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Hitler's Alpine Headquarters, James Wilson

Hitler's Alpine Headquarters, James Wilson


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Hitler's Alpine Headquarters, James Wilson

Hitler's Alpine Headquarters, James Wilson

This book is a photographic history of the Nazi party's building works in Munich and in the Berchtesdagen and Obersalzberg, mainly using contemporary German postcards as its source. These postcards are fascinating, and give a good idea of the sort of propaganda that the German people were exposed to. They are generally well reproduced, and the author is clearly very knowledgeable about his topic, having worked as a tour guide in the area.

The downside is an utterly infuriating text. In the introduction the author makes two competing claims - first that he intends to 'present the facts and to allow the reader to draw their own conclusion' and second that each captions has been composed in a ' deliberate effort on my part in an attempt to replicate how these images would have been presented to the German public and the rest of the world at the time of their original release'. In my view he fails totally in the first effort, but does succeed in the second.

As a result there is very little balance in the captions. The many staged pictures of Hitler with children are taken at face value, when so many other sources confirm that Hitler was almost always awkward around children. A picture of the marble clad 'Great Hall' of the reconstructed Berghof is followed by a claim that there was 'nothing ostentatious' about the massive Nazi construction effort. The 4 miles of tunnels and bunkers built under the area are described as 'almost inconceivable that so much could have been achieved in so little time', clearly underestimating how much work 3,000 workers could do in twenty months! At the same time this rather disproves the idea that the generally positive tone of the captions is meant to reflect how they would have been seen at the time, as these areas were entirely secret. A visit to the buried command bunker was described as 'a treat', a really odd tone to take for a military facility designed to control the Nazi war machine. One hopes that this reflects the enthusiasm of a tour guide discovering a hidden area.

The best way to view the text is to see it as an example of the sort of propaganda that the German people would have been exposed to in the pre-war period. If that approach is taken then the pictures can be appreciated as a valuable historical record.

Chapters (four sections with many subsections)
Section One - early history
Section Two - Berghof as secondary seat of government
Section Three - The Buildings
Section Four - People at the Obersalzberg

Author: James Wilson
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2013 edition of 2005 original



Berghof (residence)

The Berghof was Adolf Hitler's home in the Obersalzberg of the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany. Other than the Wolfsschanze ("Wolf's Lair"), his headquarters in East Prussia for the invasion of the Soviet Union, he spent more time here than anywhere else during World War II. It was also one of the most widely known of his headquarters, [1] which were located throughout Europe.

The Berghof was rebuilt and renamed in 1935 and was Hitler's vacation residence for ten years. It was damaged by British bombs in late April 1945, and again in early May by retreating SS troops, and it was looted after Allied troops reached the area. The Bavarian government demolished the burned shell in 1952.


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Hitler’s Alpine Headquarters looks at the development of the Obersalzberg from a small, long established farming community into Hitler’s country residence and the Nazis’ southern headquarters. Introducing new images and additional text, this book is a much-expanded sequel to the author’s acclaimed Hitler’s Alpine Retreat. It explains how and why Hitler chose this area to build a home and his connection to this region.

New chapters focus on buildings and individuals of Hitler’s inner circle not covered in the earlier book. The development of the region is extensively covered by use of contemporary propaganda postcards and accompanying detailed text, allowing the reader to view the subject matter as it was presented to the masses at that time. With over 300 images and three maps, and the opportunity to compare a number of “then and now” images, the story of Hitler’s southern headquarters is brought to life through this extensive coverage.

Two seasons as an expert tour guide specializing in the history of the region during the Third Reich period allowed the author to carry out his own detailed research. There is an interview with a local man, who, as a small boy was photographed with Hitler, together with comments gathered during a recent meeting with Rochus Misch who served on Hitler’s staff.

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“A photographic history of the Nazi party’s building works in Munich and in the Berchtesgaden and Obersalzberg . . . These postcards are fascinating” (HistoryOfWar.org).

Hitler’s Alpine Headquarters looks at the development of the Obersalzberg from a small, long established farming community into Hitler’s country residence and the Nazis’ southern headquarters. Introducing new images and additional text, this book is a much-expanded sequel to the author’s acclaimed Hitler’s Alpine Retreat. It explains how and why Hitler chose this area to build a home and his connection to this region.

