Showing posts with label Führerbau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Führerbau. Show all posts

Das Parteizentrum der NSDAP

 
Königlicher Platz by Josef Eglseder (1938), showing the Führerbau, Braunes Haus, Ehrentempel, and Verwaltungsbau der NSDAP with Albert Speer's lampposts in the foreground from the steps of the Glyptotek, and my photo from the same position in 2015.
 No other place in Munich is so closely connected with the Nazi movement and its public shows of power as Königsplatz. Its grand classicist ambience made the square the ideal backdrop for staging Nazi spectacles. In 1935 the square’s appearance was modified considerably: it was turned into a parade ground and two Temples of Honour were built, along with other new buildings, on its eastern perimeter. By virtue of its size and central location, Königsplatz had already become a gathering point for political meetings during the 1920s, and even before 1933 the NSDAP showed an interest in this public space so close to its “Brown House”. The distinctive classical architecture of Königsplatz fitted perfectly the Nazi leadership’s need for a grand setting for its activities. The NSDAP had already bought the Palais Barlow building near Königsplatz in 1930 and subsequently had it refurbished as the party headquarters (the “Brown House”). After 1933 a number of other key offices of the Nazi bureaucracy were housed in the area around Königsplatz. Making society conform with Nazi ideals and achieving the bureaucratic centralisation, documentation and control of all areas of life by means of a powerful and all-pervasive state and party apparatus – these were the goals of the Nazi leadership’s domestic policy. Although after 1933 the Nazi centre of power was moved to Berlin, key offices of the NSDAP and its associated organisations remained in Munich. The area around Königsplatz became the central party quarter, where many party offices and Nazi organisations were housed in more than fifty buildings – from national offices responsible for the whole Reich down to regional branches. At times as many as six thousand people were employed here. Alongside the party administration itself – such as, for example, the Reich Leadership of the NSDAP in Brienner Straße (the “Brown House”) – the head offices of many Nazi organisations were located here, including the Reich Youth Leadership, the Reich Treasury Department of the National Socialist Women’s Organisation, the Reich Leadership of the National Socialist German Students’ Association, the Reich Leadership of the SS (administrative offices and the SS court), the Supreme SA Leadership and central party institutions, such as the Reich Central Propaganda Office or the Reich Press Office. These institutions and authorities were tightly organised and centrally controlled. They were generally structured along the same lines as the regional and district organisations of the NSDAP. The party used them to penetrate society and as highly effective instruments for bringing people into line ideologically and for keeping them under surveillance and controlling their private lives.
ThemenGeschichtsPfad National Socialism in Munich
video
Footage of Nazi march through Königsplatz
 
