Geoff Walden

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Miscellaneous Sites

Associated with the Third Reich

Part 4

 

   The following sites can be found on this page. Click these links to proceed directly to a particular site: Bunker site near Ansbach (Bavaria), bunker site in Bavarian training area, Nazi war memorial in Münchberg (Bavaria), Adolf Hitler Tower near Uslar (Lower Saxony), Hitler at the Kaiserpfalz in Goslar (Lower Saxony), Hitler Youth School and other sites in Braunschweig (Brunswick, Lower Saxony), air-raid shelters and other sites in Fürth (Bavaria), Reichs Finance School in Herrsching (Bavaria), Göring's Veldenstein Castle (Bavaria) Adolf Hitler Platz in Muggendorf (Bavaria), Nazi monument in Hilpoltstein (Bavaria), military ceremony in Grafenwöhr (Bavaria), Reichs Farmers School in Mindelheim (Bavaria), Rheinhotel Dreesen at Bad Godesberg (Nordrhein-Westfalen).

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This bunker site is located east of Ansbach in north-central Bavaria, near Katterbach Kaserne. These bunkers were part of a shooting range, although the purpose of the large heavy concrete bunker is unclear - it may have been used as a backstop for anti-tank weapons training. The roof of this large bunker has been collapsed by demolition.  (Google Maps link)

 

At the end of the small arms ranges (valleys formed by long earthen berms) is a subterranean room beneath the end berm, for the target scoring and changing personnel. This room has a large opening in the roof through which the targets were raised and lowered. Click here to see a similar range with the target changing machinery still in place.

 


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This bunker site is located inside a military training area in Bavaria. It was apparently built in 1938-39 to train paratrooper units in assaulting Fort Eben Emael on the Belgian frontier (Operation Granite), or possibly other French-style fortifications (either the Maginot Line itself, or Czech border fortifications, many of which were similar). The site consists of a large bunker with three gun/observation turrets, and firing embrasures for other guns.

 

The roof of the main bunker has been demolished, revealing the deep interior and the cylindrical mounting sites for the metal turrets. Tunnels lead to other nearby bunkers (also demolished).

 

One of the metal turrets remains, dismounted from its mounting site in the concrete base. This turret is similar to some found at Eben Emael, as well as the Maginot Line and the Czech border forts.

 

Details from period postcards showing Czech border fortifications (the one on the left above near Grulich in the Sudetenland). These bunkers are very similar to the ruins shown above.

 


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A memorial tower to the World War I dead was erected on the Rohrbühl hill in Münchberg, in far northeast Bavaria, in 1935-37. The site is practically unchanged today, except for the removal of the eagle and swastika over the doorway (a memorial sarcophagus on the inside of the tower (not open today) was also removed).     (Google Maps link)

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An existing lookout tower called the Sollingturm, in the wooded hills above Uslar in Niedersachsen, was adapted and remodeled in 1934-35 as a "Hitlerturm" - Adolf Hitler Tower (similar to the Bismarck Towers of an earlier age). The caption at the bottom of the period postcard reads "In service of the homeland for the honor of the Führer."  (Google Maps link)

 


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Hitler reviews an honor guard in front of the Kaiserpfalz castle in Goslar (Harz) on 30 September 1934, during the Agricultural Day celebration. At the far left is then-Major Erwin Rommel (wearing his Pour le Mérite "Blue Max" medal from the First World War), who was commander of the elite Goslar Jäger Battalion of the 17th Infantry Regiment. On this occasion, Rommel arranged the honor guard so that his Jäger troops stood in front of the SS. Hitler left from here to attend the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival on the Bückeberg(Google Maps link)

 


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A "Reichsakademie für Jugendführung," or Adolf Hitler School for Hitler Youth Leaders, was built in Braunschweig (Brunswick) in1937-39. Designed in classical style by architect Erich zu Putlitz, the complex was meant to be an elite school to train future leaders of the Third Reich. The Academy opened shortly before the beginning of World War II, and was used during the war as a training school for the female labor service and Hitler Jugend (BDM), as a Luftwaffe hospital, and finally as a school for disabled soldiers. The Academy exists today, virtually unchanged, as the Braunschweig Kolleg on Wolfenbüttleler Straße, an adult education facility.  (Google Maps link)

