Dokumentation Obersalzberg, or Obersalzberg Documentation Centre, is a historical place of remembrance and guided learning conceptualised by the German Institute of Contemporary History on behalf of the Free State of Bavaria, which offers the opportunity to study and reflect on the history of Obersalzberg as well as Nazi Germany. Its permanent exhibition is accompanied by varying special exhibitions, lectures and events as well as workshops.
Located in Bavaria, Germany, close to the Austrian border, Obersalzberg was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Berchtesgaden Alps in the 19th century. That changed when Hitler purchased the local Mountain House residence, and Obersalzberg became a restricted area, the so-called Führersperrgebiet, which shielded Hitler, SS and police leaders as well as other party officials from the public. Hitler's last visit was in 1944, before he left for his Wolf's Lair headquarters in July. The premises were heavily damaged by an Allied air raid of Biritsh and American bombers in April 1945.
The Occupation of US Troops
US troops occupied the area in May 1945 and Obersalzberg was then used as a recreation area by the US Army. A small section of the Recreation Centre was opened for tourism in 1952. At the end of the 20th century, the Obersalzberg area was returned to Bavarian domain after the Americans' withdrawal. The Obersalzberg Documentation was commissioned by the Free State of Bavaria, conceived and set up by the Institute of Contemporary History Munich-Berlin and opened in October 1999.
In 2017, the extension of the museum was announced. The new building is assumed to be finished in 2020 and implies a renewal of the permanent exhibition from 1999.
How to get there
Arriving from Munich and Innsbruck, exit Bad Reichenhall or Salzburg-Süd/Berchtesgaden; from Salzburg, Vienna or Klagenfurt exit Salzburg-Süd/Berchtesgaden or take the German Alpine Route B305 in order to get to the museum.
In case you want to travel by public transport, you may take a train from Munich, Innsbruck, Vienna or Salzburg with the German railway company Deutsche Bahn or the Austrian railway company Österreichische Bundesbahnen. After you reached Berchtesgaden main station, take the bus 838 and exit at Dokumentation.