Showing posts with label Treptower. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Treptower. Show all posts

Sites in Berlin (2)

'New' Synagogue and former Jewish Hospital
Construction of the 'New Synagogue' started in 1859 and was completed 7 years later. The design by Eduard Knoblauch, in a neo-byzantine style with Moorish influences, was complicated by the asymmetrical shape of the plot. State of the art construction techniques were used to construct the galleries and 50m high gilded dome.During the infamous Kristallnacht pogrom on 9-10 November 1938, the synagogue was desecrated by the Nazis, Neue Synagogue Domeand it was destroyed in 1943 by allied bombing. The building was finally demolished in 1958 but it wasn't until after the fall of the Berlin Wall that the reconstruction started on Oranienburgerstrasse. In May 1995, the reconstructed synagogue was finally completed, triggering a revival of the whole Scheunenviertel district. It is now a lively district with many restaurants and cafés.
The Jewish Synagogue, shown in 1870 on the left, three years after the war centre, and today on the right, was miraculously saved from destruction during Kristallnacht by the chief of the local police station, Wilhelm Krutzfeld. When he arrived at the scene, he presented the building charter showing that the synagogue had been opened by Otto von Bismark himself. Mindful of Hitler's admiration of Bismark, the forger of modern-day Germany, the mob dispersed and a fire brigade was able to save the building from destruction.

The interior in 1866 and after its gutting in 1938.
As late as 1935, the Berlin tourist map issued by the Pharus firm marked the presence of the New Synagogue in Oranienburgerstraße with a miniature depiction of the building, just as it did other key attractions like the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Cathedral. Stars of David pinpointed the locations of other synagogues nearby. In the 1936 edition, not only had the building vanished, so too had any indication that synagogues still existed in the area. The physical destruction of the synagogues that was to follow in 1938 was thus preceded by their symbolic disappearance from tourist literature. Yet there is no evidence to suggest that these changes occurred as a result of direct intervention on the part of the regime. Map publishers were instead reacting to the vague command to work in tune with the ideals of National Socialism.
 
Plaque on the wall of the building exhorting never to forget. Today the New Synagogue houses the Centrum Judaicum, dedicated to documenting Jewish culture and acting as a bridge between eastern and western European Jewry.
The Jewish Hospital used by the Gestapo from 1941-43 as assembly point for Jews being deported. Once a top Berlin facility, it gradually became a clearinghouse for Jews facing transport to the camps. The Nazis apparently wanted the Jews healthy before sending them off to die. According to its website, it "is the only institution in the whole of Germany to survive the Nazi terror and is the oldest still-existing establishment founded on a concept developed by people of Jewish belief." This hospital was the subject of the book Refuge in Hell: How Berlin's Jewish Hospital Outlasted the Nazis by Daniel Silver, a lawyer and former general counsel to the CIA.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Between 1890 and 1905 and immediately after the war. Completed in 1895 by architect Franz Schwechten as a 'gift' to Germans from Kaiser Wilhelm II, serving as a memorial to his father Wilhelm I. The church was partially destroyed during a bombing raid in 1943. Following the war, several different options for the church's redevelopment were considered, including the construction of a new church made from glass in the old church's ruins, and also its complete demolition and replacement with a new structure. Eventually it was decided to leave the ruined tower as a memorial to the futility of war, (or specifically to remember German civilian victims killed in British retaliatory bombings) and create a new church around it with a breathtakingly ugly building next to it for some reason. The new church was consecrated on May 25, 1962 - the same day as the new Coventry Cathedral.
The 3.5km-long Kurfürstendamm (Ku’damm for short) is a ribbon of commerce that started as a bridle path to the royal hunting palace in the Grunewald forest. In the 1880s, Bismarck had it widened, paved and lined with fancy residential buildings. On Breitscheidplatz, its eastern terminus, the landmark Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) stands quiet and dignified amid the roar. Allied bombs left only the husk of the west tower intact; it now contains the Gedenkhalle (Memorial Hall) whose original ceiling mosaics and marble reliefs hint at the church’s prewar opulence. The adjacent octagonal hall of worship, added in 1961, has intensely midnight-blue windows and a giant golden Jesus floating above the altar July 19, 1945 and standing in front and inside, next to the Cross of Coventry which has a prominent place in the Memorial Hall of Gedächtniskirche. On 14 November 1940 the Germans obliterated the city centre of Coventry including its Gothic cathedral from the 14th and 15th century. Already in January 1941 the people of Coventry held mass again in the burnt out church, having rebuilt an altar from rubble, and using charcoaled beams as the holy cross and made a cross with three hand-forged nails they found in the rubble. On 7 January 1989, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Memorial Hall, the Nail Cross of Coventry was given to Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche as a gift where it remains as a reminder of peace and reconciliation.

