Sixty-five years ago, the town of Bad Fallingbostel might have been a tad bit different from what you’ll find today. The old church of St. Dionysis would still be there, as would the monument to Heinrich von Quintus Icilius; a 19th century politician who helped create one of the first savings banks in Hanover.
The moorlands of the Lüneburg Heath would also. Well, that’s a natural part of history and it’s been around for thousands of years, so I don’t think that’s going anywhere. It’s also one of the most beautiful places to hike, walk, or cycle around Lower Saxony. Take a boat ride around, too, the countryside is just lovely!
And the old Low German farmhouse known as Hof der Heidmark and many of the town’s timber framed houses would still be there, too. Although, the amusement park and the African Safari Park would be much later additions.
However, a little more than half a century ago Bad Fallingbostel was the site of a World War II POW camp; Stalag XIB, XID, and 357 (Stalag XIC was the Bergen Belsen camp only about a half hour away). More than 30,000 Soviet prisoners were buried here before the camp was “liberated” in 1945. After the war, the camp was used as an internment camp for National Socialists; it’s now all part of the Fallingbostel Military Museum.
World War II history has found its way in town in another way, it’s the final resting place of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, a high ranking general who served four years in prison for war crimes before going off to become a military advisor for the British.
Interestingly enough, the 19th century writer (journalist, conservationist, historian) Hermann Löns is also buried here. He died long before the start of the 2nd World War, but his “nationalistic” writings caught the attention of the Nazis and Adolf Hitler ordered his body exhumed and reburied here.
That’s a far cry from the town of Bad Fallingbostel you see before you today. The town’s an air health resort with a Kneipp spa experience designed for relaxation and better health.
If the baths aren’t healthy enough for you, try buying some of the locally grown fruits & veggies available at the weekly market that’s open Thursdays from 7am-1pm (perfect if you’re an early bird).
Early Bird or not, whether you choose to come to Bad Fallingbostel for its natural or military history; you’ll enjoy it just the same.