Showing posts with label Wolnzach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wolnzach. Show all posts

More Remaining Nazi Sites in Lower Bavaria

 Kelheim
 Kelheim, decorated for Hitler's visit in 1933
The Befreiungshalle ("Hall of Liberation") in a Nazi postcard. In front is the Schleiferturm, also incorrectly called the Römerturm, since ashlars were used in the construction that resemble ancient stones, but come from the keep of the Wittelsbacher castle and date from the late 15th century. Since 1931 it has served as a memorial for those who fell in the First World War which explains its prominence in this postcard. The Befreiungshalle is an historical classical monument upon Mount Michelsberg above Kelheim upstream of Regensburg on the Danube. It was built through the initiative of King Ludwig I of Bavaria to commemorate the liberation war  against Napoleon and the Volkerschlacht near Leipzig on October 18, 1813. Planned by Friedrich von Gärtner and after its death 1847 by Leo von Klenze with sculptures by Ludwig von Schwanthaler, the foundation stone was lain on October 19, 1842, the solemn opening taking place on October 18, 1863 in time for the 50th anniversary. With a height of 45 metres and diametre of 29 metres, the domed hall of the Befreiungshalle is larger than the Pantheon. Roughly 150 feet in height, the memorial focuses on the number eighteen throughout given that the Battle of the Nations took place on October 18, 1813 and the Battle of Waterloo was fought on June 18, 1815.  Thus around the exterior are eighteen statues holding placards for each of the historic Germanic tribes:  Franconians, Bohemians, Tyroleans, Bavarians, Austrians, Prussians, Hanoverians, Saxons, Silesians, Brandenburgers, Pomeranians, Mecklenburgers, Westphalians, Moravians, Hessians, Thüringians, Rhinelanders, and Swabians.
The year 1913 marked the centenary of the Battle of Leipzig and, whilst the anniversary was celebrated throughout Germany, there was especial cause for celebrations in Kelheim as the building was fifty years old, and so the entire year saw the double anniversary celebrated in Kelheim with various festivals and events. The main highlight of the year was the visit of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Prince Regent Ludwig of Bavaria and all the princes of the empire on August 25, 1913, shown on the right and the site today.
Twenty years after Kaiser Wilhelm II and the German princes had celebrated the centenary of the Battle of Nations in Leipzig, on October 22, 1933 Hitler gave two speeches in front of the Befreiungshalle on the occasion of a parade by the SA declaring that "[t]his monument of unification is a symbol for us of that to which we aspire in our struggle: ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Wille." This "liberation ceremony" was accompanied by SA staff chief Ernst Rohm, Reichsführer ϟϟ Heinrich Himmler and the Reichsstatthalter in Bavaria, Franz Ritter von Epp.   
Ernst Röhm had made his way from Regensburg to Kelheim the following day at 9.00 with Hitler arriving shortly after in Gauleiter Wagner's black Mercedes to be received by the SA chief of staff at around and hour later. The "Liberation Celebration" began at 11 am with a "State Act in front of the Hall" and the "Entry of the Gods", penned by Hitler's favourite composer Richard Wagner. Following the firing of 21 gun salutes to greet the Führer, Röhm then handed Hitler the bronze emblem, a swastika, which was attached to the entrance above the hall, surrounded by an oak leaf wreath with an imperial eagle, and the year 1933.
Hitler opened his speech referring to the building: 
My chief of staff! My SA men! German national comrades! There is hardly a building in Germany that more rightly bears the symbol of the German uprising than the monument to the freedom fighters. For us, this monument is a symbol of what we strive for in our struggle: one people, one empire, one will. What was the aim of the striving of German men and women many centuries ago seems to be nearing its final realisation thanks to the struggle, the victims and the work of countless Germans from all walks of life and walks of life. The new empire was born out of the people themselves. And so in the future this temple should be a sanctuary for the German people. The emblem of the new empire is intended to symbolically express that it is not only consecrated to the past, but also to the present and the German future. In this sense we want to bring salvation to what was, what is and what will be because it has to be: our German people, our German Empire! Sieg Heil!
After the Deutschland-Lied, Hitler, accompanied by Reich Governor General Ritter von Epp and Röhm, went alone into the interior of the Liberation Hall, where he laid a huge laurel wreath for the fallen whilst the music played the "Guten Kameraden".
Me standing inside the large domed hall of the Befreiungshalle which emphasises the number eighteen motif- supported by 54 columns (three times 18) and an equal number of pillars, and 36 columns (two times 18) in the upper gallery. This focus on the number eighteen is due to the fact that both the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig and the Battle of Waterloo took place on the 18th day of the month. It can also be found in the number of 54 pillars (3 × 18) and in the inscriptions for 18 generals and recaptured fortresses each. Behind me encircling the room are eleven-foot tall winged victories in a ringed circle representing the members of the German Confederation, alternatively holding hands and shields upon which are displayed the battles in the liberation of Germany. Above on the upper gallery are inscriptions for the main generals and recaptured strongholds.
