Reichskanzlei Thread

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
Br. James
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by Br. James » 23 Feb 2021 17:46

Thanks so much for your most helpful research and explanation! You certainly have established the location of the Library in the New Chancellery, and the Model Room makes sense where you place it on the second/first floor schematic above. Do you have any text reference for placing the Model Room where you have? I have read that it was located 'just beyond the Dining Room' -- which would have placed it conveniently for any guests dining there to visit without having to give them access to the upper floor of the building -- and it would have facilitated the models being moved down to the basement, near to the entrance to the Bunker system. I have read that Hitler liked to visit the Model Room in the basement during his time below ground during the late wartime days.

With respect and many thanks,

Br. James

Br. James
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by Br. James » 23 Feb 2021 18:03

As for the location of the offices of the four Chiefs in the New Reichschancellery -- Drs. Otto Meissner and Hans Heinrich Lammers, and Reichsleiters Martin Bormann and Philipp Bouhler -- my understanding is that those offices were all located on the First/Ground Floor of the building, possibly clustered around Hitler's office -- making them convenient to their numerous visitors from outside of the Chancellery -- though I have never seen a schematic which definitely itemized the location of any of those four major offices. I look forward to your further enlightenment!

Br. James

palaisfan
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by palaisfan » 24 Feb 2021 18:13

Br. James wrote:
23 Feb 2021 17:46
Thanks so much for your most helpful research and explanation! You certainly have established the location of the Library in the New Chancellery, and the Model Room makes sense where you place it on the second/first floor schematic above. Do you have any text reference for placing the Model Room where you have? I have read that it was located 'just beyond the Dining Room' -- which would have placed it conveniently for any guests dining there to visit without having to give them access to the upper floor of the building -- and it would have facilitated the models being moved down to the basement, near to the entrance to the Bunker system. I have read that Hitler liked to visit the Model Room in the basement during his time below ground during the late wartime days.

With respect and many thanks,

Br. James
Hello,
NepalH1Ker is correct.

The official model room was where he placed it, on the first floor (with ground floor as 0 as in Germany) or the 1st upper storey in American, above but set back from- the Dining Room arcades but a rectangle running behind the Library's rectangle in the same location, located directly above the row of arches.

Though unsure it is his source, the faded plan he posted as well as others of the other floor levels can be found in a remarkable early book -- indeed, it got me interested in this complex building to start with when encountered it. `Die Neu Reichskanzlie von Albert Speer' by Angela Schondberger. It was all the way back in the late 80's. You can get it by Interlibrary loan. (In the states) and presumably is more common in Germany -- it is in German.

The model room may have been somewhat incomplete by the big Hitler birthday celebration of 1939, because that famous picture you see of the large-scale model of the Arch of Triumph that Hitler wanted for Germania is actually being displayed in the New Chancellery Library hall, not the Model Hall for the purpose. This has always seemed a little strange. (By the way, for the same occasion the Bismarck-era great Hall of the old Reich Chancellery Palace is filled with stacks of presents and gifts. Since guests saw this a times, access to the New RK Library was probably not difficult)

One other thing: in 1944-1945 the models have been moved down to Reich Chancellery bunkers. The backgrounds will appear largely featureless. The Hall of Models is mentioned as being set afire by bombs in the late November 1943 air-raid that burned off the roof of the old Reich Chancellery palace, very close to Hitler's own spaces. But the roof in that area doesn't look that damaged even by end of the war, so hard to say.

HTH,

- Palaisfan

Here is a small picture of it. Its so familiar I didn't try to look for a high quality one, but instead for one with a good wide frame of the background visible; as this is often cropped. All regulars to the subject will recognize it, but they might not have caught that the background shows it is in the New RK Library.
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NepalH1ker
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by NepalH1ker » 24 Feb 2021 18:57

palaisfan wrote:
24 Feb 2021 18:13
Though unsure it is his source, the faded plan he posted as well as others of the other floor levels can be found in a remarkable early book -- indeed, it got me interested in this complex building to start with when encountered it. `Die Neu Reichskanzlie von Albert Speer' by Angela Schondberger. It was all the way back in the late 80's. You can get it by Interlibrary loan. (In the states) and presumably is more common in Germany -- it is in German.
Yeah that's it, as I understand it's a PhD thesis. The quality is bad as you saw, but all floors were in there. I think it said the original plans were in a Bavarian archive and had already somewhat deteriorated due to being drawn on parchment.