Hitler's painting of the Propyläen taken from N. S. Frauenwarte, 1937 
 
The US army marching past May 17, 1945
video
Original footage of the area

Königsplatz is the most significant square in Munich and is known as the Athens on the Isar with the Propyläen, Glyptothek and Antikensammlung on its three sides built in classical style, conceived by Ludwig I and built in 1817 by Klenze. Troost designed the square to make it a colossal parade ground with 22,000 slabs of concrete, the temples of honour, Führer building and the NSDAP central office. Unlike Berlin with its Topography of Terror, Munich has managed to avoid building a memorial to the past. Today, the only thing that signifies the role of the Königsplatz square during the Third Reich is a paltry plaque displayed on the stone foundation of one of the former “Temples of Honour.” The former “capital of the Nazi movement” now claims itself the “Weltstadt mit Herz” (world city with a heart).
video
Königsplatz in Munich was the centre of the Nazi-government. The whole area was occupied by various NS-organisations. This is recent footage of the area which was the site of the May 10 1933 book burning by the German Students’ Association. In 1933 Königsplatz was the venue for one of the first major public demonstrations of power. During the nationally organised book-burning on 10 May 1933, works by Erich Kästner, Heinrich Mann, Karl Marx, Erich Maria Remarque, Kurt Tucholsky, Theodor Wolff and many others were burned here. In 1935 twenty thousand granite paving slabs were laid on the square like Tiananmen Square after the 1989 massacre to better run over people with tanks, and had 18 street lamps and two flag poles and it was equipped with a modern electrical system capable of providing theatrical lighting for public events. In Arcisstraße two Temples of Honour and two monumental party buildings flanked the whole ensemble. The square was thus turned into the central parade ground for mass rallies in Munich. The granite was removed in 1988 and grassed over.  Every year since 1995 the artist Wolfram P. Kastner has singed a patch of grass in front of the Antikensammlung as a token of remembrance of the public book-burning. Kastner’s symbolic action is accompanied each year by public readings from the “burnt books”. The first reading – staged by Brecht’s daughter, the actress Hanne Hiob, and pupils of the Luisengymnasium grammar school – took place in 1995 and is now a regular fixture in the city’s culture of remembrance.
Кёнигсплац или Королевская площадь (нем. Königsplatz) — площадь в Мюнхене на улице Бриеннерштрассе в городском округе Максфорштадт.  Площадь Кёнигсплац возведена по указанию кронпринца Людвига 1815 года архитектором Лео фон Кленце[1] по подобию античного форума по проектам Карла фон Фишера. Строительство продолжалось в 1816—1830 гг. По желанию будущего короля Баварии, Кёнигсплац должен был стать площадью культуры в «Новых Афинах на Изаре»[2].  В северной части располагается Глиптотека с богатейшей коллекцией древнегреческой и древнеримской скульптуры. В западной части находятся Пропилеи, «ворота площади» (копия входа в храм на Акрополе). На южной стороне площади расположено Государственное античное собрание работы архитектора Георга Фридриха Цибланда.  Глиптотека представляет собой ионический ордер, Пропилеи — дорический, а Античное собрание — коринфский.  В конце площади расположено аббатство Святого Бонифация, построенное в византийском стиле.  В 1933—1936 гг. по проекту Пауля Людвига Трооста в восточной части площади были построены Административное здание НСДАП и Фюрербау (сохранились до настоящего времени). Между ними были построены два (северный и южный) Храма почёта, в которые 9 ноября 1935 года были перенесены саркофаги с прахом 16 нацистов, погибших во время пивного путча 1923 года.  Во времена Третьего рейха площадь использовалась для проведения массовых митингов.  После Второй мировой войны американская оккупационная администрация расположилась в Фюрербау, а Храмы почёта были взорваны (в настоящее время сохранились их цоколи, заросшие плющом).
Königsplatz in 1933 and 1937

The photo on the right is from Mussolini's visit of April 25, 1937
 
With both 'temples of honour' in the foreground on the left and background on right. Albert Speer's lampposts, are gone, but can be found along Strasse des 17. Juni in Berlin:

 
During the annual commemorative march and today
 
The Staatliche Antikensammlungen during the Nazi era and today, with my Grade 7 students; the swastika motif alongside the entrance remains. 
 
Nazis marching past the Glyptothek in 1937 and the Americans returning the favour May 17, 1945.
 
 Seen from the Propylaea in 1937 and with Drake Winston today
 
The remains of the Glyptothek after the war
 
The interior in 1938 watercolours by Wilhelm August Hahn and today, including the Egyptian Room and after the war, necessitating the relocation of the Obelisk of Titus Sextius Africanus to the new Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst. 
 
For Hitler, Greek sculpture had never been surpassed and one of his most prized possessions was the best surviving copy of Myron's Discobolus; Discus Thrower. In 1937 Hitler negotiated to buy it, and eventually succeeded in 1938 when Galeazzo Ciano, Minister of Foreign Affairs, sold it to him for five million lire, over the protests of Giuseppe Bottai, Minister of Education, and the scholarly community.  It was shipped by rail to Munich and displayed here in the Glyptothek where it was placed on exhibition with Hitler publicly praising it as an aesthetic model for all time. ‘May you all then realise how glorious man already was back then in his physical beauty,’ he told his audience. ‘We can speak of progress only if we have attained like perfection or if we manage to surpass it.’
It was eventually returned in 1948 after the American occupation authorities ordered its transfer 
to the Italian government, despite its having been legitimately purchased and exported. The American decision, over vigorous German protest, was guided by a desire to influence the outcome of the Italian general election that year in favour of the ruling Chrisitan Democrats.
Spotts (209)
It is now in the National Museum of Rome, displayed at the Baths of Diocletian.
 
