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Tunnels, Bunkers and old buildings of the Third Reich

Before we begin our tour, we want to thank Member TUNNEL KING JEFF deeply and sincerely for taking the time to escort a small group of interested people to these many fantastic places.  And yes - we will soon return, maybe you will be with us.

We begin in the Austrian town of Linz and this beautiful cemetery.

 
     
 
     
and along a wall of the cemetery, we find this grave.
 
It is the grave of Adolf Hitler's parents.

NOTE - As of 2012, you will not be able to find the above grave marker.  The grave is still there and the remains of Adolf Hitler's parents are still there, but the grave marker has been completely removed.  It was thought that this grave would become a shrine.

         Starvation Camp
Who hasn't heard of the infamous "Eisenhower Starvation Camps"?  We visited Lager X.

 
     

  
These memorial signs tell it all.  If you don't read German, it is:

 

        
"Camp cemetery of the American war prisoner camp X"

     
 

The photo above left shows that this veteran died in early June 1945.  Almost all the graves in this memorial cemetery show that the veteran died in early June.  They apparently lived about a month after the surrender before they starved to death.
 

   
 


The group then headed for Braunau, another beautiful Austrian town,

 
Member SCOTLAND STEVE looks back to make
sure the rest of the group are following.
  This historic building is now - a lesbian
recreation center.  Don't ask...............
     
 
   

We see by the grillwork over this door, this building was renovated by orders of Martin Bormann in the early days of the Reich.  Notice his initials "M B" in the grillwork.

     
 
The group heads down this passageway.   Above the door is the very apartment where Adolf
Hitler was born on 20 April 1889.


Perhaps 100 meters walk from Hitler's birthplace is a beautiful old church with a very special grotto.

 
First, a look inside this beautiful church then outside for the entrance to the grotto.    
     
 
They remember their fallen sons from both World Wars.    
     
 
Beautiful memorials and remembrances to their fallen sons......    
     
 
     
 

We depart this historic area of Austria - for another historic area of Bavaria in Germany.

       Hotel zum Türken
Our HQ hotel was the historic Hotel zum Türken, owned by our dear friend INGRID SCHARFENBERG (3308-A/LIFE-1993).


the patio where leaders of the Third Reich would meet and
enjoy their coffee (or tea) - Hitler, Göring, Goebbels,
Himmler, Heydrich, Bormann and others.
 
a fantastic view of the magnificent Bavarian Alps
from the window of the zum Türken breakfast room.


Königsee - the King's Lake


This is the incredibly beautiful area of the Königsee - the King's Lake.  It is easy to see why the Kings loved this area but of course, there were a lot less souvenir stands back then. 
  Adolf Hitler liked the beauty of this area as well.
     
 
left is the hotel that was formerly the headquarters
of Field Marshall Kesselring.
     
 
It is indeed, beautiful and it is easy to understand
why anyone would fall in love with its charm.
   
     
 
     
 
     
 

Many centuries ago - some say eight centuries in the past - there was a shifting in the earth's crust in this area and a section of the Königsee was separated from the main body and was lifted a few hundred feet higher to form the Obersee.  Our travelers set out on the short walk to another breathtakingly beautiful area.  We have put many scenic overviews on this page because the beauty of the place is just indescribable, and a picture is worth a thousand words.

   

We don't know what HARRY is trying to say here, but we'll humor him and put in the photo - right next to this shot of a rushing mountain stream the group crossed on the way to Obersee.

 

We have always said that in this area, it is impossible to get a bad meal, a bad beer and impossible to take a bad photo.  Group leader TUNNEL KING JEFF (back to the camera) watches to make sure his group is moving up the path.

   
 
    It just doesn't get any more beautiful than this....................
     
 

This is said to be the favorite rock of Adolf Hitler to have his photo taken, so each of the group had to wade out to this rock for their own photo.  No, HARRY's pants are not two colors - he went a different way and was in water above his knees.....but take a moment to look at the sheer beauty of the area.  Look closely and see how clear the water is.

   
 
   

And of course, after this walk we must have refreshments, so we stop at this little Alpine chalet for food and drink.

     
 
The people in this area are very religious and such
icons/altars are to be found everywhere.
  No, that is not Martin Bormann; it is just Tony, one of our group.
He looks exactly like Bormann and he is always getting long
looks when he is in Germany.


REMEMBER - there will be Sharkhunters "Patrol" to many places.
                  
CLICK HERE for details

Berchtesgaden and the Obersalzberg

Our host hotel and headquarters was the beautiful Hotel zum Türken
 
 
     
 


Onward with exploration.....

 

In Berchtesgaden - the entire mountain known as the Obersalzberg was a Reich Security Zone (RSZ or Reich Sicherheits Zone) and to even cross this river at the base of the mountain required passing this former SS guard shack which still stands at the river's edge.

   
 
     
 
   

Looking at this guard post from across the river we see how the openings for machine guns covered every possible approach even if anyone would be foolhardy enough to attempt crossing this fast running and icy cold river.

 

Can't tell what's in the photo?  We circled it to help you find it.  It is one of the tank barriers on the mountain side of the guard post so that if any armor got across the river, they would stall here.

