It is hard to believe, but it has been 40 years since I was here. WW2 was over for 28 years when I was there. At the time, the Army ran about 5-6 hotels, seized from the Nazis, that were open to any serviceman.
Room rate was based on rank, and as an E4 I think I was paying about $4 per night. I was making the princely sum of $400/month. When I had some leave time available (and when my Sgt & CO said it was OK to go) – I’d hop a train for a few days.
All of these hotels are to my understanding gone now – all turned over to the Bavarian government. In the case of the General Walker at Berchtesgaden, it was razed. The bombed out garage, and the remains of Hitler’s house, are long gone.
I decided to show you the good (beautiful), bad (the Nazi Complex) and the ugly (Dachau).
What you see above was, to me, the most beautiful town in Bavaria – Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Site of the 1936 Winter Olympics, you’ll see the ice rink from that time. If you look carefully at the above picture, the sign is pointing to the “Eisstadion” – Ice Stadium.
Here’s the hotel at Garmisch….
…The Zugspitze – a mountain peak that borders Germany and Austria – the highest mountain in Germany at 2,962 meters
From the 1920s, Hitler and the Nazis liked an area right about Berchtesgaden (about a 10 minute ride up a hill) – “Obersaltzberg” – literally, “Over Salzberg” – one can see the Austrian town of Salzberg from in the distance….Here is a map of the Nazi’s complex – virtually all of it destroyed in the war..
This was one of the Army’s hotels – the “General Walker” – it was taken over from the Nazis – the former Platterhof – used to house visiting SS I believe.
While the following wasn’t a formal tour, if you asked the people at the desk nicely they would let you go downstairs into the entryway of the air raid tunnels – once lined with marble but stripped by the townspeople after the war. This complex connected all the houses of the Nazis such as Goering, Hitler, Goebbels…now just a dark passageway of concrete tunnels…
All I have on the inscription (of the original slide) was that this was a hotel Hitler used in the 1920s..
The remains of a bombed-out garage 28 years prior…This was next door to the Platterhoff
All that remained, in 1973, of Hitler’s House “Der Berghof” – it was bombed, then dynamited by the allies in 1945. But here it is in 1936. …
…an air raid tunnel exit…
The site of Hermann Goerings House – looking at the Rosenfeld (note the bomb crater)
I think the “Eagle’s Nest” – on the “Kehlstein” peak – – if these old brain cells are functioning, it was built for Hitler as a birthday present and visited exactly twice….memorable for me was the elevator shaft carved out of the granite for 100s of feet . You can just barely see it on the peak.
Looking in the opposite direction from the Eagles Nest on Mt Kehlstein
…”an old Hotel For Nazis” – that’s what I write 40 years ago and that’s all I can remember
…The KonigSee (literally King Lake) outside Berchtesgaden. They had these electric boats that would take you out – the boats had been around since the early 1900s – the guide would blow a horn – and you would listen to the echo back and forth among the mountains – 5-6 times. It was a memorable ride.
On another trip a Sgt Friend (Al Graffenreid?), and another friend (Steve Connell) got into the Sgt’s Ford Van (with a 351) – blew down the autobahn and some hours later stopped in Munich.
Dachau – I will just present without comment except for the “bunks” you see how they were originally and as the war progressed – just to house sick, emaciated bodies. It was maybe a 20-30 minute drive outside of Munich.
…and the ugly…
…we stopped at the Olympic Stadium. I think it was less than a year since the terrorist attack and it was an eerie feeling…
If you go to Munich – it is a fun town – you have to stop at their technical museum. And what post to the Lexicans would be complete without at least a bit of aviation – the first picture is the Me163 Komet – Famed RAF test Pilot Eric Brown toured the Luftwaffe fields after the war and I was impressed by what he had to say
If Germany had an answer to the DC3, it had to be the Junkers Ju-52. Affectionately known by her pilots as “Tante Ju” (Auntie Ju (pronounced “You”) It was the familiar trimotor you have seen – here is the interior.