Another clue to the library and model room is this staircase:
Reichssammler wrote:
23 Aug 2007 20:07
Image
I believe it is the staircase mentioned on p. 82 of the 1940 book where it says you go upstairs to the model room (which is above the Speisesaal), and then from the model room you get into the library. In the above photo you're still on the ground floor, about where I put the red dot, looking west, in a room called Gesellschaftshalle (it is briefly mentioned on p. 82 as well). Notice the two windows on the very right of the photo.
staircase to model room and library.jpg
I marked the two windows with orange arrows above, and in the following outside view I marked them in orange again (library in green):
library and staircase.png
Now, actually walking upstairs, this is the route you would take coming from the ground floor to the upper level, through the model room to the library:
walking to the library.jpg
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NepalH1ker
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by NepalH1ker » 24 Feb 2021 19:27

I have two more color photos of the staircase. In the floor plan of this area you can see another long narrow stair north of the rotunda which goes down to the basement bunker. I believe the door is somewhat hidden, probably about where the plant is:
Staircase color3.jpg
And through this open door we see the hallway leading towards Hitler's office:
Staircase color6.jpg
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palaisfan
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by palaisfan » 25 Feb 2021 03:48

Mister S wrote:
11 May 2020 06:26
Br. James wrote:
10 May 2020 14:28
I fully agree, Mister S: VERY IMPRESSIVE indeed! That said, by the time pitched battles were possible in and around the Government/Wilhelmstrasse sector of Berlin, the statuary in the Court of Honor and the Garden Terrace, as well as most of the furnishings inside the Reichschancellery complex, had been removed and put into storage. So the visuals would have been quite a bit different...though the creator of this video game apparently did make the effort to show bomb damage throughout the buildings.

Again, VERY IMPRESSIVE!
Some changes, like holes and sandbags, were added to improve the combat in the game and add covering positions, and some furniture was left in for the game, as you mentioned. Most of the big stuff, like the statues outside and the tapestries inside, were indeed moved downstairs/elsewhere in the real building in early-1945, but some things like chairs and desks were left, and can be seen in photographs after the war. So it really isn't even that inaccurate. The only thing that was exaggerated in the games depiction is some of the damage, like bomb craters and explosions added to the outside and inside of the building. The real building was left relatively untouched when you compare it to the destruction around it, and most rooms were ultimately destroyed from looting; not fires or bombs. However, to the developers' credit, the bomb holes allow for easier movement around the building, and a more fluid gameplay overall. I suspect that is why they were added on. But everything else is spot on, and extremely impressive when it comes down to it. Even the small corridor from the old chancellery that leads to the dining hall is included and is spot-on accurate, same with the grand entrance at Vossstrasse 4. I can't complain at all. And even small details, like the mosaics on the walls, the wood carvings in the desk, or the plaques above the doors were included. Almost insane how much work they must've done to turn those small details from historical photos into accurate, HD game textures. The game developers who pulled that off should be commended! I can't wait to play more...
Can't complain is putting it mildly. Wouldn't even think to is closer. Its impressive. Thanks very much for posting these as can't imagine stumbling on the game otherwise. I had just dropped in for a look around and saw these spectacles and was yanked back into the topic, ha. These are mind-boggling in their faithfulness, aside from any of the license they took for combat purposes. Are all of these screencaps from the video on you tube somewhere? Very, very impressed with the dimensional reconstruction --- you don't even see a photograph of this section for example, that is the reverse side of traverse of steps connecting the two chancelleries and leading to the New Chancellery Dining Room. But this doesn't look like "pretend" or "made up" -- it has the look of having had a photograph and shows their attention to detail.

Besides, there does seem to have been some combat around the Reichskanzlei that doesn't get much attention. The arcades of the Dining Room are even bricked up in places for temporary protection and have shooting embrasures, and there were various temporary bunkers or trenches around the garden.

Aside: The game raises an interesting question you don't hear about much. In do-or-die circumstances, were some soldiers still not dangerously distracted momentarily by the scale and nature of ruins they fought among? Its hard not to see it sometimes holding the eye for more than a few seconds---with all the peril that can bring.

