Geoff Walden

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Miscellaneous Sites

Associated with the Third Reich

Part 1

 

The following sites can be found on this page. Click these links to proceed directly to a particular site. Bad Berneck (Bavaria),  Baldham (Bavaria), Bamberg, Heidelberg, Kitzingen (Bavaria), Lambach (Bavaria), Linderhof Palace (Bavaria), Mangfall Bridge (Bavaria), Bergen Bridge (Bavaria), Holledau Bridge (Bavaria), Ochsenfurt (Bavaria), Saint-Marcouf (Normandy, France), London (England), Stadtilm (Thüringen), Stuttgart, Wasserkuppe (Hessen), Kaiserslautern (Rheinland-Pfalz), Thingplatz sites, air raid shelter sites. The sites in Part 2 include the Bavaria-Thuringia border (Luftwaffe radar site), Doggerwerk, Hirschbachtal, Bayreuth, Kronach, Marktzeuln, Miesbach, Gallneukirchen, and Autobahn ruins (Bavaria), Tondorf (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Hirschberg and Jena (Thuringia), Michendorf (Berlin), and Kaiserslautern (Rheinland-Pfalz). The sites in Part 3 include Eichstätt, Neustadt, Kelheim, Vilsbiburg, Coburg, Aschaffenburg, Fladungen, Oberwildflecken, Urfeld, Pleikershof, and Bayrischzell (all in Bavaria); Rodert/Bad Münstereifel (Nordrhein-Westphalen); and Ziegenberg, Giessen, and Windecken (Hessen). The sites in Part 4 include bunker sites and a Nazi war memorial in Bavaria, air-raid shelter bunkers in Fürth (Bavaria), sites in Goslar, Braunschweig and elsewhere (Lower Saxony), Nazi Finance School in Herrsching, Nazi Farmers Academy in Mindelheim, Muggendorf, Hilpoltstein, Grafenwöhr, and Göring's castle (all in Bavaria), Rheinhotel Dreesen in Bad Godesberg (Nordrhein-Westfalen). The sites in Part 5 include the DAF School at Erwitte (Nordrhein-Westfalen); Amtsgericht, Volksschule, and Siemens building in Erlangen (Bavaria); Reichsbank in Koblenz (Baden-Wurtemberg); and the SS Honor Castle at Wewelsburg (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Luftwaffe test site at Rechlin (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), V-2 rocket development site at Peenemünde (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), NSKK School at Kochel am See (Bavaria), Rathaus at Mittenwald (Bavaria), Hitler at Walhalla (Bavaria), SS Lebensborn Home at Steinhöring (Bavaria), Forsthaus at Lohr am Main (Bavaria). The sites in Part 6 include Frankfurt am Main (Hessen), Feilitzsch (Bavaria), Tannenberg (East Prussia), Ratibor (Upper Silesia), Sassnitz (Saßnitz) (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), Kirchheim unter Teck (Baden-Würtemburg). The sites in Part 7 include Wusterhausen an der Dosse (Brandenburg); Lienz (Tyrol, Austria), Geretsried, Deiningen, Heuberg (Bavaria), Carinhall and Ravensbrück (Brandenburg).

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Adolf Hitler was a big fan of Richard Wagner's music and operas, and he never missed the annual Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. During the festival, and on his trips between Berlin and Munich, Hitler often stayed at the renowned Hotel Bube in Bad Berneck, just north of Bayreuth. The building remains virtually unchanged today. Below, Hitler greets the crowd outside the Hotel Bube in a series of private photos. In the photo on the right, Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess appears on the steps behind Hitler.  (author's collection)  (MapQuest Map Link)

 

The Hotel Bube in a period postcard view, and the corresponding scene today.

