Monday, August 4, 2014

Bavaria: Obersalzberg & Eagle's Nest

Dad is a military history buff, so visiting Berchtesgaden and Hitler's Kehlsteinhaus (a.k.a. Eagle's Nest) was on his wishlist for sightseeing.  As it turns out, it wasn't beautiful Berchtesgaden where Hitler and his closest confidantes set up camp... it was higher up in beautiful Obersalzberg.  Hitler basically pushed the locals off their land and built his own little village, where people flocked in large groups to catch a glimpse of him at his retreat.  Today, you can stop by the Dokumentationszentrum Obersalzberg (I recommend the audiotour, as everything on display is in German) to learn the complete history of the Nazi party and what it did to the country and the town.

As you work your way down into the museum, you end up in part of the elaborate bunker system Hitler had built under the town.  There are airlocks, living space, and more, all set up in case they came under attack.  Most of Obersalzberg was bombed during WWII because of Hitler's presence there.
After the museum, we took the bus (special buses are the only ones allowed access) up to Hitler's Kehlsteinhaus.  It was a harrowing ride on a narrow, winding road to the top of the mountain, over a mile up!  I don't like heights, so it was an interesting climb.

Once there, we walked through a tunnel to the elevator up to the house, now a restaurant/tourist stop.  The views from the top were beautiful, and I can see why Hitler's mistress would sunbathe up there.  Totally isolated and private.

Overall, we spent a half-day at the museum and Eagle's Nest, and it was an overwhelming amount of history.  Like visiting Dachau, it was important visit to remind us that Germany isn't just beer and castles.

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  1. 8-0 That VIEW! I feel that sometimes people don't want to be reminded of that part of Germany's history.

  2. I think every country tries to hide the ugly in its history... I mean, we don't really teach American kids about how we committed ethnic genocide of the Native Americans, and we brush over putting Americans of Japanese descent into internment camps during WWII. Oh, and then there's slavery. The book "Lies My Teacher Told Me" is fascinating.


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