DESCRIPTION: Oberammergau is a municipality in Bavaria, Germany, famous for its production of the great passion play which it has undertaken since 1634.
It is considered a sacred duty and is the result of a vow made by the inhabitants of the village that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague then
sweeping the region, they would perform a passion play every ten years. We have obtained a prodigiously important guest book from the Hotel Wittelsbach in
Oberammergau dating from 1930 to 1940 which was reserved for the signatures of only its most important guests. The book did not just lie upon the hotel sign-in
desk, it would be brought out especially when a genuine VIP would be a guest, and the blue leather-covered book has a gilt title in German: Unsere Gäste “Our
Guests”, with gilt trimmed edges and contains 200 pages comprising the book. Of these pages, over 40 of them are signed by instantly recognizable personalities out
of nearly 400 signatures, the majority of which include some of the most important political and military figures of the Third Reich. The signatures in the book are on
pages that were penned by famous and interesting people from the year 1930 all the way to part of 1940, but after that the war was on and the signing would have
ceased. It is not known if the hotel was closed after that. Many famous personalities came to the performances but all did not stay at the Wittlesbach Hotel.
The German Führer Adolf Hitler came to Oberamergau in 1930 but probably stayed in Linz, his hometown from earlier days as this was his most beloved city of his
youth. Henry Ford came in 1930 and enjoyed a rousing welcome from both the townsfolk and also from all the international crowds of visitors gathered along a
parade route of sorts. Stories are still told of eccentric King Ludwig of Bavaria who was so impressed with the play that he handed out silver spoons to all of the
main actors -- except for the actor who played Judas who received a “tin spoon.” Although the full and grand performances are held every 10 years, shorter
versions are held each year and this delights the folks who might not be able to attend the full performance. Performances are staged in the final year of each decade
that is the year whose numeral ends with zero. However these regular performances at 10 year intervals have been punctuated with additional performances as those
of 1922 and again an entire cycle of performances in 1934 (over and above the regular 1930 schedule to commemorate the 300th.annivesary of the original vow.)
This was considered the greatest and most meaningful of all the plays in the 20th century and that was the reason for all the illustrious guests in 1934 and the fact that
a certain ultra-popular world leader and personality would be in attendance made it all the more reason to be there in '34! The next full cast staging will take place in
2020 and the price of the various types of admission and seating would seem “astronomical” to many but I believe it is
almost entirely sold out.
The village of Oberammergau is set amidst the wild grandeur of the Bavarian Alps. Lake and forest enfold it on every side and over it towers the mighty peaks of the
Ammergebirge. It is a serene peaceful place where the main occupation for the villagers is acting in the passion play and/or being engaged in woodcarving, the other
great “passion” of these peasant folk. In 1939 most of the able bodied men folk of Oberammergau had to leave their quiet mountain valley to answer the call of
Führer and Fatherland in World War II and many a mother lamented their sons who poured out their life’s blood on the thirsty sands of the desert, on the white
wastes of Norway, and many a wife lamented her man who died in the streets of far off Stalingrad or perished in the horrible p.o.w camps maintained by the
victorious allies in the Rhine valley. The shadow of this tragic and terrible fratricidal war still hangs over Europe, but let us hope that the thunder of the guns of war
never again break the serene peace of Oberammergau. In 1940 the play had to be cancelled due to the 1939 outbreak of the war, not to resume until 1950 but
then only after having had to obtain permission from the American Occupation authorities.
DER FUHRER KOMMT! On August 13, 1934, Adolf Hitler and his large entourage visited the town to attend the 300th anniversary of the Passion play and
he signed and dated a page reserved and devoted to him and below his signature is an original photo of the Führer himself addressing a large crowd from the hotel’s
balcony. This photograph was affixed to the page where Hitler’s signature is seen by the hotel staff at the time. There is also another original postcard photo of Hitler
in his car in front of the hotel acknowledging the crowd offering him the “Deutschen Gruss’! (The National Socialist stiff armed salute). That card is separate from
the book. Ironically six days later the book was signed by William Randolph Hearst, as well as his mistress, movie-star Marion Davies, and the U.S. Ambassador to
Germany, William E. Dodd, as the trio were en route to Berlin to meet with Hitler to deliver American Jew's concerns about German policies toward their people. We
do not know if such a meeting ever took place but it most likely did not happen in Oberammergau.
