Where exactly is Lichterfelde Barracks?

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philipp0408
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Re: Berlin barracks

Post by philipp0408 » 04 Aug 2005 23:07

Radar wrote:Hallo Apache,

This must be the area in Berlin. May be philipp0408 can point out which buildings he is talking about. The picture is from the programm D-Sat3.

Radar
yes thats the whole Area. There was stationed the LSSAH. Right above the Finkelsteinalle you can see the assembling point. Left of it, what looks like an american football mus be the church or chapel, when I remember right. The whole area is big and I cant rember all, because I only went to the building, where the SS and NSDAP-membership files are located. Also it was dark, because it was winter.

Regards Philipp who is still searching for the paper of the full history of this complex

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apache
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Post by apache » 05 Aug 2005 03:52

^^^^^ hey guys thats some good stuff !!!! :wink:

Frederick L Clemens
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Post by Frederick L Clemens » 05 Aug 2005 21:01

Here's some more basic info on the Lichterfelde barracks. I lived there from 1980-83 in the US Army and have done a lot of research on it, haven't gotten around to doing a book on it, but maybe someday.

It was originally built to be the new Hauptkadettenanstalt in the 1880's. The location in Lichterfelde was intended to be rural so that the cadets would not be distracted or corrupted by big city influences. (Ironically. Himmler showed the same concern for the conscripts of Jahrgang 1928 in 1945. Let's make sure our cannon fodder stays pure! Ha, ha!)
Lichterfelde was relatively rural at the time, the name itself suggests open fields. As urbanization continued, Lichterfelde became known as Gross-Lichterfelde as other smaller communities were absorbed. Later, Berlin absorbed the surrounding districts, including Lichterfelde into Gross-Berlin. Notice a pattern, yet? When Germany absorbed Austria, it became Gross-Deutschland!! Voila!
The HKA was known for its red brick construction and for the church on its grounds which was also attended by the local population. The overall design was of a typical Imperial regiment barracks with four battalion blocks grouped in pairs and a drill ground behind them.
The HKA was dissolved after WW1 as part of the Versailles Treaty conditions. During the Weimar Republic, the HKA was reformed as a Stabila (Staatliche Bildungsanstalt), basically a cadet academy without the military element.
With the arrival of Hitler, the barracks was occupied by the police unit (zbV Wecke) which eventually became the Hermann Goering unit. Later, the LAH was founded there and shared the barracks. The HG unit moved out when new barracks were built in Bln-Reinickendorf.
The LAH made some architectural changes to the barracks which updated the look to the Third Reich style from the Imperial. The main changes were to the entrance and the addition of a swimming pool which was used for Olympic training. (Previously, the cadets used a nearby location on the Teltow canal for swimming.)
During the war, the barracks served as the administrative headquarters for the LAH, but the expansion of the regiment into a division meant that the LAH had outgrown the barracks and plans were made for a larger barracks as part of the post-war pompous reconstruction of Berlin. Also, as the bombing of Berlin increased, the training units at Lichterfelde were moved to the outskirts, such as Spreenhagen.
The Battle of Berlin saw some fighting at the barracks which apparently led to a lot of destruction there. I have not found any in-depth description of the fighting there, however it is clear that the LAH did not defend the barracks, they were pulled out to defend the Zitadelle under Mohnke. The defenders may have been a mix of Army and Volkssturm.
The Russians turned over the barracks to the Americans on 4 Jul 45 in a ceremony. The Americans made many changes to the buildings during their occupation through the fall of the Wall.

Looking at the aerial photo, I will note the highlights:
- The photo can be divided in half with the top half being the original area of the Hauptkadettenanstalt and the bottom half being the area of open training grounds and stables/motor pools.
- Starting at the top, the pattern of grid markings is the small parade ground at the entrance along Finckensteinallee. The grid appearance was added during the LAH period. The large building on the left side of that ground is the Schwimmhalle. The small red-roofed building to the right is the chapel added by the Americans. The large building at the bottom of that square is a general purpose building which was expanded by the LAH and refaced to include the large eagle and LAH name. In the far right corner is a motor pool area used by the Americans for Combat Engineer vehicles.
- At the lower level of the top photo half is the barracks area. Unfortunately, only one of the original four HKA barracks surrives. It is located on the right and is C-Shaped. Note that even this building was damaged and the left-leg of the C has been reconstructed. Its mirror-image C-shaped barracks with the white roof is a modern barracks opened around 1982. I lived in both buildings. Over to the left, are two sets of linear barracks buildings where the other two original HKA barracks were. These linear barracks were built by the Americans sometime in the early post-war (50's or 60's). Note that the original HKA church was located at the bottom of the top half between what were the two sets of C barracks.
- In the bottom half of the photo there is the open training area along with a sports field on the right. Further down are the motor vehicle sheds. There was reportedly an underground shooting range (probably just for pistols and KK-rifles) at the barracks, but I never heard of its location. It may well have been in the basement of one of the buildings or perhaps next to the sports area. The surrounding populated area did not allow for open air shooting on the barracks grounds.
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apache
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Post by apache » 06 Aug 2005 19:40

