In 1933 "Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler" rented castle "Wewelsburg" for 100 years to use it as the headquarters of his feared SS organization. It would serve as a religious place where German Pagan Elements of Nazism would be collected and further developed. Himmler was convinced that the castle stood for a German stronghold in the struggle between the Europeans and the eastern hordes. The "Herrenvolk" would rule over these inferior races and provide themselves with "lebensraum".
In the beginning of the war the castle was renovated by forced labourers from the nearby concentration camp. The final plan was to relocate all civilians from the village to change this place into a big SS complex with barracks within the centre of the castle. High ranked SS officers would visit and discuss matters concerning the Nazi ideology and future perspectives. When the war broke out the "house of hell", as the castle was also called, got an administrative function and became a storage house for stolen paintings from the occupied territories. In 1945 Himmler gave the order to blow up the castle which partly worked. In 1973 they started with the renovation of the Northern Tower. Three years later they decided to renovate the whole castle and to maintain it as a memorial. It became a museum and it would hold a youth hostel.
Nowadays there are three museums located in the castle of which one focuses on the terror of the SS and the Holocaust. You can find information of the origin of the organization, rise of Nazism and about the person "Heinrich Himmler". Uniforms are on display and the top piece is the diary of the "Reichsfuhrer SS". It is the only SS museum in the world. Next to the museum there is a possibility to visit the by Himmler baptized "ObergruppenFuhrerSaal" which he used as a centre for important rites and gatherings. The hall was used according to the customs of the Knights of the Round Table (of King Arthur). The Black sun of sun wheel is still visible on the floor. In the basement room of the Northern Tower is a place that was used as a memorial for SS officers that were killed. This was supposed to be, according to Heinrich Himmler, what he called the centre of the world. In this basement you can still clearly see the contours of the swastika sign in the ceiling. You are not allowed to take pictures here, wary of glorification by and through neo-Nazis.
For current visiting hours, please visit the website of the museum.
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- Text: Cheapskatetravel
- Photos: Cheapskatetravel