Geoff Walden


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Obersalzberg

Other Miscellaneous Buildings

 

The Obersalzberg quickly became a popular destination for touring youth groups, and in 1939 a hostel building was erected for visiting Hitler Jugend (HJ) and Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM) groups (click here to see a photo of one such visit). This Jugendverpflegshaus (or Jugendpflegeheim) was a wooden building with kitchens, baths, storage, and other rooms in the basement. The building was located at the curve on the Obersalzberg road, downhill from the Platterhof, at the entrance to the Antenberg area. I have not seen a period photo of this building, but the artist's rendition above is from a 1941 illustrated map.

These two crops from May 1945 U.S. reconnaissance photos show the bomb damage to the Jugendverpflegshaus.  (U.S. National Archives)

 

The wooden structure of the Jugendverpflegshaus was removed after the 1945 bombing, but the basement is still there, as seen in these photos. Several rooms, some vaulted and others quite large, form the ruins of the basement. The building never actually fulfilled its original purpose, as youth groups no longer visited during the war, but it served as a center for the homeplace war industry work for the local inhabitants.  (my thanks to my friend Ralf Hornberger for showing me these ruins)

 


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Two housing complexes were built in the Obersalzberg area for military families and civilian support staff. These were the Klaushöhe and Buchenhöhe settlements, east of Hintereck. Both areas were damaged by the April 1945 bombing, but have been partially rebuilt and used as multi-family rentals since the war (immediately following the war they served as refugee housing). These photos show the Klaushöhe settlement, for married SS guard members.  (Dokumentation Obersalzberg)  (MapQuest Map Link)

 

My father photographed the Klaushöhe and Buchenhöhe settlements when he visited the Obersalzberg in 1946. On the left, a partial view of the same buildings as seen in the period photo above (compare the building at the left edge in both photos), with the Hoher Göll mountain behind. Note the ruined houses in the background. On the right, a view of the Buchenhöhe ruins in the distance, as seen from the Klaushöhe parking lot.  (photos by Lt. Delbert R. Walden, USAAF, collection of G.R. and G.A. Walden)

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These two crops from a May 1945 U.S. reconnaissance photo show (left) the Klaushöhe settlement, and (right) the workers camp that was located between Klaushöhe and Buchenhöhe (the camp was called Lager Riemerfeld). Various ruins can be found in this area today (below). The underground water reservoir on the right below is noted by the red arrow on the 1945 photo above.  (U.S. National Archives)
Click here to see the ruins of the workers camp at Lager Antenberg.

 

This concrete ruin near the Klaushöhe housing area was apparently a water reservoir, similar to the reservoir above the Berghof. Its interior was tiled (at least partially).

 

An artist's portrayal of the Buchenhöhe and Klaushöhe settlements, from a 1941 illustrated map of the Obersalzberg. It should be noted that not all of the buildings shown here were completed or even started.

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The Buchenhöhe settlement was somewhat larger, for families of the Obersalzberg support staff. The settlement included multi-family dwellings and community buildings. Many of the buildings that were damaged in the bombing attack were torn down and rebuilt, and several post-war buildings are now used as an asthma treatment center. The remaining period buildings on the main street show the unmistakable Third Reich architectural style.

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This postcard view from the 1950s shows the Buchenhöhe heating plant building, still with its camouflage paint on the walls.  (author's collection)

 

Some of the bombed Buchenhöhe house ruins were not rebuilt or removed, and remained on the edge of the village for many years (these ruins were removed or buried ca. 2010).

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Remains can also be found of the workers' camp located on the hillside above the Larosbach valley near the Buchenhöhe settlement. Some of the basement ceilings were made from pre-fab concrete sections (above right).

 

This period photo shows a Skoda-made Menck & Hambrock excavator in use at the Buchenhöhe site by the construction company Phillip Holzmann AG.
(photo courtesy Andreas Beck & Leo Helmschrott, Beck & Helmschrott GbR, source the www.baggerfreunde.de webpage)

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The  Polensky & Zöllner construction firm was responsible for many of the roadways and bridges in the Obersalzberg area. Their markings can still be seen on some of the area bridges - this is the bridge over the Larosbach stream near the Buchenhöhe settlement.  (My thanks to Frau Ingrid Scharfenberg for this information.)  (MapQuest Map Link)

 

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Another of Martin Bormann's building projects in the area was the Alpenstraße, a scenic mountain road designed to link Bodensee to the Königssee, through the Bavarian Alps. This Alpine Road was actually started in 1927, and was not completed until the 1950s, at which time this 1930s portion of the road was bypassed. These remains of the Third Reich period roadway, including a pedestrian underpass tunnel at a popular hiking trail, can be seen on the Scharitzkehlstraße southwest of the Obersalzberg, on the way to the Hinterbrand area and the Scharitzkehlalm.

