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flamethrowerguy
06-05-2011, 02:44 PM
I once started a thread about my little tours to WW2 places of interest. Nevertheless I intended to dedicate a seperate thread to the Ordensburg Vogelsang in the Eifel mountain range close to the German-Belgian border. I must've visited the place about a dozen times but I always screwed up in bringing my camera until now. My first visit was back in the 80's when the place was still a military training area of the Belgian Army.

The Ordensburg (literally: order castle) Vogelsang was one of three institutions of that kind. The Ordensburgen were schools established to form and train upcoming NS leaders. Next to Vogelsang there were two more Ordensburgen: Krössinsee in Pomerania and Sonthofen in Bavaria.
The future NS leaders' eduacation originally contained one-year courses at each school plus another year at an institution that was planned but never established. The outbreak of World War 2 however prevented that one single contender for the job of future NSDAP Gauleiter Chikago (mind the spelling) finished his education.

Vogelsang was finished in April 1936, the castle was eventually conquered by 1st battalion of the 47th US infantry regiment (9th US Infantry Division) on February 4, 1945 - basically without a struggle since German forces had already withdrawn. An American newspaper commented laconically: No Nazi superman strutted in castle Vogelsang!".

After the war the compound was used by the British Army as a military training range, in 1950 it was handed over to the Belgians who returned it to German authorities back in 2005. The future of Ordensburg Vogelsang (btw one of the largest preserved architectural relics of the Third Reich) is not entirely clear. German authorities just are sure about one thing: it must not become a Neo-Nazi site of pilgrimage.

For additional info here's the English wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordensburg_Vogelsang

To be continued.

flamethrowerguy
06-05-2011, 02:49 PM
Before I'll post my own photos here's a panoramic view of Ordensburg Vogelsang as seen from the now abandoned village of Wollseifen:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/85/Vogelsang_18_DB.jpg/800px-Vogelsang_18_DB.jpg
photo taken by d ickbauch, 2006 (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Vogelsang_18_DB.jpg)

I'm not a fan of this entire Nazi occultism thing but by walking the place you can really sniff a certain 'Wolfenstein'-like sphere:

Hallway outside of the mess hall
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=5511&d=1307303703


Kameradschaftshäuser (comradeship-houses; ten buildings in total, each for 50 pupils) and the landscape:
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=5514&d=1307304499

Kameradschaftshäuser, different angle:
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=5515&d=1307304742

View from a tower's roundel:
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=5517&d=1307307503

flamethrowerguy
06-05-2011, 03:21 PM
Photo of Adolf Hitler visiting Vogelsang in April 1937:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1985-108-09A%2C_Ordensburg_Vogelsang%2C_Besuch_Adolf_Hitler .jpg
source: Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1985-108-09A; photographer unknown, April 1937.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1985-108-09A%2C_Ordensburg_Vogelsang%2C_Besuch_Adolf_Hitler .jpg

From the same perspective taken in May 2011, odd feeling to know Hitler stood on the same spot once:
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=5516&d=1307305230

This might be one for rudeerude!;)

To be continued.

flamethrowerguy
06-05-2011, 03:56 PM
Castle and tower, the "Appellhof" (roll call square) in front; the castle's administration and members of the second course formed up; June 1, 1937:
http://www.hans-dieter-arntz.de/bilder/vogelsang_taeter.jpg


Now populated by my wife & kids who obviously do not share my enthusiasm in history;):
http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=5513&d=1307304216

navyson
06-05-2011, 07:25 PM
the now abandoned village of Wollseifen:


Why is the village abandoned?
Is anyone upkeeping this place? Looks pretty well preserved if it's now empty.

P.S. What is that yellow thing in the walkway near your wife and kids?

tankgeezer
06-05-2011, 08:36 PM
Ghosties I'll bet, the place has a bunch of them, not to mention all of the bad Ju-Ju from its previous use.

Kovalski
06-05-2011, 09:29 PM
The only pics I see are old B/W ones. Something's wrong or is it just my ancient pc playing games?

flamethrowerguy
06-05-2011, 11:25 PM
The only pics I see are old B/W ones. Something's wrong or is it just my ancient pc playing games?

The latter I'm afraid, I checked on two different PC's and all photos show up.

leccy
06-05-2011, 11:38 PM
I always had a sense of permanence about the camp when I visited during the period it was used as a military training area under the Belgiums. The first day we used to be there the Belgiums used to give a lecture and film/slide show about the camp and its history.

I lived in many German Army Barracks that were built during Hitlers reign and although they are solid looking and feeling they do not convey the same sense of strength and longevity as Vogelsang. The nearest Nazi era location that I worked in that gave a similar feeling was the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

If you take away the Nazi ideology and just look at the site location, views and architecture it is a very imposing and impressive place.

flamethrowerguy
06-06-2011, 02:04 AM
Why is the village abandoned?

The British Army cleared the village and resettled the population (of app. 500) in September 1946 since they intended to use the area as a military training ground. In course of this most buildings were destroyed. Later the Belgians set up coulisse buildings to practice house-to-house combat. In 1955 the former inhabitants of Wollseifen were allowed to move their dead from the cemetery to more accessible ones in the surrounding villages.
I will go to Wollseiffen anytime soon but you better go there during excellent weather conditions because the village is located quite exposed on a ridge and it'S always very windy there.

The coulisse buildings of Wollseifen:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/31/WollseifenBlocks.JPG/800px-WollseifenBlocks.JPG
photo by Arne Hückelheim, December 2010



Is anyone upkeeping this place? Looks pretty well preserved if it's now empty.