Plötzensee Gaol (Strafgefängnis Plötzensee)
video video
Less than two weeks after Col. Stauffenberg’s bomb had nearly killed Hitler, eight of his principal co-conspirators stood show trials at the Volksgerichtshof before Roland Freisler. The outcome, of course, was foreordained as orders had come down from on high to make the deaths as degrading as possible; this batch, convicted August 7-8, was hanged naked this day at Berlin’s Plotzensee Prison on thin cord and suspended from meathooks while cameras rolled. From what I've read, the executioner went out of his way to make the ordeal as degrading as possible, a task he apparently relished. The resulting film was delivered to Hitler’s bomb-damaged Polish outpost for his amusement, and used as a warning to army officers forced to watch.
The eight killed in this way were Robert Bernardis, Albrecht von Hagen, Paul von Hase, Erich Hoepner, Friedrich Karl Klausing, Helmuth Stieff, Erwin von Witzleben and Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg. Hundreds more would follow, both at Plotzensee and throughout the Reich where persons distantly connected to the plotters and various miscellaneous resistance figures were swept up in the purge.
The prison was built between 1869 and 1879 near Lake Plötzensee in Charlottenburg off Saatwinkler Damm. During the NS era, over 2,500 people were executed including members of the Red Orchestra (Rote Kapelle), Kreisau Circle (those accused of the plot against Hitler's life on 20 July 1944 at the Wolfsschanze), Czechoslovakian resistance fighters, and various others declared to be 'enemies of the state' by the Volksgerichtshof ("People's Court"). At the entrance has been built a memorial wall "To the Victims of Hitler's Dictatorship of the Years 1933–1945."

Once the verdicts had been pronounced, the condemned men were taken off, many of them to Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. On Hitler’s instructions they were denied any last rites or pastoral care (though this callous order was at least partially bypassed in practice). The normal mode of execution for civilian capital offences in the Third Reich was beheading. But Hitler had reportedly ordered that he wanted those behind the conspiracy of 20 July 1944 ‘hanged, hung up like meat- carcasses’. In the small, single-storey execution room, with whitewashed walls, divided by a black curtain, hooks, indeed like meat-hooks, had been placed on a rail just below the ceiling. Usually, the only light in the room came from two windows, dimly revealing a frequently used guillotine. Now, however, certainly for the first groups of conspirators being led to their doom, the executions were to be filmed and photographed, and the macabre scene was illuminated with bright lights, like a film studio. On a small table in the corner of the room stood a table with a bottle of cognac – for the executioners, not to steady the nerves of the victims. The condemned men were led in, handcuffed and wearing prison trousers. There were no last words, no comfort from a priest or pastor; nothing but the black humour of the hangman. Eye-witness accounts speak of the steadfastness and dignity of those executed. The hanging was carried out within twenty seconds of the prisoner entering the room. Death was not, however, immediate. Sometimes it came quickly; in other cases, the agony was slow – lasting more than twenty minutes. In an added gratuitous obscenity, some of the condemned men had their trousers pulled down by their executioners before they died. And all the time the camera whirred. The photographs and grisly film were taken to Führer Headquarters. Speer later reported seeing a pile of such photographs lying on Hitler’s map-table when he visited the Wolf’s Lair on 18 August. SS-men and some civilians, he added, went into a viewing of the executions in the cinema that evening, though they were not joined by any members of the Wehrmacht. Whether Hitler saw the film of the executions is uncertain; the testimony is contradictory.

 Kershaw Hitler
Once inside Plötzensee, the prisoners were allowed only time to change into prison garb. One by one, in accordance with prison drill procedures, they crossed the courtyard in wooden shoes, under the ever-present gaze of a camera, and entered the execution chamber through a black curtain. Here, too, a camera recorded their every step as they arrived and were led to the back of the chamber to stand under hooks attached to a girder running across the ceiling. Floodlights brilliantly illuminated the scene. A few observers were standing around: the public prosecutor, prison officials, photographers. The executioners removed the prisoners handcuffs, placed short, thin nooses around their necks, and stripped them to the waist. At a signal, they hoisted each man aloft and let him down on the tightened noose, slowly in some cases, more quickly in others. Before the prisoner's death throes were over, his trousers were ripped off him... Every detail was recorded on film, from the first wild struggle for breath to the final twitches.
Hitler had already "eagerly devoured" the arrest reports, information on new groups of suspects, and the statements recorded by interrogators. Now, on the very night of the first trials and executions, the film of the proceedings arrived at the Wolf's Lair for the amusement of the Führer and his guests. The putsch, he announced to his assembled retinue, was "perhaps the best thing that could have happened for our future." He could not get enough of watching his foes go to their doom. Days later, photographs of the condemned men dangling from hooks still lay about the great map table in his bunker. As his horizons shrank on all sides, Hitler took great satisfaction from this, his last great triumph.
Fest (302-3) Plotting Hitler's Death: The Story of the German Resistance
 The execution chamber at Plötzensee Prison showing the guillotine that was used to behead most victims until the sheer number of executions during the Third Reich made it impractical. Today there is a memorial inside the gaol commemorating those executed by the Nazis, dedicated on September 14, 1952. All that remains now is the execution shed, a small brick building with two rooms, where the victims were either hanged or beheaded. Cadavers of the condemned would be delivered to the anatomical institute at Humboldt University (below) to be used for dissection under supervision of Professor Stieve.
(translated by Pete26 at Axis History Forum)
The severed head fell into the basket, eyes wide open. Because the body was not strapped to the guillotine bench, the body could move freely after decapitation. The torso reared up, the legs twitched and threw off the wooden clogs. The blood spurted out of the severed neck in a high arc into the drain.

