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Österreichische Zeitschrift für Kunst und Denkmalpflege Heft 1, 2007

ÖZKD 2007, Heft 1

Österreichische Zeitschrift
für Kunst und Denkmal-
pflege 2007, Heft 1

ERBE VERWEIGERT - TAGUNGSBAND

Buch Kurzinfo

Titel: Österreichische Zeitschrift für Kunst und Denkmalpflege Heft 1, 2007

Untertitel: ERBE VERWEIGERT - TAGUNGSBAND

Erscheinungsjahr: 2007

Seiten: 139 Seiten

ISBN: AUT 0029-9626

Preis: € 7,50



Zu bestellen bei: verlag.berger.at



Aus dem Inhalt:

Dietmar Steiner
ERBE VERWEIGERT. ÖSTERREICH UND NS-ARCHITEKTUR.

Eva-Maria Höhle
STAATLICHER SCHUTZ FÜR NS-BAUTEN –
EIN ÖSTERREICHISCHES DILEMMA?

Klaus Steiner
NORMALITÄT DER NS-PLANUNG

Wilfried Posch
ANMERKUNGEN ZU LINZ 1938–1945

Ute Bauer
DIE WIENER FLAKTÜRME. VERWERTBARKEIT DES UNBRAUCHBAREN

Bertrand Perz
UNSICHTBARE NS-ARCHITEKTUR. UNTERIRDISCHE RÜSTUNGSFABRIKEN AUF ÖSTERREICHISCHEM GEBIET

Hermann Czech
„WO LAGER WAR, SOLL STADT WERDEN.“
AS GUTACHTERVERFAHREN ORANIENBURG 1992/93

Werner Durth
ARCHITEKTEN IM  „DRITTEN REICH“

Winfried Nerdinger
BAUEN IM NATIONALSOZIALISMUS –
QUANTITATIVE ANALYSE UND KONTEXT

Eberhard Grunsky
DENKMALPFLEGE UND INDUSTRIEARCHITEKTUR DER NS-ZEIT.
BEISPIELE AUS WESTFALEN

Jan Tabor
ARCHITEKTUR UND FASCHISMUS. TRAKTAT (IN THESEN) ÜBER CHARME UND SEXAPPEAL DER AUTHENTISCHEN FASCHISTISCHEN ARCHITEKTUR (FRAGMENT)

Wilfried Lipp
ARCHITEKTUR IM VERBLASSENDEN HORIZONT
DER ZEITGESCHICHTE

Friedrich Achleitner
ERBEN UND ERHALTEN

Norbert Huse
VOM UMGANG MIT EINEM SCHWIERIGEN ERBE

 

ENGLISH ABSTRACTS

Dietmar Steiner
Heritage denied: Austria and Nazi Architecture
The recent event hosted by the Az W and the BDA is the first conference of its kind on this topic. Both partners agree that there is in reality no such thing as Nazi architecture per se, rather only architecture created during the period of National Socialism. In order to assess its development properly, it is necessary to take international surroundings into consideration, whether it is fascist Italy with its “modern” designs, Spain, or the USSR. The turnaround of the Bauhaus master Hannes Meyer is still puzzling; he proposed a return to classical heritage at the All Union Congress in Moscow in 1934. A similar phenomenon was to be found in Germany, where the big names of modern white cubic architecture were struggling for commissions from Albert Speer. Although the polarisation between modernists and traditionalists in Austria was not as radical as in Germany, the break already took place here in 1934 as a result of the division of the Austrian Werkbund. Till that date cooperation of architects from the different camps was still possible. For the housing project of the Viennese Werkbundsiedlung Josef Hoffmann and Clemens Holzmeister where both invited by Josef Frank. Their fates are typical of the reactions of Austrian architects. Josef Frank emigrated; Holzmeister, a leading figure of Austrofascism, won a competition in Ankara and took advantage of this chance to escape the vengeance of the Nazi Alexander Popp whom he had not wanted to implement as the successor of Peter Behrens; Josef Hoffmann came to terms with the regime under which he received a few unimportant commissions.
The building activity of the Nazis in Austria was limited primarily to industrial facilities in Linz and Upper Styria, as well as the appertaining housing complexes. Hardly any of the great urban development projects were realised. The plans for hydroelectric power stations and autobahns demonstrate that building activity after 1945 did not start completely from scratch. The second wave of modernism, which returned by way of America, did not set in until the 1960s. A typical expression of the post-war period of repression is the magazine „Aufbau“, which first appeared in 1946 as the official journal of Vienna’s municipal building authority: the words “National Socialism” do not even appear once. A similar phenomenon is the fact that Austrian emigrants were never officially invited to return to their homeland.