On the right is the interior from a Nazi-era postcard and today. In front of the niches that bear the names of the battles of the Wars of Liberation, there are two 3.30 metre high goddesses of victory, so that there is a total of 34 statues. The goddesses of victory shake hands in a solemn dance, with the exception of the two figures standing right next to the entrance which were made of white marble from Tyrol. Since this was very expensive and it soon became difficult to obtain the large marble blocks from Schlanders in Tyrol, the remaining Victorias were made of white Carrara marble designed by Ludwig Schwanthaler. In the niches there are 17 gold-plated bronze shields between two Victorias, which, like the seven metre high entrance gate of the hall, were cast from captured artillery. The multitude of goddesses of victory who shake hands here in a gesture of unity refers to the member states of the German Confederation which fluctuated between 35 and 39 in real terms. The monument thus also contained a commitment to the political status quo- in this case to princely federalism in Germany- which, in contrast to the establishment of an all-German nation-state demanded by the bourgeoisie, meant extensive independence of the individual German states.
 
During the lunch break that followed Hitler's wreath-laying, Donderer presented the certificate of honorary citizenship granted to Hitler by the town council. It reads:
The Kelheim town council  has unanimously adopted on 21 October 1933  
The Chancellor of the German Reich   
Adolf Hitler   
As the liberator of the German people  
From night and turmoil in grateful fidelity  
The right to honorary citizenship.   
Kelheim, October 21, 1933  
SA chief of staff Ernst Röhm also became an honorary citizen of Kelheim when he and Hitler visit the town before going on to the Befreiungshalle. This award was revoked by the dictator by unanimous decision of the city council on November 24, 2008. In advance, the city councilor Christiane Lettow-Berger of the Green Party asked to clarify whether "other Nazi greats are on the honorary citizens list". If so, she urged that all be removed "in one wash". The city archivist at that time, Erich Hafner, obviously did not agree and so, on February 23, 2015, the Kelheim city council had to deal with the “denial of honorary citizenship of Kelheim citizens with a National Socialist past”. It wasn't until November 24, 2008 that the Kelheim city council unanimously revoked the award with the statement: "The city of Kelheim distances itself from Adolf Hitler and notes that the honorary citizenship was wrongly awarded. Honorary citizenship is symbolically denied Adolf Hitler."
After laying the wreath Hitler stepped onto the top platform of the Befreiungshalle and gave the following keynote speech on foreign policy, in which, surprisingly, Hitler does not mention "Kelheim" at all. Nor does he even mention the Befreiungshalle once, referring instead to a "temple" in a nebulous manner.The focus on foreign policy does not seem surprising given that Germany was in the process of withdrawing from the League of Nations and the disarmament conference eight days earlier, because "we cannot endure this eternal discrimination and dishonour of our people". At the same time, however, reassuring declarations of peace were essential: "The German people are not bellicose." Germany and the German people had "no reason to want a war," emphasised Hitler:
My SA, German comrades! If we celebrate this festival of memories, then we are aware of how much blood had to flow once, how much suffering was endured in order to meet the requirements at that time to create for the later unification of the German tribes and states. It is the memory of very great sacrifices that makes us aware of a serious, worthy celebration on such a day and must keep us away from superficial hurray patriotism. We, in particular, who have witnessed the war for four and a half years ourselves, who know ourselves how terrible and difficult the demands it makes on a people, we are perhaps the most called, in German history superficial hurray patriotism and real ones To keep a deep connection with our own people apart, a deep connection with their history, with their life, with their right to live. By staying away from this superficial patriotism, on the other hand, we can claim all the more for ourselves, for to defend the right to life of our people. As a result of fifteen years of sad representation of German vital interests, the world has got used to not seeing the German people properly. Weak governments were mistaken for the German people. Insecurity, half-heartedness and indecision seemed to be the characteristics of our people. We are aware that it is not easy to take away this false image and make it clear to the world that the German people themselves had nothing in common with those who had no sense of honor, that the German people have this feeling and that they themselves feels connected to those who stood up for the honour of the nation in the past. The German people are not bellicose; on the contrary, because they love peace, they fight for their right to life and stand up for the prerequisites for the existence of our 65 million people. Germany and the German people have no reason to want a war to restore the honour of the nation, the honour of its men and its soldiers. Our goal is to make our people happy again by securing their daily bread. A tremendous job and the world should leave us alone! We want nothing but our peace and quiet to be able to work. And the world should know that for this work the whole nation stands together, man for man and woman for woman down to the youth.
Domestically, Hitler varied the subject of "people without space" in Kelheim. He spoke of a "people of millions, squeezed together on a narrow base". Therefore, "we National Socialists must adhere firmly to our foreign policy goal, namely to secure the German people the land they deserve on this earth. And this action is the only one that makes a blood effort appear justified before God and our German posterity." What is striking here is the use of the terms "loyal" and "disciplined" twice in connection with the SA. Did Hitler, who had declared the revolution over on July 6, 1933, fear resistance from Röhm's SA, even a "second revolution" against the Reichswehr and big business? Whether a coup attempt was actually planned, the so-called "Röhm Putsch", is controversial among historians. In any case, Hitler took the side of the Reichswehr and industry. He had Röhm - one of his few friends - and other SA leaders arrested in Bad Wiessee on June 30, 1934, and murdered the next day. In one point Hitler was undoubtedly right in his Kelheim speech: "We are facing a difficult time and it is necessary that every German is aware of it."
