An unassuming chapel built on a mountainside in Germany is turning into a shrine for neo-Nazis after it was revealed it was built with marble and granite taken from the ruins of Adolf Hitler’s luxury home in Berchtesgaden.

News of the ‘church of the dark side’ as some locals have called it has split local people near where it stands and raised again the moral question of whether anything once used by the architect of the Jewish Holocaust and WW2 can be used in a world that he departed from 65 years ago.

At the weekend a swastika was found carved into one of the wooden beams of the chapel constructed in 1997.

Locals also report an influx of shaven-headed, leather jacket- wearing ‘pilgrims’ into the Wegmacher Chapel who leave behind notes of praise to the Fuehrer and candles burning in his memory.

It was only recently that the Bavarian government admitted that material from the wreckage of Hitler’s retreat – the Berghof – was used on the construction of the Wegmacher Chapel on the B20 road nearby.

Some of the stones are from the terrace of the Berghof – quarried by Jewish slave labourers in concentration camps.

‘Many of the guests who attended the chapel’s dedication are starting to wish it had never been built. It is difficult to ascertain, of course, whether the building is fulfilling is sacred function of protecting travellers. What is clear, however, is that the chapel is causing nothing but trouble in the secular world,’ reported Der Spiegel magazine today.

Deploying materials from Hitler’s home is a contradiction of a post-war policy in Bavaria not to use anything from the sites associated with Nazism for such projects.

While the Bavarian government set about demolishing underground bunkers at the Berghof discovered a decade ago, it deployed security guards with dogs to stop locals entering them and making off with souvenirs.

But the bricks and flagstones were taken away to a stonemason’s yard and later used for the chapel.  News of the dark past associated with the building materials has created anxiety in Germany and neighbouring Austria.

The Wegmacher Chapel was constructed with granite and marble taken from the Nazi leader’s chalet, the Berghof (pictured)
Matthias Ferwagner, the chapel’s architect, said that his design ‘explicitly addressed’ the use of the materials from Hitler’s old home.

‘The idea was that the stones somehow needed to be cleansed, blessed,’ Ferwagner said. He said he envisioned the roadside chapel as a place where people with ‘evil intentions’ could stop ‘and purge their minds.’

Hitler’s Berghof was bombed into ruins by Allied planes towards the end of the war when he was holed up in his underground bunker in Berlin.

There is now a debate underway in Bavaria about whether some of those ruins, including the house’s vast cellars and air-raid shelters, should be opened up for tourists.

Some locals are calling for the chapel to be demolished but Ferwanger said; ‘You can hardly find a mason in the region who isn’t storing columns and stone blocks from Obersalzberg.