Eva-Maria Höhle
National protection for Nazi building –
An Austrian dilemma?

Considered an absolute necessity, the confrontation with Nazi history in Germany lad to a much earlier protection of architectural remnants from this period than in Austria, which for some time assumed the victim’s role and where public discussion about the responsibility for this part of our history did not begin until later. That is why the idea of protecting Nazi buildings often still provokes misconceptions. The attempt to consciously recall this period is often perceived as aggrandisement.
The current listing project makes an overview of the buildings that were developed between 1938 and 1945 possible. This project was initiated by a corresponding amendment made to the laws governing monument preservation in 1999 and strives to discern those buildings that are truly worthy of protection from the bulk of public objects that have only been protected until now because of their legal status as public buildings. Now the challenge is to take a stand and make decisions. Which buildings merit their preservation in the interest of the public? Several categories can be distinguished here. Some of these buildings are perceived by the population as monuments because of their grand presence, no matter when they were erected. A few examples are the Landhaus in Innsbruck, the bridgehead-buildings in Linz, or the Staatsbrücke in Salzburg. Other types of buildings such as housing projects have to be selected according to their authenticity. The same applies to the large number of military buildings – mostly in possession of the Austrian Armed Forces – which have hardly been altered to this day; some are now to be privaticed and opened to commercialisation. A particularly sensitive topic is that of the „Opferbauten“. They cannot simply be selected according to typological criteria, which is an enormously overwhelming task. Current research must provide the basis for creating and/or renewing memorials.

Klaus Steiner
National Socialism in Vienna’s building scene
Many of the reforms that followed the Anschluss, such as the introduction of building and planning regulations simplifying the acquisition of property, were welcomed in urban planning. Even until recently, statements have been made about how regrettable it is that these reforms were revoked after the war. A typical example of the way in which the Nazis practiced confiscation, and which was even continued after the war, is the formerly Jewish-owned properties in the Modena Park which were at that time turned into parklands and public property without compensation. After the war these properties were re-designated as building plots without the least concern for the claims of the owners or of their legal successors, and tenement complexes were erected on the site. The ambivalent attitude of municipal authorities toward the National Socialist past is also illustrated by the case of the Viennese city planner Roland Rainer. In order to discredit his controversial urban planning concept of 1960, certain of its aspects were rebuked as carrying on the architectural tradition of National Socialism. The advisors in charge (of whom some had a Nazi affiliated past) ordered an expert opinion from Friedrich Tamms of all people, the architect of Vienna’s Flaktürme, who later even received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Vienna as an expression of gratitude. Contrary to other Austrian institutions, Vienna’s city planning has to this day not taken any steps to account for its conduct during the Nazi period.