Although the future of the place is unclear it is used by several organisations right now such as environmental and artistic ones. Furthermore the castle's swimming pool is in public use and they're planning to re-open the former cinema of the Belgian troops. So local authorities are keeping the place clean.



P.S. What is that yellow thing in the walkway near your wife and kids?

That's supposed to be a sophisticated bullshit artwork sculpture I guess.

VonWeyer
06-06-2011, 03:24 AM
Thanx for the post and info FTG..by the photo's posted it does still look very well preserved.
What a privilege to be able to have visited the site.

kuuk
06-17-2011, 05:30 PM
Thanks for the thread. Very interesting to me:
Back in 1958 when I was a (drafted) Sgt. in the Royal Netherlands Army, our Division spent two months in "Camp" Vogelsang. Arriving there by army trucks (DAFs) we were immediately impressed by the beautiful surroundings and layout of the camp. Coming inside our assigned building, things were just the opposite. All bathroom walls and stalls were full of graffity. Pornographic drawings and sayings, that is. The first night there was spent (by the troops) scrubbing all walls clean so that they looked bright new. Dutch cleansers in action! Also, the water was undrinkable. Thank God for a large supply of good German beer! In between manoevers, sometimes jointly with the then recently formed German Army, we explored the neighborhood of the castle, and even one weekend were carted off in the trusty old DAFs to Koln (Cologne) for R & R and of course more beer. All in all it was an interesting time in that famous building complex.

flamethrowerguy
07-07-2011, 03:25 PM
Guess what this window looked like until early 1945...

5571

Clan
08-22-2011, 02:38 PM
I've often slept in those armybuildings during NATO exersises, there were more places like this where you could actually see swastika's from WWII.

steben
08-23-2011, 04:50 AM
ahhh, swastika - bashing ....
never forget swastika's are still in use all over the world as a positive symbol
(columns in Belgian court "palace of justice" in Brussels, Finnish symbols and flags, india...)
it's just a couple of twigs

In fact, all those Nazi eagles (like the one on the picture above) that survived the swastika-bashing look far more aggressive to me than anything else.
German eagles represent expanionism and german imperialism allready there in 1900.

leccy
08-23-2011, 06:12 PM
steben

Hardly Swastika bashing for the sake of it, they were and still are banned symbols in Germany. Most other Swastikas are used as peace symbols and many rotate the opposite direction.

It was removal of a particular symbol that actually represented and stood for something that had become abhorrent, it was the symbol at Vogelsang of the Nazi party.

The Eagle is also used in various designs as national symbols. It was left as it was not the party symbol. Various other wall plaques/friezes were damaged by gunfire around the sports pitches that I can remember, they depicted athletic activities amongst other things.

tankgeezer
08-23-2011, 07:35 PM
ahhh, swastika - bashing ....
never forget swastika's are still in use all over the world as a positive symbol
(columns in Belgian court "palace of justice" in Brussels, Finnish symbols and flags, india...)
it's just a couple of twigs

In fact, all those Nazi eagles (like the one on the picture above) that survived the swastika-bashing look far more aggressive to me than anything else.
German eagles represent expanionism and german imperialism allready there in 1900.
If you want to discuss the use/misuse of the symbol, there is a lengthy,and prolific thread dealing with just that. Find it here. http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?6930-Use-of-swastika-before-NSDAP-takeover.&highlight=swastikas

steben
08-24-2011, 03:50 AM
steben

Hardly Swastika bashing for the sake of it, they were and still are banned symbols in Germany. Most other Swastikas are used as peace symbols and many rotate the opposite direction.

It was removal of a particular symbol that actually represented and stood for something that had become abhorrent, it was the symbol at Vogelsang of the Nazi party.

The Eagle is also used in various designs as national symbols. It was left as it was not the party symbol. Various other wall plaques/friezes were damaged by gunfire around the sports pitches that I can remember, they depicted athletic activities amongst other things.

true

yet I do not fully agree with the removal of only the swastikas....
It looks like post war "emotional" actions...
The German eagle of today as seen on state flags, sports etc is very different.
That specific eagle (with typical horizontal wings) was 100% used by the nazi's only. It feels like pulling the "double S" symbols of the collar and then still function nin your fully SS uniform.

Or ... you simply remove nothing of course. But that's a hard discussion.

steben
08-24-2011, 03:51 AM
If you want to discuss the use/misuse of the symbol, there is a lengthy,and prolific thread dealing with just that. Find it here. http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?6930-Use-of-swastika-before-NSDAP-takeover.&highlight=swastikas

ok, i'll think of it

tankgeezer
08-24-2011, 10:03 AM
ok, i'll think of it
If you want to talk about swastika bashing, Thats the only thread you should post to. This thread really isnt about the Swastika,and its inherent evil, or innocence, so no more of it in this thread if you please.

flamethrowerguy
11-01-2011, 03:29 PM
Belgian devises I found in Wollseifen, the abandoned village:

5727

leccy
11-01-2011, 03:39 PM
Belgian devises I found in Wollseifen, the abandoned village:

5727

Looks like some Gimpy links (Blank rounds in some GPMG disintergrating links)

flamethrowerguy
11-01-2011, 04:23 PM
I found several loose 5.56mm blanks as well, all surface finds. Surprising in consideration of the daily foot traffic...

Heiko
01-14-2012, 05:38 AM
58115812

flamethrowerguy
01-14-2012, 06:36 AM
Most of the sculptures were damaged by triumphant G.I.'s immediately after the capture of the castle (also the giant eagle on the Adlerhof lost its head).
I'm pretty sure the concrete athletes of this relief lost their private parts even before their heads.:)