Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Fuhrerbau in Munich

Been a while - busy busy...

Anyway - just back from the inaugural "Historical Trips" tour - all a tremendous success.

Just a quick post here to mention one of the sites that we visited - a rather impromptu visit in fact, as it was not in the original itinerary - the Fuehrerbau in Munich.

Completed in 1937 from plans drawn up by Hitler's first 'court architect' Paul Ludwig Troost (who died in 1934), the building served as Hitler's office when he was in Munich and was the location for the famed Munich Conference of September 1938, where Czechoslovakia was dismembered and the principle of collective security died a death...

Interestingly, the building also stood cheek-by-jowl with one of the 'Honour Temples' in which the Nazi 'martyrs' of 1923 were laid to rest. Naturally, that building - as the very centrepiece of Nazi martyrology was demolished, and only its concrete foundations remain. But the neighbouring Fuehrerbau was permitted to remain after the war, primarily as it served the occupying US Army as a administrative building. It now is home to the Munich School of Music.

Thanks to such vicissitudes, the interior of the building is largely untouched. And it is a spectacular example of totalitarian architecture, not only with its coffered, neo-classical ceiling (right), but also its extensive use of Hitler's favourite red marble (left).

I did half-heartedly try to find Hitler's office - which was supposedly on the southern end of the building on the first floor. However, all I found there were the students' toilets... Who said the Germans didn't have a sense of humour?