Wilfried Posch
Some Notes on Linz, 1938 – 1945
Linz is without a doubt the one Austrian city whose districts have most clearly been influenced by the architecture of the National Socialist period. It would be unfair to say that Linz has “denied its heritage”. After 1945, the city’s political and intellectual forces soon viewed these structures as a part of overall history and dealt with them accordingly. Instead of repressing, these forces have tried, in an exemplary manner, to utilise the legacy of a dictatorship for the following generations of a democratic state. There are few cities that have so thoroughly accounted for their recent past.
In spite of the serious political upheavals of the 20th century (Austria’s history is overshadowed with the almost magical numbers of 1918, 1934, 1938, and 1945), Linz enjoyed a high degree of continuity. One figure of virtually symbolic importance in this respect is Curt Kühne (1882 – 1963) with his life and work as an architect and municipal building director in Linz. With the exception of a few minor interruptions, he served under a total of twelve mayors with his most productive period taking place under the five social democratic mayors. In the article, an introduction follows comparing his basic urban-planning concept from the time of the first Austrian Republic with those from the Nazi regime.
Many of Kühne’s ideas were incorporated under Adolf Hitler, though passed off as “new creations of the Fuehrer” and his architects. It is interesting to note that this happens even in today’s journalism and other related areas. Plans from recent decades have been denounced as being in line with the Fuehrer’s visions; Linz has been called “Hitropolis” although this statement is misleading and both architecturally and politically unfounded. The following points are dealt with:

1. The Bridgehead-buildings in Linz (1938–44 Anton Estermann, Roderich Fick Finanzoberpräsidium, today: tax offices and the Art University)
2. Housing and industrial construction (approx. 11,000 dwellings built from 1938–45, iron and steel mills, today: VOEST)
3. Territorial expansion in 1938/39 (The urban area is almost doubled in size)
4. Linz, Jakob Adlhart, and the train station lions (The dispute on sculpture dating from 1941–44)
5. From the Polygonplatz in Waldegg to the Bulgariplatz (planned since 1888, realised in 2003)
6. An inclination to making gestures (Bishop Rudigier and his cathedral 1862–1924, model and impact)

Ute Bauer
Vienna’s antiaircraft towers
Today, only eight of original sixteen antiaircraft towers (Flaktürme), built by the Nazi regime in Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna between 1940 and 1945, remain as reminders of aerial warfare and Nazi propaganda. In Germany, eight such towers have already been detonated, in Hamburg one serves as a media centre today, and another is falling apart without notice.
These structures were erected for two different purposes. During the war, they served as artillery bases and bunkers, as well as ostentatious symbols of the military strength of the Third Reich. Had the war been won, they were destined to be ennobled and transformed into stone-clad hero’s monuments. The way in which the Austrian Republic has dealt with these war remnants is rather ambivalent. While one of the buildings is used for military purposes, another serves as an aquarium and the remaining four are not presently in use. Many different functions have been proposed over the years without the least reference or connection to the origin of these buildings. Currently, an art project (Contemporary Art Tower of the MAK) and the commercial use of further towers (the installation of data storage in the combat tower, Augarten) are being planned. Particularly the latter ought to be seen with a critical eye. Five of these towers have remained virtually unchanged and have maintained, to a greater or lesser extent, their original character until now. As such – and not least because of their impracticality – they qualify especially well as authentic reminders of the past and promote the discussion about history. Yet they still need to be made better known for this purpose: on-site information and the possibility of visiting the interiors would be recommendable options. In order to secure the Flaktürme a place in the urban commemorative landscape, an overall concept is necessary for taking the right measures.

Bertrand Perz
Hidden Nazi Architecture: Underground Armament Factories in Austrian Territory 
The idea of transferring the arms industry under ground came as a reaction to the strategic aerial warfare first employed by the allies in 1943. One of the initial goals was to protect the peripherally organised rocket production. The question of supplying labour for lug production was solved in an agreement between the minister for armament, Speer, and the SS national leader, Himmler, who promised to provide thousands of concentration camp inmates. In Ebensee, Lower Austria, an underground research centre was established for Wernher von Braun; in Redl-Zipf, an oxygen factory and a testing facility for engines were built. After this project was relatively quickly realised, and not without extreme brutality, a more comprehensive programme for the arms industry was developed. In Austria, large-scale underground factories were realised in Melk (aircraft engines and ball bearings by Steyr-Daimler-Puch Inc.), St. Georgen an der Gusen (fighter planes by Messerschmidt), and, as already mentioned, in Ebensee (rocket industry and later fuel production). They were for the most part self-sufficient, meaning they had the necessary supply of water and electricity, air-conditioning and in some cases even train stations. Almost 50 percent of Mauthausen inmates was working in lugs in autumn of 1944. The inhumane working conditions in these three construction sites alone caused the deaths of over 20,000 inmates.
One of the most central figures was Karl Fiebinger. Born in Vienna in 1913, his construction company was specialised in building underground facilities. He was considered a highly qualified expert and was even brought to the USA to work on secret military projects after the war. Later on he worked in Central and South America and found the company Austrobau in 1968. He later returned to Austria to carry on his profession.
Until recently, these underground facilities have not been a topic of much discussion; one reason for this silence might just be their “invisibility”. They were partly still in use after the war. The lug facilities within the Soviet occupation zone were blown up and thereby largely destroyed. Parts of the ball bearing factories in St. Georgen have been filled in in recent times, while in the Ebensee facility a memorial has been constructed. A new visitor’s centre in St. Georgen tells the story of these underground building projects and of the tolls they took on human life. 