 


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The bridge over the Mangfall river valley southeast of Munich was the first long bridge in Hitler's Autobahn highway system. The Autobahn between Munich and Salzburg was important to Hitler, as he traveled that route often, and it passed through the part of Germany he had adopted as his home (Oberbayern - Upper Bavaria). Hitler took a special interest in the Mangfallbrücke, which was 330 meters long and 68 meters high. On the left, Hitler visits the nearly-completed bridge in the summer of 1935. The bridge was blown in April 1945, but rebuilt (with a third pylon added to each support, to widen the highway). The Mangfall Bridge is just west of Exit 98 on Autobahn A8 at Weyarn. It's not very impressive as you drive over it - it needs to be seen from the valley below to be appreciated.  ("Adolf Hitler - Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers," Cigaretten-Bilderdienst, 1936)  (MapQuest Map Link)

 

Building the Mangfall Bridge in 1935. The view on the right is from a period painting.  (left - from Stanley McClatchie, "Sieh: das Herz Europas," Berlin, Hoffmann, 1937)

 

In April 1945 the Mangfall Bridge was blown by the retreating German forces.  (left - courtesy Doug Quebbeman; right - photo by Jerry Pinkowski, courtesy Scott Pinkowski)

 

More period views of the Mangfallbrücke - on the left above, a view of the Mangfall valley with the completed high bridge.  (author's collection)

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Another long bridge in the Bavarian Autobahn system was the nearby bridge over the Bergen valley, seen on the left in Gerdy Troost's architectural book Das Bauen im neuen Reich (Vol. 1, 1942 ed.). Note - This historic bridge was replaced by new construction in 2012.  (MapQuest Map Link)

 

Bergen Bridge in the winter (from Stanley McClatchie, "Sieh: das Herz Europas," Berlin, Hoffmann, 1937)

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The bridge over the Holledau valley north of Munich was another long bridge in the Bavarian Autobahn system. The Holledaubrücke was built 1937-38 under a design by Georg Gsaenger of 16 arches of Roman viaduct style. The bridge was partially destroyed in 1945 but later rebuilt. The bridge is located at the exit for the Rasthaus Holledau, the main building of which was also built during the Third Reich (just north of the Schweitenkirchen exit on the Autobahn). (MapQuest Map Link)

 

The Holledau Brücke was also blown by retreating German forces in 1945  (private collection)

The Rasthaus Holledau is seen on the left from a period color photo. The building has been modified over the years, but is still an Autobahn rest stop and restaurant. A sign on the restaurant claims "Hearty Bavarian Cuisine Since 1938."

For further sites associated with the Autobahn highway system, see Part 2.

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Another of Hitler's favorite inns was the Lambacher Hof, on the north shore of Chiemsee lake between Gollenshausen and Seebruck. Before the Munich-Salzburg Autobahn was completed, Hitler often traveled the old road past Chiemsee during his trips between Munich and the Obersalzberg, allowing a stop at the Lambacher Hof. This inn is where Eva Braun's parents first met Hitler in 1933.  (period postcards)  (MapQuest Map Link)

 

Hitler arrives at the Lambacher Hof during one of his visits. The windows and the Luftmalerei artwork have changed a little over the years.  (period postcard)

 

Hitler and his convoy outside the Lambacher Hof, from a period postcard.

The Lambacher Hof kept a special dining area for Hitler and his entourage, the "Hitler Stübchen." The interior has been remodeled but remains a cozy restaurant.  (postcard view courtesy John Dobson)

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Although Hitler disliked the aristocracy and the German royal history, he did visit at least two of King Ludwig II's Bavarian castles. Here he is seen at the entrance to Schloss Linderhof, with the corresponding view today (Hitler was coming out of the left-hand doorway).  (Heinrich Hoffmann, "Hitler in seinen Bergen," Berlin, Hoffmann, 1935)   (MapQuest Map Link)

 


Stuttgart

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Adolf Hitler visited Stuttgart in March 1938. His motorcade drove down Königstraße from the Hauptbahnhof. Trees grow along that route today, and a Mercedes symbol replaces the swastika flag on the top of the Bahnhof tower.  (Heinrich Hoffmann, "Hitler Baut Grossdeutschland," Berlin, 1938 (author's collection)  (MapQuest Map Link)

 

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Hitler's entourage drove through the Hauptplatz (main city square). Stuttgart was heavily bombed during the war, and a comparison modern photo would show only post-war buildings of a different style. The main post office featured Nazi mosaics in the grand hall; the building is still there but the mosaics are gone now.  (photo on left from "Hitler Baut Grossdeutschland;" on the right from "Kunst dem Volk," edited by Heinrich Hoffmann, Special Edition, Vol. 10, No. 7, July 1939 (author's collection)