Concerning the Jews, there is a signature of Julius Streicher Gauleiter of Gau Franken and publisher of “Der Stürmer” a magazine that rather brusquely discusses
the Jewish question. He wrote this message on June 7th 1933 when a guest at the hotel: “Without a solution to the Jewish question, there can be no salvation
for the German People!” In another visit on January 20th. 1935 Streicher places a second signed quote into the book: “Who knows the Jew knows the Devil”.
Others who have signed this guest book include:
* British Prime Minister Ramsey Macdonald, and his daughters Ishbel, Joan, and Sheila; they signed the book in 1930.
* Harold Lloyd, Very Famous American film actor and Hollywood star, actually the most popular and influential of the film comedians of the silent era He signs the
book in 1933 and beside his signature he sketches the spectacles (glasses) for which he was well known
* Freiherr von Hünefeld, writes “We remember our nice stay in Oberammergau and the friendly service in in the Wittlesbacher Hof hotel where everybody is most
welcome, signed January 6th 1934
* Elizabeth Countess Fugger & Babenhausen, another royal personage whose family helped to develop many important trade relationships and treaties in
Europe that last to this day
* Fredrick P. Small, President of American Express. He brought the company through the Great Depression. He stayed at the hotel and signed the guest book in
July of 1930.
* Ludwig Siebert, Bavarian President, he was highly instrumental in the restoration of all the castles and historically important buildings in Germany. He visited and
stayed in June of 1934
* Martin Bormann, head of the party chancellery and private secretary to Hitler and by the war's end he became second only to Hitler in importance. He was
Hitler’s “right hand man” during the war. He stayed loyal to the Führer right to the end! He visited Oberammagau and signed the guest book March 25th 1935
* Dr. Fritz Todt, the greatest German engineer, architect and senior N.S. figure, Minister of armaments and munitions, he was the Father of the Autobahn and he
supervised the construction of the famed Siegfried wall. He visited the hotel along with Martin Bormann June 25th 1935 as part of the staff of the Fuhrer's deputy
* Victor Lutze, Commander in Chief of the SA Storm Troops. His wife signed as well. Lutze succeeded Staff chief Ernst Roehm after the “Night of the Long
Knives.“ He was a guest 1/26/35. Later he was a guest again when the SA Leadership conference was held there from the 14th to the 17th, 1935 and he signed the
* Franz Ritter Von Epp, General and Reich’s protector of the N.S. party, he earlier headed the “Von Epp Free Corps” that fought valiantly against the
Communists in the “Kampfzeit” (Time of Struggle). He was also the head of the German Colonial Society, an organization devoted to regaining Germanys lost
colonies. He was a ranking member of the German Reichstag. He stayed at the hotel March 14th through the 17th 1935
* Dr. Robert Ley, head of the N.S. Labor corp. He was unswervingly loyal to Hitler. The creator of the KDF- the Strength Through Joy Program that gave
very special vacation benefits to workers such as cruises on special ships sailing to foreign ports. The KDF was also the program under which the Volkswagen was
produced. Ley said in 1938 “I believe on this earth in Adolf Hitler alone. I believe in one lord God who made me and guides me, and I believe this God has sent
Adolf Hitler to us.“ He signed the book 13th September 1934
* Leni Riefenstahl, actress and master film maker. She produced the political masterpiece” Triumph of the Will “and the two- part documentary on the Olympic
games of 1936 in Berlin. She was the unofficial documentary camerawoman of the Third Reich. She visited and signed the book in 1935
Frau Gertrud Scholtze-Klink, Reichsfüherin Leader for all woman’s groups and organizations in the Reich This was a lady in every sense of the word; She
would appear an absolute horrible monster to the likes of Gertrude Stein and other such leftist goons. She believed the mission of a woman was to minister in the
home and in her profession to the needs of life from the first to the last moment of man’s existence and to wear dresses and let the man wear the trousers. She was a
hotel guest and signed the guest book February 24th.1940
* Otto Meissner, chief of the office of Reich president, his wife signed as well on May 21st 1934
* Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s official photographer. He took over 2.5 million photographs of Hitler. He was his constant companion. Hoffmann Introduced him to
Eva Braun. He was there in August 34 in Oberammergau as part of the escort team and practically everywhere else where Hitler would visit. Ready with all his crew
and photography equipment to picture the world’s most famous man at work or at leisure.
