A Visit to Schloss Kransberg

With the help of the author and Los Angeles Time journalist, Annie Jacobsen, who was granted permission to visit the castle for research on her next book, Mr. Kopp, the Camp King Historian and I were able to gain access to Schloss Kransberg.

Ms Jacobsen also visited Camp King as her forthcoming book will include two chapters about its former intelligence center. Next on her list for further research was Schloss Kransberg, mostly known for having been Goering’s secret headquarters and where the American forces held family members of the scientist Wernher von Braun in hiding from the Russians.

So, here is what we saw.

Driving from Oberursel to Kransberg takes about 30 minutes.


After we parked the car, we walked up the hill towards the castle.

It was a good idea as the castle was teeming with police cars, police men, trucks and vans, and serious looking people.
We had walked onto a film set! From the local papers I just learned that Nele Neuhaus’s novel Schneewittchen muss sterben ( Snow White Must Die from Amazon.de) is being made into a movie and one of the filming locations was Schloss Kransberg in Usingen.

Filming “Snow White Must Die”

Quoting the sign During WW 2, Schloss Kransberg was part of the Adlerhorst head quarters in Ziegenberg.

I am standing in Goering’s Arbeitszimmer (office).

Goering’s office at Schloss Kransberg

The building superintendent, Jan Herrmanns, is giving us a tour of the castle grounds.

The Offizierskasino (Officers’ Club) was impressive.

The Officers’ Club at Kransberg

Schloss Kransberg

A memorable trip down into the Bunker (bomb shelter)

Bomb shelter at Kransberg

We left the building through this bomb shelter door.

Kransberg Bunker

Schloss Kransberg is mentioned in quite a few books, among them The Good German (Amazon.de).

This castle has seen so many visitors, among them unusual tenants (Michael Jackson had rented part of it for his European office), movie makers, war lovers, and peace keepers.


Motor Pool Camp King in 1945

Through my continued interest in the history of Camp King, which began with the podcast Graham and I recorded in 2007, I’ve been able to gather more and more information. Through learning more about this part of our German history, my circle of like-minded correspondents has also widened.

My special gratitude goes to Ambassador Dolibois, who gave permission to share 12 special photos. In 1945,  Ambassador Dolibois was stationed at Camp King with the U.S. Army Intelligence. After the war, he was transferred from Oberursel to Luxembourg, and then served as Goering’s interrogator before and during the Nuremberg trials.

For today’s post, I have chosen a few photos taken around the area of Camp King and the adjacent Motorwerke.

Unidentified officer at Camp King in 1945

For more on Ambassador Dolibois’s role as an American interrogator at Mondorf Palace, Luxembourg, listen to his interview on youtube.

Motorenwerke Rolls Royce 1945

The Motorenfabrik Oberursel was occupied by U.S. troops at the end of WW II.

M.I.S. Center Motor Pool at the Motorenwerke  in Oberursel 1945

At the Motor Pool in Oberursel 1945

Motor Pool, Oberursel 1945

The Ambassador has also published Pattern of Circles: An Ambassador’s Story.

Special credit also goes to Hanns-Claudius Scharff, who was instrumental in obtaining these photos from Ambassador Dolibois. His father published  The Interrogator: The Story of Hanns Joachim Scharff: Master Interrogator of the Luftwaffe (Schiffer Military History).