich with Gauleiter Wagner placing a wreath from Hitler; relations between the two had cooled by then and Hitler had failed to order a state funeral. In addition, the American-Jewish patron James Loeb, responsible for estimable Loeb Classical Library- he also founded a local hospital built in 1932 before dying in Murnau on May 27, 1933. Other notable citizens included the painter Gabriele Münter, the writer Ödön von Horváth and White Rose member Christoph Probst. The latter would be tried and sentenced along with the Scholl siblings at the Volksgerichtshof by the notorious judge Roland Freisler on February 22, 1943, all of whom were guillotined on the very same day at Stadelheim Prison. Hitler, Himmler and Julius Streicher all made a stop here. 
Nazi officials in front of the King Ludwig II monument in the town at an assembly of the Hitler Youth at Pentecost in 1933. An important aspect of Ludwig's significance to the Nazis lay in his embodiment of romantic German nationalism. Ridley, in his studies, underscored Ludwig's deep fascination with German mythology, particularly the works of Richard Wagner. Wagner's operas, imbued with themes of heroic struggle and racial purity, resonated with Nazi ideology. Thus, Ludwig's patronage of Wagner and his involvement in mythologising the Germanic past presented him as a figure that the Nazis could align with their narrative. McGovern writes how the Nazis manipulated Ludwig's image as a misunderstood leader. Despite his eccentricities and perceived madness, Ludwig was often depicted as a solitary, misunderstood visionary. The Nazis exploited this image, likening Ludwig's isolation and misunderstanding to Hitler's own perceived struggle against adversarial forces. They portrayed both leaders as pursuing a higher vision for their people, a vision often misunderstood by their contemporaries. 
Outside the Werdenfelser barracks comparing the scene taken by American photographer Lieutenant Edward C. Newell on Sunday, April 29, 1945 showing ϟϟ-Hauptsturmführer Max Teichmann (other sources state it shows instead Generalmajor der Waffen-ϟϟ Ernst Otto Fick; both men are buried besuide each other in the war cemetery in Obermeitingen-Schwabstadl) and his driver lying dead on the ground after being shot by troops of the American 12th Armoured Division that was on their way to liberate the Polish POWs of Oflag VII-A. At around 15.00 with the Americans approaching Murnau from the north, a small group of cars with ϟϟ-men approached from the opposite direction. where they collided with a dozen armoured vehicles of the 1st tank Division of the United States here outside the front gate of the camp gunfire erupted resulting in most of the ϟϟ cars turning around and fleeing back to town. The lead car opened fire drawing concentrated fire from the Americans. Colonel Teichmann and Captain Widmann died. Prisoners proceeded to climb onto the front fence as they watched the action whilst cheering the Americans on. 2nd Lieutenant Alfons Mazurek was killed by a stray bullet during this exchange of fire. Two of the American tanks pursued the ϟϟ-cars fleeing back into the town of Murnau as another tank entered the camp through the main gate. The camp itself had been established at the very start of the war in September 1939. It consisted of a 660 foot square enclosure, surrounded with barbed wire and guard towers. Immediately after the German invasion of Poland, roughly a thousand Polish officers were imprisoned here. On April 27, 1942, additional Polish PoWs were transferred here from the so-called "Generals' Camp" Oflag VIII-E in Johannisbrunn, Sudetenland (now Janské Koupele, Czech Silesia). After the failed Warsaw Uprising and "Operation Tempest" more prisoners were brought there from Poland. By the time the Americans arrived the number of PoWs held in the camp reached over 5,000.
The American Twelfth Armoured Division entering the town April 29, 1945. The Wehrmacht had dubbed the 12th Armoured Division the "Suicide Division" after its fierce defensive actions during Operation Nordwind in France, and they were nicknamed the "Mystery Division" when they were temporarily transferred to the command of the Third Army under Patton, to cross the Rhine River. It was one of only ten American divisions (and only one of two American armoured divisions) during the war that had black American combat companies integrated into the division. One of the black American soldiers, Staff Sergeant Edward A. Carter, Jr. was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry in combat later awarded the Medal of Honour posthumously. Rare footage of elements of the 12th Armoured Division liberating prisoners from the Oflag VII-A Murnau German Army PoW camp for Polish Army officers can be found here. Among the footage includes the American entry into the town as they moved through the streets without encountering any opposition whilst the civilians watched  in scenes that include a long shot of the prison camp featuring Polish army prisoners greeting the American troops from behind the camp enclosure, American troops encountering a group of uniformed Germans with arms raised in surrender, the corpses of two executed ϟϟ men lying in the street, regarded by men in civilian dress and German Major General Alfred Petray surrendering his garrison.
 
