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The rise and fall of Hitlers Third Reich has many stories. This is one way to illustrate it.

First we take a look at the Schwerbelastungskörper, heavy loading body, which can be found in the Tempelhof district of Berlin. This colossal piece of concrete was built back in 1941 as part of Hitler’s planning process for his megalomaniac idea of transforming Berlin into Germania, the world capital.

The purpose of the heavy Schwerbelastungskörper was to find out if Berlin’s unstable and sandy ground would be solid enough to hold the huge structures that Hitler’s architect Albert Spee had designed. On this very spot he had planned a monumental 4 kilometer long axis running from north to south with a colossal 117 meter high triumphal arch where the Schwerbelastungskörper now stands. Over two years the construction sank more than 17 centimeters which was far more than was acceptable. Any other work on this idea was abandoned when the war broke out.

If the first picture showed Berlin before the war broke out the second picture of today shows Berlin at the very end of the long war. This is a building called Martin Gropius Bau, named after the architect, which stands close to the buildings that contained the headquarters of Gestapo and the high command of the SS. The bullet holes from the russian weapons have been left like a reminder of a past not so long ago. Today the very interesting exhibition Topographie des Terrors can be found on this location.