After the victory over France and the establishment, in 1871, of the German Empire, Otto von Bismarck received the Sachsenwald (Saxon forest) as a present from Emperor William I. Bismarck had a manor house built on the site of an inn, which Frederick Charles Augustus, sovereign count of Lippe-Biesterfeld, had originally founded as his hunting lodge in 1763, named after him Friedrichsruh (Frederick's rest). The manor house is positioned in the forest, directly beside the Hamburg-Berlin railway line, and Bismarck retained the name of Friedrichsruh. Some of his descendants still live there.
Bismarck was entombed in a mausoleum on the Schneckenberg hill, just outside Friedrichsruh, on 16 March 1899.
At the end of World War II, in 1945, Friedrichsruh was destroyed during a RAF raid due to the (false) rumor that Heinrich Himmler was hiding there, despite the clearly visible Red Cross markings on its roof.
In 1945 it was the headquarters of the White Buses rescue programme.
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