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Inside Hitler's bunker

Article about: Great photos by the first american to enter Hitler's bunker LIFE: Hitler's Bunker | Photo Gallery - Yahoo! News Canada

  1. #21

    Default Re: Inside Hitler's bunker

    Quote by helmetone View Post
    I wonder if it would have all been destroyed had the American/British/French forces been able to seize hold of the bunker, etc, much like the Eagle's Nest.
    Berchtesgaden does not bear much resemblance to how it looked in 1945.
    Many building have been demolished there too. Not just from the bombing during the war - also post war.

    Here a swift run-down of the changes:

    Because the Allies feared in 1945 that Hitler would leave Berlin and set up an "Alpine Redoubt" to continue the war from the mountains, the Royal Air Force bombed the Obersalzberg complex on 25 April 1945. Many of the buildings were substantially destroyed, and looting by local residents, then by the Allied occupation troops tended to complete the job. One of the conditions for the return of the Obersalzberg to German control in 1952 was the destruction of the remaining ruins. Accordingly, the ruins of Hitler’s Berghof, Bormann’s and Göring’s houses, the SS barracks complex, and other associated buildings were blown up and bulldozed away. The Kehlsteinhaus was saved, because it had not been bombed (although it was on the target list, it was apparently too small to spot and hit) and the Bavarian government recognized its tourism potential.

    However, the U.S. Army had appropriated several of the less damaged and intact buildings for use as soldier recreation facilities, and these were maintained until 1995 by the Armed Forces Recreation Center. The key building was the remodeled Platterhof, renamed the General Walker Hotel. The Gutshof (estate farm) was turned into a sports lodge and golf course, and several hotels in Berchtesgaden itself were reserved for American soldiers. The Obersalzberg building ruins that had not been destroyed were left substantially as they remained after the 1951-52 destruction, and guided tours were available to these and the underground tunnel and bunker complex at the General Walker Hotel.

    Since the return to German control in 1996, the fate of the remaining Obersalzberg buildings and ruins has been problematic. The garage to Hitler’s Berghof, which escaped the 1952 destruction, was removed shortly after the turnover (or at least broken up, and the remains buried); however, parts of the Berghof still remain (as shown below). The Platterhof / Gen. Walker Hotel was razed in late 2000 - only a side building remains. In 2001-2002 the remains of the SS Kaserne and adjacent buildings were torn out of the ground, and a luxury hotel was built near the site of Göring's and Bormann's houses. The Berchtesgadener Hof hotel was torn down in 2006, and the ruins of the Mooslahnerkopf Teehaus were also removed in 2006. Apparently further destruction of the historic buildings and sites will continue in the future. However, in late 1999 the Bavarian government opened a Documentation Center in the rebuilt Gästehaus Hoher Göll, with displays on the Obersalzberg under the Third Reich and the Holocaust. Entrance to the Documentation Center includes entrance to the Platterhof tunnel complex. The government has proudly reported the increasing visitor numbers each year. Bus tours to the Kehlsteinhaus (several daily from May-October) are full during nice weather, and another popular stop is the Hotel Zum Türken, where a different part of the tunnel complex can be toured. History minded tourists will continue to visit the Obersalzberg because of what happened there from 1933-1945, regardless of the further destruction of the area sites.


    Obersalzberg Information Update, as of June 2002 - If you ever plan to visit the Obersalzberg sites, I'd advise you to do it soon. As stated above, the Platterhof is now gone, except for the side building and terraces. The site is to be leveled off and turned into a parking lot. The contractor for the Bavarian government is in the process of tearing out all remaining ruins of the SS-Kaserne, Kindergarten, and Modellhaus/Film Archiv. The Hintereck cafe/kiosk will be removed, and the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle's Nest) bus ticket building moved to the site of the Platterhof garage. A modern hotel is to be built on the former Göringhügel hill, overlooking the site of Landhaus Göring (the location was staked out in 2001, and excavation began in 2002 - construction of this hotel may entail removal of the greenhouse ruins and observation tower, as well as radically changing the local landscape and views). It is expected that the Berghof site will be covered and replanted, and even the Gutshof and Koksbunker may be removed. A few years from now, little may remain except the Hotel Zum Türken and ruined piles of rubble out in the woods.