In this place of execution, everything represented the power and glory of the Nazi state. The executioner and his three assistants in black suits, the prosecutor and pastor in back robes, the clerks in green uniforms, the prison doctor in a white coat, the guests in uniform. On the table were two candles in tall candle holders. At this place of death ruled law and order, and each step was determined by the protocol. For the guests there were tickets and a note: "At the execution site the German greeting (= Hitler's salute) is to be avoided." The condemned were expected to behave according to the protocol too : "Calm and composed." Only rarely did the condemned fight back. Says protestant pastor Hermann Schrader:"I remember no one who has cried, screamed, or resisted."

From the command "Executioner, do you duty" to " Mr Prosecutor, the verdict is enforced", it took only 20 to 25 seconds in peacetime, and during the war only 7 or even 4 seconds, to carry out the execution. For every execution, a form A5 has been filled out. Of many of over 3,000 who died in this place there is not even a photograph. The oldest victim was a worker 83 years old, the youngest just 17. Forty one couples were executed here and they were not even allowed to say last words to each other. Mothers, who gave birth while in prison, were not spared. A total of 250 women were beheaded.

An old shoemaker cut the hair of the condemned short the night before the execution to expose the neck for the blade. The old man did his duty without emotion and with some kind of satisfaction. For each police sergeant who led the condemned from the cell block to the execution shed, there was a reward of eight cigarettes per person. The executioner's assistants (one was a blacksmith by former profession) always threw two corpses into one coffin. Because a person without the head takes up less space, the coffins were 20 centimetres shorter than usual and sprinkled with sawdust to soak up the blood. And what happened to the guillotine? It was dismantled and delivered to the administration of the Soviet occupation zone shortly after the war.
Gauarbeitsamt

The Regionaldirektion Berlin-Brandenburg der Bundesagentur für Arbeit as it appeared when it served as the administration building for Fritz Todt's Armaments Ministry and today, where it serves as the state labour department. The eagle remains unmolested, overlooking the capital still.

Post office on Knesebeckstraße 95, showing Reichsadler above door

Finanzamt Charlottenburg
 
Built between 1934 and 1940 to a design by Heinrich Wolff to house the central bank , the Reichsbank became the Finance Ministry and later headquarters of the Central Committee of the East German Communist Party. As shown in the photo on the right, there remains today a reichsadler designed by Kurt Schmidt-Ehmen over the doorway of the Finanzamt Charlottenburg on Bismarkstraße in Berlin, the swastika covered by the address number.
Adolf-Hitler-Platz , shown with German and Italian flags and, centre, decorated for the Olympic Games, 25 July 1936 is now Theodor-Heuss-Platz...
... but one wouldn't know it from Google maps which mislabelled Theodor-Heuss-Platz, in the western Charlottenburg district of Berlin, with the name it held from 1933 to 1945: Adolf-Hitler-Platz.  Google couldn't explain the error when approached by German mass-circulation daily B.Z., which first reported the story, but a Google representative said they were looking into the matter. The square had been returned to its current name by 9 p.m. on Thursday night.  The square was originally called Reichskanzlerplatz when it was constructed in the early 1900s. In April of 1933 it was renamed Adolf-Hitler-Platz, which it retained until the Nazis were defeated in World War II. The square's name returned to Reichskanzlerplatz from 1947 to 1963, when it was given the name of the first federal president of Germany, Theodor Heuss.

