The Third Reich in Ruins ... This page presents photos of historical sites associated with Germanys Third Reich (1933-1945), both as they appeared while in use, and as the remains appear today. These photos give a "then and now" perspective, in many cases, a virtual tour of the sites. I was originally inspired to write this page by a collection of photos taken by my father, U.S. Army Air Forces Lt. Delbert R. Walden, when he was stationed in Germany in 1945-46.
Note: Use the MapQuest® or Google Maps® location links on the pages for zoomable maps of these locations. To view these sites in Google Earth®, go to the MapQuest® or Google Maps® map then enter the coordinates found there in the Google Earth® "Fly To" block.
Berchtesgaden and the Obersalzberg -- In the 1920s Adolf Hitler established a mountain retreat for himself on the Obersalzberg, above Berchtesgaden, in the southeast corner of Bavaria. Later, the Nazi hierarchy turned the Obersalzberg into a huge complex, with rustic (and not so rustic) homes for themselves, military barracks, tunnel and bunker complexes, and even the famed Kehlsteinhaus, or "Eagle's Nest."
Berlin --The former Third Reich capital features many examples of Nazi architecture and historical significance. Part 2 shows the area of the site of Adolf Hitler's death and burial at his Führerbunker, sites where his body was autopsied and later buried by the Russians, the site of Martin Bormann's death and burial, and Horst Wessel's grave. Includes subpages on the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and the Olympic Village site, Tempelhof airport, Lichterfelde SS Barracks, proving grounds and rocket test site at Kummersdorf, and the Army Command bunkers at Zossen/Wünsdorf.
Nürnberg -- Hitler turned the city into a sort of Nazi pilgrimage site, for the annual Nazi Party Day rallies in the 1930s.
Schweinfurt -- This industrial city and ball bearing manufacturing center was a key target for the U.S. 8th Air Force and was heavily bombed during the final 18 months of the war; also features the Luftwaffe Munitions Depot at Rottershausen.
Würzburg -- This Baroque city had many beautiful rococo buildings, sites for Nazi rallies and severely bombed in 1945.
Weimar and Dresden -- These two German cities boasted several Third Reich building projects.
Tegernsee -- This mountain lake south of Munich was the location of several Third Reich sites.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen -- The 1936 winter Olympic Games were held in Garmisch.
Chiemsee -- Site of the first Rest House of the Autobahn system, opened in 1938.
Dachau -- The first Nazi concentration camp, located near Munich.
Buchenwald -- One of the most sinister Nazi concentration camps has been preserved as a monument to the victims of German Fascism.
Nordhausen -- Underground complex for building V-1 and V-2 rockets, with the associated Mittelwerk tunnel remains and Dora concentration camp memorial site.
Flossenbürg -- Concentration camp site in Bavaria - site of the execution of Wilhelm Canaris and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Ebensee -- Underground factory site (codename "Dachs/Zement") and concentration camp site in Austria.
Mühldorf -- Project "Weingut" underground factory site for Me 262 jet aircraft manufacture.
Ordensburg Vogelsang -- One of the three specially constructed "Order Castles" for training Nazi Party functionaries.
KdF Seaside Resort at Prora-Rügen -- The largest construction project of the Third Reich was a "Kraft durch Freude" workers resort on the Baltic Sea island of Rügen.
Underground Sites in Thüringen -- The final year of the war saw increased construction of underground facilities for production of secret war materiel and for headquarters - features the REIMAHG Me 262 jet factory near Kahla, an underground fuel production site near Berga ("Schwalbe V"), and the Jonastal "Siegfried" project near Ohrdruf.
End of the War for s.PzJg.Abt. 653 -- "Jagdtiger" (Hunting Tiger) vehicles where they were destroyed or immobilized in March 1945 in the Mannheim-Heidelberg and Munich areas.
End of the War in the Main-Spessart Region -- Heavy fighting in March-April 1945 in towns along the Main River, between Aschaffenburg and Schweinfurt/Würzburg; includes a section on Hammelburg and Task Force Baum.
Miscellaneous -- Various other Third Reich sites - Bad Berneck, Lambach, Linderhof, Mangfall Bridge, Bergen Bridge, Holledau Bridge, Stuttgart, Kaiserslautern, Heidelberg, Bamberg, Kitzingen, Ochsenfurt, Stadtilm, Doggerwerk, Hirschbachtal, Bayreuth, Marktzeuln, Kronach, Tondorf, Hirschberg, Jena, Michendorf, Eichstätt, Neustadt, Ziegenberg, Giessen, Heilbronn, Windecken, Bayrischzell/Sudelfeld, Kelheim, Vilsbiburg, Coburg, Aschaffenburg, Oberwildflecken, Fladungen, Urfeld, Pleikershof, Ansbach, Münchberg, Uslar, Goslar, Braunschweig, Fürth, Herrsching, Veldenstein, Muggendorf, Grafenwöhr, Mindelheim, Bad Godesberg, Erwitte, Erlangen, Koblenz, Wewelsburg, Rechlin, Peenemünde, Kochel am See, Mittenwald, Regensburg, Steinhöring, Lohr am Main, Frankfurt am Main, Sassnitz (Saßnitz), Feilitzsch, Geretsried, Deiningen, Heuberg, Carinhall, Ravensbrück, Dinkelsbühl, Rothenburg, Tannenberg (Poland), Ratibor (Poland), Saint-Marcouf (Normandy), London, and others.
Reichsadler -- A photo listing of Nazi Eagles that still exist today on buildings, plus some other surprising building decorations.
Thingplatz / Thingstätte Sites -- The Nazi "Thing" movement was part of Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels' ideology. Several amphitheaters were built across Greater Germany to host "Thing" gatherings. Many of these are still in use today as local festival and concert sites.
Wehrmacht Military Posts -- One of the largest ongoing Nazi building projects resulted in military barracks all over the Third Reich. Many of these posts still exist and some have interesting reminders of their original occupants.
German War Memorials -- Photos of several war memorials and monuments in Germany.
Cold War Sites -- In addition to the Third Reich sites, this page features some sites left over from the Cold War, including ruins of some East German and American border posts.
To view some of these sites as a multi-media presentation, fading the photos from "then" to "now," visit Bob Stell's excellent "WW2 Remembered" page.
NOTE: My brother and I have been unable to identify the locations of several of our father's 1945-46 photos. These are shown on the "Lost Sites" page. Anyone who can identify any of these is asked to contact the page author.
Tour Guide service is available to some of the Third Reich sites on these pages - see the Tour Guide page.
Third Reich in Ruins, http://www.thirdreichruins.com/
All contents copyright © 2000-2014,
Geoffrey R. Walden; all rights reserved. All photos taken by or
This page is intended for historical
research only, and no political or philosophical aims should be assumed.
This page initially uploaded on 20 July 2000.