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Thread: Ordensburg Vogelsang

  1. #1
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    Default Ordensburg Vogelsang

    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regiment (9th US Infantry Division) on February 4, 1945 - basically without a struggle since German forces had already withdrawn.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.
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    Before I'll post my own photos here's a panoramic view of Ordensburg Vogelsang as seen from the now abandoned village of Wollseifen:


    photo taken by d ickbauch, 2006 (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...sang_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



    Kameradschaftshäuser (comradeship-houses; ten buildings in total, each for 50 pupils) and the landscape:


    Kameradschaftshäuser, different angle:


    View from a tower's roundel:
    Last edited by flamethrowerguy; 06-05-2011 at 03:59 PM. Reason: adding photos
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    Photo of Adolf Hitler visiting Vogelsang in April 1937:


    source: Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1985-108-09A; photographer unknown, April 1937.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...olf_Hitler.jpg

    From the same perspective taken in May 2011, odd feeling to know Hitler stood on the same spot once:


    This might be one for rudeerude!

    To be continued.
    Last edited by flamethrowerguy; 06-05-2011 at 03:25 PM. Reason: photo credits
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    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:



    Now populated by my wife & kids who obviously do not share my enthusiasm in history:
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    Quote Originally Posted by flamethrowerguy View Post
    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?
    Last edited by navyson; 06-05-2011 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Additional Information
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    Ghosties I'll bet, the place has a bunch of them, not to mention all of the bad Ju-Ju from its previous use.

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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    The only pics I see are old B/W ones. Something's wrong or is it just my ancient pc playing games?

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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    Quote Originally Posted by Kovalski View Post
    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.
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    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.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    Quote Originally Posted by navyson View Post
    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:

    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.
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    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.



    What you do in life, echoes in eternity!!!

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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    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.

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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    Guess what this window looked like until early 1945...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    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.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Ordensburg Vogelsang

    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.
    Last edited by steben; 08-23-2011 at 04:52 AM.

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