My SA comrades! You are particularly lively witnesses for this will, because your free will unites you to this community, in which the national community finds its expression not theoretically but in practice, a large community of mutual help and mutual support. You are the guarantor not only for the present, but also for the German future, and therefore nobody has more right to stand in front of this temple than you. If the spirits of those slain from the German struggles for freedom came back to life, they would not sway for a second, but instead immediately take their place between us today. What they had in mind, we also had in mind. We want to realize what they wanted: one people and one German empire.
We are approaching a difficult time and it is necessary that every German is aware of this. If we want to feed our people, we have no other path than the one we have chosen. Someone had to come to Germany who said: We want peace, but we reject dishonour.
We declare clearly to the world: if you want to see us in your international conferences, if you want us in your League of Nations, then only if you recognize us as a people. We are ready to sign contracts at any time, when they are feasible for us and when they are bearable for our sense of justice. We do not sign contracts that are neither feasible nor honorable. We do not take part in dictations. This place here is also a living testimony to the fact that we need not be ashamed of our history. We want peace, but the world must also know that we will not be able to endure this eternal discrimination and dishonour of our people in the long run. For, just as in the will to peace, the entire German people stands behind its government in the determination to represent national honour. The world should not believe that there is still any organisation or party in Germany today who are allies of those who believe that they can simply ignore German rights to life and German honour. She will see that the time when foreign countries expected to be able to beat Germans with Germans is over and that it will never return. This movement should be an eternal guarantee that will last for centuries. This movement will for all time be the bearer of the unity of spirit and will of the German nation, and in German history it will never be repeated again what in the past has brought us so deep suffering that unhappy deluded people face the enemy in the hour of greatest need believed more than their own people.
That we are meeting here for the first time in front of this temple of German unity is also symbolic of this. It was built with an inkling of the future, and what was decades ahead of its time has now become a reality. Today the German people unite to form a unity. It is our mission in life to create an organisation that guarantees that this unity will never be lost again. It is by working passionately for it that we can best stand up for peace in the world.
There is no better guarantor of peace than the fanatical unity of the German nation. What can a people of millions, compressed on a narrow area, with a destroyed economy, with millions of existences and millions of unemployed, what can such a people want but to work in order to rise again? Be tough and determined, loyal and at the same time disciplined in the coming months and years, you have no other goal than to make Germany happy again and thus free again, no other goal than to return the honour to the millions of our national comrades! 
If you, the millions who stand by us, accept these thoughts as a sacred commitment, this people will become a nation. And our hope will be fulfilled. But this is clear to all of us: a life like it has been in the last fifteen years is just as unendurable for our people in the long run as it would be for another people. You have had to stick to a very tough decision inside for many, many years. Despite persecution and oppression, you persevered. If you follow me in the years to come, the struggle for our right to live in the world will be successful. The conviction will then increasingly prevail in the world that a people lives here who want nothing other than peace and justice.
Reinhard Kühnl, a German political scientist best known for his work on the history and interpretation of fascism, commented on Hitler's speech by first describing it as "incredible" that Hitler never mentioned either "Kelheim", nor "Befreiungshalle," speaking twice only of a "temple". Hitler's focus on foreign policy was understandable given that Germany had just quit the League of Nations and the Disarmament Conference eight days earlier because "we cannot endure this eternal discrimination and dishonouring of our people." At the same time, however, he tried to sound reassuring about his claims of peace: "The German people are not belligerent;" "Germany and the German people have no reason to wish for war" but want "nothing but our peace and quiet".  In terms of domestic politics, Hitler spoke of lebensraum, of "a million people, compressed on a narrow footprint", which he had already outlined in Mein Kampf  It is striking that the terms "faithful" and "disciplined" are used twice in connection with the SA. Did Hitler, Kühnl asked, who had declared the revolution over on July 6, 1933, fear resistance from Röhm's SA, or even a "second revolution" against the Reichswehr and industry? Nevertheless, Kühnl concludes that Hitler was undoubtedly right on one point: "We are facing a difficult time and it is necessary that every German is aware of it."
In fact, there had been a real fear of assassination only weeks beforehand when the security forces had sounded out the situation in order to protect Hitler from assassinations. Above all, the Danube bridge heads, which were each guarded by an hundred ϟϟ men, the Wöhrdplatz and the Danube and Mittertor were rated as critical for vigilance. During the march past the town square, around 700 people took care of Hitler's protection. The SA people standing in line and members of the Hitler Youth were also carefully scrutinised with cars and motorcycles only able to enter into the city with special permission. 
Kelheim's mayor August Donderer, who was also the Nazi district leader, had the residents in the mood for the distinguished visit: "Our ancient city of Kelheim is about to have a special day of special importance." The celebration was intended to honour both "the internal liberation from the struggle of the parties and the dissension of the masses" as well as "the germ of the external liberation of our fatherland... Our Befreiungshalle, this proud memorial of German unity, will be honoured again and will then be known again throughout Germany as the meeting place for all those people who want to build a consecrated site for further work for the common good."