thanks for pointing all that stuff out which i would have otherwise been clueless too! :D


So the LSSAH cadets were able to do motorized training on the grounds? is the area large enough?

Also didnt the Barracks have names, such as one of them being named after hitler, another one named after H wessel or something im sorry im a little blurred on the names. Do u know the names of the barrakcs?

So if a LSSAH soldier served in the war for a while then went to officer training would he go to Lichterfelde?

One more question, how far away form like downtowm berlin is lichterfelde?

Thnx for all the info.

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Post by Frederick L Clemens » 06 Aug 2005 23:12

No problem.

Don't confuse LAH with cadets. The cadets were there during the Imperial HKA period while the students at the Stabila were like boarding school students. The LAH were soldiers of all ranks.

I have seen pictures of LAH motorcycle troops on the large training ground between the barracks and the motor stables. I doubt much more than very basic driver training took place there. But that's a good point since there was a WSS Kraftfahr Ersatz Abteilung (separate from LAH) at the barracks during the war. There must have been a driver training course nearby.

You are right, the four Wohnblocks had names. I believe the four were Hindenburg, Hitler, Horst Wessel and Goering. For example, the Hindenburg one was referred to as the Hindenburg-Block. I have not nailed down which was which.

Lichterfelde did not have a officer's training course. The officer candidates were sent to the same schools as other WSS, Tolz, Braunschweig, etc.

A soldier at Lichterfelde could travel downtown by bus or train in under an hour if he timed it right.

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apache
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Post by apache » 07 Aug 2005 18:40

Frederick L Clemens wrote:No problem.

Don't confuse LAH with cadets. The cadets were there during the Imperial HKA period while the students at the Stabila were like boarding school students. The LAH were soldiers of all ranks.

I have seen pictures of LAH motorcycle troops on the large training ground between the barracks and the motor stables. I doubt much more than very basic driver training took place there. But that's a good point since there was a WSS Kraftfahr Ersatz Abteilung (separate from LAH) at the barracks during the war. There must have been a driver training course nearby.

You are right, the four Wohnblocks had names. I believe the four were Hindenburg, Hitler, Horst Wessel and Goering. For example, the Hindenburg one was referred to as the Hindenburg-Block. I have not nailed down which was which.

Lichterfelde did not have a officer's training course. The officer candidates were sent to the same schools as other WSS, Tolz, Braunschweig, etc.

A soldier at Lichterfelde could travel downtown by bus or train in under an hour if he timed it right.

Fantastic thanx for all the info its appreciated!

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Re: Berlin barracks

Post by Max Williams » 09 Aug 2005 11:59

Radar wrote:Hallo Apache,

This must be the area in Berlin. May be philipp0408 can point out which buildings he is talking about. The picture is from the programm D-Sat3.

Radar
The area roughly comprising the top half of this image is the LAH Lichterfelde Barracks area. The main parade square can be seen in front of the admin building. On the left of the photo (the elongated grey building) is the swimming pool. Behind the admin building (slightly to the left) are the barracks. To the right are the original army officer cadet buildings, dating from Prussian times. Further down, towards the centre of the image, are the buildings (lighter coloured grey roofs) which house the Bundesarchiv holdings and the reading room.
Max.

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apache
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Post by apache » 09 Aug 2005 17:13

Army officer cadet buildings? i thought lichterfelde didnt train officers. Did these just house officers?

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Post by Frederick L Clemens » 09 Aug 2005 18:18

Don't be confused by what Max History wrote, stick with what I wrote. Any reference to cadets is a reference to the Imperial period and only one original cadet barracks survives in that photo.

