From an aerial view, the camera zooms in on various points so that you have an idea of where things were in relation to each other and how expansive a semi-military complex it was.
When the videographer stops at a point of interest, a picture of that site from the NS era is superimposed on the video, showing the viewer a glimpse of the past.
The tour begins in 1925 in the Bavarian village of Obersalzberg. Strolling through the lush green overgrowth, you’ll see the foundations of cabins and then a youthful, and happy, Adolf Hitler sitting on the porch of a cabin when it still existed.
From there, you’ll learn what the countryside was like around the Berghof, including the path on which Hitler walked his dog, the gatehouses that kept out fervent fans of the Führer, and even Mooslahnerkopf, the tea house with a view, where he liked to sit and reflect.
Much of what was there was destroyed by aerial bombing or was demolished in the 1950s, including the Platterhof hotel, which was restored by the U.S. Army as the Hotel General Walker, but destroyed when returned to the government of Germany and turned into a parking lot.
When the tour takes you to the Gästehaus Hoher Göll and on to the entrance to the bunkers, you see the dirty underbelly that you’ve forgotten while enjoying the scenic wonder.
After riding down in a gleaming golden elevator, you enter into the cement bunkers. Even that effect, though, is not as much of an impacting moment as seeing the superimposed pictures in the dining room at the Eagle’s Nest where the SS dined and where you now sit with a vase and table setting ready to eat.
Without the interruption or distraction of narration, you’re free to imagine on your own just how things must have been. If you have never been to Berchtesgaden, this tour will give you a great deal more perspective about how seemingly secure Hitler must have felt in the protection of these mountains.
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