Wolf at the door: Adolf Hitler transformed Obersalzberg

By Gary A. Warner

The Orange County Register

Adolf Hitler

One night in May 1923, a man using the name Herr Wolf appeared at the Pension Moritz in a German village near the border of Austria. He knocked on the door of the room of Dietrich Eckart, an early Nazi leader hiding from the police.

"Diedi, it is Wolf," the man said.

Adolf Hitler had arrived in Obersalzberg.

The next morning, Hitler stepped out of his room to a view of the Untersberg, the mountain that towered nearby. Hitler found it inspirational. His mentor, Eckart, found Hitler's mountain-fueled enthusiasm scary.

"Meglomania halfway between a Messiah complex and Neroism," Eckert later told a friend.

Hitler followed a long line of Germans and others who came to the mountains for inspiration. Augustinian monks helped settle the area in the 12th century.

By the 19th century, Obersalzberg was a popular "air cure" resort from the crowded cities of Munich and Salzburg to visit. Composer Johannes Brahms. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, brought his family from Vienna to stay at the Pension Moritz.

Unlike other visitors, Hitler wasn't content with merely staying in the area. He wanted to control it.


In 1928, Hitler began renting a home with a view of the Untersberg. With the Nazis rise to power in 1933, Hitler bought the house and renamed it the Berghof ("mountain palace").

The once simple chalet grew into a sprawling compound. Other top Nazis built their own homes nearby. A hotel, the Platterhof, was constructed for the party faithful. A greenhouse was built to satisfy the needs of Hitler, a strict vegetarian and teetotaler).

Eventually the crush of fawning visitors led the Nazis to buy or take about 2,500 acres around Obersalzberg. Residents who lived on the mountain for generations were told to sell and get out. The mountainside became the Führersperrgebiet (Leader's restricted area), off limits to all but top Nazi officials, their families and guests, and the black-uniformed SS Leibstandarte Division who protected them.


What was the legend of the Untersberg mountain, at which Hitler spent many hours gazing from his study in the Berghof? Historians guess that, like King Arthur,  Frederick Barbarossa is buried there, waiting for a call to arise from the dead to come to his country's aid in its hour of need. That is not the legend of the Untersberg, though.

In 1220, Templar Komtur Hubertus Koch, returning with a small party from the Crusades, passed through Mesopotamia, and near the old city of Nineveh in modern Iraq, received an apparition of the goddess Isais (first child of goddess Isis and god Set). She told him to withdraw to the Untersberg mountain, build a house there and await her next apparition.

Isais with the Gral

Whether that is true or not, in 1221, Koch erected his first Komturei at the foot of Ettenberg near Markt Schellenberg. A second, larger structure followed. It is believed that over the next few years, underground galleries were excavated into various areas of the Untersberg, and in one of them a temple to Isais was built.

A second apparition occurred in 1226 and were repeated on occasions until 1238. During this period the Templars received "Die Isais Offenbarung", a series of prophesies (recently published) and information concerning the Holy Grail. The Templars at Jerusalem had knowledge of these visitations, over which the Church drew a veil of silence. What follows is only tradition, but may be of interest.

German Ordensmeister of the Knights Templar

It is the German tradition that the Templars were ordered to form a secret scientific sect in southern Germany, Austria and northern Italy to be known as "Die Herren vom Schwarzen Stein" - The Lords of the Black Stone - or DHvSS for short, and this is said to be the true, hidden meaning of SS.

The Holy Grail ("Ghral" is holy stone, Persian-Arabic) was said to be a black-violet crystal, half quartz, half amethyst, through which Higher Powers communicated with humanity. It was given into the safe-keeping of the Cathars, and smuggled out of the last stronghold at Montsegur, France, and hidden, by four Cathar women on the night of 14 March 1244. There is a Cathar legend that 700 years after the destruction of the Cathar religion the Holy Grail would be returned to its rightful holders, DHvSS, or the SS?

