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While the emotional and cultural toll that Hitler’s Third Reich took on Europe and indeed the entire globe is still being felt today, this is not the only legacy left by Nazi Germany. The architecture and building projects undertaken during Hitler’s time as Fuhrer was nothing short of staggering, with numerous ambitious infrastructure and building projects being completed by the Nazi regime right up until its eventual defeat in 1945. Germany may be moving in a very different direction now but there are still structures dotted all over the country that hail from that dark passage in global history. This article explores 10 examples of Nazi architecture reflected in surviving wartime buildings.

Führer Headquarters, Wolfsschanze, now in Poland

Wolfsschanze-2

This structure was one the most important command headquarters of World War Two. Lying on the Eastern Front, the Wolfsschanze, or ‘Wolf’s Lair’, was built in 1941 in an area that was specially selected because of its seclusion and potential camouflage. There are only a few skeletal remains of what was once a huge complex that housed over 2000 Nazi personnel and support staff at the peak of the war.

Wolfsschanze

This once immense fortress is now being taken over by nature with moss, grass and other flora obscuring the ruins of one of the primary command centres for arguably the most devastating political and military movement in living memory. Though many of the buildings were destroyed by retreating German forces in 1945, there is still evidence of the vast scale of the headquarters, including the ruins of the complex’s own movie theatre.

Thüringen Underground Factories and Tunnels

Thüringen-Underground

In order to protect themselves from damage incurred by allied shelling in the later stages of the war, Hitler’s Third Reich started work on a series of underground armament factories and other sites crucial to the war effort. This relocation led to several tunnel mines in Thüringen being transformed into subterranean military facilities. The ‘Central Works’ were where those interned in concentration camps were forced to produce military equipment.

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Thüringen-Underground-2

Until recently collapsing structures and other dangers hindered exploration but the entrance to Tunnel A has now been reopened. It may have been previously closed due to flooding and collapse, but that didn’t prevent some urban adventurers from infiltrating the site, and it certainly didn’t hinder looters who stole large quantities of materials from the tunnels in the 1990s.

Flakturm 2 & 3 Air-Raid Towers

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