What to do about Hitler's Berghof
Museum seeks to stop Third Reich’s second seat of command becoming a shrine for the far right.
Tapestry from Eagle's Nest returning to Germany (Bavarian National Museum in Munich)
Growing up, Cathy Hinz and her five siblings would run up and down the stairs at their Minneapolis home, one hand on the banister, the other skimming a memento hanging on the wall that their father had brought back after fighting in World War II: a 16th century tapestry that once graced Adolf Hitler's retreat perched high in the Bavarian Alps. That tapestry, purchased for Hitler's Eagle's Nest the year before the war began from a Munich art gallery owned by a Jewish family, will be formally returned in a ceremony in Germany. It will eventually be displayed at the Bavarian National Museum in Munich.
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4 photos of American troops smoking and drinking at Hitler's private residence after World War II
Before retreating to the Führerbunker, Hitler and top Nazi officials enjoyed lavish compounds in Berchtesgaden, a resort village in the Bavarian Alps. These are the best surviving photographs of Allied troops reveling in the spoils of war at Hitler's private residence.
The Eagle's Nest: Soaring over 6,000 feet in the Bavarian Alps, this beer garden was once Hitler's 50th birthday present
As the Allies rushed through Western Europe following the German defeat on D-Day, one of the grand prizes to be taken was the Eagle's Nest. This estate, which sat 6,000 feet high in the Alps, had been given to Hitler as a birthday present. The name "Eagle's Nest" was adopted by the Allies, but it was known throughout Germany as the "Kehlsteinhaus." It was situated atop the Obersalzberg mountains in one of the most beautiful parts of Bavaria, overlooking the small town of Berchtesgaden. The Eagle's Nest was designed as a 50th birthday present for Adolf Hitler. Commissioned and overseen by Martin Bormann, the home remains an impressive feat of engineering even today.
Exploring the secret Nazi tunnels in Berghof
Deep in the mountains of Bavaria is a concrete doorway set into the side of the mountain. Even in the height of summer, the thick steel door is cool to the touch, and drips with condensation. It isn't marked on any tourists guide maps, as the government would prefer that you had no idea that it exists. Behind the steel door lies the underground secret bunker complex. This multi-roomed subterranean compound is composed of an apartment and a set of underground chambers for fellow Nazi inner circle members—over four miles of tunnels, bunkers and hidden rooms in total. Above ground, an entire village was built as an Alpine retreat for the Nazi government.
Hitler's maid Elisabeth Kalhammer recalls Fuhrer's late-night munchies and afternoon sleep-ins
Late–night "Fuhrer cake" and sleeping in until the afternoon are just a few of the tidbits that one of Hitler's maids has revealed about life at the Bavarian mountain residence. In what appears to be her first public interview about working for Hitler, Elisabeth Kalhammer told the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten what life was like for the 22 housemaids on staff at the Berghof. Kalhammer responded to a wanted ad in 1943, and was accepted for the job after undergoing screening by the SS. She also told that staff addressed Eva Braun, who later became Hitler's wife, with "Heil, merciful lady." Regarding the atrocities committed by Hitler, she said: "That he had ordered such terrible things, I just couldn't believe it. Even now, I prefer to remember the charming facets of his personality."
Kehlsteinhaus, Hitler's mountain retreat in Bavaria, is getting a $22 million makeover
The Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus - a 50th birthday present for Adolf Hitler) is getting a $22.5 million renovation. Hitler's former lair is now an information center, and will be expanded to some 27,000 square feet. The pricey makeover, to begin in 2015, is expected to take three years.
Historian Despina Stratigakos explores how images of Hitler's homes were used as propaganda
Architectural historian Despina Stratigakos is at work on the first in-depth study of the aesthetic and ideological constructions of the "domestic" Adolf Hitler and the uses to which they were put by propagandists of the Third Reich. She has received a 2-year Marie Curie Fellowship from Gerda Henkel Foundation, to support her research and writing of the book, "Hitler at Home." Stratigakos says "Hitler at Home" will span the fields of architectural history, social history and politics and explore how the Fuhrer's domestic spaces became a part of the national cultural imagination and were used to launder his image in Germany and abroad.