New chapters focus on buildings and individuals of Hitler’s inner circle not covered in the earlier book. The development of the region is extensively covered by use of contemporary propaganda postcards and accompanying detailed text, allowing the reader to view the subject matter as it was presented to the masses at that time. With over 300 images and three maps, and the opportunity to compare a number of “then and now” images, the story of Hitler’s southern headquarters is brought to life through this extensive coverage.

Two seasons as an expert tour guide specializing in the history of the region during the Third Reich period allowed the author to carry out his own detailed research. There is an interview with a local man, who, as a small boy was photographed with Hitler, together with comments gathered during a recent meeting with Rochus Misch who served on Hitler’s staff.

“An interesting and captivating book. The author has given the material an excellent treatment and there are numerous period photographs which serve to show the subject in its ‘original’ state.” —Military Archive Research


Contents

The Kehlsteinhaus sits on a ridge atop the Kehlstein, a 1,834 m (6,017 ft) subpeak of the Hoher Göll that rises above the town of Berchtesgaden. It was commissioned by Martin Bormann in the summer of 1937. Paid for by the Nazi Party, it was completed in 13 months. Twelve workers died during its construction. [3]

A 4 m (13 ft) wide approach road climbs 800 m (2,600 ft) over 6.5 km (4.0 mi) it includes five tunnels and one hairpin turn, and cost RM 30 million to build (about €150 million inflation-adjusted for 2007). Hitler's birthday in April 1939 was considered a deadline for the project's completion, so work continued throughout the winter of 1938, even at night with the worksite lit by searchlights. [4]

From a large car park, a 124 m (407 ft) entry tunnel leads to an ornate elevator that ascends the final 124 m (407 ft) to the building. [5] The tunnel is lined with marble and was originally heated, with warm air from an adjoining service tunnel. However it was normal for visiting high-officials to be driven through the tunnel to the elevator. Their driver would then have to reverse the car for the entire length of the tunnel as there was no space to turn. [4]

The inside of the large elevator is surfaced with polished brass, Venetian mirrors, and green leather. The building's main reception room is dominated by a fireplace of red Italian marble presented by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, which was damaged by Allied soldiers chipping off pieces to take home as souvenirs. The building had a completely electric appliance kitchen, which was unusual in 1937, but was never used to cook meals instead meals were prepared in town and taken to the kitchen on the mountain top to be reheated. [4] The building also has heated floors, with heating required for at least two days before visitors arrived. A MAN submarine diesel engine and an electrical generator were installed in an underground chamber close to the main entrance, to provide back-up power. [4]

Much of the furniture was designed by Paul László.

Hitler first visited on September 16, 1938, and returned to inaugurate it on April 20, 1939, his 50th birthday—though it was not intended as a birthday gift. [6]

There are two ways to approach and enter the building: the road and the Kehlsteinhaus elevator. Hitler did not trust the elevator, continually expressed his reservations of its safety, and disliked using it his biggest fear was that the elevator's winch mechanism on the roof would attract a lightning strike. Bormann took great pains to never mention the two serious lightning strikes that occurred during construction. [2]

The Kehlsteinhaus lies several miles directly above the Berghof, Hitler's summer home. In a rare diplomatic engagement, Hitler received departing French ambassador André François-Poncet on October 18, 1938, here. It was he who coined the name "Eagle's Nest" for the building while later describing the experience this has since become a commonly used name for the Kehlsteinhaus. [4]

A wedding reception for Eva Braun's sister Gretl was held there following her marriage to Hermann Fegelein on June 3, 1944. While Hitler more often than not left the entertaining duties to others, he believed the house presented an excellent opportunity to entertain important and impressionable guests. [2]

Referred to as the "D-Haus", short for "Diplomatic Reception House", the Kehlsteinhaus is often conflated with the teahouse on Mooslahnerkopf Hill near the Berghof, [7] which Hitler walked to daily after lunch. [8] The teahouse was demolished by the Bavarian government after the war, due to its connection to Hitler. [9]

The Kehlsteinhaus was an aiming point for the April 25, 1945 Bombing of Obersalzberg. This was a Royal Air Force bombing raid conducted by No. 1, No. 5, and No. 8 Group and No. 617 Squadron. [10] The small house proved an elusive target for the force of 359 Avro Lancasters and 16 de Havilland Mosquitoes, which bombed and severely damaged the Berghof area instead.