The Funkturm and Ausstellungshallen in Charlottenburg during the 1936 Olympics and today

Haus der Jugend

The Haus der Jugend at Reinickendorfer Straße 55 on Nauener Platz
 
The former Haus der Reichsjugendführung at ,  Zentralausschusses der SPD after the war when under Soviet control (note portrait of Stalin above the entrance), and now Soho House, located today at Torstraße 1 on the corner of Prenzlauer Allee.

Amtsgericht, Wedding
 
The Reichsadler remains on the front façade of the Amtsgericht in the Berlin suburb of Wedding.

Reichspolizeischule für Leibesübungen von Schirmer/Götze Hohenzollernring 
Schlußstein reichsadler dating from 1939/40 above the portal of the Reich police school at Hohenzollernring 124-125.
 The Nazi-era reliefs on both sides of the portal entrance

 Nazi-era Eagle at the Siemens Ehrenmal

Joseph Wackerle reichsadler dating 1935

Denkmal der nationalen Erhebung
Reichsadler dating from 1935 by Max Esser at Lüdenscheider Weg 2-4 near Haselhorster dam within a children's playground.

German Reich Railways Central Office
Through Gleichschaltung, the Nazis placed the rail network under direct government control on 10 February 1937, adding swastikas to the Hoheitsadler on the railcars. Here, at the back of the central office of the Deutsche Reichsbahn, is the stone emblem- a winged wheel- although the swastika relief at the base has been removed.

The chemist's on Potsdamer Platz in 1941 and today

Karstadt Department Store
Located on Hermannplatz, where Kreuzberg meets Neukolln, Karstadt was one of the most revolutionary buildings to be constructed in Berlin before the War. Opened in 1929 as Europe's biggest department store, it had its own underground station and art deco twin towers that were strikingly reminiscent of a Manhattan skyscraper. Wartime bombs left little of its original grandeur intact, yet it was promptly rebuilt and is still one of Berlin's most popular department stores. The ϟϟ used its twin towers as an observation post as four separate Soviet armies entered the city.
Petty crime skyrocketed as the inhabitants of Berlin turned to looting as a survival strategy. One of the looters' targets was the huge Karstadt department store on Hermannplatz. Thousands of people crammed into Karstadt, grabbing everything in sight but especially food and warm clothing. The store supervisors eventually let them get away with whatever food they could find, though they tried to prevent them taking anything else. Later, after driving the remaining civilians out, the ϟϟ, rumoured to have had 29 million marks' worth of supplies in the basement, dynamited the store to prevent the Russians from appropriating its contents.
Only one wing of the original building survives, on the southwest corner as seen in the photo above.
There has been a dramatic account of the looting of the Karstadt department store in the Hermannplatz, where queuing shoppers had been blown to pieces during the first artillery bombardment on 21 April. According to this story, ϟϟ troops allowed civilians to take what they wanted before they blew the place up. The explosion was said to have killed many over-eager looters. But in fact when the ϟϟ Nordland Division took over the store several days later, they did not want to blow it up. They needed Karstadt's twin towers as observation posts to watch the Soviet advance on Neuk6lln and the Tempelhof aerodrome... The twin towers of the Karstadt department store provided excellent observation posts for watching the advance of four Soviet armies - the 5th Shock Army from Treptow Park, the 8th Guards Army and the 1st Guards Tank Army from Neukolln and Konev's 3rd Guards Tank Army from Mariendorf.
The Palast Hotel
The Palast Hotel before and after the war and in its current incarnation
Eichhornstraße in the 1930s and today, near Potsdamerplatz
Two underground statios then and now. Left: Opened as "Hasenheide" in 1924, the name changed to "Kaiser-Friedrich-Platz" in 1933 and to "Gardepionierplatz" in 1939. In 1947 the station received the name Südstern. Right: Frankfurter Tor station is situated under Frankfurter Tor, a large square. Built in 1930 it, was first named Petersburger Strasse. After World War II it was named Besarinstrasse (Besarin was the first Soviet commander of Berlin). 1958 it was again renamed to Frankfurter Tor.

Reichspostministerium (Postal Ministry)
The Reichspostministerium, during the reign of National Socialism, had authority over research and development departments in the areas of television engineering, high-frequency technology, cable (wide-band) transmission, meteorology, and acoustics (microphone technology). In 1942, the armed postal security service was subsumed into the Schutzstaffel (SS); this was just one more step in the national socialization of the Deutsche Reichspost.

Fehrbellinerplatz
Just after the war
Entschädigungsbehörde in the Wilmersdorf district was built in 1935-36 by the architect Philipp Schaefer as an office complex for the Rudolf Karstadt department store chain; the Nazi-era reliefs are still present.

