Showing posts with label Neue Wache. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Neue Wache. Show all posts

Nazi Sites on Unter den Linden

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Quickly jumping on board a Berliner site-seeing bus to take a pic of my Bavaraian International School cohort in front of the Neue Wache and as it appeared soon after the war. Unter den Linden is a boulevard in the centre of Berlin that runs from the City Palace to the Brandenburg Gate, named after the lime trees that lined the grassed pedestrian mall on the median and the two broad carriageways and links numerous Berlin sights and landmarks. Shortly after the "Machtergreifung," the Nazis began in 1934 to widen these lanes with the intention of making the boulevard part of the fifty kilometre long east-west axis for the intended world capital city Germania. The construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 marked the street in the Volksmund as the "most representative cul-de-sac in the world". After German reunification, the Brandenburg Gate was closed for motor vehicle traffic although the road nevertheless developed into a motor road. Between 1945 until 1948, many destroyed palaces and buildings had to be demolished leaving a rubble trail along the boulevard, and numerous volunteers were involved. In the course of the subsequent reconstruction, the first new building from 1949 to 1951 was the Soviet embassy, an example of Stalinist architecture and a symbol of the political affinity of the then newly-founded DDR with the Soviet Union. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the building now serves the Russian regime.  After the initial reconstruction and use as an exhibition venue, the heavily damaged Berlin city palace was blown up in 1950. By the end of the 1960s most of the historic buildings had been rebuilt in the eastern part of the street, with the exception of the Old Commandant, which was reconstructed in 2003. The Palace of the Republic was built on the Spree-side of the palace and a new building for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DDR was built along the Spree Canal.  
"Banner Over Berlin- A Bright, Sunshiny Day, With Unter Den Linden in Gala Dress. By far the most conspicuous is Germany's swastika-emblazoned flag. The Zeughaus (Armory) at right, begun in 1694, is now a military museum and Hall of Fame. It holds Hindenburg's death mask and busts of famous warriors and statesmen, as well as weapons, armour, and uniforms from the Middle Ages to the World War. Here, too, is Napoleon's hat, found near Waterloo! [with me beside it today]" 
From a February 1937 National Geographic article entitled Changing Berlin.
The right shows the street after the war when the road was almost completely destroyed by the air raids of the Allies and the Battle of Berlin. One of the few still usable buildings was the Römischer Hof.
Here in front of Humboldt Universität, Berlin’s oldest university where Marx and Engels studied and the Brothers Grimm and Albert Einstein taught, was the site of a symbolic act of ominous significance when, on May 10, 1933, its students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of "un-German" books, presaging an era of state censorship and control of culture. Opernplatz (now Bebelplatz) was thus the site of the first big official book- burning in May 1933. Within the square surrounded by the baroque Alte Königliche Bibliothek, now part of the university, the State Opera, built in 1743 and the domed St Hedwigskirche, partly modelled on Rome’s Pantheon and Berlin’s only Catholic church until 1854 is a simple but poignant memorial by Micha Ullmann consisting of an underground library with empty bookshelves which commemorates this event. It was here on April 6, 1933, the Main Office for Press and Propaganda of the German Student Association (Deutsche Studentenschaft) proclaimed a nationwide "Action against the Un-German Spirit", to climax in a literary purge or "cleansing" ("Säuberung") by fire. Local chapters were to supply the press with releases and commissioned articles, sponsor well-known Nazi figures to speak at public gatherings, and negotiate for radio broadcast time. On April 8 the students association also drafted its Twelve Theses, deliberately evoking Martin Luther; the theses declared and outlined a "pure" national language and culture. Placards publicised the theses, which attacked "Jewish intellectualism", asserted the need to "purify" German language and literature, and demanded that universities be centres of German nationalism. The students described the "action" as a response to a worldwide Jewish "smear campaign" against Germany and an affirmation of traditional German values.
Bavarian International School Heath berlin My 2020 cohort of Bavarian International School students at the site of the of the public book burning on Bebelplatz when, on the night of May 10, in most university towns, nationalist students marched in torchlight parades "against the un-German spirit." In this way they stole a march on the National Socialist German Students' League. The assembly of the books had started on the sixth, when students dragged the contents of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft library into the square. At the Student Association's invitation Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels held an inflammatory speech prior to the burning. Besides other spectators, it was attended by members of the Nazi Students' League, the SA, ϟϟ and Hitler Youth groups. They burned around twenty thousand books, including works by Heinrich Mann, Erich Maria Remarque, Heinrich Heine, Karl Marx, Albert Einstein and many other authors. Erich Kästner, whose books were also among those burned, was present at the scene and described it with bitter irony in his diary. The scripted rituals called for high Nazi officials, professors, rectors, and student leaders to address the participants and spectators. At the meeting places, students threw the pillaged and unwanted books into the bonfires with great joyous ceremony, band-playing, songs, "fire oaths," and incantations.
Not all book burnings took place on May 10, as the German Student Association had planned. Some were postponed a few days because of rain. Others, based on local chapter preference, took place on June 21, the summer solstice, a traditional date of celebration. Nonetheless, in 34 university towns across Germany the "Action against the un-German Spirit" was a success, enlisting widespread newspaper coverage. And in some places, notably Berlin, radio broadcasts brought the speeches, songs, and ceremonial incantations "live" to countless German listeners.

In front of the the Royal Library, now the seat of the Faculty of Law, is The Empty Library memorial by Micha Ullmann consisting of a glass plate set into the cobbles, giving a view of empty bookcases, commemorating the book burning. When viewed at an angle, one can see empty shelves capable of holding 20,000 books. When viewed from above, all one sees is their own reflection. Both views are meant to remind us of the events that transpired and the people responsible for them. The memorial exemplifies what art historian James E. Young terms as "negative form," sinking into the cobblestones of the Bebelplatz to create a void. The placement of the room under the plaza forces viewers to crane their necks in order to look into the memorial. The space inside the monument is air-conditioned to prevent condensation on the glass pane that sits level with the surface of the plaza and remains continuously lit so that whilst The Empty Library's low profile can make it difficult to spot during the daytime, at night it illuminates the Bebelplatz with a eerie white light. Nearby a line of Heinrich Heine, a German poet of Jewish origin, from his play Almansor (1821), is engraved on a plaque inset in the square: "Das war ein Vorspiel nur, dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen." ("That was only a prelude; where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people"). Students at Humboldt University hold a book sale in the square every year to mark the anniversary.
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Across the street is the statue of Hermann von Helmholtz in front of the main building of the university, the entrance of which is little changed from the time it was the setting for a Nazi rally as seen during the time of my 2018 Bavarian International School class trip.
 At about midnight a torchlight parade of thousands of students ended at a square on Unter den Linden opposite the University of Berlin. Torches were put to a huge pile of books that had been gathered there, and as the flames enveloped them more books were thrown on the fire until some twenty thousand had been consumed. Similar scenes took place in several other cities. The book burning had begun. Many of the books tossed into the flames in Berlin that night by the joyous students under the approving eye of Dr. Goebbels had been written by authors of world reputation. They included, among German writers, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Lion Feuchtwanger, Jakob Wassermann, Arnold and Stefan Zweig, Erich Maria Remarque, Walther Rathenau, Albert Einstein, Alfred Kerr and Hugo Preuss, the last named being the scholar who had drafted the Weimar Constitution. But not only the works of dozens of German writers were burned. A good many foreign authors were also included: Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Helen Keller, Margaret Sanger, H. G. Wells, Havelock Ellis, Arthur Schnitzler, Freud, Gide, Zola, Proust. In the words of a student proclamation, any book was condemned to the flames ”which acts subversively on our future or strikes at the root of German thought, the German home and the driving forces of our people.” Dr. Goebbels, the new Propaganda Minister, who from now on was to put German culture into a Nazi strait jacket, addressed the students as the burning books turned to ashes. "The soul of the German people can again express itself. These flames not only illuminate the final end of an old era; they also light up the new.”
St. Hedwig's Cathedral at the back of Bebelplatz, built in the 18th century as the first Catholic church in Prussia by permission of King Frederick II. The cathedral was severely damaged by Allied bombing in an air raid on March 1, 1943 with only the damaged shell of the building left standing. Reconstruction started in 1952 and on November 1, 1963, All Saints' Day, the new high altar was consecrated by the Bishop of Berlin, Alfred Cardinal Bengsch. As can be seen on the left, it was reconstructed in a post-war modernist style significantly altering the roof as part of the Forum Fridericianum.