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apache
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Post by apache » 09 Aug 2005 21:50

Frederick L Clemens wrote:Don't be confused by what Max History wrote, stick with what I wrote. Any reference to cadets is a reference to the Imperial period and only one original cadet barracks survives in that photo.
will do :D

fred. l clemens do u have any idea to how long the training period, from the time a recruit arrived at lichterfelde the first day, till the time he would be ready to be deployed upon graduation to the division's (or in 1939-40 i think it was a motorcycle bat.) front line units.

Lets say a recruit went mid 1939 would he be able to take part in the May 1940 invasions on the west. How long is this training period and what all does it contain. I imagine weapons familiarization, marksmanship training, mechanincs for the fact that LSSAH was motorized, ideological stuff and info on hitlers life, etc?

Also, in the LSSAH training, where did the men practice live fire training. Surely not at Lichterfelde.

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ss Barracks in Nuernberg

Post by morgenrote » 13 Aug 2005 22:02

I'm searching where ss barracks in Nuernberg were exactly during the third reich. In the Reichparteitaggelaende there is nowadays only the incomplete Kongresshalle - dokuzentrum as museum of this area.

Thanks a lot

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Landser
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Post by Landser » 14 Aug 2005 23:17

A friend who lives nearby but originate from Berlin,joined in 1938 LSSAH as 18 year old one.He had 6 month basic training in Lichterfelde which was at that time geared to the Standarte's pupose,a security and ceremonial unit.Accor. to him the last phase ( about 2 weeks) was weapons training. Marching,marching every day to perfection was what was wanted of them at the time.
He showed me pics with him in formation from newspapers and magazines went around the world.
The one, he is kind of proud of, is him showing with Molotow and others,in the same shot, when arriving in Berlin.

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apache
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Post by apache » 15 Aug 2005 04:10

Landser wrote:A friend who lives nearby but originate from Berlin,joined in 1938 LSSAH as 18 year old one.He had 6 month basic training in Lichterfelde which was at that time geared to the Standarte's pupose,a security and ceremonial unit.Accor. to him the last phase ( about 2 weeks) was weapons training. Marching,marching every day to perfection was what was wanted of them at the time.
He showed me pics with him in formation from newspapers and magazines went around the world.
The one, he is kind of proud of, is him showing with Molotow and others,in the same shot, when arriving in Berlin.

so it was like a 6month basic training session and then theyre shipped to the unit?

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Landser
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Post by Landser » 15 Aug 2005 06:46

Apache
He was not shipped anywhere,he was only assigned to an active unit,with duties of a Wachbatallion.Anyway he pulled guard and parade duties till sometime in 1940.He did partissipate in the Westfeldzug and anywhere the LSS fought to the end.He ended as a Oberscharführer and was twiced wounded.

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Re: Where exactly is Lichterfelde Barracks?

Post by afgolick » 15 Mar 2009 21:10

Central South of the old west Berlin. In Lichterfelde West, on the west side of the river that divides both Lichterfelde Ost from Lichterfelde West. Both were in West Berlin on either side of the river.

due south of the Tiergarten in Berlin's center, several miles. Lichterfelde is very close to a main street called Hindenburgdamn, that runs north south from the center of Berlin to the grenze of Berlin.

The river is small and runs from the north east river called the Rummelsburgersee to the west to the Griebnitzsee in the western part of the old West Berlin, not far from the Templinersee. Lichterfelde is not downtown, but a village inside the city. Residential buildings. You would not expect to find a Kasserne here, especially or training cadets, the original intention. The pool had some grim history at the end of the war. The Russian slaughtered quite a few folk in Lichterfelde along with some of the remaining Kadeten and dropped in the pool for the U.S. Army folks to clean up. Lichterfelde was a great place to spend time in the U.S. Army. Huge pool, nice facilities, most of the chaps were educated in languages and worked for the NSA. It was not like being in any army post I ever knew. You could escape and hide from lifers easily. Certainly lots to do, and the girls married a lot of our fellows. The University in Dahlem was nearby, you could take courses, etc. The credits were not much good though, since at some point in 1968 the students (fascisits) took over the school, kicked out the professors and started to teach themselves. That's when I moved up to Shoeneberg (where JFK had said: "Ich ben doch Berliner." and bought a restaurant, a second job to the U.S. Army.

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