History of Obersalzberg

The name of the settlement area derives from the rock salt deposits in the former Berchtesgaden Provostry documented since the 12th century. It was part of the provostry's Salzberg locality (a so-called Gnotschaft), where the Berchtesgaden salt mine was established in 1517. With the provostry it was securalised in 1803 and became a Bavarian municipality in 1810. Plans by Nazi authorities to merge it with Berchtesgaden were not carried out and Salzberg was not incorporated into Berchtesgaden until 1972.

In the late 19th century German intellectuals like Richard Voss and industrialists like Carl von Linde began using the area as both a summer and winter vacation retreat. The scenic landscape and sweeping mountain views also attracted Adolf Hitler, who had learned of Berchtesgaden through his party fellow Dietrich Eckart in the course of the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, just before his imprisonment at Landsberg. It was in a cabin in Obersalzberg that he dictated Part Two of Mein Kampf, which earned him large royalties. He became so fond of the area that by 1928 he began using his royalty income to rent a small chalet called Haus Wachenfeld from the widow of a Buxtehude manufacturer.

Several months after Hitler's 1933 appointment as Chancellor of Germany he purchased Haus Wachenfeld and began making a series of three important renovations. The first included window shutters and a small office, followed a year later by a winter garden and stonework; finally the most extensive in 1935-1936 when the once modest chalet was finally transformed into the sprawling landhaus known as the Berghof. In time, Obersalzberg became overcrowded with Hitler's admirers from all over the land and beyond, which began to cause problems with the local population.

Around Hitler's home, several Nazi leaders such as Hermann G�ring, Martin Bormann and Albert Speer acquired residences. By 1935-36 Party Secretary Bormann had all residents of Obersalzberg either bought out or