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The workers camp Lager Dürreck was located just downhill from the road section shown above. The workers here built roads and tunnel systems. Although this was a large camp, very few remains can be seen today, including the small foundation below.  (Bayerische Staatsarchiv)

 

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A section of the Alpenstraße under construction, similar to the section in the photos above.
(Dr.-Ing. Günther Werner-Ehrenfeucht, "75 Jahre Polensky & Zöllner," Frankfurt a.M., Brönners Druckerei, 1955)

 

These bridges on the Rossfeld Ringstraße (above) and the Obertalstraße (below) were also products of the Third Reich period construction in the Obersalzberg region.

 


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A curious structure that can be seen in various period photos on top of the Bodnerbichl hill, overlooking the Platterhof hotel, was apparently a large siren for air raid warning. This structure can be seen at the top of the hill on the right side of the top photo of the Platterhof complex (see close-ups below). In the 1945 photo below of the damaged Platterhof, the siren structure can be seen on the hill above the hotel, near a Moll-System guard bunker.  (above - photos by Ernst Baumann (author's collection); below - U.S. Army photo, National Archives)

 

These concrete remains on top of the Bodnerbichl appear to be remains of the base of the siren structure. At any rate, they are in the correct location. (I have not seen this siren or these remains identified in any other publication.)

 


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Although it is sometimes described as a bunker today, this ruin is thought to be the cellar of a bee house built by Martin Bormann in the Landlerwald area of the Kehlstein foothills, near the Kehlstein road. (Another bee house was built in the Gutshof meadows - click here for photos.) In his book History of the Eagle's Nest (1998), historian Florian Beierl describes it as the possible location of the mysterious "N2" site - reportedly an SS communications site used at the end of the war to send secret radio messages. Certainly, the construction style and masonry do not indicate a bunker, and this may simply be an old cellar of a forgotten Obersalzberg mountain hut (although it would certainly have been an elaborate example). The entrance (seen below) is nearly hidden today, and the bricked interior is in a state of decay. The water spigot in the final photo below has worked in the very recent past (but as of 2012, the valve was missing).

 

This is the bee house built under Martin Bormann's orders in the Landlerwald woods. The "N2" object may have been the cellar of this bee house.
(Compare to the other bee house in the Gutshof meadow.)


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The Obersalzberg was supplied by an elaborate water system, including several underground water reservoirs. This large concrete reservoir ruin can be found above the Hintereck and Klaushöhe areas, near the Kehlstein road. The photos to the left above and below show damage to the roof that was apparently a result of the bombing attack on 25 April 1945. Surprisingly, this reservoir remains dry today.  (My thanks to my friend Ralf Hornberger for showing me this ruin and the one above.)

 

Remnants of the waterworks system can be found in many locations on the Obersalzberg. This access point is near the Carl-von-Linde-Weg walking trail. The small metal plate sticking out of the concrete just to the side of the access cover was for workers to clean their boots before entering the shaft, so they would not introduce mud into the water system. The mountain water still flows freely through here, and much of the rest of the 1930s water system.

 

The waterworks projects also included routing streams and run-offs through artificial channels lined with stone or even concrete, to control erosion. There are many examples of this type of work in the Obersalzberg region; these can be seen along the Obertalstraße. They still work very efficiently today.

 


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, Gästehaus and Kampfhäusl, Hotel zum Türken, Gutshof and Teehaus, Kehlsteinhaus, SS barracks, bunker system, other miscellaneous area buildings.

   Visit Berchtesgaden / Obersalzberg area anti-aircraft (Flak) positions

   Click here to visit a page about the capture of German Gen. Tolsdorf by the 101st Airborne Div., near Hirschbichl, Austria.

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This page initially uploaded on 20 July 2000.


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