Over the years the Berchtesgadener Hof in Berchtesgaden, Germany provided first class shelter for the well-to-do from royalty, to top Nazis and American Generals. It began life as the Grand Hotel in 1898 and because of its superb location was popular for decades with the wealthy. It was as close as one could get in a first-class hotel to the Berghof, the alpine home of Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler.
In 1939 the NSDAP purchased the Grand Hotel in Berchtesgaden and the Deutscher Hof Hotel in Nürnberg and established a corporation, the Hotelbetriebsgesellschaft (Gotthard Färber, General Manager) to operate them. The name of the Grand Hotel was changed to the Berchtesgadener Hof and it underwent extensive and expensive renovations to prepare it for use by high Nazi Party officials and diplomatic guests.
German Chancellor and Nazi Party Führer Adolf Hitler was there for the grand re-opening of the Berchtesgadener Hof in 1941 with Reichsleiter Martin Bormann and Party Treasurer F.X. Schwarz. The list of guests who stayed in the beautifully furnished rooms at the Berchtesgadner Hof includes notables and history-makers such as Hitler's future wife Eva Braun, SS Cavalry General Hermann Fegelein, Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Dr. Josef Goebbels, Kriegsmarine Admiral Raeder, etc., etc.
In May 1945 with the arrival of the American Armed Forces in Berchtesgaden, the hotel was set aside for the use of US XX Corps Artillery and this booklet was published by them for the men of the outfit. It was printed by the Vonderthann'sche Buchdruckerei und Verlag in Berchtesgaden and provided XX Corps soldiers with an English language history of Berchtesgaden, an explanation of how Hitler ended up with a house near there, a very comprehensive description of Hitler's Berghof and its eventual destruction, a history of the building, and a description of the Eagle's Nest at the top of Kehlstein Mountain.
There is a description of a one-day trip to Chiemsee and recommendations for other tours in the vicinity.
The booklet is an often missing link in the history of both Berchtesgaden and the Berchtesgadner Hof Hotel.
The US Armed Forces continued to occupy the Hotel Berchtesgadner Hof after World War II and finally gave it back to the government of Bavaria in excellent condition in 1995.
It is one of the saddest footnotes to post-WW2 history that because of its Nazi past, the German government allowed the hotel to deteriorate and to be looted by marauding bands of local vandals (the nearby Geiger Hotel was allowed to be destroyed by vandals as well) and in 2006 what remained of the historic hotel was torn down and hauled away.
Unfortunately, the same fate will soon befall the Berchtesgadner Hof sister-hotel, the Deutscher Hof in Nürnberg, where Hitler stayed during the Nazi Party Days. Soon there will not be a single trace of the Hotelbetriebsgesellschaft left on the planet.
The US XX Corps Artillery Berchtesgadener Hof booklet offered for sale on thei USMBOOKS web page is in excellent condition.
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This very rare original US XX Corps Artillery Berchtesgadener Hof
USM book # 647
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BERCHTESGADENER HOF BOOKLET HOME OF THE
US XX CORPS ARTILLERY IN 1945
A SPLENDID ENGLISH LANGUAGE BOOKLET PUBLISHED BY THE US XX CORPS ARTILLERY, PROPRIETORS OF THE OLD NAZI BERCHTESGADENER HOF HOTEL IN BERCHTESGADEN