Just from a logistical point of view, it was a particular challenge for those responsible to accommodate and feed the 20,000 participants who had arrived the day before with 21 special trains. The town had provided the guests, primarily the SA brigades in Amberg, Regensburg, Ingolstadt and Landshut, with around an hundred private accommodation free of charge in addition to the rooms in restaurants. The Protestant pastor also offered a room and the parish hall. Most of them were housed in tent bivouacs. 
On the evening of October 22 at 21.00 a tattoo of the SA took place and music bands played on the town square and in the beer tents. The Befreiungshalle and the town itself were illuminated. It wasn't until midnight that the festivities in the overcrowded town ended.
After, from 13.00 until the end of the event at 15.00, Hitler then took about 18,000 SA and ϟϟ members to a march past on Kelheim's town square after  the Reichswehr fired another 21 gun salute. Coming from the Altmühltor they marched for two hours in rows of six and in blocks of 500 men each "with their hands raised" past Hitler. Five Reichsmarks had to be paid for a seat in the stands. According to Rudibert Ettelt, the Kelheim city chronicler who died in early 2005, former Nazis fell into raptures even decades later. Neutral observers, on the other hand, had come to the conclusion that the number of spectators "and especially the cheers" had "kept within limits". Other contemporary witnesses wanted to know that the majority of the visitors to the event "came from outside". Nevertheless, one could regard Hitler's visit as a "successful advertising campaign" for Kelheim and the Liberation Hall, according to Ettelt. After all, the name of the city appeared in all newspapers in the country, and the Wochenschau produced a longer programme that was shown for a week in all German cinemas.
Himmler, Röhm and Hitler in front of the Befreiungshalle with as it appears today. A decade later, at the end of 1943, the entire building was covered under a camouflage net and held within its walls the most valuable artifacts from the Munich Residenz and the Nymphenburg Palace. In fact, immediately before the outbreak of the Second World War the Bavarian Palace Department had outsourced the state's most valuable items within the large vault of the Bavarian State Bank. Over time beginning in December 16, 1943 the Befreiungshalle contained 74 boxes of treasured artifacts including a large number of paintings from the Munich Residenz followed later by an additional forty pictures including fourteen battle scenes from the time of the Napoleonic Wars previously hangining in the officer dining room of the Munich Residence, a series of painted views of the palace and gardens by Franz Joachim Beich owned by the Elector Max Emanuel from Nymphenburg schloß, Peter Jakob Horemans's paintings from the hunting room of the Amalienburg and Peter Candids's Madonna della Sedia after Raphael from the bedroom of King Ludwig II. After October 1943 when the national theatre in Munich was hit by bombs, half of its recovered work was stored in the basement of the Befreiungshalle. Eventually the site was no longer considered safe so that on November 5, 1944, eleven of its 95 crates were relocated to Schloß Neuschwanstein.  
Between April 23 and 27 the building came under the advance of the Americans under artillery fire. Greater damage was caused to the surrounding masonry, to the galleries, the staircase and the candelabra. Although part of the glass dome was destroyed and the copper roof on the north and west side was perforated and partially torn, the interior had no appreciable damage. One section however had been damaged where the boxes containing the valuable art goods were stored. Nevertheless, all but two Upper Rhine glass paintings from 1520 from the vestibule of the rich chapel of the Munich Residence remained intact. But as it had rained heavily these days, the humidity increased considerably, resulting in the paintings stored there suffering massive mould growth. To prevent further damage to the building and the stored objects, the restoration of the glass and copper roofs became a priority. On May 19, 1945, the Befreiungshalle was illuminated again for the first time after repairing the damage. By the end of August the camouflage mats and scaffolding were removed. The last remaining works of art were returned during the course of August 1946.  Soon after this evacuation, the building was reopened in 1946 for visitors and Himmler’s touring show of ϟϟ art was stored in the Befreiungshalle.
Wife and son on the High Street in front of the town hall and how it appeared in a Nazi postcard. Of early baroque style, it's inscribed "1598", was renovated in the second half of the 17th century and redesigned in 1912. Seven years after revoking Hitler's honorary citizenship as detailed below, the town council decided to change the name of Wilhelm-Schefbeck-Straße to Maria-Fels-Straße. Schefbeck had been born in Straubing in 1863, studying pharmacy in Erlangen before buying Kelheim's city pharmacy in 1893. Twenty years after in the Befreiungshalle- seen in the background of the postcard- he signed a contract for the "Corpsphilisterverband Regensburg" with the "Kahnführerverein Kelheim-Weltenburg", student associations which stood for exaggerated nationalism and anti-Semitism. Long before Hitler took power on January 30, 1933, Schefbeck was a staunch Nazi.  In his 1939 obituary in the "Altmühl-Bote," Nazi mayor Dr. August Donderer hailed him as "one of the first to work actively within the National Socialist movement".