Ruins of Montsegur

It may be of interest to note in this connection that the Tea House designed by Hitler and built atop the Mooslahnerkopf at Obersalzberg, the stone pavillion still standing today, bears a striking resemblance to Montsegur when viewed at certain angles from the foot of the great rocky outcrop. Whether this was a coincidence remains in the mind of the beholder.

The name 'Eagle's Nest' was coined by Francois Poncet the French ambassador after a visit there in 1938. It was never known as a Teahouse but today gets confused with the actual teahouse Hitler used, the Mooslahnerkopf Teehaus, situated not far from his residence, the Berghof.

the "Teehaus"

This masterpiece of construction was built on the summit of the 6,017 ft wooded Kehlstein mountain high above Berchtesgaden. Officially known as the Kehlsteinhaus, the hexagon-shaped building was built as a conference and entertainment centre for visiting diplomats at the request of Martin Bormann and presented to Hitler on his 50th birthday.

Hitler made 14 official visits to the Kehlsteinhaus including his first visit on September 16, 1938 and his last visit on October 17, 1940. He also made at least 3 unofficial visits. His fear of heights caused him to avoid visting this fabulous mountain retreat more frequently, but it was a favorite hangout for his mistress, Eva Braun, who often went there.

The Berghof was connected to the Platterhof Hotel by a series of complex bunkers deep inside the mountain. The tunnel system was an outstanding piece of underground engineering with a subterranean engine that provided power to run the elevator. Yet strangely enough, Hitler's favorite place was neither the Berghof nor the Eagle's Nest, but a cozy Tea House built on the northern boundary of the area. The pleasant walk to the "Teehaus" often became the scene for important political decisions.


Aerial photograph of the promenade
from the  Berghof to
the Teehaus

Hitler preferred to relax, and even nap, in the Teehaus itself, while surrounded by his closest friends and associates.



Snow covers a new four-star Inter Continental holiday
resort in southern Bavarian town of
The 138-room resort opened on March 1, 2005
and is located near Adolf Hitler's former Alpine retreat,
the Eagles Nest in Obersalzberg


The Hotel at Hitler's Hideaway


The picturesque mountain resort of Berchtesgaden is better known for its association with Hitler than its kebab shop.

Just by Berchtesgaden railway station, however, is a small cafeteria owned by Ludwig Selzer. Like most locals in this Bavarian town on the edge of the German Alps, Herr Selzer is a big fan of the new five-star luxury hotel just up the road.

"We don't just want yodelers and thigh-slappers wearing Lederhosen coming to Berchtesgaden," he said, “We want international tourists from all over the world. We want to be back on the map."

Some 60 years after the end of the Second World War, the area is indeed back on the map, thanks to the new InterContinental Resort hotel in Berchtesgaden - a ten-minute drive away from the village of Obersalzberg - which opened two months ago.

Obersalzberg is famous for all the wrong reasons.

Enchanted by the Alpine scenery, Hitler first came here in 1925. In 1933, shortly after the Nazis took power, he bought a villa - the Berghof - in the resort. By the late 30s, Obersalzberg had become an exclusive retreat for the Führer and his circle.

The new hotel has provoked bitter debate in Germany. Critics have wondered whether there isn't something - well - obscene about rich holidaymakers frolicking in a luxury spa close to where Hitler dictated part of 'Mein Kampf' and on the site where Hermann Göring once had a villa.

However, its supporters - including Herr Selzer - argue passionately that it is time for Germany to move on. After 60 years, the country should bid farewell to its dark past, he believes.

Adolf has gone. We badly need a luxury resort.

There is a lot of snow in Berchtesgaden, The new hotel’s two curving wings are built of stone, and offer panoramic views across snow-encrusted mountains.

Inside, the lobby is chic and minimal. An open fire surrounded by comfy sofas burns next to a library and the bar. There are 180 rooms and suites, but the hotel's main attraction is "wellness".

Downstairs, there is a luxury spa with an indoor and outdoor pool, beauty treatment rooms, and a variety of saunas. And because this is Germany, that means taking your clothes off - all of them. The outside pool is heated to a delightful 35C.

