Tag Archives: Adolf Hitler

Sunday Documentary: Nazi Megastructures – Fortress Berlin

Flakturm in Humboldthain Park: Screenshot from Nazi Megastructures - Fortress Berlin by National Geographic

Photo: Screenshot from Nazi Megastructures – Fortress Berlin by National Geographic

The National Geographic documentary, Nazi Megastructures – Fortress Berlin, tells how, determined to fight on to the bitter end, Adolf Hitler, with the help of his architect, Albert Speer, attempted to turn Berlin into a fortress with World War II approaching its conclusion.

Having turned the tide in the war, the Red Army was making significant progress into Germany.  At Seelower Höhen (Seelow Heights), near the Polish border, irrigation ditches were widened to act as tank traps, slowing down the Soviet army’s advance on Berlin.

The outer ring of Berlin’s defences was a natural obstacle, the Teltowkanal (Teltow Canal), and considerable armaments have been amassed at Flughafen Berlin Tempelhof (Tempelhof Airport).

The city was further protected by three enormous Flak Towers, concrete monoliths mounted with heavy artillery, of which only the Flakturm in Humboldthain park remains today.

At the centre of Hitler’s defences is the Führerbunker, from where he directs his forces in their last desperate attempts to hold Berlin.

A mixture of archive footage, computer reconstructions, and expert opinions with the likes of a tour guide from Berliner Unterwelten (who offer tours of the surviving Flakturm, as wells as other architectural treasures under Berlin) Nazi Megastructures – Fortress Berlin is a fascinating portrait of Hitler’s ultimately futile defence plans.

Nazi Megastructures – Fortress Berlin

Sunday Documentary: Lost Worlds – Hitler’s Supercity

Lost Worlds - Hitler's Supercity (a screenshote of Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer)

In today’s Sunday Documentary, I return to a subject covered in two previous documentaries posted here – Hitler’s Henchmen – Speer – The Architect and Hitler’s Hidden City – Hitler’s unrealised plans for Welthauptstadt Germania as drawn up by Albert Speer.

From around the 15-minute mark there is a very interesting section about the man-made lake in Nuremberg that marks the site of the foundations for a stadium four times the size of the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.  The stadium would be capable of holding 400,00 people and Hitler intended that it would host the Olympic Games every year.

This documentary also includes a visit to one of Berlin’s most unusual attractions, the Schwerbelastungskörper, a massive cylinder of concrete in the Tempelhof district used to test the ground for the placement of the planned Triumphal Arch of Welthauptstadt Germania.

Lost Worlds – Hitler’s Supercity