Obersalzberg

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
Reichsadler
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Obersalzberg

Post by Reichsadler » 24 Jul 2002 17:37

Are there any news about the Obersalzberg near Berchtesgarden? The Bavarian government was about to demolish the Platterhof, which was built in the late 1930s, one of the last remaining great architectural pearls on the Obersalzberg (Hitler's summer residence).

Have they really done it?

Unlike Hitler's Berghof, the Platterhof was never severely damaged in WWII and was used as a hotel by the US occupiers after the war. When they gave it back to Bavaria, soon plans came up to destroy it. There should be nothing left to remind people of the architectural excellence in the Third Reich.

Under the Platterhof, a huge bunker system was dug into the mountain, connected with other sub-surface bunkers (e.g. those of the SS-Kaserne).

What happended to those bunkers?

Ken Jasper
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Post by Ken Jasper » 25 Jul 2002 03:59

The bunkers are probably still thee, but everything above ground is gone and a large convertion center has been or is being built there. One used to be able to enter part of the bunkers via the Hotel Walker (former Platterhof) and via the Gasthaus Zum Turken (which was Gestapo Hqs during the Third Reich. When the US Army controlled the area, most of the bunkers and ruins were Off Limits for fear of cave-ins. The area was used for recreation with sking in the winter and golf in the summer. In 1973, when they were putting in a new ski lift, the engineers broke through the ceiling of a bunker which had been sealed ooff (by debris) since 1945. The ski patrolmen (US soldiers) used to conduct "bunker parties" at night in the tunnels until the MPs found out about them ahd closed the access off. The GIs came out of the bunke with all sorts of artifacts. I know, I was there! 8)

Additional bunkers were under the kaserne in Stangass just outside of Berchtesgaden. This area served as the Reichs Chancelery when Hitler was on the Obesalzburg. Goering also had a house on this kaserne. When the area was a US Forces Recreation Center, the Army Hqs building was the building used as the Chancelery during the Third Reich. The large concrete eagle, sans swastika, was still ovwer the door and is there today, I believe. In 1974-75, the staff of the magazine After the Battle visited the kaserne and received permission from the base commander (Colonel Bennett) to enter the bunkers under the HQs builidng. They found many documents, but little else. Their visit was the subject of an issue of the magazine.

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Geli
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Post by Geli » 25 Jul 2002 04:25

They give tours of the bunkers now. Check out http://www.eagles-nest.com

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Eva
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Post by Eva » 25 Jul 2002 10:36

They give tours of the bunkers and you can also visit the Kelsteinhaus ("eagle's nest") which is about the only other evidence of the Third Reich still standing in the area.
I was there right at 3 weeks ago. We missed the bunkers, unfortunately, because we weren't aware that the tours only run at certain times of the day and due to a train problem leaving Salzburg that morning, we weren't able to make the last one. The Kelsteinhaus is incredible, and entirely worth the 12 euro we spent (each) to get to it. I was, however, mildly disappointed to find that it now operates as a restaurant. There is not a single stick of original furniture in the building, the terrace (with the arches) has been enclosed in glass and is where they air out their laundry (no joke!). The marble fireplace is stuffed full of boxes of sundries and has been chipped at over the years by eager souvenier hunters. And there are TWO gift shops: one in the large meeting room, and one in a hut outside.
It was very hard to get a peoper historical perspective on the place when you had to dodge waiters to get a good picture of the wooden plaque on the outside wall (one of the few remaining things original to the building). But it was still worth it!
EB

Reichsadler
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Obersalzberg

Post by Reichsadler » 25 Jul 2002 14:25

Yip, the Kehlsteinhaus is very impressive. It's a shame they don't treat it as a monument but as some cheap fast food inn...

And what a pity they demolished the Platterhof! For some super-sucky new crap architecture i suppose.....

As they did with the former Gästehaus (beneath the Platterhof). It was surviving heavily destroyed until the mid-1990s when some politicians throught they have to rebuild it completely as a museum for Third Reich-history or something. So they teared down the walls, left only the basement and built new floors upon the remainings. You can already guess that what they built was horrible modern crap.

Everybody visiting that area: Check out the bunkers! They are great! At least they couldn't destroy THEM...

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Gott
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Post by Gott » 25 Jul 2002 16:30

last time I drove up to the mountains and couldn't find it, so I asked the locals where is it, and they said it doesn't exist anymore.

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Geoff Walden
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Obersalzberg now - everything you want to know

Post by Geoff Walden » 25 Jul 2002 22:49

The old historical Obersalzberg is disappearing very quickly. Everything you want to know about the current status (up-to-date to last week, including photos) is at this site:

http://www.reichinruins.simonides.org/index.htm

Scroll down to the entry for Berchtesgaden/Obersalzberg, start surfing, and prepare to be very disappointed with what the powers-that-be are doing there now.

Geoff Walden

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Geli
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Post by Geli » 25 Jul 2002 22:53

It really gets my goat when historical sites are torn down! :x

Still, it's amazing that the tea house is still there at all.

Ken Jasper
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Post by Ken Jasper » 26 Jul 2002 00:41

The teahouse is too profitable as a tourist attraction and restaurant. It will remain. It never ceases to amaze me to see how many historic places are turned into restaurants. At the Mauthausen concentratiom camp outside of Linz, Austria, the former SS Hqs building/Commandant's quarters is now a restaurant!

Ken Jasper
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Post by Ken Jasper » 26 Jul 2002 00:51

On Geoff Walden's excellent site, you can see the building in Stangass that I described in an earlier post. He also shows Strub Kaserne where my office was in a building that onced housed a unit of the Royal Bavarian Cavalry.

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White Leopard
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Still...

Post by White Leopard » 26 Jul 2002 02:21

It is surprising that anything was allowed to remain at all. The Berghof was bombed out during the last part of the war. (It would be interesting to hear the military justification for that. But I imagine that it had to do with the Western allies falling for the myth of the "National Redoubt".) What was left was deliberately blown up and leveled by the an anxious Bavarian government in 1952 least it attract undesirable visitors. No doubt some enterprising soul must be grinding his teeth in frustration at the lost dollars that could have been had if it had been salvaged and rebuilt as a guest house. Notorious infamy acts like honey to bees nowdays.

Ken Jasper
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Post by Ken Jasper » 26 Jul 2002 04:13

Actually, it was the US Army Corps of Engineers who blew up the Berghof. I have photos of them doing the deed. A lot of the ruins were still there until at least the ealy 1990s, however, and at least one enterprising U.S. dealer (well-known) visited there in the mid 1990s and brought back bricks and other items which he sold. He also made a video of his visit which he sells today.

In 1974, one of the German employees of the U.S. Facilities Engineers gave me the corner of the marble fireplace from the Berghof. He was part of the demolition team that blew it up and when he saw all of the Amis taking souveniers. he wacked off the corner with a hammer. I have used it as a paper weignt ever since. I have never tried to sell it since I am sure that noone would believe where it originated. I know it is genuine and that is good enough for me.. It is a very nice piece of marble.

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Geli
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Post by Geli » 27 Jul 2002 00:57

So, what did the property look like right after the war, in '45 & '46? Who was occupying it?

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Landser
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To Geoff Walden

Post by Landser » 27 Jul 2002 02:28

Please would you know by any chance what ever happend to Himmlers SS Officers retreat and club in Gmund on Tegernsee.I remember Gen. Patton residing there till his death.It is a quiet impressive place.

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sylvieK4
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Post by sylvieK4 » 27 Jul 2002 15:53

Quote of Eva:

. And there are TWO gift shops: one in the large meeting room, and one in a hut outside.


What are they selling in the gift shops?

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