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Stuttgart's wartime buildings included an air-raid shelter of a unique style. These so-called Winkeltürme (Winkel Towers) were cone-shaped concrete towers designed by Leo Winkel of Duisburg. Winkel patented his design in 1934 and began construction in 1936. Eventually some 98 Winkeltürme of five different types were built. The towers were intended mainly as protection for factory workers and railroad personnel, and they appeared most often in areas of heavy industry and rail centers. This Winkelturm in Stuttgart, a Type 2, is located on Wiener Platz in the Feuerbach rail area. The cone shape was designed to defeat bombing attacks by deflecting bombs off the top and sides, toward a reinforced area around the base. However, a Winkelturm of this type in Bremen suffered a direct hit by U.S. bomb in October 1944, which exploded through the roof and killed five people inside. Click here to see other Winkeltürme in Giessen, and here in Zossen near Berlin(see Michael Foedrowitz, "Die Luftschutztürme der Bauart Winkel in Deutschland, 1936 bis Heute," Waffen-Arsenal Band 175, Podzun-Pallas-Verlag, 1998; also http://www.luftschutz-bunker.de/winkel_tuerme.htm)  (Google Maps link)

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These two Winkeltürme are located on either side of a former Reichsbahn RAW depot maintenance facility in Kaiserslautern.  (photos below courtesy Vincent Srdj Brown)  (Google Maps link; the second tower is about 200 meters to the east)

 

The headquarters building of the former RAW (Reichsbahn Ausbesserungs Werk) maintenance facility, located on Pariser Straße in Kaiserslautern, still displays the Reichsbahn insignia of a winged locomotive wheel.  (Google Maps link)

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These three Winkeltürme are located in Darmstadt. The first two, Type 2s, are located north of the city in an industrial area. The Type 1 tower on the right is located in the Starkenburg Kaserne military area. There is also a fourth Winkelturm on the Starkenburg Kaserne, not accessible to the public (and not shown here).  (Google Maps link; the second nearby tower is about 300 meters to the northwest)

 

This is not a Winkelturm, but a Luftschutzturm of the "Dietel" type, located in Heilbronn. The period photo on the right shows a tower of the same design in Rüsselsheim (this tower no longer exists).  (photo courtesy Dominik Stockmann; period photo from Gerd Rühle, ed., "Das Dritte Reich," Berlin, 1938 ed.)  (Google Maps link)
Luftschutztürme of the "Dietel" type were named for historical military heroes. This tower near the main rail yards in Darmstadt was named for World War I flying hero Manfred von Richthofen (the "Red Baron"). This tower still exists, with the eagle and name removed, and the roofing replaced. The flat area at the top of the roof could be used to mount small Flak guns or searchlights. The Rüsselsheim tower shown above was named for Oswald Boelcke, another World War I flying hero, Richthofen's mentor, and the Heilbronn tower above was named for Walther Wever, an infantry officer.   (U.S. National Archives, RG111SC-352561)  (Google Maps link)

 


Heidelberg

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The Heiligenberg (Holy Mountain) overlooking Heidelberg was the site of an unusual Nazi edifice - a "Thingstätte." In early Nazi quasi-religious Völkisch ceremony and Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil) ideology, a "Thing" was an open-air gathering of the people, harking back to old Germanic pagan gatherings. Some 1200 "Thing" sites were planned, but only about 40 were built, as the Nazi hierarchy lost interest in the "Thing" movement in 1936. Another such site that remains today is the Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne adjacent to the Berlin Olympic Stadium.  (1936 postcard in author's collection)  (MapQuest Map Link)  Click here to visit a "Third Reich in Ruins" page showing other Thingplatz/Thingstätte sites.
Virtual Tour of the Heidelberg Thingstätte by Benjamin George  --  http://gardentaining.com/dililah/thingstatte_map_post.html

 

The views above show the Heidelberg Thingstätte from the highest point of the site. At either side of the period view can be seen hexagonal flag towers (obscured by trees in the modern photo).  (postcard courtesy Teresa Boni)

 

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Current views of the flag towers near the top of the site. The remaining flagpole appears to be the original. (Note - In June 2008 this flagpole was no longer there - thanks to Bob Lyons for this information.)