   
 

This is what the tank barriers look like close up.

Göring's Treasure Train Tunnel
As the fronts were collapsing and the Wehrmacht was being pushed back in every direction, Hermann Göring loaded all sorts of art treasures aboard his private train and parked it in this tunnel to protect it from Allied air raids.

 

Okay, it doesn't look like much of a treasure train tunnel now that the rails have been removed and paved over, and the city of Berchtesgaden is using it for storage of trucks and maintenance gear but in Aril and May of 1945, Hermann Göring's train was right here in preparation to flee to Austria.

   
 
    Yes, once upon a time, in 1945, Hermann Göring's Treasure
Train was right here - and now, so were the Sharkhunters.
 

It's dark in here - but the history shines through it all.  On the outside of the tunnel is the date cornerstone, even though the eagle and the Swastika have been removed the date is here and we see it ourselves.

At the cemetery
There are a few graves of interest here in the local cemetery.  SCOTLAND STEVE is bringing flowers.  The grave of Dietrich Eckart is clearly visible in the front of the cemetery.  He was the founder of the NSDAP and some say, was Hitler's mentor.

 
     
 

STEVE places flowers and a vigil lamp at the grave of Eckart

 

and on the grave of Dr. Hans Lammers.


Beautiful Berchtesgaden
This is a beautiful little town where traditions and an earlier way of life is remembered.

 
     
 
     
 
   

Before marching off to war, the young men of the area would gather for a group photo - many never returned.


A giant step back into history............

 

This is not a haunted house.........well, it probably is haunted - haunted by the ghosts and spirits of the hundreds of Luftwaffe pilots and their girlfriends who stayed here.......and played here.  This is Hotel Geiger, Headquarters of the regional Luftwaffe Command.
 

     
 
     
 

 
It is abandoned and overgrown now, but walking through the hallways, up the stairs, in the ballroom - if you have any imagination at all, you will hear the pilots telling of their combat and hear the frauleins giggling in anticipation of a fun night with their heroes.  Maybe in the evening, a dance band is playing for the revelers.  Can't you see it.......

     

This was the lodging for the Luftwaffe personnel serving at Luftwaffe Headquarters on the road Berchtesgaden to Königsee.  There was a tunnel system from many houses, probably beneath this hotel, but the entrances were all blocked after the war.  These tunnels were used by American forces to store and sort out all the art treasures from Göring's art collection.

This staircase is well worn - but by whom?  What fighter pilot's boots have walked these stairs?  Let your imagination work.

 
     
 
Who stayed in room 34 and 35?    Who shaved and washed up at these sinks?
Is your imagination up to it?
 
     

What pilot wrote home to his sweetheart from this desk?
 
The main electric fuse board is still here.
     
 

A view from one of the balconies. 

 

This is a huge hotel - soon to be rubble - very sad indeed.

     
 
     
 

Who swam in this pool? 

 

What officers hung their clothes in these very lockers?

     
 
More lockers at the pool - and even the sign for the toilet is still there.    
    This hotel will not exist much longer.  Sharkhunters
 will be here again - will you?


Dietrich Eckart Klinik

 
The Dietrich Eckart Klinik, like so many other buildings from
the time of the Reich, is abandoned and crumbling.
  ........a locked door and an abandoned hallway of
this hospital - neither used any longer.
 


A Tragedy of the war....
Wars are filled with tragedies, but some are not necessary.  In the closing moments of the war, a group of twelve French soldiers wearing German uniforms (part of the Charlemagne Division) were captured by a larger group of French soldiers wearing American uniforms who demanded to know why their countrymen were wearing German uniforms.  The men in the German uniforms asked the same of their countrymen in the American uniforms.  Under direct orders, we are told, from French General leClerk, the twelve men of the Charlemagne Division were to be executed.

They were taken to the edge of a ravine and told to turn around- to face away from the firing squad made up of fellow Frenchmen.  They refused to turn their backs on the executioners and said that if their countrymen were going to shoot them, then they would have to look them straight in the face.  Impressive and brave, but they were shot nonetheless.


This unofficial marker is all that is left to show where this took place.  Someone removed the official marker that stood here for years.
 
After the twelve men were shot dead, their bodies
were just dumped into this ravine.
     
 
Tony and Priscilla remove some weeds from
the memorial site area.
 

The bodies lay in the ravine for three days until a group of American soldiers discovered them.  The Americans removed the bodies and took them to the nearest town where they were buried in that cemetery.  Today the cross wrapped with the French Colors stands as a tiny reminder of the twelve men who looked their executioners straight in the eyes.  There is a French helmet atop the cross and on the wall is a bronze plaque with a short description of this event with the names of four of the men - the other eight are unknown.

the Other Chancellery

 

Yes, there was another Chancellery for the Reich, and here it is. 

 

The emblem has been 'modernized'.

     
 
    The arrow points to Dr. Lammer's personal office.
     
 
The circular room was the office of Dr. Lammers    
     
 
Keeping close to the boss, Keitl had his house just
across the parking lot from this Chancellery.
  The former Chancellery building is privately owned and is an apartment building.  Keitl's former house is also privately owned.
     