It was here after Reichskristallnacht that Father Bernhard Lichtenberg, a canon of the cathedral chapter of St Hedwig since 1931, publicly prayed for the Jews at Vespers services. In addition, he protested in person to Nazi officials the arrest and killing of the sick and mentally ill as well as the persecution of the Jews. At first, the Nazis dismissed the priest as a nuisance. Father Lichtenberg was warned that he was in danger of being arrested for his activities, but he continued nonetheless. Deploring the regime of concentration camps like that of Dachau, he organised demonstrations against them outside certain camps. After November 1938's Kristallnacht pogrom, he alone among the churchmen publicly spoke out: “We know what happened yesterday, we do not know what lies in store for us tomorrow. But we have experienced what has happened today: Outside burns the temple. This is also a place of worship." From then on he continued to pray daily from his pulpit here at St Hedwig's Cathedral for the both Jews and Jewish Christians as well as other victims of the regime. After the outbreak of war, Lichtenberg prepared an application addressed to the Berliner the official responsible for air raid shelters, protesting against the racial segregation in the air shelters decreed by the order from December 14, 1939. 
Lichtenberg had previously encouraged his congregation to watch the film version of Erich Maria Remarques' anti-war film All Quiet on the Western Front, which resulted in a vicious attack by Joseph Goebbels's paper Der Angriff. In 1933 the Gestapo had searched his house for the first time. During the war on October 23, 1941 the Gestapo searched his home and found a sermon that Lichtenberg had meant to be read that upcoming Sunday crafted in response to a Nazi leaflet circulated by Goebbels’s Propaganda Ministry in which the Germans were warned not to offer help to Jews, or even offer any friendly greeting. Lichtenberg wrote: “An anonymous slanderous sheet against the Jews is being distributed to Berlin houses. This leaflet states that every German who supports Jews with an ostensibly false sentimentality, be it only through friendly kindness, commits treason against his people. Let us not be misled by this un-Christian way of thinking but follow the strict command of Jesus Christ: 'You shall love you neighbour as  you love yourself’."
In 1942, Lichtenberg protested against the euthanasia programme by way of a letter to the chief physician of the Reich:
I, as a human being, a Christian, a priest, and a German, demand of you, Chief Physician of the Reich, that you answer for the crimes that have been perpetrated at your bidding, and with your consent, and which will call forth the vengeance of the Lord on the heads of the German people.
Lichtenberg was arrested and condemned to prison for two years on account of abuse of the pulpit and insidious activity [“Heimtücke”]. Asked if he had anything to add, Lichtenberg said  - according to the trial transcript - : “I submit that no harm results to the state by citizens who pray for the Jews.” Because he was considered incorrigible, he was sent to Dachau, dying whilst in transit of pneumonia in hospital in Hof on November 5, 1943.Bavarian International School Heath berlin As Raul Hilberg wrote in his 2003 book The Destruction of the European Jews, he was "a solitary figure who had made his singular gesture. In the buzz of rumormongers and sensation seekers, Bernhard Lichtenberg fought almost alone." He was beatified as a martyr by Pope John Paul II on June 23, 1996 during during a Mass celebrated in the Olympic stadium on a visit to Berlin. In 2004, the Israeli Yad Vashem Memorial awarded him the distinction of "Righteous among the Nations". His grave was temporarily located in the memorial church Maria Regina Martyrum after his remains for transferred in 1965. In the Plötzensee memorial church, the reliquary is now housed in the sacrament altar under the organ gallery. After the renovation and redesigning work ended, his remains returned to Sankt Hedwig's crypt. On the initiative of the "Aktiven Museums Faschismus und Widerstand in Berlin e. V." Bernhard Lichtenberg was honoured with his own stolperstein set in the pavement outside the Bernhard-Lichtenberg-Haus which serves as the office of the archbishop of Berlin at Französische Straße on the corner behind the church.
The church itself burned out completely in 1943 during air raids on Berlin and was reconstructed from 1952 up to 1963. Here it's shown roofless and covered in scaffoding and as it appears today during my 2020 class trip two years after the cathedral closed for major renovations when the relics of Bl. Bernhard Lichtenberg were transferred to the crypt of Maria Regina Martyrum.
Behind is the Gendarmenmarkt, the site of the Konzerthaus and the French and German Cathedrals, all of which were left in ruins after the war.
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Comparing the site today during my 2016 class trip from the steps of the Deutscher Dom with that shown in the 1938 book Berlin in Bildern would not indicate such damage given the extensive reconstruction that has taken place since the war. In 1936 the Nazis removed the ornamental gardens in front of the theatre and replaced them with the square stones still seen today. The square was then used as a parade square for propaganda rallies and otherwise, except for the Lustgarten, as parking spaces. Thus from 1936 onwards, a large-scale pattern of square slabs, the main features of which are still there, replaced the Schiller monument and the horticultural decoration on the Gendarmenmarkt. Every year, boys from the German Young People were accepted into the Hitler Youth on the Gendarmenmarkt
On the right is the Französischer Dom, shown on fire after bombing in 1944. During the war the Anglo-American air raids burned the nave on May 7, 1944, and the tower dome on May 24, 1944. The floors below were spared from the fire because of the concrete ceiling that was established in 1930.
Bavarian International School Heath berlinThe Französischer Dom, situated across from the Deutscher Dom, was heavily damaged in the war and eventually re-built from 1977 to 1981. From 2004 to 2006 the facade of the cathedral was renovated for six million euros and 18 of the sixty bronze bells were repaired or re-cast. Here schwimmwagen are shown displaying the insignia of the 11th ϟϟ Panzergrenadier Division "Nordland", and the tactical marking of a motorised divisional headquarters. Also known as Kampfverband Waräger or Germanische-Freiwilligen-Division, the Nordland was a Waffen-ϟϟ division recruited from foreign populations which had seen action in the Independent State of Croatia and on the Eastern Front during the war. By April 27 the remnants of Nordland were pushed back into the central government district (Zitadelle sector) in Defence sector Z. ϟϟ-Brigadeführer Gustav Krukenberg's Nordland headquarters was a carriage in the Stadtmitte U-Bahn station. Thereafter, the troops in the government district were pushed back into the Reichstag and Reich Chancellery. What was eventually left of the Nordland Division under Krukenberg fought hard in that area but Soviet artillery and anti-tank guns were too strong. The Nordland's last Tiger was knocked out attempting to cross the Weidendammer Bridge before hostilities officially ended on May 2 by order of Helmuth Weidling, Kommandant of the Defence Area Berlin and General of Artillery.
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Aviatrix and test pilot Hanna Reitsch flying down Unter den Linden in 1937 and my students in 2020. The following year Reitsch became the first person to fly a helicopter, the Focke-Achgelis Fa-61, inside a building, Berlin’s Deutschlandhalle. She would eventually set over forty flight altitude records and women's endurance records in gliding and unpowered flight before and after the war.
Bavarian International School Heath berlinThe Olympic bell being formally escorted across Unter den Linden on May 11, 1936 at the start of the 1936 Olympic Games and me at the site today. The idea for this bell came from Theodor Lewald, and a sketch was made by the graphic artist Johannes Böhland. The bell itself was then declared the official symbol of the Olympic Games on July 18, 1933. The sculptor Walter E. Lemcke based his design and model on Böhland's sketch. Lemcke, a student at the Berlin School of Applied Arts, was primarily entrusted with the design of coats of arms and friezes throughout  the Nazi period. The Olympic bell, a foundation of the "Bochumer Verein für Gussstahlfabrikation AG", was hung in the bell tower on Maifeld in 1936. After the war on February 15, 1947, the bell fell when the British ordered the tower to be blown up (subsequently rebuilt) and was then entombed within a bomb crater to protect it against metal theft. It was eventually recovered on December 18, 1956 and placed the following year at the south gate. In 1982 NOK President Willi Daume inaugurated the bell with an inscription plate as a supposed anti-war memorial. Since 2005 the steel bell stood on three rectangular concrete slabs on what was intended to be a provisional basis south of the Haus des Deutschen Sports.
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My students in front of the Neue Wache during our 2018 class trip and as it appeared on April 20, 1939 for Hitler's 50th birthday with the 1.Kompanie ϟϟ Adolf Hitler en guarde. 
Built under Prussian King Frederick William III as a guard house for the king's guard and as a memorial for the victims of the liberation wars and the Napoleonic wars, it first opened on September 18, 1818 on the occasion of the visit of Tsar Alexander of Russia by the Alexander Regiment. The Neue Wache served until 1918 as the main and royal guard. In 1931, Heinrich Tessenow transformed the building into a memorial for the fallen soldiers of the Great War. After heavy damage in the Second World War, the building was restored in 1955, and in 1960 it was redesigned as a memorial to the victims of fascism and militarism. Until German reunification in 1990, two soldiers of the guard regiment of Friedrich Engels stood as guard of honour in front during the day. Every Wednesday and Saturday, at 14.30, an honorary formation of the "Wachau" under the "Unter den Linden in Berlin" was launched.  Since Memorial Day in 1993, the Neue Wache has served as the central memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the victims of war and tyranny. On Memorial Day the guard battalion is given an honorary guard for the building.
