Geoff Walden


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Obersalzberg

Miscellaneous Buildings

   In addition to the main houses and military buildings, the Obersalzberg complex had many other associated buildings. Several of these survived the 1945 bombing, and appear today substantially as they did in the early 1940s. Others form part of the ruins still to be seen in the area. (This page is in multiple parts - click the link at the bottom of the page to continue to further miscellaneous sites.)

Göring's personal adjutant Gen. Karl Bodenschatz and staff had living quarters and offices in an adjutancy house near Landhaus Göring. The house is today a private residence.  (Hartmann, "Verwandlung")

 

These views show the Adjutancy from the other side. Göring's own house can be seen in the distance, with the Untersberg mountains in the background. The photo on the left is pre-war, while that on the right dates from about 1946. The damage to Göring's house is evident, as are bomb craters.  (left - author's collection, right - Thomas Schell, www.ostwallinfo.de)

 

Four multi-family houses for SS officers and their families were built at Hintereck, near the Adjutancy building. Three of these buildings remain today, used as private residences.

 

On the left is a pre-war view of the Hintereck houses. The 1945 aerial reconnaissance photo on the right shows the area after the April 1945 bombing. The multi-family houses are at the left center, with the Koksbunker above (see below). The house on the right has taken a bomb hit (the ruins were removed after the war). At the lower right corner is the house of Göring's Adjutant.  (left - Ernst Baumann photo; right - U.S. National Archives)

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SS-Sturmbannführer (Major) Spahn (or Spann), chief of the Obersalzberg administrative offices, lived in the Unterwurflehen house, near the Berghof. Few period photos exist of this house - it appears above in the foreground, with the ruins of the Berghof beyond. The ruins of the foundation of Unterwurflehen exist at the site today.  (postwar postcards)

 

This photo taken in 1949 by a visiting American soldier shows the ruins of Unterwurflehen as seen
from the road below the Türken. The ruins of Bormann's house appear on the hillside at upper right.
(Westfield Athenaeum Collection, courtesy Frank Tompkins)

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Architect Albert Speer, who became Minister of Armaments, was the fourth member of the Nazi hierarchy who had a house on the Obersalzberg. Below his house was a spacious architectural studio, built to Speer's design in 1939. The Armed Forces Recreation Center used this building as "Evergreen Lodge" until 1995, adding a new doorway and terrace at the corner. It stood vacant for several years, but is a private residence today.  (Gerdy Troost, "Das Bauen im neuem Reich," Bayreuth, 1942

 

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Speer's studio, then and now.  (period photo from Dokumentation Obersalzberg)

 

View of the back side of Speer's studio building, and details of the front window.

 

Speer's house on the Obersalzberg (above his studio). The house is today private property.

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To supply Hitler's vegetarian diet, Bormann had a greenhouse built, between his own house and Hintereck. The building at the side (seen head-on in the view on the right) was a house for growing mushrooms. This building took a direct bomb hit in April 1945 and its ruins were completely removed (below - on the left is a view from 1945, on the right is a photo from 1949). Only the concrete foundations of the greenhouse remain today, near the entrance to the InterContinental Hotel (now the Kempinski Hotel).  (below left - U.S. National Archives; below right - Westfield Athenaeum Collection, courtesy Frank Tompkins)

 

GIs inspect the greenhouse (Gewächshaus) in 1945. About 1943 Bormann had a second tier added - compare this photo to the earlier views above. The observation/ventilation tower for the anti-aircraft defense and communications center can be seen above and behind the greenhouse ruins (note - this object was removed in 2004, during construction of the InterContinental Hotel).  (above - U.S. Army Signal Corps photo, National Archives RG 111SC-207259; below - author's collection)

 

The greenhouse ruin looked like this in 1949, with all the glass and most of the supporting structure gone. The top of the concrete tunnel stairwell access and observation tower can just be seen above the top of the greenhouse (this object as seen in the modern photo is no longer there).  (Westfield Athenaeum Collection, courtesy Frank Tompkins)

 

This view shows the final configuration of the greenhouse, with its added second tier.  (US National Archives, RG 242H)

 

The greenhouse ruin in its entirety is seen in this May 1945 aerial photo. Note the bomb craters on the hillside behind.  (U.S. National Archives)

 

Inside the greenhouse, ca. 1940. In this still from a movie by Eva Braun,
Martin Bormann's children are seen harvesting vegetables.  (National Archives)

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To supply the power needs of the Obersalzberg complex, a coal storage bunker was built in 1940. This huge stone and concrete edifice could hold 10,000 cubic meters - over 3500 tons - of coal. (left - Hartmann - "Verwandlung;" right - Rhomberg-Schuster - "Historische Blitzlichter")

 

Vegetation prevents an exact comparison photo today. The Koksbunker remains substantially as it did in 1945. This front view was taken in 1981. Some of the original wooden doors remain.

Vegetation continues to encroach on the site, and refuse has been piled in front of some of the doors. This view was taken in May 2005. 