It is uncertain which Allied military unit was the first to reach the Kehlsteinhaus. The matter is compounded by popular confusion of it and the town of Berchtesgaden taken on May 4 by forward elements of the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division of XV Corps of the U.S. Seventh Army of the Sixth Army Group. [11] [12] [a]

Reputedly, members of the 7th went as far as the elevator to the Kehlsteinhaus, [11] with at least one person claiming that he and a partner continued on to the top. [15] In a Library of Congress interview and more recent interviews, Herman Louis Finnell of the 3rd Infantry Division said that his regiment entered the Berghof, not the Kehlsteinhaus. [16]

However, the 101st Airborne maintains it was first both to Berchtesgaden and the Kehlsteinhaus. [17] [ failed verification ] Also, elements of the French 2nd Armored Division, Laurent Touyeras, Georges Buis, and Paul Répiton-Préneuf, were present on the night of May 4 to 5, and took several photographs before leaving on May 10 at the request of U.S. command. [18] [19] and so say the numerous testimonies of the Spanish soldiers who went along with them.

Undamaged in the April 25 bombing raid, the Kehlsteinhaus was subsequently used by the Allies as a military command post until 1960, when it was handed back to the State of Bavaria.

Today the building is owned by a charitable trust, and serves as a restaurant offering indoor dining and an outdoor beer garden. It is a popular tourist attraction to those who are attracted by the historical significance of the "Eagle's Nest". The road has been closed to private vehicles since 1952 because it is too dangerous, but the house can be reached on foot (in two hours) from Obersalzberg, or by bus from the Documentation Center there. The Documentation Centre currently directs visitors to the coach station where tickets are purchased. The bus ticket is ostensibly an entry ticket as it permits the holder entry to the building's elevator. The buses have special modifications to take on a slight angle, as the steep road leading to the peak is too steep for regular vehicles. The Kehlsteinhaus itself does not mention much about its past, except in the photos displayed and described along the wall of the sun terrace that documents its pre-construction condition until now. [20]

Informal tours of the Kehlsteinhaus are available to be booked through the official website. Due to concern about neo-Nazis and post-war Nazi sympathizers, no external guides are permitted to conduct tours.

The lower rooms are not part of the restaurant but can be visited with a guide. They offer views of the building's past through plate-glass windows. Graffiti left by Allied troops is still clearly visible in the surrounding woodwork. The red Italian marble fireplace remains damaged by Allied souvenir hunters, though this was later halted by signage posted that the building was U.S. government property, and damage to it was cause for disciplinary action. [20] Hitler's small study is now a storeroom for the cafeteria.

A trail leads above the Kehlsteinhaus towards the Mannlgrat ridge reaching from the Kehlstein to the summit of the Hoher Göll. The route, which is served by a Klettersteig, is regarded as the easiest to the top. [21]


  • A new book 'Hitler's Alpine Headquarters' features a collection of rare Nazi propaganda shots from the 1930s
  • The Fuhrer is captured socialising with families and supporters in the snaps taken near his vacation home
  • Haus Wachenfeld later known as Berghof is where Hitler spent more time than anywhere else during WWII

Published: 11:30 BST, 31 March 2017 | Updated: 15:53 BST, 31 March 2017

Rare images of Adolf Hitler socialising with children and supporters at his notorious Alpine hideaway have emerged.

Capturing the Fuhrer shaking hands with youngsters, relaxing with dogs and even feeding deer, the intimate shots were produced by the Nazi propagandists in a bid to show a gentler side to their leader. The collection appears in a new book ' Hitler's Alpine Headquarters' by James Wilson published by Pen and Sword Books.

Beyond the eerie smiles of adoring families who would gather daily to ask for autographs when Hitler was in residence, the leader can be seen flanked by members of the SS.

Despite its lush mountain setting near Berchtesgaden and the Obersalzberg , the Bavarian cottage, known as Haus Wachenfeld then later Berghof, was emblazoned with swastika flags and Nazi insignia.

Hitler was first introduced to the cottage when visiting his friend and mentor Dietrich Eckart. Eckart, editor of Auf gut Deutsch!, an anti-Semitic periodical, was hiding from authorities at the cottage in 1923. At the end of his visit, Hitler was, in his own words, ‘completely captivated’ by the region, according to Wilson. Back in Munich and later that year, Hitler and the other Nazi leaders found themselves charged with high treason as a result of their unsuccessful attempt to seize power in the Munich Putsch.