Kehlstein: Mountain tea house build for Hitler pulls in 300,000 visitors in a year
The dark allure of Adolf Hitler has turned his tea house at the top of a Bavarian mountain into one of the most visited sites in Germany. 300,000 people visited the retreat on the peak of the Kehlstein mountain which was built for him as a 50th birthday gift by Nazi party secretary Martin Bormann in 1939. Although Hitler's Berghof home on the mountain was destroyed by the Allies in bombing raids and after WW2, the tea house survived to become a tourism magnet. Officials said that most visitors to the mountain are Americans and Britons: they make up 85% of the people who came to tour the place where Hitler ate cream cakes with his mistress Eva Braun.
Engineer Georg Mehr built the elevator for The Eagle's Nest (Kehlstein House)
In the days before WWII Adolf Hitler took a daily afternoon walk to a tea house near his home on the Obersalzberg. Taking note of this, Martin Borman decided to build a special gift for Hitler's 50th birthday: a tea house resting atop the Kehlstein mountain called "Kehlstein House" ("The Eagle's Nest"). However, an elevator would be needed to carry passengers from the bottom all the way up 375 feet to the top. For that complex task a man with special talents would be needed. Georg Mehr turned out to be the perfect choice. So the Mehr family was moved into living quarters inside the restricted perimeter - which included the families of Herman Goering, Joseph Goebbels, Albert Speer, and Martin Bormann - in Berchtesgaden. What was life like under such circumstances?
Video: WWII veteran John Pistone recalls visiting Hitler's Berghof, taking a souvenir
Video: World War II veteran John Pistone recalls visiting Hitler's mountain retreat, the Berghof, admiring the views, and taking a souvenir.
Chapel built with marble and granite from Hitler's luxury retreat becomes Nazi shrine
A chapel in Germany is turning into a shrine for neo-Nazis after it emerged that it was built with marble and granite taken from the ruins of Adolf Hitler's hideout. Locals say the Wegmacher Chapel, built in 1997, is visited by leather jacket-wearing "pilgrims" who leave behind notes of praise to Hitler. The Bavarian government only recently admitted that material from the Hitler's retreat, the Berghof in Berchtesgaden, was used in the construction. Using materials from Hitler's home is a contradiction of a postwar policy in Bavaria not to use anything from the Nazi sites for such projects.
Photographs of Berghof - Haus Wachenfeld
The Berghof was Adolf Hilter's house in the Bavarian alps. The house was originally called Haus Wachenfeld. Hitler rented it for several years, before purchasing it. After Hitler bought the house, it was re-built and enlarged. It was also renamed Berghof to enhance the idea that Hitler was giving all of his available resources to the Third Reich, for the same kind of reason that Hitler would not allow himself to be seen with Eva Braun. There have been several attempts to destroy the house, first by the RAF, and later by the government. However, there are still a number of ruins if you look closely.
Photos: Berchtesgadener area today - Kehlstein road
This Axis History Forum -thread includes some good photographs of the Kehlstein road, which is not open for public transport. The narrow road leads from the Obersalzberg to the Kehlstein house. The Eagle's Nest is very popular Third Reich related historical attraction.
Veteran of the 101st Airborne Division recalls Hitler's home, Eagle's Nest
John Hennessy served in Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division, 327th Glider Infantry Regiment, taking part in the Normandy D-Day, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge; and the Rhineland and Berchtesgaden campaigns. Days after the end of the war, he and his company moved into the bombed mountain stronghold of Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden. The area included Hitler's home the Berghof; his tea house the Eagle's Nest; and hotel Gasthaus der Platterhof. With his his Brownie camera he took photographs of inside and outside the Eagle's Nest, the SS barracks, and houses of leading Nazis like Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering.
Hinterbrand Lodge, Hitler’s hideaway in the German Alps, is now a popular retreat
During World War II Adolf Hitler and the leading Nazis walked the mountain paths around the Hinterbrand Lodge plotting world domination. Now U.S. servicemen come here to relax and see Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Starting 2008 Hinterbrand has been run by U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwöhr. The lodge includes a kitchen, tv lounge and dining areas and bunk rooms. Accommodation is free, but guests bring own food and clean up before departing. Hinterbrand was built in 1903, and in the 1920s Dietrich Eckart, for whom Hitler dedicated the second part of "Mein Kampf," hid there. Up to 1945 the lodge was one of many buildings in Berchtesgaden used by the Nazi Party.
