Adolph Hitler was imprisoned for nine months there in 1924 when he was charged with treason. During his stay, he dictated Mein Kampf to fellow inmate Rudolph Hess. The book was partly an autobiography and partly a political work that explained the ideas behind the Nationalist Socialist Party or Nazis.
When the war ended, the same prison structure was used by the US Army to hold German officials accused of committing war crimes. About 150 executions were held there after members of the Nazi party had been tried and convicted as war criminals.
Lands around Landsberg am Lech were also used as a concentration camp during the last days of the war. About 5000 prisoners were held there in 1944 that were mostly Jews from the Baltics and Russia. The liberation of the camp by allied forces was reenacted in Episode 9 of the popular TV mini series “Band of Brothers.”
When the war was over, many of the prisoners stayed in the Landsberg area and it became known as a displaced person’s camp. Because so many leaders of the Jewish community resided there, it became a center for the training and education of Jews until it was closed in 1950.
Landsberg am Lech is also rich in more ancient history. As a stop on the famous “Romantic Road” that runs 350 km through Bavaria, it contains several structures that date back to Medieval times. The citizens have preserved their city well, and a visit there will remind you of knights mounted on noble steeds performing jousts for fair maidens.
The Three Towers Of Landsberg am Lech
The city is located on the beautiful Lech River and features three towers, each with its own unique and fascinating history. The first tower is found at the Bayer Gate and was built about 1425. This Gothic structure is 36 m high and offers you a breathtaking view from the top. You can see much of the old town from there, and also enjoy a panoramic look at the countryside in the Lech River valley.
The oldest tower in Landsberg is called the Schmalzturm, also called Beautiful Tower. It was built in 1260 and named for the brightly colored tiles used on its roof. It is located in the Hexenviertel, or Witches’ Quarter, which was given its name when a red-haired resident was accused of being a witch. Today the area is home to many artists and sculpturers who display their work for your enjoyment. :-)
The Mutterturm or Mother’s Tower is the newest of the three towers. It is often used by romantic German couples for registry office weddings. Hubert von Herkomer had it built in 1884–1888 as a way to honor his mother. The tower is located beside the Herkomer Museum, which contains more than 100 cultural and artistic exhibits.