Gebirgsjägerkaserne

 
     
 
The kaserne of the Gebirgsjäger of World War II is being used
today by the Gebirgsjäger of the Bundswehr.

A quiet gasthaus frequented by..........

 
   

This was a favorite place for Dietrich Eckart for dinner and his beer, and this is the corner in a side room where he would sit; and it is reported that he met many times in this very room with Adolf Hitler.

     

This is a beautiful old German restaurant with
great food - and excellent beer.
 
 

.....and live folkloric music.

Okay - we came to see bunkers, so let's go!

 
This fishpond and bench are located near where the
foundation of the house of Hermann Göring once stood.
  We put on our walking shoes and head down this nearly
forgotten stairway and along this old path.
     
 
     
 
     
WHOA!  What have we here?  What is the story of this red door?
 
This is one of the doors into the personal bunker and tunnel
system of Hermann Göring.  During the war years there was
a small house, a fake, hiding this entrance so from the air,
it did not appear to be a worthy target.
     
 

As we continue along this long forgotten path, we pass more breathtakingly beautiful panoramas and your camera will get a great workout.  The waterway was built by the Reich and still prevents erosion even today.

Now it gets interesting - REALLY interesting!
What is so interesting about this hole - look again - it is a VERY BIG hole!

 
    Look closely at the upper right proto - that is JEFF going
into the hole - actually the entrance to a large tunnel.
     
 
Did we say a large tunnel?  Take a look.  We shoot back toward the entrance.    
     
 
     

A miner's headlamp comes in handy
 


Further along the trail, JEFF brings us to other remains of the Reich.

 
     
 
JEFF checks his map for the next location.
     
 
     
 
     
 
     

Look carefully and you will see this building through the trees.
This building is all that is left of a worker's camp.
 

No, this was NOT a slave labor camp.  The workers in this camp and so many other camps like this one, housed highly trained stone cutters, miners and tunnel experts who lived here and earned a good wage for their labors.
 

 
     
 

We said that we would pass many locations of incredible beauty, and this area is no exception.  This is the golf course (in summer) and the ski area (in winter) that was once the Gutshof, the farm that was set up by Martin Bormann to grow all the crops, raise all the animals etc. that would provide food for everyone living here during the war years.

Re-Making of History
Some time ago we reported that the Government was working hard to demolish all traces of the war years and we ran photos of the Gutsof, the farm mentioned above on this page.  When HARRY was there in 2007, the compound was pretty much the way it was during the times of the Reich.  No more.  Lower left - once the Skytop Lodge stood here, today it is a putting green.  Time marches on.....as does remanufactured history.

 


Now, without much explanation, we let JEFF lead us through a great many ruins.  Let your imagination work overtime here.

 
     
 
     

JEFF goes where angels fear to tread................
 
     
 
     
                     
     
 
     
 
     
 
     
 


Is your imagination going full speed yet?  Has your mind taken you back almost seven decades to imagine who was here, what they were doing in their daily duties, how they watched the sun burn off the early morning dew from the grass on the mountains, had their cup of coffee and their first cigarette before their sergeant rousted the troops to morning formation?

The Theaterhall
Amongst all the buildings that made up this high security complex at the top of the Obersalzberg was a theaterhall.  During a very heavy snowfall the winter of 1943, the snow was so high and deep on the roof that the tresses could not handle the tremendous load and the roof collapsed.  The theaterhall was rebuilt but after the end of the war, Müncheners asked the occupying American forces if they could take the wood from the theaterhall to rebuild a bombed out church in Münich.  They took the wood, leaving this:

 
     
 
     
 





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Again - many thanks to TUNNEL JEFF for taking the time to show us around these incredible ruins of the Reich and to SCOTLAND STEVE for his insights to this history as well.

More Pix, thanks to Tunnel King Jeff
And now we have some additional photos, just in from the camera of "Tunnel Jeff".

 
    This photo is an excellent layout of the way the security zone
looked atop the Obersalzberg in the early 1940's.
 
Close-up photo of the Berghof - Hitler's
residence on the Obersalzberg.
   
     
 
WOW!  How long has this trooper been lost here?  Actually he is coming up
from the passageway below into the machine gun position.
  the "business end" of this machine gun position.
     

machine gun port with gun trunion.
 
Up into the machine gun position.
     

Okay, you can figure this is the toilet for the duty watch.
 
And this is the sleeping room for the watch post.
     
 
This lists the many people who have walked in this tunnel
including Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Dr. Morrel and others.
  the lockout to prevent poison gas from coming
into the bunker system.
     
     
     
 
There is an incredible amount of history to be found here.
     

the only building remaining from the workers camp.
 
the way into a two-man air raid bunker.
     
 

These bunkers were meant to protect sentries caught away from the main bunker in the event of a sudden air raid.  There are very few of these remaining, although there were many hundreds of them built during the war years - maybe even more than that.

 
     
 
     
 

You never know what you will find out here in the woods - old

 

barbed wire, drainage pipes and other things

     
 
this once stood at the Gutsof    
 

Scenery? In Bavaria? Just look! Put yourself in this picture and be with our group in the future.  CLICK HERE.
               

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