Heading into Murnau is this railway bridge which still sports the Nazi eagle and the 1935 date of construction.
Schloß Herrenchiemsee
It was at the Kloster Herrenchiemsee, founded in around 765, that the eleven leaders of the western German states sent delegates to this small island in 1949 to draft the 'Grundgesetz', or German constitution. An only slightly modified version of this 'Grundgesetz' would later go on to become the 'Verfassung,' or the German constitution as it is known today, and a museum dedicated to its creation can be found within the Old Palace.    
[T]he constitutional discussions at Herrenchiemsee and in the parliamentary council proved contentious as the renunciation of independent armed forces shifted the defence of the new state to the victorious powers or to an international security system whose reliability remained unpredictable. The Social Democratic Party’s demand for a complete outlawing of war collided in principle with the Christian Democratic Party’s advocacy of the possibility of a national defence. The result was an ambiguous compromise, which in article 26, paragraph 1, declared unconstitutional all “acts tending to and undertaken with intent to disturb the peaceful relations between nations, especially to prepare for a war of aggression.” Barring special permission from the federal government, the production of weapons of war was likewise forbidden, while a right to conscientious objection to serving in the military was written into the constitution. The first constitution of the GDR also proclaimed the principle of peacefulness, although secret remilitarisation by means of the people’s police was already under way.
 Jarausch (36-37)
Looking across at Fraueninsel in 1939 and today from Herrenchiemsee. A cenotaph to Alfred Jodl, army general and executed war criminal, is located on the island. The name "Alfred Jodl", his military rank "Generaloberst" and his day of death "16.10.1946" stand proudly on the man-sized tombstone in a cruciform shape. In the early morning hours of that mortal date, the Nazi war criminals sentenced to death in Nuremberg were executed, including Alfred Jodl who had been found guilty on all the charges made against him- conspiracy to commit crimes against peace; planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; war crimes; and crimes against humanity. The principal charges against him related to his signature of the criminal Commando and Commissar Orders. Given their ashes were dumped into in a tributary of the Isar, Hitler's supreme military strategist could not be buried here making the name on the stone cross a scandal. On the stone of the family grave, in which his two wives have found their final resting place, he may "live on."  It was only when architect Georg Wieland filed a petition at the Bavarian State Parliament a few years ago, drawing attention to the "inappropriate handling of the Nazi period" and demanding that at least an explanatory information board were placed next to the grave that momentum came into the debate. Wolfram Kastner poured red paint over the tombstone in red paint, enraging Jodl's descendants. Although tenure over the rights to the grave was to have expired on January 25, 2018, the grave remains.
 
Standing in front of schloß Herrenchiemsee, a replica (although only the central section was ever built) of Louis XIV's Palace of Versailles, was meant to outdo its predecessor in scale and opulence - for instance, at 98 metres the Hall of Mirrors and its adjoining Hall of War and Peace is slightly longer than the original. The palace is located on the Herren Island in the middle of the Chiemsee Lake. Most of the palace was never completed once the king ran out of money, and Ludwig lived there for only ten days in October 1885, less than a year before his mysterious death. Ironically tourists come from France to view the recreation of the famous Ambassadors' Staircase as the original Ambassadors' Staircase at Versailles was demolished in 1752.
 
Hitler outside the building accompanied by Göbbels and being escorted through the stunning Grosse Spiegelgalerie within. This tunnel of light runs the length of the garden (at 98 metres, it's ten metres longer than that in Versailles). It sports 52 candelabra and 33 great glass chandeliers with 7,000 candles, which my tour guide informed me took seventy servants half an hour to light. 
Also within the palace is the König-Ludwig II-Museum, where one can see the king’s christening and coronation robes, the Speisezimmer shown here then and now, more blueprints of megalomaniac buildings that would inspire Hitler, and his death mask. Here I am beside it and Wagner's.

