Geoff Walden


Home ] Table of Contents ] Updates ] Berchtesgaden ] Berlin ] Buchenwald ] Chiemsee Autobahn Rasthaus ] [ Adolf Hitler Visits Austria ] Adolf Hitler Visits Czechoslovakia ] Ebensee ] Flossenburg KZ Site ] Garmisch ] Mauthausen ] Gusen/Bergkristall ] Auschwitz-Birkenau ] Thüringen ] Mittelwerk/Dora ] Munich ] Dachau Concentration Camp ] Tegernsee ] Nürnberg ] Muehldorf ] Thingplatz ] End of the War in the Main-Spessart ] s.Pzjr.Abt. 653 ] Schweinfurt ] Miscellaneous Sites ] Wolf's Lair ] Mauerwald ] Anlage Mitte ] Prora KdF Resort ] Project Riese (Giant) ] U.S. Army Posts ] Nazi Eagles ] Wehrmacht Kaserne ] Hitler Visits Vienna ] Ordensburg Vogelsang ] Weimar / Dresden ] Würzburg ] Haus der Deutschen Kunst, Part 1 ] Lost Sites ] German War Memorials ] Cold War Sites ] Links ]


Adolf Hitler Visits His Homeland

   Hitler visited Austria immediately following the Anschluß, or union of Germany with Austria, on 12 March 1938. Although the Anschluß has gone down in history (through hindsight) as being largely unpopular with the Austrian people, this is somewhat of a misconception. It is true that the Austrian government of 1938 opposed the union, but the people of Austria had been in favor of union with Germany since 1919, when the Austria-Hungarian Empire was dissolved by the victorious Allies following World War I. Even the Austrian government supported a customs union, and eventual complete Anschluß, between the two countries in 1931. This government support cooled after Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, but the popular support for Anschluß never waned. Certainly, Hitler and the Germans were greeted by huge crowds in places such as Braunau, Linz, Salzburg, and Vienna, all apparently happy to celebrate the Anschluß.


Adolf Hitler's Birthplace  --   Braunau, Austria

Braunauhaus.jpg (118307 bytes)

Adolf Hitler was born in this house in Braunau am Inn, Austria, on 20 April 1889. In 1889 the building was the Gasthof Dafner, and the address was Vorstadt 219 (at some point, when this photo was taken, it was apparently a gas station). (from Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler, wie ihn keiner kennt (Hitler, As No-one Knows Him), Berlin, 1932)  (MapQuest Map Link)

The house itself is unmarked today, but a rock memorial stands on the sidewalk in front. For the curious, the address now is Salzburger Vorstadt 15. According to a 1939-dated postcard in the author's collection, Hitler was born in the room third from the left on the upper floor (with the open window in the modern photo).

The U.S. Army CIC (Counterintelligence Corps) had a field office in Hitler's birth house from 1945-1952 (thanks to Martin Nelson for this info).

In late 2016 the Austrian government seized the house from its owner, and the future of the house is unclear. It may be demolished, or the front face may be so changed as to make it unrecognizable from the appearance shown here.


Braunau5.jpg (64082 bytes)

815944.jpg (159583 bytes)

This view shows the house as it appeared during much of the Third Reich period, decorated with garlands and swastikas.  (from "Adolf Hitler,"  Cigaretten-Bilderdienst, 1936)

This colorized period photo shows an SA parade past the house, which is labeled "Adolf Hitlers Geburtshaus."  (TimePics collection)


(from Ich kämpfe, Munich, 1943)


Braunau2.jpg (19979 bytes)

Braunau2n1.jpg (329060 bytes)

Hitler's birthplace inspired several Third Reich artists, whose works were often displayed at the Haus der Deutschen Kunst in Munich. "Das Geburtshaus des Führers in Braunau am Inn - Hofseite" by Paul Geißler, 1943 (from Kunst der Volk, Vienna, Hoffmann, 1943).