What's now Rathaus Wilmersdorf at Fehrbelliner Platz 4 was the site of the first British HQ from 1945 to 1953-  'Lancaster House' - which had earlier served as the the former centre of Nazi military administration.
The military train took the soldiers into Charlottenburg Station, which was their introduction to the city, if they were not lucky enough to fly into Gatow. British soldiers in Berlin wore a flash on their sleeve. It was a black circle rimmed with red – ‘septic arsehole’ they called it. British Control Commission’s headquarters in Berlin was in ‘Lancaster House’ on the Fehrbelliner Platz. George Clare described it as a ‘concave-shaped grey, concrete edifice’ in the style of Albert Speer. Under the British Control Commission there were detach- ments in each of the boroughs under British control, together with a barracks and an officers’ mess. There were messes all over the British Sector. When George Clare reappeared in officer’s garb on his second tour of duty, he was assigned to one on the Breitenbach Platz which was large and lacked social cachet, and resembled a Lyons Corner House. British Military Government was a large yellow building on the Theodor Heuss Platz. This was the former Adolf Hitler Platz in Charlottenburg, the name of which was changed to Reichskanzlerplatz until it was realised that Hitler too had been chancellor. On the other side of the square was the Marlborough Club, where officers could be gentlemen. For the Other Ranks there was the Winston Club.
Schiller Theatre

From 1937 to 1938, the theatre was extensively rebuilt for the city of Berlin by Paul Baumgarten. Baumgarten simplified the façade and the auditorium considerably, changing the appearance of the theatre with respect to the New Objectivity of the 1920s, but also in line with the prevailing monumental architectural trend of National Socialism. A government box was incorporated. The sculptors Paul Scheurich and Karl Nocke and the painter Albert Birkle were involved in the conversion. The theatre was destroyed in an air strike on 23 November 1943. From 1950 to 1951, it was rebuilt for the city of Berlin according to plans by the architects Heinz Völker and Rolf Grosse.

Site of Reichpost TV Studios 1935 - 1938
Recently uncovered footage, long buried in East German archives, confirms that television's first revolution occurred under the Third Reich. From 1935 to 1944, Berlin studios churned out the world's first regular TV programming, replete with the evening news, street interviews, sports coverage, racial programs, and interviews with Nazi officials. Select audiences, gathered in television parlours across Germany, numbered in the thousands; plans to create a mass viewing public, through the distribution of 10,000 people's television sets, were upended by World War Two. German technicians achieved remarkable breakthroughs in televising live events, including near instantaneous broadcasts of the 1936 Olympic Games. At the same time, the demand for continuous programming opened up camera opportunities far less controlled, and more candidly revealing, than Third Reich propagandists would have liked (an interview with a bumbling Robert Ley is particularly embarrassing). In its stated mission - to imprint the image of the Führer onto every German heart - Nazi television proved a major disappointment. But its surviving footage - 285 rolls have been found so far offers an intriguing new window onto Hitler's Germany. 
Karl Liebknecht Haus
The Karl Liebknecht house was the party headquarters of the KPD between 1926 and 1933. It carried the names of a joint founders of the KPD who were murdered on 15 January 1919 by members of the free corps. The period photograph shows a parade of SA and ϟϟ supporters on 22 January 1933, shortly before Hitler's appointment as Chancellor, to intimidate their opponents. Within the month the building was searched and renamed the Horst Wessel-Haus.
On February 24, Goering’s police raided the Karl Liebknecht Haus, the Communist headquarters in Berlin. It had been abandoned some weeks before by the Communist leaders, a number of whom had already gone underground or quietly slipped off to Russia. But piles of propaganda pamphlets had been left in the cellar and these were enough to enable Goering to announce in an official communique that the seized ”documents” proved that the Communists were about to launch the revolution. The reaction of the public and even of some of the conservatives in the government was one of skepticism. It was obvious that something more sensational must be found to stampede the public before the election took place on March 5.
The communist party was outlawed and its members killed or sent to the concentration camps.
Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels at Horst Wessel's grave January 22, 1933.
Hitler had planned a major demonstration for the 22nd of January in memory of the late Kampfhed (fight song) composer and SA Sturmführer Horst Wessel, which was to impress upon the Reich capital that his fighting formations, the SA and the SS, were so strong and fear- inspiring that they could march unhindered through the ‘red’ quarters of Berlin, past the Karl Liebknecht Haus (the Communist headquarters) and across the Bülowplatz.
Everything went according to schedule. There were no serious disruptions to the rank and file of the 35,000 SA men marching through the streets. Following the parade, a memorial ceremony was held at Horst Wessel’s grave at the Nikolai Cemetery, where Hitler made the following remarks:
Every Volk which struggles to the fore from utter misery and defeat to cleanse and liberate itself also produces vocalists who are able to put into words what the masses bear in their innermost hearts. It is thus that the powerful Volksbewegung, the Movement of Germany, has also found the voice able to express what the men in rank feel. With his song, which is sung by millions today, Horst Wessel has erected a monument to himself in ongoing history which shall prevail longer than stone and bronze.
Even after centuries have passed, even when not a stone is left standing in this great city of Berlin, one will be mindful of the greatest German liberation movement and its vocalist.
Comrades, raise the flags. Horst Wessel, who lies under this stone, is not dead. Every day and every hour his spirit is with us, marching in our ranks. 
Donarus (219-220) The Complete Hitler

