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"Building in germany" by Wolfgang Manousek from Dormagen, Germany - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Building_in_germany.jpg#/media/File:Building_in_germany.jpg

“Building in germany” by Wolfgang Manousek from Dormagen, Germany – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Building_in_germany.jpg#/media/File:Building_in_germany.jpg

 

Viel Glück und viel Segen
auf all Deinen Wegen,
Gesundheit und Fohsinn
Seien auch mit dabei!

Best wishes and many blessings
On all your paths,
Good health and cheerfulness
Be with you too!

Today’s poem for #NaPoWriMo is not my work.  It is a traditional German birthday song in both Germany and English since my post today is about Hitler’s 50th Birthday present. 

Known in English speaking countries as the Eagle’s Nest, the Kehlsteinhaus is a chalet-style structure erected on a subpeak of the Hoher Göll. It was built as an extension of the Obersalzberg complex erected in the mountains above Berchtesgaden. The Kehlsteinhaus was intended as a 50th birthday present for Adolf Hitler to serve as a retreat, and a place for him to entertain visiting dignitaries.

"Hitler-Headquarters-Europe" by I, Dennis Nilsson. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hitler-Headquarters-Europe.png#/media/File:Hitler-Headquarters-Europe.png

“Hitler-Headquarters-Europe” by I, Dennis Nilsson. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hitler-Headquarters-Europe.png#/media/File:Hitler-Headquarters-Europe.png

Although the site is on the same mountain as the Berghof, Hitler rarely visited the property. It has been suggested he only visited the Kehlsteinhaus around 10 times, usually for no more than 30 minutes. He received departing French ambassador André François-Poncet there on October 18, 1938.

 

This is not his visit to the Eagle's Nest. Adolf Hitler converses with French Ambassador Andre Francois-Poncet at a New Year's Eve reception.

This is not his visit to the Eagle’s Nest. Adolf Hitler converses with French Ambassador Andre Francois-Poncet at a New Year’s Eve reception.

A significant event held at the Kehlsteinhaus was the wedding reception that followed the marriage of Eva Braun’s sister Gretl to Hermann Fegelein on June 3, 1944. The event was filmed and amongst others Martin Bormann can be seen there.

On the right can be seen - 1st row, left-right - Fegelein, Gretl, Hitler, Eva, Fransiska "Fanny" Braun (Eva and Gretl's mother); 2nd-3rd rows - Georg Alexander, rest unknown to me (although the woman just behind Hitler's right shoulder may be Ilse Braun); 4th row - Himmler, unknown, Anni Brandt (?), Hanni Morell, Dr. Theo Morell (Hitler's personal physician, and a regular of the inner circle, along with his wife); Otto Dietrich (Press Chief - another Berghof regular); standing in the rear - Nicolaus von Below (Hitler's Luftwaffe adjutant), unknown.

On the right can be seen – 1st row, left-right – Fegelein, Gretl, Hitler, Eva, Fransiska “Fanny” Braun (Eva and Gretl’s mother); 2nd-3rd rows – Georg Alexander, rest unknown to me (although the woman just behind Hitler’s right shoulder may be Ilse Braun); 4th row – Himmler, unknown, Anni Brandt (?), Hanni Morell, Dr. Theo Morell (Hitler’s personal physician, and a regular of the inner circle, along with his wife); Otto Dietrich (Press Chief – another Berghof regular); standing in the rear – Nicolaus von Below (Hitler’s Luftwaffe adjutant), unknown.

The Kehlsteinhaus was to be the aiming point of a Royal Air Force bombing raid by a force of 359 Avro Lancasters and 16 de Havilland Mosquitoes of No. 1, No. 5, and No. 8 Group RAF, including 617 Sqn, on April 25, 1945. The small house proved an elusive target and the Berghof area was targeted instead and severely damaged. Several anti-aircraft positions, the base plate of one of which is still discernible, were present about 100 m (330 ft) further up the ridge behind the Kehlsteinhaus.  The Berghof was Adolf Hitler’s home in the Obersalzberg of the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany. Other than the Wolfsschanze in East Prussia, Hitler spent more time at the Berghof 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 heavily damaged during the RAF bombing raid on 25 April 1945.

The Berghof was heavily damaged during the RAF bombing raid on 25 April 1945.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of U.S forces in Europe and later President of the United States, wrote that the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division was the first to take the town of Berchtesgaden. General Maxwell D. Taylor, former Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division, stated the same. Elements of the 3rd Infantry maintain being first at the Kehlsteinhaus as well. Photographs and newsreel footage show 3rd Infantry soldiers relaxing on the Eagle’s Nest patio, “drinking Hitler’s wine”, affirming that they were present at the house on the 10 May 1945.

Other groups claiming to be first there include Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion 506th Regiment, US 101st Airborne Division. 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, took several photographs before leaving on May 10 at the request of US command.

Easy Company in the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's residence. _ Easy Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division ...

Easy Company in the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s residence. _ Easy Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division …

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. Following this, an information centre was built on the foot of the hill to remind the public of Hitler and his regime. The Kehlsteinhaus itself does not mention much about its past.

 

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7 responses

  1. jazzfeathers says:

    That RAF photos is really impressive.
    Nice posts 🙂

    Like

  2. a gray says:

    Fascinating post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Birgit says:

    When I was 8 yrs old we tried to go see the Eagles Nest but it was so foggy we didn’t make it up. My mom has these old mini post cards of the before and after of the Eagles Nest and I thought it was blown up. Was this blown up or another one in Bavaria that was??

    Like

  4. Sue Archer says:

    I remember the episode of Band of Brothers about The Eagle’s Nest. I didn’t know it was a birthday present!

    Liked by 1 person