These days, there are few obvious Third Reich relics left in Obersalzberg. The Berghof, and other Nazi houses, have disappeared, blown up in the 50s. The Bavarian government also recently flattened the Platterhof, originally built for high-ranking Nazis but occupied by US soldiers after the war.

Around 500 metres away is the Documentation Centre, a museum of the Nazi era created by the state of Bavaria in 1999. It is housed in a shed-like building, and gives a harrowing insight into the Nazis' crimes.

Intriguingly, it also includes photos of the many British dignitaries who flocked to Hitler's mountain retreat during the late 30s - Neville Chamberlain, Lord Rothermere, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Visitors can also wander through a gloomy surviving section of the underground tunnels, which were built during the war to connect the Berghof complex. On the walls, you can see graffiti written by US soldiers who arrived here in 4 May 1945, shortly after allied bombers had destroyed much of the Nazi HQ.

The most imposing surviving monument from the Hitler era is the famous mountaintop Eagle's Nest, given to the Führer by a grateful Nazi party in 1939. It is only open in summer, and is reachable by special bus and lift. 

Even if you are not interested in Berchtesgaden's spooky history, there is still plenty to do here. The resort is only 20 km away from the Austrian town of Salzburg, on the edge of an Alpine national park.

The hotel has its own ski-lift, leading to a family-friendly slope which doubles as a nine-hole golf course in summer. More experienced skiers can head off to the nearby Jenner Mountain, or take off on one of the many cross-country skiing routes. In the summer months, the surrounding peaks offer hiking and mountain biking.

Nearby, there is also Germany's highest lake, Lake Königsee, offering boat trips across to the bizarre red-domed St Bartholomew's church (the tour guides insist on blowing a bugle on the way to produce an echo).

Since the hotel opened, it has received extensive coverage in the German press, and most of this has been negative. Locals, however, point out that, despite the Hitler legacy, Berchtesgaden remains one of the most beautiful parts of Germany.


At the Berghof, Hitler had a gigantic window built that could be lowered on warm days to give an unimpeded view of the Untersberg. It was here that British leader Neville Chamberlain and others met with Hitler. A British lifestyle magazine even published a fawning profile of the house and its chief occupant.

Nearby Berchtesgaden became the center for those seeking to be close to Hitler, including journalists who used the town as a synonymous dateline for the Nazi leader's enclave.

The Kehlsteinhaus, atop the 6,017-foot Kehlstein mountain, was built as a Nazi Party present for Hitler's 50th birthday in 1939.

Workers toiled non-stop in 1937 and 1938 to carve a twisting road 3,000 feet up the mountainside, burrow a tunnel into the rock and install an elevator to carry visitors the last 406 feet to the perch.

Hitler, who disliked heights, rarely visited. But it was a powerful symbol, even visible from the nearby tourist mecca of Königsee. It was one guest, a French diplomat, who remarked that the building reminded him of an "eagle's nest." The name stuck.

Obersalzberg would be far removed from the battles of World War II. But like Wannsee, the pretty lake district near Berlin where Nazi leaders drew up "the final solution" to obliterate the Jewish race, the calm surroundings around Berchtesgaden were the scene of planning the madness that would sweep the continent.

It was at the Berghof that Hitler berated the Austrians into concessions that would lead to the 1938 Anschluss ("union"), the forcible merger of Austria into Germany.

At the Berghof, Hitler finalized plans for the 1939 invasion of Poland that set off World War II. He also drew up plans for Operation Barbarossa, the disasterous 1940 invasion of his former ally, the Soviet Union.

As the war turned against Germany in 1942, the Nazis began to burrow furiously into the mountainside, creating huge bunkers and storehouses that could withstand Allied attack from the air or ground. It was at the Berghof that Hitler received news of the Allies D-Day invasion of France.

Obersalzberg almost made it through the war unscathed. Hitler had last visited in 1944. But the Allies worried that the area could be used by Nazi hardliners as an alpine fortress for a protracted siege.