Hermann Czech
Where once a camp, shall be a city
In 1936–1937, the Nazi regime established the first systematically designed concentration camp in Oranienburg, located some 30km north of Berlin. It is estimated that 43,000 to 48,000 of the overall 200,000 camp inmates were murdered here. After the war, the Soviet secret service NKVD further used the facility as a camp. After 1956, the GDR transformed the triangular central part of the camp into a memorial (opened in 1961), while the area south of it, where the SS barracks were originally to be found, was still being used by the National People’s Army for military purposes. After the fall of the Berlin wall, various public offices (revenue board, police headquarters) were relocated here. Finally the city decided to find a new use for the extensive area of the former barracks and in 1992 invited top architects to compete for a new development plan with the aim of urbanising the terrain (“Where once a camp, shall be a city”). A conscious effort was made to integrate the rather isolated memorial into the city. The six participants all reacted very differently to the situation. The author (Czech, 1st place) came up with a design to counteract the existing structures by completely reorganising the space, leaving only certain significant remnants of the barracks as “foreign objects” within a new whole. Other participants proposed preserving the existing structures but at the same time making them unrecognisable (Baufrösche Kassel, 3rd place), or even radically eliminating the old structures and completely rebuilding the area (Kabus Ludewig, no placing). Daniel Libeskind (special placing), in contrast, totally ignored the official programme and designed a landscape in which parts of the “contaminated” terrain would be flooded (with footbridges making it possible to view the foundations deteriorating under water), while other parts would be designated for building. These plans, however, only took space for public, social, and cultural institutions into consideration and not living space. Libeskind took advantage of a heated public debate in order to win over the persons responsible to his project (which he later modified); he was partly successful in his endeavour. The status of the project today, fifteen years after the competition: half of the terrain has been cleared, the other half still contains the building complexes used by the public offices, which have even been expanded in the meantime. The intellectually and politically creative urbanisation project, which takes on responsibility and confronts historic liability, has not been realised.

Werner Durth
Architects of the Third Reich
For various reasons and with fluctuating intensity, young architects in particular offered their services to the Nazi regime which promised to tackle so many various building projects. Some very conflicting concepts found their architectural expression in the planning and realisation of these various public projects, coexisting without reconciliation until 1933. Nothing new had to be invented. Residential buildings were inspired by the ideas of the Heimatbewegung (though often constructed in a highly rationalistic manner), whereas industrial buildings often incorporated new forms of construction whose technological aesthetics served to demonstrate the efficiency and modernity of the totalitarian state. The key figure of Nazi architecture was Albert Speer, „Generalbauinspektor für die Neugestaltung der Reichshauptstadt“, who in his powerful position surrounded himself with a staff of young architects, many of whom went in for a career. One of them was Hanns Dunstmann who later became the building consultant for Austria at the request of his brother-in-law, Baldur von Schirach. A friend and contemporary of Speer was Friedrich Tamms who designed the Flaktürme in Vienna. His ideology, documented in the writing „Das Große in der Baukunst“, was that “without mass, i.e. without wasting material, there can be no monumentality”. This conception was opposed to the theory of the Stuttgart school, influenced by Schmitthenner (“The gentle law in art”), whose exponentials incorporated indigenous building styles (e.g. the housing projects for immigrants from Southern Tyrol) and produced solutions that were similar to their regional ideals but exceeded them in convenience. The housing projects for the industrial workers in Linz and Styria, typically strict block structures, differ drastically from the homelike and idyllic housings for South-Tyroleans. The architect Peter Koller from Carinthia became an important figure in Nazi building activity. At the age of 30 he received a commission to design the city of Wolfsburg. He also drew up plans for Innsbruck and Graz. Koller’s career is characteristic as far as continuity is concerned; he soon became the municipal building advisor for Wolfsburg and in 1960 became Scharoun’s successor at the Technical University of Berlin. Many representatives of the Nazis’ technical elite were needed for rebuilding after the war, although their next careers worked according to a completely different set of rules.

