Nazi Architecture

Nazi architecture was an architectural plan which played a role in the Nazi party's plans to create a cultural and spiritual rebirth in Germany as part of the Third Reich.

Adolf Hitler was an admirer of imperial Rome and believed that some ancient Germans had, over time, become part of its social fabric and exerted influence on it. He considered the Romans an early Aryan empire, and emulated their architecture in an original style inspired by both neoclassicism and art deco, sometimes known as "severe" deco, erecting edifices as cult sites for the Nazi Party. He also ordered construction of a type of Altar of Victory, borrowed from the Greeks, who were, according to Nazi ideology, inseminated with the seed of the Aryan peoples. At the same time, because of his admiration for the Classical cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, he could not isolate and politicize German antiquity, as Benito Mussolini had done with respect to Roman antiquity. Therefore he had to import political symbols into Germany and justify their presence on the grounds of a spurious racial ancestry, the myth that ancient Greeks were among the ancestors of the Germans - linked to the same Aryan peoples.

Hitler's desire to be the founder of a thousand-year Reich were in harmony with the Colosseum being associated with eternity. He envisioned all future Olympic games to be held in Germany in the Deutsches Stadion. He also anticipated that after winning the war, other nations would have no choice but to send their athletes to Germany every time the Olympic games were held. Thus, the architecture foreshadowed Hitler's craving for control of the world long before his aim was put into words. Hitler also seemed to derive satisfaction from seeing world-famous monuments being surpassed in size by German equivalents.

Most regimes, especially new ones, wish to make their mark both physically and emotionally on the places they rule. The most tangible way of doing so is by constructing buildings and monuments. Architecture is considered to be the only art form that can actually physically meld with the world as well as influence the people who inhabit it. Buildings, as autonomous things, must be addressed by the inhabitants as they go about their lives. In this sense, people are "forced" to move in certain ways, or to look at specific things. In so doing, Architecture affects not only the landscape, but also the mood of the populace who are served. The Nazis believed architecture played a key role in creating their new order. Architecture had a special importance to the politicians who sought to influence all aspects of human life.

Moreover, not only major cities but also small villages were to express the achievement and the nature of the German people. It seemed as though the basic design of commonly practiced architecture at the time was to be either left in place or modified within Germany's dominion. The new building style may have been intended to give the idea to the rest of the world and to the unconverted Germans that the era of the thousand-year Reich had dawned.

Read more about Nazi ArchitectureHitler The Architect, Three Primary Roles, Cult of Victory, Berlin's Reshaping, Architecture As Religion, Theory of Ruin Value, Hitler's Mausoleum, Sculpture, Labour and Plunder

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Nazi Architecture - Labour and Plunder
... factories and not by the construction industry, as Nazi propaganda suggested ... sense of the word, a right already made manifest even within the sphere of architecture by the creation of concentration camps, whose inmates were forced to quarry the stone for the Reich's buildings ...

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