* Julius Schaub, Close friend of the Führer, later he replaced Bruckner as Hitler’s chief adjutant and was made an SS ObergrüppenFührer – 1944, Schaub went
way back with Hitler and was hired in 1925 as the Führer's personal assistant. In July 1944 he received the 1944 wound badge since he was wounded in the plot of
the Generals orchestrated with Colonel Klaus von Stauffenberg to assassinate Hitler July 20th 1944. He arrived along with Hitler at the Wittlesbach Hotel for the
300th performance of Passion play in August 1934. He was part of the team known as the Begleitung Des Führers (Escort !)
* Emil Maurice, Hitler’s bodyguard and chauffeur and later the head of Hitler’s official bodyguard units and later he attained the rank of SS Brigadier General. A
close personal friend of Adolf Hitler although he was partially Jewish. His friendship with Hitler dated back to 1919 . He arrived with the Führer August 13 1934 as
one of the very important members of the Begleitung Des Führers
* Bruno Gesche, SS Obersturmbannführer, one of the most important members of Hitler’s entourage and the commander of the Adolf Hitler personal bodyguard
detachment, the SS Begleitkommando. He of course checked in on the 13th August 1934 with his chief.
* Wilhelm Bruckner, Adolf Hitler’s chief adjutant, and participant in the November 9th 1923 Putsch. He arrived as the leader of the Führer of the Beliegtung
team on August 13, 1934 and then in July 6, 1937 he returned to the hotel again for another visit and in the book besides his signature this time he also writes “Our
sincere thanks for food and drinks, Heil Hitler July 6th 1936. In the war Brucknerserved as an army Colonel.
* Professor Adolf Ziegler, Famous German artist and close friend of Hitler. He was the most favored artist by the Führer who stated that Ziegler’s work was akin to that of perfection! He was tasked by the NSDAP to oversee the purging of degenerate art produced by many of the modern German “artists.” He arrived at the Whittlesbach along with the Hitler entourage on August 13th 1934
* Otto Dietrich, the National press chief, SS Obergrüppenfuhrer and close confidant of Hitler. He was also in the escort team arriving in August 1934 with Hitler
* Dr. Karl Brandt, Hitler’s personal physician. A brilliant young physician who was convicted and sentenced to death at Nuremberg for practicing and experimenting with the very same medical techniques that American doctors were doing for many years previous to this. He arrived with the rest of the Hitler escort team 13 August 1934 and he along with the others of the entourage signed the book.
* Hans von Tschammer und Osten, National sports director, SA Leader and member of the Reichstag, Secretary of State in the Reich’s ministry. He signed in the book on July 18th 1934 and probably stayed right on up to and all during the visit of his Führer. Later in 1940 he was drawn once more to visit Oberammergau and he signed the book again.
* Guntram Pflaum, SS Standartenfuhrer on the personal staff of Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler. He was the managing director of the Lebensborn program. He signed the guest book August 18th or 19th 1934. He might have been part of the security detachment for the Führer who was there on the 13th.
* Elisabeth Dilling, Famous American author, lecturer, and anti-Communist, she claimed that Marxism and Zionism were synonymous. She also thought that “Franklin and Eleanor” were disposed in that direction as well, and of course their great admiration for Good old Uncle Joe Stalin seemed to verify her claim. She arrived in August 1934 probably hoping to meet the supreme German leader who she admired so adamantly.
* Sister Pia (Eleonore Bauer), Catholic sister and a very important historic personage who tended the wounded following the November 9th, 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. After that historic incident she became a close friend to Hitler and Himmler. She signed her name beneath her quote “For my Fuhrer, for my Fatherland.” She was the only woman recipient of the Order of the Blood (Blutorden ). Earlier she had been a member of the Freikorp Oberland). She was a honored guest at the hotel and she signed the book February 3rd 1935. Some of the liberals and moronic slanderers on certain web forums accuse her of all sorts of improprieties from theft to running a brothel, the true facts however point to a compassionate, God fearing, merciful lady who saw her duty and moved in the way she felt religiously compelled to act in consideration of her views of the prevailing turbulent circumstances of the times.
* Otto Telschow, Gauleiter of East Hannover and Hitler’s favorite politician. Telschow signed the guest book May 29th 1937 under his hand written message that reads –“The will of the Führer is God’s law!”