 

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The wide-angle composite photo on the left and the plan on the right show how the Thingstätte was built as an amphitheater. The Heidelberg Thingstätte was begun on 31 May 1934 and opened officially on 22 June 1935 by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Speaking to a crowd of 20,000 people, Goebbels called the Thingstätte a "veritable church of the Reich."

  

Late 1930s views with similar perspectives today, looking up from the stage area toward the seating area and flag towers.  (author's collection)

 

More period views of the Heidelberg Thingstätte from postcards dated 1935 to 1939.  (author's collection)

 

Two photos from the Heidelberg Thingstätte during its opening ceremony in June 1935. On the right, the Reichs Arbeitsdienst (Labor Service) at the "consecration."  (courtesy Teresa Boni)

 

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Left - period postcard showing the Heiligenberg Thingstätte. Right - this poster advertised the Summer Solstice Festival in June 1937, held at the Heidelberg Heiligenberg. By 1937, the Thingstätte had been renamed "Feierstätte" (Festival Site). By this time the "Thing" movement had declined, and the Thing places were largely being used for folk fests instead of the original ideological meetings and propaganda theatricals.  (left - courtesy James Lees; right - author's collection)

 

 Click here to visit a "Third Reich in Ruins" page showing other Thingplatz/Thingstätte sites.

 

SA troops march across the Alte Brücke bridge in Heidelberg during the early days of the Third Reich. The famous Heidelberg Castle is seen on the hillside beyond. The modern view is from a slightly different location on the bridge.  ("Kampf um's Dritte Reich," Altona-Bahrenfeld, Cigaretten-Bilderdeinst, 1933; modern photo courtesy Erin Walden)

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Schwetzingen is a town west of Heidelberg. The period photo shows a parade of Wehrmacht troops down the main avenue of the town in 1944. Click here to see views of Schwetzingen in 1945, after the defensive fighting in the area, with destroyed Jagdtiger vehicles.  (photos courtesy Dianne Polaski)

 


Bamberg

When the 3rd and 45th Infantry Divisions of the U.S. Army moved into the Franconian city of Bamberg on 13-14 April 1945, they found the defenders fighting from the rubble produced by repeated bombing and artillery attacks. However, the defenders knew the futility of their actions and the city was quickly surrendered, sparing it from the near-complete destruction experienced in towns further west (although artillery rounds ignited a destructive fire that burned many of the older wooden houses in the city). In the photo above, tanks and infantry of the 45th Infantry Division (3/180 Infantry) clear a roadblock on Hallstadterstraße, in front of the Oehlhorn & Wöltz factory. The factory building has been changed, but practically all the other buildings on this part of the street remain much as they appeared in 1945. (National Archives RG 111-SC-333006; my thanks to Andreas Redel and the Bamberg Stadtarchiv for identifying this location)  (MapQuest Map Link)

 

When the U.S. Army units reached the Kettenbrücke bridge over the Main-Danube Canal, they found it blown by the retreating defenders, but other routes allowed passage into the city.  (National Archives RG 111-SC-323994)  (MapQuest Map Link)  (Note - This bridge is to be replaced in 2010 - thanks to Dave Groß for the info.)

 

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GIs inspect a Panther tank (Ausf. D) parked on Zollnerstraße, near the Panzerkaserne. This had been the home of Panzerregiment 35 of the 4th Panzerdivision, and this must have been a training tank. The building, located outside the present U.S. Army Warner Barracks, is practically unchanged.  (Stadtarchiv Bamberg)  (MapQuest Map Link)

 

Another view of the same Panther tank on Zollnerstraße (presumably the same tank, although it appears to have been moved slightly). Two characteristics of the Ausf. D (the earliest Panther model) are evident in this photo - the simple cylindrical commander's cupola, and the rectangular armor flap covering the port for the bow machinegun.

