Nazi Architecture

nazi architecture

Nazi Architecture: Megalomaniac buildings and projects of Third Reich.

The 20th century is littered with the architectural dreams of megalomaniacs: Mussolini`s modernist recreation of imperial Rome, Saddam Hussein`s Mother of all Battles mosque and the Arc of Triumph, the monumental kitsch of Kim Jong-Il`s horrific Ryugyong hotel to name but a few. But there are none more deranged than Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer`s vision of Germania. Hitler wanted to tear down Berlin to rebuild his world capital, poring over the architectural plans endlessly. Chillingly, Speer wanted to make sure the buildings would also make great ruins. The realisation of Germania would have made Haussmann`s reconfiguration of Paris seem cosmetic.


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Albert Speer junior, son of the man who designed Adolf Hitler`s Nazi Party rally grounds in Nuremberg, criticized a plan to declare the tourist-magnet complex a UNESCO world heritage site. Nuremberg, tired of the cost of maintaining the complex seeks UNESCO recognition for the place as a heritage site. Albert Speer junior says this is the wrong way to deal with the Nazi site, adding that he is not necessarily arguing the whole Nazi site should be pulled down, reminding that Italy demolished most of the monuments put up by Benito Mussolini - "which was not right either."


In the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics viewers were presented with a carefully choreographed spectacle wrapped in nationalist kitsch - images that recall Adolf Hitler`s goosestepping storm troopers. By choosing Albert Speer Jr, the son of Hitler`s favourite architect and the designer of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, to design the master plan China`s government has itself alluded to the aesthetics that was a hallmark of 20th century totalitarianism. Speer Jr`s design centered on the avenue connecting the Forbidden City and the National Stadium - His father`s plan for "Germania" also relied on such a mighty central axis.


Everyone in Vienna knows about the Flaktьrme, flak towers, the huge gun emplacements built 1942-1945 by decree of Adolf Hitler to repel Allied air raids. All 6 of these concrete titans survive at the heart of a baroque city. Yet the flak towers do not exist in "official" Vienna - other than a brief mention in guidebooks. Angered by the denial over the towers, a group of architectural historians wants that the truth about the monsters (one of the biggest groups of concrete structures in Europe) is told. Designed by Fried rich Tamms, who designed much of the Nazi Germany`s autobahn system, Hitler had planned them to be clad in marble after the victory of the Reich.


This is one of the plans for Germania that Adolf Hitler did not sign off – and ones that would have seen their author decapitated if the Fuhrer had seen them. The cartoons, which poke fun at the excess vision of Hitler for a super-capital of his 1,000-year Reich were thought lost in the Berlin bombing, but they turned up recently and are showed at the Architectural Museum of the Technical University of Berlin. The cartoon sketches were made by Hans Stefan, an architect on the staff of Albert Speer, who in 1937 was tasked with the planning for the megalopolis that would show the might of the Ayran rulers.


Adolf Hitler`s architect built it to enable thousands to survive for Nazi Germany`s "final victory" - but now the last huge (virtually indestructible) air-raid shelter still standing in Berlin has been reopened as an art gallery. The fortress-like building on Reinhardtstrasse is still marked with WWII bullet holes. It was constructed by the Nazi architect Albert Speer in 1942 and used to shelter 2,000 people each night from Allied bombing raids. After being left empty for years, the 5-storey, 120-room complex was reopened as a private gallery containing 80 contemporary works by 57 artists.


Adolf Hitler’s megalomaniac plans to fill Berlin with giant buildings has been uncovered in a new exhibition. Mythos Germania has elaborated plans for bombastic architecture by Albert Speer, which Adolf Hitler called "Berlin - the capital of the world".


Adolf Hitler called it Germania, his vision of Berlin as a city

full of marble architecture, capital of the Nazi-ruled world. "Berlin will only be comparable with the Ancient Egyptians, Babylonians or Romans. What is London, what is Paris by comparison?" the Nazi leader said. For decades Hitler`s plans were considered as so crazed that they were limited to specialist books. The taboo was broken as Peer Steinbrьck, the German Finance Minister, revealed a scale model of Germania. Centrepiece of the display was the domed Great Hall, designed by architect Albert Speer to hold a crowd of 150,000.


