Idyll und Verbrechen

Idyll and crime

Berchtesgaden – an idyllic place in the Bavarian Alps. Right on the border with Salzburg, holidaymakers can enjoy wonderful views – a true natural paradise with many recreational opportunities.

Adolf Hitler, who first visited Berchtesgaden in 1923 and discovered the Obersalzberg for himself, also appreciated this around a hundred years ago. Fellow sympathisers and party friends followed. Haus Wachenberg, rented in 1928, was bought in 1933, extended in 1935, renamed Berghof and gradually the entire Obersalzberg area was transformed into a Führersperrgebiet (restricted area).

Hitler gathered the NSADP functionaries loyal to him at the Berghof – a court of his own. Hitler’s partner Eva Braun. Martin Bormann and Albert Speer lived nearby with their families, and the Goebbels family were also frequent guests. The Berghof society was constantly changing and membership depended on Hitler’s favour. He decided on persecution, war and genocide in a circle of close confidants. It was here that war plans were drawn up that led to the catastrophe of the Second World War.

“Hitler’s ideology was murderous. But it was carried out by others – in the German Reich, in the occupied territories and in the death camps.” This quote comes from the catalogue of the Obersalzberg Documentation, which is located on the site of the former Führersperrgebiet. The permanent exhibition “Idyll and Crime” shows the history of Obersalzberg during the National Socialist era and its devastating consequences for German history.

It succeeds very impressively. The new exhibition, which opened at the end of 2023, vividly and depressingly presents evidence of a frightening time in images, sound and film. The new exhibition building also incorporates part of the underground air raid shelter, which was built in 1943.

A very impressive visit to the museum. In view of the many populist promises that have been booming for some time now, it can’t hurt to realise where gullible parroting of supposedly simple solutions and slogans has already led: to crime – planned in the idyll.

The Obersalzberg Documentation presents the film “Nelly and Nadine” at the Salzburg 2024 Pride Festival. The story of two women who met in Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1944, survived the concentration camp and spent the rest of their lives together in Venezuela and Brussels will be shown on 3 September at 7.30 pm in DAS Kino Salzburg. (pege)

Dokumentation Obersalzberg Salzbergstraße 41, 83471 Berchtesgaden

From Salzburg main station, you can easily get to Berchtesgaden on bus line 840. At the entrance to Berchtesgaden, change to the 838 bus and after 1 hour 20 minutes you will be at the Obersalzberg documentation centre. Return in reverse order.

And Berchtesgaden, with the nearby Königssee lake, the Eagle’s Nest and the Watzmanntherme spa, is always worth a trip anyway.

Published 2. May 2024Updated 9. May 2024
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