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Obersalzberg is a district of the Berchtesgaden market in the Berchtesgadener Land district in Upper Bavaria . It was part of the Salzberg community until it was incorporated into Berchtesgaden on January 1, 1972 . (Even if the name “Obersalzberg” has been mentioned in numerous publications for decades as if it were a mountain (e.g. “on the Obersalzberg”), there is no survey with this name. Rather, there is only one on approx The 1000 meter high foothills of the Kehlstein called Salzberg "with the settlements Unter- and Obersalzberg". An etymological explanation for this "abuse" at the expense of the correct declination of "Obersalzberg" as a district is so far unknown.)

With the Moritz Pension , founded in 1877 by Mauritia Mayer , which accommodated numerous prominent guests, Obersalzberg became one of the cradles of tourism in Berchtesgaden. At the turn of the century, many well-known personalities such as Carl von Linde settled in the place with a second home.

Adolf Hitler was in Obersalzberg for the first time in 1923 and regularly had his vacation home there. He later rented a house on a permanent basis and, after acquiring it, expanded it into the Berghof , a prestigious second residence. Almost the entire district, including the Kehlstein , became a Führer's restricted area from 1933 . Both the local population and the owners of second homes were partly forcibly relocated or their own buildings were purchased or expropriated and then the majority of the existing buildings were demolished. The buildings were largely destroyed in a bomb attack in April 1945.

The return to Obersalzberg with the reconstruction of the original location, which the former residents sought after the end of the war, did not materialize. In the post-war period, the area was largely part of a recreation center for the American armed forces. After approval by the Free State of Bavaria in 1996, the Obersalzberg documentation was set up in 1999 as part of the Bavarian state government's "two-pillar concept" and the five-star superior Hotel InterContinental Berchtesgaden Resort (today: Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden ) opened in 2005 .


Development as a community district

Probably as early as the end of the 14th century Obersalzberg was the 5th Gnotschaft district of the "Ur gnotschaft " Berg in the Berchtesgadener Land , which from 1380 formed the heartland of the Reich Prelature Berchtesgaden and the later independent, imperial provostry Berchtesgaden (1559-1803). After three changes of rulership in quick succession, in 1810 the Berchtesgadener Land with its Gnotships was annexed to the Kingdom of Bavaria and from 1812 the municipality of Salzberg , whose district or Gnotschaft Obersalzberg remained until the incorporation of Salzberg into the market of Berchtesgaden (→ see the section: Territorial reform ).

Beginnings of tourism

Pension Moritz around 1900

Mauritia Mayer opened the Pension “Moritz”, named after her nickname , in 1877 , making it a pioneer of modern tourism . At the beginning of the 20th century, the Obersalzberg mountain spa and later renamed Platterhof , this inn is "at the beginning of tourism in Germany and Central Europe".

But even in the 1920s Obersalzberg was "an idyllic scattered village with mountain farmers and accommodation providers, which was considered an insider tip for tourists among the wealthy and celebrities". As a result, well-known personalities such as the inventor of refrigeration technology Carl von Linde or the piano manufacturer family Bechstein soon settled in Obersalzberg.

time of the nationalsocialism

Adolf Hitler with Eva Braun at the " Berghof ", 1942

→ For this section of history, see also the main article: Führersperrgebiet Obersalzberg

From 1923 on, Adolf Hitler often spent his holidays in Obersalzberg. In 1928 he rented the Wachenfeld house , which he finally bought in the summer of 1933, renamed it Berghof and converted it into a prestigious residence.

After the seizure of power of the Nazis in Germany, the site experienced the greatest structural changes in its history. All private and part of the public property were bought under the direction of Martin Bormann . The owners were offered prices above market value. Those who were not willing to sell were forced to sell their properties with threatened and partly executed imprisonment in the Dachau concentration camp . Most of the existing buildings were removed and the character of the place completely changed. The houses of all the important NSDAP politicians were grouped around the Berghof .

At Hitler's suggestion, Bormann had the Kehlsteinhaus built on the ridge of the Kehlstein as a representative building.

Only the massive air raids by the Allied forces on large parts of Germany led to the expansion of the air raids in Obersalzberg. A widely ramified bunker system was created deep in the rock.

Government affairs and representation

Hitler receives Chamberlain , preparing the Munich Agreement

Hitler often stayed in Obersalzberg for several months a year in order to run government business from Berchtesgaden. Altogether he spent almost a third of his reign there and also received state guests at the Berghof . In February 1938, the Berchtesgaden Agreement was signed in Obersalzberg , the first step towards the “connection” of Austria to the Nazi state .

The newly established Reich Chancellery, Berchtesgaden , ensured the availability of government officials during Hitler's stays in Obersalzberg.

