Myth and Truth about the New Reich Chancellery

ARD-series: "Mysterious Places"

Author & Director:
Kerstin Mauersberger | Daniel Ast | Juergen Ast

Commissioning Editor:
Jens Stubenrauch


52' | World Sales: NEW DOCS

Daniel Ast | Juergen Ast

astfilm productions | RBB // ARD

On the corner of Wilhelm and Voss Street in Berlin, standing in front of a building with the typical East-German architecture, pure socialism in concrete, on street level you find a Restaurant. No clue of the history of what those streets have seen before, no sign of what used to be here 70 years ago. The location is exactly the place from where Hitler staged the terror of the Second World War, the elimination of millions - the centre of power of the Third Reich, Hitler's Reich Chancellery.

Hitler took care of his ruler's palace by himself from the very beginning, soon together with his architect and NS-careerist Albert Speer. The first plans are made already 1935 and only one year later the old buildings in Voss Street near the Old Reich Chancellery started to be pull down. A lot of space is needed for the 400 meter long construction-site. Seven thousand workers will work on the prestigious project. Hitler's view is clear: the Architecture has to give the impression, this building will stand for a thousand years.

More than in all other carried out construction planning, Hitler presented with the New Reich Chancellery the German claim for a new world order and his own ambitions for power. "Whoever enters the Reich Chancellery, he has to have the feeling of standing in front of the Masters of the World." (Adolf Hitler, 1941) Hitler's new workroom is 27 meters long, 14,5 meters wide and 9,75 meters high. Above the huge fire place hangs a monumental portrait of Bismarck. On the giant table for the maps, made out of one piece of marble, stands a statue of Friedrich II. on his horse. And the giant globe, which in later years became so famous in Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" - the whole world in the hands of the Dictator. At the end the globe and all dreams are blown into pieces ... 12 years and 3 months after it all started in the heart of Berlin, the career of the "Master of the World" finally ends under the garden of the Reich Chancellery, three meters underground in the so called "Fuehrerbunker".

Detailed animations combined with historic film material permits a never before presented in-depth look at the intimidating Nazi-Architecture. Unknown details of the vanished "Fuehrer Palace" are revealed for the first time. The New Reich Chancellery, the center of power of the Third Reich, a manifestation of Hitler's dictatorship.