* Therese Esser, wife of Press Chief of the NSDAP, and Vice President of the Reichstag. A founding member of the NSDAP and an intimate friend of Hitler. He had N. S. Party number 20. She stayed at the hotel September 9th 1934. Therese, like her husband, was a firm believer in Hitler’s National Socialism
* Gauleiter Adolf Wagner, Old Fighter of the N.S. movement and Gauleiter of Gau München Oberbayern. Anna Wagner, his wife, signed as well. The Wagner’s were guests of the hotel July 9th 1933. Wagner was one of the “Alte kampfer .” He was one of the few people who could address Hitler by his first name. After he died in April 1944, he was posthumously awarded the German Order, the Highest and most important decoration of the NSDAP.
* Karl Litzmann The Great WW1 general and later a high NSDAP leader. Hitler deeply admired this elderly warrior and often personally honored him at Veterans Day gatherings and other public events. He arrived along with the leadership inspection group of SA personnel. We are not positive that it was the aged General himself that signed the book on March 14 1935 or possibly his son who was an SA leader
* Herbert Von Richtoffen, Ambassador to Bulgaria
* Julius Dorpmuller, the General manager and president of the German railway system, and Reich’s transport minister. He was present August 18th & 19th 1934
* Max Schmeling, boxer and heavy weight champion of the world. He knocked out American champion boxer Joe Louis after a rematch that Louis won; the two became close friends for the rest of their lives. Schmeling served as an elite Paratrooper in the Luftwaffe during WW II and participated in the German paratrooper assault on the island of Crete. Max was a guest October 10 1931
The 1936 German Olympic skating team and the 1934 champion ski team. The whole team signed in 1934.
* Harry F. Sinclair, the 1932 oil baron, self-made millionaire, sponsor of many various major sporting events in the U.S.
* Canadian Olympic team on December 31st 1932; the whole team signed their names to the book (over a dozen signatures)
* Prince George of Greece and Denmark, and a host of lesser European nobility. He signed it in June 1935
This album deserves research by a very advanced Germanophile researcher in order to make out the many other unidentified signatures within. This is a very rare collection of Hitler’s hierarchy in the days following his ascendancy to power, and it would be next to utterly impossible to assemble this many important Third Reich signatures all in one grouping. This guest book stands alone in its immeasurable paramount historic importance. The guest book comes with quite a few other items that were accumulated by the former owner, Mr. Donald Boyle, who purchased it from the late well-known and respected Ben Swearingen, author and historian who specialized in the history of the Third Reich .
The inventory is as follows:
No. 1 the guest book itself
No. 2 A beautiful blue leatherette box that form fits and contains the guest book, it has the lettering on its top that says “UNSERE GÄST BUCH HOTEL WITTLESBACH OBERAMMERGAU 1930-1940"; this box was ordered constructed by Don Boyle while the book was in his possession.
No. 3 The above mentioned list of names and the ones further on in this narrative were researched by Mr. Donald Boyle and he did an excellent job of it. Then at another point we had Mr. Wilhelm Reinhard Gehlen one of our historical advisors and as I have often stated “a walking, talking encyclopedia of the Reichs! He is the author of several books including a recent one that documents his life as a member of the pre-Hitler youth boys, the “JUNGVOLK,” and that is the title of his fascinating book subtitled “The story of a boy defending Hitler’s Third Reich." Willi did even more comprehensive research and he came up with about 265 more names that he translated and many of them are highly prestigious personages from many different nations plus a preponderance of Germanic nobility and familiar names in finance, sports and politics names such as:
* Raphel, Prince of von Thurn and Taxis-1930
* Elizabeth, Princess of Von Thurn and Taxis also 1930 (The family of Von Thurn and Taxis was the princely house that was responsible for the postal system in Europe; they were very wealthy and highly regarded in Germany and Europe in genera;l they were the builders of numerous castles and monuments. On the first page from 1930 there are quite a few other royal personages princes, princesses.)
* Karl Erbprinz Leiningen, (Hereditary Prince) is the first signature in the Guest book. He was a guest in 1930
* Wilhelm Heye, General Oberst and Chief of Staff of the 1930 period army.