    July 2002 Update -- The Obersalzberg is now changing rapidly ... the removal of the SS-Kaserne ruins, which went somewhat slowly for over a year, is now almost complete. Within the past month, most of the former Eckerbichl / Hitler-Höhe / Göringhügel hill has been removed. This was the high hill beside the Hintereck parking area, overlooking the Obersalzberg ... the historic site where the 3rd U.S. Infantry Division raised the Stars and Stripes on 5 May 1945 ... it is now gone, soon (apparently) to be replaced by a huge glass and steel "luxury hotel."

    September 2003 Update -- The new hotel is taking shape, and the Göringhügel hill and the site of the SS Kaserne have been completely transformed. The site of the Platterhof Garage has been turned into a parking lot for the Kehlsteinhaus buses.

    January 2004 Update -- All of the ruins of the SS Kaserne, the Kindergarten, and the Modellhaus have now been removed or buried. The new hotel structure is in place, obliterating the Göringhügel hill, but the Greenhouse foundation ruins remain. The Obersalzberg ring road has been closed just past the Hotel Zum Türken. A new ticket building for the Kehlsteinhaus buses is being built on top of the Platterhof Garage site.

    July 2004 Update -- The site of the Platterhof has been turned into a public parking area for the Kehlsteinhaus buses and the Dokumentation Center, and the ticket building for the Kehlsteinhaus buses is in service on the site of the Platterhof garage. The remaining arcade area of the Platterhof has been opened as a souvenir shop, and the adjacent Terrasse Halle will apparently be reopened as a restaurant.

    May 2005 Update -- The InterContinental resort hotel, built on the Göringhügel hill, has opened. Only a few remains can now be found of the Göring and Bormann houses, and the anti-aircraft control system tower above the greenhouse was removed. Construction continues in front of the Platterhof Terrasse Halle, perhaps for a modern restaurant to be added to the terrace area.

    June-July 2005 Update -- The grave marker of Paula Hitler has been removed from the Bergfriedhof cemetery and her plot used to bury someone else (see below).

    September 2005 Update -- A restaurant has now opened in the Terrasse Halle of the Platterhof hotel. The Berchtesgadener Hof hotel will be torn down to make way for a mountain area visitor center.

    May 2006 Update -- Destruction of the Berchtesgadener Hof hotel will begin in June. One or more of the back buildings may be kept as an administration building or garage. Paula Hitler's grave marker has been returned to her grave (see below).

    September 2006 Update -- Destruction of the Berchtesgadener Hof was halted temporarily, and the main building is still there, but will likely be torn down this month or in October. The ruins of the Mooslahnerkopf Teehaus were removed in late August - early September.

    October 2006 Update -- Destruction of the Berchtesgadener Hof hotel continues - the main building is now gutted on the inside and the roof is being removed. The Jodl-Haus at the Kanzlei site was torn down and a new house was built in its place.

    January 2007 Update -- A clean-up effort has been going on at some Obersalzberg sites. For example, brush and saplings have been cleared from part of the Berghof site, and the Koksbunker has been cleaned up. Most of this was aimed at clearing brush from the roadsides, and this work cleared the SS guardhouse site below the Berghof, leaving it plainly visible now.

    November 2007 Update -- The side building of the Gutshof has been torn down and some modern apartment facilities may be built there. The remainder of the Gutshof may be torn down later. A 900-seat "Event Park" sports and concert venue is planned on the site of the SS Kaserne in the next couple of years. Paula Hitler's grave marker in the Bergfriedhof cemetery is again obscured.

    June 2008 Update -- Veterans from the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division placed a memorial plaque on the Obersalzberg on 5 May 2008 - see here (bottom of page).

    July 2008 Update -- The site of the Berghof has been marked with an interpretive marker, and more will apparently follow.

    November 2008 Update -- A ski venue is being built near the entrance to the Antenberg site. It is unclear whether this will eventually effect the Theaterhalle ruins or the ruins in the Antenberg camp area. (September 2009 update - only a pond for artificial snow was put in, not substantially disturbing any of the ruins.)