The Äginetensaal then and now
 
The Romersaal before and after its destruction and its less-august surroundings today
 
The Barberini Faun in more extravagant surroundings in its pre-war restoration and today
 
As it appeared after being transferred to the Zentralministerium's Luftschutzkeller on Ludwigstrasse
During Eisenhower's review of the 2nd Regiment October 14, 1945

Remains of the 'Temples of Honour' (Ehrentempel)
The day after Hitler made his annual speech to the party’s old guard at the Bürgerbräukeller on November 8, 1933 to mark the anniversary of the failed putsch, he unveiled a small memorial with a plaque underneath at the south side of the Feldherrnhalle. Two policemen or the ϟϟ stood guard on either side of the memorial’s base and passers-by were required to give the Hitler salute.

According to Peter H. Koepf in "Swept Under the Carpet. How Munich quietly disposed of its Nazi 'martyrs’ in 1945, Hitler commemorated the sixteen dead as “Heroes of the Movement” as soon as he took power by having twin Temples of Honour built on Königsplatz between the two main Nazi Party buildings. Twenty fluted columns towering 23 feet above the ground were arranged on two 70-foot-wide limestone pedestals and which supported an open roof of steel and concrete with etched glass mosaics decorating the underside. In a two-day ceremony, Hitler brought the dead to their final resting place. On Nov. 7, 1935, 12 years after the attempted putsch, the bodies of Ehrlich and others were exhumed and taken to the Feldherrnhalle, escorted by SA storm troops. After the pallbearers ceremoniously carried the caskets up the massive steps, the crowd sang the Horst Wessel song. Soon after, Hitler appeared and individually saluted the dead men before pausing in front of each casket.
The next morning began with a 16-gun salute. The old comrades assembled around the “Bürgerbräukeller” and, commemorating the infamous march of 1923, silently retraced their steps to the Feldherrnhalle led by Julius Streicher behind whom were three men bearing the Blutfahne. Hitler was flanked by veteran fighters followed by members of the “Blutorden”, SA and ϟϟ troops, Hitler Youth, and paramilitary troops. A crowd of tens of thousands stood along the parade route lined by a cordon of SA soldiers. Accompanied by marching drummers, the Horst Wessel song blared from gigantic loudspeakers. Black smoke wafted from 400 blazing pylons along the route, each bearing the name of one of the “martyrs” of the movement in gold letters. Flag-bearing delegations from the Nazi administrative districts stood nearby. As Hitler passed each pylon, the immortalised name of each “martyr” was announced over the loudspeakers.
The caskets were then taken on carriages to Königsplatz square. The moment the first carriage arrived on the square, a shot was fired and the flags of the movement and of the Wehrmacht were lowered. Veteran fighters placed the caskets on the podium. Two large swastika banners were then raised in unison. The Völkischer Beobachter reported that Königsplatz had thus been transformed into “a mighty forum for the movement.” The heroes were now resting in the Nazi Party’s “holy sanctuary.” Hitler proclaimed: “Just as they marched fearlessly, so too shall they lie in the wind and weather, in the storms and rain, in the snow and ice, and in the sun, under the heavens. They will lie here in open as an eternal symbol of the German nation. For us they are not dead.” 
From Hans Weberstedt and Kurt Langner's Gedenkhalle für die Gefallenen des Dritten Reiches Unter Mitarbeit der Gauleitung der NSDAP und Angehöriger der Gefallenen (1939)

