The Reichskabinettsaal

A Soviet Red Army solider shows a United States Army officer details of the conference table in the ruins of the Reichskabinettsaal (Reich Conference Room) in the Neue Reichskanzlei (New Reich Chancellery). The table was designed by Paul Ludwig Troost (August 17, 1878 - January 21, 1934) the favorite architect of Fuhrer and Reichskanzler (Leader and Reich Chancellor) Adolf Hitler. Troost designed the table for the Alte Reichskanzlei (Old Chancellery), which was originally built by Otto von Bismarck in the late 19th Century. Troost was commissioned by Hitler to remake the Old Chancellery into the seat of government of the Nazi Party in the autumn of 1933. Hitler thought the building was ignored by his short-term predecessors, who he thought had little need for a showpiece to conduct foreign policy. Architect Albert Speer (March 19, 1905 - September 1, 1981) thought Hitler's view to be "overestimated" but recognized the need for the Alte Chancellery to be refinished. As Troost's deputy, Speer worked closely with Hitler on the design and became his chief architect after Troost's death. The centerpiece of Troost's design for the Alte Reichkanzlei's new conference room was this table, which was made of hard wood. A set of elaborately upholstered chairs, which cost 10,000 reichmarks each and were adorned with the Nazi Party Swastika, surrounded the table. When Speer designed the New Chancellery in 1939, his Reichkabinettsaal also used the same table. The new conference room walls were made of red marble imported from Sweden. Both the Old and New Chancelleries were heavily damaged during the Battle of Berlin. After the war, both Chancelleries were frequently visited by Allied soldiers, including Winston Churchill and high-ranking generals. The Old Chancellery was demolished by 1950 and the New Chancellery was demolished during 1947-1948. The Chancelleries lay in East Germany and the Communist government rebuilt a Kindergarten on the New Chancellery's location and apartment buildings on the Old Chancellery's grounds. The gardens that lay between them were close to what became the Berlin wall and they were left undeveloped until 1990, when construction destroyed the remnants of Hitler's underground bunker.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Reich Chancellery Kabinettsaal