Reichstag Building and Kroll Opera House
|Type||64 Government Building|
|Historical Name of Location||Berlin, Germany|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseConstruction of the Reichstag building in Berlin began in 1884 after the 1871 unification of Germany, and completed 10 years later. The original architect was Paul Wallot and the firm Philipp Holzmann A.G. performed the construction. It continued to function as the parliament building for the Weimar Republic after WW1. In Feb 1933, a fire broke out in the building, providing pretext for Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party to seize dictatorial powers. Repairs done after the fire were incomprehensive at best, thus through 1945, the parliament met at the Kroll Opera House across the K├Ânigsplatz (now Platz der Republik) to the west. Briefly during the war, a conversion of the Reichstag building into a flak tower was considered, but ultimately the idea was abandoned as the structure was not well suited for a military fortification. The building was damaged by Allied air attacks during the war, and it became the symbolic goal for the Soviet advance during the Battle of Berlin.
ww2dbaseThe Kroll Opera House (German: Krolloper) was built earlier than the Reichstag building in 1844. It was named after its proprietor restaurateur Joseph Kroll, and Friedrich Ludwig Persius served as the chief architect (with significant assistance from Carl Ferdinand Langhans and Eduard Knoblauch). It served its early years as an entertainment venue before being rebuilt as an opera house. In 1933, it was taken over by the German parliament to serve as its meeting place. It was at Kroll that Hitler warned his followers against the "international finance Jewry" in Jan 1939, promoted 12 generals to the rank of Field Marshal in Jul 1940, and declared war on the United States in Dec 1941. The final parliament meeting held at Kroll took place on 26 Apr 1942. After a few more opera performances (after the neighboring Staatsoper Unter den Linden opera hall was damaged by air raids), it closed permanently due to war damage. It was demolished in 1951.
ww2dbaseIn 1956, it was decided that the Reichstag building, which had remained unused since 1933 and in ruins since 1945, was to be restored. Architect Paul Baumgarten led the reconstruction effort between 1961 and 1964. On 3 Oct 1990, the official reunification ceremony that re-joined East Germany and West Germany was held at the Reichstag building, and the parliament met at the building on the following day. Between 1992 and 1999, architect Norman Foster reconstructed the building, essentially gutting the old building and keeping only the building's outer walls. Today the building remains the meeting place of the German parliament Bundestag.
Last Major Update: Feb 2017
Reichstag Building and Kroll Opera House Interactive Map
Reichstag Building and Kroll Opera House Timeline
|15 Feb 1844||The Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Germany began operations as an entertainment venue.|
|9 Jun 1884||The construction of the Reichstag building began in Berlin, Germany.|
|29 Jun 1884||Kaiser Wilhelm I laid down the foundation stone to the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.|
|2 Dec 1912||German chancellor Theobold von Bethmann Hollweg announced in the Reichstag that, if Austria-Hungary was attacked by a third power while pursuing its interests, Germany would support Austria-Hungary and fight to maintain its own position in Europe.|
|30 Aug 1932||Hermann G├Âring was elected the president of the German Reichstag.|
|12 Sep 1932||A new session of the German Reichstag began with Hermann G├Âring as its president. German Chancellor Franz von Papen attempted to issue the order to dissolve the Reichstag, but G├Âring pretended to not see him, and instead conducted a vote that effectively made Papen's order to dissolve the Reichstag useless.|
|27 Feb 1933||The German Reichstag building was destroyed by fire. 10,000 political opponents of the Nazi Party, mostly communists, were subsequently arrested.|
|19 Jul 1940||Wilhelm Keitel was promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Germany.|
|19 Jul 1940||Hugo Sperrle was promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Germany.|
|19 Jul 1940||Walther von Brauchitsch was promoted to the rank of field marshal (generalfeldmarschall) at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Germany.|
|19 Jul 1940||Hermann G├Âring was promoted to the rank of Reichsmarschall, a rank created for him so that he would outrank all Field Marshals of the German military. The ceremony took place at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Germany.|
|19 Jul 1940||G├╝nther von Kluge was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Germany.|
|19 Jul 1940||Adolf Hitler spoke to the Reichstag at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Germany about Allied warmongering and asked the United Kingdom to listen to reason and avoid war. Within an hour of the conclusion of the speech, the BBC broadcast an unofficial rejection to Hitler's bid for peace.|
|26 Apr 1942||The Nazi German parliament held its final meeting at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Germany.|
|22 Nov 1943||The Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Germany was damaged by British bombers.|
|30 Apr 1945||In the Tiergarten district of Berlin, Germany, Zhukov launched an assault, refusing to permit an armistice, demanding only unconditional surrender. Soviet infantrymen, just 800 metres from the Reichstag, were attacked from the rear by SS diehards in the Kroll Opera House; the building was taken after several hours of bitter hand-to-hand fighting.|
|2 May 1945||The Soviet Hammer and Sickle flag was hoisted atop the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.|
|3 Oct 1990||The official German reunification ceremony was held at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany.|
|4 Oct 1990||The German parliament met at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany for the first time since 1942.|
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Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937
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