Hitler with the town hall behind

Both Dr. Donderer and Schefbeck violently disrupted a meeting of the Bavarian People's Party in Kelheim in November 1930 with other Nazis. This paid off for the city pharmacist who, until 1935, served as deputy mayor of Kelheim and from 1934 a Nazi district judge. In spring 1933, Schefbeck's employee Robert Häfner was arrested by the Bavarian Political Police, a predecessor of the Gestapo, and taken to the Dachau concentration camp. Whilst Schefbeck would have had enough influence to save Häfner, he did nothing for his employee. On February 9, 1933, Schefbeck received Kelheim's honorary citizenship for "extraordinary services to the city, in particular as chairman of the historical association and as leader of the voluntary medical column". In 2010, former city archivist Erich Hafner mentioned above for refusing to revoke Hitler's honorary citizenship, celebrated his "active and unselfish" commitment to the association, which he chaired from 1932 until his death in 1939, without saying a word about its Nazi past.
 
  
Hitler and Röhm leaving the rathaus which hasn't changed after all these years. 
In front of a walled Jewish gravestone located on the façade of the town chemist's at Donaustraße 16 and as it appeared from a Nazi-era photograph. Mentioned for the first time as a pharmacy in 1620, the two-story saddle roof building with its  corrugated gable and console bay window dates from the 17th century and was modified in 1910. Translated from Hebrew, the gravestone reads: 
This is the grave stone of Mrs. Orgea, daughter of R. Yehuda, who died on 6th of the month of Tammuz on Friday in (5) 009 [July 9, 1249].
On the Nazi era photograph it shows a since-removed anti-Semitic bas relief, "the Jewish Pig," placed above which a new plaque has been erected. This 'Judensau' had been made in 1519 to commemorate the expulsion of Jews from the town;' one remained resident in Kelheim. Three such tombstones from the mediæval Jewish cemetery in Regensburg ended up in Kelheim after the destruction of this cemetery and inserted into numerous public and church buildings to demonstrate the eviction of the Jews from Regensburg and the destruction of their religious facilities and further emphasising the church's triumph over Judaism. The other two found themselves in the Klösterl im Bruderloch, founded in 1450 by the hermit Antonius von Siegenburg. This monastery was owned by the church until 1803 and inhabited by a few monks at which point it was secularised and a little later came into private ownership, serving for several decades as the site of an inn.
A pamphlet published during the Nazi period showing the relief and gravestone.
Between Weltenburg abbey and the parking lot along the Danube is this memorial commemorating three American soldiers who drowned here in 1975 in a training accident whilst  attempting to cross the Danube in a rubber dingy with twelve other soldiers in a manœuver using a rope by pulling the boat across hand over hand. The current plunged the boat into the rope, flipping it over. The surviving soldiers were rescued by fellow soldiers and Kelheim citizens. The memorial reads:  
In Memory of Three Soldiers of the U.S. Army who Lost their Lives at this spot in the Danube on September 16th, 1975 They met their Deaths on Active Service for our Freedom.  Dennis M. Reihan * 5.2.1940 Robert S. Adams * 3.1.1954 Lucky J. Cordle * 16.8.1954
 Siegenburg
Adolf-Hitler-Straße in a Nazi-era postcard and today. It's shown on the right  during the Prangertag 1934 (Corpus Christi festival) bearing aloft Nazi flags down then-Hitlerstraße, now Herrenstraße. In the nearby Langhaider forest a recent memorial has been erected the memory of Polish slave labourer Wladyslaw Belcer who was executed here at 20 years of age after having had a relationship with a peasant girl from the Siegenburg community. She too was killed- when Belcer was hanged, she was pregnant with his child. The Regensburg Gestapo sent her to the Ravensbrück women's concentration camp, after which she was deported to the Majdanek concentration camp near Lublin, and finally died on April 14, 1944 in Auschwitz. Students at the Johann-Turmair-Realschule in Abensberg used their history class to remember the two, designing a park bench together with an information stele in Siegenburg which was financially supported by the European Leader funding program. The Kelheim District Administrator Martin Neumeyer named this form of history lesson as an example. "It should be a visible and accessible place," says the supervising teacher Maria Rauscher, with the park bench somehow symbolising a couple in love.
 Memorial to the Battle of Abensberg within another forest just outside the town which took place on April 20, 1809 between a Franco-German force under the command of Napoleon and a reinforced Austrian corps led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Archduke Louis of Austria. As the day wore on, Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann von Hiller arrived with reinforcements to take command of the three corps that formed the Austrian left wing. The action ended in a complete Franco-German victory. The battlefield was southeast of Abensberg and included clashes at Offenstetten, Biburg-Siegenburg, Rohr in Niederbayern, and Rottenburg an der Laaber. On the same day, the French garrison of Regensburg capitulated. Despite being outnumbered, Napoleon's 113,000 troops had managed to split the 161,000 strung-out Austrians into two forces. Archduke Charles's five corps, including 48,000 additional troops of the I and II Armeekorps north of Regensburg, lay to the north whilst Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann von Hiller, who had earlier arrived with reinforcements to take command of the three corps that formed the Austrian left wing, fell back to Landshut. Both Austrian forces had to fight a second major battle each with Hiller fighting the Battle of Landshut on April 21, whilst Charles engaged in the Battle of Eckmühl on the 22nd.