Starnberger See
At the steamer pier in Starnberg and around 1907 with the saloon steamer Bavaria.  
Before Hitler had even joined the DAP, the swastika had been introduced to the party in 1919 by Friedrich Krohn, a dentist from Starnberg. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, in his book The Occult Roots of Nazism, claims that Krohn had proposed that the party adopt a leftward-turning swastika with curved arms as used by both theosophist groups and the Germanenorden. Theosophy had adapted this leftward form of the swastika from Buddhism, but Goodrick-Clarke suggests that after joining and assuming control of the party, Hitler preferred and eventually insisted in committee discussions on a straight-armed, right-ward-turning swastika. In Mein Kampf, Hitler writes how 
I myself - as Leader - did not want to come out publicly at once with my own design, since after all it was possible that another should produce one just as good or perhaps even better. Actually, a dentist from Starnberg did deliver a design that was not bad at all, and, incidentally, was quite close to my own, having only the one fault that a swastika with curved legs was composed into a white disk I myself, meanwhile, after innumerable attempts, had laid down a final form; a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black swastika in the middle. After long trials I also found a definite proportion between the size of the flag and the size of the white disk, as well as the shape and thickness of the swastika. (48) 
Such an account of the design of the swastika is careful to place his own contribution centre-stage. Regardless, Krohn organised a party rally in his town on March 5, 1920, decorating the place of assembly, the Tützinger Hof shown on the left, with the flag he has made himself. The participants were apparently so impressed by this design that one of the speakers present declared “[w]e hold our flag there!" Above Tutzinger-Hof-Platz bedecked with Nazi flags and today. On March 20, 1920, a delegation of Nazis led by Anton Drexler came here to address “an handful of people in the dining room of the Tutzinger Hof”. At this meeting, the party received three new members- the businessman Max Pöhlemann, the Inspector Robert Offterwanger (also spelled Offenwanger) and cashier Hans Baumgärtner. Monthly talk evening and a public meeting were held alternately in the Tutzinger Hof as well as in the "Gasthof zur Eisenbahn." If the Tutzinger Hof was too small, they moved to the largest hall in Starnberg, the “Pellet-Mayer” inn. On October 28, 1920 Hitler personally spoke on "The World War and its makers," having previously given a speech with the same title in Rosenheim, according to England "the original guilt of the wars" with reference to the Opium War and supposed English envy of German successes. 
Starnberg's mayor Franz Xaver Buchner played a major role within the Nazi Party, related in his 1940 book "Kamerad! Halt aus! Aus der Geschichte des Kreises Starnberg der NSDAP." which utilised log books and documents from Nazi district archives, which had mysteriously disappeared after the war. Under his rule Jewish villa owners gradually sold their homes, their fears justified by such passages in Buchner's book as "We do not want to beat and incapacitate, we want to destroy them - we want to destroy them! Eradicate! Violence is broken with a fist! Look away, aesthetes, when you get sick!" In 1926 Buchner branch of the Nazi Party organised a "German Day" to which Adolf Hitler was invited. As Nazi fortunes rose, so did his own position. He became Gauleiter, deputy mayor of Herrsching from 1929 -1932, member of the Reichstag and from 1933 to 1945 State Secretary within the Reich Ministry of Finance. It was reported after the war how in March 1933 Buchner erased votes in the polling station held at the Gasthaus zur Eisenbahn, replacing them with the word 'Yes'. The former Gasthof zur Eisenbahn" on Maximilianstraße, later demolished and rebuilt as the Bayerischer Hof. Located directly across the railway station, Hitler had spoken here in the autumn of 1921 which by then had become known as the the clubhouse of the Nazi Party in Starnberg, remaining thus throughout the period of the Third Reich. The phrase "Jews are not allowed", which has been used for all calls to the assembly since 1921, was used for the first time in Starnberg in the advertisement for this major event. Admission now cost one Reichsmark, compared to the 50 pfennigs it had cost half a year earlier.
In Tutzing on Lake Starnberg is the former home of General Ludendorff. Retired General of the Infantry, Ludendorff celebrated his seventieth birthday in this house on April 9, 1935. He and his co-conspirator of the 1923 Putsch, Hitler, had not been on friendly terms since 1925. Although their ideas did coincide, each felt superior to the other. General Ludendorff had been one of the parties essentially responsible for spreading the legend of the “stab in the back.” This propagandist allegation had it that the munitions workers’ strike in October 1918, just as the German Army was purportedly at the threshold of victory, had been the cause of the dishonourable defeat of the invincible German forces. Although it might be understandable that Hitler and others who had fought in the war held this view, there is no excuse for Ludendorff’s support of such an obvious fallacy. He had not experienced the war from a corporal’s perspective, as the later dictator had, but been instrumental in waging it as Quartermaster General from 1916 to 1918. In September of 1918, together with Hindenburg, he had petitioned the German Government to conclude an armistice within twenty-four hours in order to circumvent the otherwise inevitable military collapse. However, this did not prevent him from subsequently claiming, against his own better knowledge, that Marxists, Jews, Freemasons, and the Catholic Church had connived to bring about Germany’s collapse. 
At the site of Ludendorff's grave. In 1923, Ludendorff and Hitler had been on the same side; from 1925 Ludendorff rejected his former companion as being not sufficiently radical; strange as this may sound today, he viewed him as an “ultramontane” and a Judenknecht (slave to the Jews). Ludendorff’s attitude naturally rankled Hitler, and his vanity would not allow that anyone in Germany of standing or reputation was not wholly—and publicly—supportive. Moreover, he intended to have Ludendorff enter into Valhalla when he died, just as he had sent Hindenburg to the great hall dedicated to the war heroes in Norse mythology. Thus he enlisted all of his powers of persuasion to move Ludendorff to desist and adopt a modus vivendi of mutual respect. A reconciliation of sorts had come about between the two former comrades in arms by the time of Ludendorff’s death in 1937; however, in 1935 Hitler’s attempts in this direction were fruitless despite his belief that his foe would finally come to view him as Germany’s saviour for having reinstituted military service. Consequently he issued an “order” on April 8 in which he lauded Ludendorff as the “greatest German commander in the World War.” This “Order of the Führer and Reich Chancellor”—no one was quite sure to whom it was addressed—read as follows:
Tomorrow, on April 9, General Ludendorff is celebrating his seventieth birthday. With sentiments of deepest gratitude, the German Volk recalls on this occasion the immortal accomplishments of its greatest commander in the World War. In the grasp of this sentiment of a national debt of gratitude, I order that all state buildings exhibit flags on April 9.  Adolf Hitler
On that day Hitler had an honour guard appointed to the celebrant and dispatched the Reich Minister of Defence, von Blomberg, and the Chief of Army Command, von Fritsch, to relay his congratulations in Tutzing. Blomberg was also instructed to present the marshal’s baton to Ludendorff, but the latter, the victorious commander per se, rejected the appointment. Naturally the German public heard nothing of this affront, although it was rather obvious that the reports on the birthday festivities in Tutzing made not a single mention of the Chancellor. Following the “order” of April 8 and the military favours Hitler had bestowed upon Ludendorff, the absence of any word of thanks from the latter did appear curious.
Standing at the site of Ludwig II's mysterious death. On the afternoon of June 13 1886, Ludwig, accompanied by his personal physician Dr Gudden, strolled within the grounds of the castle. They were accompanied by two attendants. On their return Gudden expressed optimism to other doctors concerning the treatment of his royal patient. Following dinner, at around 18.00 Ludwig asked Gudden to accompany him on a further walk, this time through the Schloß Berg parkland along the shore of Lake Starnberg. Gudden agreed; the walk may even have been his suggestion, and he told the aides not to accompany them. His words were ambiguous (Es darf kein Pfleger mitgehen, "No attendant may come along") and whether they were meant to follow at a discreet distance is not clear. The two men were last seen at about 18.30; they were due back at 20.00 but never returned. After searches were made for more than two hours by the entire castle staff in a gale with heavy rain, at 22.30 that night, the bodies of both the King and von Gudden were found, head and shoulders above the shallow water near the shore. The King's watch had stopped at 6.54. Gendarmes patrolling the park had heard and seen nothing.  Ludwig's death was officially ruled a suicide by drowning, but the official autopsy report indicated that no water was found in his lungs. Ludwig was a very strong swimmer in his youth, the water was approximately waist-deep where his body was found, and he had not expressed suicidal feelings during the crisis. Gudden's body showed blows to the head and neck and signs of strangulation, leading to the suspicion that he was strangled although there is no evidence to prove this.
 
