GERMANIA-SPEER

Adolf & Albert do Berlin

Germania (0)

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The Unbuilt Nazi Pantheon: Unpacking Albert Speer's "Volkshalle"

According to Albert Speer, Hitler's ambitious architect and all-too-capable Minister of Armaments and War Production, the final performance by the Berlin Philharmonic before this distinguished orchestra abandoned Berlin in May 1945 opened with Brünnhilde's last aria-the vengeful valkyrie sings of setting fire to Valhalla-and the finale from Wagner's Götterdämmerung.



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Welthauptstadt Germania 1960 (0)

5:37 PM by , under



The renewal project Welthauptstadt Germania will have monolithic, gargantuan structures of epic scale that celebrates total victory of the Nazi regime. Some projects, such as the creation of a great East-West city axis, which included broadening Charlottenburger Chaussee (today Straße des 17. Juni) and placing the Berlin victory column in the centre, far away from the Reichstag, where it originally stood, were successfully completed. Others, however, such as the creation of the Große Halle (Great Hall), had to be shelved owing to the beginning of war.


Berlin is the capital of the Greater Nazi Reich. After WW2 with the bombing of Germany stopped Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer were able to put their designs of Welthauptstadt Germania to become reality.

Berlin is where all orders to Nazi bases and occupied countries are followed without question and is where the high command of the Third Reich is based.

Berlin, 1960

 



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Albert Speer Architecture 1932-1942 (0)

5:18 PM by , under

Architect Léon Krier asks, “Can a war criminal be a great artist?” Speer, Adolf Hitler's architect of choice, happens to be responsible for one of the boldest architectural and urban oeuvres of modern times.

First published in 1985 to an acute and critical reception, Albert Speer: Architecture 1932-1942 is a lucid, wide-ranging study of an important neoclassical architect. Yet is is simultaneously much more: a philosophical rumination on art and politics, good and evil. With aid from a new introduction by influential American architect Robert A. M. Stern, Krier candidly confronts the great difficulty of disentangling the architecture and urbanism of Albert Speer from its political intentions.

Krier bases his study on interviews with Speer just before his death. The projects presented center on his plan for Berlin, an unprecedented modernization of the city intended to be the capital of Europe.

“In 1985, Mr. Krier produced a monograph about Speer's designs, which display a cold, grandiose, neoclassical style. . . . The Monacelli Press has reissued it in a lavish edition but this time with the added twist of an introduction by the renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern, the dean of Yale's architecture school.” —The Wall Street Journal

“As the immense and waxing volume of scholarly and popular work on the Nazis (from Elie Wiesel to Quentin Tarantino) shows, no issue is forbidden territory. The more specific question, however, is whether Speer’s architectural oeuvre has any formal merit.” —The Nation

“Speer, Hitler's architect and also the Third Reich's minister of armaments and war production, manipulated scale, proportion, columns, and entablatures with great facility—not to mention prodigiousness—and the documentation of Speer's output is of interest. There are even moments I dare call sublime, but they are few. It's mostly crushingly heavy and funereal.” —Architectural Record



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Although he will go down in history as one of the most evil and destructive dictators of all time, Hitler saw himself as a creative soul. He and his chief architect Albert Speer pored their plans for post-war Munich, complete with a giant obelisk topped by a swastika-clutching German eagle (pictured, on the left)
  • 2,000 documents and sketches have been released by Munich archives  
  • They show Hitler's plans for a post-war City Of The Movement
  • The centrepiece would have been a dome over underground train station
  • A swastika-holding German eagle would sit atop an obelisk 600-feet tall
  • The city would have rivalled Germania, Hitler's rebuilt capital in Berlin
  • The plans were shelved as the war turned against Germany in 1943  
 
 
Hitler imagined a giant new underground railway station, covered by a huge dome 900 feet across (pictured), which would be bigger than St Peter's Basilica in Rome. But the plan never made its way off the drawing board.
 
 
Among the archives released this week by the Munich authorities were detailed maps proposing the new station. Trains would bring commuters in from colonies to the south and east and would take settlers to the occupied territories in what is now Ukraine and Belarus.
 
 
Hitler's preferred style of architecture had similarities with what Mussolini was doing in Italy and was later copied by Stalin and Ceaucescu. This sketch shows the railway station dome dwarfing other buildings in the proposed City Of The Movement (Hauptstadt der Bewegung)
 
 
 



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Far off in the distance, you can barely make out a swastika in the middle of an all-white ledge. That's where Adolf Hitler delivered his rousing speeches to the Nazis assembled before him, the field filled to capacity.

The rally grounds were supposed to include 4 square miles of structures, though most of the components never came to fruition.

That includes a Congress Hall, several deployment fields, a "great road" for Nazi parades, and a stadium that never rose from its foundation.

 Lichtdom: Over 150 light beams arranged in a square around the Nazi party rallies at Nuremberg, which Speer called the "cathedral of light."

 Despite heated resistance from Hermann Göring, one of Hitler's top Nazi leaders, Hitler borrowed the searchlights from the German air force.

The move convinced the world, Hitler surmised, that the Nazis had unlimited searchlights at their disposal, despite them actually being in short supply.

Of the effect created by the beams of light, Speer said, "The feeling was of a vast room, with the beams serving as mighty pillars of infinitely light outer walls."



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Initially, Hitler wanted nothing to do with the 1937 world expo, but with Speer's reassurance that the German pavilion would leave spectators in awe, Hitler conceded.

The expo wasn't even meant to be a political standoff between the Germans and the Soviets, but on opening day those were the only two pavilions that were ready to go. The Soviet pavilion showed a statue called Comradeship, which featured two nude men joining hands.

Speer adorned his with Nazi symbols and perched an eagle on top, making the pavilion slightly taller than the Soviet one.



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