11 Berlin buildings with a nazi past that should not be forgotten
For twelve years (1933-1945) Adolf Hitler ruled Germany from Berlin. The nazis wanted to demolish big parts of the city and rebuild it. They also came up with a new name for the capitol of the Third Empire: Germania. Hitler & co were never able to achieve all of their plans, because they lost the war. During the Second World War big parts of Berlin were demolished. However one can still find many important buildings, places and traces of the nazis in Berlin. This page shows you where you can find the 10 Berlin buildings with a nazi past that should not be forgotten. Several times a week we publish a story on Nazi Berlin.
Berlin had a lot of forced labour camps during the Second World War. The history of the forced labour camp in Schoneweide, also known as ‘Baracke 13’ probably is the strangest. It is situated in the middle of the Berlin district Schoneweide and is surrounded by apartments and urban gardens. Nearly 500 Italian soldiers were forced to work here, as well as young women.
Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer wanted to change Berlin into a pompous capital called Germania. They had plans to build huge domes and large buildings. But the nazis did not only want to build big pompous domes, they also created apartment blocks. At Grazer Damm you can spot classic columns and friezes of Hitler Boys.
In this building the Volksgerichtshof (People’s court) of the nazis held the show trial against the plotters who had tried to kill Adolf Hitler on July 20 1944. This plot was also known as operation Valkyrie (Walkure). The Volksgerichtshof was headed by one of the most hated nazis that ever lived: Roland Freisler, who humiliated the suspects before he convicted them to be executed.
In Berlin, at former airport Tempelhof, was a concentration camp. To be exact: Berlin’s forgotten concentration camp Columbia-Haus. Everybody knows about how the Allied Forces organizes an airlift to fly and drop supplies to the people of West Berlin via Tempelhof. But very few people know Berlin’s one and only concentration camp was at Tempelhof too.
Today the enormous building is used as the ministry of finances. It was also one of the landmarks of Nazi Berlin when it was build. After he came to power in 1933 Adolf Hitler prepared Germany for a new war and aviation was going to play a crucial part in the Second World War. Interestingly Erhard Milch, who had a Jewish father, played an important role at the ministry.
Nowadays the Lustgarten (pleasure garden) on the museum island is a beautiful small park. It is a favorite of families and tourists to sit back and watch the world go by. It used to also be one of the favorite places of the Nazi’s in Berlin. They used the Lustgarten many times for speeches and rallies, including speeches by Adolf Hitler. But it was also the place were 200.000 people demonstrated against him.
It was build by the Nazi’s especially for the Olympic Games of 1936. It turned into a battle field during the battle of Berlin when the Hitler Jugend fought against the Russians. Also read about the curious history of the architect, who was a loyal member of the Nazi party (NSDAP).
Rosa Luxemburg Platz has a very bloody history. In the twenties the communist party had their headquarters at Rosa Luxemburg Platz. They often fought with the Nazi’s in this area. Police officers kept a keen eye on both sides, which were the key ingredients for a major row. When the Nazi’s came into power they renamed this square Horst Wessel Platz.
The tower is not only remarkable because of it’s size, but also because of it’s sinister history. Dicke Hermann was built in 1856 to provide the inhabitants with water. In 1933 it became a very sinister location. Local nazis used the former engine room to torture people. 28 people died in the cellars of the building. Today, there is a kita, a children day care center.
At first sight Mohrenstrasse may look like an ordinary street in Mitte Berlin near the Potsdamer Platz. But its history is far from ordinary. Even its name has changed a number of times. And so has its appearance. The darkest days of the Mohrenstrasse were during the battle of Berlin in 1945. It was heavily hit on the third of February 1945 by the allied forces.
Thousands and thousands of burning books. It must have been a horrendous sight for people who cared about culture. Ufortunately, it wasn’t fiction. The Bebelplatz near Unter den Linden looks peaceful today, but in 1933 one of the largest book burnings took place on this square. 70.000 students and members of the SS and SA collected as many books as they could carry.
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