It was in 1935 that the remains of the sixteen putschists were brought here on the anniversary. This had followed the purge of the SA during the Night of the Long Knives the year before. The bodies were exhumed from their graves and taken to the Feldherrnhalle where they were placed beneath sixteen large pylons bearing their names. The next day, after Hitler had solemnly walked from one to the next, they were taken down the monument’s steps and taken on carts, draped in flags to Paul Ludwig Troost’s new Ehrentempel monuments at the Konigsplatz, through streets lined with spectators bustling between 400 columns with eternal flames atop. Flags were lowered as veterans slowly and orderly placed the heavy sarcophagi into place. In each of the structures eight of the martyrs were interred in a sarcophagus bearing their name.
Each temple held the sarcophagi of eight 'martyrs' with two ϟϟ honour guards keeping vigil.
The martyrs of the movement were in heavy black sarcophagi in such a way as to be exposed to the elements from the open roof. When Gauleiter Adolf Wagner died from a stroke in 1944 he was interred metres away from the north temple in the adjacent grass mound in between the two temples.
video
Rare footage of the Changing of the Guard at the Ehrentempel in 1938
At the temples visitors were required to be silent, not wear hats and keep children from running over the centre of the temples. The Ehrentempel was made of limestone except for its roof which was made of steel and concrete with etched glass mosaics. The pedestals of the temples, which are the only parts remaining, are seventy feet wide. The columns of the structures each extended twenty-three feet. The combined weight of the sarcophagi was over 2,900 pounds.
Hitler and Mussolini beside one temple with the braune haus behind
Standing in front of the ruins of the Ehrentempels in 2007 and 2010. Only the foundations are visible today after the temples had been blown up in January 1947; trees and bushes are growing on top.
The sunken area for the sarcophagi became a pool of water after the war. In a thread on Axis History Forum, pionier44 provided several photos of the area around Konigsplatz, including a few on top the Ehrentempels. In a couple are shown small holes which he suggests could have been used for drainage; indeed, he later asks "the only visible thing up top is some open stand pipes. Were these for the eternal flames?" I had my picture taken next to one for perspective as another poster inquired as to their size.
According to the Munich tourist board, the “Ehrentempeln” – or Temples of Honour – on Munich’s Königsplatz were “National shrines of the German people.” Millions of Hitler Youth and Nazi party members regarded the men buried there as role models of self-sacrifice. Ehrlich and the others had become National Socialist heroes. In 1945, Munich officials decided to eradicate this former Nazi shrine. Even Karl Meitinger, head of the city planning department under the Nazis, was busy thinking about the future. Speaking at the city council’s first postwar meeting in August 1945, he said: “We must strive to salvage the form and appearance of the old city centre at all costs.” He expressed the hope that, within a few decades, “our beloved Munich” would be restored to what it once was. The city would then be the focus of a new era of tourism, and its reputation as Germany’s city of the arts could once again flourish. To this end, he said that the Königsplatz would be “de-Nazified,” the Temples of Honour torn down. The bodies of Ehrlich and the other Nazi “martyrs” would have to be removed as discreetly as possible.
http://www.atlantic-times.com/archive_detail.php?recordID=359
I had revisited the site on March 11, 2011 and found a glass candle holder and a bone (!) placed on top a stone:
video
video
From atop the other ehrentempel remains beside the Fuehrerbau, January 2012

On the night of July 5, 1945, the 16 “martyrs” from the Temples of Honour were removed and quickly buried elsewhere. The remains of Johann Rickmers were sent to the city crematorium but, as domestic mail services had been suspended by the Allies forces, his ashes couldn't be sent to their final resting place in Westphalia. All these burials were lonely affairs. On June 27, 1945, Mayor Karl Scharnagl, appointed by the American occupying forces, published the following decree: “Any public participation during the burials, or any kind of outward display whatsoever, must be avoided.” On July 12, the director of Munich’s municipal cemeteries submitted his report to the mayor: “On July 5, 1945, the bodies, or the remains thereof, were removed from the temples on Königsplatz square without incident. The bodies were placed in family gravesites or buried in common graves. This was carried out at a time of day when the cemetery was closed to the public.”
 