Hitler being honoured during his fiftieth birthday celebrations at the same site. For him the net results were poor:
Aside from the customary appearances and congratulations by foreign dignitaries, only a few of the Balkan states, Italy, Japan, and Spain had proven willing to still stand by Hitler. The Great Powers and the neutral states had displayed marked restraint. Moreover, the four-hour military parade completely failed of its purpose. It had not created the impression desired with the Western Powers. Even had Hitler ordered the parade to last twice or thrice as long, this provocative display could only reinforce the Western Powers’ determination and add justification to their military countermeasures. Chamberlain announced the introduction of universal conscription to the United Kingdom on April 25, three days before Hitler’s Reichstag speech. Reports in Germany’s print media revealed the embarrassing failure of the festivities. Given the conspicuous absence of any other laudations, bold-letter headlines were used to highlight an odd expert appraisal of the military displays. Its author was Lieutenant General With, the Commander in Chief of the Danish Armed Forces, a man unknown in Germany, who had distinguished himself merely as one of the few men favourably impressed by the parade. 
Domarus (1560)
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Lecturing to my students during our 2018 class trip inside and from the same angles on March 12, 1933 when Hindenburg and Hitler marked Volkstrauertag and a year later on February 25 for Heldengedenktag in which are shown von Neurath, Count Schwerin-Krosigk, Lippert, Frick, Schmidt, Admiral Raeder, Hitler, von Papen, Goebbels, von Hindenburg, Goering, von Blomberg and von Fritsch. 
After the abdication of the Kaiser in 1918 the building fell into disuse, serving as emergency housing for the homeless, among other functions. On August 3, 1924, on the tenth anniversary of the beginning of World War I, Reichspresident Friedrich Ebert expressed his desire for a “national monument of honour” (Reichsehrenmal) that would “serve to mourn the past and embody the vital energy and the will to freedom of the German people.” Hindenburg wanted to erect a panoply of Prussian war heroes; however, the war veterans, many of whom were former members of various wings of the Youth Movement, pleaded for a national memorial in a natural rather than an urban setting. Controversy and indecision lingered on until 1929, when Otto Braun, Minister-President of Prussia, decided to transform the Neue Wache into a “Memorial Site for the Fallen of the World War” and asked for proposals for the interior. Heinrich von Tessenow’s design was accepted where light-grey limestone plates covered the walls, and dark basalt-lava stones formed a floor mosaic. In the centre a black memorial stone, marked “1914–1918” and bearing a large silver oak-wreath, represented the “Altar of the Fatherland.” 
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In his review of the memorial for the Frankfurter Zeitung Siegfried Kracauer wrote:   
Of course, one can erect emotional memorials and reinforce the interpretation ascribed to them by means of some symbol or other—but haven’t we had enough of our Bismarck towers? It is simply the case that a positive statement is virtually impossible for us at this time. We cannot countenance it either in the literary language nor in the language of architecture... Why? In Germany in any case, it is because we are much too divided on questions of the most important and vital kind, so that we cannot come together through some insight that would unite us. Thus, with the memorial it can only be a question of a necessarily pragmatic solution. The deliberate presentation of content is not what is needed—what do most people today know about death?—but rather the most extreme abstinence of content. A memorial site for the fallen in the World War: if we want to be honest, it should not be much more than an empty room. And precisely this is the propriety of Tessenow’s design: that he only wants to give what we possess . . . that is not much, indeed it is very little, but in consideration of our present economic and intellectual life it is precisely enough. Tessenow’s proper modesty knew how to avoid smuggling in metaphysical contraband and restricted itself to the dignified proportions of the memorial site.
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As soon as Hitler took power the new regime immediately seized the first 'Volkstrauertag' on March 12, 1933, to make clear their intentions for the Neue Wache. The Wehrmacht paraded next to the SA as Nazi flags flew beside the black-white-red flags of the old empire. The flags were not at half mast as before, but flew boldly in the top. References to the warlike past had to make the people enthusiastic for a great future. Two months later, books by Jewish authors and others displeasing to the regime were burned on the Opernplatz opposite the Neue Wache. In 1934 the Nazis used it as a “memorial of honour” (Ehrenmal) for fallen soldiers and an inspiration for new ones. A large oaken cross was affixed to the rear wall and candles and candelabras were placed around the altar to convey a greater sense of piety. To further emphasise their ideology, the Nazis made some changes to the monument- two enormous wreaths were attached to the two corner towers on the street side. Inside, an oak cross was erected against the back wall of the hall, right behind the granite column, as a sign that “wahres Christentum und heldisches Volkstumzusammengehören”.
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The cross was not only a reference to the tens of thousands of soldiers' graves abroad, but was primarily to be seen as an attempt to win the churches over to the Nazis. It is also alleged that the Prussian Minister of Finance, von Popitz, had the cross placed to prevent a swastika from being placed. Burning candles on candelabra symbolised the eternal life of the fallen national heroes. The civil police posted before the building were replaced by an honour guard of Wehrmacht soldiers of the “Guards Regiment of Berlin”. 
The changing of the guard on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday was a public spectacle, as was the wreath-laying ceremony by Hitler on “heroes’ remembrance day” (Heldengedenktag), the precursor to Volkstrauertag. During the war fallen generals were given their final honours before the Neue Wache. Bombs damaged the building badly toward the end of the war: the roof burnt away, two columns were shattered, the southeastern corner collapsed, the memorial stone was partially melted in the heat of the bombing, and the wreath was eventually stolen. Tessenow said of the ruin, “If it were now up to me, I would not give the building any other form whatsoever. As damaged as it is now, it truly speaks history. A little cleaning up and straightening out, and let it stand as it is.
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As it appeared in 1945 and during my 2011 and 2016 school tours. The Neue Wache along with the other neoclassical buildings of Unter den Linden fell within the Russian sector of occupied Berlin. In 1948 the local communist government considered tearing down the Neue Wache because of its militaristic history and because people continued to lay flowers and wreaths there in remembrance of their (fascist) dead, even after the building’s iron doors had been chained shut. However, the Soviets interceded, reasoning that the building and its military symbolism represented Russian and German “friendship” in their having joined forces to defeat Napoleon: the military tradition was once again invoked and renewed. The Neue Wache was transformed into a museum of Soviet-German friendship, with slogans and large portraits of party members. The statues of Bülow and Scharnhorst were removed and their pedestals given Russian and German inscriptions honouring Stalin. Nevertheless by then the silver wreath was stolen and the granite block deformed by fire. In its deformation, the Neue Wache served as a jarring memorial to the destruction of war.
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A generation later the national crest of the DDR was chiselled into the rear wall, and the inscription was transferred to the side wall. Tessenow’s altar was removed and replaced by a gas-fed eternal flame as was the custom in the Soviet Union. Probably in imitation of the memorial to the unknown soldier in the Kremlin wall unveiled in 1967—itself an imitation of similar national war memorials in Britain and France erected after World War I—the remains of a resistance fighter shot by the ϟϟ and the remains of a German soldier killed in Eastern Prussia were exhumed and placed under the stone floor; the unknown soldier was buried with the soil from nine battlefields, the unknown resistance fighter with the soil from nine concentration camps. A glass cupola sealed the ceiling opening, and the basalt-lava floor was covered by bright, polished marble plates. The honour guard’s watch station was moved to the adjoining Museum of German History (formerly the Prussian Armoury), and cameras were installed to monitor the eternal flame and the interior. The last changing of the guard took place on October 2, 1990. After reunification the East German crest was removed from the rear wall, otherwise the interior was left intact but unused.
With the November Revolution of 1918, the empty building in 1924 offered three homeless families emergency shelter before it was named as a location in the debates about a memorial for the fallen soldiers. Heinrich Tessenow, professor of architecture in Berlin, won the competition with his idea of ​​a simple, cubic interior which had removed the interior walls and false ceilings. In 1931 Ludwig Gies's iron-wrought wreath made of gold and silver leaves was placed on a 1.67 metre high memorial stone made of black granite and placed in the centre of the room. Above it, the roof of the hall opened up in an oculus. Today it is displayed in the neighbouring German Historical Museum. In 1934 two wreaths were attached to the outer corner towers and a cross to the inner rear wall. On the right is the interior of the building after the war and during my 2011 class trip.
Inside, during the war and today where it has a memorial to the Victims of Fascism and Militarism located directly under the building's oculus, exposing it to the elements to further represent the suffering of civilians during the war.
Notice the highly ambiguous title, which includes German war dead just as much as the victims of the Holocaust. The memorial itself with its Christian-like pieta of mother and dead son would hardly seem appropriate to non-Christian victims.
