The Reich Chancellery and Führerbunker Complex by Steven Lehrer

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.

This book is a virtual tour of the now demolished Chancellery and Führerbunker. It covers the history of each structure, notes the architectural changes that Hitler made to suit his purposes, and describes the historical events that took place within each building’s walls. Appendices contain a chronology of Reich Chancellors (1871–1945), a detailed list of renovations to the Chancellery, and a register of notable gatherings that took place in the Old Reich Chancellery prior to 1914. Texts of various speeches by Hitler are reproduced, along with a copy of his agreement to occupy Czechoslovakia, which was signed in the Reich Chancellery.