As they appeared May 17, 1945
On January 9, 1947 the upper parts of the structures were blown up. The central portion was subsequently partially filled in but often filled with rain water which created a natural memorial. When Germany was finally reunited plans were made for a biergarten, restaurant or café on the site of the Ehrentempel but these were derailed by the growth of rare biotope vegetation on the site. As a result of this the temples were spared complete destruction and the foundation bases of the monuments remain intersecting on the corner of Briennerstrasse and Arcisstrasse. In the intermittent period of the 1947 destruction and 1990 handover basements (hitherto unknown to the Americans) were uncovered beneath the structures. A small plaque added in 2007 explains their function. Designed by Professor Heinlein, the sarcophagi originally cast at the Wasseralfingen steel works in Baden-Württemberg and the eight columns weighing over 21 tonnes were recycled to make brake shoes for municipal buses. Weighing nearly 2,900 pounds, the metal caskets were converted to repair rail ties and electrical lines. Munich had discreetly rid itself of its former Nazi “heroes.” The bronze eagles designed by party member Kurt Schmidt-Ehmen were removed and the former Nazi buildings on Königsplatz are now used by music students and cultural institutions.
video video
From the bizarre Nazi film Ewige Wache, showing the procession from the Feldherrnhalle to the Temples of Honour where the 'martyrs' are shown taken from their graves to be re-interred here. The film on the right shows footage of the site.

Führerbau (site of Munich Agreement)
Before and after the war
The Führerbau had been constructed for the Nazi party by Paul Troost and was where Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler signed the Munich Agreement in 1938. Hitler's office, on the second floor above the entryway, is now a rehearsal room, but has been changed little since it was built.
You can see the Führerbau behind one of the "temples of honour" on the right.

Welcoming Chamberlain and Daladier September 29, 1938


Romanian leader Ion Antonescu and Hitler at the Führerbau in June 1941 with Ribbentrop and Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel in the background. 

Here the Nazi Eagle is seen on a plinth which still remains today




Hitler and Mussolini walking past from stills captured from archival footage of the conference where I later stood.

Standing at the foot of the staircase with period photo taken from Geoff Walden's Third Reich Ruins.
The side rooms have since been divided into smaller corridors

Shortly before midnight, the Four-Power Agreement was signed in the Führerbau, crushing any hopes Hitler may have still entertained that an international agreement could be avoided. The contractual settlement was similar to the resolution applied to the Saar. Again international commissions were set up and plebiscites held under international supervision. The Saar experience, which had infuriated Hitler, showed that he despised such measures. His dilemma was that he had no option other than to sign. He had ventured too far by playing along with the conference to retreat now.

Hitler's office where the Munich agreement was signed, then and now.
video
Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini and Count Ciano just before the agreement was signed in Hitler's office as shown above with a short background video about the Munich agreement.
Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain, and Édouard Daladier, the small, quiet, dapper premier of France, together with Ribbentrop, Weizsäcker, Ciano, Wilson, and Alexis Léger, State Secretary in the French Foreign Office, took their seats around a table in the newly constructed Führerbau amid the complex of party buildings centred around the Brown House – the large and imposing party headquarters – in Munich. There they proceeded to carve up Czechoslovakia. 
Kershaw Hitler
While others thought of the Munich agreement of 1938 as a sign of German triumph and as a symbol of weak-kneed acquiescence in aggression, Hitler looked on it as a terrible disappointment then and as the greatest error of his career later.22 He had been cheated of war and, after destroying what was left of Czechoslovakia anyway, he would move toward war in a manner calculated to preclude what he considered the disappointing outcome of 1938.
Weinberg (28) A World at Arms


 
The Nazi eagle was later replaced by the American bald eagle as members of the US military pay their respects as they enter the building.
 