On the night of April 25, more than 359 British Lancaster bombers came over the Alps in what would be the second to last Royal Air Force heavy bomber mission over Europe. For an hour and a half, the RAF pummelled Berchtesgaden and Obersalzberg with more than 1,000 tons of bombs. These included huge Tallboy bunker-buster bombs with 5,200-pound warheads.

Hitler's Berghof took two hits but remained standing. Other buildings were destroyed or damaged. The Eagle's Nest, one of the main targets, was unscathed - too tiny a target to hit on a steep mountain ridge.

On April 30th, Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunkers. On May 4, the Nazis set fire to much of Obersalzberg and retreated into Austria.

Later on May 4, American and Free French forces took the town. Troops ransacked the buildings for trophies, enjoying the tins of caviar and flasks of wine left behind. Soldiers found a train car belonging to Hermann Goring filled with priceless art looted from across Europe.

On May 5, Germany surrendered. The war in Europe was over. Fearful that Obersalzberg might attract secret Nazi groups, the Americans banned Germans from the area until 1949.

When the ban was lifted, curiousity seekers and a few Hitler hardliners flocked to the area.

Fearful Obersalzberg would become a Hitler shrine, the U.S. Army and Bavarian state government agreed to demolish the ruins of the Berghof and most other major Nazi buildings. Trees were planted to eventually visually cloak the Berghof remains.

A few former Nazi sites, such as the Platterhof, were taken over by the occupiers. The Americans allowed the Bavarian government to save the Kehlsteinhaus if a use was found that would discourage veneration of the Nazis. It was leased as a restaurant; still it's main use.

Then came the Cold War and the Soviet Union switched from ally to enemy. The Americans stayed. And stayed.

Obersalzberg became a recreation center for American troops stationed in Europe. Uncle Sam was parsimonious with its construction budget, happy to use the old rather than build the new.

The Platterhof was renamed the General Walker Hotel. Vacationing soldiers were taken on tours of the old Nazi bunkers. A golf course and ski slope were built.

With the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. forces in Europe were scaled back. The U.S. decided to close the Obersalzberg recreation area, along with Chiemsee - where soldiers relaxed in a former Nazi Autobahn resort. Only the center at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, home to the Nazis' 1936 Winter Olympics, remains. The last U.S. troops left Obersalzberg in 1995.

A footnote: Paula Hitler, the dictator's sister, returned to live in the area from 1952 until her death in 1960.

She used the last name her brother asked her to use in the 1930s: Wolf.


Interview with Hitler's Sister on 5th June 1946

[Records of the Army Staff (G2), Record Group 319 IRR XE575580]

Personality Report Berchtesgaden June 5, 1946

Agent: C - 1o


Case: Mrs. Paula Wolf (Paula Hitler, sister of the late Adolf Hitler)
Address: Alpenwirtschaft Vorderbrand, Gemeinde K
nigsee (Kreis Berchtesgaden)

Particulars: Investigation ordered by Lt. Bronfen



1. Born Rauschergut, Gemeinde Fischelham, Kreis Lambach (Ober
sterreich) on November 21, 1896
2. Education: Volksschule and Lyzeum Linz
3. Party - membership before 1933: none
4. Party - membership during the Nazi regime: none
5. Party - membership today: none
Yesterday the undersigned was visiting Mrs. Paula Wolf in the Alpenwirtschaft Vorderbrand and got the following information from Mrs. Wolf concerning her life:

I adopted my name Paula Wolf many years ago to avoid the interest of the public which was unwelcome to me. I am in possession of a passport with the name of Paula Wolf with the erroneously registered date of birth November 21, 1896. In fact I was born 8 months earlier. Until today I was not interested in a correction of the date of my birth, moreover it has never been necessary.