The enlarged Pieta proved problematic on both aesthetic and political grounds. Enlarged and taken out of its original private context, the work became a national symbol of self-sacrifice. he Akademie der Künste, for example, called for the "self-pitying kitsch" and for Tessenow's interior to be restored true to the original. At the time, Reinhart Koselleck questioned the appropriateness of the Kollwitz sculpture because it excludes both Jews and women, “the two largest groups of those innocently killed and perished in World War II” leading to “[a] double mistake with consequences that result from an aesthetically secondary solution. The mistake of thinking gives rise to aesthetic deformities." Indeed, aesthetically, the enlargement distorted Kollwitz's original intention. As a powerful anti-war statement, Kollwitz's original 1937 sculpture-only 38 centimetres high-symbolised her personal grief after the death of her son, who had served as a volunteer in the Great War. The fact that another artist, Rolf Szymanski enlarged Kollwitz's work to 152 centimetres without the artist's consent invariably alters the original meaning. As the sculpture moves from the private to the national context in unified Germany, Kollwitz's message of senseless loss is absorbed within the larger framework of German victimhood. While the image of the Pieta clearly symbolises grief, to those familiar with Kollwitz's work, her ardent pacificism undercuts the traditional national symbol of meaningful self-sacrifice. Interestingly, her popularity in both Germanies made her well-suited to represent unified German victimhood and guilt. The personal context of Kollwitz's original sculpture shows the senselessness of war; within the context of the restored Neue Wache, however, Kollwitz's Pieta abstracts political death to a universal level.
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Koselleck argued that a national symbol of hope in the form of a Pieta — based on depictions of Mary mourning Jesus — must inevitably symbolize the Christian message of salvation. Thus the memorial represents "the very rupture that divides Christians from Jews. Or should the (surviving) Jews be obliged to recognize the dead son as their saviour?" And not only Jews were implicitly excluded from the memorial; so were the women who died in World War II. The portrayal of a mother mourning her dead son was an appropriate memorial for World War I, when most of those who died were soldiers, but after a second war in which millions of women were themselves killed in bombing, mass executions, and gas chambers, "the surviving mother cannot be the central figure of our central memorial."
In addition, the reference to the dead as "victims" involves not only a leveling between perpetrator and victim, but also a double use of victimhood. Whilst "Victims of War and Tyranny" transforms all of the dead into victims of history, the definition of "victim" can be read as a victim for something or a victim of something. As Reinhart Koselleck, who strongly objected to the use of Kollwitz's sculpture notes, the term "victim" had a positive meaning before 1945 by implying that one was a "victim for their country" (Opfer für das Vaterland) and had chosen to sacrifice themselves for the higher cause of religion or the nation. After 1945, the term "victim" implied that one was a "victim of something" (Opfer von etwas). The meaning of Opfer slipped from active to passive. Thus, one became a victim of totalitarianism and war. Because of this semantic shift, everyone appears to have been a passive victim of something beyond their control. One no longer actively chooses to be a sacrificial victim for a higher cause, but is instead subject to victimhood by something beyond their control. One becomes a victim of unfortunate historical circumstances.
The Zeughaus is the oldest surviving building on Unter den Linden and dates from the Baroque period. It was built as a weaponry arsenal and today houses the German Historical Museum. Whilst the Zeughaus played a minor role in the public consciousness in the Weimar Republic with its collection reorganised according to scientific criteria in order to no longer be regarded as a "patriotic-military edifice", under the Nazis it hosted a large exhibition on the role of Germany in the First World War. Hitler held his annual speech in March on Armed Forces Day. On March 21, 1943, Rudolf-Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff wanted to blow up with Hitler during a tour of an exhibition. As an instrument of war propaganda, the Zeughaus remained open until September 1944. During  the war parts of the collections were removed and by the end the building suffered heavy damage from bombs and shells. The façades were perforated several times, the attic burnt out, and a large part of the sculptures burnt in the fires. The rebuilding of the building began in 1948 and lasted until 1967. Initially, it was intended to be used as a "House of Culture" and restored in its original form without the alterations and alterations of the 19th century. After the building fabric quickly turned out to be considerably worse than expected, the complete rebuilding of the Zeughaus began in 1950 when its interior was replaced by a steel and concrete construction and only the exterior walls preserved. It was also decided in 1950 to accommodate the Museum of German History founded by the Central Committee of the SED, intended to convey the Marxist-Leninist version of history. In September 1990 immediately before German reunification, it was dissolved by the last East German government. After several years of renovation work, the Zeughaus has been used by the German Historical Museum since 2003.
The courtyard then and now. Located next to the Neue Wache, the former Armoury is now the National History Museum. It was where Baron Rudolf-Christoph von Gersdorff attempted to assassinate Hitler when he, Goering, Himmler and Keitel were due to be present at the Heroes’ Memorial Day (Heldengedenktag) ceremonies on March 21 1943 at the Zeughaus. Here was an opportunity to get not only the Führer but his chief associates. As Colonel Freiherr von Gersdorff, chief of intelligence on Kluge’s staff, later said, ”This was a chance which would never recur.” He had been selected to handle the bomb, and this time it would have to be a suicidal mission where the colonel would conceal in his overcoat pockets two bombs, set the fuses, stay as close to Hitler during the ceremony as possible and blow the Fuehrer and his entourage as well as himself up. On the evening of March 20 he met with Schlabrendorff in his room at the Eden Hotel in Berlin. Schlabrendorff had brought two bombs with ten-minute fuses. But because of the near-freezing temperature in the glassed-over courtyard of the Zeughaus it might take from fifteen to twenty minutes before the weapons exploded. 
Once again, astonishing luck had accompanied Hitler. The depressed and shocked mood following Stalingrad had probably also offered the best possible psychological moment for a coup against him. A successful undertaking at that time might, despite the recently announced ‘Unconditional Surrender’ strategy of the Allies, have stood a chance of splitting them. The removal of the Nazi leadership and offer of capitulation in the west that Tresckow intended would at any rate have placed the western Allies with a quandary about whether to respond to peace-feelers. 
Kershaw (822) Hitler
Hitler speaking in the Zeughaus courtyard March 1941 and me at the site today, minus the staircase. It was in this courtyard that Hitler, after his speech, was scheduled to spend half an hour examining an exhibition of captured Russian war trophies which Gersdorff’s staff had arranged. It was the only place where the colonel could get close enough to the Fuehrer to kill him. Gersdorff later recounted what happened:
The next day I carried in each of my overcoat pockets a bomb with a ten-minute fuse. I intended to stay as close to Hitler as I could, so that he at least would be blown to pieces by the explosion. When Hitler... entered the exhibitional hall, Schmundt came across to me and said that only eight or ten minutes were to be spent on inspecting the exhibits. So the possibility of carrying out the assassination no longer existed, since even if the temperature had been normal the fuse needed at least ten minutes. This last-minute change of schedule, which was typical of Hitler’s subtle security methods, had once again saved him his life.
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The Kaiser Friedrich Museum (now Bodemuseum). During the war the building suffered the least damage on the Museum Island, but it did not get an emergency roof until 1951. After the war in 1945, the city administration had all references to former rulers expunged and eventually on March 1, 1956 Johannes R. Becher, the Minister of Cultural Affairs of the DDR, solemnly gave the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum the name Bode-Museum. The Egyptian Museum with its collection of Papyrus, the Museum of Prehistory and Early History, a picture gallery, a collection of sculptures and the coin cabinet were temporarily housed here. The museum appears as a playable level in the WWII video game Sniper Elite V2 shown right.
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Propaganda Minister Goebbels and Hitler speaking on the steps of the Altes Museum in 1938 and my students from Bavarian International School eighty years later. Albert Wolff's Löwenkämpfer, a copy of which can be found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art,remains. The Lustgarten ("Pleasure Garden") is in central Berlin, next to the Dom and had often been used as a parade ground and site for mass rallies. During the Weimar Republic, it was frequently used for political demonstrations with frequent rallies held by Socialists and Communists. In August 1921, 500,000 people demonstrated against right-wing extremist violence. After the murder of Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau in June 1922, 250,000 protested in the Lustgarten.
In fact, Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf (381) that
In Berlin, after the War, I was present at a mass-demonstration of Marxists in front of the Royal Palace and in the Lustgarten. A sea of red flags, red armlets and red flowers was in itself sufficient to give that huge assembly of about 120,000 persons an outward appearance of strength. I was now able to feel and understand how easily the man in the street succumbs to the hypnotic magic of such a grandiose piece of theatrical presentation.
William Shirer records in Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich (3) that

On Sunday, January 29, a hundred thousand workers crowded into the Lustgarten in the centre of Berlin to demonstrate their opposition to making Hitler Chancellor. One of their leaders attempted to get in touch with General von Hammerstein to propose joint action by the Army and organised labour should Hitler be named to head a new government. Once before, at the time of the Kapp putsch in 1920, a general strike had saved the Republic after the government had fled the capital.