Führerbau bleibt Führerbau: Shockingly, on September 29, 2012 a rented room in the Musikhochschule was allowed to be decorated in slightly-defaced Nazi flags as part of an event entitled "Klassenkampf statt Weltkrieg" (Class Warfare instead of World War)

Verwaltungsbau (NSDAP Central Office)
 On Meiserstrasse 10 (across from the offices of the Fuehrer's deputy) is the NSDAP Central Office; the photo on the right shows the remains of a 'temple of honour' overgrown with vegetation. Identical to the Fuehrerbau to which it is linked by a 105 metre tunnel, this was the office of the Reich treasurer and where filing cabinets held the information for 8.5 million party members which would later prove crucial for the Americans' denazification process. It later held much of the stolen art eventually recovered.
The reichsadler being removed and dismantled after the war and its empty plinth today
The Central Collecting Point in Munich was designated to primarily hold ERR loot, Hitler and Goering’s collections, and other works found in the Altaussee salt mine. The photos above from Robert Edsel's blog show the Munich Collecting Point before repairs were made in June 1945 and how it appeared during this period. 
 
Rodin's Burghers of Calais at the site after the war.  Fittingly the building today serves as a museum for classical replicas:
 
Christmas 1937 and today- the building remains completely unchanged.
 
Even the lights and hand rails are unchanged

The library then, during a speech by Reichsschatzmeister Franz Xaver Schwarz on February 9, 1942 and today as the Bibliothekssaal des Zentralinstituts für Kunstgeschichte.  

The Karteisaal in 1935 with cabinets containing the Nazi member card index. The photo on the right shows Drake in the basement which has a tunnel linking the building to the Führerbau. According to Bürokratie un Kult
there was a Verbindungsgang (service tunnel) running between the Führerbau and Verwaltungsbau, several metres beneath the ground surface. There was also a parallel tunnel for heating pipes running beneath both buildings and on to the main heating system beneath the building just to the south of the Verwaltungsbau.

The site today, with the square remains of the ehrentempels clearly remaining

Zentrale



  
In 1934 the Nazis bought this property on Meiserstraße 6-8 and erected new buildings which served as the „Zentraleinlaufamt und Zentralauslaufamt der Reichsleitung der NSDAP.“
According to Geoff Walden,


That building was a combination of new construction and remodelling done in 1934, and housed some of the main Nazi administration offices for the Party, that were not in either the Braunes Haus or the Verwaltungsbau. These offices included the Materialamt der Reichsleitung der NSDAP, Amtsartz der Reischsleitung der NSDAP, Hausinspektion der Reichsleitung der NSDAP, Postamt der NSDAP, and the Dienstwohngebäude der NSDAP - offices and living areas for the the sort of hands-on bureaucrats that actually got all the work done. The building also housed (and still does) the heating system for the surrounding complex, and associated things like tool rooms. There was a large air raid shelter beneath the front wing of the building.
It served as the eizkraftwerk, Pumpenhaus, Telefonzentrale, Kantine, Garage, Büroräume and Postamt. The bust above the vehicle entrance is very similar to those found in the rear of the Park Cafe, designed at the same time in 1934.
 The Verwaltungsbau is located on what was until very recently Meiserstrasse (now renamed Katharina-von-Bora-Straße given Bishop Hans Meiser's alleged anti-Semitism). Directly across was the headquarters of the Bavarian Protestant Church; Meiser is shown saluting from the balcony October 1934. In the Protestant Church Hans Meiser, the Bishop of Bavaria, who came to office in May 1933, was initially close to the regime. Not only did the Protestant Church “bring itself into line” and agree to follow the Führer, Meiser also showed sympathy for the “German Christians” (Deutsche Christen), a group with ties to the regime. Although Meiser distanced himself from this position in 1933–34 and went over to supporting the “Confessing Church”, which was critical of the Nazis, he professed to Hitler that he belonged to his “most loyal opposition”. Moreover, there was no official protest by the Protestant Church against the injustices of the Nazi regime. he remained Bishop of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Bavaria up until May 1, 1955. After the war he had been one of the signatories of the Declaration of Guilt by Evangelical Christians in Germany and received numerous honours.
Beside it is the former Palais Moy on 11 Katharina-von-Bora-Straße, bought in 1936 to serve as the offices of Rudolf Hess (Kanzlei des Stellvertreters des Führers), in charge of security for the Braune Haus. The Führer’s deputy (from 1941 onwards the Party Chancellery) was in charge of control and leadership functions vis-à-vis the party and the state – for instance, in racial and personnel policy. The huge bureaucracy headed by the Reich Treasurer (which at times employed more than 3,200 people) was not only responsible for managing and increasing the NSDAP’s enormous assets, but also supervised the party’s membership, which at the end of the war numbered around eight million. Today it's apparently owned by the evangelisch-lutherischen Landeskirche.
Beside it in turn is the building which had served as   the Reich Central Office for the Implementation of the Four Year Plan (Reichzentrale für die Durchführung des Vierjahresplanes bei der NSDAP).