Lambacher Hof

Another favourite of Hitler's was the Lambacher Hof on the Chiemsee and which has changed very little since.
Hitler usually ordered preparations for the drive to "the mountain"-Obersalzberg. We rode over dusty highways in several open cars; the autobahn to Salzburg did not exist in those days, although it was being built on a priority basis. Usually the motorcade stopped for coffee in a village inn at Lambach am Chiemsee, which served delicious pastries that Hitler could scarcely ever resist. Then the passengers in the following cars once more swallowed dust for two hours, for the column rode in close file.

 

Bad Tölz
Looking down the High Street during the Nazi era through a postcard from the time and today. Hitler had visited Tölz twice, most recently in 1932. Two years later the Nazis set up the first of the ϟϟ Junker Schools here and a Nazi civil service school in Bad Tölz began offering courses. The Junker School was originally planned to be built on a hill towards Wackersberg, but that would probably have meant the end of its spa. In the middle of 1940, a satellite camp of the Dachau concentration camp was set up in Bad Tölz. Also that year the 97th Jäger Division "Spielhahnjäger" was set up in Bad Tölz and the surrounding area, eventually fighting in the Russian campaign before dissolved in Czechoslovakia at the end of the war.
From the start the aims of the regime in controlling the population was openly expressed in a speech to civil servants at the Party's indoctrination centre for civil servants in Bad Tolz in June 1938, Helmut Friedrichs, the head of Department II for Party Affairs in Rudolf Hess's office emphasised that
 The struggle for existence and the ethnic self-assertion of a nation is a process which eternally repeats itself. In this struggle for existence the nation must be turned into a body capable of resistance through education, work and the supervision of its morale. This body must be immune to all kinds of bacteria and external influences. The party is the barometer[sic!]. It must know the state of health of this body. It must examine what benefits and what damages the nation. It must analyse and get to know its innermost being and then draw practical con- clusions. The party represents the link between the leadership and the retinue, prepares the ground among the people for the leadership to introduce those measures which are beneficial to the nation.
A parade of SA men with ski equipment marching down Marktstrasse in 1932. 
The first local branch of the Nazi Party in Tölz was founded in June 1922, and an SA group was probably founded around the same time. Its members regularly marched in front of what was then Park Hotel which was frequented mainly by Jewish guests stayed.
This was the site on July 6, 1932 of Hitler's first genuine campaign speeches aimed at the presidential election on July 31. He spoke on a meadow near the train station, but because of a long thunderstorm with heavy rain, the speech was not considered successful.
When the Bavarian resort of Bad Tölz mistakenly included its limitations on ‘non-Aryan’ spa guests within a brochure it sent to a prospective visitor from the Netherlands, it hurried to assure him that such restrictions did not apply to foreigners.
Semmens (147)
A torchlight procession on January 30, 1933 in Bad Tölz took place on the day of the seizure of power. In another torchlight procession on March 5, 1933 - the day of the last semi-free Reichstag elections in which the Nazis received 42.8 percent in Tölz, the various conservative parties actually  sent their own delegations. On top of this, relatively little resistance was shown when the SA stormed the town hall on March 10 and hoisted the Nazi flag. The mayor of Tölz, Alfons Stollreither, immediately joined the Nazi Party as SA Brigadefuhrer Hans Höflmayr was deployed as a "special commissioner" on behalf of the SA. The Nazis would establish a symbolic heroic cult on the Heiglkopf, which they renamed "Hitlerberg" on May 21, 1933. 
Himmler spoke in the town on a number of occasions, giving speeches on February 18, 1937 at the ϟϟ-Gruppenführer Conference and on March 11, 1938, November 23, 1942 and May 27, 1943, all at the ϟϟ Training Facility shown here with the ϟϟ Junker School Bad Tölz in 1942 and today, with the arch demolished and site converted to a shopping centre. Such ϟϟ Junker schools were war schools introduced in 1937, which were tasked with the training junior military leaders for the Waffen-ϟϟ. Their graduates formed the junior executives in the ϟϟ-Verfügungstruppe  the Ordnungspolizei, the concentration camps and ϟϟ-Totenkopfverbände and the SD. In addition to military training, an holistic sense of life was taught in accordance with the ϟϟ.  The leadership of the later Waffen-ϟϟ considered the ϟϟ Junker schools to be an equivalent for the German military schools of the Wehrmacht or the army. About 15,000 ϟϟ leaders completed this training according to Nazi ideology from a racial point of view. A so-called Aryan certificate dating back to the 18th century and a medical certificate had to be presented. Of course, ϟϟ leadership schools were also a place of political indoctrination. By 1937, around 90% of the participants had left the churches in common with the members of the ϟϟ of whom, from 1938, about 80% belonged to any religious community. Trained officers of the ϟϟ troops and the Waffen-ϟϟ were to be a military and racial elite. 

