Obersalzberg's Dokumentation Center
Obersalzberg Travel Blog› entry 2 of 8 › view all entries
September 30, 2009
My original plan for the day was to head to the Dokumentation
Center in Oberslazberg before arranging to take the tour of the Eagle’s Nest
through the tourist office. I was
informed that the only way to get a tour of the whole building was through the
TO. I knew that it included parts of the
Dokumentation Center, but mainly just the bunkers. So I figured I would do the main part of the
exhibit and then have the rest filled in by the tour. Yeah, that didn’t happen. You really need to set aside a couple hours
to go through the Center in Obersalzberg.
It’s the largest in Germany and focuses not only on WWII in the region,
but the whole of Germany as well. Obersalzberg
was where Hitler had vacationed and finished Mein Kampf before going into
power. Once he became Chancellor of
Germany, he and his administration took over the town by offering exuberant
amounts of money to the locals for their houses and lands. Those that refused to sell were constantly
pressured and eventually some of them literally lost their roofs in the dead of
winter. Here, Hitler built his Berghof,
a place where he could appear one with nature and the people.
The Dokumentation Center is very easy and convenient to get to from Berchtesgaden. If you have the Berchtesgaden guest card (which you can get from your hotel if you're spending at least a night in the town), the bus ride up to the Center is free. Once there, it's only a couple Euros to see the exhibit and a couple more to rent the audio guide. If you don't read or understand German, then you're going to need one, as all of the exhibits are in German.
It was a pretty neat exhibit that put a lot of focus on Hitler and his administration. I also found it to be a strait-forward view on WWII from the German perspective. I didn’t come away with any biased opinions, just a “this is what happened and this is how life is today” feel. i liked that one of the first exhibits you would see was a panorama of what Obersalzberg looked like 60 years prior. From the Dokumentation Center you can explore some of the underground bunkers. When the Americans and the Allies came in May of ’45, they took over the area and Hitler’s possessions. The bunkers belonged to the Americans until the 90’s, and it’s pretty obvious as they etched their names, towns, states, etc. all over the walls. I took advantage of being the only one in a specific bunker for a few minutes and etched my name and town as well.