The banal media goldmine of At Home with Hitler (mirror) has reproduced widely. There was no need for parody in 1938, you lived it! Imfamously, there was acceptance of and support for Nazism in Britain, and America, notably the British Union of Fascists. This semi-nausea is a familiar feeling, recalling memories of a trip to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, still standing in the Bavarian Alps.
Anna and I were passing through Salzburg, on honeymoon travels. We decided to take in some easy tourism, maybe a bus tour .. Sound of Music tour, visit to the Bavarian salt mines, and trip to the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s old place were on offer. I’m sorry? Did I hear that correctly? Hitler’s house is a tourist destination?
Built for Hitler’s 50th birthday, and spared bombing by the Allies, the Eagle’s Nest survives to this day. Though very controversial, it’s incredibly popular. As explained to is us by our (drunk?) tour guide, it’s really just a beautiful spot, this place may be Hitler’s birthday present, but there’s nothing Nazi about it. Really?
The day we visited, the place was humming. Beautiful sunny sky, plenty of beer, and a special mountain top Christian Mass. Yup, generations of Bavarians, dressed in traditional costume, singing with the priest … in Hitler’s old backyard. Inside the house, a main attraction is the fireplace, Mussolini’s gift for Hitler’s big 5-0. From one fascist to another, it’s really sweet. You can check out our photos of the visit.
There’s lots of decent people in Bavaria, I have friends there … but there are quite a few bizarre volk in that part of the world. At the pension we stayed at in Badgastein the owner was very familiar with San Francisco. He frequently bid on auctions held there, of weapons stolen from Austria by American soldiers post-WW2. He felt a very solemn duty to bring those weapons back home!