Bavarian International School Heath berlinIn February, 1933, 200,000 people demonstrated against Hitler as members of the Reichsbanner cheered during an anti-Nazi speech delivered at a rally there; shortly afterwards public opposition to the regime was banned. Under the Nazis, the Lustgarten was converted into a site for mass rallies. In 1934, it was paved over and Hitler would address mass rallies of up to a million people there. Later that same year the city government moved the Christmas market back to the Lustgarten in the city centre. Since 1893, when downtown commercial interests forced the Berlin senate to move the main market to protect holiday profits and ensure "public peace," the main market had been held in suburban Akronaplatz. By returning urban markets to public prominence, the party positioned itself as the champion of the "earth-bound folk festivities" (bodengebundene Volkfeste) of popular tradition. In Berlin, the response was remarkable: Record-breaking numbers of visitors visited the market in 1934 and again in 1936, when official totals recorded 1.5 million and 2 million visitors respectively. This climaxed on August 1, 1936 when 20,000 Hitler Youth and 40,000 brownshirts celebrated the end of the Olympic torch relay in Berlin in a “consecration hour.” The runner Siegfried Eifrig lit the Olympic flame, which burned in two "altars" in the pleasure garden and in front of the palace for the entire duration of the Olympic Games.
By the end of the war, the Lustgarten was a bomb-pitted wasteland. The German Democratic Republic left Hitler's paving in place, but planted lime trees around the parade ground to reduce its militaristic appearance. The whole area was renamed Marx-Engels-Platz. The City Palace was demolished and later replaced by the modernist Palace of the Republic on part of the site.
Standing in front of the altes museum and as it appeared May 1, 1936 when, at 12:30 at the state ceremony in the Lustgarten, Hitler gave his main speech from its steps- “An Appeal to the Entire German Volk.” The Nazis used the Altes Museum as the backdrop for such propaganda, both in the museum itself and upon the parade grounds of the redesigned Lustgarten. One such event was targetted on May 18, 1942 by a resistance group led by Herbert Baum consisting mainly of Jewish men and women who attempted to destroy the propaganda exhibition The Soviet Paradise in the Lustgarten. This resulted in the discovery of the group, the death of Baum in Gestapo detention and the execution of at least 27 members of the group. In a "retaliation action," the Reich Main Security Office arrested five hundred Jewish men at the end of May, immediately murdering half of them. A memorial stone made by Jürgen Raue was installed in 1981 to commemorate this resistance group. In 1944 the statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III by Albert Wolff was melted down to reuse the metal in war production.
Just before the end of war the museum was badly damaged when a tank truck exploded in front of the museum, and the frescoes designed by Schinkel and Peter Cornelius, which adorned the vestibule and the back wall of the portico, were largely lost. The Battle of Berlin saw all of Berlin’s historic sites fortified with old stone buildings like the Altes Museum, with their thick stone walls, cavernous basements and small windows becoming mini fortresses defended until the last man. Under General Director Ludwig Justi, the building was the first museum of Museum Island to undergo reconstruction and restoration, which was carried out from 1951 to 1966 by Hans Erich Bogatzky and Theodor Voissen. Following Schinkel's designs, the murals of the rotunda were restored in 1982. However, neither the ornate ceilings of the ground floor exhibition rooms nor the pairs of columns under the girders were reconstructed. The former connection to the Neues Museum has also not been rebuilt; instead, an underground passageway connecting all of the museums of Museum Island is planned as part of the Museumsinsel 2015 renovations.
Bavarian International School Heath berlin  Bavarian International School Heath berlin 
Hitler returning the salutes of officers and soldiers during a military parade on June 6, 1939 in honour of the Condor Legion, after service fighting in support of General Franco and his Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War and my students during our 2018 class trip.
Bavarian International School Heath berlin  Bavarian International School Heath berlin
During my history class's 2013 and 2017 trips to Berlin with the altes museum behind. The latter photo shows Hitler walkin to his car after addressing an SA rally in the Lustgarten, convened to celebrate the third anniversary of his chancellorship on February 20, 1936.
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My 2011 class and the site directly after the war on the left. Shockingly, the museum was allowed to be covered in swastikas for a forgettable 'satire- Mein Führer: The Truly Truest Truth about Adolf Hitler, 2007. As Gertrud Koch, a cinema studies professor at the Free University of Berlin warns, "[t]he danger is that the whole picture of the Third Reich becomes more and more blurred, and the horror gets lost."
The planned extension to the museum by the Nazis. The Nazis planned monumental new buildings on the Museum Island as part of Albert Speer's redesign plans with the architect Wilhelm Kreis designing four additional huge museum buildings. On the north bank of the Spree, opposite the Bode Museum, a “Germanic Museum”, a “Museum of the 19th Century” and a “Museum of Egyptian and Near Eastern Art” were to be built, which in a later planning phase would become a pure Egyptian museum and as the largest the three buildings would have had up to 75,000 m² of exhibition space. Even Monbijou Castle was to have given way to the expansion on the site between Friedrichstrasse, Oranienburger Strasse and Monbijouplatz. As an extension of the military history collections of the armoury, Kreis planned a "World War II Museum" along the Kupfergraben. As a counterpart to the new museum buildings on the northern bank of the Spree, the Reich architect of the Hitler Youth, Hanns Dustmann, designed a new ethnological museum on the southern bank of the Spree, which was to extend between the Stadtbahn and the Spree as far as Friedrichstrasse. The war naturally prevented the implementation of all plans.
The Pergamon Museum in 1925 and today. Opening in 1930, it was the last of the buildings on the Museum Island to be opened. It was designed by Alfred Messel from 1906 onward. After Messel’s death, it was built by Ludwig Hoffmann under extremely difficult conditions in terms of finance, cultural policy, and engineering. A fourth wing at the Kupfergraben and a portico in the central forum were not realised. 
Hitler, von Ribben​trop, Rust, Göring, Himmler, Scha​ub and Bormann leaving the opening of the ‘Altjapanischer Kunst’ exhibition in 1939. Due to its unique exhibition programme, the Pergamon Museum quickly became one of the most visited museums in Berlin. It suffered heavy damage from airstrikes in 1945. Rebuilding measures were undertaken between 1948 and 1959. In the early 1980s, an entrance pavilion was built for the growing streams of visitors.
Albert Speer had chosen the Pergamon Altar as a model, shown during the Third Reich and me in front t0day. In the middle of the grandstand, where the bronze Altar of Zeus stood in ancient Pergamum, Albert Speer built Hitler’s podium after Hitler proclaimed his desire create a "mass experience." The first Pergamon Museum structure opened on Museum Island in 1906. The centrepiece of its collection was the reconstructed Great Altar from Pergamon, first mentioned in history by Xenophon and which became the centre of importance when the Cretan King Attalus and his son Eumenes ruled. Pliny (i.c) had called it “longe clarissimum Asiae Pergamum.” After only six years the museum was razed to prepare the ground for a new, grander Pergamon Museum. The Great War and the economic and political chaos that followed delayed the opening of that new museum until 1930; it was not completed until 1936. This museum housed the sculpture and architecture from the great excavations in Asia Minor, as well as the Near Eastern and other collections. Ironically, this architectural nostalgia for Hellenism was to have one more dubious manifestation in the Hellenic-inspired architecture of the Third Reich. 

“If you read the German written by Speer, he gives all the credit to Hitler,” according to Dr. Anthony R. Santoro, Professor of History & President Emeritus of Christopher Newport University. “I think he's like a good interior decorator that someone hires, and that client already has the ideas of what he wants to do, and the decorator agrees with him. So that's what Speer did... If you look at the kinds of ceremonies that were on display at Zeppelin field with the reconstructed temple there patterned on the Pergamom Altar, you'll see photographs of Hitler, descending down the steps, like a tribune of the people from old Roman times.” He goes on to make the link to Hitler's the Holocaust, a word that comes from the Greek word meaning "a wholly burnt animal sacrifice." Thus in 92 CE Antipas was sacrificed on the altar of Zeus in Pergamum, the place the Book of Revelation calls the Throne of Satan. The traditional account goes on to say Antipas was martyred during the reign of Nero by burning in a brazen bull-shaped altar for casting out demons worshiped by the local population. Centuries later in Nuremberg, in the centre of a redesigned Pergamon Altar, the bronze bull was replaced by a podium from where Hitler announced his plans to the world with nearly six million Jews comprising of much of this new burnt sacrifice. I'm shown above in front of the altar and what was left of it shown after the war before the Soviets dismantled the Pergamon Altar and shipped into Leningrad in 1948 as war loot, returning it a decade later.
The altar at the time of the Olympics, after the war and in June 2002 when protesters occupied the site in memory of the anniversary of the massacre of Distomo, Greece to demand compensation for the victims of German war crimes. 
Outside the museum and as it appeared in 1945. During the wartime air raids on Berlin, the Pergamon Museum was hit hard. Many exhibits were moved to safe places and the monumental pieces were partially walled. In 1945 much of the Exposita was transported by the Red Army for a large victory museum planned by Stalin in Moscow. In 1954, the first hall of the antique department was re-opened with the Miletsaal, and in 1955 the Hellenistic Hall, which was altered by Elisabeth Rohde, inter alia by the transfer of the Hephaistion mosaic. In 1957 and 1958 the Soviet Union returned a large part of its holdings to East Germany. The Pergamon altar was largely rebuilt by Carl Blümel and Elisabeth Rohde in the staging of 1930 whilst the German Museum, however, was not re-established. The collections that were once shown in it were mostly in the Gemäldegalerie and in the Sculpture Collection in West Berlin in the Museum Center Berlin-Dahlem. Other spoils were burned in the Flakbunker Friedrichshain or remain, illegal under international law, in the depots of the Pushkin Museum in Moscow and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The return of these spoils, including the famous treasure of Priam, was agreed in 1990 by the German Federal Republic and Russia, but has so far been prevented by the Russian Parliament and museum directors in Moscow.