Hitler rented the retreat in 1928, then bought and refurbished it with the proceeds from his political manifesto Mein Kampf in 1933. It was renamed Berghof and served as the leader's vacation home for the best part of a decade, often visited by his adoring supporters.

Rare images of Hitler's Alpine Headquarters in Austria were produced by the Nazis to try and show a gentler side to their leader. Realising the appeal of these images Hitler took advantage of every photo opportunity that presented itself. The little girl chosen to be photographed with the Fuhrer appears somewhat bewildered, left. The man in the background is Erich Kempka who held the rank of Lieutenant- Colonel in the SS. Kempka was Hitler's personal chauffeur from 1934 until April 1945. He was captured by US troops in Berchtesgaden on 20 June 1945. Right, an immaculately dressed Gerhard Bartels poses next to Hitler who keeps hold of the boy in case he run off

By engaging this endearing child in this attentive way, Hitler projects the image of a caring and approachable leader a man truly in touch with his people, even with children. The child Rosa Bernile Nienau and her mother, a doctor's widow, visited the Obersalzberg for the first time in 1932. The following year, 1933, when informed that he and the child shared the same birthday, 20th April, Hitler singled her out from the large crowd, invited her up to the house, then walked hand-in-hand with her back to Haus Wachenfeld. Bernile was treated to strawberries and whipped cream on the terrace

Despite its lush mountain setting near Berchtesgade, the Bavarian cottage, known as Haus Wachenfeld, then later Berghof, was emblazoned with swastika flags and Nazi insignia

The propaganda shots try to depict Hitler as a friend to all animals as well as children. Left, he feeds a small deer and right, the resting Fuhrer with his faithful guard dog, Blonda. These photos were carefully staged to present the Fuøhrer as a man who enjoyed the great outdoors

The Berghof was built in 1916 and rented to Hitler in 1928. He then bought the building in 1933 with the proceeds from his political manifesto Mein Kampf, and set about extending it. The vacation home's close proximity to Hotel zum Turken is visible in this snap taken from the hotel's terrace

While accompanied by members of the SS, a fatherly Hitler greets some children selected from the daily gathering on the road near Haus Wachenfeld. The taller girl on the left patiently awaits an opportunity to request Hitler's autograph on the postcard that she carries quite customary on such occasions. In the background stands Hotel zum Turken

Guests by the fence at Obersalzberg are greeted by Hitler for this propaganda snap of the leader on a full charm offensive

Members of the SA and SS accompany the Fuhrer on walkabout as he is greeted by a local child selected from the crowd in the early 1930s. As a smiling Hitler takes the boy's hand the photographer captures a vote-winning image that sets the standard for modern political campaigning

A young admirer requests the Fuhrer's autograph as he gazes back at him tenderly, both surrounded by meadow greenery

The People's Chancellor has been presented with flowers by this local girl who passes them to his SA adjutant, Wilhelm Bruckner the young lady meanwhile appears somewhat awe-stricken by the whole experience. This postcard bears a postmark dated 26th August 1934 when Hitler had recently declared himself Head of the German State following the death, of President von Hindenburg

Left, while out on one of his numerous walks in the area Hitler stops in passing to talk to this small boy. In the background is Geli Raubal, the daughter of Hitler's half-sister Angela, his housekeeper at Haus Wachenfeld. Geli committed suicide in Hitler's Munich flat (while Hitler himself was travelling to Hamburg for a meeting with SA leaders) on the night of 17 September 1931, amid rumours of their having had an affair, though this has never been proved. Following the death of his niece Hitler remained inconsolable for many weeks. Geli Raubal's appearance in this photograph makes this a rare and interesting image furthermore it confirms the time of origination as pre-September 1931. Right, a young lady, who bears a striking resemblance to the girl seen in the previous image poses with Hitler

Haus Wachenfeld photographed in its original rustic state before it became the notorious Nazi headquarters. In this shot, as yet no work has begun. The original path leading to the house can be seen in the foreground. Later, the property would undergo major renovation. The building glimpsed in the background, upper right, is Unterwurflehen, home to SS-Sturmbannfuøhrer Spahn, Obersalzberg administration officer

This photo from the early 1930s presents the house as it would have appeared to Hitler at the time he purchased the property in 1933. As yet there is no evidence of any renovation work having taken place the area to the left of the house remains untouched. His neighbour, Josef Rasp, a farmer was forced off the land and his home was demolished