- palaisfan
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NepalH1ker
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by NepalH1ker » 27 Feb 2021 13:33

The usual view of the Verbindungsgang:
Verbindungsgang.jpg
I don't know, maybe they did reconstruct it from just this photo plus the floor plan. But surely there are many more photos of Reichskanzlei interiors from unpublished and private sources we haven't seen yet. These also look like the Verbindungsgang:
002. 1940.04. 'Все для фронта!' Изъятие бронзовых украшений с Новой Рейхсканцелярии.jpg
001. 1940.04. 'Все для фронта!' Изъятие бронзовых украшений с Новой Рейхсканцелярии.jpg
Published by: 'Berliner Volkszeitung' 09.04.1940
(the Russian caption says they're removing bronze decorations for the war effort)
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palaisfan
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by palaisfan » 02 Mar 2021 15:52

Br. James wrote:
23 Feb 2021 18:03
As for the location of the offices of the four Chiefs in the New Reichschancellery -- Drs. Otto Meissner and Hans Heinrich Lammers, and Reichsleiters Martin Bormann and Philipp Bouhler -- my understanding is that those offices were all located on the First/Ground Floor of the building, possibly clustered around Hitler's office -- making them convenient to their numerous visitors from outside of the Chancellery -- though I have never seen a schematic which definitely itemized the location of any of those four major offices. I look forward to your further enlightenment!

Br. James

The following has been attested to in various places earlier in this thread or elsewhere, and it can be interesting lining some interior pictures up with the plan in confirming these (all but one on ground main level):

Lammers: the three window garden facade office between the Cabinet Room and Hitler's study.[It is worth noting that you see this wrecked office with Soviets inside immediate post-war, sometimes mislabeled as the Hitler study. ]

Bruckner: the only two window office on the garden facade right,east, of Hitler's office.

Meissner: the large square office on the left hand side of No.2 gate on Voss Strasse; the Borsig junction entrance.(Earlier in the thread, I had thought it was a different corner; Mister S thought it a large two window one east of No.4 about midway) [But a location beside No.2 on the left fits because there is no window.]

Bouhler: This one actually on 1st Floor, one level up - large two window office between No.4 and No.2 Voss Strasse; beside No.2.

Bormann: Not actually in the New RK; but at `Party Chancellery' No.63 Wilhemstrasse on the same side as the Propaganda Ministry and across from the Foreign Ministery on Wilhelmstrasse. (Bormann is actually here during much of the events of 1945 till closer to the end. I don't think he had a new RK `office' in the building---but in the last two months had a de-facto one in the New RK cellar if recall? Maybe that was also across the street.)

One mystery is where Baldur von Schirach's office was that features so prominently in 1939 `when the Chancellery was new' series of photos. Wherever it was it was a corner office and had two windows behind the desk, and maybe two and definitely one on the other. This narrows choices greatly unless like Bouhler's it was on an upper storey.

Hope this helps; the two sure of is the misleading case of Bormann's location and Lammers office. Decades ago it was necessary to figure out when reading the diaries.
Last edited by palaisfan on 02 Mar 2021 20:54, edited 1 time in total.

palaisfan
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by palaisfan » 02 Mar 2021 17:59

NepalH1ker,
I don't know, maybe they did reconstruct it from just this photo plus the floor plan. But surely there are many more photos of Reichskanzlei interiors from unpublished and private sources we haven't seen yet. These also look like the Verbindungsgang
Those certainly do. That's a great catch and eye. Interesting to learn that section is among those stripped in fall 1940. It makes sense. The great Ehrenhof bronze doors were taken down for the same reason, early in the war effort.

The join between the Chancelleries is not well covered, which made those images all the more interesting. Another similar neglected area is that circled here -- the approaches very close to the private entrance covered in Cristoph Neubaer's new book. Not sure, but the picture have associated with it, just might be it. Not many areas look like that with steps just that way.

unk7kanzlei.jpg
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Br. James
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by Br. James » 02 Mar 2021 20:25

Thanks so much for adding this detail, palaisfan -- wonderful information!

Blessings,

Br. James

Mannheim
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by Mannheim » 07 Mar 2021 05:31

Can anyone identify the buildings circled in red in these photos? I'm guessing maintenance or gardening buildings.
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Kein Irrtum ist so groß, der nicht seinen Zuhörer hat.

palaisfan
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by palaisfan » 07 Mar 2021 23:18

Mannheim wrote:
07 Mar 2021 05:31
Can anyone identify the buildings circled in red in these photos? I'm guessing maintenance or gardening buildings.
Mannheim,

Wow, I have never seen the first one that sharp, and never seen the second one at all. Thanks for posting. On your question, they are well outside the demarcation of the Reichskanzlei garden area. They look like they may be in the back gardens of the Reichspresidentenpalais -- - Hindenburg's former haunt. That may give some clue. They may simply be a more modest version of the greenhouse in the new Reichskanzlei grounds. I think I have a view looking west from Hindenburg's garden area. I will check.