    February 2009 Update -- There are reportedly plans to modify or erase some of the extensive secondary road network in the vicinity of the Kehlstein Road, for unknown reasons. Many of these Third Reich access roads in the area (not the main Kehlstein Road that carries the tour buses) are now popular hiking paths.

    November 2009 Update -- Beginning in October 2009, there has been considerable attention and debate in the media and among historic preservation offices of the Bavarian government and the Obersalzberg Institut, regarding the destruction of historic buildings, ruins and sites on the Obersalzberg. While these actions are too late to save such artifacts as the Berghof garage, Platterhof hotel, Berchtesgadener Hof hotel, and ruins of the Teehaus, this interest will hopefully result in a halt to any further destruction of historic sites in the area.

    March 2010 Update -- A display of historical information panels has recently been installed in one of the large shelter rooms in the Platterhof bunker, accessible from the Obersalzberg Documentation Center.

    July 2011 Update -- The former Adolf Hitler Jugendherberge in Berchtesgaden-Strub is undergoing renovation; so far, the small garage building in front and the side wall have been removed. It is unclear at this writing, how drastic the changes to this historic structure will be.

    October 2011 Update -- The renovation to the Jugendherberge was a rather drastic change, inside and out, destroying the historic integrity of this building. The garage buildings of the Berchtesgadener Hof hotel (left when the rest of the hotel was demolished in 2006) appear to be in the process of being torn down - one has had the upper story removed. The entrance to the Antenberg tunnel system has been closed off. Some scenes for the movie "Rommel" were filmed in October at the former Dietrich Eckart hospital.

    December 2011 Update -- The clock and bell that used to be on the side of the Gutshof administration/quarters wing, which was torn down in 2007, have been installed on the side of the remaining Gutshof building.

    Source Geoff Walden
    Last edited by Scout; 05-01-2012 at 07:46 PM.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Inside Hitler's bunker

    True, but it's still there, in some regards. It hasn't been turned into a vacant mountaintop. I'm not sayng the entire structure has to be present at a historical site, just that some of it is, to make that connection with the past.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Inside Hitler's bunker

    Quote by helmetone View Post
    True, but it's still there, in some regards. It hasn't been turned into a vacant mountaintop. I'm not sayng the entire structure has to be present at a historical site, just that some of it is, to make that connection with the past.
    And all the structures certainly are not present. At some point a site will not only not resemble the site in the past - the current layout will give visitors a warped impression of the place. In that regard, I added the info about the changes above. Edited text highlighted.
    If you want to see a 'historical site,' you better hurry.

    As for connection to the past, it doesnt matter; history happened no matter how many building you demolish.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Inside Hitler's bunker

    In case the news has not made it here yet, this is a quote from another Forum - with very terrible news, that we all knew would come some day . . . I am very sad this morning to make this discovery:

    I did not want to post anything of the rumors that I heard earlier this week, until I had received official confirmation ... I now have that.

    Frau Ingrid Scharfenberg passed away on Sunday, 17 Feb., in a hospital in Berchtesgaden. I don't have the burial details yet, but the burial will be in the Familie Schuster plot in the Bergfriedhof.

    I will truly miss Frau Scharfenberg, a dear friend of mine for many years. I stayed at the Türken so many times that I lost count - every time I visited Berchtesgaden except two or three times. For me, the Obersalzberg will never be the same.

    Geoff Walden

  5. #25

    Default Re: Inside Hitler's bunker

    Sad news indeed RIP.

    For those who dont know; Geoff Walden has one of the finest, comprehensive and best researched sites on the web in regards to WWII sites*

    Over the years, I have travelled using both 'After The Battle' and GWs fine website on several occasions.

    Warning! Do not enter unless you have hours to spare!
    Third Reich in Ruins

    *I quoted his excellent website in my post above.

  6. #26


    Imagine being inside the bunker 70 years ago today...
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

  7. #27


    Quote by CARL88 View Post
    Imagine being inside the bunker 70 years ago today...
    Amazing Carl, I was just making that exact comment to my daughter!

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