It was considered a special honor for German politicians and party members of the NSDAP to be received by Hitler or the unofficial landlady Eva Braun in his Obersalzberg residence in a "private setting".

Bomb attack towards the end of the war

The US-American General Dwight D. Eisenhower , the commander-in-chief of the Allies , gave up his plans to conquer the capital of Berlin because he feared that the SS and other elite troops might entrench themselves in the Alpine fortress, which actually did not exist . So he turned his troops south to cut off German troops' retreat to the Alps.

On April 25, 1945, Lancaster bombers of the Royal Air Force dropped almost 1,300 bombs over Obersalzberg, while Berchtesgaden in the valley was almost completely spared. After this attack - with the exception of the Kehlsteinhaus  - all buildings in the Führer's restricted area in Obersalzberg were damaged. Retreating SS guards set them on fire, but this did not prevent the occupiers or the local population from looting the buildings.

Post-war period - American occupation in Obersalzberg

Obersalzberg was occupied by an association of US troops and some French on May 4, 1945 after the Berchtesgaden district was surrendered without a fight. The head of the consortium of construction companies at Obersalzberg Grethlein was taken care of with the handover . He and his driver were shot dead by drunken French soldiers when he was trying to negotiate the future of his workforce. The NSDAP land officially became the property of the Free State of Bavaria in 1947, but the American occupiers continued to use most of their buildings.

Even if the former Salzbergers tried to return to their old houses after the war, the village was never rebuilt. Only the Hotel zum Türken was returned to its former owners. Today there is the possibility - besides the bunker parts later integrated into the Obersalzberg documentation - to visit other sections of the bunker system in Obersalzberg.

Various buildings were repaired for the US armed forces after the war, such as the Platterhof (“Hotel General Walker ”), the Speer studio ( Evergreen Lodge ) and the former estate; they served the US Army as a recreation center. The other buildings - especially the houses of the Nazi leaders - were demolished or blown up in 1952 to prevent any cult.

Steigenberger affair

All of the hotels owned by the Free State of Bavaria but still occupied by the US armed forces were sold to the major hotelier Albert Steigenberger in the 1950s . Politicians and businesses in Berchtesgaden hoped that the up-and-coming Steigenberger hotel group would stimulate tourism. Until the approval by the Americans, Steigenberger was to receive the annual compensation payment from the federal government, the purchase price to the Free State could be paid in installments - which were lower than the annual compensation. It was assumed that the contract had benefited from a generous donation from Steigenberger to rebuild the Munich residence . However, both sides were soon dissatisfied: The State Audit Office criticized the low purchase price, Steigenberger complained about the continued occupancy by the Americans. In addition, the federal government stopped the compensation payments because the legal opinion had changed. The hotel affair ended after it became known in the press in 1964 with the cancellation of the contract.

Territorial reform

As part of the regional reform , the independent municipality of Salzberg, to which Obersalzberg also belonged, was incorporated into Berchtesgaden on January 1, 1972. Since then Obersalzberg has been a district or a Gnotschaft of the Berchtesgaden market .

Withdrawal of American forces

With the withdrawal of the American armed forces and the associated dissolution of the Armed Forces Recreation Center , the use of the former NSDAP properties was also transferred to the Free State of Bavaria in 1996 . In accordance with the two-pillar concept of the Bavarian Finance Minister Kurt Faltlhauser ( CSU ), the Bavarian state government then decided to build a luxury hotel on this area as well as a center for documenting the atrocities committed during the Nazi era in order to prevent the emergence of a pilgrimage site for right-wing extremists and to set up a counterpart to the "commercial exploitation" of the site.

Documentation Obersalzberg

In 1999, the Obersalzberg documentation was opened right next to the car park and the bus stop to the Kehlsteinhaus . It depicts the history of Obersalzberg during the National Socialist era and the connections to the entire National Socialist policy . The institution includes parts of the still-preserved bunker systems that can be visited. On July 19, 2010, the 1.5 millionth visitor and on July 18, 2013 the 2 millionth visitor to this documentation center were welcomed.

New hotel building

Following on from the tourist tradition of Obersalzberg before the "Third Reich", the five-star superior Hotel InterContinental Berchtesgaden Resort (today: Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden ) opened in 2005. The house was built on behalf of a subsidiary of BayernLB . In 2009 it made a name for itself with losses of millions, which brought the ailing bank into further distress. The luxuriously appointed hotel has received several awards and hosts high-ranking guests and events.