Another possibility. In your top photo above them and right a bit---that next building over is Goebbels's private residence that had a Hermann-Goering Strasse address. There is a chance they are associated with the new constructions Speer did for his dwelling? In your bottom one, notice also to the `above and leftward' of your left hand structure asking about. That's an emergency water tank, clearly an addition. You see another better example in the new RK next to the main reflecting pool on its eastern side. (I had noticed this one some time ago. This in fact seems to be where bodies were tossed en-masse, that the Soviets mention. Their sketches imply its that's rectangle, and not the main terrace reflecting pond and fountain. At least one account implies that is where Fegelein's body ended up, which might explain why not found.)


- palaisfan

Mannheim
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by Mannheim » 07 Mar 2021 23:56

No, palaisfan, neither had I seen these photos so sharply rendered. They are from a Facebook page (Berlin Luft Terror) and are apparently the photos taken by William Vandivert in 1945. I had identified the Goebbels villa but I suspect those circled buildings are a little too far away to be Speer's workmen's buildings. I have seen a photo which I think suggests there was a cover for that emergency water tank but it will take me a while to dig out. (In the photo it appears that the 'cover' - if it is that - is half over the water tank.) Thanks for the info re Fegelein. I didn't know that. Cheers!
Kein Irrtum ist so groß, der nicht seinen Zuhörer hat.

palaisfan
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by palaisfan » 08 Mar 2021 00:43

Mannheim wrote:
07 Mar 2021 23:56
No, palaisfan, neither had I seen these photos so sharply rendered. They are from a Facebook page (Berlin Luft Terror) and are apparently the photos taken by William Vandivert in 1945. I had identified the Goebbels villa but I suspect those circled buildings are a little too far away to be Speer's workmen's buildings. I have seen a photo which I think suggests there was a cover for that emergency water tank but it will take me a while to dig out. (In the photo it appears that the 'cover' - if it is that - is half over the water tank.) Thanks for the info re Fegelein. I didn't know that. Cheers!
Yes. You can tell when reading the Russian descriptions they call them all water tanks, and don't seem to realize the main terrace pool is an original feature. But the descriptions also show they don't mean that one. (Incidentally, there is also one in Wilhemplatz. They disappear fast post-war, so can date pictures.)

On your picture -- very interesting. It certainly explains where those pictures came from. They do like look contemporaneous with 'LIFE' type shots. But those are not in the July LIFE so didn't make that `cut'. Could you - [strike that actually; I think I found the FB site]

I found the images showing length of garden to some degree that I was looking for, but they can't help you much. The President's Palace was remodeled for Hindenburg in 1932, but those look like additions after the Reichspräsidentenpalais was converted to Ribbentrop's main building in March 1940. They may date from then, unless they are purely wartime additions. I suspect the best way will be to find a view of them closer hiding-in-plain sight as it were, in one of those "blasted Tiergarten" or "post-war ruins" pictures that does not show the Chancellery, and so is overlooked. I know one right here. (Third picture) What these do show is possibly that those structures are not there before the Ribbentrop remodeling.

View looking west from the back porch.
Back-garten-am-palais-des-reichspräsidenten-in-berlin-1933.jpg
Bundesarchiv Bild

Looking east as Hindenburg strolls.
Bundesarchiv_Bild_102-13171,_Hindenburg_mit_Enkelkindern.jpg
Bundesarchiv Bild

This third one is a direct transfer made from an image in the Library of Congress, long ago. (2005). Compare it to your fresh aerial from analogous angle. It is about July 1945. What is the image size limit? I had to shrink it so it may be hard to examine the area you want. The original is a tif -- incredible size.
3c26857rushrunk.jpg
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palaisfan
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Re: Reichskanzlei Thread

Post by palaisfan » 08 Mar 2021 06:27

Mannheim,

Here are two images from LIFE previews of the kind suggesting try to find one cropped in wider frame.

This first one is from the back of Goebbels house. Its looking directly where you want to look, but there are too many remaining trees to make out clearly. You can't even see the Chancellery facade in the distance, and you would be able to if it were clear.
LookingfromGoebbels-house.jpg
This view is looking east from the Tiergarten -- unless overlooking it, I think your structures would be just off frame to the right. (That might even be the northern one of the pair just above the other side of the wing.) If there is a film or wider crop from this view you would see them. Goebbels apartment is just above the plane engine.
LookingEast-GoebbelsHouseabove-engine.jpg
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