Adolf Hitler had been vacationing in the Berchtesgaden area since the 1920s. He purchased a home in the Obersalzberg above the town on the flank of the Hoher Goll and began extensive renovations on his Berghof in the following years. As other top Nazi Party leaders such as Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels, and Albert Speer began to frequent the area the Party began to purchase and requisition land in the Obersalzberg.
In order to serve as an outpost of the German Reichskanzlei (Imperial Chancellery), Berchtesgaden and its environs (Stanggass) saw substantial expansion of offices, security, and support services, mainly on the Obersalzberg. Included in the town were a new railway station, with a reception area for Hitler and his guests, and an adjacent post office. The Berchtesgadener Hof Hotel, where famous visitors such as Neville Chamberlain and David Lloyd George stayed, was substantially upgraded. The Kehlsteinhaus (known as the Eagle's Nest among the Allies) atop the Kehlstein subpeak of the Hoher Goll was built as a present for Hitler's 50th birthday in 1939.
Even though a feared "National Redoubt" last stand of the Nazi Regime in the Alps failed to materialize, late in World War II the Allies launched a devastating air raid on the Berchtesgaden area. Concentrated on the Obersalzberg, the April 25, 1945 bombing did little damage to the town. On May 4 forward elements of the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division arrived and received the town's surrender.