How Hitler Would Have Rebuilt Berlin
Monday, Mar. 24, 2008
By STEPHANIE KIRCHNER/BERLIN
It's one of those spine-chilling what-ifs. What if Hitler and his helpers had been successful in their aggressive striving for world power? A new exhibition in Berlin attempts to answer this question in part by looking at the devastating architectural consequences Hitler's success would have had for the German capital.
In close collaboration with his confidant and architect of choice, Albert Speer, Hitler sought to cast his megalomania in concrete by radically re-shaping the city's center. His dystopian World Capital Germania, in the Fuehrer's own words, would "only be comparable with ancient Egypt, Babylon or Rome. What is London, what is Paris by comparison!"
The plans included the construction of two main boulevards, 120 meters (131 yards) wide and running cross-shaped through the city, lined with a number of gigantic buildings, halls, squares and triumphal arcs.
"If the plans had been realized," says spokesman Sascha Keil, "Berlin's historical center would have forever been destroyed."
The building that best illustrates Hitler's megalomania is the so-called Volkshalle (People's Hall). Around 320 meters (350 yards) in height and covered with a giant dome, it would have been the largest domed building in the world — able to accommodate 180,000 people at once. A 3-D model of Germania, originally made for the film The Downfall, a German movie about Hitler's last days, makes its dimensions visible. The Brandenburg Gate and even the Parliamentary Building look insignificantly tiny next to the enormous proportions of the People's Hall. According to Keil, however, the building's size would have led to certain problems: "With all 180,000 seats occupied, the condensed breath of the people would have accumulated in the dome and caused a rainfall."
The exhibition "Germania — Shadows and Traces of the Imperial Capital" will run until the December 31.
I think I saw a documentary about this once. Creepy indeed. Incredible plans thank God they did not succeed.
But I wish somebody would build this somewhere else... cool design.
Times weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to slip through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won't be able to escape it.
Interestingly, Albert Speer's eponymous son is a world famous architect. No grand plans for Berlin, though.
Perhaps someone will be willing to design a building based on that one someday... but it won't be until a family can name their kid "Adolf" without drawing shocked looks from the nurses. And even 60 years later, I don't think we're there yet.Originally Posted by msutton
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09
Makes me wonder what is the LEAST poplular name in the world. I imagen Adolf has got to be the winner.
Not a Hitler supporter but I kind of like the design. Is that odd?
"In my world, everyone's a pony and we all eat butterflies and poop rainbows." - Katie, Horton Hears a Who.
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)