The vast project of planning Hitler’s Germania was not meant merely to serve Berlin’s citizens with a modernized habitat, but rather as a representation of the Nazi regime’s sheer power. With a project that seemed inconceivable to most, the foundations were supported by Speer’s policies of expulsion, deportation and slave labor. By combining these factors, we can see how the attempted development of this new metropolis was inevitably linked with crimes against humanity.
The historical exhibition of the Berlin Underworlds Association displays the architecture and urban planning in Berlin during the Nazi era, the ideological objectives of the Nazi regime and the criminal methods used in its pursuit. With these goals in mind, the exhibition attempts to analyze and deconstruct the legends surrounding the hotly debated subject of the “World Capital of Germania”. The multimedia exhibition invites visitors to independently explore this complex topic. Over twenty authors from various universities and memorials in Berlin have participated in this interdisciplinary project. With seven thematic areas, the exhibition displays selected works and deals with technical, social and ideological backgrounds within the context of crimes such as expulsion, deportation and forced labor.
The exhibition is located in the Gesundbrunnen Underground Station. Through numerous media stations, texts and models, visitors gain a comprehensive insight into the project plans of the GBI. Additional materials include an exhibit that is apart of the “Speer-Kandelabers”, artifacts from the site of the satellite concentration camp “Klinkerwerk” in Oranienburg, fragments of columns from the New Reich Chancellery, and a test light from the tunnel before the Soviet Memorial on Straße des 17. Juni. At the exhibition, visitors are also welcome to explore the plans for Hitler’s envisioned city, “Germania”. The main model of the exhibition has been taken straight from the 2004 film “Der Untergang” (The Downfall) and is striking in its presence. By exploring these themes visitors can make the connection between Hitler’s vast architectural endeavors and their criminal link with forced labor.
In April 2015, our permanent exhibition “Myth of Germania – Vision and Crime” opened with a new addition: the special exhibition “Wartime Bunkers as Decorative Urban Elements”. In the 2016 season, this special exhibition will be extended with a 1 : 35-scale model of the Humboldthain Flak Tower.