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New Reich Chancellery, Voss Strasse FacadeGerman newsreel film: Rapturous crowds greet Hitler on Speer balcony of Old Reich Chancellery after his triumphant return by train from France, July 6, 1940. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring stands next to Hitler.  
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In 1945-46, the Russians obtained the marble for their Berlin war memorial from the ruins of Hitler's New Reich Chancellery, on the corner of Wilhelmstraße and Voßstraße, which Albert Speer designed and finished in 1939.

Hitler had airily told Speer that the Old Reich Chancellery was “fit for a soap company.” Located at Wilhelmstraße 77, the old chancellery had been built 1736-1739 as a palace for Count von Schulenburg. Otto von Bismarck remodeled the building as his chancellery.

"Army" by Arno Breker, main entrance, New Reich ChancelleryHitler decreed that the enormous New Reich Chancellery should impress every visitor with its monumentality. “On the long corridor from the entrance to the reception hall, they’ll learn something about the grandeur of the German Reich,” said the Führer. The long corridor was 300 meters, with a court of honor, a forecourt, a mosaic hall, a round hall, and a marble gallery along the way. At 146 meters, the reception hall was twice as long as the hall of mirrors at Versailles. Hitler’s own office was 400 meters square. From the exterior, the Reich Chancellery had a stern, authoritarian appearance; Arno Breker's statue of a muscular, nude sword-bearer, "Army," stood to the right of the honor courtyard entrance. The chancellery interior had an ascetic, cool splendor. Only German wood and marble were used in the building. Many of the couches were so heavy that four men were required to lift them. The East Germans began demolishing the bombed out chancellery in 1949, and didn’t finish until 1956.

Chancellery marble was incorporated into the Mohrenstraße subway station. Authorities are divided over whether the red marble in the foyer of Humboldt University came from the Chancellery.

Before 1933, the land under the New Reich Chancellery belonged to Jewish department store magnate Georg Wertheim. The Nazis coerced Wertheim to dispose of his Berlin property. The Wertheim family is now trying to recover this land, but the German government, the present owner, does not want to give it up.


Hitler and Molotov with interpreter Gustav Hilger

Video: German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop receives Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov at the Anhalter Bahnhof, November 12, 1940. Molotov is driven to the New Reich Chancellery, where he confers with Hitler; the sharp interchanges between the two men hardened Hitler's resolution to attack the Soviet Union. "Hitler clasped me with one hand when our picture was being taken," Molotov told an interviewer many years later. "I was asked in Canada in 1942 why I was smiling in that picture. Simply because they got nothing from us and never would!"
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German newsreel film: Crowds greet Hitler in Wilhelmstraße entrance courtyard of the Old Reich Chancellery on the morning of his 50th birthday, April 20th, 1939.
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