Identifying paintings hung at Adolf Hitler's Berghof - Axis Forum thread
Adolf Hitler owned countless paintings, having been a collector over a number of years. Now I have been intrigued to know which were the ones that he chose to decorate the Berghof walls? Otto Dietrich left this description: "The walls around the great room glowed with the rich colours of classical paintings by German and Italian masters. Over the massive mantel a Madonna by an unknown Italian looked down upon the company, on the left was Feuerbach's nanna and a portrait of king Henry..." Speer id'ed a few others in the room, among them a Bordone, a Titian, and a 'Pannini or two'. I have begun an undertaking to id those paintings, here's my starting point...
Blueprints of Adolf Hitler's Berghof - thread at Axis History Forum
Haus Wachenfeld at the Obersalzberg near Berchtesgaden was rebuild to Adolf Hitlers mountain retreat in 1936. This long discussion thread, at Axis History Forum, includes several photographs and some blueprints of Haus Wachenfeld, Kehlsteinhaus and Teehaus.
Travelling back to Adolf Hitler's Berghof is bittersweet for two World War II vets
Two men who helped raise an American flag over Adolf Hitler's Alpine retreat will travel back to Bavaria to mark the event, this time not expecting resistance by diehard SS units. The sprawling main house near Berchtesgaden was a favorite getaway for Adolf Hitler and his entourage during the 1930s and early 1940s. But on May 5, 1945, it was the province of Sgt. Ross Brown and private John Miller, with their fellow soldiers of the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division. The GIs rose the stars and stripes, signaling that they had seized the last refuge of the Third Reich.
Hitler in Berghof: photos, film + A walk through Obersalzberg bunker
Photos and film footage from Adolf Hitler's Berghof in Obersalzberg Before and after 1945. Notice: parts 1-3. See also 'A walk through Adolf Hitler's Obersalzberg bunker'.
Hotel Zum TÃ¼rken criticized for swastika-covered Nazi-Era Bunker
Bavaria, Berchtesgaden, Obersalzberg: Hotel Zum Türken, near ruins of Adolf Hitler's mountain retreat Berghof, is allowing guests to view a swastika-covered bunker from WWII in its cellar. Critics say the structure has been turned into a shrine for neo-Nazis, who come to see the Nazi propaganda and swastikas carved on its walls. Zum Türken and bunker were once the quarters for Hitler's personal security staff and bodyguards from the SD. "...there can't be any hidden or open glorification of the Nazi regime," said Kurt Faltlhauser. 95% of the guests are foreigners, many from the US, the owner was not acquiring neo-Nazi customers, said attorney Jan de Haan.
Berghof revisited: Hitler Mansions vanished, but their bunkers remain
More than 60 years have passed, but Berchtesgaden still struggles with its heritage of having been Adolf Hitler's hideaway. The Tourism Office is reluctant to promote the former Obersalzberg site and answer questions about the remains of houses of the German dictator and other Nazi key figures. It was in the early 1930s that Hitler, Hermann Goering, Joseph Goebbels, Martin Bormann and architect Albert Speer built estates on the mountain slope facing Berchtesgaden. But the true secret of Berghof was concealed deep within its limestone rock: a honeycomb-like network of bunkers and tunnels interconnecting the Fuhrer's personal section with those of the other Nazi leaders.
The Dokumentation Obersalzber exhibition center in Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden, a village atop the Bavarian Alps, was once the second home of Adolf Hitler. The home videos of Hitler prancing about the porch of his villa, the Eagle's Nest, with Eva Braun and his German shepherd Blondi, bring to a mind a kinder, gentler time. A time when there were crystal nights, pride rallies, much more affordable Volkswagens - and the slaughter of millions. Oh, I forgot about that part. Plus there was that WWII thing. OK, so maybe it wasn’t such a great time, but that doesn’t mean we can't turn it into a mountain resort, does it? It doesn’t, because the last year 166,000 tourists made there way to the Dokumentation Obersalzber exhibition center.
In the Bavarian Alps, a town struggles to overcome Hitler's legacy
The narrow road climbed higher, first past pastures and stone houses, then leaving even the fir trees to reach blinding, snowcapped peaks. But as Erin Kelly stepped into a tunnel on the last leg of her journey to the Eagle's Nest, she was ready for jolting contrasts. Just imagining Adolf Hitler walking down the dimly lit shaft gave her a chill. "I definitely felt something walking through the tunnel. It was kind of eerie thinking about the person who went through here." During the 1930s and 1940s, Berchtesgaden and the Eagle's Nest - 1,830 meters high in the Bavarian Alps - were Hitler's playground where he frolicked with Eva Braun and his dog Blondi.