Today the grave at St. Nikolai-Friedhof in Berlin-Friedrichshain is slowly disintegrating. The grave here is shown alternately honoured and desecrated on the 70th anniversary of his murder in 2010.
Wessel's song, the melody of which was possibly taken from Etienne Nicolas Méhul's opera Joseph or from the naval song Königsberg-Lied, became the co-national anthem of Germany along with the first stanza of Deutschlandlied. The song was first performed at Wessel's funeral. Banned in Germany, it can be heard by clicking here.

Städtische Krankenhaus am Friedrichshain

This was the hospital where Horst Wessel succumbed to his injuries and received the status of Nazi martyr in February 1930. When the Nazis took power, it was renamed in October 1933 the Horst-Wessel-Krankenhaus.


Horst Wessel Platz

Horst Wessel Platz has since been renamed Rosa Luxemburg Platz.

The Volksbühne and the Kino Babylon in 1929 and today. Of the former, a commentator for the British Union of Fascists in the organisation's newsletter Blackshirt for 30 January 1937 wrote how he had been particularly impressed by the way the the People’s Stage put on plays at affordable prices.

Europahaus

 The Europahaus in 1936 (as the Europa Palast), post-war and today, the Deutschlandhaus

Gasthaus Zum Nußbaum
This was the site of a mythic political battle for Berlin in 1929, when Horst Wessel and his SA Troop ventured into the heart of the Communist stronghold of the Fischerkietz district. It was here at the Zum Nußbaum that Wessel forced a crowd of Communists to step aside, allowing him to declare the  area free of the "Red Menace."

Anhalter Bahnhof
During World War II the Anhalter Bahnhof was one of three stations used to deport some 55,000 Berlin Jews between 1941 and 1945, about a third of the city's entire Jewish population (as of 1933). From the Anhalter alone 9,600 left, in groups of 50 to 100 at a time using 116 trains. In contrast to other deportations using freight wagons, here the Jews were taken away in ordinary passenger coaches which were coupled up to regular trains departing according to the normal timetable. All deportations went to Theresienstadt and from there to the death camps.
The station after the war
The ruins today. Nearby is what had been one of the largest refuges in Berlin, the Anhalter Bahnhof bunker, completed in 1943, with walls 2.10 metres in thickness next to the main station.
Built in ferro-concrete, with three storeys above ground and two below, its walls were up to four and a half metres thick. Pine seats and tables had been provided by the authorities, as well as emergency supplies of tinned sardines, but neither lasted long when both fuel and food were in such short supply. The Anhalter bunker's great advantage was its direct link to the U-Bahn tunnels, even though the trains were not running. People could walk the five kilometres to the Nordbahnhof, without ever being exposed.
The conditions in the bunker became appalling, with up to 12,000 people crammed into 3,6oo square metres. The crush was so great that nobody could have reached the lavatory even if it had been open. One woman described how she spent six days on the same step. For hygienic Germans, it was a great ordeal, but with water supplies cut, drinking water was a far higher priority. There was a pump which still worked outside the station, and young women near the entrance took the risk of running with a pail to fetch water. Many were killed, because the station was a prime target for Soviet artillery. But those who made it back alive earned eternal gratitude from those too weak to fetch it for themselves, or they bartered sips for food from those who lacked the courage to run the gauntlet themselves.
Antony Beevor (280-281) Berlin: The Downfall 1945
Alexanderplatz Bahnhof

