Hitler’s Reich Chancellery, now a Chinese restaurant

The building, which took an army of men two years to build, was almost completely destroyed in two minutes by a series of powerful explosions in February 1949.
Reich Chancellery 1939
Reich Chancellery 1939

NOTHING  remains of Hitler’s sprawling, luxurious new Chancellery, which was once the epicenter of the Third Reich – the building has long since vanished, replaced by a drab pre-fabricated apartment block built by the East German government in the 1980s.

A kindergarten and Chinese restaurant now stand on the same site as the once-great building.

In late January 1938, Adolf Hitler officially assigned architect Albert Speer to build the New Reich Chancellery around the corner on Voßstraße, a western branch-off of Wilhelmstraße.

Over 4,000 workers toiled in shifts, so the work could be accomplished round-the-clock. The immense construction was “finished” 48 hours ahead of schedule.

Hitler took over the New Chancellery in January 1939, just ten months before the outbreak of World War Two.

Addressing 8,000 workmen at the Sports Palace, he emphasized the importance of the “strengthening of the German self-assertion in all spheres.”

A kindergarten and Chinese restaurant now stand on the same site as the once-great building.
A kindergarten and Chinese restaurant now stand on the same site as the once-great building.

In January 1944, explosives and incendiaries caused widespread devastation to the complex, and on May 3rd, 1945, Soviet troops forced their way into the Chancellery and found the building on fire and were forced to leave by the fire escape.

DEMOLITION

The building, which took an army of men two years to build, was almost completely destroyed in two minutes by a series of powerful explosions in February 1949.

Only the outer walls and the balcony, from which Hitler addressed huge Patty rallies, were left standing.

Soviet-controlled German police had to call on reinforcements to clear the way hundreds of souvenir hunters.

The building, which took an army of men two years to build, was almost completely destroyed in two minutes by a series of powerful explosions in February 1949.
The building, which took an army of men two years to build, was almost completely destroyed in two minutes by a series of powerful explosions in February 1949.

According to media reports at the time, the dust had scarcely settled when gangs of rubble-clearers entered Chancellery and collected all dislodged black marble slabs. They were loaded on to lorries and taken Russian cemetery at Treptow, where they were to build new monument Soviet soldiers who lost their lives in the battle of Berlin.

Some of the red marble from the building was also used to re-build war-damaged Mohrenstraße U-Bahn station.

Mohrenstraße U-Bahn station.
Mohrenstraße U-Bahn station.

Location: Corner of Voßstraße – Wilhelmstraße

Find this location on our 1943 Historic Berlin map!  Browse online, or download as a free easy to print Black and White PDF!