General Walker Hotel

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The General Walker Hotel was a former Third Reich hotel in Obersalzberg, Germany. Following World War II, it became a United States Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC), and was renamed after US Army General Walton Walker, killed in action in the Korean War.[1] It was demolished in 2000.

Originally among the grandest hotels and meeting facilities of the inner circle of the SS, it was known as Der Platterhof and boasted opulent accommodations and sweeping views of the Bavarian countryside and Alpine scenery.

History[edit]

In the early 1920s, Adolf Hitler was a neighbor of a hotel called the Pension Moritz. It has been said that the first chapter of the book Mein Kampf was written in the Bavarian Room of the original old Steinhaus.

On 20 June 1936 the Nazi Party took possession of the Platterhof. During the next years the entire hotel was renovated and a great many buildings were torn down. The only exception was the original ground floor of the old Pension. The Skyline Room was added and the bed capacity raised to 200. It became among the most modern and luxurious hotels in Europe. Additionally, as part of the renovations and construction, the Platterhof was connected to other official buildings and retreats used by the Nazi party through a series of bunkers and tunnels.

Ideally designed to be a national hotel, it served primarily as secluded sanctuary for high-ranking Nazi dignitaries and high-profile guests. Lavish parties and state functions were hosted at the Platterhof, and it was prized for the pristine beauty and protection offered by the towering Alps. By 1943 however, the direction of the war required that the Platterhof be utilized as a military hospital.

Postwar Germany[edit]

Following the Berchtesgaden/Obersalzberg bombing raid of April 1945, the heavily damaged Platterhof stood vacant and crumbling for a number of years. The US Army rebuilt the hotel in 1952 and designated it an Armed Forces Recreation Center. Many original fixtures, furnishings and design pieces taken from the Platterhof, and other notable Reich buildings in the area were used in the reconstruction and the hotel, now renamed after General Walker, was again restored to its status as one of Europe's grandest hotels.

The General Walker Hotel remained in operation until the property was returned to the German government in 1995. The United States military had come to the decision to close and consolidate all of the AFRC hotels in southern Germany into one central facility in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, opened in 2004. Prior to the General Walker hotel's final destruction in 2000, many of the historical and highly valuable furnishings and fixtures were plundered from the abandoned building.

Only a small ruin of a building remains, and a section of wall from the Skyline Room. The site of the hotel has been turned into a parking lot.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arthur H. Mitchell, Hitler's Mountain: The Führer, Obersalzberg and the American Occupation of Berchtesgaden (McFarland & Company, 2007), ISBN 978-0786424580, pp. 18, 44, 159. Excerpts available at Google Books.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°37′50″N 13°02′29″E / 47.6305°N 13.0413°E / 47.6305; 13.0413