BraunauhausOM.jpg (22516 bytes)

Braunauhaus2OM.jpg (20283 bytes)

These photos show the front and back of the house as it appeared during the period following the Anschluß, 1938-1945. (from "Wie die Ostmark ihre Befreiung erlebte - Adolf Hitler und sein Weg zu Großdeutschland," Heinrich Hoffmann, 1938)


BraunauAHstrAKGW.jpg (74529 bytes)

View looking down Adolf Hitler Straße toward the main square in Braunau.
Hitler's birth house is on the right.  (period postcard in author's collection)


Braunau1.jpg (11376 bytes)

Another period painting -- "Braunau am Inn" by F. X. Weidinger, 1943 (from Kunst der Volk, Vienna, Hoffmann, 1943), with a similar view today, taken from the Inn River bridge.


braunau4.jpg (285153 bytes)

On 12 March 1938, following the Austrian Anschluß, Hitler returned to Braunau, to a thunderous welcome from the people of his hometown. His car is seen here just at the Braunau end of the Inn River bridge. The original iron bridge between Simbach (Germany) and Braunau (Austria) has been replaced by a modern concrete span, but the Braunau buildings in the background retain their original appearance. In the period view below, looking the other direction (back toward Germany), a swastika flag can be seen draped over the Austrian Doppeladler (Double Eagle) at the bridgehead.  (from Heinrich Hoffmann, "Hitler in seiner Heimat," (Munich, 1938)

braunauAH.jpg (125247 bytes)


Although Hitler was photographed riding down the main street of Braunau, in the direction of his birth house, no photos show him actually visiting the place of his birth.  (Hoffmann, "Hitler in seiner Heimat")


   From Braunau, Hitler travelled to Linz, passing sites from his youth, such as the school he had attended in Fischlham near Lambach, and the house where his family lived in Leonding, near Linz (Hitler would later return to visit some of these sites as well).

AHschule.jpg (11174 bytes)

AHschulen1.jpg (192648 bytes)

Adolf Hitler attended his first two years of school in Fischlham, near Lambach, a town southwest of Linz. The period scene (on the left) is a sketch by artist Paul Geißler, part of a special showing of artwork on Hitler's youth at the Haus der Deutschen Kunst 1943 exhibition (from Heinrich Hoffmann, Kunst dem Volk, Vienna, 1943 (author's collection). The school was the low building at left, with three windows.


Front of the Fischlham school, from a period postcard.

The school building today (it is no longer a school).


FischlhamOM.jpg (22337 bytes)

Fischlham school building in the 1930s (seen from the other side)
(from "Wie die Ostmark ihre Befreiung erlebte - Adolf Hitler und sein Weg zu Großdeutschland,"
Heinrich Hoffmann, 1938 (author's collection)


Fischlhamn4.jpg (141615 bytes)

This marker was placed on the former school building in 2000. It reads, "In Memoriam;
Adolf Hitler learned to read and write here, 1895-1897; Not Heil - Unheil - He brought
destruction and death to millions of people." On the other side is a piece of granite
from the Stairway of Death at Mauthausen concentration camp.

Click here for a MapQuest map link to Fischlham.


Leonding2.jpg (15331 bytes)

Leonding2n1.jpg (194519 bytes)

After Hitler's father retired from the Austrian customs service, he moved his family to Leonding, a suburb of Linz. Adolf Hitler always looked back on his early years in Leonding as the happiest of his life, and he always thought of Linz as his home town. The painting on the left was by F. X. Weidinger, another of the special 1943 exhibition (Hoffmann, Kunst dem Volk, 1943). The Hitler house is in the left center of the view, in front of the church. Other houses hide a duplicate view today, but this modern view shows the church from the side yard of the former Hitler house.


Leonding3.jpg (203651 bytes)

The former Hitler house is located today at Michaelsbergstraße 16 in Leonding. The building was in disrepair for several years, but in 2002 it was refurbished and now serves as an office for the cemetery across the street. The period view is from Rudolf Lenk, Oberdonau, die Heimat des Führers ("Upper Danube, the Homeland of the Führer"), Munich, Bruckmann Verlag, 1940.


Leonding5.jpg (292861 bytes)

Leonding4.jpg (260420 bytes)

Hitler visits his parents' house in Leonding, 13 March 1938.  (period photos from Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler in seiner Heimat, Munich, 1938)


Leondinggrab2.jpg (295791 bytes) Leondinggrab2n1a.jpg (135794 bytes)
While in Leonding, Hitler visited the cemetery across the street from his former house, to decorate the grave of his parents Alois and Klara. The grave was still well maintained and decorated until 2012, but in March 2012 the grave marker was removed at the insistence of Austrian politicians.  (Hoffmann, Hitler in seiner Heimat; period postcard)


Leondinggrab.jpg (39313 bytes)

These photos show the grave location in relation to the church -- the grave is under a large fir tree against the dividing wall at the left of the photos.  ("Unser Führer," special edition of the "Illustrierter Beobachter" for Hitler's 50th birthday, 20 April 1939, Munich, Franz Eher Verlag)


Hitler's father Alois died in 1903 during a morning visit to his favorite pub, the Gasthof Wiesinger, down the street from his house on Michaelsbergstraße. He collapsed and died while seated at the couch shown below, which still exists in the Gasthof.  (postcard dated 1950)

Click here for a Google Maps link to Leonding.


