At Vetschau, near Aachen just before the border with Germany, the railway crosses a part of the Westwall, specifically the Siegfried Line. The Siegfried Line was a defence system stretching more than 630 km (390 mi) with more than 18,000 bunkers, tunnels and tank traps. This rail connected Maastricht with Aachen. Because the rail connection to the west was important for the war, special facilities were built here that made it possible to block the route in case of emergency. In this case, iron girders were clamped between concrete blocks to prevent tanks from driving over them. Passenger trains were shut down between 1940 and 1945 due to the war. Passenger traffic was finally discontinued on May 30, 1992.
Back from vacation. A wish to go there one day has come true. The Obersalzberg. The mountain where Adolf Hitler and other Nazi celebrities had their home. Apart from being a beautiful part of Germany, it also has a dark history. In the late 1930s, Adolf Hitler settled in a house on the Obersalzberg and expanded the house into the Berghof.
In the 1950s, the Americans blew up the tangible memories, now there is little or nothing to recognize. Only for those who are interested in this piece of history, they are special places to go. Following the road up from Berchtesgaden is a challenge anyway given the 24% rise you have to bridge. Given the cloudy day and the hassle of going to the Kehlstein house (Eagle’s Nest), we turned towards the place where Hitler’s Villa once stood.
On the 13th of September the first breakthrough at the Siegfried Line was established at Roetgen, a town at the border of Belgium. A few days earlier (10th of September the first jeep crossed the border). The Siegfried Line was a defence system stretching more than 630 km (390 mi) with more than 18,000 bunkers, tunnels and tank traps.
In for a weekend in Berlin to see the modern highlights of a reborn city with scars of it’s dark past. As a start, we immediately went to a point where the history of Berlin is clearly visible which is the Niederkirchnerstraße. The monument surrounding the horrors of the Nazi regime and part of the Wall dividing East and West that has ruled the city for a long time.
Neuwe Wache – Designed and built in 1816 where it was originally supposed to be a guard house for the troops of the Crown Prince of Prussia for the nearby Kronprinzpalais. It thus served as a replacement for the old artillery guard house. Still used as an important place to remind us of the German fallen in various wars and war zones. It was seriously damaged in the battle for Berlin.
Berliner Dom – In 1935 Hermann Göring – the second-in-command of Nazi Germany – married Emmy Sonnenschein at the cathedral. Hitler was a witness (best man) at the ceremony. The cathedral was badly damaged during the second world war especially with air raids on Berlin on May 24, 1944.
Reichstag – Herman Goringstrasse (now Friedrich Eberstrasse) towards the Reichstag. Happy faced Russian soldiers walk past the Tiergarten park with AA guns in joy that the battle for Berlin is over.
Flakturm III G-Tower Humboldthain – One of the most visible remains of the Second World War in Berlin. Partly buried under the rubble of the city after the war, it can still be visited. Keep in mind that you have a sweater or jacket with you because otherwise it will be too cold and you cannot join the tour (which was unfortunately the case with us). This tower is one of three built in Berlin to protect Berlin from constant attacks by the air force. The others have been cleaned up completely. The roof is 3.5 meters thick!
The Flakturm (Flak Tower) is a concrete bunker that is placed in a city. The bunker was provided with a space where people (the largest tower itself had room for 20,000 people) could shelter during bombings and there was room for storage of goods. In addition, the bunker was equipped with Flak anti-aircraft guns (Flak is the abbreviation for Flugabwehrkanone, also known as Fliegerabwehrkanone).
These large towers were built in the cities of Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna during the Second World War.