 

This model of the main Academy building shows how it was flanked by two smaller wings. The monumental sculpture designed for the top of the building by Georg Kolbe was never installed. (Herbert Hoffmann, "Deutschland baut," Stuttgart, Verlag Julius Hoffmann, 1938)

 

    

This model of the complex shows the site from the air, including five adjacent dormitory buildings, which also still exist. The center of the main building was an open-air Ehrenhalle, with sculptures by Emil Hipp representing true camaraderie.  (Exhibition Catalog of the 1. Deutsche Architektur-und-Kunsthandwerkausstellung, Munich, 1938; photos below courtesy Greg Pitty)

 

A Luftflottenkommando or headquarters for Luftwaffe Gruppe II was built in Braunschweig in 1937-38. After the war the complex was used by the British forces as Yorkshire Barracks, and is now a school and government office building (Grünewaldstraße 16-20).  (period postcard)  (Google Maps link)

 

Above - Adolf Hitler at a political rally in front of the Braunschweig Palace in 1931, with the equestrian statue of Duke Friedrich Wilhelm appearing in the background. Below - An SS-Junkerschule (training academy for SS officer cadets) was opened in the Braunschweig Palace in 1935. The building was badly damaged by bombing attacks in 1944, and the ruins were torn down in the 1960s. A shopping center with a façade to faithfully duplicate the original palace was built in 2006-2007.  (above - Heinrich Hoffmann, "Deutschland erwacht - Werden, Kampf und Sieg der NSDAP," Hamburg, 1933; below - courtesy Greg Pitty)  (Google Maps link)

 

Adolf Hitler visited Braunschweig on several occasions. Above, he is seen visiting the Hauptfriedhof (main city cemetery) in 1930. Below, Hitler visits the grave of Heinrich der Löwe (Henry the Lion), Duke of Bavaria and Saxony,  in the Braunschweig Cathedral (Dom) in 1935. The photo at the bottom shows the Cathedral decorated with a large eagle and swastika. in accordance with Hitler's direction to make the Braunschweig Cathedral and the grave of Heinrich a place of German national pilgrimage.  (Google Maps link - Hauptfriedhof)

 

The civilian leadership of the city built this observation bunker in Braunschweig in 1943 - the work was performed by concentration camp prisoners. The U-shaped concrete bunker was built on the side of the Nußberg hill at the Franzsches Feld (near the 1935 Thingplatz) overlooking the city, and was used to observe bombing attacks and quickly identify the resulting fire locations. It had underground entrances and connections to other nearby bunkers. The bunker has had part of the back removed and now has an added stairway and railing, and wooden slats have been added to the walls for ivy (the views below are from the back).  (Google Maps link)

 

 

     The observation bunker was built overlooking a large open field that had been used for SA (Sturm Abreilung - Storm Troopers - Brown Shirts) rallies in the 1930s. The speakers platform for the SA rallies still stands near the bunker on the Nußberg hill, overlooking the Franzsches Feld.

 

  A model community called Mascherode for 6000 workers of the Deutsche Arbeits Front (DAF) was built in the southern part of Braunschweig from 1936-39. The complex included housing units, shops, medical offices, schools, sport fields, and a huge community center building designed by architect Albert Speer, all arranged around a central square named for Dr. Robert Ley. Most of the buildings retain their period exterior appearance today.  (above and center - Fritz Wächtler, "Die neue Heimat" (1940); bottom - "Bauen - Siedeln - Wohnen" (1939)  (Google Maps link)

 

  Under the direction of Reichsjägermeister Hermann Göring, a "Reichsjägerhof" hunting lodge and preserve were built near Braunschweig in 1934, and Göring took various foreign dignitaries on a hunt there in 1938. The buildings remain today essentially unchanged on the outside, but the complex was closed and boarded up in 2014.  (Google Maps link)

 

The gatehouse at the entry to the area (left) was built in the same style as the main buildings. The guest house across the street is in an older style with a thatched roof.

