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Berlin/Germania: Seeing with Roman Eyes, Building a Roman Stage

Berlin/Germania: Seeing with Roman Eyes, Building a Roman Stage

Chapter:
(p.364) Twenty-One Berlin/Germania: Seeing with Roman Eyes, Building a Roman Stage
Source:
The Conquest of Ruins
Author(s):
Julia Hell
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226588223.003.0022

This chapter deals with the Nazis’ scenographic neo-Roman architecture and “ruin value theories.” Under Hitler’s close supervision, Albert Speer redesigned Berlin as the Nazi empire’s metropolitan stage. They envisioned a metropolis more imposing than Rome and anticipated a stage-in-ruins more monumental than the Augustan stage. With this entanglement of neo-Roman architecture and ruin theory, they took imperial mimesis to its extreme. Romans invented the concept of imperial ruins. Hitler, his architects and artists, invented an imaginary featuring the granite-based empire of the present and the equally solid, but ruined, Reich of the future. The new empire’s neo-Roman spaces and its future ruinscapes were consistently tied to the trope of the Führer’s fortified gaze.

Keywords:   Albert Speer, Adolph Hitler, ruin value theory, Berlin, Germania, neo-Roman architecture, future ruinscapes

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