Adopting a thoughtful pose, the Nazi leader spent more time at the Berghof than anywhere else during World War II. Hitler, posing near the house, gazes thoughtfully across the valley in the direction of his birthplace, Austria, left. On a clear day the city of Salzburg in Austria was visible from Haus Wachenfeld, right

This early image sees a rather uncomfortable looking Hitler attempting to relax with his German shepherd while at Obersalzberg


Contents

The name of the settlement area derives from the rock salt deposits in the former Prince-Provostry of Berchtesgaden. Salt mining at Pherg is documented since the 12th century and a major salt mine opened in 1517. [2] It was destroyed in 1834 but rebuilt and named the "Old Salt Works". The rectangular layout and some components still exist. [3]

The area was part of the provostry's eight localities (so-called Gnotschaften) mentioned in the first land register of 1456 and was ruled by the Augustinian abbey. From 1517 the Petersberg gallery was built, the first of the Berchtesgaden salt mines which became the economic base of the Prince-provostry. The area was annexed by Austria in 1805 and then ruled by France in 1809–1810. With Berchtesgaden it was secularised in 1803 and passed to the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1810. [4]

Salzberg was re-established as a Bavarian municipality in 1817. Plans by Nazi authorities to merge it with Berchtesgaden were not carried out and Salzberg was not incorporated into Berchtesgaden until 1972. It was the scene of the filming of The Sound of Music film's last scene where the von Trapps were escaping into what was thought to be Switzerland and to their freedom. [5]

Hitler's retreat Edit

In 1877 Mauritia Mayer, a pioneer in Alpine tourism, opened the Pension Moritz boarding house in Obersalzberg. In the late 19th century German intellectuals like Mayer's close friend Richard Voss, artists such as Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Joseph Joachim, Peter Rosegger, Ludwig Ganghofer, Ludwig Knaus, and Franz von Lenbach as well as industrialists like Carl von Linde began using the area as both a summer and winter vacation retreat. The Obersalzberg boarding house was leased to the former racing driver Bruno Büchner in the early 1920s. When he acquired the property in 1928, he renamed it Platterhof inspired by Richard Voss' novel Zwei Menschen.

The scenic landscape and sweeping mountain views also attracted Adolf Hitler, who in 1923 visited his fellow party member and anti-semite, Dietrich Eckart at the Obersalzberg boarding house, [6] shortly before the Beer Hall Putsch and his imprisonment at Landsberg. It was in a cabin on the premises where, after his release from custody in 1925, he dictated Part Two of Mein Kampf, which earned him large royalties.

He became so fond of the area that by 1928 he began using his royalty income to rent a small chalet nearby called Haus Wachenfeld [6] from the widow of a Buxtehude manufacturer. Hitler put his half-sister Angela Raubal in charge of the household, together with her daughter Geli.

Several months after the Nazi seizure of power (Machtergreifung) in January 1933, Chancellor Hitler purchased Haus Wachenfeld and began making a series of three important renovations. The first included window shutters and a small office, followed a year later by a winter garden and stonework finally the most extensive in 1935–1936 when the once modest chalet was finally transformed into the sprawling landhaus with a series of extensions, a bowling alley in the cellar, and a giant window that could be lowered to provide a panoramic view. The house became known as the Berghof or Mountain Court in English. [6]

Among other buildings in the area was the Kehlsteinhaus ("the house on Kehlstein mountain", called the "Eagle's Nest" by English speakers) atop the summit of the Kehlstein, a rocky outcrop, that was used for Nazi Party meetings and to host dignitaries the building had no beds. It was presented to Adolf Hitler in 1939, on his 50th birthday, but he only visited the site on 14 occasions, because of a fear of heights among the reasons Eva Braun used it more frequently. [7] [8]

Security zones Edit

Around Hitler's home, several Nazi leaders such as Hermann Göring, Martin Bormann and Albert Speer acquired residences. [9] By 1935–36 Party Secretary Bormann had all residents of Obersalzberg either bought out or evicted, and the area evolved into a retreat for high-level Nazis with a cinema, a school for young children, an SS barracks, and an underground shooting range. Most of the original buildings were demolished. The Berghof became something of a German tourist attraction during the mid-1930s. [10] This led to the introduction of severe restrictions on access to the area and other security measures. A large contingent of the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler were housed in barracks adjacent to the Berghof. Under the command of Obersturmbannführer Bernhard Frank, they patrolled an extensive cordoned security zone that encompassed the nearby homes of the other Nazi leaders. The Obersalzberg area comprised three security zones. [6]

The so-called Führersperrgebiet ("the Führer's autonomous area") shielded Hitler and his staff from public access. Two other security zones protected the heavily expanded SS and SD barracks, support staff, guest houses, underground bunkers, and air raid shelters.