The Brown House (Das Braunes Haus)
Das Braune Haus behind the Temples of Honour shown on the left with part of the Führerbau. The Brown House was the national headquarters of the Nazis. A large impressive stone structure, it was located at 45 Brienner Straße in Munich, Bavaria. It was named for the color of the party uniforms.  By 1930, party headquarters at Schellingstrasse 50 were too small (with the number of workers increasing from four in 1925 to 50 that year). In April 1930, Elizabeth Stefanie Barlow (widow of William Barlow, an English wholesale merchant) offered the Barlow Palace (built in 1828) for purchase to Franz Xaver Schwarz, party treasurer. A sales contract was signed on 26 May, with the purchase price of 805,864 marks. Funds for renovation of party headquarters were provided by industrialist Fritz Thyssen. The house was converted from an urban villa to an office building by the architect Paul Troost. He and Adolf Hitler also re-decorated it in a heavy, anti-modern style. It opened on 1 January 1931. Adolf Hitler kept a life-size portrait of Henry Ford next to his desk in the Brown House since Ford and Adolf Hitler admired each other's achievements. Hitler maintained an office in the Brown House, as did Hans Frank, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Philipp Bouhler, and Franz Xaver Schwarz.
The Brown House at that time was a pompous villa kitted out in a not unpleasant way in something approaching imperial style; but it was quite useless for the purpose it was meant to serve. It did not have the right office rooms. Hitler’s work room was on the first floor, in the corner. The entrance led through a little room in which Hess worked. I don’t know if this word ‘worked’ is actually suitable here. The first impression which I . . . had was of boundless disorder. Letters, newspapers, magazines, everything lay strewn around the room. . . .
At once I noticed that Hitler was notable in the Brown House by his absence. He ignored his colleagues and advisers completely and let them do whatever they wanted. He was only there to talk by chance about anything substantial, and only then about what interested him or about what he wanted to discuss. Already he had a special circle around him which was in no way identical with the office holders in the party.
H. Nicolai, Mein Kampf ums Recht.

