The mysterious marble of Mohrenstraße Metro

The red marble in Berlin's Mohrenstraße U-Bahn - said to have originated in Hitler's Chancellery

The deep-red marble lining the walls and columns of Berlin's Mohrenstraße U-Bahn certainly makes for an impressive sight, but even more striking is the debate over its origin.

Because many claim that the stone once adorned Hitler's seat of power, the New Reich Chancellery or 'Reichskanzlei'.

Designed by prominent Third Reich architect Albert Speer, huge quantities of marble were used to decorate the building's interior.

And red was the predominant colour, featuring, for example, in the so-called Mosaic Hall - which was entirely clad in red panels - and the Marble Gallery, which was twice the length of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles and paved with lustrous, carmine-coloured flagstones (below).

Panoramic views of Berlin from the Neukoelln Arkaden car park

Although the Chancellery sustained severe damage during the war, much of the interior remained intact until it was gradually dismantled by Soviet occupying forces.

Nearby Mohrenstraße metro - which had also been ravaged by fighting - was rebuilt by the East Germans in 1950, and it's frequently claimed that the stone on its walls was simply salvaged from the adjacent remains of Hitler's former headquarters.

Documentary photograph of the Mosiac Hall, Hitler's Chancellery, Berlin
Red marble clads walls, columns and even benches in Mohrenstrasse metro, Berlin

Some disagree, citing East German newspaper reports mentioning a delivery of marble from the district of Thüringen specifically for the project. Others suggest that this simply amounts to a cover-up, and that while GDR authorities were perfectly willing to recycle the valuable remnants of a Nazi edifice, they were far less keen to have the fact known.

But whatever the truth, it's undeniable that the gleaming red walls of Mohrenstraße metro are eerily reminiscent of the infamous building that once stood close by.


See also:
An estate built for the SS
A Third Reich eagle
From Nazi HQ to Socialist ministry
Berlin's beautiful metro line

Mohrenstraße U-Bahn station (U2 Line): 10117 Berlin

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