Berlin – Wilhelmstrasse

Wilhemstrasse is located in central Berlin and from the mid-1800s til 1945 it was Germany’s political center of power. During the Nazi period (1933 – 1945), Hermann Goering’s ministry of aviation was at no. 81 - 85. A collosal complex built between 1933 and 1936 and was a reflection of Goering’s personal hubris. The Old presidential palace at number 73 was renovated and became foreign minister Ribbentropp’s ministry. On number 61 was the ministry of finance. At number 54, Rudolf Hess had his headquarters. Hitler’s new Reich Chancellary was built 1939 on Vosstrasse, a crossroads from Wilhemstrasse. In contrast, the old Reich Chancellery was located at Wilhemstrasse 77. Further south on Wilhemstrasse 8-9 was Josef Goebbel’s Propaganda ministry. After the war, most of the buildings were demolished because they had been badly damaged during the war, but some remain. Goering’s aviation ministry remained intact and is a huge building complex that spreads out several hundred meters along Wilhelmstrasse. In 2011, the German finance ministry is housed in the building. Hess former headquarters is home to the German agriculture ministry. Goebbels propaganda ministry is also still there but has been renovated since the war.

Current status: Partly preserved/demolished with information boards (2010).

Address: Wilhemstrasse, 10197 Berlin.

Get there: Metro to Mohrenstrasse Station.

My comment:

When the ruins of the political high seats were demolished and taken away, the area was deserted until the early eighties. Then East Germany began to build, with East German standard, lavish residential buildings tended for prominent citizens. Throughout Wilhelmstrasse, there are information boards that inform about the buildings and what political function they had during Nazi times.

Follow up in books: Shirer, William: The Rise & Fall of the Third Reich (1994).