 

The entry area features a bronze sculpture of two battling stags by Johannes (Hans) Darsow, and decorated iron fences and gates with stone gate posts.

 


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These three concrete air-raid shelters were built in Fürth (near Nürnberg) in 1943. The first, for 1072 people, is on Bei Korwinkel Straße; the middle, for 788 people, is on Friedrich-Ebert-Straße; the last, for 901 people, is on Kronacher Straße. 

 

This grade school at Schwabacherstraße 86 in Fürth was decorated for a vote in 1934. The building remains a school today.  (Wikipedia Bundesarchiv Collection)

 

An SA school called the Waldlager was established in an existing building in the Fürth Stadtwald (city forest), west of the city. This later became an SS Sports School. The complex is now a private medical and housing facility called the Waldkrankenhaus, and is not accessible to the public. The view from Google Maps shows that it has been extensively modified.  (Google Maps link)

 


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A large school complex to train students in the disciplines of finance and revenue was built from 1935-39 in Herrsching am Ammersee. The school featured several wings with living quarters, classrooms, kitchen and dining rooms, a gymnasium, swimming pool, and air raid shelter. The entry façade featured a large Reichsadler Hoheitszeichen, one of the best preserved examples today. The complex still serves as a school.

 

On the left, a period aerial view of the Herrsching school complex. On the right, a view of the wing seen in the center of the aerial photo.  (Google Maps link)

 


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Hermann Göring's godfather owned Burg Veldenstein, at Neuhaus an der Pegnitz in Franconia, and Göring lived there as a boy. Göring bought the castle in 1939 and had it renovated, including an air-raid bunker in the lower sections. However, he would not donate money for a swimming pool in the town, saying, "If I can bathe my ass in the Pegnitz River, so can the Neuhaus people."  (photo on left courtesy Ralf Hornberger)  (Google Maps link)

 

Entry to the Veldenstein air-raid bunker, with the normal bunker iron door, and original ventilation equipment in the bunker.

 


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This 1936-dated postcard view shows the Adolf Hitler Platz in Muggendorf, in the Fränkische Schweiz ("Swiss Franconia") region of northern Bavaria. The building in the background is the Rathaus (town hall). (The large open area where the swastika was located is now a childrens playground and a parking lot.)  (Google Maps link)

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This unusual monument is located in the town of Hilpoltstein in Franconia. In 1934 the Nazis erected this monument to the "National Uplifting" on the Solar Hill, on a former solstice festival site, where a Hitler Oak and Hindenburg Oak had been planted. After the war the monument was converted into a memorial to the victims of Fascism.  (Google Maps link)

 


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In the summer of 1940 the Bavarian town of Grafenwöhr (adjacent to the famous military training area) held a ceremony to welcome back the victorious soldiers from the campaign in France. The sign on the Rathaus above reads "Grafenwöhr grüßt die siegreichen Truppen" (Grafenwöhr greets the richly victorious troops).  (Google Maps link)

 


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   In 1933-34 the Frundsberg Castle in Mindelheim housed the Reichs Bauernschule, or Farmers Academy.

   The castle is open to the public.

   (Google Maps link)

 

Above, the students leave the castle on their way to the exercise field. Below, they raise a flag at one of several cannon positions around the castle periphery.  ("Der Staat der Arbeit und des Friedens," Altona-Bahrenfeld, 1934)

 

The exercise field is now a parking area. Vegetation now obscures much of the view of the castle in the background.

 


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The Rheinhotel Dreesen on the Rhine River at Bad Godesberg (Bonn) hosted meetings between Hitler and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on 21-23 September 1938, regarding Hitler's proposed annexation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. The hotel was also the site of Hitler's planning for the purge of the SA (Sturm Abteilung) and its leader Ernst Röhm in June 1934.  (Gerd Rühle, "Das Dritte Reich," Vol. VI, 1938; modern photo courtesy Robert Newton)  (Google Maps link)

 

Hitler visits the Rheinhotel Dreesen. The hotel façade has been modernized since 1938.  ("Adolf Hitler" (1936); modern photo courtesy Robert Newton; postcard views below from author's collection)

 

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This page initially uploaded on 20 July 2000.


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