Until 1936, attendance within a Junkerschule counted neither as military service nor protected him from being called by the Wehrmacht. Because of the socially heterogeneous composition of the leading candidates and their highly divergent education as well as military qualifications, it was the task of this institution to standardise the level of training and social behaviour as much as possible.  During the course, students continued to wear their own uniforms and not, like participants in the driving schools, uniforms. Upon graduation all participants returned to their base units as ϟϟ-Standartenjunker (ϟϟ-Scharführer) or as ϟϟ-Standoberjunker (ϟϟ-Hauptscharführer). There they were quickly promoted to ϟϟ Untersturmführer (active) or to the ϟϟ Untersturmführer (reserve). On March 27, 1945, the 38th ϟϟ Grenadier Division “Nibelungen” was set up in Bad Tölz, mainly made up of members of the Junker School and the Hitler Youth . Until the last days of the war, the ϟϟ division "Götz von Berlichingen" fought with the advancing American armed forces in Bad Tölz and the surrounding area. The Wehrmacht had already withdrawn on April 26. The Isar bridge and parts of the lower Marktstrasse were badly damaged by American artillery fire during a German blast attempt. The resistance of the Waffen-ϟϟ, by mostly very young, forcibly recruited soldiers, is said to have prompted the Americans to threaten to bomb Tölz “like Aschaffenburg." Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, who was convalescing in Tölz, is said to have contributed to the protection of the town.

Due to the onset of snowfall, however, approaching bombers had to be withdrawn again. Finally by the night of May 1, 1945, the 36th Infantry Division ("Texas Division") under Gen. Robert Stack occupied the town. The Waffen ϟϟ then withdrew in the direction of Gaißach, Wackersberg and Lenggries. By the end of the war of the 1,300 called up from Bad Tölz, 361 were killed and 92 missing. The lack of bombardment, which some locals still refer to today as the “miracle of Tölz”, meant that the huge Nazi eagle, which had a swastika in its claws and had stood on the Isar bridge since 1934, was melted down after the war and turned it into a statue of Mary as thanks which now adorns the fountain in the lower market street. The previously wooden well had been earlier  damaged by drunken ϟϟ Junkers pilots.

