Geoff Walden


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Obersalzberg

Gästehaus Hoher Göll and Kampfhäusl

   The Gästehaus Hoher Göll was originally a guesthouse associated with Mauritia Mayer's Pension Moritz.  Along with the Platterhof, the guesthouse was enlarged and renovated.  It was intended to be an intimate guesthouse for visiting dignitaries, and some did stay there, but it was mainly used as administrative offices for Reichsleiter Martin Bormann's staff, and for special guests of Bormann.

   The Gästehaus was not materially damaged in the 1945 bombing, but it fell prey to plunderers and was allowed to fall into disrepair. For many years it was one of the few Nazi ruins on the Obersalzberg that were substantially intact. After return of the area in 1995, the Bavarian government decided to open a Documentation Center on the Third Reich. The ruins of the Hoher Göll were almost entirely torn down -- saving only the lower front façade and parts of the basement -- and the building was rebuilt. It now houses displays on the Obersalzberg under the Nazis as well as displays on the Holocaust and World War II. Part of the bunker complex can be visited from the basement of the Documentation Center. Visit the Documentation Center website at www.obersalzberg.de. (Click here and here to read interesting news articles about the opening of the Documentation Center.)

 

These photos show the Pension Moritz guesthouse in the early 1930s, before renovation. This view is today almost entirely obscured by foliage.  (upper left - Stepnick Collection, courtesy Joe Merlie; upper right - from Eva Braun's films in the U.S. National Archives (Record Group 242EB); lower left - Dokumentation Obersalzberg)

 

The Gästehaus Hoher Göll in the 1940s, with the Untersberg mountains in the background. The views of the rebuilt guesthouse today, housing the Obersalzberg Documentation Center, show the obvious removal of the upper floors(Dokumentation Obersalzberg)

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The Gästehaus is seen on the left just after completion of the Third Reich period renovation, and on the right in a May 1945 aerial reconnaissance photo. In common with other Obersalzberg buildings, the roof had been painted in a camouflage pattern.  (U.S. National Archives)

 

Above - ruins of the guesthouse ca. 1955. The photo below, a winter view of the ruined building with the Untersberg mountains behind, was taken ca. 1963.  (above left - courtesy Jim Wright; above right - courtesy Chester Fox; below - photo by Col. John J. Tarsitano, courtesy Nancy Tarsitano Drake)

 

The photos above show the Gästehaus ruin in 1975 and 1976. The views below show the condition of the upper floor and hallway.  (courtesy Gerald Stephenson)

 

Above - ruins of the guesthouse in 1981. Looters had stripped everything but the basic masonry.  (author's photos)

 

Photos of the guesthouse ruins taken in 1985, 1986, and 1991.  (Many thanks to David Dionne for these photos!)

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One of the gate houses that controlled access to the inner Führer area on the Obersalzberg was located just up from the Gästehaus, on a road leading past the Platterhof. This road/path gave access to the Adjutancy side of Hitler's Berghof house, and so was guarded around the clock by members of the Leibstandarte-SS. In the photo on the right, Eva Braun and her friend Herta Schneider are walking with one of Eva's terriers (Negus or Stasi).  (Ernst Baumann photos)

 

Kampfhäusl   

   Following the abortive Munich putsch of 9 November 1923, in which the fledgling Nazi Party tried to take over the Bavarian government, Hitler was tried and sentenced to a prison term. Upon his release from prison in 1925 he retreated to the Obersalzberg, spending some time in a small cottage near the Pension Moritz (Platterhof). Here he completed the second part of his book Mein Kampf. After Nazi takeover of the Obersalzberg, this cottage became a sort of shrine, known as the Kampfhäusl.

   After the war the wooden remains of the Kampfhäusl were removed during the 1951 destruction of the former Nazi buildings. Some references and tour guides state that there are no remains today (as they do of most of the Nazi buildings in the area), but this is incorrect. The stone foundation of the cottage remains, back in the woods across from the Documentation Center parking lot, near the Platterhof site.

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Hitler at the Kampfhäusl, ca. 1930
(from Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler, wie ihn keiner kennt (Hitler, As No-one Knows Him), Berlin, ca. 1936)
(author's collection)

 

Kampfhäusl cottage, circa 1930s - the moss-covered stone foundations can still be seen.  (from period postcard in author's collection)

 

This scene from the other side affords a clearer view of the foundation stones.  (still from a period film)

 

These two views were taken from the same spot at least ten years apart. The early view of the Kampfhäusl on the left shows the cottage before it had a front porch. The view on the right is from Yank Magazine, June 1945.

 

In this previously unpublished photo from the Army Signal Corps collection, GIs are seen 
relaxing at the Kampfhäusl in August 1945.  (National Archives, RG 111-SC 252674)

 

For further information, including Internet links, check the Bibliography page.

Rstone.gif (1273 bytes)   Continue to other Obersalzberg sites - Hitler's Berghof, Bormann's and Göring's houses, Platterhof, Hotel zum Türken, bunker system, Kehlsteinhaus, SS barracks, Gutshof and Teehaus, miscellaneous buildings, other miscellaneous area buildings.

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My guide book to Third Reich sites in the Berchtesgaden and Obersalzberg area has been published by Fonthill Media.
"Hitler's Berchtesgaden" is available at Amazon and other retailers ( the Kindle version is also available from Amazon).

 

 

Third Reich in Ruins, http://www.thirdreichruins.com/

All contents copyright © 2000-2017, 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.

This page initially uploaded on 20 July 2000.


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