Mittersill Castle, Schloss Mittersill – Austria


Mittersill Castle or Schloss Mittersill – photo 2014

History

The fist records of the medieval castle comes from the 12th century, it is built in an region that has been settled over 4000 years. It sits on the northern side of the Salzach valley and it towers 140 meters above the Austrian city of Mittersill. The Castle was a former high society location. In its glamorous period it was visited by the former queen of the Netherlands Juliana with her husband Prince Bernard, the shah of Persia, Clark Gable, Henry Ford, Bob Hope and others. After the annexation of Austria in 1938 Austria it was under German rule.

From 1943 a SS department from the Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler organization who were occupied with the research of Ancestral Heritage settled in the castle. Active from 1935 until war’s end in 1945 the intellectual think tank for ancient history named Ahnenerbe was composed of scholars and scientist. The detachment in Mittersill was focused on Inner Asia, especially Tibet, and researched the Aryan race and its decedents.

Mittersill Castle – photo 2014
Mittersill Castle – photo 2014
Mittersill Castle – photo 2014

Women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp

For a short period it was a used as an outer subcamp from the Mauthauzen Concentration camp some 270 kilometers to the north east in Austria. Fifteen women, Jehovah Witnesses and bible readers, were send in from the Ravensbrück Concentration camp 820 km to the north, above Berlin in Germany, for household and cleaning work. Within a few day nine of these woman we send further into Austria to work at Lannach Castle.

Mittersill Castle – photo 2014
Mittersill Castle – photo 2014
Mittersill Castle – photo 2014

The Arolsen Archives Documents

These three documents refer to the 15 women from the Ravensbrück Concentration camp. The first two documents shows the list of the 15 Jehovah Witnesses. The letter from obersharführer Merzinger (senior squad leader) mentions to document the names, birthdays and prisoner numbers before transferring nine of them from the Mittsersill Caste and it mentions that the castle will be the central location as documentation office.

Documents 15 Women from Ravenbruck at Mittersill Castle – courtesy Arolsen-Archives
Documents 15 Women from Ravenbruck at Mittersill Castle – courtesy Arolsen-Archives
Documents 15 Women from Ravenbruck at Mittersill Castle – courtesy Arolsen-Archives

Liberation of mittersill

At the last official day of the war in Europe, 8th May 1945, a US infantry division coming from the Tyrol province arrived in the city of Pinzgau and liberated the town of Mittersill and the woman at Mittersill Caste. In the aftermath of the war units of the 101th Airbine Division 502 PIR were in Mittersill as well for occupation duty.

101th Airborne Division on occupation duty in Mittersill, Austria - Photo by Gary Martin
101th Airborne Division on occupation duty in Mittersill, Austria – Photo by Gary Martin
Mittersill Castle – photo 2014
Mittersill Castle – photo 2014

Visit

Schloss Mittersill, or Mittersill castle is a hotel today, as it was before the war. There is not much reference to the war and the people who attended it. You can have a coffee of a stay for the night.

Mittersill Castle – photo 2014
Mittersill Castle – photo 2014
Mitterlsil Castle – photo 2014


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