Hitler arrived in Linz, driving through the main city square, which immediately bore his name as Adolf-Hitler-Platz. The famous Dreifaltigkeitssäule statue of 1723 commemorates Linz's delivery from three dangers in the early 18th century -- war in 1704, fire in 1712, and plague in 1713.  The period photo at the bottom shows a parade in the Linz Hauptplatz in honor of Hitler's birthday on 20 April 1938 (above - Hoffmann, Hitler in seiner Heimat; below - period postcard; bottom - Lenk, Oberdonau, die Heimat des Führers).
Linz1.jpg (192204 bytes) Linz1n1.jpg (146112 bytes)


On the evening of 12 March 1938, in an emotional speech from the balcony of the Linz town hall, Hitler declared Germany and Austria (Ostmark) united as one entity, the beginning of the Großdeutsches Reich (Greater German Empire).  (Henrich Hansen, "Volk will zu Volk," 1938)


Linz2.jpg (263087 bytes)

Linz2n1a.jpg (146676 bytes)

Jubilant crowds in the Linz Hauptplatz, some climbing on the Dreifaltigkeitssäule, greet Hitler's speech.  (from Hoffmann, Hitler in seiner Heimat)


Sometime during the period following the Anschluß, perhaps for a visit by Hitler, the Burschenschafterturm, part of the 19th century fortifications of the city of Linz, was decorated with a swastika banner and the Nazi slogan "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer" (One People, One Country, One Leader). The tower stands today as a monument to war dead and a museum of the students association.  (courtesy Ralf Hornberger)


AHMelkOM.jpg (48815 bytes)

melk1n1.jpg (354990 bytes)

On his way to Vienna on 14 March 1938, Hitler passed by the famous Benedictine Abbey at Melk, overlooking the Danube. In the modern photo, trees block the view of the river to the left.  (Heinrich Hoffmann, "Wie die Ostmark ihre Befreiung erlebte - Adolf Hitler und sein Weg zu Großdeutschland," 1938 (author's collection)


Melk3.jpg (192358 bytes)

melk3n1.jpg (338055 bytes)

The Führer's motorcade passed directly through the center of Melk, beneath the Abbey on the hill to the left. The view remains practically unchanged today.  (Heinrich Hoffmann, "Hitler in seiner Heimat," Munich, 1938 (author's collection)  MapQuest Map Link


Forces of the German Wehrmacht entered Salzburg, Austria, on the morning of 12 March 1938. The soldiers crossed the Staatsbrücke bridge into the Old City of Salzburg, with the Festung Hohensalzburg fortress seen on the hill in the background.  (above - Heinrich Hoffmann, "Hitler baut Grossdeutschland," ( Munich, 1938); below - "Illustrierter Beobachter," 20 March 1938)


Above - Maximum use was made of these images for propaganda purposes. A photo taken at nearly the same moment as that on the left above was used to produce the poster on the right.
Below - A view from a different angle on the Staatsbrücke showing the same mountain howitzer battery with mule transport.  (above - Bundesarchiv; below- Hoffmann, "Hitler baut Grossdeutschland")


Hitler visited Salzburg on 6 April 1938, crossing the Staatsbrücke as had his troops the previous month. A rally was held in the Residenzplatz, with the famous Residenzbrunnen fountain seen in the foreground.  (Hoffmann, "Hitler baut Grossdeutschland")


Rstone.gif (1273 bytes)   Continue to Vienna


Third Reich in Ruins,

All contents copyright © 2000-2021, Geoffrey R. Walden; all rights reserved.  All photos taken by or 
from the collection of Geoffrey R. Walden, except where specifically noted.  Please respect my property rights,
and the rights of others who have graciously allowed me to use their photos on this page,
and do not copy these photos or reproduce them in any other way.

This page is intended for historical research only, and no political or philosophical aims should be assumed. 
Nothing on this page should be construed as advice or directions to trespass on private or posted property.

The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the author of the information, products or
services contained in any hyperlinked web site herein, and the author does not exercise any editorial control
over the information you may find at these locations.

This page initially uploaded on 20 July 2000.