Winfried Nerdinger
Construction under the Nazis: Quantitative Analysis and Ideological Background 
Unlike in Italy, where the fascists needed seven years to gain complete control over the state, it only took a few months for all the German institutions to be brought into line. That also applies to the areas of culture and architecture. In 1934, Hitler personally regulated the different styles according to architectural tasks. In 1936, the minister for employment, Ley, issued an ordinance regulating development which, together with the “ordinance on construction design”, became a dominating force in controlling the entire building industry. There was no room for the individual development of the architect; rather, all his plans and actions were subject to the dictates and goals of National Socialism. These were clearly defined since 1933: preparation for war by comprehensive militarisation and by the build-up of an arms industry. The only way in which we can properly analyse and interpret Nazi building activity is by seeing it in this context. Priority was given to the establishment of military and industrial facilities with the corresponding infrastructure: housing estates, administrative buildings, etc. A prime example is the aviation industry in Bavaria. This enormous group was made up of hydroelectric power stations, aluminium plants, motor factories, as well as the barracks facilities necessary for their protection, worker’s housing, later on forced labourers and concentration camp outposts. The designs for the “district forums” of the “district capitals” (Gauhauptstädte) give us better insight into how closely Nazi politics and architecture are related. These forums were all constructed according to a very specific, uniform pattern including a district hall, roll call site, bell tower, party buildings, deployment routes etc. The Fuehrer’s five cities were to be redesigned according to their epithets: Berlin, the Imperial Capital; Hamburg, the Gate to the World; Nuremberg, the City of the Rallies; Linz, the Fuehrer’s Hometown; and Munich, the Capital of the Movement. Munich is an excellent example of how these ideological goals formed the basis of the Nazi architecture. Monumental forums were planned for the autobahn junctions, connected by axes and dedicated to the supporters of the movement (the SS, Storm Troopers and Hitler Youth). The mythical origins of the Movement were to be inscribed into the city’s layout and, in this manner, turn Munich into an architectonic image of the national socialist movement.

