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, 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.
The Berghof began as a much smaller chalet called Haus Wachenfeld, a holiday home built in 1916 (or 1917) by Kommerzienrat Otto Winter, a businessman from Buxtehude. This was located near the Platterhof, the former Pension Moritz where Hitler had stayed in 1922–23. By 1926, the family running the pension had left, and Hitler did not like the new owner. He moved first to the Marineheim and then to a hotel in Berchtesgaden, the Deutsches Haus, where he dictated the second volume of Mein Kampf in the summer of 1926. Hitler met his girlfriend at that time, Maria Reiter, who worked in a shop on the ground floor of the hotel, during another visit in autumn 1926. In 1928, Winter's widow rented Haus Wachenfeld to Hitler, and his half-sister Angela came to live there as housekeeper, although she left soon after her daughter Geli's 1931 death in Hitler's Munich apartment.
By 1933, Hitler had purchased Haus Wachenfeld with funds he received from the sale of his political manifesto Mein Kampf. The small chalet-style building was refurbished and much expanded by architect Alois Degano during 1935–36, when it was renamed The Berghof (English: "Mountain Court").
A large terrace was built and featured big, colourful, resort-style canvas umbrellas. The entrance hall "was filled with a curious display of cactus plants in majolica pots." A dining room was panelled with very costly cembra pine. Hitler's large study had a telephone switchboard room. The library contained books "on history, painting, architecture and music." A great hall was furnished with expensive Teutonic furniture, a large globe, and an expansive red marble fireplace mantel. Behind one wall was a projection booth for evening screenings of films (often, Hollywood productions, including Mickey Mouse).
A sprawling picture window could be lowered into the wall to give a sweeping, open air view of the snow-capped mountains in Hitler's native Austria. The house was maintained much like a small resort hotel by several housekeepers, gardeners, cooks, and other domestic workers. "This place is mine," Hitler was quoted as saying to a writer for Homes & Gardens magazine in 1938. "I built it with money that I earned."
The "Great Hall"
The British Homes & Gardens magazine described Hitler as "his own decorator, designer, and furnisher, as well as architect", and the chalet as "bright and airy" with "a light jade green colour scheme"; caged Harz Roller canaries were kept in most of the rooms, which were furnished with antiques, mostly German furniture from the 18th century. Old engravings hung in the guest bedrooms, along with some of Hitler's small watercolour sketches. His personal valet Heinz Linge stated that Hitler and his longtime companion Eva Braun had two bedrooms and two bathrooms with interconnecting doors, and Hitler would end most evenings alone with her in his study drinking tea.
Though Hitler did not smoke, smoking was allowed on the terrace. His vegetarian diet was supplied by nearby kitchen gardens and, later, a greenhouse. A large complex of mountain homes for the Nazi leadership, with a landing strip and many buildings for their security and support staff, were constructed nearby. To acquire the land for these projects, many neighbours were compelled to sell their properties and leave. A mountain-top structure, the Kehlsteinhaus, nicknamed Eagle's Nest by André François-Poncet, a French diplomat, was built in 1937–38 above the Berghof, but Hitler rarely went there.
The area became a German tourist attraction during the mid-1930s, after Hitler came to power as dictator. Visitors gathered at the end of the driveway or on nearby public paths in the hope of catching a glimpse of Hitler. This led to the introduction of severe restrictions on access to the area and other security measures. A large contingent of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler was 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. With the outbreak of war extensive anti-aircraft defences were also installed, including smoke generating machines to conceal the Berghof complex from hostile aircraft.
The nearby former hotel "Türken" was turned into quarters to house the Reichssicherheitsdienst (Reich Security Service; RSD) SS security men who patrolled the grounds of the Berghof. It was later occupied by the Generalmajor of the Police. (The hotel was rebuilt in 1950 and reopened as a hotel before Christmas, the Hotel zum Türken. Visitors can still explore the historic underground hallways and tunnels that had been used by the Nazis.)
Whenever Hitler was in residence, members of the RSD and Führerbegleitkommando (Führer Escort Command; FBK) were present. While the RSD men patrolled the grounds, the FBK men provided close security protection for Hitler. Several Wehrmacht mountain troop units were also housed nearby. Hence, the British never planned a direct attack on the compound.
Guests at the Berghof included political figures, monarchs, heads of state, and diplomats along with painters, singers, and musicians. The important visitors personally greeted on the steps of the Berghof by Hitler included David Lloyd George (3 March 1936), the Aga Khan (20 October 1937), Duke and Duchess of Windsor (22 October 1937), Kurt von Schuschnigg (12 February 1938), Neville Chamberlain (15 September 1938), and Benito Mussolini (19 January 1941). At the end of July 1940, Hitler summoned his military chiefs from OKW and OKH to the Berghof for the 'Berghof Conference' at which the 'Russian problem' was studied. On 11 May 1941, Karlheinz Pintsch visited the Berghof to deliver a letter from Rudolf Hess informing him of his illegal flight to Scotland.
Adolf Hitler greets British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on the steps of the Berghof
Hitler's social circle at his Berghof retreat – which his intimates referred to as "on the Berg" – included Eva Braun and her sister Gretl, Herta Schneider and her children, Eva's friend Marion Schönmann, Heinrich Hoffmann, and the wives and children of other Nazi leaders and Hitler's staff who would all pose for an annual group photograph on the occasion of Hitler's birthday. The social scene at the Berghof ended on 14 July 1944, when Hitler left for his military headquarters in East Prussia, never to return.
Silent colour films shot by Eva Braun survived the war and showed Hitler and his guests relaxing at the Berghof. In 2006, computer lip reading software identified several parts of their conversations. Among those identified in the films were Joseph Goebbels, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Albert Speer, and Karl Wolff.
Daluege with a Moustache!
Frequency and Resonance
When on duty in Germany we went to Italy for 5 weeks in the summer of 1985. Travelling to Italy I decided to take the Brenner Pass but on the way back I decided to take the Grossglockner pass.
The Grossglockner (German: Großglockner or just Glockner) is, at 3,798 metres above the Adriatic (12,461 ft), the highest mountain in Austria and the highest mountain in the Alps east of the Brenner Pass. It is part of the larger Glockner Group of the Hohe Tauern range, situated along the main ridge of the Central Eastern Alps and the Alpine divide. The Pasterze, Austria's most extended glacier, lies on the Grossglockner's eastern slope.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grossglockner
We went past Salzburg and slept in our BMW 323i for a few hours. Past the Chiemsee.
Herrenchiemsee is a complex of royal buildings on Herreninsel, the largest island in the Chiemsee lake, in southern Bavaria, Germany. Together with the neighbouring isle of Frauenchiemsee and the uninhabited Krautinsel, it forms the municipality of Chiemsee, located about 60 kilometres (37 mi) southeast of Munich.
Stop at Linderhof for a visit:
Linderhof Palace (German: Schloss Linderhof) is a Schloss in Germany, in southwest Bavaria near the village of Ettal. It is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed.
The last stop was Neuschwanstein:
Neuschwanstein Castle (German: Schloss Neuschwanstein, pronounced [ˈʃlɔs nɔʏˈʃvaːnʃtaɪn], Southern Bavarian: Schloss Neischwanstoa) is a 19th-century historicist palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honour of Richard Wagner. Ludwig chose to pay for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds. Construction began in 1869, but was never fully completed.