When American General Patton was made military governor of Bavaria, he

set up his HQ in the former ϟϟ officer training school in Bad Tölz. On 22 September he blotted his copy book by appointing Nazis to administrative roles within his Bavarian command and marginalising their criminality – all in defiance of JCS 1067. He backtracked a little, saying that he was employing Nazis because he needed to retain his own men to fight, and because they hadn’t yet found anyone better. A week later, Eisenhower relieved him of his command. 
MacDonogh (229) 
Mangfallbrücke Nazi stamp
The Mangfallbrücke is part of the federal motorway between Munich and Rosenheim north of Weyarn the Mangfalltal. The 288 metre-long continuous girder bridge was completed in January 1936 and was one of the first large bridges of the autobahn network. Its construction as part of the Reichsautobahn Munich-Salzburg began in March 1934 and its installation was accompanied in detail by Nazi propaganda as shown by this 1936 stamp in the series of modern buildings of the German Reich for the winter welfare organisation.
Gradually the network of highways spread. They followed routes that engineers had previously claimed impassable, for example across broad moors like the south shore of Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria. Long viaducts like the Mangfall bridge, 200 feet high, were personally selected by Hitler from seventy competing designs, for their simple but solid lines: "What we’re building," he explained, "will still be standing long after we’ve passed on." He toured the sites and spoke with the workers. "When I’m as old as you," he flattered one seventy-year-old labourer at Darmstadt, "I’d like to be able to work like you now." In November 1936, he gave orders that the Reich’s western frontiers were to be marked on the autobahns by monuments 130 feet high. Hitler's War (21)
Hitler at Mangfallbrücke
Hitler below the bridge in 1935 and today, the third pylon being added after the bridge had been blown up on May 1, 1945 by members of the Waffen-ϟϟ  in the face of approaching American troops. The superstructure and the western pier were destroyed and the eastern pier heavily damaged. This photograph comes from Adolf Hitler, Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers claiming extravagantly:
One of the first great bridges to be tackled was the Mangfall Bridge near München, with a length of approximately 300 metres and a height of approximately 60 metres above the base of the valley. From a contest which resulted in about seventy entrants, The Leader decided on the design to be used, and thereby determined the type of major bridge which afterwards was to be built at various other places. The lines and shapes of the constructions which The Leader himself determined are clear and simple, and at the same time ambitious and daring. Besides the shape, his decision is greatly influenced by the question of the soundness of the construction. Cheap construction parts, such as hollow pillars and pylons, are rejected by The Leader as they raise doubts about the unlimited durability.
The steel construction of the three-span girder bridge was designed and executed by MAN's Gustavsburg plant under the formal advice of its architect Wilhelm Haerter, as chosen by Hitler from several designs. November 24 saw its topping-out ceremony of the pillars was celebrated followed on January 6, 1936, five days before the handover of the section Holzkirchen-Weyarn, by Hitler driving down the first structure with its four lanes.  
 
Wolfratshausen
 I was led to visit this town after coming across the work of Joachim Braun, whose website Ende & Neubeginn - Die NS-Zeit in Wolfratshausen is a comprehensive look at the town during the Nazi era and which forms the basis for most of what follows.
Adolf-Hitler-Straße from a postcard from the time.
Initially, the Nazi Party had trouble gaining a foothold in Wolfratshausen but the economic crisis played into her hands and in 1931, a young bank clerk from Dorfen, Franz Hille, founded a local branch. In the last quasi-free elections on March 5, 1933, the Nazis enjoyed 42 percent of the local vote, slightly lower than the national average. Hans Winibald from the People's Party remained mayor - but only for five days before the Nazis occupied the town hall, district office and district court. As early as March 21, 1933, when the new Reichstag was opened, 1,500 people marched from the Grüner Baum inn to the new gymnasium leading to the summary  arrest of the SPD councillors and installing Edmund Schrott as the new mayor. He made Adolf Hitler an honorary citizen of Wolfratshausen and streets were subsequently renamed- Obermarkt and Untermarkt became Adolf-Hitler-Straße as seen here. Bahnhofstraße became Hindenburgstraße; the town hall was located on the corner of both streets.  Paradiesweg was renamed Adolf-Wagner-Allee, Floßkanal Hermann-Göring-Strasse, Alpen-becoming Wilhelm-Gustloff-Strasse, Gebhart to Bismarckstrasse and Schiesstätt-Strasse now was known as Dietrich-Eckert-Strasse, named after Hitler's friend to whom he dedicated Mein Kampf and who for a time lived in the town. After the war District Administrator Hans Thiemo,working for the American occupiers, ordered that "[t]he use of the previous Nazi names in words and pictures is forbidden under penalty of punishment. Anything that reminds you of them is to be destroyed."
 I'm not sure of the date but the photo on the right could be on the occasion of the May 29, 1936 elections which took place at the same time as the subsequent referendum on the authorisation to occupy the Rhineland. As in the November 1933 election, only a single list of Nazi Party members was permitted making it a sham election given that the result was already certain from the outset In the case of Wolfratshausen, 1,832 voted alowing the "Wolfratshauser Tagblatt" to write how "[w]eek after week the election propaganda had started to make the last comrade aware of the meaning of the election day. It was not in vain. The people knew their duty." The evening before, a march resulting in mass meeting in the Gymnasium to hear Hitler's speech, after which Nazi units marched through Wolfratshausen in a torchlight procession of which this photo may show.
Johann Fagner, landlord of the "Humplbräu," in front of his establishment. Beside him on the right is cattle dealer Hermann Spatz whose business held auctions in its own stables at the Humplbräu. Once the Nazis took power the Jewish Spatz family was targetted, the local Nazi Party branch publishing an appeal in Der Stürmer that "[n]o one should buy from the Jew Spatz." He would eventually be sent to the Dachau concentration camp before being released on December 6, 1938, badly abused, on the condition that he sell his house immediately. It was purchased on January 1, 1939 from the tenant of the canteen of the munitions factory for a price well below the actual value leaving Spatz to beg in order to make a living. On January 23, 1940, he moved to Munich with his wife Cäcilia and son Willy where Hermann Spatz died on May 30, 1940, and buried in the Israelite Cemetery the next day. Both Cecilia and Willy were deported to Riga and murdered. Cäcilia's, Ludwig Holzer, and her aunt, Mina Einstein, were deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942 where they died. On December 17, 1942, an uncle, Benno Neuburger, was sentenced to death by the Berlin People's Court for "insulting the Führer" and executed.