Schönberg
Nazi Schönberg
Towards the end of the war this parish church and large parts of the market suffered extensive destruction by an attack by American fighter-bombers. At least 21 German soldiers and ten civilians were killed in the fighting on April 25 between the 11th Armoured Division and a unit of the Reich Labour Service (RAD) according to Pastor Johann Baptist Bosser who described five civilians killed “in front of Schönberg”, the others as a result of the air raid on the market whilst extinguishing the fire and by heart attack by two men. According to the official history of the 11th Armoured Division, the fighting took place mainly in the forest south of Schönberg, where small groups armed with bazookas repeatedly attacked the Americans; a grenade launcher position a mile west of Schönberg was destroyed. The subsequent bombing in the late morning did not hit any military targets. Nineteen of the dead RAD men, almost all of whom were sixteen and seventeen year olds, were buried in the Schönberg cemetery; two more were found later in a state of decay and buried where they were found.

Simbach
Across the Inn from Hitler's birthplace, Eva Braun spent a year at this boarding school.
Simbach Eva Braun schoolIn 1928 she spent a year at Marienhöhe in Simbach am Inn on the German‑Austrian border, a Catholic institute rich in tradition. A Merian copperplate engraving from around 1700 shows the view of Braunau from Simbach across an old wooden bridge–the same Braunau where Adolf Hitler had been born on April 20, 1889. The institute in Simbach had opened a housekeeping school only a few years earlier. The facility itself had been in existence since 1864, and was run by the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an order of Roman Catholic nuns pledged to the rules and spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Founded by the English nun Mary Ward, one of the most important woman of the seventeenth century, and thus also known in Germany as the “Institute of the English Maiden,” this order of women was active throughout Europe and is considered even today a pioneer in women’s education. Along with home economics, Eva Braun studied bookkeeping and typing at Marienhöhe and was thereby trained for future office work–a path that was by no means taken for granted for girls in the middle‑class environment of that time. When Eva Braun, at the age of seventeen, returned from Simbach to Munich, on July 22, 1929, she moved back in with her parents. Only a few months later, in September, she answered an ad in a Munich newspaper and found a trainee position: Heinrich Hoffmann, photographer, was hiring.
Heike B. Görtemaker  Eva Braun
Deggendorf 
Deggendorf alte kaserne
The alte kaserne sporting a swastika during the war and today. Soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Army occupied the city of Deggendorf on April 27, 1945. Deggendorf was the site of a displaced persons camp for Jewish refugees after the war, housing approximately 2,000 refugees, who created a cultural centre that included two newspapers, the Deggendorf Centre Review and Cum Ojfboj, a theatre group, synagogue, mikvah, kosher kitchen, and more. The camp even issued its own currency known as the Deggendorf Dollar. Many of the camp's residents were survivors of the concentration camp at Theresienstadt. According to Giles MacDonogh (334), "locals accused the Jews who inhabited the old concentration camp in Deggendorf of carrying out armed robberies."
The displaced persons camp closed on June 15, 1949. This was ironic given that Deggendorf itself was the site of a notorious mediaeval massacre of Jews, first mentioned in an official document by Duke Heinrich XIV originating from 1338 in which the duke forgave the citizens of Deggendorf for the murder of its Jews and spared them any kind of punishment, going so far as to grant them the right to keep all the possessions they took from the Jews. The inscription in the basilica of Deggendorf dates the events to 1337 in which it is claimed that Jews were purported to have set fire to the town on Easter. It appears that the Jews were massacred for economic reasons and the events were reworked later to justify the act so that in the 15th century the myth took on its own life. It was not until the 1960s that anti-Jewish depictions showing them in the middle of the alleged host desecration were increasingly attacked. Among these was a cycle of sixteen oil paintingsand the "Judenstein," an anvil with daemonic Jewish figures around it. Even though the debate quickly became a heated topic in the press -abroad as well as domestic- it wasn't until 1968 that the first four of the sixteen oil paintings were finally removed.

 Ganacker 
The Ganacker concentration camp  in Eger was a satellite camp of Flossenburg which existed from February 20, 1945 to April 24, 1945. In 1939 it was established for around 3,000 prisoners and expanded accordingly. Organisationally, around 100 subcamps were later subordinate to the main camp in Flossenbürg. In the Ganacker satellite camp, north of Landau an der Isar, prisoners were housed who were supposed to carry out war-important projects, mainly the expansion and maintenance of an air base. It has not yet been finally clarified whether, according to locals, the satellite camp was opened at the end of 1944 or according to records on February 21, 1945. It was initially housed on the grounds of the Landau-Ganacker airfield. A fighter squadron was stationed there. A new concrete runway had to be built to use the Me 262. When the air raids increased, the concentration camp was moved to Erlau, near Wallersdorf , about a mile from the airfield  in front of a grove, the Pfarrerholz. There were around 500 male prisoners, mostly Jews, coming from all over Europe. The concentration camp prisoners had to live there under miserable conditions. They were forced to live in damp holes in the ground irregardless of the rain and snow. It was one of the toughest and most notorious camps in terms of living conditions and at least 138 prisoners were killed. Israel Offmann, who narrowly survived, described the conditions at central warehouse Ganacker in a radio interview this way: "Auschwitz was a 5-star hotel and Ganacker was hell." Offmann had experienced both camps and went on to describe how “Ganacker was provisional compared to other camps. In makeshift dwellings, the prisoners lay like marmots in excavated caves that were lined with straw. ”On April 23, 1945, the ϟϟ began "clearing" the satellite camp in the Erlau with the Americans expected daily. From March 2, 1945 to April 23, 1945, 138 prisoners died in the satellite camp. The bodies were buried in a makeshift manner in the small forest behind the camp and a nearby forest to the west. 