WWII veteran revisits Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest to put memories to rest
You saw satisfaction as Jim Beam stood by the opening to the 990-foot tunnel of Untersberg marble leading to a rotunda where he had waited earlier for an elevator, which took him up inside the mountain to Adolf Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, a granite tea house, on a ledge of the Kehlstein peak overlooking Germany and Austria - figuratively on top of the world. Beam, tugged at his 101st Airborne Division cap, and remembered May 1945 when he was sent up the mountain to find top Nazi leaders. He claim to be the third man to enter The Eagle’s Nest. "We didn’t find anybody but a cook. He asked if we wanted food. We told him, no. We wanted liquor. We drank all of Hitler’s liquor."
Obersalzberg: Has lived under the shadow of Adolf Hitler
Obersalzberg has lived under the shadow of its most infamous resident, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. "That is where I spent my most pleasant times, and conceived my great ideas," Hitler said. The story is told at the Dokumentation Obersalzberg museum. It tells how Hitler first visited in 1923 and was inspired by views of the Untersberg. He bought a house, which he expanded into his beloved Berghof. Other top Nazis built villas nearby. When the war started going against Nazi Germany in 1942, bunkers were burrowed into the mountainside. One of the largest surviving bunkers is under Dokumentation Obersalzberg and is part of the exhibit.
A visit to Adolf Hitler's mountain stronghold Eagle's Nest
As I fingered the jagged green marble of a chipped-up fireplace mantle, my guide told me the story. This German lodge was a gift to Adolf Hitler for his 50th birthday in 1938. His inner circle all contributed. And the fireplace was a little extra gift from Mussolini. In 1945, Allied soldiers chipped off countless relics. While many people call the entire area "Hitler's Eagle's Nest," it actually refers to just the mountaintop chalet. This excessive lodge was only the tip of a vast Berchtesgaden compound. What remains is now wide open to visitors. Because it was here that he claimed to be inspired, some call Berchtesgaden the "cradle of the Third Reich."
Obersalzberg and Eagle's Nest
Obersalzberg lives under the shadow of its most infamous former resident, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Obersalzberg has 3 main draws: One famous, one secret, one eternal. The famous is Kehlsteinhaus, known as the Eagle’s Nest, a $150 million present for Hitler’s 50th birthday in 1939. As a present, it was a dud. Hitler was afraid of heights, and rarely visited. The second most important site in Obersalzberg is an open secret. It is an unmarked place in a dense forest: a massive stone wall of what was once Hitler’s Berghof. Neo-Nazis have erected small shrines and carved SS lightning-bolt figures in the trees.
Wolf at the door: Adolf Hitler transformed Obersalzberg
One night in May 1923, a man using the name Herr Wolf appeared at the Pension Moritz in a German village near the border of Austria. He knocked on the door of the room of Dietrich Eckart, an early Nazi leader. "Diedi, it is Wolf," the man said. Adolf Hitler had arrived in Obersalzberg. The next morning, Hitler stepped out of his room to a view of the Untersberg, the mountain that towered nearby. Hitler found it inspirational. In 1928, he began renting a house with a view of the Untersberg. With the Nazis rise to power in 1933, Hitler bought the house and renamed it the Berghof, "mountain palace". Other Nazi leaders built their own places nearby.
On Hitler's Mountain - A Picturesque Alpine Village In Bavaria (Article no longer available from the original source)
Irmgard Hunt spent her early years in Berchtesgaden. In 1934, Hunt's parents, who "praised Hitler for saving Germany", settled in the area. As a very young child, Hunt was taken to see the summit, the Obersalzberg, where Hitler had reconstructed a modest summer cottage into a massive luxury residence named "The Berghof". On that day she posed upon Hitler's knee for a photograph. Her childhood was played out against the backdrop of Nazi headquarters, separated only by a fence from the house where she lived. From the windows of their school, the children could glance up to the top of the mountain and view the Eagle's Nest, a 'fantasy building'.
Hitler's eyrie - country house guarded by 2,000 SS men
The Nazi leaders' retreat is happy to welcome a new wave of visitors - tourists. It was here in the Berghof, a Bavarian country house guarded by 2,000 SS commandos, that Hitler argued with Chamberlain over Sudetenland, and ordered blitzkriegs against Poland and Czechoslovakia. "Those were the best times of my life," he said later. "My great plans were forged there."