The Alte Nationalgalerie before the war and today. Together with the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Bode Museum, the Pergamon Museum, the Berlin Cathedral and the Lustgarten, it makes up the Museum Island complex in Berlin. It is situated in the middle of the island, between the rails of the Berlin Stadtbahn and Bode Street on the eastern banks. When the Nazis assumed power in 1933, Ludwig Justi was appointed director of the National Gallery followed by Eberhard Hanfstaengl, who held the post until 1937 during which time he planned further museum reconstructions and had several reconstruction works carried out. His successor was Paul Ortwin Rave, who remained director of the museum until 1950. 
For those museum directors who were not National Socialists and who tried to resist from within, the challenges were often overwhelming. Between intrusive politicians and aggressive local organizations, such as the Combat League for German Culture (Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur), the pressures could be, and often were, tremendous. But the fact remains that the museum officials always had the option of resigning (and the choice of remaining in Germany or leaving). It is true that emigration, even before 1939, was not easy: museum professionals were tied to language and national culture more so than artists or musicians, and they often specialized in German art, which had less appeal abroad than in their native country. But these educated men had options and were not forced down the path of criminality. Eberhard Hanfstaengl, for example, even at the late date of 1937, when forced out as director of the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, went to work as an editor for the Bruckmann publishing house in Munich.
At the start of the war the National Gallery was closed. During the war the National Gallery building was heavily damaged by bombing, bombardment and ground-fighting. It has not been clarified to date which art works were destroyed during this time and which reached the Soviet Union as booty. Already in 1945 there were first efforts to get money for the reconstruction of the building of the National Gallery. In 1948 the reconstruction began and by the following year parts of the building of the Museum Island were first made accessible to the public in the National Gallery. In Hitchcock's 1966 spy film Torn Curtain, the museum was the scene of some key scenes, although the actual site was not used as permission to film had not been given.  When Germany divided formally in 1949, its collection too was divided according to the Auslagerungsorten between East and West.
After the war, a debate broke out in Germany over whether to rebuild exact copies of old buildings or to radically depart from pre-war Germany with many feeling that exact reproductions were tantamount to acting as if the war had never happen. Others felt that radical modernism ignored centuries of pre-war German history. Some projects, like the Neues Museum in Berlin, pictured here after a 1943 bombing raid and today, managed to find the balance between those two views. The museum today thus combines elements of the original building with modern accents. It preserves the ravages of war and pollution, providing an impressive fusion of the old and the new and simultaneously celebrating both ruins and contemporary construction. 
Then and now from the same vantage point
Bavarian International School Heath berlinIn these series of photographs taken over the course of several class trips to Berlin can be seen in the foreground the granite bowl with its diametre of twenty feet which was created by Christian Gottlieb Cantian in the late 1820s out of a single glacial boulder. It had been commissioned for the Altes Museum's courtyard  but ended up being too large to fit inside the museum forcing Schinkel to create the base for it to stand permanently in the lustgarten. In these photos taken from the steps of the  altes museum the Stadtschloß can be seen to be rebuilt where, on the eve of the Great War Wilhelm II, the last ruling Hohenzollern, rallied his subjects with a speech from one of its balconies. Four years later, the communist leader Karl Liebknecht is widely believed to have used the same balcony to proclaim a ‘‘free socialist Republic’’ on November 9 (Philipp Scheidemann had already proclaimed ‘‘the German Republic’’ from the Reichstag) before helping to found the Spartacus League two days later. It appears that this was a target of Marinus van der Lubbe days before he set fire to the Reichstag with the dire historical consequences. A report of this fire was published on February 27, 1933:
Bavarian International School Heath berlin It has only now become known that a small fire broke out on Saturday in an office room on the fifth floor of the Berliner Schloss, which was quickly put out by a fireman stationed on the premises. The origin of the fire is not yet fully explained. But it is thought to have been an act of incendiarism. One hour before the fire started, the caretaker had made his round through the Schloss and had even passed through the room. At the time there was nothing suspicious to be seen. Soon afterwards the room was in flames. Investigation showed that there was a burning firelighter on the window-sill, and another under the window and also on the steam pipes.  The police investigation has not yet been concluded.

During the preparations for the 1936 Summer Olympics, Ministerialrat Conrad Dammeier redesigned the Lustgarten into a parade and parade ground area, which was paved with large-format rectangular slabs, flanked by wide lawns. Because the equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III and the granite bowl shown in these GIFs interfered with the view of the Altes Museum, the outside staircase of which was to serve as a grandstand at rallies, they had to move to the edges of the square. The granite bowl was placed in the green area north of the cathedral and Friedrich Wilhelm III was rotated by 90° and moved from the Spree Canal towards the cathedral portal.

Bavarian International School Heath berlinThis balcony was one of the few parts of the original building to have survived demolition, as the East Germans kept it and integrated it into one of their nearby government buildings, which is now the ESMT European School of Management and Technology. Although possible to repair at great expense, the palace was demolished in 1950 by the East German authorities, despite West German protests. Under the Nazis, which eventually extinguished monarchist hopes of a Hohenzollern restoration, the building was mostly ignored. During the war the Stadtschloss was twice struck by Allied bombs, on February 3 and February 24, 1945. On the latter occasion, when both the air defences and fire-fighting systems of Berlin had been destroyed, the building was struck by incendiaries, lost its roof, and was largely burnt out.
The Stadtschloss thus emerged as a burned-out shell of its former glory, although the building had remained structurally sound and much of its interior decoration was still preserved. It could have been restored, as many other bombed-out buildings in central Berlin later were. The area in which it was located was within the Soviet Union zone, which became East Germany. The building was used for the Soviet war movie The Battle of Berlin in which the Stadtschloss served as a backdrop, with live artillery shells fired at it for the realistic cinematic impact. As for the Lustgarten itself, in the first years after the war it continued to serve as a demonstration area, which the SED leadership found too small. To expand the square, Walter Ulbricht ordered the party to blow up and clear the schloß in 1950, which meant that the Lustgarten lost its urban design. The damaged monument of Friedrich Wilhelm III. had already been melted down as non-ferrous metal scrap . The wide parade area from the area of ​​the castle, the castle square, the castle freedom and Lustgarten was renamed Marx-Engels-Platz in 1951. The damaged, framing trees were replaced by linden trees that year and in the decades that followed, the Old Museum was rebuilt, the National Gallery and the Cathedral were restored, and later also the Schloßbrücke. The Palace of the Republic was built on the eastern part of the palace area in 1973 and 1976. The area opposite Lustgarten remained undeveloped and served as a parking lot. A memorial stone made by Jürgen Raue served as a reminder of the Baum resistance group from 1981 when the granite bowl returned to its original place in front of the Altes Museum. Following the reunification of Germany, it was decided to rebuild the Stadtschloß. Ladd argues that the discussion of this process is more confusing in English than in German given that in the latter, the word for a royal palace (Schloß) is entirely distinct from the name the East Germans gave to their parliament building, the Palast der Republik; possibly this linguistic confusion hampered the proponents of rebuilding the royal palace in their attempt to gain foreign support. Appended to a brochure they issued in 1992 were numerous letters of support solicited from prominent German scholars and cultural figures. Also included were three letters in English, all from prominent architects. Two of them- Frank Gehry and Michael Wilford- opposed the rebuilding of the old palace whilst the third, American architect Robert Venturi, came out "firmly against tearing down the royal palace! (249)"
Berlin's preservationists saw the proposed reconstruction of the royal palace as a clear case of the falsification of history. For them, and for other opponents, the project amounted to a declaration that the entire existence of East Germany had been some kind of aberration, not worthy of mention and best wiped from the urban tableau. Meeting at the old State Library just down Unter den Linden while the canvas façade was going up, many of them scorned the effort to erase authentic traces of one history in order to re-create a different one. For the preservationists, the proper course of action was to keep the Palace of the Republic, an authentic, existing monument... It was, after all, the site of the GDR's historic decision to join the Federal Republic in 1990. One of the leading Christian Democrats in the Berlin legislature immediately denounced any protection for this "architectural monstrosity" as an expression of "historical ignorance." (Ignorance of which history? Note that both sides make this charge.)