Race and Settlement Main Office of the SS
On this street was located the Race and Settlement Main Office of the ϟϟ (Rasse-und Siedlungshauptamt, RuSHA), the Nazi office that dealt with racial matters. Established in 1931, RuSHA was designated as an ϟϟ Main Office in 1935. The office's tasks included doing research and providing instruction on race issues, including special training courses for elite Nazi groups; making sure that ϟϟ men and their wives were racially pure; carrying out the resettlement of ϟϟ men in Nazi-occupied countries as part of the global Nazi plan for expanding the German Reich throughout Europe; and encouraging them to settle on farm lands near cities. RuSHA's staff included many determined and industrious young men who either had medical or some other professional eligibility. Some were later promoted to senior ϟϟ positions.
The RuSHA began evicting landowners from their homes and settling Germans in their place in mid-1939. RuSHA offices established in the parts of Poland annexed to the Reich were in charge of confiscated Jewish- and Polish- owned land. In 1940 RuSHA came up with the plan to "Germanise" Poles who had the appropriate racial qualities. Possible candidates were screened and interviewed by "race experts and qualifications examiners." These experts also checked out the racial authenticity of Poles who registered themselves as "ethnic Germans" (Volksdeutsche). In addition, RuSHA made plans to "Germanise" the Ukrainian people.
The bombing raid on Berlin on 3 February 1945 destroyed almost all buildings in the Hedemannstraße and in the southern Friedrichstrasse. 
Next door had been where Goebbels as Gauleiter founded the weekly Nazi battle sheet Der Angriff in 1930. Also with offices here were the party house management of the Hitler Youth and the Gau-Rundfunkstelle broadcasting site. 
Goebbels, whether the party was under ban for short periods or not, began to spread the party message through Der Angriff (“The Attack”) where he simply put his stump speeches on paper. It is in this paper that one can find the clearest exposition of where Nazism stood on the Weimar Republic. In Goebbels’ thinking: “We are an anti-parliamentary party and we reject for good reason the Weimar Republic.... We go into the Reichstag in order to obtain the weapons of democracy.... We become Reichstag deputies in order to paralyze the Weimar mentality with its own help.” 
The Oberbaum Bridge before and after the war, and today
Moltke Bridge in 1937 and today

Schloss Bellevue- The Presidential Palace
From Berlin in Bildern, published 1938, and today
The Presidential Palace in March 1941 during the visit of the Japanese Foreign Minister in Berlin. Hitler had used the building as the site for the museum of ethnography, before being renovated as a guest house for the Nazi government in 1938. On May 31 1931, Hitler toured the Bellevue Castle which had by then been transformed into an official guest house for prominent foreigners hosted by the Third Reich. Professor Baumgartner had supervised the refurbishing of the facilities. Hitler displayed particular interest in the rooms assigned to foreign dignitaries. In spite of his ambitious intentions, these rooms were destined to serve only a second- rate clientèle, insignificant politicians from the various Balkan states, because of the increasing isolation of Germany internationally.
During World War II it was severely damaged by strategic bombing and the 1945 Battle of Berlin, after which it was refurbished substantially in the 1950s. The photo on the extreme right shows German First Lady Bettina Wulff apparently giving the Hitler salute from the steps. Franc Rennicke, a member of the far right NPD party who made an unsuccessful bid to become president himself earlier in 2010, sent the photo to prosecutors. “For decades the so-called German greeting has been outlawed and thousands of people have been taken to court for making it,“ wrote Rennicke. “The photo of her outside Schloss Bellevue in Berlin clearly shows her making this banned gesture.“
Hitler inspecting a guard of honour shortly after assuming full power in 1934 and Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, leaving the presidential palace on the right after meeting with Hitler in March 1939.

Treptower Park
The most impressive monument to the Red Army is the vast war memorial and military cemetery in Berlin, built between 1946-1949 to commemorate the 20,000 Soviet soldiers who fell in the battle of Berlin in April-May 1945 in the heart of Treptower Park close to former East Berlin's embassy quarters. In fact, it remains perhaps the only public display of a swastika in Berlin, albeit in the process of being smashed (although it is illegal to display any Nazi symbol here in Germany, even for anti-fascist purposes).


The entrance, 200 metres long and 100 meters wide leads to six bronze-cast wreaths measuring around ten metres in diameter.Beside the pathways friezes have been erected with reliefs displaying war scenes and historical moments. On each of these is a quote from Stalin.
 
The most spectacular element of the memorial is towering up in the rear end of the park on a grassy hill. It is a mausoleum on which a ten to twelve metre high bronze statue is placed depicting a bareheaded, heroic, Soviet soldier wielding a sword and standing on a smashed swastika, into which the sword is deeply cut. On his left arm he is carrying a child while staring out over the plaza.
 