I was born at the Rauschergut in Hafeld, Gemeinde Fischelham (upper Austria), which belonged to my father, the retired Custom - House - Officer Alois Hitler. It was a small property of approximately 50 Joch [ the word means, "Yoke",  a unit of area of about an Acre in size and was derived from the amount of land an Ox could plough in a day]. My parents sold the farm however when I was only 2 - 3 years old since my father could not manage the farm on account of his age of nearly 60 years. I was the youngest child out of the second marriage of my father [there is an error here as she was the youngest child of her father`s third, not second marriage, the first being childless]. We have been 4 brothers and sisters. Of the altogether 8 children of my father out of his first and second marriage [actually the second and third], 4 died young of infant diseases. My step - brother Alois [he was her half - brother, not step – brother], who is living in Hamburg as far as I know, was the eldest, next came my sister Angela [another error, as Angela was Paula`s half - sister, and full - sister to Alois] and at last my brother Adolf, born April 20, 1889 in Braunau. I liked my brother [Adolf] best of all my brothers and sisters [again she does not differentiate between half and full kin] in spite of the difference in age.

Our father was Waldviertler (a name given to a poor area and those living there) from Lower Austria. He was frequently transferred as Custom - House - Officer, at last he was employed in Passau, Braunau and Linz and he retired in Linz, 58 years old. Probably my father married for the second time in Braunau. My mother was 23 years his junior. Also she came from Waldviertel. Her parents have been the farmers Polzl in Spital near Veitra, where my mother was born on August 12, 1860. She had six brothers and sisters. I cannot remember anything of my father`s first wife.

The married life of my parents was a very happy one, in spite of their very unlike characters. My father, who was of great harshness in the education of his children and who only spoiled me as the pet of the family, was the absolute type of the old Austrian official, conservative and loyal to his emperor to the skin. My mother, however, was a very soft and tender person, the compensatory element between the almost too harsh father and the very lively children who perhaps were somewhat difficult to train. If there were ever quarrel or difference of opinion between my parents it was always on account of the children.

It was especially my brother Adolf, who challenged my father to extreme harshness and who got his sound thrashing every day. He was a scrubby little rogue, and all attempts of his father to thrash him for his rudeness and to cause him to love the profession of an official of the estate were in vain. How often on the other hand did my mother caress him and try to obtain with her kindness, were the father could not succeed with harshness!

Of my other brothers and sisters I especially remember my stepsister Angela as a beautiful girl. Also she was watched by my father very harshly. He was examining every wooer with the strict demand that only a civil servant was allowed to marry her. Really in 1903 she married the Revenue officer Leo Raubal in Linz, who died very young in 1910. After his death my sister with her 3 children went on to live in Linz for a short time. Then she removed to Vienna. Later on she married the university professor Hammitzsch in Dresden. They had no children. I visited my sister in Dresden twice, but until today I have not got any news from her. I guess that she has found a refuge somewhere in Upper Austria.

In the beginning of January 1903 my father died of heart failure. He was carried home dead from his morning pint. Four years later on December 21, 1907, far too early for me and my brother Adolf, for we were both sincerely fond of my mother, my mother died too. Both are buried on the churchyard of Leonding near Linz. During this time my mother was severely ill we were most unhappy. Assisting me, my brother Adolf spoiled my mother during this time of her life with overflowing tenderness. He was indefatigable in his care for her, wanted to comply with any desire she could possible have and did all to demonstrate his great love for her. Her last desire was accomplished; she was buried beside the father. We accompanied her on her last way from Linz to Leonding, where she was buried on December 23, 1907.

Of those last years we lived together with my mother I especially remember the cheerfulness of my brother and his extraordinary interest for history, geography, architecture, painting and music. At school he was nothing less than a show boy, came home with bad school reports and admonitions. At home every day he was sitting for hours on the beautiful Heitzmann grand piano, my mother had given him. This extraordinary interest for music, especially for Wagner and Listz, remained with him for all his life. Particularly strong was even at that time already his interest for the theatre and especially for the opera. I can remember that he was visiting the opera house 13 times to hear "Die Gotterd
mmerung". His Christmas present for his mother has always been a theatre ticket. He was also pursuing aquarelle - painting (watercolour painting) already during his school years, but more seriously in Vienna and later in Munich. Very often he used to give lectures on themes concerning history and policy to my mother and to me in a rhetorical way.

