Here is just a small preview of what you’ll see………..
It is only a short ride to the historic Hotel zum Türken, owned by our dear friend INGRID SCHARFENBERG (3308-A/LIFE-1993. This was the headquarters of the Sicherheitsdienst for the area. Standartenführer (Colonel) SS Rattenhuber had his room and his office here; the guard officers were here, the switchboard for the buildings in this tight security zone was here. In short, this was the nerve center.
This is the little niche where Hitler, Bormann, Göring, Speer and
many other high ranking officials would meet, have coffee and talk.
A friend in the area was selling this General’s cap – it had
belonged to Obergruppenführer Hans Kammler!
Because this was such a critical part of the defense of the area, there were miles and miles of tunnels and bunkers built beneath the Hotel zum Türken and all the other buildings on this mountain as well as beneath many hotels and elsewhere in Berchtesgaden and other towns all over this area. Here we concentrate on the bunker system beneath the Hotel zum Türken.
Now it is time to put on the bunker boots and get down and dirty – literally dirty, as we are tramping up and down the mountains.
Now it is time to head for one of the most magnificent lakes you’ll ever see – Königsee (King’s Lake). It WAS good to be the King!
Even in this idyllic setting – those doggone golden arches!
This was the Headquarters of Field Marshall Kesselring
Above is the little church of St. Bartholomä and we will visit here in a few hours – but now we continue onward on the Königsee.
|We’ve left the boat and are now making the one kilometer walk from the||Königsee to the Obersee; the scenery is beyond description!|
We have reached the Obersee but it had rained extensively in southern Germany for weeks before we arrived and the Obersee just was not getting rid of the water as fast as it was coming in. The walkway to the boathouse is actually about one foot UNDER the surface of the water. When we were here last year, it was one foot ABOVE the water so the lake level is at least two feet higher.
It is said that Hitler liked this particular rock.
We have even seen photos of Hitler by this rock.
|So now KRIS gives it a try.||KRIS is successful!|
And now it is CHARLIE’s turn at the rock………
|SUCCESS! King of the Hill|
During our walk back from Obersee to Königsee, we stopped at a beautiful little mountain chalet (below left) for lunch. One could almost see Heidi looking for Goat Peter and the Grandfather – and the food was excellent too! Once we reboarded the boat, we stopped at St. Bartholomä for sightseeing and souvenirs.
|Above – the Hauptbraühaus has a restaurant here.||Below – inside the tiny chapel.|
|With a heavy heart we depart this beautiful lake.|
The fun, the scenery, the history is not finished yet – not by a long shot! We head for the little gastube (an old fashioned restaurant) that was Dietrich Eckhart’s favorite place for his abendessen (evening dinner). Why not? It was about 100 meters from his home which, incidentally, is still in the possession of the U.S. Army. Who knows why. This was also the place where Eckhart and Hitler met for dinner and where they talked about the foundation of the Third Reich.
Our favorite waitress was waiting for us.
The food is FANTASTIC!
This is the corner of the room where Hitler and Eckhart would eat.
Beautiful waitresses, mouth-watering food, pure history – what could be missing? YOU! You are missing. Plan for next year.
This is the very fireplace that warmed them during their talks
Breathtaking scenery as we depart.
Dietrich Eckhart’s home seen from the gastube.
Nothing was left to chance here on the sicherheitsdienstzone – even the coal was controlled. The Reich built a huge coal bunker complex in which trucks would come along the upper road, drive on top of the bunker structure and dump their loads of coal into huge bunkers below. When coal was needed to heat the homes, guest houses, farms etc. trucks would come to the lower gates of the bunkers and fill with coal. We see in the photos they discourage visitors but as we all know, ‘Eingang Verboten‘ really means ‘Sharkhunters are Welcome Here!‘……..we know this. At the rear of the end bunker there is a steel door that leads into yet another tunnel system but the local officials plowed huge piles of debris in front of this door. In an earlier recon visit, Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) climbed up and over this pile of debris, entered the bunker and with flashlight in hand, found the door! He also found that the crafty officials had welded the door shut!!! Join us now via photographs to the coal bunkers in summer 2009.
All this barbed wire must be to keep out cows? Reindeer?
Martians? Certainly NOT Sharkhunters – we are here!
Did we mention that the scenery here was breathtaking?
One of the favorite tourist attractions in this area is what we call the “Eagle’s Nest” but the accurate name is Kehlsteinhaus because it is the house built on Kehlstein Mountain. This was built under orders of Martin Bormann for Hitler’s 50th birthday. Most published ‘history’ says that Hitler did not like the place and was only here three times. Other sources tell us that he loved the place and there was even a room for Eva Braun to have lunch and tea with her lady friends.
