The building of the Reich Chancellery is, because of its history, a building of interest if it comes to studying different topics of European history. Because if its construction history dating back to the year 1733 it won’t be possible to cover every part of its history in a single 90 minutes’ lecture. For that reason, Christoph Neubauer offers 10 different lectures. Each lecture covers one of the most important topics separately, to provide the level of detail needed to give the audience enough background information to extend their knowledge beyond superficial information. During the lectures Christoph Neubauer will present a great number of historic photographs and documents from his private collection. On top of using archive material he will use images of his 3D-model to illustrate sections and details of the Chancellery which are not available on photographs or construction plans.
Lecture 1/ The construction history of the Reich Chancellery – an overview
This lecture provides the audience with a rough overview on the construction history of the Reich Chancellery as well as the people who used to live in the building over the 250 years it has been used. All the important topics, covered in the other lectures in more detail are discussed but in a less detailed way. This enables the audience to get an overview on the history of the Chancellery, to understand the important role it played in world history and why the building should not be forgotten.
Lecture 2/ The architecture of the Reich Chancellery and how it changed over the time
This lecture covers the architectural history of the Reich Chancellery. Christoph Neubauer is going to cover all the architectural and structural changes made to the building during its 250 years of construction history by architects like Konrad Wiesend, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Wilhelm Neumann, Ernst von Ihne, Eduard Jobst Siedler, Paul Ludwig Troost, Leonhard Gall, Albert Speer and Cäsar Pinnau. The lecture compares the different architectural styles and the meaning behind the designs made for the different Chancellors. It also covers the influences the different extensions had on the town planning inside the Berlin government district.
Lecture 3/ Conferences and events of the Reich Chancellery which changed the course of world history
Between 1736 and 1945 different political and social events took place inside the building of the Reich Chancellery. During the inauguration day of the Palace Schulenburg, the later Chancellery, an incident occurred that would later affect world history. From this very day onwards the history of the Reich Chancellery would be connected to the events of the Prussian and German politics.
It was this building were Anton Radziwill his compositions premiered. It would also be the place where would history was made during the Balkan conference and the Congo conference held by Otto von Bismarck. It was also the Reich Chancellery were the meetings took place which led to the first World War I and on its end the Reich Chancellery got occupied by revolutionaries. In the 1920’s Germany, France, Great Britain and the US negotiated economic questions and inside the very same rooms Adolf Hitler prepared for World War II. Just a few years later only to commit suicide in 1945 in the bunker belonging to the building.
Of many of those events, of upmost importance for world history, Christoph Neubauer’s archive contains historic photographs and other images. During the lecture he will share those images with the audience to make them understand how the rooms used to look like and where history took place.
Lecture 4/ The security of the Reich Chancellors
This lecture is focusing on the different measures taken to protect the chancellors who used to live and work in the Reich Chancellery. As the Palace Radziwill got converted into Bismarck’s Chancellery, first changes to the construction were made to improve the security of the building. Assassination attempts and other incidents led to later extension of the security measures taken to protect the German Chancellors. While the Chancellors of the Weimar Republic were still satisfied with the security ushers and guards provided them. Afterwards the security measures were drastically tightened after the Munich bombing on Adolf Hitler in 1939.
This lecture therefore describes how the SS-, SD- and Wehrmacht guards used to work to provide maximum security for Adolf Hitler and where they were stationed inside the building. In addition to that Christoph Neubauer shows all the constructions like tunnels, bunkers and basements used to provide Hitler with the necessary protection against air raids taken between 1936 and 1945.
Lecture 5/ The apartments of the Reich Chancellors
Except one, all the German Reich Chancellors used to live in the apartment reserved for them inside the Reich Chancellery. The first half of this lecture compares the different apartment setups used by the different Chancellors and describes how they used to live, using photographs and plans.
During the second half of the lecture the audience will learn how Adolf Hitler converted the Chancellors apartment. Using original photographs as well as construction plans and 3D- images Christoph Neubauer will help the audience to understand the different rooms and how they were used by Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun.
Lecture 6/ The stuff of the Reich Chancellery and their apartments
Besides the Reich Chancellor himself, the Chancellery stuff also lived in the building. They were employed either to work directly for the Chancellor or to operate important sections inside the building. It will be shown to the audience how the amount of rooms needed to house the stuff constantly extended. During Bismarck’s time the stuff quarters only included apartments reserved for the gardener of the Reich Chancellery, the usher and the personal servant. Later the stuff quarters extended by apartments for drivers, pilots, adjutants, housekeepers and secretaries. During the lecture the audience will learn were the stuff of the Reich Chancellery used to live and how the Chancellors increased the amount of personal stuff over the years.
Lecture 7/ The bunkers and other constructions in the underground below the Reich Chancellery and her gardens
This lecture will focus on the topic of structures of the Reich Chancellery which used to be located underground. Until 1936 the Chancellery had only normal basements but from this year onwards the constructions in the underground of the Chancellery got extended dramatically. During the time of Adolf Hitler, a vast underground network containing hundreds of rooms on different levels and reaching down up to a depth of 8 Meters were erected. During the lecture the audience will learn where the different basements and bunkers were located and were specific rooms were located, which were of an importance to provide rooms for the heating system, generators, air conditioning and other technical facilities.
Also the tunnels connecting the different underground sections of the building to each other are shown which are partly still exist until today.
Lecture 8/ The technical facilities of the Reich Chancellery
The technical equipment of the Reich Chancellery was, besides its function to provide best possible comfort for the Chancellor and his stuff, also a way of presenting the newest technical developments of German engineering to the international public.
This lecture covers therefor all the specific technical particulars which got installed in the Reich Chancellery throughout the time the building was in use. Starting with candles to generate light up to the use of gas and later electricity as well as facilities to deal with draining rain water or the emergency generators to provide electricity.
Christoph Neubauer provides details about a special tunnelling project. This project foresaw to build a subway underneath the Chancellery during the construction of the extension building between 1928 – 1930. The lecture also covers the highly advanced technology created to provide the New Reich Chancellery with efficient heating and air conditioning systems. While covering the building of the New Reich Chancellery also the technical specialities of the lift used for trucks to enter the basements, as well as the electric gates, the escalators and the power plant will be shown on photographs and discussed.
Lecture 9/ The different offices of the Reich Chancellors
Between 1878 and 1945 the different Reich Chancellors used nine different offices in the Reich Chancellery for private or official purposes. In this lecture the audience will be shown all the different offices each of the Chancellors used. Christoph Neubauer will explain why the offices moved that often and what structural, technical or architectural changes were made from the different Reich Chancellors to the specific rooms.
Because of it, the audience will be able to compare the offices of the different Chancellors with each other in size and location within the building and the architectural design. By doing so, they will learn how the optical appearance of the offices were influenced by the character of each Reich Chancellor.
The history of the Reich Chancellery has been covered in a number of books, magazines and TV-productions on an international scale during the past 80 years. It has become a topic of mass interest due to the fact that Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his Reich Chancellery bunker in 1945. However unfortunately this topic has been turned into a myth by the media lately, claiming Hitler escaped the bunker and survived the war.
Christoph Neubauer will analyse some of the claims made in books starting as early as 1940 and continuing until present day. During the lecture those claims will be confronted with original photographs and archive material from the authors private archive proving how superficial the media often handles this important topic. Christoph Neubauer will use authentic documents to prove to the audience how the media often uses headlines like “Hitler did escape” just to attract attention to their production. A behaviour that has the dangerous potential to mythicize Adolf Hitler.