 Some of the prisoners were then buried here in the nearby St. Sebastian church and relocated to the Flossenbürg concentration camp honorary cemetery in 1957 as stated in the memorials found in the churchyard today.

Bayerisch Eisenstein

The Gasthof Neuwaldhaus flying the Nazi flag and its current incarnation
Bayerisch Eisenstein Jugendberge Youth Hostel
The Youth Hostel, also considerably changed including the Hitler Youth flag in front. Bayerisch Eisenstein is where Bernhard Schmidt would eventually die on September 6, 1960. Born in Pegnitz in 1890, in August 1919 he married and took over the inn of his parents-in-law in Bayerisch Eisenstein. He joined the Nazi Party as member 14,699 in 1925 and the ϟϟ, number 2,069, in 1930. From late June 1934 to late March 1935, Schmidt was camp commander in the Lichtenburg concentration camp, later serving as camp commander in the Sachsenburg concentration camp until July 1937. Thereafter Schmidt was the protective custody camp leader at both the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps until June 1938. Schmidt was dismissed by Theodor Eicke, leading him to work as a district group leader at the Reich Air Protection Agency Weser / Elbe. His request to return to the Waffen-ϟϟ was not granted on several occasions. Schmidt was never prosecuted after the war.

Osterhofen
Hindenburgplatz during the Nazi regime and today. 
Osterhofen was the site of a DP camp after the war; its camp leader at the end of 1946 would be Stanislaw Stankievich, “the arch-butcher” responsible for ordering the massacre of 6,000 Jews at Borissow in 1941. Stankievich had previously found work as a teacher in the Regensburg and Michelsdorf camps after the war. During his time at the camp  he continued his work as a propagandist, becoming the editor-in-chief of the Byelorussian nationalist newspaper Backauseyna (“Fatherland”). On October 31, 1947, the United Nations formally adopted a resolution introduced by the delegate from the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic naming Stankievich “as a war criminal wrongfully harboured by the United States,” which did nothing to remove Stankievich from his position as the leader of the Osterhofen DP camp until May 1950.
The war memorial 
When he left Osterhofen, he was neither arrested nor deported to the Soviet Union, but instead became the “Language Training Supervisor” for the International Refugee Organisation in Munich. Stankievich eventually applied for a visa to the United States under his own name, and although the US Displaced Persons Committee (DPC) was ignorant of his role in the Borissow Massacre, the committee found that Stankievich had “admitted to being the editor of a newspaper which was a German propaganda organ. It was the opinion of the US DPC,” the report continued, “that Stankiewicz was an out-and-out opportunist who changed his politics and allegiance without other thought than personal gain;” his application was thus rejected. He unsuccessfully appealed this decision, trying to explain that he had only supported National Socialism against the Soviet Union because it had been “the lesser of the two evils.” A report was then sent to the American State Department declaring him a good anti-Communist with no known connections with Nazis, even though Stankievich was wanted for the Nuremberg trials as a known war criminal. Nevertheless the American Army recruited Stankievich and got him a job with the Institute of Russian Research, allowing him to come to the U.S. briefly and then permanently in 1969.
 
Geisenfeld
On April 22, 1933 the market town council was formed from six Nazis and and May 1 was celebrated with a march on Hindenburgplatz shown on the left, the broadcast of a Hitler speech and a theatre performance. A week later Judenstrasse (today's Maximilianstrasse) was renamed Hitlerstrasse and a picture of Hitler was bought for the town hall hall. From June 12 when all BVP councilors resigned, only the Nazis had there. Four days later an "Adolf Hitler Oak" was consecrated in Geisenfeldzüge.  The Nazi flag flew for the first time here on the market square on March 11, 1932, three days before the Reich presidential election- and yet only 290 voters vote for Hitler compared to the 744 for Hindenburg. Even in the second ballot on April 12, 1932, this voting ratio only changed slightly. In the following elections in 1932 - despite all the propaganda - the Nazis remained behind the Bavarian People's Party (BVP). It was not until the Reichstag elections on March 5, 1933, after the Nazis came to power on January 30, that the Nazis were able to conquer the "black stronghold" of Geisenfeld with 574 to 390 votes. On February 26, 1933, almost four weeks after Hitler came to power, the first SA and ϟϟ deployment took place in Geisenfeld, in which 200 people took part. On March 10th there is another big parade of the Nazis, for the first time the swastika flag is also blowing at the town hall. A few days later, several non-Nazi municipal councilors were temporarily taken into “protective custody” - to intimidate them.