In 1938 Bormann also had the Kehlsteinhaus lodge erected on a rocky promontory, including a lift system from the upper end of the access road. Hitler seldom visited it, though he and his mistress Eva Braun spent much time at Obersalzberg. From 1937 the German Reich Chancellery maintained a second seat in the nearby village of Bischofswiesen with Hitler receiving numerous guests of state at the Berghof.

With the outbreak of war extensive anti-aircraft defences were installed, including smoke generating machines to conceal the Berghof complex from hostile aircraft. Further, the nearby former Hotel zum Türken was turned into quarters to house the Reichssicherheitsdienst (RSD) SS security men who patrolled the grounds of the Berghof. [11] Several Heer mountain troop units were also housed nearby. Hence, the British never planned a direct attack on the compound. [12]

Hitler spent much of August 1939 at the Berghof, making final plans for the invasion of Poland. [6] Hitler's last known visit was on 14 July 1944.

Destruction of the compound Edit

The premises – except for the Kehlsteinhaus – were heavily damaged by an Allied air raid on 25 April 1945. On 4 May, four days after Hitler's suicide in Berlin, retreating SS troops set fire to the villa as Hitler had previously ordered.

Only hours later, the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division arrived at Berchtesgaden along with the French 2nd Armoured Division. The Obersalzberg area was placed under U.S. administration. [6] At the time, the Berghof still contained destroyed paintings, evening gowns, medical equipment, and a wine cellar. [13] [14] The house was looted by American troops.

The Berghof's shell survived and had been attracting tourists until 1952 when the Bavarian government decided to demolish the buildings so they would not become a Nazi shrine. [15] On 30 April, the Berghof, the houses of Göring and Bormann, the SS barracks, the Kampfhäusl, and the teahouse were all destroyed. [16] In total, over 50 Obersalzberg Nazi buildings were destroyed.

Restoration of the area Edit

The Platterhof, which had been a hostel for visitors to the area, was not destroyed since it had been turned into the General Walker Hotel for U.S. troops after the war. It was demolished in 2001. [17]

The nearby Hotel zum Türken, often used by the SS, later occupied by Hitler's bodyguard, and then the Generalmajor of the Police, was badly damaged in 1945. It was rebuilt in 1950 and reopened as a hotel before Christmas. [18] [19]

The nearby Dokumentationszentrum Obersalzberg museum, opened in 1999, provides historical information on the use of the mountainside retreat during the war, and about the history of National Socialism visitors can tour the bunker complex. (Access to the bunkers was closed for construction in September 2017 and remained closed in July 2018 "until further notice".) [20] [21] The museum is operated by the Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute of Contemporary History). [22] [23]

The Berchtesgaden National Park, billed as "the only National Park in the German Alps", was established in 1978 and has gradually become one of Berchtesgaden's largest draws. The park attracts 1.5 million visitors per year. Mass tourism is confined to a few popular spots, leaving the rest to nature-seekers. [24] The trail system covers 250 kilometers (155 miles). [25] [26]

In 1995, the entire area was returned to the Bavarian state government that facilitated the erection of a hotel (operated by the InterContinental Hotels Group, which opened in 2005. [27] [6] Since May 2015, the InterContinental hotel has been renamed the Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden. [28] [29] Other tourist draws are the Königssee, the salt mine where visitors can tour the pumping hall, some tunnels and the museum. [3] The Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest) is open seasonally as a restaurant. [30] [31] During one of the bus trips to the restaurant, visitors can see the ruins of some Third Reich buildings. [32]


HITLER'S ALPINE HEADQUARTERS

Hitler&rsquos Alpine Headquarters look at the development of the Obersalzberg from a small, long established farming community, into Hitler&rsquos country residence and the Nazis&rsquo southern headquarters. Introducing new images and additional text, this book is a much expanded sequel to the author&rsquos acclaimed Hitler&rsquos Alpine Retreat (P & S 2005). This book will appeal to those with a general interest in the Third Reich. It explains how and why Hitler chose this area to build a home and his connection to this region.