The town hall after the war on the corner of Hitler and Hindenburg streets. Despite such damage shown, with the exception of the upper Loisach Bridge being blown up in 1945, Wolfratshausen was spared serious damage in the war and the town was handed over to the Americans coming from Linden on Easter Sunday without a fight. Nevertheless, 160 citizens of the town had lost their lives in the war. The Americans appointed Hans Winibald mayor, having held the office until 1933, assisted by the former municipal secretary Franz Geiger who had been imprisoned by the Nazis for a fortnight in 1933 before going into compulsory retirement. The occupation had to painstakingly reconstruct the structure of the Nazi organisations after an order was sent by radio on April 25, 1945 from the Upper Bavarian government president, Dr. Schenpel, to all communities to start burning files immediately to ensure that "[e]verything that could be useful to the enemy is to be destroyed." This was followed in Wolfratshausen within the courtyard of the town hall where the Nazis set up a pyre and burned all important documents from relating to the regime. The Americans for their turn ordered the locals to hand over all weapons, including those only suitable for hunting or face the death penalty. As a result weapons were spread out in the street whereby a tank rolled over them. Other weapons were simply thrown into the Loisach.
 A few miles to the west in the Wolfratshauser Forest are still bunkers that exist that had been constructed for the Dynamit Aktiengesellschaft (DAG) and Deutsche Sprengchemie (DSC) ammunition factories. Located within the town of Geretsried- over the years, the town developed on this extensive area in the state forest-   starting in 1938 these armaments factories gradually built around 650 bunkers in the forest to house ammunition production. Initially, conscripted Germans from Munich and the surrounding area toiled there, later joined by thousands of forced labourers. They had to carry out life-threatening work with chemical substances. The prisoners came mainly from the surrounding "Lager Buchberg", "Lager Stein" and " Lager Föhrenwald ". Until 1955, a grave with seven concentration camp prisoners was located on Richard-Wagner-Straße, later transferred to the waldfriedhof in Dachau
The buildings are camouflaged in the forest or buried directly under mounds of earth. This bunker near the Isardamm, is known as the "Blue Bunker" because of the graffiti. It was the shell of the department for the production of the grenade explosive picric acid. In 1943, however, construction stopped because the dangerous acid was replaced with TNT. Shortly after the end of the war, the Americans gave the order to blow up many of these secret bunkers, including the "Blue Bunker" in 1948, parts of which are still preserved as seen here. These concrete buildings formed a secret city in the forest, complete with roads, electricity, telephone lines, water and sewerage. Deutsche Sprengchemie alone had five miles of track in the forest. When the munitions factories were dismantled, boilers, pipes and other components of the factories were transported all over Europe as reparations. Other companies were quickly established in the old munitions factories, and one of the new companies began producing textile auxiliaries as early as 1946. Suggestions to turn the ruins and their surroundings into a cultural site have been made but, according to a report by the structural engineer Florian Sachers,  the construction of a collapse-proof building would be extremely difficult with costs estimated at around 120,000 euros.
 