* Freiherr Von Malsen-Ponickau, SS Brigadeführer who was later Police president in Posen. He stayed at the hotel from June 1st. He probably was there two months ahead of the Führer visit as part of a preparatory security team
* Baron Michiels van Verdupen, Royal Dutch ambassador to Vienna
* Hansi Niese, a well-known Viennese actress (one of the greatest). She visited and boldly signed on August 27, 1930
* Ida Wust, German actress said “Oberammergau is a nice place even in rainy weather!” She was the major female film star in the silent film era; she stared in literally hundreds of films from the silents to the talkies and on to the modern movies. She acted from1923 to 1956. Ida was known to have corresponded with Adolf Hitler throughout the war years. She was said to be one of the many feminine admirers that he seemed to gather. Ida visited and stayed at the hotel 15th July 1933
* Brig. General L.W. Shannon, London, Ontario, Canada
* Gustav Albrecht Kühlmann, a famous German lawyer who signs and states that he has been a guest for one year in the hotel Wittelsbach; he makes this statement and signs his name on October 10, 1931
* Arthur Conrads, Glasgow, Scotland, writes “friendly reception, good food and service, makes departure from hotel Wittelsbach a sad occasion”
* Elizabeth Countess Fugger & Babenhausen, she was instrumental in establishing international trade for the Kaiser Reich
* Dekien Toung, Charge de Affairs for China in Vienna
* Henry III, Prince of Norway, he signs and says he is presently on vacation
* Ewald Kerth, Sports President of the D.D.A.C. the German automobile association similar to our American Automobile Association; guest in August of 1933
* The skiing championship team of the SA Brigade; 86 were guests at the hotel and 13 of them signed the guest book on January 1, 1934
* Charlotte B. Howell, June 26, 1934, American Embassy, Paris, with her son and daughter
* Mr. & Mrs. Wilson, American Embassy, Berlin, July 30th 1934
N0. 4 An official NSDAP visit occurred from the 14th to the 17th of March; this was the Fuhrer Appell (muster of leaders) and our translator Herr Wilhelm Gehlen has translated several signatures of these men. Of very great importance are the more than fifty signatures of high-raking S.A. and future SS officers who accompanied many of the members of the N.S. hierarchy during their 1935 stay at the Wittelsbacher Hof. Just a few among them are:
* Victor Lutze, supreme staff chief of the SA Strurm Abteilung; he was visiting for the second time
* Franz Ritter von Epp, who we have mentioned earlier. He was a very important leader and hero of the anti-Communist Freikorps activities in the turbulent 20’s.
* Herbert Fust, who was a high leader in the Hamburg SA group
* Hans Ludin, SA Obergruppenführer-Ambassador to the Slovak Republic in 1941
* Dietrich Von Jagow, Ambassador to Croatia, holder of the Golden Party badge (Alte Kampfer) Old Fighter
* Walter Dohle, German consul to Jerusalem
* Siegfried Kashe, SA Obergruppenführer-Gruppe Ostmark and Hansa
* Adolf Kob, SA Obergruppenführer and Member of the Reichsstag SA Gruppe Mitte
* Kurt Lasch, also a high SA leaderand important German politician
* Otto Schramme, SA Gruppenführer and Police president of Dortmund; died in 1941 in the battle of Crete
* Adolf Beckerle, the German minister to Sofia, a man with an almost impossible task among the undependable Bulgarians
* Otto Herzog, SA Obergruppenführer (General) from February 1942; he was the inspector and leader in the Mountain SA ( SA Hochland Div.)
* Heinrich Bennecke SA Obergruppenführer, Blood Order recipient; he was the official historian of the NSDAP.
* Siegfried Kasche, who was an SA Obergruppenführer and ambassador to Croatia.
* Heinz-Guenther Von Obernitz, Major SA official and later Luftwaffe officer
* Max Juettner, SA Obergruppenführer Deputy chief of staff of the SA, Chief of the Mounted SA
* Wilhelm Helfer, SA Führer and political leader, prominent chief in The RZM, the dispensing and approval office of the NSDAP; all official NS articles of wear had to be approved by this office.
* Arthur Rakobrandt, High NS political leader and former officer in the Werewolf Freikorps fighting against the Sparticists and other Communist revolutionaries in the 1920’s
* Heinrich Boemker, SA Leader
* SA Obergruppenfuhrer Hess, SA leader not related to the more famous Rudolf Hess, Stellivertreter des Führers (Deputy Führer)
* There are many others and some of them with the surnames Mappes. One of them probably was Georg Mappes a holder of the Golden Party badge of the NSDAP. A loyal SA leader
* SS Sturmbannfuhrer G. Pfannon, on August 18th signs the book. He was a representative of the 1st SS Standarte, later he was on the personal staff of Heinrich Himmler.
