The Reich Chancellery and Führerbunker Complex

An Illustrated History of the Seat of the Nazi Regime

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About the Book

Germany’s Nazi government initially made its primary headquarters in one of Berlin’s oldest buildings, the Old Reich Chancellery. Unsatisfied with the building, Adolf Hitler commissioned Albert Speer to design and build a newer, grander structure, and his New Reich Chancellery was completed in early 1939. Hitler described his New Reich Chancellery and other Nazi buildings as his “words of stone,” eternal monuments to the work that he and the Nazi party intended to perpetuate. Frequented by Hitler and his inner circle, the Chancellery witnessed their fanatical plans and was an architectural reflection of Hitler’s megalomania. The Führerbunker, built underneath the Chancellery, became the last refuge of a dying regime; it was here that Hitler retreated to order the destruction of Germany and ultimately to take his own life.
This book is a virtual tour of the now demolished Chancellery and Führerbunker. It covers the history of each structure, notes the architectural changes that Hitler made to suit his purposes, and describes the historical events that took place within each building’s walls. Appendices contain a chronology of Reich Chancellors (1871–1945), a detailed list of renovations to the Chancellery, and a register of notable gatherings that took place in the Old Reich Chancellery prior to 1914. Texts of various speeches by Hitler are reproduced, along with a copy of his agreement to occupy Czechoslovakia, which was signed in the Reich Chancellery.

About the Author(s)

Steven Lehrer is an associate professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic Details

Steven Lehrer
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 214
Bibliographic Info: 158 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7733-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Introduction      1

I. Wilhelmstraße      3

II. Hitler in the Chancellery      30

III. The New Reich Chancellery      63

IV. Bunkers and Führerbunker      117

Appendix A. King Friedrich Wilhelm I Presents Wilhelmstraße 77 to Graf von der Schulenburg      161

Appendix B. Reich Chancellors 1871–1945      162

Appendix C. Paul von Hindenburg      175

Appendix D. Interior Renovations to the Reichskanzlerpalais 1875–1878      177

Appendix E. Further Renovations to the Reichskanzlerpalais 1890–1925      179

Appendix F. Notable Gatherings in the Reichskanzlerpalais Before 1914      180

Appendix G. Hitler’s Speech at the Topping-Out Ceremony of the New Reich Chancellery in the Deutschlandhalle, August 2, 1938      182

Appendix H. Hitler’s Speech in the Berlin Sportpalast, January 9, 1939, on the Occasion of the Completion of the New Reich Chancellery      186

Appendix I. Adolf Hitler Describes His Chancellery Renovations      189

Appendix J. Text of Hitler’s Agreement to Occupy Czechoslovakia, Signed in the New Reich Chancellery      192

Appendix K. Heinrich Himmler’s Heydrich Eulogy      193

Notes      197

References      199

Index      203