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Planning and Building under National Socialism

The exhibition “POWER SPACE VIOLENCE” looks at planning and building under the National Socialist regime and explores the continuities and ruptures that extend into the present day. The focus of the exhibition is on the period from 1933 to 1945, not only in the German Reich, but also in the German-occupied territories of Eastern Europe, while also showing cross-references to other countries.


The exhibition is based on findings of the multi-year research project titled “Planning and Building under National Socialism. Prerequisites, Institutions, Impacts”, which was supervised by an Independent Commission of Historians.

The commission’s choice of the Akademie der Künste as exhibition venue could not be more steeped in history. As of 1937, this was where the headquarters of the General Building Inspector for the Reich capital of Berlin were located. The scope of the exhibition, however, extends well beyond Albert Speer and his work. Under National Socialism, planning and building permeated all aspects of life and constituted a core area of the Nazi dictatorship. The ideologically charged nature of National Socialist architecture and its racist practices of inclusion and exclusion determined who was allowed to live, who had to die, and how.

The exhibition presents 150 short biographies of architects, engineers, urban planners and building experts of that era. In addition to the continuities in staff that existed beyond 1945, the focus is also on the architectural legacies of the Nazi regime.

A catalogue in English and German will be published alongside the exhibition. The accompanying programme includes symposia, guided tours and educational opportunities. The Akademie der Künste has also developed a programme with artistic and discursive contributions that address contemporary questions regarding “POWER SPACE VIOLENCE”.

An exhibition of the Independent Historical Commission (UHK) "Planning and Building under National Socialism" in cooperation with the Academy of Arts, Berlin, supported with federal funds, accompanied by the Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Building (BMWSB), represented by the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR).

The Independent Commission of Historians “Planning and Building under National Socialism“ is composed of: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Benz, Prof. Dr. Tilman Harlander, Prof. Elke Pahl-Weber, Prof. Dr. Wolfram Pyta, Prof. Dr. Adelheid von Saldern, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schäche, Prof. Dr. Regina Stephan.
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