 

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War damage to the Grüner Markt area was severe. About the only item recognizable today is the Neptune Fountain on the right, which Bambergers call "Gabelmann" (Fork Man) because of his golden trident.  (Stadtarchiv Bamberg)

 


Other Miscellaneous Sites

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In 1945 this was the control tower for Kitzingen Army Air Base (used by the U.S. Army as Harvey Barracks, but now closed), and the scene of one of the more interesting examples of the German surrender at the end of the war. Famed Stuka pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel, only member of the German forces to have been awarded the Ritterkreuz (Knight's Cross) with golden oakleaves, swords and diamonds, flew his unit here from Czechoslovakia to surrender to the Americans on 8 May 1945. Rudel slammed his canopy shut on the first GI to reach his plane, who had reached in and tried to steal Rudel's one-of-a-kind decoration.  (MapQuest Map Link)

German scientists worked on a nuclear reactor, and possibly an atomic bomb, in the city of Stadtilm in Thüringen. A laboratory for the development of nuclear power was located in the basement of this school building in Stadtilm in 1945. The work was fairly far progressed when the war ended, but there is little evidence that the Germans were anywhere close to developing an atomic bomb (although persistent rumors of nuclear tests remain). This may have been due to Hitler's apparent skepticism that such a weapon was possible.  (MapQuest Map Link)

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Ochsenfurt, on the Main River south of Würzburg, was the scene of Nazi May Day (Tag der Arbeit) marches. The city Maibaum (May Pole) can be seen in both views, in front of the Rathaus in the distance.  (Stadtarchiv Ochsenfurt)  (click here for another Ochsenfurt site)  (MapQuest Map Link)

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The Wasserkuppe is the highest point of the Rhön highlands, east of Fulda. The area has been a popular spot for glider flights since the 1920s. Near the top of the hill is a Fliegerdenkmal, or Flyers Memorial, erected in 1923 (some sources list this as a Nazi monument, but it was actually earlier). These photos show an RAD (Reichsarbeitsdienst - Labor Service) formation at the memorial in the 1930s, and the corresponding view today.  (MapQuest Map Link)

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Sculptor Josef Thorak, one of the premier artists who displayed in the annual Haus der Deutschen Kunst exhibitions, had a huge studio in Baldham, a suburb east of Munich. The building was designed by Albert Speer and was described as the largest studio in the world. The studio building still exists, but is not open to the public.  (Albert Speer, "Neue Deutsche Baukunst," Berlin, 1943 (author's collection)

 

   Thorak's studio figured in the German military surrender at the end of the war. The building had been taken over by the advancing U.S. forces as headquarters for the XV Corps, and German General Hermann Förtsch surrendered troops of Army Group G there on 5 May 1945.

(U.S. Army Signal Corps Collection, National Archives)

   The side of the building seen here is the back side, but it is the most accessible for viewing, being located just off Waldstraße in Baldham. Today the building houses archaeological collections of the Munich museums, and vegetation blocks the front view.

(MapQuest Map Link)

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The Atlantikwall in France was an elaborate defense system in the Calais area, but in Normandy, where the invasion actually landed, the "wall" was more a system of isolated bunkers and gun positions. However, some of these housed powerful artillery pieces, which dueled with Allied battleships and destroyers on D-Day. Some of these positions held out for almost a week following D-Day. The largest of these positions in the invasion area were near Saint-Marcouf and Crisbecq, inland from Utah Beach. These housed 210mm naval guns in reinforced concrete shelters.  (U.S. Army)

The concrete gun positions were blown up by the Americans after their German defenders surrendered. These sites used to be rather "out in the boonies" and overgrown, but they have recently been cleared and marked for historical interpretation (this photo of one of the Saint-Marcouf positions was taken in 1981).
(MapQuest Map Link)

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Members of the British Union of Fascists (the "Blackshirts") lay a wreath at the Cenotaph memorial, in the center of Whitehall Street near Downing Street, in London, 1936. Among the Blackshirts in this photo is likely their leader Sir Oswald Mosley.  ("Illustrierter Beobachter," 30 January 1936)

 

Rstone.gif (1273 bytes)   Proceed to Part 2

Rstone.gif (1273 bytes)   Go to the War Memorials page

 

 

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

All contents copyright © 2000-2014, Geoffrey R. Walden; all rights reserved.  All photos taken by or 
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This page is intended for historical research only, and no political or philosophical aims should be assumed. 
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This page initially uploaded on 20 July 2000.


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