A few days after my mother`s death my brother moved to Vienna. I remained in our flat in Linz, where my mother`s sister was keeping house. In the few letters I got from my brother from Vienna - in the meantime I had become pupil of the Lyzeum - he was recommending certain books to me and gave well-meaning advice. I remember that he once sent me the book "Don Quichote" [Don Quixote] from Vienna, which - as he meant - would particularly enjoy me. Naturally he was the great brother for me, but I submitted to his authority only with inner resistance. In fact we were brother and sister, who did frequently quarrel, but were fond of each other, and yet often spoiled each other’s pleasure of living together. A last attempt of my aunt in 1908 to persuade him to take up the career of an official was in vain. From that time he ceased to write letters to us. I did not hear from him for years, when at last in 1921 I saw him again in Vienna. In the meantime I had moved to Vienna myself.

But what occurrences of the time had meanwhile passed over Europe, war and the years after the war with their exorbitant suffering! Only then I was told by my brother, that in 1913 he had moved from Vienna to Munich and that he had taken up aquarelle - painting entirely. I had the impression that he was successful. He told me of his wonderful adventures of war - comradeship, of his injury, and his blindness in the war hospital Pasewalk. At that time he was already leader of the NSDAP. I can I admit that I can remember this meeting with my brother always as a great and happy event. Living alone and in modest conditions in Vienna, I happened to meet my brother I had imagined lost through the war, who was showing his love for me and giving me presents, which meant exorbitant luxury for me! It were few but happy days we spent together in Vienna. He went back to Munich while I stayed in Vienna and earned my living as secretary in an insignificant office.

On account of the separation a close living together with my brother was impossible. It was the same with us as with most families. As soon as the parents are dead, the children withdraw from one another. Not I, but my step-sister Angela kept house for my brother in House Wachenfeld, which later on became the "Berghof".

When my brother became more and more active and the name "Hitler" was known in Vienna, I had difficulties to such an extent, that I was at last dismissed from my position. At that time I changed my name to "Wolf". I went to Munich and described my difficult position of life to my brother. With full understanding he assured me that he would provide for me in future. He did so until his death and at first transferred the sum of 250 Mk, later on since 1938 - the sum of 500 Mk to me. Moreover I got a present of 3000 Mk every Christmas.

Not only with my brother but also with my step-sister Angela I met very seldom, since my sister was living in Dresden. I only came to Berchtesgaden at different times invited by my brother and was rarely spending more to 8 - 14 days in the Berghof. This was one of the rare opportunities for me to see my brother.

So I could witness the years of rise and power of my brother only from afar. I was much too fond of Vienna to leave it. My relationship with my brother remained as affectionate as it was unto his death, but I have never been very ambitious for myself and never appeared at official fetes. I was often told in Vienna that I did never show off but always did just the opposite.

Already in my youth and also in later years I used to spend my holidays at my aunt in Spital, the home - place of my mother I was so very fond of because of its beauty and its magnificent woods. My Aunt Theres Schmid had always been like a mother to me since my mother dies far too early. I was deeply sorry when I heard that my cousin Marie Koppensteiner has been misplaced with her family by the Russians. I nearly lose courage to go on living after all disaster I experienced since more than a year.

In 1941/42 I had bought a little house in Weiten in the Wachau with the assistance of my brother. It was an old villa I had furnished simply and comfortably. I did this without the help of an architect. This house was robbed and expropriated by the Russians. I still possess a small apartment consisting of two rooms in Vienna which is occupied by Americans. My intention to go back to Vienna can scarcely be realised at present.

I was in my house in Lower - Austria when in the middle of April 1945 I was fetched by two SS - Men in a motor car. Both SS - Men declared that they had an order to call for me. I had made preparations for my departure, had packed up all in trunks, chests, and boxes, which were fetched off by a truck on the next day, and went with some small luggage to Berchtesgaden. All my big luggage was brought to the hotel Berchtesgadener Hof. When the Americans were about to enter Berchtesgaden I was brought to the Dietrich - Eckardh
tte, where I was permitted to remain until December 1945.