Julius Raschdorff's neo-Renaissance Berlin Cathedral, intended to display Wilhelm II's importance as protector of Protestants and to compete with the grandeur of St. Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London, suffered substantial damage in the war. The East German authorities eventually decided to keep the massive old building. Its restoration, financed mainly by the West German Protestant Church, began only in the 1970s and was not completed until 1993. Less than a week after becoming chancellor, Hitler came here to attend a funeral service for SA Sturmführer Maikowski and Senior Police Officer Zauritz, both of whom had been shot in political riots following the torchlight procession of January 30, 1933 that commemorated Hitler's appointment as chancellor:
Drake Winston visiting in 2021
The perfection of Nazi ritual culminated in the State funeral of Maikowski and Zauritz on Sunday. Maikowski was what we should call a gangster; he was the member of Storm troop 33, notorious for its “toughness”; he had confessed to the murder of a Communist in “ self-defence.” He had been amnestied during the Schleicher regime and was shot by a Communist on his return from the Nazi Torchlight procession on January 30th. In the same Nazi-Communist scuffle a policeman, Zauritz, was mortally wounded; the available evidence suggests that a Nazi, not a Communist, was responsible for his death. With their extraordinary flair for the dramatic exploitation of social emotion, the Nazis decreed that there should be a double State funeral, although only Ebert, Stresemann and Muller have been honoured in this way since 1918... The Protestant Church of Germany, disestablished by the Revolution, has long had Nazi sympathies, but never before has she so completely sealed her submission to Hitlerism. Only it seemed strange that Christ should hang upon a cross above Maikowski — Odin, or even Loki, would have looked less out of place. Lastly came Monarchy to woo Hitlerism; the Crown Prince, mounting the altar steps to add his to the piles of wreaths, took care to be the most prominent individual inside the cathedral. And the crowds at last went home, satisfied that “Germany is awake.”
Taken from The New Statesman, February 1958
Beginning under the cathedral's Dean Richter, the Nazis were able to fly swastika flags from the building and to use it for events as a platform for its own propaganda purposes. In July 1933 the Nazis signed a concordat with the Catholic church. The German bishops, displaying a complete lack of understanding of the Nazi regime, evidently thought that the Nazis would honor a formal document. The Nazis, however, had their own use for the concordat. With the cooperation of the papal nuncio, they staged a spectacle to celebrate the signing of the concordat so as to win over Catholics still opposing the state. The SA and ϟϟ choirs assisted at a Mass celebrated here within the Berlin cathedral, and in his sermon Father Marianus Vetter compared the raising of the dead man to life by Christ to the renewed life given to Germany by the Nazis. He likewise claimed that the bishops by their oath of loyalty to the state were expressing the Catholic people's loyalty to the constitutional government. The ceremony ended with the singing of the Horst Wessel hymn and a blessing by the papal nuncio. Another ostensible clerical endorsement of the regime appeared in the presence of Bishop Berning on the Privy Council in Berlin.
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With my 2022 cohort of Bavarian International School Histry students
 In 1935 Hermann Göring married Emmy Sonnemann at the cathedral. Hitler was the best man at the ceremony. As Irving (223) relates: 
Thirty thousand troops lined the route as he drove past in an open car awash with narcissus and tulips. Associated Press correspondent Louis P. Lochner wrote to his daughter: “You had the feeling that an emperor was marrying.” “A visitor to Berlin,” echoed the British ambassador, sitting in the diplomatic gallery facing the floodlit marble altar, “might well have thought . . . that he had stumbled upon preparations for a royal wedding.” Insensible to Nazi party feelings, Göring had insisted on a religious ceremony (although he granted the Reich bishop, Müller, only five minutes for his sermon). The wedding album shows Hitler standing bareheaded behind him in the cathedral, his postman’s hat nonchalantly upended on the floor beside him, his hands clasped in their familiar station below his belt- buckle. Göring’s hair was neatly smoothed back, a broad sash dividing the areas of saucer-sized medals covering his chest. As the newlyweds emerged from the cathedral, two hundred planes flew overhead, followed by two storks released by an irreverent Richthofen Squadron veteran.
Footage of the wedding can be seen here
The Berliner Dom festooned with swastikas with a giant maypole in front from private photographs taken by a Norwegian tourist in 1937 and me at the site in 2011.
On November 11 1918, Marshal Foch, as Supreme Commander, signed the armistice with Germany in the then-called "Wagon of Compiègne". This agreement ended fighting in the First World War. 22 years later, in May 1940, Hitler forced the defeated France to sign her surrender in that same carriage 2419D- at the exact spot where it happened, Compiegne. In order to complete the reinstatement of the Armistice Clearing, another carriage was obtained, constructed in the same 1913 batch as the original.  This was renumbered 2491D and placed inside a new carriage-house.  Inside it were placed the furnishings, documents and personal items previously displayed in the original carriage, items which had been removed and taken to a place of safety on the outbreak of war in 1939.  Then he took the saloon car to Berlin, exposing it as a trophy at Lustgarten in front of the Dom, so that all Berliners could admire it as we seen in this photo. In 1944 as the allied bombing of Berlin intensified, it was decided to move the armistice carriage to a safer location in Crawinkel in Thuringia, where it was guarded by the ϟϟ. In March 1945 as Allied forces began their push into Germany, the carriage's guards, under orders not to let it fall into Allied hands, relocated it to Gotha near a huge tunnel system. There it was destroyed in March 1945 by the ϟϟ with fire and/or dynamite, in the face of the advancing American Army. However, some ϟϟ veterans and civilian eyewitnesses claim that the wagon had been destroyed by air attack near Ohrdruf while still in Thuringia in April 1944. Even so, it is generally believed the wagon was destroyed in 1945 by the ϟϟ. Today people who come to the Crawinkel commune have a chance to visit the exact site.
Bavarian International School Heath berlin
In the Götterdämmerung of the Third Reich the Germans threw everything and the kitchen sink into the final battle, including two Great War era British Mark V tanks hauled out of the Altes Museum and used for the city's defence shown here and during my 2011 Bavarian International School trip. The results were predictable. Historians believe they weren't captured during the Great War, but actually captured during the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. During the Russian Civil War, the British supplied the anti-Bolshevik forces with arms, including about seventy of the latest in tank technology. Most of those tanks were either destroyed or captured by the Soviets. The Soviets used them for a while, and eventually most of them ended up as museum or display pieces. The Bolsheviks captured these tanks and put them in a museum celebrating their victory, and when the Germans invaded they captured the museum and hauled the tanks out and brought them to their own museum in Berlin- according to Fletcher probably the only British Mark V ever to fall into German hands. Then in 1945 they were once again used against the Bolsheviks although there is no actual evidence of that having occurred. A more mundane explanation might be the fact that after the French capitulation, the Armistice Carriage that served both to mark Germany's Great War humiliation and which later was used by Hitler to accept the French surrender. Perhaps other Great War-era relics were displayed here. As of yet, no identification of the serial number visible on one of the tanks has been achieved. According to one source, one of the tanks belonged to the Estonian army before being captured by the Red Army in 1940 during its invasion before in turn being taken by the Wehrmacht following Barbarossa.
Bavarian International School Heath berlin
More images of the tanks can be found here
Bavarian International School Heath berlin
During the war the cathedral had been bombed by the Allies and badly damaged, seen here and as it appears from the same spot during my 2020 school trip. In 1940 the blast waves of RAF bombing blew part of the windows away. On May 24, 1944 a bomb of combustible liquids entered the roof lantern of the dome. The fire could not be extinguished at that unreachable section of the dome forcing the lantern to burn out and collapse onto the main floor. Despite this, the wartime damage was surprisingly light when considering how the entire inner city had been flattened by bombs. Its postwar reconstruction subsequently simplified much of the design with the northern wing being completely eliminated. This demolition and redesign cost 800,000 marks compared to the mere 50,000 marks towards restoration. Between 1949 and 1953 a provisional roof was installed to protect what remained and reconstruction started in 1975. The restoration of the interior was begun in 1984 and in 1993 the church reopened after a cost of 11.5 million marks. 
Standing in front of the Berlin State Opera (Staatsoper). During the Third Reich, members of Jewish origin were dismissed from the ensemble. Many German musicians associated with the opera went into exile, including the conductors Otto Klemperer and Fritz Busch. During the Third Reich, Robert Heger, Herbert von Karajan and Johannes Schüler were the "Staatskapellmeister".
Hitler gave spoke here a number of times- on January 3 1935, he addressed the German Leadership beginning with a long version of the “party narrative,” enumerated his own achievements, and then, ostensibly close to tears, confessed that he would not be able to continue the work of reconstructing Germany unless all of the leaders of the Party, the State and the Wehrmacht represented a single unit devoted to no one else but him. His performance was greeted with thunderous applause as Rudolf Hess, who chaired the rally, subsequently gave the floor to Göring, who expressed the unanimity of all present in moving words. Particular emphasis was put on the fact that he was speaking as a “high-ranking National Socialist leader and at the same time as a Reichswehr General and a Member of the Reich Cabinet”—thus personifying the synthesis of all “German leaders” present—when he read his “Address of Gratitude and Devotion.”
