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History of Wewelsburg Castle – GERMANY

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Wewelsburg Castle

The Wewelsburg Castle is located in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is a 17th century castle built in the European Renaissance style. But this castle is not famous for its architecture, but rather for having housed the elite of the SS, an organization in the service of Hitler during Nazi Germany. For this reason, many of their records and history have been lost.

We’re going learn a little more about the history of this castle which now houses a museum and can be visited. It is a castle that is linked to the darkest part of German history, but can undoubtedly be a place of great interest to learn more about this period.

Where is it situated

The Wewelsburg Castle is located in the district of Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia. The town of Wewelsburg in which the castle is located is part of the town of Büren. To see this place, we can land at various airports such as Cologne, Hannover or Düsseldorf, which are around four hours away. From these airports we can find transport by train or bus to Wewelsburg. The most recommended is undoubtedly Düsseldorf airport, which is the closest, with a train that arrives in about two hours in Paderborn.

History of Wewelsburg Castle

Wewelsburg Castle

This castle was built in its current form in the 16th century and was intended to be a secondary residence for the Prince Bishop of Paderborn. However, other constructions and fortifications already existed on this hill, even in the 10th century, due to its strategic location. This castle was damaged and partly destroyed at certain times, such as during the Thirty Years War. Years later it was rebuilt and in the 18th century it was used as a military prison. Legend has it that even women accused of witchcraft were imprisoned. already in the XIX century this castle became part of the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1924, the castle becomes the property of the district of Büren and is transformed into a cultural center. In 1925, the castle was already used as a youth hostel, banquet hall, restaurant and museum.

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The Castle of the SS

Wewelsburg Castle

Heinrich Himmler signed a lease with the district of Paderborn in 1934 hundred years on the castle. The intention of this leader of the SS was to rehabilitate the castle by using it as a training ground for the elite of this organization dedicated to Nazism. It is not really known why he decided to rent this place, but it is said that it could be because of the prophecy told by Karl Maria Willigut about the battle of the birch. According to this prophecy, a final battle was approaching in which the great army of the East would be definitively defeated by the West. Apparently this castle would be the place that would decide the victory of the battle, thus becoming for him a symbol of the next victory. He believed that this castle would become the center of the world when they defeated other armies.

Over time, it was learned that the school never materialized, but rather an archaeological center for the study of the Aryan race was built in the castle. To this end, they created various research areas, on prehistory, medieval history and folklore and a library for the SS. Other funds were invested in this castle to create an ideological center. Already in 1939, Himmler himself would ban any publication about the castle. At that time, it was thought that the castle was going to be the center of the new world. From that year, labor from concentration camps such as Sachsenhausen would be used to rehabilitate the castle.

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The castle today

Wewelsburg Castle

Nowadays, it is possible to visit the castle and see its particular rooms. It was kept as a souvenir of those dark years in German history, so as not to forget the events of the SS and Nazism. You can see places like the crypt, imitating a Mycenaean tomb to commemorate the dead. At its center there must have been an eternal flame fueled by gas and twelve pedestals around it, the meaning of which is unknown. But these types of places give us an idea of ​​the symbolism that surrounded Nazism and its leaders.

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You can also see the known as the Hall of Generals with a marble floor in which we can appreciate a mosaic that represents the Black Sun with twelve rays that form the symbol of the SS. When the Nazis lost the war, Himmler ordered the castle demolished, but it remained standing and was restored.

Today in the castle we can also visit the SS Museum that it is not a place of commemoration but a space to remember what they have done. In this place you can even see some of Himmler’s diaries.

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