Die Grosser Kongresssaal In Die Alte Reichskanzlei

The Grosser Kongresssaal ("Greater Congress Room") of the Alte Reichskanzlei (Old Chancellery), originally built by Otto von Bismarck in the late 19th Century. Paul Ludwig Troost (August 17, 1878 - January 21, 1934) was commissioned in the autumn of 1933 to remake the building into a space worthy of the Third Reich. Fuhrer and Reichskanzler (Leader and Reich Chancellor) Adolf Hitler hated the Old Chancellery, calling it "fit for a soap factory." Years of neglect had led to rotted roof beams. Troost's new table was the centerpiece refurbished Old Chancellery conference room, which was revered by German nationalists as the location where Bismarck plotted to unify Germany. The table, made of hard wood, was surrounded by thirty chairs that cost 10,000 Reichsmarks each ($3,000 American dollars, or about $50,000 today.) Each chair had the Nazi Party Eagle and Swastika emblem upholstered into the chair's back. This table was moved in 1939 into the Reichskabinettsaal (Reich Conference Room) in the Neue Reichskanzlei (New Reich Chancellery). The table was internationally famous as the place where Hitler planned world domination, but according to Speer he rarely convened his cabinet, as they did not work well together as a group. Hitler preferred to play his subordinates against each other, currying favor with one or the other. The table was destroyed during the Battle of Berlin in April-May 1945. The ruins of the Old and New Chancelleries were visited by Allied soldiers throughout the summer of 1945, until Cold War tensions prevented free access between East and West Berlin.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Archival Identifier: 
Library of Congress
Die Grosser Kongresssaal In Die