Eberhard Grunsky
Monument Preservation and Industrial Architecture during the Nazi Regime 
There is no specific Nazi style. In this context, Fritz Haug’s thesis is quite convincing: the fascists pooled all sorts of cultural and ideological groups together. Taken separately, none of these elements are fascist. What is fascist is the overall social system. That also goes for the decreed stylistic pluralism which provided industrial architecture with a modern and functional design vocabulary. According to the conceptions of the time, a factory is “a place of manufacture…the more consistently and energetically it serves its purpose, the more impressive it is; then it will also be aesthetic”. In accordance with the laws for monument preservation in North Rhine-Westphalia, roughly 27,000 buildings of historic importance were listed in the region of Westphalia-Lippe; of these, 2000 are industrial monuments, approximately 50 of these date back to the Nazi regime. Thus, as we can see, this group of historical monuments is not especially large. Four example cases will serve to illustrate the various difficulties in preserving this monument category. The coal-fired power station Gelsenkirchen-Horst, with its accentuated monumental design, was drafted by Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer and served to supply a hydrogenation plant with hard coal. After it lost its function, a long legal dispute over its maintenance costs ensued and it was finally demolished. The great festival and dining hall of the metal factory “Union Sils van der Loo“ in Frödenberg, which had already begun producing armaments in 1934, was also demolished. This grand hall was originally decorated with depictions of the twelve months by the painter Heinrich Bickel. Other historic monuments, however, have luckily been preserved. These include: the building of the former Air Force Clothing Depot in Bielefeld (used nowadays partly for school purposes and public offices), and the complex of the “Mechanical Workshops of the Association for Mining and Cast Steel Manufacture in Bochum” (still in operation today). We cannot judge the industrial monuments of this time period according to aesthetic standards taken out of the historical context, even if they came into being with the intention of creating architecture that is both high-ranking and worthy of future preservation. It would be wrong to evaluate them as a continuation of the modernism of the 1930s. The impressiveness of their architecture makes it necessary to point out their role in the social system of the Nazis. The most important thing is critical debate, the only real way for such monuments to become part of the “social memory”, as they complete and correct fragmentary and distorted recollections.

Jan Tabor
Nazi architecture and fascism
The only authentic fascism was the Italian form; its buildings were marked by the facial architecture of Benito Mussolini. Contrary to all the other derivatives of fascism, which did not bring forth any sort of noteworthy and distinct architecture, this genuine fascism had charm and sex appeal. The remarkable quality of fascist architecture, which takes pride of place in the history of modern building, can be rather easily abstracted from its objectionable political and ideological content. This sort of casual approach is not possible when it comes to National Socialist architecture. The Austro-Marxist architecture is revered and protected accordingly; similarily National Socialist architecture is also consicered worthy of protection. The architecture of Austro-Fascism, on the other hand, is largely ignored by research and is being quietly destroyed step-by-step. Essentially different from the Nazi style, Austro-fascist architecture produced incredibly modern and parochial works at the same time. The objective was to demonstrate Austrian “good taste” rather than ideology. The reason for the contempt of Austro-fascist architecture is a strong political background which has turned this era into a taboo; this phenomenon is also noticeable at this symposium. It would be especially interesting to research the complex flow of development and continuity in this area. Some architects carried on their profession under all the regimes of the 20th century, such as Schmidt and Aichinger, the most sought after architects of the Wiener Kommunaler Wohnbau, who also created the Bärenhof, the most significant and visible housing complex of the Austro-Fascist-period. In conclusion: the derivative architecture of Austro-Fascism is sometimes charming yet lacking in sex appeal and thus, seen from a psycho-analytical point of view, in the necessary attractiveness required by the senses.

Wilfried Lipp
Nazi architecture on the faded horizon of comtemporary history 
Although only few traces of the war are still visible in Austria today, there is, nevertheless, an abundance of buildings that are associated with National Socialism. Over time their importance has changed much and these objects cannot readily be integrated into the daily culture of today’s consumer society which tends to erase everything unpleasant from the “reality” of daily life. Architecture is often equated with the ideology that has brought it forth. There is a long tradition of eradicating cultural symbols by destroying their material expression in order – among other things – to prevent the possibility of a future renaissance. Yet there are other means of coping with our heritage: bringing the past into museums, stabilising it in monuments. Historicising the past leads to “aestheticising” it, even if that means aestheticising horrible things. This process finds its expression in the proper staging of films, museums and memorials. “Memory inflation” is the downside to the “boom of forgetfulness”; both blur historic facts. Things that are disguised in such a way are apt to become the nesting place of myths. Here it is the duty of historic preservation to keep track and to be aware of its responsibility. Its basis for dealing with this difficult field should be “differentiated differentiation”. The diversity of housing projects, social and industrial buildings must be distinguished from the “ideological backdrop” significant for the urban landscape. The preservation aspect must be guided by criteria that do justice to the historical impact of these buildings, with due consideration to what is politically compatible. Concentration camps and death camps, which as monuments of barbarism are actually contrary to the monument concept with its positive connotation, are memorials to the victims. Opposed to these are the material remnants of the perpetrators and their biographies which have recently become a topic of discussion. The work of historic preservation must approach this subject with the necessary caution. There is not only the danger of processing material for a sort of Nazi shrine. Experience with normal, positive personal memorials has shown that personality cults are often closely intertwined with the tendency of creating legends and distorting the facts. One of the greatest challenges for historic preservation in this respect is the otherwise vital concept of “age value” which relocates objects of horror to the distant past with its lyrical and conciliatory spirit, thereby violating the principle of not letting history be forgotten.