Obersalzbergbahn July 2013

The Obersalzbergbahn was built by Berchtesgadener Bergbahn GmbH (later AG) and put into operation in 1950. One of the initiators was the well-known alpinist Josef Aschauer . The cable car leads from the valley station at an altitude of 530 meters via the middle station at 770 meters to the mountain station at 1,020 meters ( ). From the mountain station, which is located below Scharitzkehlstrasse, you can reach the starting point of the toboggan run, which ends in the valley near the valley station of the cable car. The length of the Obersalzbergbahn, which was modernized in 1996, is 1,530 meters and runs over nine pillars. The suspension cable has a diameter of 25 millimeters; the pull rope has a diameter of 16 millimeters. It is a group shuttle train with two small cabins for four adults and one child driving close behind each other on each lane. A larger basket for luggage is attached to the outside of the first cabin. You have to change at the middle station. Today the railway is operated by the private Obersalzbergbahn GmbH.

Removal of parts of the historical network of trails

→ For this section of history, see also section: Removal of parts of the historical network of trails in the main article Führersperrgebiet Obersalzberg

Plans of the Bavarian State Forests , which became known in 2009 , to dismantle the historic network of trails on Obersalzberg in favor of wide, graveled forest roads, led to resistance and the project to be stopped. Finally it was agreed that only parts of the route should be removed and the rest preserved.

Kehlstein / Obersalzberg transmitter

In Obersalzberg there is a transmitter from Deutsche Funkturm GmbH , which was built as a filling transmitter for radio in the Berchtesgaden basin . The transmitter is used to transmit the VHF signals:

program frequency Performance ( ERP ) RDS PS
Bayernwelle Southeast 89.3 MHz 0.1 kW BAYWELLE
Antenna Bavaria 105.5 MHz 0.1 kW ANTENNA


Georg Freundorfer dedicated the march Greetings to Obersalzberg to Obersalzberg during the time of National Socialism . Today the march is known as Greetings to Upper Bavaria .


  • Obersalzberg , in: Hellmut Schöner (Ed.): The Berchtesgadener Land in the course of time . Supplementary Volume I, Berchtesgaden 1982, pp. 368-379.

Web links

Commons : Obersalzberg  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Volker Dahm : The Obersalzberg near Berchtesgaden. Perpetrator location, tourist attraction, learning location , historical essay as press information from the Obersalzberg documentation from November 1, 2001, online at obersalzberg.de
  2. ^ Wilhelm Volkert (ed.): Handbook of Bavarian offices, communities and courts 1799–1980 . CH Beck, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-09669-7 , p. 434 .
  3. ^ The documentation Obersalzberg near Berchtesgaden. ( Memento of the original from December 15, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. see 5th paragraph, online at obersalzberg.de @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.obersalzberg.de
  4. Hellmut Schöner : Berchtesgaden through the ages. 1973, p. 202.
  5. Hellmut Schöner (ed.): The Berchtesgadener Land in the course of time . Supplementary volume I, Berchtesgaden 1982, p. 369.
  6. Joachim Fest: Hitler. A biography. 2002, pp. 445-447.
  7. ^ Institute for Contemporary History Munich-Berlin: The Obersalzberg as a place of contemporary history.
  8. a b obersalzberg.de ( Memento of the original from December 16, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. On the history of the Führer's restricted area with illustrations @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.obersalzberg.de
  9. ^ Austrian State Archives : Berchtesgaden Agreement. ( Memento of the original from May 23, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.oesta.gv.at
  10. ^ Steigenberger - Hitler's legacy - affairs. In: Der Spiegel from July 1, 1964, online at spiegel.de
  11. ^ Wilhelm Volkert (ed.): Handbook of Bavarian offices, communities and courts 1799–1980 . CH Beck, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-09669-7 , p. 434 .
  12. Catherine Wiechers: bankrupt project. The loss of millions on Obersalzberg . In: Augsburger Allgemeine . May 27, 2009 ( web archive [accessed October 27, 2009]). Web archive ( Memento of the original from May 31, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.augsburger-allgemeine.de
  13. a b "Place of the perpetrator" and historical clarification. Lecture by Dr. Volker Dahm (employee of the Institute for Contemporary History ; Munich-Berlin, technical director of the Obersalzberg documentation) on the occasion of a symposium in two parts (December 5 to 7, 2002, January 16 to 17, 2003), to be read in the conference proceedings p. 198– 210, quotation p. 199 f. ( online ( memento of April 28, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) at ns-dokumentationszentrum-muenchen.de; direct link to the PDF with 1652 kB on the accessed page).
  14. obersalzberg.de ( Memento of the original from June 28, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. For the development of the Obersalzberg documentation @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.obersalzberg.de
  15. ^ Website of the Obersalzbergbahn
  16. List of titles on dismarc.org.

Coordinates: 47 ° 38 '  N , 13 ° 3'  E