Munich is attempting to face its past as the capital of the Nazi movement with a new documentation center in the former Nazi HQ: The Brown House on Munich`s Brienner Strasse. It was in Munich that the National Socialist movement gained ground following the trauma of WWI. A young Adolf Hitler arranged a failed putsch in the Bavarian capital in 1923 and after coming to power in 1933, the Nazi leader chose Munich as the headquarters of Nazi movement. When the World War II came to an end, the American military government ordered the removal of all Nazi symbols (swastikas, flags, Nazi architecture). A cellar covered by grass was all that was left of the Brown House.


Berlin bunker expers found Nazi military academy in Teufelsberg (Article no longer available from the original source)

Experts in Berlin`s WWII bunkers have discovered a forgotten Nazi military school designed by Nazi architect Albert Speer. It`s buried under a man-made hill in the Teufelsberg (Devil`s Mountain), a 116-metre-high mound which was constructed from the 26m cubic metres of the wartime rubble. The unfinished building, for which Adolf Hitler laid the foundation stone in 1937, was meant to become part of Germania, the huge capital of the 1,000-Year Reich. The British occupation forces planned to turn the building into their headquarters, until it proved too difficult. Instead, half of Berlin`s rubble was poured on top and so the Teufelsberg was born.


Most WWII documentaries focus on the loss of life that occurred during Adolf Hitler’s regime. "The Rape of Europa" is not that type of history film. It deals more with property than people, as it explores the Nazis’ systematic looting of priceless works of art and architecture during World War II. Combining interviews with both archival and contemporary footage, the film presents the tale of the terrors via the fresh perspective of how Nazi regime wreaked havoc on art treasures in the many countries Wehrmacht conquered, as well as the destruction done to works of art and architecture during both the Allied and Axis bombings.


On a corner of Ruegen island in the former east Germany stands building of massive proportions. Stretching nearly 3 miles along the coastline, it was built by Adolf Hitler to offer seaside holidays to strengthen and refresh (Kraft durch Freude) workers of the Third Reich. Its scale and cubic forms have made it an example of Third Reich architecture and a metaphor for Hitler`s quest for power. Now it has buyer, Ulrich Busch, the son of a 1920s anti-Nazi campaigner who fled from Nazi Germany. He plans to revamp the concrete hulk into flats - fulfilling the building`s initial purpose after some 70 years.


The controversial "Hitler Room" at Vienna`s Volkstheater that was awarded cultural-heritage status as part of an project to protect Third Reich architecture is to be turned into a discussion area. The room was constructed in honour of Hitler, and in 1939 the theatre was turned into a place for loyal Nazis to enjoy plays as part of the party`s Kraft-durch-Freude (Strength-through-Joy) programme. Vienna’s city council has ordered a survey of all buildings dating back to the Nazi period, ranging from those that Hitler ordered built to the place where he once lived as a struggling artist.


In late Jan 1938, Hitler called in architect Albert Speer. "I have meetings with important people and I need grand halls and rooms with which to impress them." And a year later, the testament to Nazi power was finished. The New Chancellery`s stern exterior was sparsely decorated and featured a statue of a nude soldier carrying a sword. Inside, the corridor was 300 meters (328 yards) long. There was a court of honor, a mosaic hall, a round hall and a marble gallery. The reception hall was 146 meters long, twice that of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Hitler`s office was a staggering 400 square meters with 10-meter high ceilings. The chancellery was Hitler`s pride.

(Deutsche Welle)

Albert Speer: Size Matters. In 1979 Robert Hughes met and interviewed Adolf Hitler`s architect Albert Speer for his series Shock of the New. Speer died soon afterwards. 23 years later Hughes came upon the long lost tape of that conversation and was inspired to travel back to Germany to examine the legacy of a man who was, for a brief period, the most powerful architect in the world.

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