Germany’s Nazi government initially made its primary headquarters in one of
Berlin’s oldest buildings, the Old Reich Chancellery. Unsatisfied with the
building, Adolf Hitler commissioned Albert Speer to design and build a newer,
grander structure, and his New Reich Chancellery was completed in early 1939.
Hitler described his New Reich Chancellery and other Nazi buildings as his
“words of stone,” eternal monuments to the work that he and the Nazi party
intended to perpetuate. Frequented by Hitler and his inner circle, the
Chancellery witnessed their fanatical plans and was an architectural reflection
of Hitler’s megalomania. The Führerbunker, built underneath the Chancellery,
became the last refuge of a dying regime; here Hitler retreated to order the
destruction of Germany and ultimately to take his own life.