New chapters focus on buildings and individuals of Hitler&rsquos inner circle not covered in the earlier book. The development of the region is extensively covered by use of contemporary propaganda postcards and accompanying detailed text. Presenting the history of this region and the many associated important historical moments in contemporary postcards allows the reader to view the subject matter as it was presented to the masses at that time. With over 300 images and three maps, and the opportunity to compare a number of &lsquothen and now&rsquo images, the story of Hitler&rsquos Southern Headquarters is brought to life through this extensive coverage.

Two seasons as an expert tour guide specializing in the history of the region during the Third Reich period allowed the author to carry out his own detailed research. There is an interview with a local man, who, as a small boy was photographed with Hitler, together with comments gathered during a recent meeting with Rochus Misch who served on Hitler&rsquos staff. 256 pages, 300 plus b/w images/8pp color Plates,


Hitler's Alpine Headquarters, James Wilson - History

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Hitler's Alpine Headquarters ePub (82.0 MB) Add to Basket £4.99
Hitler's Alpine Headquarters Kindle (111.8 MB) Add to Basket £4.99

Hitler's Alpine Headquarters look at the development of the Obersalzberg from a small, long established farming community, into Hitler's country residence and the Nazis' southern headquarters. Introducing new images and additional text, this book is a much expanded sequel to the author's acclaimed Hitler's Alpine Retreat (P & S 2005). This book will appeal to those with a general interest in the Third Reich. It explains how and why Hitler chose this area to build a home and his connection to this region.

New chapters focus on buildings and individuals of Hitler's inner circle not covered in the earlier book. The development of the region is extensively covered by use of contemporary propaganda postcards and accompanying detailed text. Presenting the history of this region and the many associated important historical moments in contemporary postcards allows the reader to view the subject matter as it was presented to the masses at that time. With over 300 images and three maps, and the opportunity to compare a number of 'then and now' images, the story of Hitler's Southern Headquarters is brought to life through this extensive coverage.

Five seasons as an expert tour guide specializing in the history of the region during the Third Reich period allowed the author to carry out his own detailed research. There is an interview with a local man, who, as a small boy was photographed with Hitler, together with comments gathered during a recent meeting with Rochus Misch who served on Hitler's staff.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The author's experience as a tour guide in the area that Hitler chose to have his headquarters provided a lot of insight that the reader wouldn't be privy to with another author. This book was very detailed and gives a clear picture of the area for those that do not know much about it.

NetGalley, Cristie Underwood

This is a fascinating work of non-fiction, which I certainly learnt from. The narrative is engaging and accessible, and I would highly recommend it.

NetGalley, Kirsty H

Absolutely fascinating and a really informative read. The addition of lots of pictures helps the reader visualise people and places.

NetGalley, Julianne Freer

The book is a lesson in history, tells stories of A's inner circle the history and their fate - some I already knew, some new to me.
Detailed descriptions of locations in Berchtesgarden, Obersalzberg and other places underlined with postcards and photographs, described in detail, intriguing.
A lesson in history I enjoyed reading.
4,5 Stars.

Netalley, KDRBCK

'Hitler's Alpine Headquarters' mostly covers the development of the Obersalzberg, Germany, Hitler's mountain residence, but also goes into much more detail about Hitler's motivations and the games he was playing throughout his career, in particular his pre-war political career which is essential as it covers how he first discovered Obersalzberg which was later to become one of his favourite places to reside.

Throughout the book are hundreds of postcard photos which the author goes into much detail behind the scenes, to call them descriptions would be understating the work and effort James Wilson has spent with this project, he covers not only the history of the photos he includes but many of the biographies of the people and places in great detail. James mentions in the introduction that he spent time as a guide around the area covered in this book and it really shows much of the detail could only be sourced from a lot of research.

With the amount of photos included in the book I'd highly recommend purchasing a physical copy of the book where possible, but regardless of which version you opt for I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing interest in the war. The photo postcards in this book are fascinating and is a window to this dark period of world history.

NetGalley, Sheldon Mason

Really enjoyed reading this book. It gave a lot of insight and information that I didn’t know. The book was a wealth of knowledge. It was very well written. Nicely done.

NetGalley, Lisa Houston

This book is a photographic history of the Nazi party's building works in Munich and in the Berchtesdagen and Obersalzberg, mainly using contemporary German postcards as its source. These postcards are fascinating, and give a good idea of the sort of propaganda that the German people were exposed to. They are generally well reproduced, and the author is clearly very knowledgeable about his topic.

History of War


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