Christmas 1945 I spent already in my present lodgings Alpenwirtschaft Worderbrand. The family of the lessee Franz Beer, living there already since 1921 is treating me very kindly. I like to be here and try to help by working in the kitchen.

At present I have no troubles in pecuniary respect, since I could take with me about 10,000 Mk of my savings. I deposited this money at the Bayerische Hypothoken und Wechselbank at Berchtesgaden. But at present I do not earn money nor am I in possession of a fortune. I intend to live as long as possible from my savings. For my small room and board I pay 6 Mk per day to the family Beer.

Unfortunately I lost all my luggage secured at the Berchtesgadener Hof. All I possess of clothing and linen was in the small suitcase I could bring here.

I can dispose of my bank account sine I was not a member of the Party or any Party organisation. The policy of my brother, his ideas and terms were no reason for me to enter the Party. It has never been the wish of my brother. But if it had been his wish I would have entered the Party to please him.

I do not believe that my brother ordered the crime committed to innumerable human beings in the concentration - camps or that he even knew of these crimes. It may be possible however, that the hard years during his youth in Vienna caused his anti-Jewish attitude. He was starving severely in Vienna and he believed that his failure in painting was only due to the fact that trade in works of art was in Jewish hands.

Closing remarks of the Agent:

If further investigations prove that the declarations of Mrs. Paula Wolf are true there can be no doubt in her sincerity, at least as far as she is describing her own life and her relationship to her brother. Unworthy of belief, however, is her declaration that she did never know anything about the innumerable crimes which were committed during the government of her brother and under his immediate responsibility, and that she was never told of these crimes. She also insisted on the fact that she never noticed his threat to destroy the Jews in Europe and to crush all his enemies in his speeches which were transferred by radio over the whole world and also to Vienna! And what a contrast of this Adolf Hitler who according to her own declarations was radiant with kindness with the brutal man he really was! The tactics to have been unaware of all what happened during 12 years of Nazi terror are only too well known and unable to convince even an unprejudiced man.


This woman is not in the least denying the fact that she was extremely fond of her brother whose death, by the way she does not doubt. The likeness to her brother in appearance, look and physiognomy is striking and intensifies the longer one is in her presence. I could bring her a typewriter ribbon she needed for her small Erika typewriter. After answering my questions dilatorily in the beginning she was later on talking freely and with increasing confidence. There was a certain charm in her modesty and her simple manner of speaking. The surroundings, the terrace of the Alpenwirtschaft with its unique view over the land of Berchtesgaden made a strong impression on the agent. But this woman must not be allowed to become the protectress of the mountain in which the soul of her brother is only lying dormant to rise again to new life and to new crimes against human nature. Reporters desiring for sensational news are not to work their way up the mountain to cable into the world with charming stories the Hitler - Myth which will inevitable arise. Too many German authors would greedily snatch at such news to offer an immortal hero of the type of Barbarrosa to youth always longing for romanticism. What enrichment for the gallery of heroes of German history, for the academical youth for spur and emulation!

And what a chance for skilfully camouflaged militarists like Doctor Lenz Laufen who is president of the district of the OSU is making provoking speeches with the theme: Germany as a bastion against communism in east and west, or translated into good German: "Get strong for a revenge - war against Russia and against the communistic France!"

No, it must not come to that! The suffering of innumerable human beings in concentration camps and penitentiaries the sacrifice of life of comrades of the European and last not least of the German underground - movements, all what was done by Allies Forces to suppress Nazism, all would be in vain! No vindictiveness against a lonely, at least with regard to her actions guiltless woman. But get her away from publicity. She could become a germ cell for a new disaster, maybe against her own wishes. One thing is certain: the American, who visited her and declared that the question who is to blame for all what happened since 12 years war and crimes, destruction and death, can only be answered by future generations, will not remain the only one. Many people, Americans and other, will come and bear a share to show Hitler as what he has never been: a kind man and a great Leader.