 The Metropole is all that remains at Nollendorfplatz

Martin Luther Memorial Church
This church, built in 1929 in the Bauhaus style, comes complete with interior decoration from the Third Reich although there are bare patches where swastikas, illegal in Germany since 1945 have been ripped out. There is an image of a Nazi storm trooper side by side with Jesus Christ carved into the pulpit, the entrance is lit by a chandelier in the shape of an iron cross and the organ was used to stir the spirits at a torch-lit Nuremberg rally.
“There was a bust of Adolf Hitler in the nave,” Isolde Boehm, dean of the church, said. “A carved face of Hitler has been replaced by one of Martin Luther. There is even a rumour that the church was supposed to be called the Adolf Hitler Church.”
There is no other church in Germany so obviously from the Third Reich era. In the 1930s two thirds of the parish of Martin Luther Memorial were Nazi Party members. Their babies were baptised in a wooden font, which still bears the image of a storm trooper, and they married to music played by an organ that helped to create the dark atmosphere of the Nuremberg rallies. In 1932 the Protestant church came under the influence of a Nazi movement called the "German Christians" -- called "stormtroopers of Jesus," by the group's leader and founder Rev. Joachim Hossenfelder. In 1933 Hitler forced regional Protestant churches to merge into the Protestant Reich Church which, based on Nazi ideas of “positive Christianity”, portrayed Jesus as an “Aryan” and eliminated the Old Testament.
During the war Alfred Rosenberg conceived a new National Reich Church which would replace the Bible with Mein Kampf. Until 1942 bells embossed with the swastika called the Nazi faithful to church on Sundays. Then the bells were melted down and made into cannon.
Parishioners and priests are trying to raise the €3.5 million (about $US4.2 million) needed to rescue the church from collapse. Sources: Der Spiegel and The Times on Line
Baptismal font with carving of man wearing uniform coat and holding cap of Hitler's paramilitary SA and chandelier in the shape of an iron cross complete with oak leaves hangs in the entrance hall.
 
Arch with stone carvings of helmeted stormtroopers whilst the encircled swastikas on the top left panel and the right surmounted by the Nazi eagle have been erased
 

Wooden frieze carved into the side of the pulpit depicting Jesus standing next to a helmeted German soldier and Aryan women and children.


Heavy Load Testing Body
The heavy load testing body was constructed to examine the weight-bearing capacity of the below the surface soil for the Nazis planned monumental structures, especially for the triumphal arch.

Messegelände
 The Berlin Messe is an exhibition hall Goebbels had built in 1936-37. The swastikas returned in 2007 to accommodate Tom Cruise's movie Valkyrie.
Amongst the 26 halls covering 160.000 m² is the Deutschlandhalle
The Deutschlandhalle is an arena in the West-end neighbourhood of Berlin, inaugurated on 29 November 1935 by Adolf Hitler. It was built primarily for the 1936 Summer Olympics when the boxing, weightlifting and wrestling competitions took place here. Hitler spoke to 20,000 volunteers here at the opening rally of the Winterhilfswerk Winter Relief Project on October 5, 1937. Heavily damaged by air raids in 1943, the Deutschlandhalle was rebuilt after World War II and since 1957 has served as a multi purpose arena and sports venue, in the last years primarily for ice hockey, but also for indoor soccer and again for boxing. 
The interaction between leaders and people had secured that, particularly in times of anxiety, National Socialists could appeal to the people in order to receive from it their new marching orders. 
From Hitler's speech at the dedication of the Deutschlandhalle, 29th November, 1935
It was here that, on 19 February 1938, test pilot Hanna Reitsch demonstrated the first indoor flight in the arena with a Focke-Wulf Fw 61 helicopter. The photo on the right shows the model at the Deutsches Museum in Munich with swastika painted over.

Karlshorst 
Where the war officially ended. No British or American flags are present today to honour those who made the victory possible.

Zhukov found a two‐storey building at Karlshorst in eastern Berlin that had once housed the canteen of the German military engineering school. There, at a little before midnight on May 8, the Allied representatives gathered. New surrender documents had been drawn up in Moscow and hurriedly brought there by Vyshinsky, the chief prosecutor at the Moscow trials in the 1930s, who had become deputy minister for foreign affairs. Hours were spent trying to reconcile Soviet and Western versions. The text was typed and re‐typed on a small portable machine by candlelight, following an electric power failure. At last, exactly at the stroke of midnight, Zhukov led the representatives of the other Allied powers, Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder, General Carl Spaatz and General de Lattre de Tassigny, into the hall. They sat at a long green table, and the German military leaders were ushered in, led by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Hitler’s headquarters chief of staff. Keitel struggled to maintain his dignity. His face was blotchy and red, his hand shook. As he walked to the table to sign the surrender his monocle dropped from his eye and dangled by its cord. He had, Zhukov later recalled, ‘a beaten look’, though other witnesses thought the Germans ‘arrogant and dignified’. At exactly forty‐three minutes past midnight the ceremony was complete. Zhukov made what Stalin regarded as a dull speech for such an historic day, then hosted a night‐long banquet, which ended with the Soviet generals, including Zhukov, dancing in the tradition of their country. 
Overy (277) Russia's War

The former entrance to the Flakregiment at Reinickendorf Heiligensee

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