* SA Standartenführer Steinhof, January 4, 1935; this man’s son was the famed pilot in WW II and after the war he was the commander in chief of the Bundes Luftwaffe.
* Osterkamp (“Theo”), he was a WWI and WWII fighter ace -- this could be him?
There is a page entry that says”From Fields to the sea,.HEIL UND SIEG!” signed SA Gruppenführer in Pomerania and then there are 13 more signatures of these Generals of the Sturmabteilung ( SA Stormtroops) this includes:
* Obergruppenführer Hans Jüttner, who was later with Himmler’s SS Fuhrerhauptamt staff
* Gerhard Maurer, who became the head of the SS-WVHA, the SS economic department
* Manfred Baeuerle, on March 23, 1936; Stabsführer der HJ who was adjutant to Balder von Schirach, National Jugendführer, signed the book.
It would be great to have good and rather concise biographies of all of these SA and political leaders, and let’s hope that sometime it will be done. On January 2, 1939 three skating champions signed it -- Lydia Wahl Roller skating Champion 1937 -38, Horst Faber Ice figure skating champion for 1939 and Ursula (?) an Ice skating Star -- she says we will return! Princess Victoria of Weid from Neuweid castle signed in Easter of 1939, Six German business directors sign the book in February 1936, Dr. Heinrich Crementz signs it October 1940; he states that he is General Secretary to someone (unfortunately not clear?), H. Glereis signed it -- he was the State president in Munich, A. Dieren and his wife, who was council advisor in Garmish-Partenkirchen, both signed the book. All the above researched names and many more names are provided on separate included papers with indications as to what pages they are on.
No.5 We have an actual edition of the Sunday Times, a newspaper from Nort east Pennsylvania dated August 16, 2009. In the section for local news there is a very informative and interesting article about Mr. Donald Boyle’s acquisition of the guest book. The article was written by staff writer Sharon Sanger. The article is written in a very objective manner and style without the usual hype and fervor that accompanies the writings of other more vehement journalists whenever they write anything concerning Adolf Hitler or any of his cabinet. Generally it is nothing but a bombastic bit of yellow rag assault as if the man had no redeeming virtues at all. The title that Sharon Sanger gave to the article is “Guest Book a Snapshot of history.” In the article, Boyle is quoted as saying “To me it isn’t history unless I bring it to life“ he said, “And I have brought it to life.” Frank Homer, Ph.D., an emeritus professor of history at the University of Scranton couldn’t resist a few adverse jibes at the Führer after he was shown the book. He says of Hitler “He was not without a certain level of popularity.” What an understatement! Adolf Hitler was to the Germans and millions of European people, practically the Archangel Michael, he appeared before adoring crowds of multiple thousands, he received more public support than any other historical national leaders ever has, and even when the war was nearly at its tragic end the cry still went up “Heil Unsere Führer!" Like this historical fact or not, Adolf Hitler never lost the support and adoration of the greater part of the German Population. (MY opinion.) Mr. Boyle said in the end of the article “We are keepers of history. We have to preserve it or it won’t be around for future generations!"
No. 6 Mr. Boyle assembled a little book of photographs that he took of all the pages of the Guest book with the pictures of the photos of Hitler arriving at the hotel 13 August 1934 and the picture of Der Führer as he was seen on the balcony of the hotel returning the salute of the excited crowd that had assembled below. This compressive group of pictures also includes enlarged images of the signatures of the most important personalities plus some earlier views of the Hotel and a few pictures of the advertisements for the passion play and pictures of scenes from the actual play.
No 7 There is a 144 page booklet that measures 5 x 7 inches that is an explanation of all that the play is about. It is printed in the German language. This is the Jubiäums text book 1634-1934.
No.8 Another booklet 142 pages long in explanation of the play in 1930 plus another one that is from 1939
No. 9 the two actual period photo cards with the early view of the Wittlsbach and the 1934 picture of Hitler’s arrival.
