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The Eagle’s Nest today – a legacy of recent history

As symbol of power of the NS regime, decisions were made at the Eagle’s Nest. It still stands for the insanity of the regime and the world on the Obersalzberg, where plans for war and mass murder were formed.

In defiance, the building stands perched over a sheer rock wall. A road was cut into the mountain through previously impassable terrain. Although it is an architectural master piece, it was still an act of waste on nature and other resources. To reach it, there is a golden brass elevator buried in the heart of the mountain, through which one can reach „the summit of power“ – all this has been created with the sole purpose to impress and dazzle people.

The building became a legend in the postwar period, and apparently its use of the Eagle’s Nest was seen as essential as a visual motif in popular US war films and series. This building is one of the few undamaged monuments of the Hilter era which has resulted in giving it a prominence that it does not perhaps deserve though it might seem to provoke.

Berchtesgaden has outlasted its political importance. It must however not be forgotten that the Eagle’s Nest was a part of an idyllic setting, that was intended to overshadow all the horrors of those years. Today however it still offers a magnificent and unique view of the surrounding countryside and also the opportunity to remember and learn about the inhuman dictatorship it served.

The Eagle’s Nest was originally designed by Martin Bormann. In fact, Hitler seldom visited the Eagle’s Nest.

In the end, Allied bombing at the end of World War II did not damage the Eagle’s Nest and thanks to the intervention of former Governor Jacob, the Eagle’s Nest was spared being blown up after the war.

Today the Eagle’s Nest remains in its original state. In 1960, on the occasion of the 150th celebration Berchtesgaden’s incorporation to Bavaria, the Bavarian government relinquished its control over the building to a trust that ensures that the proceeds are used for charitable purposes.

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