Berlin, Germany Hitler's Berlin - The Third Reich and Welthauptstadt Germania Mini Guide by Jen Grasso

Welthauptstadt Germania refers to Hitler's master plan of renewal and redesign of Berlin as the capital of Germania. While most of the plans were never completed, Hitler and the Third Reich's influence can still be seen today. From Albrecht Speer's commanding architectural plans to Hitler's redesign of the city, here is our Third Reich Guide to Berlin.

 
Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933. A celebratory procession of thousands of SS Troops took place as they marched under the Brandenburg Gate. This was the first of many large-scale propaganda events the Nazi's became known for leading up to and throughout WWII. The Gate was destroyed during the war but was restored and today stands as glorious as ever. As a sight for many historical events - the fall of the Berlin Wall to name one - the Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin's most iconic symbols.

Brandenburg Gate

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The former Ministry of Aviation was in charge of developing aircraft for the Luftwaffe, or German Air Force and was located in the Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus. Run by Hermann Göring, the second most powerful man at the time, today it houses the Minstery of Finance. It was designed by Ernst Sagebiel, the man who designed Templehof and is a prime example of Nazi Architecture.

Former Reichsluftfahrtsministerium - Ministry of Aviation

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Built in 1927, Templehof was redesigned furing the Third Reich replacing the old terminal with the one seen today under the direction of Albert Speer and his plan for Hitler's Germania. Today Templehof is closed to air traffic but it's grounds and air strips are now home to a large public park.

Berlin-Tempelhof Airport

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The Topography of Terror is a museum dedicated to the history of the German SS. It is located on the site of buildings which during the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 were the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS, the principal instruments of repression during the Nazi era. The buildings that housed the Gestapo and SS headquarters were largely destroyed by Allied bombing during early 1945 and the ruins demolished after the war. The boundary between the American and Soviet zones in Berlin ran along the Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse and the street became a fortified boundary with the Berlin Wall running alongside Niederkirchnerstrasse. The wall here was never demolished and the section adjacent to the Topography of Terror site is the longest extant segment of the outer wall grounds in Berlin.

Topography of Terror / Niederkirchnerstraße and the former SS HQ

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The Führerbunker was Hitler's air-raid shelter located near the Reich Chancellery. It was part of a subterranean bunker complex which was constructed in two major phases, one part in 1936 and the other in 1943. It was the last of the Führer Headquarters ( Führerhauptquartiere ) to be used by Adolf Hitler . Hitler took up residence in the Führerbunker on 16 January 1945 and it became the centre of the Nazi regime until the last week of World War II in Europe. Hitler married Eva Braun here during the last week of April 1945, shortly before they committed suicide.

Führerbunker

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The red marble that makes up U-Bahn station Mohrenstraße once adorned Hitler's New Reich Chancellery -his home and governing headquarters. Located on the corner of Wilhelmstraße and Voßstraße, the building was badly damaged during the War and later demolished. The stunning red marble however was used to make up this underground station in the same area.

U Banhof Mohrenstraße

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One of the first steps in creating Hitler's Germania was the construction of the Reichsportfeld, today the Olympia Stadium. Built for the 1936 Olympics, the stadium was used to promote the rise of the Nazi government.

Olympiastadion formerly the Reichssportfeld

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Wilhelmstraße has long been a major political interst point in Berlin as the street housed Germany's central government including the Reich Chancellery and the Foreign Office under the Nazi regime. When Hitler came to power in 1930, he stood from the window of the Reich Chancellery to cheering crowds. Albert Speer later built Hitler a new Chancellery on the corner of Wilhelmstraße and Voßstraße but both the new and old Chancellery buildings were completely destroyed during the War. In addition the Reichs Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda which controlled all media in- and output during the Nazi Era headed by Joseph Goebbels was located at Wilhemlstraße 8 and today visitors can see a marker where it once stood.

Wilhelmstrasse

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Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was a Nazi concentration camp just north of the city in Oranienburg that was used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May 1945. Sachsenhausen became a training centre for Schutzstaffel (SS) officers who would often be sent to oversee other camps afterwards and executions took place at Sachsenhausen, especially of Soviet prisoners of war. One of the most famous features of the camp is its 'Arbeit Macht Frei' sign that 'welcomes' you which (roughyl) translates to Work Makes you Free.

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

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