No. 10 another book but this time the scenes from the play are in rich full color the book measures 9 1/2" by 6" and has 32 beautiful pictures in an advanced German photographic mastery even in 1930; the short text is in German and English
No. 11 A beautiful travel brochure from Germany with its main feature an explanation of the Oberammergau Passionsspiel” (Passion play); it measures 9x4 when folded and 18" x 19" when fully open, it contains many very fine images of the grounds and the performance
No. 12 A suitcase label that thankfully was never used or abused. It measures 4 1/4" by 5 1/2" in size it is quite colorful and is from “The Hotel Wittlesbach, world famous place of the passion play.“
No 13 The official prospectus brochure for the Jubilee performance celebrating the 300th year of the play in Oberrammergau in 1934; this is of course the year of Hitler’s visit with his entourage; the brochure is all enveloping with many pictures of the actors, wood carvings etc. that commemorate this special 1934 performance
No.14 There is a 3 ring binder of various pictures and letters assembled by Mr. Boyle that are connected to the saga of the guest book. In it is a picture of Hitler as he entered the playhouse, this was sent to Boyle by a lady by the name of Margarette Bigalke who was there in 1934 and saw the Führer and briefly talked with him. Her reply to a letter from Don concerning the guest book is both informative and charming. There is also a six page explanation procured through the internet most likely that gives a great history of the play and the actors. In the article it amazingly mentions the attempt on the part by various Jewish groups to pressure the town to temper or omit what they see as a decidedly anti-Semitic message, but the passion play is to many people not just a stage production but a faithful depiction drawn from holy religious text. To many, especially in Oberammergau, it is “Sacrosanct” thus the council that oversees the production has historically been resistant to any change and after all they reason that in the end the story is the same. It is a historical fact that the Jews could have set Jesus free but they chose to let him die an agonizing death on the cross.
When Adolf Hitler came to Oberammergau in 1934, his passion for the play was stirred up and he simply intensified and vocalized ideas already established for some time among large segments of Germans and most of the world’s Christians. Hitler was a decided fan of Pontius Pilate who he exalted by commenting: “It is vital that the passion play be continued at Oberammergau; for never has the menace of Jewry been so convincingly portrayed as in this presentation of what happened in the times of the Romans. There one sees in Pontius Pilate a Roman racially and intellectually so superior that he stands out like a firm, clean rock in the middle of the whole muck and mire of Jewry.” The biggest complaint that Jewish people have against the play and of the New Testament itself is what has come to be called the “blood curse” -- “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” This obviously is a direct biblical condemnation of the Jews of that time as the killers of Christ and their descendants are accused of being just as guilty of the sins of their forefathers. Those who defend the play see it simply as a re-inactment of a great pivotal event in Christendom, it is a story and like most stories there are villains, sometimes Persian, sometimes Roman or Egyptian. In history many different groups have played the villain. They insist the intent of the passion play is not to vilify any group but to glorify Jesus Christ and his labors on behalf of the people he called his sheep!
Also in this binder there are several letters that are correspondence of Mr. Boyle and Mr. Ben Swearingen dating as far back as 1984. These are the actual letters that were passed between Ben Swearingen for instance with Julius Streibel the owner of the hotel. Ben was looking for confirmation and any other information that could be helpful to his research. There is also the original of a 2009 letter to Don Boyle from Frau Stefane Terrnes who evidently now owns the Hotel inheriting it through the family. She is the daughter of Julius Streibel. In both letters they appealed for the guest book to be returned but after it was bought each time by each collector the price went up so considerably that it made it impossible for any of the owners to be able to make it a donation although this would be a great thing to do if someone were to have the funds necessary to effectuate such a charitable act. Also in this binder there are several scholarly reviews and histories of the passion play then and now, all in order. There is an information package from internet sources on Ramsay Macdonald, the British Prime minister who along with his wife and family signed the book, as well as some information and a picture of William E. Dodd and his wife. It is truly ironic that the signature of this ambassador to Germany who was a virulent anti-Nazi Germanophobe would lend his autograph to the same guest book as Adolf Hitler signed.