Okay, we have seen the history outside, the beautiful views of the areas a mile beneath us – now we go inside.
The fireplace, made of Italian rose marble was a gift from Mussolini.
Lunch time – here in the very bosom of history
After one last look around at this scenery we won’t see again for another year, we head for town and dinner in a special place.
We are here at the Hofbraühaus – the brewery!
and for some reason, where there’s beer – there are Sharkhunters!
Dining in the inner courtyard of the brewery.
These advertising banners were inside – as smiling customers arrive
Next on our trip through the tunnels of time is the Dietrich Eckhart Klinik – a hospital that is crumbling into ruin.
Later that evening at dinner, we were joined by our friend Dr. David Duke who drove halfway across Bavaria to visit with us.
Arrow points to the driveway to what was once Hitler’s home.
The Gutshof, the former farm – now a golf course.
The Gutshof is also a ski resort in the winter.
…..and what is this pond where KRIS is standing?
This is where the exploration gets fun! This is now PURE HISTORY!!! Put on your bunker boots, your rough clothes and join us for a walk into pure history. In the photo above right, KRIS is standing at what is left of Hermann Göring’s swimming pool. His house was heavily damaged in the late April 1945 bombing raid by Lancaster bombers and when the U.S. Army gave this area back to the Bavarian Government in the middle 1990’s, they had the house totally torn down and removed. There is now a multi-million dollar upscale hotel built in its place. Nature is quickly reclaiming anything and everything that isn’t being cared for, and that means the history of the Third Reich in this area. Follow us while you can still see this history before Mother Nature obliterates it.
When we went to the coal bunkers the first time, it was late – it was dark and the photos were dark. We returned in daylight.
|Near the doors to the coal bunkers is this man-sized door for workers||to have access to the tunnels – it also was welded shut!|
We continue walking, tromping, through the woods, up the mountain and down the mountain to this area seen below.
We go through this turnstile meant to keep cattle and deer out.
And we arrive at the ruins of the Theater Hall
During the winter 1944/1945, they suffered tremendous snowfall in this area. The weight of the accumulated snow on the roof of the Theater Hall was so great that the roof collapsed. With the war going so badly at the time for Germany, there was no thought to repairing the roof so the building was abandoned. When the war ended, local people from the nearby villages came and collected all the wood from this building that they could to rebuild and to fuel their fires to keep warm.
This day isn’t over yet – there is more hiking to do, more history to visit. Let’s keep walking…………
So much of what the Third Reich built is still standing, more or less…….but time is rapidly eroding all traces. We want to get it all on film as fast as possible to preserve the images forever.
On to Salzburg!
We are so close to Salzburg we naturally must visit. Thanks to CHARLIE who bought a city map and got us easily to the heart of the old city and a convenient parking garage. First item on the list of course – souvenir shopping! There’s plenty here in Salzburg.
|Both above – sure was good to be royalty!||Both below – in the city square.|
We visited two other locations as seen in the two photos below, taken in 2008.
Above left is the building that was once the Southern Chancellery. In this building were the headquarters of Adolf Hitler when he was in Bavaria and also that of Dr. Kammler, head of the Civil Service that built and maintained everything in the area. The round room was his study. What did we see inside? What is there? We cannot tell you. We gave our word that we would not post any photos, would not email any of the photos and would say nothing about what we saw. What I will say is that – if you weren’t with us, you REALLY missed a walk through history! Our thanks to our friend who arranged this visit.
Above right is the lion at the entrance to the Gebirgsjägerkasserne. We received a nice tour through this facility, through the museum and we had our lunch in a set-aside room off the officer’s mess. Here again we were told that we could not take any photos inside nor mention any names of people we met. We do say thank you to the Commanding Officer for giving this permission and also many thanks to the officer who conducted this tour. It really was great.
It is also time to say many thanks to BUD DANA (245-A/LIFE-1987), to STELLA DANA (245½-A/LIFE-1987) and to JIMMY KLINE (300-A/LIFE-1987) for finding all this history for us way back in 1988. They produced our DVD-11 and DVD-12 from their visit there.
Thanks also to JEFF, the Tunnel King, for guiding HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) to many of these places in 2008. JEFF is an incredible researcher and knows where to find things that haven’t been seen in six or seven decades.
NOTE – If you missed this great walk in the footsteps of history this year, set aside time to join us next year as we are planning a return to this area for more research, bunker hunting – and that “Trip Through the Tunnels of Time” which is the beauty of our Sharkhunters “Patrols“. Don’t miss out – these icons of history will soon be gone and you will be wishing you had joined us.