In the second half of the 19th century the humble mountain village of Obersalzberg was transformed into one of the most important health resorts in Germany. Adolf Hitler visited Obersalzberg for the first time in May 1923. After his premature release from imprisonment in the prison of Landsberg/Lech he repeatedly returned to Obersalzberg, where he also dictated the second part of "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle). After the "Seizure of Power" Obersalzberg became a place of pilgrimage for enthusiastic Hitler supporters from throughout the Reich. Soon the only people to be admitted were organized groups and guests of the Party and the government. Obersalzberg thus evolved into a major element in NS propaganda and the Hitler myth.
In 1933 Hitler acquired ownership of Wachenfeld House, which he had been renting since 1928. In the following years the modest country house was converted into the pompous Berghof. Other leading NS figures settled there as well: Hermann Göring, Martin Bormann, Albert Speer - Obersalzberg became the "Führersperrgebiet" (the Fuehrer's off-limits area) with an infrastructure allowing for the execution of government. The old village and its inhabitants, some of whom were families who had lived here for hundreds of years, had to yield to these new circumstances. Within a few short years the entire region of Berchtesgaden evolved into a second seat of government, a "Branch Office of Berlin", where important political decisions, also about peace and war as well as
the Holocaust, were proposed and made.