 

Interior views of the coal supply rooms. Coal trucks dumped their loads into the top of the Koksbunker, from a road higher on the hill, then smaller trucks could be supplied via the openings in the ceilings of these rooms. The Koksbunker is in surprisingly good shape, considering that it was set on fire in early May 1945 (either by retreating SS troops or by Allied soldiers), and the contents burned until October! (But the roof, adjacent to the roadway above - seen from either side in the photos below - is in a very deteriorated and dangerous condition today.)

 

The Koksbunker in January 2007.  (left - photo donated; right - courtesy Ralf Hornberger)

 


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1940 also saw the construction of a large building to store architectural models behind the Hotel zum Türken.
 This building is better known as the Kindergarten, since it fulfilled that purpose for the families of the Obersalzberg
residents and staff.  This photo, taken by Nazi photographer Ernst Baumann, shows the Modellhaus/Kindergarten
 building in the right-center. The smaller building to the left was the Filmarchiv building, which served as storage for the films
 that were shown in the Berghof, Theaterhalle, and SS-Kaserne. The Berghof can be seen in the right distance.  (author's collection)

 

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Although the Kindergarten building was badly damaged during the 1945 bombing and the ruins were razed along with those of the SS Kaserne in 1951-52, a large part of the foundation was visible for many years afterwards, just beside the road leading to the Hintereck parking area, uphill from the Hotel zum Türken (these ruins were removed in 2001-2002). (Dokumentation Obersalzberg; Rupert Prohme, "History of 30th Infantry Regiment World War II," Washington, Infantry Journal Press, 1947)

 

These two photos show the Kindergarten building ruins in 1949. The view on the left is looking from the SS Kaserne area back in the direction of the Hotel zum Türken (similar to the period view just above), while on the right is a doorway in the eastern end of the building.  (Westfield Athenaeum Collection, courtesy Frank Tompkins)

 

This 1949 view of the ruins was taken in the Türken parking lot, looking up the hill at the Kindergarten ruins. In the 1999 photo from a similar perspective, the Kehlsteinhaus is just visible on the mountain behind.  (Westfield Athenaeum Collection, courtesy Frank Tompkins)

 

The view on the left, part of an aerial reconnaissance photo taken just prior to the bombing of the Obersalzberg on 25 April 1945, shows the Modellhaus/Kindergarten and Filmarchiv buildings, in relation to the Hotel Zum Türken. Looking down from above, the large building at left-center is the Kindergarten, with the smaller Filmarchiv just to the right (center of the photo). The Türken is in the lower left corner, with the buildings of the SS Kaserne at the top and upper right. The photo on the right shows the Kindergarten foundation ruins as they appeared for many years beside the road running from the Türken to the Hintereck bus stop, before the Obersalzberg demolition began in 2001.  (U.S. Army photo, Life Magazine, 19 March 1945)

 

These photos, taken ca. 1950 by ex-Nazi photographer Ernst Baumann, show the ruins of the Kindergarten and Filmarchiv. The view on the left shows the rebuilt Hotel zum Türken on the right; the ruins of the Berghof can be seen beyond the Türken (compare to Baumann's early 1940s photo above). The Filmarchiv ruin is the small building to the left in the left-hand photo. The Kindergarten ruin is in the right foreground of the photo on the right, with the SS Kaserne ruins uphill to the left.  (author's collection)

 

The Filmarchiv building is in the foreground of this 1949 photo, with the large garage of the SS Kaserne
seen in the background.  (Westfield Athenaeum Collection, courtesy Frank Tompkins)

 

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The Filmarchiv building was also damaged in the 1945 bombing, and the foundation ruins were removed in the summer of 2001. During this excavation, several previously uncharted tunnels were uncovered, including one that had been inaccessible since 1945. This tunnel yielded munitions boxes, hand grenades, a panzerfaust, jackboots, and period wine bottles, some still with their contents preserved. A curved stone staircase led down into access tunnels below the Filmarchiv basement. (These basement ruins are all filled in now.)

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Various gate houses and guard posts for the SS-Leibstandarte were erected around the inner Obersalzberg area. The main SS gate house was on the road just below the Berghof - the Torhaus Berghof. This was an elaborate affair spanning the road, with a wooden gate. The photo on the right above was taken in the late 1940s, after the wooden part of the gate house was removed from its foundation. Today, the stone foundation can be seen to the left of the road.  (above left - Bundesarchiv; above right - courtesy Thomas Schell, www.ostwallinfo.de)

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A group of girls belonging to the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM - girls' Hitler Youth) wait at the guardhouse to visit their Führer (after keeping the girls waiting for five hours, Hitler came down out of the Berghof and signed autographs).  (Florentine Hamm, "Obersalzberg, Wanderungen zwischen Gestern und Heute," Munich, 1941 (author's collection)

Under new management - a group of U.S. and French soldiers at the guardhouse in early May 1945  (photo by Sgt. Gaston Eve, 501RCC, 2nd Free French Armored Division, courtesy Marc Eve)

 

An unusual view of the Torhaus Berghof, from the upper (Berghof) side.