Gregor Straßer was born in Geisenfeld in 1892. In 1914 he began studying pharmacy at Munich University. When the Great War broke out, he registered as a volunteer and became a lieutenant. After the war he continued his studies, which he completed in Erlangen in 1919. In early 1920 he took over a drugstore in Landshut, and in the same year he joined the National Association of German Soldiers. Thanks to Strasser's activity, the association became an important power factor in Lower Bavaria. In the spring of 1921 there was a meeting with Hitler in Straßer's Landshut apartment resulting in Straßer joining the Hitler movement with 1000 men from his battalion. When the SA associations of Lower Bavaria met in Landshut for the consecration of the standards, Straßer was appointed leader of the Lower Bavaria Storm Detachment. Later he was only referred to as the Gauleiter of Lower Bavaria. After the failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch of November 9, 1923, in which he was an active participant, Straßer was arrested, went to the remand prison, but was soon released- he had been put on the electoral list of the Völkisch bloc and no candidate could be hindered after being nominated. Strasser was now the most important man in the Nazi movement. He was elected to the state parliament, where he was chairman of the “Völkischer Block”. In 1924 he came to the Berlin Reichstag. After Hitler was released from prison, the following agreement was reached: Hitler should organise the movement in southern Germany, and Strasser the one in northern Germany. Gregor Straßer subsequently built the Nazi Party there with tireless energy. In 1926 he became Reich Propaganda Leader, in 1928 Reich Organisational Leader. Strasser was now the second strongest man in the party and thus Hitler's most dangerous rival for power. And at the peak of his power, Straßer was once again in his hometown: The Geisenfeld Nazis hired the head of the Reich Organisation of the NSDAP to give a speech on June 25, 1932 as an election campaign horse. “Around 800 people, mostly strangers, who had flown from all over Hallertau and filled the spacious Klosterbräu cellar room,” reported the Geisenfelder Wochenblatt. But that same year it came the break: Hitler was angry that Reich Chancellor Kurt Schleicher had offered Straßer the office of Vice Chancellor and accused Straßer of treason.
In protest Straßer resigned bitterly from all offices and became managing director of a company. In the context of the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934, Hitler settled bloody accounts with many former companions - including Straßer. On June 30, 1934, five Gestapo officers broke into his Berlin apartment and took him away. In the basement of the Gestapo building, an
ϟϟ-Hauptsturmführer killed him with several shots with the words: “Well, the pig is finished!”  Whether Strasser was killed on Hitler's personal orders is not known. He was shot once in the main artery from behind in his cell but did not die immediately. On the orders of Reinhard Heydrich, Strasser was left to bleed to death, which took almost an hour. His brother Otto had emigrated in 1933 whilst Himmler paid the widow a modest monthly pension. Lord Alan Bullock (171) judges the native Geisenfelder as follows
Strasser was undoubtedly the most powerful of Hitler's lieutenants, the only man in the Party who, if he had had more of Hitler's power of will and ambition, and less good-natured easy-going Bavarian indulgence in his nature, might have challenged Hitler's leadership. Strasser possessed the personality to be a leader in his own right if he bestirred himself; Goebbels, undersized, lame and much disliked for his malicious tongue, could rise only under the aegis of someone like Hitler, to whom he was useful for his abounding energy and fertility of ideas, apt at times to be too clever and to over-reach himself, but exploiting with brassy impudence every trick of propaganda.
Wolnzach

Bahnhofstrasse and the town hall then and now. In April 1933 65 boys from Geisenfeld took part in a "followers' roll call" of the Hitler Youth in Wolnzach here in front of the town hall, employing the motto :"From now on everyone must stand by Adolf Hitler."  
Wolnzach's war memorial being inaugurated on June 27, 1926. The head of the local veteran's association, Josef Eibel, had suggested the erection of a "worthy war memorial for the fallen Wolnzach". At 9.00 on June 17, 1926 the foundation stone for the war memorial was laid by Mayor Nefzger before the memorial was formally inaugurated nearly ten days later.
Wolnzach was the hometown of Nazi functionary Georg Biederer who had described Geisenfeld as "a black nest" given how difficult the Nazis had found it in the arch-conservative town unlike other sites in the district. On February 14, 1932, he sponsored a local branch of the Nazi Party in the basement of the Klosterbräu on Regensburger Strasse in Geisenfeld. Biederer attended elementary school here before working in agriculture. From June to December 1918 he was a soldier, but did not serve at the front. After the war he became a member of the Bund Oberland, a predecessor group of the SA in Bavaria, while working as a hop farmer in his hometown. In 1928 he joined the Nazi Party and on August 15, 1933 he was promoted to SA Standartenführer. In 1933 he was a member of the Bavarian State Parliament and from November 1933 to 1945 he represented constituency 24 in the German Reichstag. Biederer was chairman of the supervisory board of the German hop transport company. On January 30, 1937 he became SA-Oberführer and on April 20, 1944 SA-Brigadführer. He completed his military service during the war with the rank of first lieutenant in the reserve.

 
Freisingerstraße