Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Key to Adolf Hitler's Home

Good morning key lovers!

  Hunter here, and unfortunately today will be my last day posting to the Key Room Blog, as I head back to school in Arizona in a couple of days.  Since this is my last post, I have decided to focus on a key that is easily one of the most famous in our key museum, as well as one that has interested me all summer- the key to Adolf Hitler's home at Berghtesgaden (Berghof).

   Berghof was one of Hitler's primary headquarters during World War II.  Other than the Wolfsschanze, which can be translated to "Wolf's Lair," Hitler spent more time in Berghof than any other of his shelters during the war.  Berghof was also one of his more widely known headquarters during the war.  Berghof was purchased with the money that Hitler had profited from his famous book, the political manifesto Mein Kampf.  The home was maintained like a vacation resort hotel, as Hitler hired many gardners, cooks, housekeepers, and other domestic workers.  He is quoted as saying in the Home and Gardens magazine, "This place is mine...I built it with money that I earned."

  Hitler decorated Berghof with a jade green color scheme in order have a "light and airy" vibe throughout the home.  Hitler's longtime companion Eva Braun also lived at Berghof, as she had two bedrooms, each with their own bathrooms and interconnecting doors.  Berghof soon became a German tourist attraction, as civilians would wait at the end of the driveway in hopes of catching a glimpse of Hitler.  This caused Hitler to enhance security on the property and place severe restrictions on the private property.  Hitler also compelled neighbors to sell their homes so that he could expand his own property.  Guests such as Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, the Aga Khan, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were greeted personally by Hitler and invited into his infamous home.

  In late April of 1945,  Berghof was damaged by British aerial bombs, and then set on fire by retreating SS troops about a month later.  It was then looted when Allied troops reached the area.  The Bavarian government then destroyed the burnt home in 1952.  Much fear surrounded the ruins, as many feared that it would become a shrine and worship place for Neo Nazis.  Today, trees have overgrown the site and some scattered rubble is all that remains.

  Well key lovers, I have had such a fun time writing for you all and exploring the key museum that I have been lucky enough to work at this summer.  I leave with a tremendous amount of respect for the Baldpate Inn, and knowledge that I will take with me for years to come.  As summer begins to come to an end, make sure to find some time to head down to Baldpate and pay a visit, and possibly enjoy some pie and drink as well!

  Signing off for good,