"Here, my Führer, is my grandchild"
A 1930s cigarette card from the Security Service archives

Don't mention the Führer at Nazis' luxury mountain eyrie

Murdo MacLeod
Sun 21 Aug 2005


Fears of a shrine to the Third Reich being created in the Bavarian Alps mean guests at Germany's swankiest new mountain resort will have their political views scrutinised.


Managers at the newly built Berchtesgaden Hotel in the Bavarian Alps, next to the site of Adolf Hitler's mountain retreat, have decided to vet visitors and groups for far-right links.

And in an unprecedented move, management have even been allowed to impose a "no-Nazi sympathies" clause on employees, an exclusion normally reserved for the police and security services.


The hotel, situated in the Obersalzburg area of Bavaria, was opened in March this year. Huge controversy surrounded the decision by the US-owned Intercontinental chain to build a resort on the very mountain which once hosted Hitler's Alpine retreat.


Also known as the 'Eagle's Nest' and the Berghof, the Berchtesgaden's inspiring views over the Alps gave Hitler the impression that he was overseeing the world from his own Mount Olympus. Notoriously, he planned the invasion of the Soviet Union from the Obersalzburg, an adventure which cost more than 30 million lives and caused massive suffering.


The buildings were all but flattened by Allied bombing in 1945, and the remnants blown up by the Bavarian government in 1952 to prevent the area becoming a Nazi shrine.


Over the years dogged groups of Nazis have climbed the mountain and placed candles around the location of the building where Hitler lived. It is 60 years since the end of the Second World War, and the new hotel has been erected 600m from the site of the building, but the hotel management are still anxious to avoid being tainted by the Nazi connection.


They have decided that any far-right organisations seeking to rent out rooms or conference facilities will be turned away, and that individuals organising events at the hotel will be vetted.


In addition, staff employed at the five-star hotel where a room costs anything from £130 to £1,700 per night, must sign a clause in their contract saying they are in agreement with the post-war German constitution.


The operators of the resort say that they are trying to "reclaim" the area from the Nazis, and point out that the mountain was a popular resort for German and Austrian high society well before the Third Reich was ever thought of. Famous non-Nazi visitors included the composer Johannes Brahms, and psychiatrist Sigmund Freud.


A source at the company which built the resort said:

We have a policy of refusing any far-right organisation who would want to hold a function at the hotel. In addition, we run checks on people who rent rooms in case they might be a far-right organisation masquerading under a more innocent-sounding name. Under the rules, we are not obliged to give anyone a room or use of the facilities.


We were also granted special permission by the authorities to insist that anyone working at the hotel had to be in agreement with the constitution, not a normal condition of employment, again to make sure that nothing untoward happens. In addition, there is a museum nearby which details the history of this area and what the Nazis did. People are left in no doubt that no one is glorifying the Third Reich or the Nazis here.

One should be careful, but at the same time we are reclaiming this area from the Nazis. The police have told us that since we opened there have been far fewer people coming up the mountain to place candles around the location of the building which Hitler used.

Locals have claimed that Germans are being unfairly criticised for wanting to enjoy themselves in the mountain resort. They have pointed out that in the immediate aftermath of the war, the Berchtesgaden was a prime posting for US troops, who occupied the area.


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The GIs built a nine-hole golf course and a ski lift around the mountain, and also used some former Nazi buildings, now demolished, to host conferences.


Hitler first fell in love with the Berchtesgaden after his brief stay in prison which followed his attempt to take power in the Munich "Beer Hall" putsch of 1923. He had family connections in the area and hoped that the mountain air would help him recuperate after his time behind bars.


In 1934 he purchased the chalet known as the Berghof, and had it decorated in the most pretentious and extravagant style. In the following years, leading Nazis bought or built chalets in the area to be close to their Führer.


Hitler's mistress, Eva Braun, spent much of the war in Obersalzburg, only going to Hitler's bunker in Berlin in the closing weeks of the war.