Art from Hitler's lair - On the terrace at Hitler's house (Article no longer available from the original source)
Richard Reiter used to enjoy milk and cookies on the terrace at Adolf Hitler's house. Reiter's story has never been told before. A former soldier of the Waffen SS and colonel in the Hitler Youth, he never hid his past, but didn't exactly shout about it either. Now, at age 77, he says it's time to talk. As a boy, he even called Hitler "Onkel Wolf" -- Uncle Wolf -- not as a term of endearment, but because Richard's aunt was Hitler's girlfriend, and Wolf was her pet name for the dictator. That was in the 1930s, in pre-war Berchtesgaden, where Reiter and his brother would go to Hitler's Bavarian home and play with the Nazi leader's cherished Alsatian, Prinz.
Hitler's mountain retreat now a luxury hotel
A controversial new luxury hotel and spa has opened on the site of Adolf Hitler's retreat in the German Alps. The new hotel, the Intercontinental Resort Berchtesgaden, is located on the Obersalzberg mountaintop. Hitler's "Eagles Nest" above the town of Berchtesgaden served as a part-time seat of government where he and other Nazi leaders often met to plan Germany's assault on Europe and the Holocaust.
Anna Plaim: Chambermaid for Hitler - Wearing his slippers while cleaning (Article no longer available from the original source)
New insights have emerged into the private life of Adolf Hitler from his former chambermaid, who has admitted that she used to stand in his slippers while cleaning his room. Anna Plaim, who came from the Austrian village of Loosdorf, was 20 years old when she was employed as a chambermaid for Hitler in 1941. In a book she describes how she worked at the Berghof, Hitler's mountain retreat in the Bavarian Alps. Plaim's account of life at the Berghof adds weight to the suggestion that Hitler did have a sexual relationship with Eva Braun, even though the two slept in separate rooms.
Luxury and Wellness in Hitler's Alpine Nest
A luxury hotel is about to open near the spot where Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler once relaxed. Resort officials hope that fancy spa treatments and an exhibit about the Nazis will help overcome the shadows of the past. Hermann Göring lived on the site. Hitler wrote part of "Mein Kampf" here and had his own retreat built nearby. The Nazis made this alpine hideaway their second capital. But on March 1 2005, the InterContinental Resort will try and plant another reputation on the famous and infamous Alpine area of Obersalzberg -- that of luxury and wellness.
Berchtesgaden - If you could see the place now, Adolf
It was in 1925 that Hitler first came to the Berchtesgaden area, where he finished writing Mein Kampf. He had just served a 9-month sentence. When he became Chancellor in 1933, he bought and rebuilt the house he had rented, which he called the Berghof. Its huge windows provided panoramic views of the peaks. Hitler's Berghof lifestyle was contradictory. He received Lloyd George and Mussolini here, plus Edward VIII who in his letter wrote 'Thank you for the lovely hours that we spent with you.' Yet between affairs of state, Hitler's Berghof days were a monotony of meals and inane movies. This dull routine was captured by Eva Braun's home movies.
My cousin, Eva Braun - Days at Berchtesgaden
As a 20-year-old, Gertrude Weisker joined her cousin Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress at Berchtesgaden for lonely days of swimming and killing time in the dying months of the war. Now in her late 70s, Gertrude insists neither she nor Eva were Nazis. To me, Eva was always a cipher: a glamorous blonde often filmed playing at different sports, or photographed dressed in Bavarian costume, by the Führer's side. She was very sporty, and to me she was very beautiful. She always changed dresses, five times, seven times a day.
Bavaria and Hitler's house - 8 miles of underground tunnels (Article no longer available from the original source)
2001 - The Bavarian government is turning Adolf Hitler's mountain retreat, high in the south German Alps, into a museum tourist attraction. When the US army left in 1995 the government in Munich did not know what to do with the six square-mile complex straddling the Obersalzberg Mountain. What would anyone do with such bizarre relics - with eight miles of underground tunnels, for example, a housing estate for SS officers, Hermann Goering's picnic site, a bomb-proof kennel for Blondi, Hitler's Alsatian, and a brass-lined lift which rises through a hollowed-out mountain, its power supplied by a bank of U-boat engines?