Friedrich Achleitner
Preserving Heritage
Originally, the only buildings that were considered historical monuments were those that the collective memory could be and wanted to be proud of. That began to change in the 20th century and today we are confronted with having to accept a heritage that also includes negative aspects. The material existence of buildings is, however, ambivalent to say the least. They are not capable of making any definitive statement. Furthermore, as time goes on, they increasingly depart from their original perfection (one could even argue that only a structure that has completely disappeared can reach new perfection). The concept of “ruin value” was coined by the creators of those Nazi buildings that were consciously erected as instruments of propaganda, unlike those that came about as “waste products” of daily life and tended to downplay or even hide their true functions. The effect of ruins on posterity was intended to a certain extent. In spite of having recognised this cynicism for what it is, we are nonetheless “taken in” by this programme. Similar to the Stockholm syndrome, there is a kind of identification with the aesthetics of the culprit. New and practical uses, such as the additions to the Haus des Meeres, are parasitic exceptions and often succumb to the actual structure. When comparing the memorials in Mauthausen and Nuremberg, we see how there is hardly an adequate way to deal with this type of heritage architecturally. The complex of Mauthausen, with its lovely park-like setting, makes an idyllic impression – even the quarry, the hell of Mauthausen, is a picturesque spot. The planners of the visitor centre did well to abstain from any sort of commentating architecture. The annex disappears behind a hill in the terrain; it becomes evident that architectural dialogue is not the aim here. Günther Domenig’s intervention in Nuremberg, on the other hand, represents violent confrontation: he literally impales the structure. Here we have two performers on the structural stage: one characterised by hollow pathos and the other by Domenig’s aggression, an aggression which by all means also enhances the structure and restores its heightened significance.

Norbert Huse
Dealing with a difficult heritage
The study of Nazi architecture and city planning was the business of outsiders until well into the 1980s. There was a great lack of understanding when, in 1988/89, objects connected with the development of Berlin into the world capital Germania were presented in an exhibit under the author’s direction. The preservation of historic monuments reaches its limits to some extent in dealing with the architectural heritage of the Nazis in Germany; even the traditional definition of the monument is questioned. When it comes to eras that are destructive in their very roots, destruction becomes one of the key characteristics. Absence, the trace of “no longer existing”: these can be decisive factors in discerning or even enhancing the importance of a monument. There is a certain danger in wanting to label and explain such places with memorials: i.e. the danger of downplaying their importance. The erection of memorials usually means a loss of monument value. One such place of culprits and victims can be found near the upper-Bavarian town of Mühldorf, still largely unspoiled and for that reason so impressive. It was here that prisoners from a Dachau outpost produced parts for the „Wunderwaffe“, jet fighter ME 262, in a huge reinforced concrete bunker. Little more than archaeological traces reveal the site of a detonated bunker complex in one of the former production areas. There is no conventional memorial that could possibly increase the expressiveness of this place in its present-day condition. Although there is not really an “adequate way” of dealing with this part of the heritage, it should nevertheless be accessible to monument preservation, both theoretically and in practice. The monuments of National Socialism also require a closer examination of what is left, an examination of how they were designed, developed, used, altered, and maybe even forgot. This confrontation with the past has to work as an open process in which the material existence of this heritage in today’s world is a main concern. In order to do this we need the proper amount of appreciation. Without the recognisability of both individual objects and the stories behind them, and without our knowledge of these things, a due sense of awareness is not possible.