Adolf Hitler was completely captivated by Berchtesgaden and the surrounding area on visiting the region in 1923. In 1933 he bought Haus Wachenfeld on the nearby Obersalzberg; this resulted in the area becoming his second seat of government. This in turn led to major construction in the region, including the Berghof, SS barracks, administrative buildings, airstrip and the famous Eagles Nest amongst others. During the war a labyrinth of underground bunkers with interconnecting tunnels were constructed. The entire complex suffered near complete devastation during allied bombing in April 1945. This original book tells the story of the area and how it was transformed by Hitler and his henchmen (Goering, Goebbels and Bormann) in words and, most significantly, contemporary postcards and photographs which were used so skilfully by the Nazi propaganda machine.
The connotations that are imbedded within the second World War are of destruction and chaos, this is not however how Hitler represented it to his fellow Germans. James Wilson demonstrates how Hitler connected with his people though lies and deceit, by way of postcards that show an ideal Germany, however this was far from the truth. These picturesque scenes mask the evil regime that was being persued and capture beautifully the mindset and the devious nature that embodied Hitler and the lengths he would go to, to achieve his goals. An array of postcards convey the scenes of once peaceful and humble places, contrasted then with images depicting how it has been contorted and manufactured into cold, almost lifeless places of business. Wilson gives a shocking and revealing read that gives a further insight into both the misleading persona of Hitler and the State of Germany leading up to the second world war.Jeff Bond