The Nazi Party Reich Office: Braunes Haus, Briennerstrasse 45, Munchen 33. It was named for the colour of the party uniforms. On the ground floor was displayed the Blutfahne ('Blood Flag') of the failed Munich beer Hall putsch of November 9, 1923. When Munich police opened fire on the marchers, it was spattered with the blood of the wounded and became a sacred relic of the National Socialist Party. Hitler, then leader of the SA Ernst Rohm, and the party treasurer had offices on the top floor. After becoming Chancellor Hitler gave the building to Rudolf Hess. Also maintaining offices here were Hans Frank, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Goering, Philipp Bouhler, and Franz Xaver Schwarz. The former three-story, neo-classical Barlow Palace dated from 1828 in the plain Biedermeier style common in those times, and it was renamed the Brown House (for the colour of the SA uniforms) in 1931. It had once been the former Italian legation, and the Nazis converted the attics into another story.
Architect Dr. Paul Ludwig Troost did the renovation. Sepp Dietrich had a room there, and sometimes the Führer stayed overnight. From the Brown House, Hitler executed his plans for the political conquest of Germany during 1929–33.
During 1933–35, a tunnel reportedly was built connecting the Brown House with the nearby Fuhrerbau (Leader Building), and it was from the Brown House that Hitler went by car to arrest Rohm and the other dissident SA leaders on “The Night of the Long Knives,” June 30, 1934.
Hitler's office and the "Hall of Flags" at the entrance.
Inside the Führer’s second floor office, there was a bust of Mussolini, red-brown walls, and high windows (a future typical room feature) looking out onto the Konigsplatz. Peter Adam in Art of the Third Reich noted, “The standard for future Party buildings was set here . . . Much earnest wood panelling on walls and ceiling . . . A vast staircase led to Hitler’s office, with its portrait of Frederick the Great over a large desk. There were also pictures of Prussian battles . . . a Senate chamber was constructed . . . 60 chairs in red leather, with swastikas on their backs for 60 Senators around a vast conference table.”
A Nazi Senate never met, however, as the Führer feared being voted out of Party office by such a body- something that happened to Mussolini in 1943 by the Fascist Grand Council in Rome. Dr. Otto Dietrich recalled in his memoir, Hitler, “The Party Senate—which Hitler had promised to form and for which the Senate Hall in the Brown House at Munich had been completely furnished—never came into existence. Decisions were made by Hitler alone, then passed on to the government and the Party as accomplished facts. Having announced his decrees, Hitler declared that they were essential to the welfare of the nation.”
[Hitler] took over the Barlow Palace, an old mansion on the Briennerstrasse in Munich, and had it remodelled as the Brown House. A grand staircase led up to a conference chamber, furnished in red leather, and a large comer room in which Hitler received his visitors beneath a portrait of Frederick the Great. The Brown House was opened at the beginning of 1931, a very different setting from the dingy rooms in the Corneliusstrasse or the Schellingstrasse.
Bullock (149-150) Hitler: A Study in Tyranny

With supporters inside. Hitler often ate his meals in the Brown House canteen with brown-shirted SA men seated on rustic Bavarian chairs. Besides Hitler’s own office on the second floor, there were also those of the SA chief of staff, the Party treasurer, and the Party administration. Hitler spent little time there, though, preferring instead to carry on Party business at his usual cafe and eatery haunts. The photo on the right shows Hitler leaving the Brown House after the 1930 election results.
At the right time, fate led to his meeting with his architect, Paul Ludwig Troost, with whom he soon formed a friendship based on an affinity of minds. What Dietrich Eckart was to The Leader as far as the exchange of ideas of a philosophical nature was concerned, Professor Troost soon became for him as far as architecture was concerned.
The first building to arise through the unique combination of these two men, and also the first small construction of the Movement, was the Brown House in the Briennerstraße in München. It was only a renovation, but for that time, as The Leader sometimes related later, a massive undertaking. Here one can already see everything that was to be expressed even more distinctly in the buildings which were to be constructed after he came to power: severe and austere, but never monotonous. Simple and clear, and without false decoration. Ornamentation used sparingly, but in the right place, so that it could never be considered as superfluous. Material, form and lines combine to create an impression of nobility.
From Adolf Hitler- The Life Of The Leader


The Brown House was greatly damaged by Royal Air Force bombs on March 9–10, 1943, and in October later that year and by the time of its fall to the US Army in 1945, it was a mere shell of its former self. The rubble was cleared away in 1947, leaving an empty lot. It was eventually razed to the ground in 1947 and as can be seen in my photo, the plot remains empty. Apparently the Bavarian government will make this site the home of the future NS-Dokumentationszentrum

UPDATE: The notice board was erected at the site on August 2010 confirming the proposed centre; the photographs on the right were taken from atop the remains of an ehrentempel in January 2012
 
Inside the museum today, 2015