Monday, June 13, 2016

Hitler and Himmler Walking in the Snow

Adolf Hitler (Führer und oberster Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht) walking in the snow alongside Heinrich Himmler (Reichsführer-SS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei) with aid of a walking stick at Berghof Berchtesgaden (Münich), 3 April 1944. Behind them were, from left to right: SS-Obersturmbannführer Fritz Darges (persönlicher SS Adjutant bei Adolf Hitler), SS-Hauptsturmführer Josef "Sepp" Kiermaier (persönlicher leibwächter bei Heinrich Himmler), unidentified, and SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Hermann Fegelein (Verbindungsoffizier der Waffen-SS zum Führerhauptquartier). This picture was taken during the daily walk to the Mooslahnerkopf Teehaus (teahouse), a small building right across Hitler's Berghof mansion (this teahouse should not be mistaken with the official teahouse on top of the Kehlstein mountain), then the car took him back to the Berghof. The Mooslahnerkopf Teehaus was built in 1937 on the northern boundary of the area, just below the Mooslahnerkopf hill, overlooking the Berchtesgaden valley below. Most of Hitler's stays at the Berghof included a daily afternoon walk to the Teehaus. This pleasant walk often became the scene for important political decisions, but Hitler preferred to relax, and even nap, in the Teehaus itself, surrounded by his closest friends and associates. The so-called Eagles Nest is often called "Hitler's Tea House," but this is technically incorrect. Hitler did not treat the Kehlsteinhaus as a tea house, and the location he visited daily for afternoon tea was actually the Mooslahnerkopf Teehaus. The picture was taken by Walter Frentz and it maybe the only set of photos with Hitler wearing sunglasses! In the last few years, an enormous number of official color photographs of Germany during the war years has been released. Virtually all such photographs emanate from Russia. Such signifies that the Russians seized one or more German photographic archives in the final days of the war, transferred the archives to Moscow, sat on the archives for decades—and, in recent years, have finally begun to release such photographs... on a piecemeal basis.

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