The photo on the left shows Dachau concentration camp inmates on a death march
heading in the direction of Wolfratshausen photographed on April 28, 1945 by Benno Gantner from his balcony in Percha. The term itself was coined by victims and in the standard work Encyclopedia of National Socialism, the death march is defined as a "phenomenon in the Third Reich, especially towards the end of the war, when the prisoners of a number of concentration camps were evacuated, in large numbers and forced to march long distances in intolerable conditions and brutal mistreatment, a large proportion of them being murdered by the escorts.” On most death marches, numerous exhausted prisoners were shot by the guards along the way and such random killings led to the name death march. Diana Gring defines "death march crimes" as "non-stationary Nazi acts of violence in the final phase of the war, which were related to the evacuation of the concentration camps and were committed during the marches or at the corresponding stopover and end points of the route." For Gring the important common features of all the death marches were the randomness of the scene of the crime, the heterogeneity of the groups of perpetrators and the separation of the upper and lower command levels. Whilst For Daniel Goldhagen claims that the death marches represent the deliberate continuation of the Holocaust by other means and a planned strategy to exterminate the Jewish people, the majority of the evacuees were in fact non-Jewish prisoners. Many attribute the numerous victims to that complete chaos of the last months of the war and the collapse of supplies. As Eberhard Kolb argues, it was the lower ϟϟ charges who decided on the death marches involving the fate of thousands of prisoners rather than orders from on high." For Karin Orth,  the main motives for the unbridled, murderous actions of the escort was to speed up their own escape - and because the lives of the concentration camp prisoners had no value in their eyes.
Concentration camp prisoners were herded through Wolfratshausen in the last days of April, when the Dachau concentration camp swelled to more than 32,000 prisoners due to evacuation marches and train transports arriving almost every day, and the Allach sub camp between Dachau and Munich, in which mainly forced laborers were used for the surrounding metalworking armaments industry (BMW, Kraus- Maffei, MAN) was completely overcrowded with almost 10,000 prisoners. The march of these 2000 Allach prisoners merged with another arriving from Kaufering. In regards those who were forced through this area, the routes, places and times of these marches can only be partially reconstructed given that because of the danger of low-flying aircraft, the main column didn't march from Unterleiten along the direct route along the Isar to Bad Tölz, but rather along the route through Kirchbichl and Ellbach. Part of the main group could have marched from Ascholding through the eastern moraine landscape via Mannhartshofen, Dietramszell, Kirchbichl and Ellbach to Bad Tölz instead of along the Isar. On April 25, 1945, the main contingent of 1,543 prisoners from the Munich-Riem satellite camp is said to have been sent, probably made up of Russian forced labourers used in the construction sector and thus needed for the construction of the so-called "Alpine Fortress". This is supported by photos taken of them at Grünwald, shown here with the corresponding memorial at the site. They had been forced to march through Grünwald, Egling and Unterleiten in the direction of Bad Tölz. Two days later 539 female prisoners were evacuated from the Agfa camera factory in Munich-Giesing and apparently made to march via Grünwald to Wolfratshausen from where they were liberated on April 30. 
Another smaller marching column of 337 forced labourers from the Ottobrunn Air Research Institute could have travelled from Ottobrunn via Brunnthal, Hofolding, Hartpenning to Bad Tölz or towards Tegernsee and Wildbad Kreuth.
Many monuments serve to remember the human suffering of this inhuman march erected by Professor Hubertus von Pilgrim, a German sculptor who lives and works in Pullach, along the Würmtal death route. He created a total of 22 identical memorials that commemorate the death march of the prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp in 1945 and that stand along the route of the death march in Munich and in the greater Munich area. 
 

The Deutschland flying the Nazi flag at Meersburg am Bodensee. It was in this town that the attempted assassin of Hitler, Georg Elser, lived from 1930 to May 1932 with the Dreher family on Am Stadtgraben whilst working for the watch manufacturer Rothmund in Meersburg. This would offer him the experience in making the bomb with which he so nearly killed Hitler in November 1939. During the war Polish forced labourers and prisoners of war were housed in the town's riding stables until 1941. Contemporary witnesses tell of a prisoner of war camp in the barracks in the summer valley, where refugees were housed after the end of the war. The war saw a constant shortage of housing and food in Meersburg upon the establishment of the Reich Finance School, the Kälte armaments factory setting up headquarters in the Hämmerlefabrik and providing forced billeting for the Wehrmacht and  deportations to Kinderland of bombed out and evacuated people. Towards the end of the war, with the retreat of the German troops, companies, Wehrmacht agencies and authorities tried to find accommodation in Meersburg. From the middle of April 1945 ship traffic, including on April 26, 1945 the ferry service between Meersburg and Konstanz-Staad shown in this postcard, was stopped. Meersburg was barricaded with anti-tank barriers. French tanks approaching on April 29, 1945 were shelled. It was only because the French were able to bypass the barricades via a forest path through Gehautobel and Hirtlehöhe that  Meersburg was saved from destruction.

Schloss Linderhof
Hitler in 1935 at the entrance to the smallest of the three palaces built by Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed. Hitler had had a rather ambivalent relationship with the castles and their creator who, as a strong individualist with apparent homoerotic tendencies, did not fit into the ideology of the national socialists. Ludwig II's royal palaces were however unaffected during the Second World War by combat and bombing and as early as 1946 they were again accessible to the public. Hitler himself had declared on August 12, 1933 whilst taking part in the Richard Wagner celebration at Neuschwanstein that
despite all criticism of these structures built by Ludwig II, the fertilisation of the arts and the stimulation of tourism had nonetheless given rise to much good, which meant that the work of the King deserved recognition: “It was the protest of a genius against wretched parliamentarian mediocrity. Today we have translated this protest into action and finally eliminated this regime.”
 
The bedroom and the schloß and its grounds during the Third Reich era. The wife and son are in front of the bed which was positioned on steps in the alcove closed off by a gilded balustrade giving it the appearance of an altar and thereby glorifying Ludwig II as he slept during the day. The glass candelabra above has 108 candles. In imitation of Versailles, the bedroom is the largest chamber of Linderhof Palace although the model for this room was not Louis XIV's bedchamber in Versailles but the bedroom of the Rich Rooms in Munich's Residenz. Completely rebuilt in 1884, it was not finished until the king's death two years later.