Hitler’s birthday that year [1944], his fifty-fifth, had the usual trappings and ceremonials. Goebbels had Berlin emblazoned with banners and a new slogan of resounding pathos: ‘Our walls broke, but our hearts didn’t.’ The State Opera house on Unter den Linden was festively decorated for the usual celebration, attended by dignitaries from state, party, and Wehrmacht. Goebbels portrayed Hitler’s historic achievements. The Berlin Philharmonia, conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch, played Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ Symphony. But the mood among the Nazi faithful at such events was contrived. Goebbels was well aware from reports from the regional Propaganda Offices that the popular mood was ‘very critical and sceptical’, and that ‘the depression in the broad masses’ had reached ‘worrying levels’.
Kershaw (799) Hitler
After the war and today. 
 On the evening of  12 April [1945], the Berlin Philharmonic gave its last performance. Albert Speer, who organised it, had invited Grand Admiral Donitz and also Hitler's adjutant, Colonel von Below. The hall was properly lit for the occasion, despite the electricity cuts. `The concert took us back to another world,' wrote Below. The programme included Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Bruckner's 8th Symphony - (Speer later claimed that this was his warning signal to the orchestra to escape Berlin immediately after the performance to avoid being drafted into the Volkssturm) - and the finale to Wagner's Gotterdlammerung. Even if Wagner did not bring the audience back to present reality, the moment of escapism did not last long. It is said that, after the performance, the Nazi Party had organised Hitler Youth members to stand in uniform with baskets of cyanide capsules and offer them to members of the audience as they left.
German soldiers across the road in 1945 and as the embassy appears today. In 1837 Tsar Nicholas I bought the building which housed the embassy and served as the Royal residence of the Tsar and his family. It was vacant during the Great War after which it reopened as the embassy of the newly-formed Soviet Union. Beevor claims that the Soviet ambassador, known as the 'hangman of Baku' from his repressive activities in the Caucasus following the Russian civil war, had "a torture and execution chamber constructed in the basement to deal with suspected traitors in the Soviet community." After Operation Barbarossa the ϟϟ sealed off the building and Soviet citizens in Berlin were exchanged for staff members of the Reich embassy in Moscow. During the war it then served as the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories under Alfred Rosenberg. Gauleiter Dr. Meyer and Reich Office Director Dr. Leibbrandt from the ministry attended the Wannsee Conference in January 1942; later that year the building itself was bombed. The building was eventually destroyed in the Allied air raids in February 1944. Some files of the East Ministry, which were in a safe under the rubble, could only be recovered a year later, although it is still unclear why an American command was in the Soviet sector and was able to recover files. After the war the Soviets built a new building on the site and moved its embassy into it in 1952. Today one can't even walk on the pavement alongside it because Berlin has allowed the Russians to close it off to prevent freedom of speech against Russian bestiality in Ukraine.
The three-metre high Lenin relief on the Behrenstrasse side of the embassy was recently removed in February 2011 when the complex's swimming pool was completely renovated. This came after Berlin-based journalist Gunnar Schupelius complained in 2008 that “Lenin went down in history as one of the greatest criminals of mankind. And the Russian embassy is not taking its picture off? This is scary to me. I would rather avoid Behrenstrasse in the future.” Here I am nine years later to see the facade of the building entirely cleaned up. This was the last of the giant likenesses of Lenin to be removed in Berlin having earlier been removed from the entrance to the Russian House on Friedrichstrasse, Leninallee and as a colossal statue made of red granite on Leninplatz, now renamed United Nations Square, although his relief can still be seen at the Soviet memorial at Treptower. 
Incidentally, it was near this site on the afternoon of May 7, 1866 that Ferdinand Cohen-Blind shot Bismarck twice from behind after the latter had just reported to King Wilhelm and was walking home. Bismarck spun around and grabbed his attacker, who was able to fire three more shots before soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Guards rushed up and took him into custody. Bismarck continued on his way home. Later that night, he allowed the King's physician, Gustav von Lauer, to examine him. Lauer noted that the first three bullets had only grazed Bismarck's body and the last two had ricocheted off the ribs and had caused no major injuries. Some sources claim that Bismarck was saved because he had worn a bulletproof vest.

Alte Kommandantur
The Berlin Garrison and headquarters of Lt. General and Berlin City Commandant, Paul von Hase, later executed for his role in the failed July Plot and after the failure of the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, was sentenced to death by the People's Court and executed on August 8, 1944, in Plötzensee prison.
Towards the end of the Second World War bombs struck the building and by 1955 it was demolished and the site used for the DDR's foreign ministry, built along the Spree Canal. This building was demolished in 1995. Behind the schloß dome can be seen being rebuilt. The building was heavily damaged during the war and destroyed in order to make room for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DDR. In 1995, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of East Germany itself was demolished in order to recreate the Werderscher Markt area. This has become extremely controversial:
March 8, 1936 and today
Missing landmarks have reappeared at either end of Unter den Linden, from the commercial ventures of the Adlon Hotel on Pariser Platz to Bertelsmann’s Berlin offices behind the newly recreated façades of the Alte Kommandantur Haus. The latter proudly flaunts the address Unter den Linden 1 on its bogus neo-Renaissance front while its sleek modern glass and steel interior literally pops out behind. Bertelsmann, masquerading as a nineteenth-century aristocratic mansion, will soon be joined by the Schloss and, just a bit to the south, a few hundred feet along the Spree canal, by Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Bauakademie, the architecture school he designed in the 1830s. Of all the projects realised and proposed, this last is the most debated among Berlin’s architects, who hold out faith that somehow its reconstruction can escape the prevailing sense of ersatz luxury and Disneyfication of Berlin’s historical centre that the Adlon and Bertelsmann ventures exude.
The Berlin Journal, Spring 2005

Unter Den Linden 72-73: Reichsinnenministerium
The Reich Ministry of the Interior (RMI) was the interior ministry of the German Empire during the Weimar Republic and the time of National Socialism. On November 1, 1934 it was combined with the Prussian Ministry of the Interior to form the Reich and Prussian Ministry of the Interior. In particular, it was responsible for the entire police apparatus. It was the successor to the Federal Chancellery of the North German Confederation from 1867, called the Reich Chancellery since 1871 , and the Reich Office of the Interior from 1879 as well as the predecessor of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. From 1837 two buildings together housed the Prussian Interior Ministry, which Hermann Goering assumed control of in 1933. Through it he controlled the Prussian police force numbering 50,000 'auxiliary policemen', mostly recruited form the SA and ϟϟ and used to persecute opponents. On November 1, 1934 it was merged with the Reich Interior Ministry headed by Wilhelm Frick who was responsible for drafting many of the "Gleichschaltung" laws that consolidated the Nazi regime and was instrumental in passing laws against Jews such as the notorious Nuremberg Laws, in September 1935. He was succeeded in the post in 1943 by Himmler. Stephan Lehnstaedt's Das Reichsministerium des Innern unter Heinrich Himmler 1943–1945 can be found here.
The Federal Chancellery of the North German Confederation had been located at Wilhelmstrasse 74 since 1867. The Ministry, renamed the Reich Ministry of the Interior , moved in 1919 to Königsplatz in the Alsenviertel in the former General Staff Building (today Platz der Republik ). During the war the building was destroyed and eventually blown up in 1950 and 1951.
 Annex of the former Reich Ministry of the Interior at Dorotheenstraße 93, later used by the East German Ministry of Justice and now by the Bundestag. After reunification Dorotheenstraße, named after the Great Elector's wife, replaced the DDR's Clara-Zetkinstraße. Zetkin, who was Jewish, spent four decades as a Social Democrat and became an internationally recognised feminist, but after 1919 joined the Communist Party and denounced the Weimar Republic. The new authorities declared that the street leading from eastern Berlin to the Reichstag could not be named after an opponent of parliamentary democracy as leftists and feminists organised marches in protest. 
The threat to Zetkin and other idols of the left redounded to the benefit of the ex-Communist PDS, which emerged as eastern Berlin's strongest party in 1994 elections by appealing to the separate identity of misunderstood Ossis. To the frustration of some commission members, the government had restricted its purview to the former East Berlin, effectively limiting its purge to leftist opponents of Weimar democracy.
Ladd (211) Ghosts of Berlin
The building itself was constructed from 1935 to 1937 to a design by Konrad Nonn who had been a Nazi party member and activist of the Kampfbund Deutscher Architekten und Ingenieure. It was one of the first government buildings erected by the Nazis.

Architecture was not the only aspect of Nazi rule that survived. As Paul Meskil wrote in 1961 in his book Hitler's Heirs: Where Are They Now? (112):
[Chancellor Konrad] Adenauer's chief personal aide is Dr. Hans Globke, State Secretary of the Bonn Chancellery. Though not a member of the Nazi Party, he was a high official of the Nazi Interior Ministry and co-author of a legal interpretation of the 1935 Nuremberg racial laws. Those laws, defining a Jew as anyone with a Jewish grandparent, laid the legal basis for the persecution of all Jews in Germany.