No. 15 One of the most famous actors that played the part of the savior was Anton Lang the most famous of all the men who played Jesus in the passion play. He was first chosen to play the Christus in the year 1900 and then he performed the part in 1910 and 1922. He was not well thought of by the National Socialist Hierarchy; they considered him a rather leftist liberal. He for sure was a pacifist and was rather sympathetic to the Jewish demands even back then to remove the “Blood curse” from the play. None the less Lang was accused of anti-Semitic activity by the yellow rag journalist Billy Wilder in the New York Times. Wilder said that Lang was a hard core Fascist and he was supposed to have done all sorts of terrible racist deeds but later it was revealed that the silly leftist Wilder mixed up Anton Lang with Alois Lang who was given to supporting the NSDAP and Hitler. Alios Lang played the part of the Christ in 1930 and the Jubilee performance in 1934 and at this performance Adolf Hitler personally thanked him for his brilliant portrayal of Christ. Along with the Group there is an original photograph of Anton Lang, post card size that bears his actual signature. There is also a hand signed picture postcard size of Anny Rutz who played the Virgin Mary in the presentation of the 300th year of its presentation 1934 and earlier in 1930, when she also stared in that role. There is also a picture of her (unsigned) that is an actual postcard sent from Nuremberg with cancelled stamp from 1930. Also there are two more postcards with photographs of two of the famed actors who were in the 1930 play. One of them is Judas. These two cards have the canceled stamps and the veiled cross logo of the Passion play association.
No. 16 There is another 3 ring binder put together by Mr. Boyle that has short biographies of many of the National Socialist notables that signed the guest book. This is mostly copies from Charles Hamilton’s two volume set of books entitled “Leaders and Personalities of the Third Reich; Ttheir Biographies and Autographs.”
No. 17 There are five finely framed images of some of the pictures of the events already mentioned. The black frames are 9" x 11" in size, all matching; the pictures inside are 6 1/2" by 5". They are very professionally done as framing is the vocation and business of Don Boyle. Each of them contain crystal clear images and each has a really nice and professionally executed black plastic label explaining what the picture is about. A nice touch to a practically profound historical grouping.
No. 18 This is something the present owner found in Germany many years ago and he recently decided that it should be added to the group -- it is a commemorative plate by the famed German porcelain company Rosenthal that is in Serb Bavaria. The plate was produced in 1922 and depicts Anton Lang as he played Jesus. The plate is original to the exact period and a valuable and important addition to the fabulous grouping. The diameter of the plate is 8 1/2 inches and has a beautiful background of soft blue.
No. 19 Ida Wüst, postcard size picture of the famous UFA German screen actress who was very much a Hitler admirer (see our description earlier in this narrative.)
So that is the whole inventory at this point. Never has a more important group of such prodigiously great signatures of NS leaders along with the signatures of some of the world’s most famous personalities been offered all in one volume, at least that we are aware of. This is undoubtedly the ultimate collection of the above mentioned, but perhaps its importance is also found in the fact that our presentation of the book and its signers represent a certain divergence from the so called facts that Court Historians seem to cling to. Often they are speaking from inside the proverbial box! This guest book must be preserved.
Regardless of whether one is a Hitlerophile or a Hitlerophobe, it is a fact that it was Adolf Hitler who said in 1937 in Munich at the opening of the House of German Art: “Kein Volk LebtLänger als die Dokumente Seiner Kultur." No people live longer than the documentation of their Culture! Never has there been such a cumulative signature collection (from so many diverse cultures, historic epochs, and conflicting opinions) like this one being offered. It is without a doubt the absolute epiphany of prodigiously important autograph collectables. Regardless of what might be your opinion or outlook on some of the persons and signatories assembled within, one prodigiously important fact emerges and that is this -- All had come to beautiful and historic Oberammergau to watch and feel the passion of Jesus Christ the redeemer as acted out for centuries by these devout towns folk who lived up to their covenant with a almighty and merciful God that was made in 1634. Now 300 years later they came as if on a pilgrimage. Was it with genuine piety aforethought? Or, was it for propaganda value? Was it a mixture of both? In any case after talking with people fortunate enough to have attended a performance in years gone by I feel that the play itself when viewed must have a spiritual feeling that transcends politics and wars or rumors of wars. Here was and is a sacred place where many people came and still come to celebrate the life and death of the Christ who they revered as the great son of God, The Messiah! They left behind their signatures so future generations will know they were there in Oberammergau 300 years after that first great performance in the gorgeous and peaceful Bavarian mountains.
We now present the guest book from the Hotel Wittlesbach in the hopes that it will find a place where it can be safely and securely displayed. It is truly a historical treasure and its profound importance cannot be minimized.
PRICE: SOLD, and our heartiest congratulations to the buyer. This was possibly the most important item we have ever offered. But we have and continue to acquire the finest and rarest historical items ever offered on the web.