 

A winter view of the back of the gate house with the Berghof beyond, and a closer view of the foundation from a similar angle today.  (left - courtesy Thomas Schell, www.ostwallinfo.de)

 

The Torhaus Berghof can be seen in this view taken from the upper balcony overlook of the Berghof. The gate house is at the bottom of the photo, with Haus Salzburgblick visible just beyond it (this was one of the many Obersalzberg houses destroyed by Martin Bormann ca. 1936-1937). In the lower center of the photo, partly visible through the trees, is Villa Bechstein, owned by the famous piano-maker family. The Nazis retained this as a guesthouse, normally occupied by the Josef Goebbels family when Goebbels was on the Obersalzberg. These buildings (and others) can be seen in the 1936 aerial photo, in the lower right-hand area. (The Berghof is in the lower center of the aerial photo.)  (left - period postcard in author's collection; right - U.S. National Archives, RG 242-H)

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Views of Villa Bechstein. The house can be seen at the bottom of the photo on the left, with Haus Wachenfeld behind and slightly to the right. There are no aboveground remains of Villa Bechstein today (if the house had a basement or air raid shelter, it may still exist).  (left - period postcard, center and right - Ernst Baumann photos)

 

Another of the SS gate houses was located at the top of a side road that ran from the Platterhof area to the Hintereck area, past the SS Kaserne. This building, rarely seen in photos, was a secondary gate house that controlled access to the inner Führer area, similar to the gate house near the Gästehaus Hoher Göll(above - Ernst Baumann photos; below - U.S. National Archives RG 373)

 

This SS gate house was located on the road from Oberau, near the Klaushöhe settlement. The bottom of the base exists today.  (left - U.S. National Archives RG 373)

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Another of the SS gate houses was located adjacent to the Hotel zum Türken, blocking the road that led to the Berghof immediately below. The period view above is from a film of a visit by Italian leader Benito Mussolini in May 1942. The guard house has been repaired since it was damaged in the April 1945 bombing attack, and the road has been widened since 1945, removing the gate posts on either side and some of the steps leading down to the gate from the guard house.

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A large Theaterhalle for films and speeches was built to entertain the workers on the Obersalzberg. A heavy snowstorm in March 1944 collapsed the roof, which was later rebuilt. The drawing on the left is from a 1941 illustrated map of the Obersalzberg. On the right is a May 1945 U.S. reconnaissance photo - the Theaterhalle is the large building near the center. The other buildings belonged to the Antenberg workers camp (see below).  (right - U.S. National Archives)

 

Period postcard views of the Theaterhalle.  (above left - National Archives, RG 260-NSA-69)

 

The Theaterhalle is seen on the left during construction. On the right is a crop from a May 1945 U.S. aerial photo - camouflage painting can be seen on the sides and roof of the Theaterhalle and an adjacent building of the Antenberg workers camp.  (Left - Geiss, 1952; right - U.S. National Archives)

 

The Theaterhalle was torn down in 1945 and the wood was used to rebuild the damaged Herz-Jesu church in Munich (this church burned in 1994 and the current construction no longer contains parts of the Theaterhalle). The photos above show the foundation ruins as they appeared in 1955.  (courtesy Jim Wright)

 

The Theaterhalle ruins in May 1985.  (courtesy David Dionne)

 

Ruins of the foundation of the Theaterhalle, on the Antenberg hill. On the left below is the collapsed room for the projectionist (the only "hard" part of the hall above the foundation). This part of the ruin still bears its original "Rauchen Verboten" (No Smoking) sign.  (below right - courtesy Jacqueline Wilson)  (MapQuest Map Link)

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This photo, one of a series of aerial photos taken by the U.S. Army Air Corps of various Third Reich sites
immediately following the end of the war in May 1945, shows the Antenberg hill, looking east. At the right edge
of the view is the Theaterhalle. In the foreground are various buildings for workmen quartered in the Antenberg
camp - ruins of some of these buildings can be seen in the photos below. In the distance is the Platterhof, with the
Gästehaus just to the left.  (U.S. Army photo, National Archives)

 

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The Antenberg hill became the site of a camp for the workers who built the Obersalzberg building complex, and the area remains the most extensive ruined site on the Obersalzberg today. In addition to the large ruins of the Theaterhalle foundation, many concrete and stone foundations remain of the wooden workers' living quarters and industrial buildings. Those seen above are located near the Carl-von-Linde-Weg trail.

 

Several large brick building ruins also remain on the Antenberg hill, below the ruin of the Theaterhalle. Click here to see photos of the air-raid tunnel system built to protect the workers living in the Antenberg barracks. One of the tunnel entrances appears in the 1945 aerial photo above, just to the lower right (across the road) of the building that appears just below the center of the photo.  (photos below courtesy Ralf Hornberger)

 

Click here to see the ruins of the workers camps at Lager Riemerfeld, Lager Dürreck, and a camp above the Larosbach valley.


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

   Continue to Part 2, More Obersalzberg Miscellaneous Buildings

Rstone.gif (1273 bytes)   Continue to other Obersalzberg sites - Hitler's Berghof, Bormann's and Göring's houses, Platterhof, Gästehaus and Kampfhäusl, Hotel zum Türken, Gutshof and Teehaus, Kehlsteinhaus, SS barracks, bunker system, 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 
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This page initially uploaded on 20 July 2000.


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